Wednesday, August 29, 2012

8 Ingredients You REALLY Want to Avoid...


 So you are eating "mostly" Clean - you are noticing results, feeling better - definitely eating healthier. Here are 5 common ingredients in processed foods you should be looking for and actively avoiding.



This preservative is used to prevent rancidity in foods that contain oils. Unfortunately, BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) has been shown to cause cancer in rats, mice, and hamsters. The reason the FDA hasn’t banned it is largely technical—the cancers all occurred in the rodents’ forestomachs, an organ that humans don’t have. Nevertheless, the study, published in the Japanese Journal of Cancer Research, concluded that BHA was “reasonably anticipated to be a carcinogen,” and as far as I’m concerned, that’s reason enough to eliminate it from your diet.
You’ll find it in: Fruity Pebbles, Cocoa Pebbles


 These synthetic preservatives are used to inhibit mold and yeast in food. The problem is parabens may also disrupt your body’s hormonal balance. A study in Food Chemical Toxicology found that daily ingestion decreased sperm and testosterone production in rats, and parabens have been found present in breast cancer tissues.
You’ll find it in: Baskin-Robbins sundaes

Partially Hydrogenated Oil

 I’ve harped on this before, but it bears repeating: Don’t confuse “0 g trans fat” with being trans fat-free. The FDA allows products to claim zero grams of trans fat as long as they have less than half a gram per serving. That means they can have 0.49 grams per serving and still be labeled a no-trans-fat food. Considering that two grams is the absolute most you ought to consume in a day, those fractions can quickly add up. The telltale sign that your snack is soiled with the stuff? Look for partially hydrogenated oil on the ingredient statement. If it’s anywhere on there, then you’re ingesting artery-clogging trans fat.
You’ll find it in: Long John Silver’s Popcorn Shrimp, Celeste frozen pizzas

Sodium Nitrite

 Nitrites and nitrates are used to inhibit botulism-causing bacteria and to maintain processed meats’ pink hues, which is why the FDA allows their use. Unfortunately, once ingested, nitrite can fuse with amino acids (of which meat is a prime source) to form nitrosamines, powerful carcinogenic compounds. Ascorbic and erythorbic acids—essentially vitamin C—have been shown to decrease the risk, and most manufacturers now add one or both to their products, which has helped. Still, the best way to reduce risk is to limit your intake.
You’ll find it in: Oscar Mayer hot dogs, Hormel bacon

Caramel Coloring

This additive wouldn't be dangerous if you made it the old-fashioned way—with water and sugar, on top of a stove. But the food industry follows a different recipe: They treat sugar with ammonia, which can produce some nasty carcinogens. How carcinogenic are these compounds? A Center for Science in the Public Interest report asserted that the high levels of caramel color found in soda account for roughly 15,000 cancers in the U.S. annually.
You’ll find it in: Coke/Diet Coke, Pepsi/Diet Pepsi


 Castoreum is one of the many nebulous “natural ingredients” used to flavor food. Though it isn’t harmful, it is unsettling. Castoreum is a substance made from beavers’ castor sacs, or anal scent glands. These glands produce potent secretions that help the animals mark their territory in the wild. In the food industry, however, 1,000 pounds of the unsavory ingredient are used annually to imbue foods—usually vanilla or raspberry flavored—with a distinctive, musky flavor.
You’ll find it in: Potentially any food containing “natural ingredients”

Food Dyes

Plenty of fruit-flavored candies and sugary cereals don’t contain a single gram of produce, but instead rely on artificial dyes and flavorings to suggest a relationship with nature. Not only do these dyes allow manufacturers to mask the drab colors of heavily processed foods, but certain hues have been linked to more serious ailments. A Journal of Pediatrics study linked Yellow 5 to hyperactivity in children, Canadian researchers found Yellow 6 and Red 40 to be contaminated with known carcinogens, and Red 3 is known to cause tumors. The bottom line? Avoid artificial dyes as much as possible.
You’ll find it in: Lucky Charms, Skittles, Jell-O

Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein

 Hydrolyzed vegetable protein, used as a flavor enhancer, is plant protein that has been chemically broken down into amino acids. One of these acids, glutamic acid, can release free glutamate. When this glutamate joins with free sodium in your body, they form monosodium glutamate (MSG), an additive known to cause adverse reactions—headaches, nausea, and weakness, among others—in sensitive individuals. When MSG is added to products directly, the FDA requires manufacturers to disclose its inclusion on the ingredient statement. But when it occurs as a byproduct of hydrolyzed protein, the FDA allows it to go unrecognized.

You’ll find it in: Knorr Noodle Sides, Funyuns

Thanks, Yahoo and Eat This, Not That

Monday, August 27, 2012

5 Fun Zucchini Recipes

Crunchy Zucchini Rounds With Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

Take advantage of zucchini's vibrant green color, and work it into bite-size appetizers like these crunchy rounds. Topped off with sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese, they'll look almost as good as they taste.
Each mouthful of this savory starter promises a ton of flavor for very few calories (86 for three zucchini rounds).

Marinated Zucchini and Yellow Squash Salad

This colorful summer salad packs a lot of flavor, considering how few ingredients and how little of your time it requires. And, you'll get an added kick of vitamin A from the fresh basil.
Use the peeler lengthwise rather than horizontally to create long, beautiful green and yellow ribbons of squash.
Marinated zucchini and squash salad

Zucchini Fries

If you're looking for a crispy summer snack, try making these Parmesan-encrusted zucchini fries.
The secret to their light, lean taste? These squash strips get breaded and baked, instead of thrown into a deep fryer. And, you can lower the cholesterol content by ditching the yolk and using only egg whites.
Note: make sure you use a Clean seasoned breadcrumb, like Ian's or whole wheat panko. Most breadcrumbs are an Unclean nightmare jumble of ingredients!

Zucchini Fries

Zucchini With Corn and Cilantro

If you're planning on serving salsa or guacamole, you should consider serving this instead. It has much less sodium than salsa and contains a lot less fat than traditional guac. Plus, each serving is only 62 calories.
With a total prep and cooking time of less than 20 minutes, this veggie medley is a keeper!

Zucchini & corn :"salsa" with Cilantro

Tomato-Zucchini Bake

Pair your zucchini with other summer veggies you probably already have on hand, like tomato and corn, and toss them into the oven. This light summer entrée will leave you with tons of crunch and color. Plus, baking this dish means you'll get a delicious crisp without the added fat of frying.

 Tomato & Zucchini Bake

Thank you,!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Healthy Eating Magazine 3 Day Sale Over at Tanga!

If you've been looking for sources for healthy recipes / healthy eating tips...Tanga has a great sale through Sunday the 26th.

Tanga's 3 Day "Eat Right Feel Great" Magazine Sale

Shape Magazine for $3.99 a year?? That's 93% discount off the newsstand price, folks!

Eating Well Magazine for $6.99 a year - a savings of 76% over the newsstand price.

Vegetarian Times for $6.99 a year - a savings of 85%

Taste of Home's Healthy Cooking only $8.99 a year. Save 66% of the newsstand price.

Remember, as always, you can get multiple years by choosing the drop down as to how many year's subscription you want to buy at the discounted price.

There are also many other magazines on sale - Fitness, Men's Fitness, Martha Stewart's Everyday Food, Weight Watchers, Whole Living...

Tanga's 3 Day "Eat Right Feel Great" Magazine Blowout!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Envy Apples

A “new to me” variety of apples is appearing in grocery stores near you, and if you have little ones at home or prefer a firm fleshed, crispy apple – the new Envy apple is for you. 

The Envy is a cross between the Braeburn and Royal Gala developed in New Zealand. It has a sweet, firm flesh that ( according to its website ) stays white for hours after slicing. This aspect, coupled with its availability in a smaller size and slightly less juicy aspect, makes it the perfect apple to slice and pack for lunches. No waste by giving the kids too much apple, no brown and unappealing apples slices discarded before consumption.

I really liked the less juicy aspect of this new variety as well - it was clean, crisp, and very tasty. This type of apple ( to me ) is also ideal for a smear of almond or peanut butter...making it perfect for your mid-morning or mid-afternoon meal.

If you have an opportunity to pick up a bag of Envy apples, you'll be getting a slightly sweet, crisp apple your whole family will enjoy. Break free from your usual apple choice - go looking for a new apple variety to try. The Envy  apple is a definite Clean Eating recommend. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Looking Beyond The Scale: Sage Advice From Sparkpeople

Last week I filled in for a co-worker while she was on vacation. I had to monitor her email for most of the week. This co-worker I've discussed before - she's been very successful in weight loss in the past 2 years. She gets a daily motivational email from Sparkpeople - a website with a community of people who are trying to lose weight. 

She received this email last week. I found myself nodding my head as I read it. Sage advice. 

Measure your progress in ways other than those numbers on the scale. 

I wish I could link directly to the source. Instead, here's a link to the Sparkpeople website.

Looking Beyond the Scale

When you first begin taking steps toward a healthier you, it's easy to think that the only thing that matters is the number on the scale. After all, that message is reinforced everywhere you turn. Look, the scale is a great indicator of progress, but it is simply that - ONE indicator. A SINGLE data point in a sea of potential progress markers. Why did you start this "journey"? Was it just to lose some arbitrary amount of weight with a total disregard to your overall health? If so, cut off an arm and cauterize the wound.

No, I suspect that you are taking steps toward a healthier you, a stronger you, a more confident you. And that, my friends, is NEVER going to be reported by the scale. Here's the truth - you're not going to lose weight all the time. You'll "plateau". You'll "gain muscle". You'll retain water. You'll retain beer. If you're a woman, you'll have to deal with that "TOM weight gain". Some weeks, life just gets in the way. And that's...OK.

If you pay attention only to ONE indicator of success, you set yourself up for failure. Instead, look beyond the scale.

- Maybe the scale reports a gain, but you've just fit into that smaller size.

- You didn't lose a pound this week, but your coworker says "Hey, lookin' good, have you lost some weight?" - instead of fixating on the "weight" aspect of this compliment, focus on the fact that other people are noticing the results of your efforts, even if the scale did not.

- The scale says you gained a pound, but you lifted more, ran faster, did a pushup, walked farther than you ever have, etc.

It's been a long "journey" for me, and I'm still learning. Every day. I do weigh-in and keep track of it, but I don't obsess over that number. In fact, I probably remember the non-scale-victories more than the numbers.

Some of my favorites include:

- Getting to the last notch on my belt and having to drill a few extra holes. Did this years ago, then gained a bit back. Recently I've been thinking about putting in a few MORE holes.

- Chasing the kids around the yard and realizing that they'll tire before I do.

- Donating 20+ LBS of CLOTHING this past weekend that no longer fits. Swimming in size 36's that used to be snug.

- Completing my first 5k, 10k, half-marathon, marathon, ultra-marathon, etc, etc, etc.

- Getting a smile from random people while I'm out because they can sense my increased confidence and overall happiness.

- When wife told me - "Hey, you no longer stop breathing at night. I'm not afraid you'll just die while we sleep."

- Being able to do 50 push-ups at a time

- Being able to more than ONE pull-up


And the list goes on and on. Bottom line - don't put too much weight on the scale. You may not like what you see. So when you see no change on the scale, or that number creeps up a bit, don't give up. Think about how the changes you've made have positively affected your life and the lives of people around you.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Broccoli Salad with Smoked Gouda

I bought a lovely piece of smoked Gouda cheese the other day and instead of just lightly snacking on it, I went looking for a recipe that incorporated one of my favorite cheeses. This light refreshing side salad fits the hazy hot end of August days we've been experiencing.

Broccoli Salad with Gouda

* 3 cups small broccoli florets 
* 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion 
* 1/2 cup grape tomatoes,quartered
* 1/2 cup toasted slivered almond (or pine nuts) 
* 6 -8 ounces Gouda cheese, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (smoked or regular)
 * 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil 
* 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
 * 1/4 teaspoons liquid stevia
* 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
 * salt, to taste

1 Cook broccoli in boiling salted water for 1-2 minutes. Drain well; rinse with cold water; drain well again.
2 Combine the broccoli with onion, tomatoes, nuts and cheese.
3 In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, sugar, pepper and salt; pour over salad mixture and toss to coat.

Monday, August 6, 2012

My Son, The Olympics, The Easy Way Out, & Why Clean Eating Is Tough For Some

      The other night, my son and I were watching the Olympics - the Men's swimming, to be precise. Keep in mind my son is 11, scary smart ( a la Sheldon Cooper sometimes ), and very techno savvy. He turned to me and asked "Those men sure are in shape." And I smiled and said "Yes, they are. Those men have been working out for years: swim practice, gym, endurance training...and all the prep they've done for years was for this week - in some cases - for a single race."

     He looked at me with a quizzical look on his face and said casually "Seems like a waste of time. Devoting all that time and energy for less than 2 minutes of their life." I studied his face - he was serious. I said "I think you are missing the point. These young men have devoted their lives to being the best swimmers they can possibly be. The best. In order to be the best, you have to make certain sacrifices and commit to your goal. "

     Now, my son is a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do. Why his experience training towards this goal versus what the Olympians commit to didn't make a connection for him had me at a loss...until I considered his personality and his work ethic. While shockingly smart, he has a poor work ethic and will always take the easy way out if it is an option. Homework? Do it at the last possible second, if at all. Do chores around the house? Naah - rather play video games or fib about it. Eat healthy? Pfft - why bother learning to cook when McDonald's is so convenient?

     Looking at him watching the swimmers, it dawned on me that he doesn't make the connection between hard work, commitment and end results. Sure - he understands that in order to get something, effort must be made. But he hasn't internalized it yet. He hasn't made it part of his core being.

If you're an adult - a hard working, "show up to work early and be the last to leave the office" kind of employee, you've internalized the value of hard work plus consistency plus time equals results. You know your success in the work place hinges on your putting in the effort to get results. Reports are filed on time, computer programs are written by the deadline, and financial gain and recognition are the reward.

 But what about your body? Your health?

Internalize it - you will get zero results health and fitness wise if you put little to no effort into achieving results. For some, Clean Eating is hard work. It takes focus and dedication more than simple willpower. Think about what you have to do - what sacrifices you have to make, what changes to your routine you need to make - in order to achieve healthy results. It isn't always easy. For some, it is hard work. But hard work coupled with consistency and time achieve results. Stick with Clean Eating - stay on path. And over time, you'll begin to see results. You'll feel better. Your skin tone and complexion will improve. Your overall health will improve. Your mood will improve. YOU will improve.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Engrish Much?

And now for your viewing pleasure and sure to make your eyes bleed and Baby Jesus cry - a spam comment I got a few minutes ago.

Thank you for enjoying my blog, sir! I do hope Clean Eating helps you!  :-D

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Greek Yogurt Review XII : Yoplait 100 Calorie Gree...":

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Greek Yogurt Review XII : Yoplait 100 Calorie Greek Yogurt

Yesterday, I found a brand new yogurt at my local grocery store – Yoplait’s newest entry into the Greek yogurt races; 100 Calorie cups. 

  Of course, given Yoplait’s spectacularly poor track record of wholesome ingredients in their yogurts, I was dubious. A quick glance at the ingredients confirmed my suspicions; Yoplait has failed yet again.

Ingredients: Cultured Pasturized Grade A Nonfat milk, water, sugar. Contains less than 2% of the following ingredients: Corn starch, natural flavor, lemon juice concentrate, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3.

UNCLEAN! 2 sources of outright sugar ( sugar and sucralose ) with the added milk sugar inherent in milk? I predicted a sickeningly sweet mouth-feel. What did I get? Bingo, sparky: an overly sweet gloppy mess of a yogurt that I didn’t even finish.

And what is Acesulfame potassium? GLAD you asked. I had to look that one up – and it makes perfect sense. “Acesulfame K is 200 times sweeter than sucrose (table sugar), as sweet as aspartame, about 2/3 as sweet as saccharin, and 1/3 as sweet as sucralose.”

What do they say? “Well, THERE’S your problem…”

Avoid Yoplait 100 Calorie yogurt. Unless they do a drastic reformulation, this isn’t Greek yogurt. It’s what Yoplait thinks simpleton Americans want. It’s another dietary disaster masquerading as health food. You know better than that.

Funny – while I was looking online for a picture of the yogurt cup ( too lazy to take my own pic! ), I came across the following link:
Yoplait Sued Over Greek Yogurt Ingredients Not Meeting the Federal Definition of Greek Yogurt

Compared with mainstream U.S. yogurt, Greek-style is a thicker, richer yogurt with at least twice as much protein. Most Greek yogurts have these characteristics because they are strained to remove liquid whey, the watery portion of milk.
General Mills, however, makes its Greek-style yogurt with a thickener called "milk protein concentrate," which comes from filtering skim milk to remove non-protein elements.
Plaintiffs' argument

Chicagoan Martin Taradejna and other "similarily situated" consumers claim in a suit filed this spring that General Mills, by using milk protein concentrate, has misbranded and misrepresented its Greek product as yogurt.
Consumers were harmed because they were paying a premium for General Mills Greek yogurt compared with regular yogurt, the plaintiffs argue. Greek yogurt usually costs about 75 cents more per 6-ounce container than traditional yogurt.
Many foods have a federal "standard of identity," and the one for yogurt does not include milk protein concentrates, the plaintiffs argue.

Yoplait is getting sued.

$10 says you’ll see the yogurt repackaged as “Greek Style” yogurt so they don’t have to reformulate.