Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you and your family. I wish you peace and happiness; nothing but the best.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Thought For A Sunday Afternoon

I was doing some reading earlier today, and came across something I had scrawled in the margins of this book many, many years ago:

Then a few minutes ago, I saw the same words elsewhere online. Someone is trying to tell me something.

I think I will listen.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Top 10 Ways To Prepare Kale

I have been talking with a long time friend ( *hug* ) about his frequent preparation of kale. Though I live a lot farther South than he does, kale doesn't grace my table...and I'm not entirely sure why. So I've been keeping my eyes peeled for kale recipes to try out. As a winter green, kale is becoming more commonplace in grocery stores.

I found the website ( see link at the bottom of this post ) with the graphic above and a list of 10 interesting things to do with kale - not recipes as much as a recap. I don't think I would have thought of using kale in my quiches - but it's a great idea.

I like this comment on the page: "Overall, kale is a delicious and hearty green. Treat it like spinach and you can substitute it in just about any recipe. Experiment and enjoy!"

Treat it like spinach! A simple concept, but one I didn't even think about.

Top 10 Ways to Prepare Kale

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Clean Eating Chopped Garlic to Recommend : Sun of Italy

For quite some time now, I've know that a significant portion of the world's garlic supply is grown and processed in China. I've worked around this by buying only fresh cloves labeled as grown in the USA. I can only find them at one store in my area; all the others don't tell the country of origin or the origin is China.

But chopped garlic in a jar is so...convenient. I really miss it. But since turning my back on jarred chopped garlic, I've still kept my eyes peeled for a brand that is clearly labeled as "Made in the USA." I pick up a jar from the shelf, put on my reading glasses - and over and over, frown at the lack of country labeling or the words "Made in China."

Until last weekend, when I looked at a jar of Sun of Italy brand chopped garlic.

"Made in the USA"

Huzzah! A Clean Eating chopped garlic product. I can eat this without concern for how the garlic was grown or handled - chemicals, nutrients, and the suspension medium the garlic is in ( oil or water ). Thank goodness!

Sun of Italy is a Maryland company, so I'm assuming the product is predominantly available on the East Coast. I'm not sure how wide their distribution will be. Typically this brand is found in the ethnic or International food aisle in your grocery store.

If Sun of Italy chopped garlic isn't available in your area; you can buy it directly from the company from this link!

( I'm not compensated in any way by any product I promote on this site - I buy them myself, try them myself - and if I like them, I'll mention them. )

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Some Motivation For a Tuesday

Here's that kick in the pants you wanted...

and the only candy that is CE Approved: eye candy-

Monday, December 17, 2012

Adventures in Clean Eating Out & About, Part III - The Office Christmas Party

Once again, it was time for my company's swank Christmas party Saturday, where my co-workers and I shed the shackles of the Engineering Mines and step out to eat and drink well ( and not talk about work! )

 ( using the same pic as last year because heck, it's cute )

Because we enjoyed last year's meal so much, we decided to have our party at the same steakhouse as last year : a very upscale steak house in Annapolis...the kind where steak is priced by how long it is aged, and essentially everything is made in the processed foods, everything handmade.

Previous years:

2011 Christmas Party

2010 Christmas Party

     This year, I again used the techniques I've learned to control myself, my intake - and I still had a wonderful meal and a great time. There are definite ways to stay Clean while eating in mixed company ( Clean and Unclean eaters, that is! )

1. I made sure I found out the menu before hand, and knew exactly what I was going to select - no last minute wobbly "Um..." or "Well..." - I knew what I was going to eat, as if there were no choices that night.

House salad with their homemade basil vinaigrette ( tomatoes were AWESOME )
Filet mignon on a small pool of garlic mashed potatoes and broccoli
A magnificently delicious baked 1/2 sweet potato ( a side dish )
Skip the dessert course and ask for coffee instead

2. I ate a small meal a few hours before we left for the restaurant. This way, I wasn't ravenous by the time our meal was ordered and more easily swayed to make an incorrect choice.

3. I ate slowly, savoring my steak with a mindfulness  so I enjoyed and appreciated each bite. I finished my steak with a very satisfied feeling.

 When the dessert course came, and our devastatingly handsome waiter brought my coffee as requested, he made a suggestion - sometimes he'll bring a single slice of cheesecake or whatever to the table, and divide it into 4 or 6 everyone has just a taste. I looked over at a female co-worker who also carefully watches her food consumption and she nodded. A plate of cut up cheesecake was brought forth for us, yielding about 2 bites apiece. Enough for a taste and a savor. It was delicious, I felt satisfied and not deprived, and I left the table knowing I had a well thought out meal and a little treat without going "hog wild" and eating an entire slice of cheesecake by myself.

Recap: Preplan, Pre-eat, Mindful Eating - keys to successfully staying on Path when dining out.

PS - Saturday was also my few times a year indulgence with liquor. ( I don't drink beer or wine at all. I like whiskey and will have a glass a few times a year, at most. )

The glass of Jameson was welcome, and that was all I was going to have 1 glass. I had already told myself I would only have 1 glass this year, and even warned my whiskey drinking co-hort of my plan.
He asked for a glass of Knob Creek bourbon straight up. It arrived on ice. He frowned. The waiter apologized. I couldn't see a good drink go to waste, so I took it from the waiter, smiled, and said I would drink it. My co-worker said "Um, that's a little stronger than you are probably used to..." and I assured him it was no problem. ( This morning, I looked - Jameson is 40%; Knob Creek is generally between 50-60% alcohol by volume )

Between you and me - the Knob Creek knocked me on my ass. Lesson learned. Next time I will stick to the single and double malt end of the Whiskey Pool.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tosca's "Eating Clean Will Help You Lose Weight" Article

     Tosca Reno wrote the following article over at and I'm reposting it here in its entirety - it's straightforward, 10 point highlighted wrap up of Clean Eating is on point for understanding each aspect of Clean Eating. ( And a big TY to my friend and fellow Clean Eater Mary who Pinned this article and brought it to my attention! )

Clean Eating For Weight Loss

1. Eat more—really! Following this plan, you’ll have six small meals each day, at two-and-a half to three-hour intervals. Your metabolism will steadily hum along all day and you will avoid the blood-sugar spikes that can trigger weight gain.

2. Eat only “clean” foods that have not been overly processed. Say no to processed items like pre-made snacks, cookies, cakes, chips, diet sodas and meals. Food should be real food, not a science project.

3. Eat your veggies—and some fruit. Learn to spend a majority of your grocery-shopping time in the produce aisle. Vegetables should make up nearly three-quarters of each meal. Eat fruit in moderation and steer clear of fruit juice—too sugary and lacking in fiber.

4. Eat lean protein and complex carbohydrates at each meal. By combining them at every meal you create a nutritional package (example: chicken breast and spinach) that your body can process effectively.

5. Include healthy fats daily. We need a moderate amount of fat each day from “good” fats like avocado, fish oils, flaxseed, nuts, nut butters and more. Consuming small amounts at will help you shed those last 10 pesky pounds.

6. Drink two to three quarts of water each day. You need one quart (32 ounces) of water daily for every 50 pounds you carry. Add even more if you exercise.

7. Have breakfast every day, within an hour of rising. Eating breakfast gets you on track for healthy eating and will kick-start your metabolism so it is burning efficiently all day long.

8. Eat your last meal three hours before bed. Eating your last meal of the day well before sleeping gives your body a better chance to burn calories.

9. Portion control is key. Your hands are the perfect tools to measure out how much to eat at every meal. Aim for a serving of lean protein the same size as the palm of your hand, one handful of complex carbohydrates from whole grains and fruit and two handfuls of veggies and leafy greens. Easy!

10. Take it with you. Some of the biggest diet downfalls occur when you’re away from home, so pack your meals into a little kit or cooler and take them with you wherever you go. This way, you’ll never have an excuse to grab a fat-laden, fast-food lunch! You’ll save money, too.

Eating Clean Meal Plan

Want to try eating clean? Try this sample meal plan.

Breakfast: Oatmeal topped with berries, flaxseed and wheat germ; black coffee;4 hard-boiled egg whites

Mid-Morning Meal: Boneless, skinless chicken breast; sliced cucumbers and tomatoes

Lunch: Green salad topped with tomatoes, onion and chopped turkey breast, dressed with a squeeze of lemon; water

Mid-Afternoon Meal: One apple; handful of almonds; water

Dinner: Grilled salmon; brown rice; steamed asparagus; water

Last Meal (only if hungry): Scrambled egg whites with sliced tomato and spinach; herbal tea

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Thought: What Have You Done Today?

 I came across this picture above and it made me stop and think - what do I do for myself on a daily basis to renew myself? Was today a positive day that nourished my body, mind, and spirit or was today a "not so much" type of day? If the answer is the latter - what can I do tomorrow to make things better?

What food choices can I make to promote good health, fitness, and the smooth running of my body's machinery?

What intellectual choices can I make to cultivate a stronger, wiser, happier me?

What emotional choices can I make to nurture and project the kind of person I hope to be?

Choices - we all have them.

What we do...matters. What we think...matters. How we act...matters. It affects you, and those around you.

Think about it - and go forward today with the intention of eating to sustain your body, not eating to bolster yourself emotionally. Go forward with the intention of acting kindly and responsibly to yourself and others. Go forward with the intention of fostering a better self.

Thought for the day? Go forward.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Slow Cooker Balsamic Pot Roast

I found this recipe over the weekend and tried it Saturday - it's DELICIOUS. My boys love Balsamic vinegar, and the flavor is not overpowering. It's just downright tasty.

Thank you so much to who came up with this recipe and posted it - along with the photo below.

Note: Worcestershire and soy sauce aren't particularly Clean because of their high sodium content, but the amount called for in the recipe versus the amount of meat and balsamic leads me to believe they are only present to calm the balsamic flavor and enhance it without it being overpowering - so I'm inclined to keep it in the recipe.

Slow Cooker Balsamic Pot Roast

  • 1 3-4 pound boneless roast beef (chuck or round roast)
  • 1 cup organic low sodium beef broth
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  1. Place roast beef into the insert of your slow cooker. In a 2-cup measuring cup, mix together all remaining ingredients. Pour over roast beef and set the timer for your slow cooker. (4 hours on High or 6-8 hours on Low)
  2. Once roast beef has cooked, remove from slow cooker with tongs into a serving dish. Break apart lightly with two forks and then ladle about ¼ – ½ cup of gravy over roast beef.
  3. Store remaining gravy in an airtight container in the refrigerator for another use.
If you prefer a more pronounced flavor, once the roast beef has been removed, use a fat separator on the gravy and then pour the gravy into a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until the gravy has reduced by half.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Product Review: Zone Perfect Perfectly Simple Nutrition Bar

You know I keep my eyes peeled for new products that will fit into my CE lifestyle. 2 weeks ago, I stumbled across these bars at my local grocery store. Produced by Zone Perfect ( whose normal regular bars have about a jillion unnecessary ingredients! ), this new offering grabbed my attention - and definitely my affection...Perfectly Simple Nutrition Bars

The ingredients are, as billed, pretty simple.

Peanut Crunch: Peanut Butter (Peanuts), Invert Evaporated Cane Juice, Soy Protein Isolate, Date Paste, Rolled Oats, and Coconut.

Cranberry Almond: Soy Protein Isolate, Apple Juice Concentrate, Sweetened Dried Cranberries (Sugar, Dried Cranberries, Sunflower Oil), Date Paste, Roasted Almonds (Almonds, High Oleic Sunflower Oil), Dried Pomegranate Seeds, and Cinnamon Powder.

Toasted Coconut:  Invert Dried Cane Syrup, Date Paste, Soy Protein Isolate, Toasted Coconut, Roasted Almonds (Almonds, High Oleic Sunflower Oil), Whey Protein Isolate, and Natural Vanilla Flavor.

I only had the peanut crunch and the cranberry almond...but I'd definitely buy them again. They have a delightful crunch to them that reminded me of that rice crunch in a Nestles Crunch candy bar - it was different and really mentally satisfying! The bars are firmer than Lara Bars - not a "fruit paste" consistency, but have more of a drier, cake/cookie like consistency. It's hard to describe - but if you dislike Lara bars because of the consistency ( so don't like them because of texture ) , I'd tell you to try these instead.

Now, be aware - these are NOT diet food. They range from 170 to 200 calories per bar, and they aren't huge. But a quick afternoon pick-me-up? A mini-meal on the go? Something to tuck into your carry on for a flight or keep in your desk? These are perfect - Perfectly Simple.

Two CE thumbs up!