Friday, March 29, 2013

A 2a Thought For A Pivotal Friday Here in Maryland

Please keep Maryland in your thoughts today, as our leaders gather today at 12 pm EST to vote on the Governor's abhorrent gun control bill.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Product Review: Zone Perfect Toasted Coconut Bars

I was finally able to get my hands on the Zone Perfect Toasted Coconut Bars ( I previously reviewed the peanut butter and cranberry almond HERE -  ) and I liked them a lot. HOWEVER...

 The Toasted Coconut bars are tasty, and have a strong coconut flavor. You can see the coconut flakes in them, and the bars have that firm texture I enjoyed in the other flavors. They have a satisfying firm almost "crunch" to them that is missing from other fruit based bars  
( like Larabars ).

Ingredients: 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

Essentially - sugar, dates, whey, coconut, and almonds. 

Wait - what?

I always thought "invert dried cane syrup" is exactly what it sounds like: the dried juice from pressing sugar cane - a less processed form of sucrose. Then I started to do a little research, and discovered I was wrong. Dead wrong.

 Invert sugar is basically table sugar (sucrose) that has been broken down into glucose & fructose. It is sweet - far sweeter than regular sugar, so you can use less of it in a product. However, the end result is a product nearly identical to HFCS ( high fructose corn syrup ). It is a definite no go on the Clean Eating scale.

I published this post specifically to show my readers that research into the foods you eat does pay off. Don't make an assumption, like I did. You learn something new, and apply it to your diet so you are eating more healthily. Question your food choices. Investigate ingredients. Find out what you are eating. I made a mistake, and I think it is important to learn from them.

I had been willing to look past the point that the cranberry almond flavor had cranberries that were processed with sugar. In the US, it's almost impossible to find a cranberry that isn't processed with sugar ( think Craisins, for example ). But now that I'm more educated about invert dried cane syrup, it won't be something I will consciously eat again.

Did I like the Perfectly Simple bars? Yes, I did. Will I buy them again? No, I will not - not until they remove invert cane syrup from the ingredients.

So - in conclusion, I can't recommend Perfectly Simple Bars to you. They aren't Clean.

( As always, I was not given samples by Abbott Labs to try and review. Any products I post about are purchased with my own money, and if I like a product, I'll tell you. If I didn't like it - I'll tell you that, too. )

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Funny: Best Exercise Shirt - Ever.

After yesterday's post about eating clean being paramount over working out, this picture made me grin.

Working out - it still has it's place in your life. Get off your ass and do it. ;-)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Fitness Starts in the Kitchen, Not the Gym

     Many people who are unsuccessful in weight loss believe the old adage "Move more, eat less." I've come to understand that nothing could be further from the truth - and I believe this antiquated notion is the reason 1 in 3 Americans are now classified as overweight. We aren't a fit society, and this is dangerous to our health, welfare, and national security.

     The truth is simple: First and foremost, change your eating habits. Eat Clean. Don't eat processed foods. No white flour, no chemical additives, and as low a sodium and sugar free diet as possible. No soda, candy, chips, or junk food. Eat whole foods, as they naturally occur in nature. Eat smaller meals, earlier in the day, and more often. Drink water - a lot of water, every day.

It's that easy.

     It's a lot less about sweating your butt off for limited results. It's a lot more about changing your eating style to embrace healthy foods that encourage your body's machinery to function at optimum levels. Physical activity absolutely has a place in everyone's regimen - don't get me wrong! I'm learning the sedentary lifestyle is suicide by inches. However, physical exercise alone won't get you there. It begins and ends with Clean Eating as the cornerstone to physical wellness - and if you are physically well, chances are your emotional wellness will follow suit.

Monday, March 11, 2013

My Newest Obsession: Sweet Potato & Bean Burgers

This recipe is all over the Fitspo blogs on Tumblr, so giving an attribution is a little tough. I'm not sure who conceived this recipe, or took this picture - but whoever you are...BLESS YOU. These burgers are awesome, and once cooked freeze wonderfully for a quick grab and go lunch burger. I occasionally fiddle around with the seasonings, but crushed red pepper flake is still my favorite.

Sweet Potato and Bean Burgers

  • Peel and cut up 3 large sweet potatoes, then boil them until soft.
  • While that’s cooking, mash up 4 cans of white beans ( drained and rinsed! )with a fork, potato masher, or food processor. ( Potato masher works best, you want them with a little chunk to them, not perfectly smoothly pureed. )
  • Once the potatoes are cooked, add them together with 2Tbsp crushed red pepper flakes and mash it all together. ( I've also added garlic or powdered spices to switch up the flavor. )
  • Whisk 2 small eggs together, and add to potato mixture.  If the mixture is loose, and whole wheat flour by the tablespoon until the mixture tightens a bit. ( Don't use rice or almond flour - in this case, you want the gluten elasticity wheat flour offers. )
  • Form into patties, throw in the oven at 425* F until they are firm and crisp on the exterior. ( About 20+ minutes for me, on average.  I like to spritz them with a little olive oil from my oil mister; it gives them a nice crunchy texture. )

I got this from RoboLikes - TY!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

3/10 - Sunday Clean Eating Coupons

Here's this week's best coupons available to help you save while eating right.

$0.55 off Any So Delicious Dairy Free Product
$0.75 off 2 LARABAR UBER bars
Save $1.00 
when you buy any TWO (2) WASA products
Save 65¢ 
Off Any Florida Crystals® Organic Agave Product
$1.50 off ONE bag of Seattle's Best Coffee 12 oz
50¢ off when you buy any THREE (3) 8 oz. Dole® Canned Pineapple
$1.00 off when you buy any TWO COFFEE-MATE® NATURAL BLISS™ coffee creamers

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Maryland Sheriffs Testify on HB294 - Maryland's Onerous Gun Control Bill

     If you have time ( video is 20 minutes ) and are interested in hearing what real law enforcement officers - people on the front lines of crime every day -  think of the types of laws put in place by New York State and proposed in states like Maryland and Colorado, I'd highly urge you to listen to their testimony.

For me, this is highly persuasive testimony as to the misguided ( and in several instances, particularly here in Maryland ) highly uninformed views of politicians on what actually works to dissuade and reduce gun violence.

These men are professionals at what they do, and I sure as heck trust their opinion on how best to curb crime in my area rather than rely on the opinion of a lawyer or career politician.

Edited to add: These sheriffs are against the proposed gun control law here in Maryland, and give very persuasive arguments against it based on fact, statistics, and logic.  If you'd like to hear argument against gun control from what you might consider an unlikely source ( law enforcement officers ), I would invite you to watch this video. It might change your mind about the wisdom of stricter gun control measures.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Another Clean Eating App & Website:

I'm all about using technology to my full advantage, so when I heard about another app that could help Clean Eaters make healthy choices at the store - I was all over it!

Once installed, Shopwell will match any product you scan and compare it to the profile you've set up on their website to see if it is compatible with the dietary parameters you've set up there.

**Unfortunately, this app is ONLY available for iPhones at the moment. I'm a Droid user, and am hoping this becomes available soon **

Step 1 - Create a profile on
Step 2 - Download their app
Step 3 - Scan product at the store to see if it is compatible with your profile.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Curb Nightly Cravings With Herbal Tea

Find yourself ( like me ) struggling with late night snacking urges? Do you find yourself aimlessly opening and closing pantry doors looking for something to eat?

Have you considered herbal tea?

I drink a large cup of peppermint herbal tea nightly, and I have to say it helps me significantly cut down on cravings and urges. I'm much more likely to eat Clean on nights when I brew myself a hot mug of tea than on nights when I go it with water alone. Why? There appears to be anecdotal evidence that suggests herbal teas can aid digestion, calm agitation / promote sound sleep, and many people find it helpful in weight loss. Perhaps herbal tea has properties that allow the body to feel "preoccupied" metabolically, and thus your brain has an easier time saying "no" to inappropriate choices.

Whatever the reason, if you are not a regular tea drinker already, I would encourage you to visit your store's tea aisle, pick a flavor that you would find pleasing, and try it for a few consecutive nights. Are you more able to resist nightly temptations?

Monday, March 4, 2013


I've written about affirmations before, and how having an affirmation can help you reaffirm your healthy habits. Mine is "This will not get me where I want to be" when contemplating an Unclean, processed snack food.

Thoughts on Focused Imagery

Sage Words on Starting Clean Eating

What is your phrase? What will help you stay on track?