clean eating

Loving 'The Best of Clean Eating'

I can count on one digit how many times I have ranted and raved about cooking and a recipe this would be the only time I have gotten so excited about either cooking or a recipe book!  You see I do not enjoy cooking and I truly hate preparation time for cooking.  When I'm hungry, I just want to eat.  But, I am truly dedicated to myself and my family in making sure that we get nutritious, healthy meals 99.9% of the time.  Since that is my priority, I have no other option than just getting over my dread of cooking.  I must keep seeking out fun, fast, easy, yummy meals that keep the whole family properly fueled.

Now I have been familiar with the Clean Eating Magazine that is on newsstands, but I prefer one comprehensive resource since cooking is not my typical thing.  The crew over there at Robert Kennedy Publishing and the editors of the Clean Eating Magazine decided to publish all the best goodies in The Best of Clean Eating.  These recipes are so yummy and the chapters are organized simply & practically: quick & easy, budget friendly, five ingredient meals, seasonal, etc.  They have even included four weeks of meal plans and their shopping lists.  The great thing about all of them, is there aren't a bunch of ingredients that you wouldn't typically use or foods that are way out of normal.

I am absolutely loving this book and all the recipes!  I have included a link HERE from my FAVORITES page (scroll to bottom) if you want to have Amazon ship you a copy.  Let me know which recipes you are loving.

Best in health & happy cooking!

Clean Twist on Thanksgiving Recipes

Hey there! So I love fall and I love Thanksgiving eats! This is my favorite time of the year. Although the commercial aspect seems to keep starting the holiday season earlier and earlier, mine starts at Thanksgiving. I can start listening to holiday music on XM Radio Holly; Christmas decor comes out of storage this weekend; the Christmas lists get edited and sent to the North Pole. Ahhh delightful! This is also the time of year when we can really pack on the pounds and insulation... Yowzers! Here in the Pacific Northwest we just got greeted with a lovely dose of white, fluffy, cold insulation. Let's just make sure it doesn't adhere to the human specimens.

Hopefully you have gotten your Thanksgiving meal planned and the shopping done. If you are looking for a couple clean eating recipes, I have two favorites to share with you. The first is an awesome sweet potato recipe that is sans marshmallows. No need for the extra calories and sugar! Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet. The second favorite is to satisfy my sweet urge. Don't be scared that it calls for tofu as it made me want to run for the high ground when I first saw it, I dislike tofu that much. Blended up this is the perfect creamy alternative to pumpkin pie. Delish! Enjoy and let me know how they turn out.



Serves 8

4 medium sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch wedges
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 Tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
4 garlic cloves, minced

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, toss potato wedges in olive oil and paprika. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to baking sheet and roast 30-35 minutes, turning potatoes once halfway through.

2. Return potatoes to mixing bowl and toss with parsley, lemon zest and garlic. Serve immediately.

Nutrition facts (per serving):
188 calories
3 g protein
35 g carbs
5 g fat
0 g fiber
0 mg cholesterol
160.5 mg sodium
2 g sugar



Serves 4

1 12-oz package silken tofu
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 1-oz box sugar-free, fat-free vanilla instant pudding mix
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Add all ingredients to a large bowl and blend until smooth. Refrigerate before serving.



Nutrition facts (per serving):
90 calories
4 g protein
12 g carbs
3 g fat
2 g fiber
0 mg cholesterol
263 mg sodium
2 g sugar

Happy, healthy eats!


Getting an Edge With Clean Eating- A Success Story

So here we share one great example of how clean eating can change your life.  I cannot emphasize more the health benefits that you can attain by focusing on what you put in your body and how your fuel it.  Here is a success story from Regina Schideler.  She is an inspiration and testament on how we can change our habits and get huge lifestyle results.  Remember healthy bodies, lead to healthy minds!  Here's her story:

In December I had a blood test done that showed I am allergic to MANY foods I loved and ate on a regular basis (red meat, shellfish, white fish, buffalo, cow's milk, soy, gluten, yeast, corn, etc...). I will not die from eating many of those things, but I do have uncomfortable reactions and wonder how much they were holding me back since no matter what I did, that scale did not BUDGE!  More than anything, that test caused me to start evaluating my eating habits and my need to lose the baby fat from my baby who is now ONE.

I worked out every single morning at 5am, but ate 'normal' food.  Anything from shrimp scampi, burgers, steak or roast 2-3 times per week, potatoes and always a large salad.  I am not a big sugar-eater, so I figured since I did not eat a lot of sugar and have not had a soda in over 12 years, I must be eating just fine!

I started on Feb 14th with very strict clean eating.  I gained my inspiration by googling many blogs from clean eaters, reading all of Tosca Reno's books and her magazines.  The biggest impact came from watching a few movies: Food Inc., Earthlings, and The Future of Food.

I did not tell anyone I was changing my habits, I just did it. There are many people out there with lots of opinions on what you should and should not do with your life.  I did not need a reason to stop doing what I felt was right.

I am 5'8"; WAS 184lbs and I am now 152lbs. I have lost 32lbs so far and my goal is to hit 140-ish in the next couple of months.  I was not very good at keeping track of my inches, but I do know I was fitting in a very tight size 12 (was probably more like a 14 unless it was stretchy) and now fit in my size 8's!  I plan to be in the size 6's that are overwhelming my closet and begging for me to wear them once again before they are out of style!

I now eat mostly vegetarian, borderline vegan.  I use a lot of recipes from the Kind Diet cookbook (Alicia Silverstone) and I am addicted to quinoa, sea vegetables, almond butter, almond milk, squash, couscous and different bean sources for my main proteins.  Occasionally I gobble up a Morningstar burger if I am short on time, but I really try my best to stay away from processed foods or anything that has an ingredient I cannot pronounce.  Vegetables dipped in homemade hummus are a staple food.

Regina is reaping the benefits of healthy lifestyle changes.  Not only is she losing the stubborn weight and becoming healthier as she reaches closer to a healthy goal weight, she also has the energy to enjoy life and keep up with her busy family!  Her story is so like many out there.  It just takes a choice to live life as healthy as possible so you can enjoy yourself and give more to others.

What's your success story?  Remember I am always listening to your successes and challenges along the journey.

Best in health-

Ab Envy

Swimsuit and summer season are right around the corner. So it is that time of year when I tend to see many fitness articles that revolve around abs and the workouts that are suppose to miraculously chisel them into the defined, envious muscles that most of us like to see. I have to say that I too, am one who envies a lovely set of abs. Obviously these articles sell magazines and some do have great exercises, but I always tend to laugh at how people get sucked into the myths that surround getting a nice set of abs.

I once read a metaphor that described perfectly how to view ab definition-- Think of a lovely mountain. I envision Mt. Rainier in all its mass and beauty. During the late summer you can see the beautiful jagged peaks and the definition of all the valleys with sharp and precise lines. During the winter, the snow blankets that mountain and seems to soften and smooth out all those lines and definition. Relate this to our abs- We can do all the ab exercises in the world and have a phenomenal, strong, and defined set of abs, but we will never see the wonder if it continues to be blanketed by a layer of fat.

Now females have a little more challenge in unveiling those abs because 1. we tend to carry higher levels of body fat and 2. if our body fat is low enough to unveil those abs, it is usually not healthy for most of us to maintain it at that low level for long periods of time.

Now some of you are genetically blessed to have lower levels of body fat naturally, or do not tend to carry fat in your abdomen, but some of us have to work REALLY HARD in keeping a fit level of body fat, and hopefully showing off the hard work in our ab definition. The key to this success is CLEAN EATING! Eighty plus percent of your success in showing off those lovely muscles will be because of your healthy food choices.

With that said, I recently read an article on ab myths. I discuss these same misconceptions with my clients on a regular basis so I thought I would summarize for you.

Myth #1- "Targeting the abs burns away belly fat."
You can do hundreds of reps, but you cannot spot reduce fat from any area. Fat will come off where it wants to and each individual carries it more in different areas of the body. Hey, that is part of why we are all unique individuals, right?

Myth #2- "You can isolate specific areas of the abdominal muscles."
Just as you cannot spot reduce fat on any area of your body (without surgery), you cannot spot enhance certain sections of your abs (ie obliques or "lower abs"). Your ab muscles collectively work as a single unit. Some exercises may trigger a part of the muscle more than another but it does not single it out.

Myth #3- "Getting awesome abs requires expensive equipment."
The best pieces of equipment will be clean eating and a complete fitness program including cardio and weight training. The bicycle ab exercise has repeatedly been found to fire up the most muscle fibers and be the most effective out of the most common ab exercises. No equipment required.

Myth #4- "Ab muscles are different from other muscles."
Muscle is muscle. Besides location, your abs are no different than your quads or biceps as far as voluntary skeletal muscle goes. Some individuals think you can train abs every day and for hundreds of reps. Treat your abs like any other body part. 2-3 times per week is sufficient. Quality, not quantity.

Myth #5- "Carbs make you fat."
They do not make you fat. It is true simple carbs in excess- we are talking sugary and processed, do not have any nutrients and should be avoided. But one should focus on complex carbs- think fruits, veggies, and whole grains. You need complex carbs for energy. Without them you become tired and sluggish. Make sure every meal is healthy, balanced, and includes complex carbs, protein, and healthy fats.

Oxygen Abs Collector's Issue- Spring 2010

Now you know the real deal with abs. Here's to cleaning up the diet and fine tuning those workouts so you can show off those hard earned abs.

Best in health-

Choosing a Beverage?

New Video- Are you working hard to make healthy eating choices, lose weight, or just feel better? The bottom line is you should cut out all alcohol otherwise it can really sabotage your healthy diet plans. If you do choose to consume alcohol, then here are some better choices so you don't completely ruin the success of your clean eating habits.

Here's to making a better choice-


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