Category Archives: Clean Eating

There’s No Place Like Home and Starting the Whole30

My little fam has just returned from our week long vacation at Disney World. It was magical!

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I think no matter where you go though, there is still nothing like coming back home.

I’m ready to get back down to business and back into my normal eating/exercising routine. I was definitely off all week on the Paleo (or even “healthy” eating) front. I did manage to stick to my training plan for the marathon while I was there though, since thankfully it was a “step-down” week for me. I actually had a couple pretty spectacular runs.

There is a paved Nature Trail from the Wilderness Lodge, where we stayed, to the Fort Wilderness campground. There were deer EVERYWHERE along the trail, and they weren’t scared at all. I was able to get within an arms distance of them without frightening them. They never even startled when I ran by. Here are some of the pictures I snapped…

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I felt like a real-life Snow White.

I can’t believe what a thrill seeker my son is, especially since he still begs to sleep in bed with Tim and I because he’s “scared of the dark”. I think that’s just an excuse, because he had absolutely no problem riding Space Mountain multiple times which is a roller coaster in the dark. He also rode Expedition Everest four times in one day and Splash Mountain.

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He looks so fierce!

On the 8 hour drive down I finished reading the book that I’ve been working on for a while by Rich Roll called Finding Ultra and on the way home I read the majority of It Starts With Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig.

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Both really great books!

It Starts With Food outlines a Paleo-based 30 day “reset” program, that the hubby and I are officially starting tomorrow. The basic idea of the book is that all food either makes you more healthy, or less healthy … nothing is neutral. Foods must meet all of the “Good Food Standards” in order to pass as healthy foods. The standards are:

  1. Promote a healthy psychological response.
  2. Promote a healthy hormonal response.
  3. Support a healthy gut.
  4. Support immune function and minimize inflammation.

Any foods that have been found to not strictly meet ALL of these standards are out for the 30 days. After the 30 day time period you may stay on the program as written or add back in food items one at a time to find what your body specifically tolerates and runs best on.

The foods that are out are: sugar (natural or artificial in every form including honey, agave, maple syrup, etc.), grains of any kind, legumes and/or beans (including peanuts and peanut butter GAH!), alcohol and dairy. All of these foods violate one or more of the Good Food Standards.

What’s left? Meats, Vegetables, Fruit and Nuts. The former vegetarian in me really likes the fact that this book/program promotes eating sustainable meats … wild caught fish, grass-fed beef, pasture raised animals who eat their normal diets.

Anyway, I won’t outline the entire book … but those are the very basics. The book goes into specific detail of each food and how it meets or does not meet the Good Food Standards and the science-y stuff behind it all.

I spent a little time this afternoon cleaning out my refrigerator and pantry and eliminating all the foods that don’t fit into the Whole30 program. I was left with only 2 things in the fridge: butter and guacamole. Shopping was in order.

I’m so used to cooking vegetarian that I’m having a really hard time transitioning to figure out how to put together Paleo meals. It’s completely different. A couple of weeks ago I discovered that Emeals, which is a program I used to use when I was doing Weight Watchers now has a Paleo plan. Basically it creates 5-7 (whichever  plan you choose) dinner meals for you, gives you the recipes, the ingredient list for each meal, and a shopping list. There is also a 5 day lunch plan that is available to add to the dinner program. I signed up for the Paleo plan to get me started with some basics.

This weeks menu will include:

Lemony Sage Chicken w/ Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts
Chicken Curry Soup w/ Cucumber Salad
Sausage Stuffed Peppers w/ Sautéed Asparagus
Walnut Crusted Tilapia w/ Squash Ribbons
Chicken Fajitas w/ Spicy Mango Salsa
Fall Mushroom Strata w/ Roasted Beets

Now this is a beautiful fridge:

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If you are interested in learning more about the Whole30 program go here. I’d love to have a couple people to do it with me!

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Filed under Books, Clean Eating, Food, Paleo, pictures, travel, vacation

My Monday

A whole lotta nothin’ real interesting has been going on lately, just your typical first world problems and (mostly) stay-at-home mom madness.

I guess Monday was relatively interesting. For lack of anything truly spectacular to share today, I’ll tell you about it.

My day started off with cats puking all over the house while I rushed around to get Lincoln ready for school. Hubby was out for a run, so he missed out on all the fun.

After dropping Muffin off at school I rushed over to the gym to get in my typical Monday crosstraining session. I planned on doing the elliptical as usual and reading some of my new book that I recently started, Finding Ultra. But instead I ended up signing up for a Spin class on a whim.

Its been a while since I’ve taken Spin classes regularly and my legs were heavy from my 12 mile run on Sunday, but whatever. This hard 45 minute class was just about over when the instructor announced that her personal training client cancelled so we could go for an extra 15 minutes. *Yipee* At the one hour mark she once again announced that she had a special treat for us … an extra 10 more minutes. By the time it was all said and done we had spun … spinned … whatever .. for an hour and 18 minutes.

I was kinda pissy about the whole thing. Didn’t she know that I had just run a hard 12 miles the day before and was just looking for a little crosstraining? … Nah, of course not. But then after class the instructor asked me my name and told me that I was “a beast” and that I inspired her to keep going. That turned my whole attitude around and suddenly I was grateful that I went to the class and stuck out the whole thing.

I was also pretty grateful for the killer calorie burn and snack time in the locker room.

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And then disaster struck

I brought all my clothes to the gym to shower, change, do my hair and makeup because I had tons of errands to run and had to go up to work to pick up some paperwork. I showered … dried off, went to change clothes and realized … I didn’t bring a clean bra.

*Shut your mouth. Noooooooooo.*

Ever worn a soaking wet sweaty bra with clean clothes on your clean body? … whelp, I have.

Total first world problem, I know.

Anyway … lunch was the Spinach Veggie Wrap at Jason’s Deli where I sat alone in my own filthy underthings. I intended to take a pic, but I was so hangry I tore the face off the wrap before I remembered to snap one ..

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And now for a confession …

Remember how I made my own ketchup a few days ago and threw out all of my HFCS stuff? Well, turns out my ketchup was kinda nasty after sitting in the fridge for a couple of days. I tried re-blending it with more vinegar and thinning it out with more water … but it was a flop.

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Hopefully this EarthFare Agave Ketchup will do the trick for a clean ketchup … because I’ve gotta find something fast. I’m a ketchup addict.

Notable recipe so far this week was Skillet Eggs in a Rustic Tomato Sauce with Lima Beans from Tosca Reno’s – The Eat Clean Diet Vegetarian Cookbook.

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Lima beans, kalamata olives, tomatoes and eggs? … Uh .. yeah.

Divine.

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Filed under Books, Clean Eating

Clean-ish Eating

I started my morning with a 5 mile run around my neighborhood today. Although my pace hasn’t been bad, I’ve noticed that I’m feeling super sluggish, slow and heavy on alot of my runs lately. During my run I realized that this sluggish feeling might have less to do with the heat and humidity of the summer that I’ve been blaming it on and more to do with my poor diet as of late. “Poor” is a relative term in this case. My diet is actually fairly healthy, healthier than probably 90% of people’s I know. But … I’ve been eating larger portions lately, more processed foods than usual, higher calorie/fatty food, too many desserts and too much alcohol.

During my run I decided that I would do my own version of a Clean Eating Diet. The basic principles of a clean diet are (from here):

  • Eating a mini-meal every two to three hours (5 to 6 small meals per day total) to keep blood sugar level and prevent hunger
  • Combining lean proteins and complex carbs at every meal
  • Avoiding all over-processed and refined foods (especially sugar, white rice, and white flour)
  • Avoiding saturated and trans fat, instead consuming healthy fats
  • Avoiding soda and other sugary juices and drinks
  • Avoiding high-calorie, zero nutrient foods (i.e., junk food)
  • Eating proper portion sizes
  • Drinking at least 8 cups of water every day
  • Its not really feasible for me to eat 5-6 times a day, so my version of the clean eating diet will focus on:

    • Eating whole natural foods and limiting processed and refined foods.
    • Decreasing dairy consumption, specifically cheese. (Its one of my week points).
    • Avoiding sodas.
    • Eating smaller portion sizes. (Being aware of my body, and eating only until satisfied … not stuffed).
    • Drinking plenty of water.
    • Decreasing alcohol intake.

    I began to put my ideas into practice for my post-run breakfast.

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    A slice of homemade whole wheat toast topped with green eggs (spinach and 2 eggs blended together and then cooked) and salsa.

    It was delicious! Normally I would put cheese in my eggs but it really wasn’t necessary.

    My mom was in town today, we took Lincoln and my neice to the zoo for some family time.

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    We stopped by Jason’s Deli before heading home for a salad bar. I loaded up on fresh veggies and avoided the cheese, egg (since I already had plenty today) and heavy salad dressing. I topped my salad with an edamame succotash that had a little olive oil in it, its all my salad needed for dressing.

    For dinner tonight I made homemade margherita pizza with some pizza crust that I made a while back and froze. It tasted amazing, even though my crust wasn’t cooked thoroughly. Oops! I should have baked the crust before topping it and then baked again.

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    I tried … but I wasn’t able to avoid having a beer with my pizza. Oh well, you win some … you lose some.

    Off to bed now, getting up early for some Half Marathon training. I’m planning on doing 10 miles. Here’s hoping I feel strong, fast and rested.

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    Filed under Clean Eating, family, Food