|April 24th, 2013||Advice, Food|
Yesterday after work, I had to stop at Target to pick up a few household items: laundry detergent, deodorant… the normal stuff. But as everyone knows, it’s extremely hard to walk into Target and not buy 50 other random things you didn’t think you needed.
Case in point: a magazine.
Obviously I could probably read about whatever is in the magazine online, there is something about having a tangible copy that makes me happier. Maybe it’s the same reason I can’t get into e-readers.
But anyway, Keri Russell looks AMAZING on the cover of Women’s Health. Whether she’s heavily photo-shopped is a completely different conversation, but can you believe she’s 37? The girl is gorgeous.
As I was flipping through the magazine last night, I came across this little blurb:
Wahoo! Healthy food=1, Fast-food=0.
I was interested in reading more. Thus, I did some research and found the original study that was published in Public Health Nutrition. Although you have to pay money to read the full study, here are some highlights from the Abstract.
- The researchers did two studies. In study 1, people evaluated the personality of the cook who did and did not include a vegetable in a family dinner. In study 2, five different meals that either included or did not include a vegetable were rated in terms of taste of the entrée and of the whole meal.
- Results: Serving vegetables increased the taste expectations for the entrée as well as the whole meal. Serving vegetables also enhanced the perceptions of the cook. The cook was seen as being more thoughtful and attentive and less boring. Thus, vegetables helped increase the appeal of both the meal and the cook!
There my friends is your random fact of the day.
Talk To Me
- Did you know that about vegetables?
- What vegetable do you love? What vegetable do you hate?
- What’s your favorite magazine?
|April 11th, 2013||Food|
Last night after work, Bryan and I desperately needed to go grocery shopping. I’m not sure how we lasted as long as we did. Good thing I had a lot of stuff to hold us over.
While grocery shopping, I came across these amazing chips! Someone I work with had these the other day and I completely forgot about them until I saw them at the grocery store. Let me introduce you to Beanitos. (Please note: I bought these with my own money and I am not being endorsed by the brand or any of its affiliates).
Here are the details:
- Beanitos are corn free. They are the only black bean chips that are 100% corn free. I haven’t had much corn lately, because much of it is genetically modified. GMO sweet corn is genetically engineered to be herbicide resistant and to produce its own insecticide (Bt Toxin). Like all GMOs, genetically modified sweet corn has not been thoroughly tested to ensure that it is safe for consumption. Although genetically altered foods have been deemed safe by the Food and Drug Administration, do you really want to eat that?
- Beanitos are gluten free, trans fat free, cholesterol free and kosher.
- Beanitos are high in fiber. Beanitos have 5g of fiber in each serving (10 chips).
What is in Beanitos?
Beanitos have the following ingredients: whole black beans, whole grain rice, pure sunflower oil, guar bean gum and sea salt. I love when the food I’m eating has a short ingredient list and I can pronounce all of the ingredients!
Check out this nutritional label! Not bad!
I think I am officially addicted to these things. I’m telling you. You need to go an buy a bag and let me know what you think. I picked mine up at Giant (which is a grocery store in my area). You can probably check your local store and see if they have them there. I bought mine for $2.
Talk to Me
- Have you ever tried Beanitos?
- What is your favorite kind of chip?
- What do you dip your chips into? Hummus, salsa?
|March 21st, 2013||Advice, Food|
Last night I was at dinner with two of my friends from my old job. One of them is having her baby in a couple weeks, so we wanted to celebrate her last day at work. My other friend is actually on a detox diet in preparations for her wedding. This got me thinking… what are some top foods for detoxing. I’ve read a lot of books on healthy eating and read an overwhelming number of blogs and websites each day on the topic. *Please note, that I am not a medical doctor nor a nutritionist. This list has been compiled based on my research and experience.*
1. Lemons. Lemons are great for digestion and help release enzymes into the body as well as Vitamin C. You may have thought that you could only get a good source of Vitamin C from oranges, but think again! Lemons help convert toxins into a water-soluble form that is easily eliminated from the body.
How do I like to eat lemons: I love adding lemons to my water or even in my juices. Be warned: if you are juicing lemons make sure to remove any rind and only use about a half a lemon; otherwise your juice will be very sour.
2. Apples. Apples help stimulate bile products which is used by the liver to release toxins from the body. Apples also have a high source of fiber which is great for digestion purposes. As I mentioned in my When To Buy Organic post, it’s important to buy organic apples because apples are fruits sprayed with many pesticides.
How I like it eat apples: by themselves! One of my co-workers jokes around with me that I eat a LOT of apples. She’s probably right. I have at least one a day – sometimes two. They are a great snack and keep you full because of the fiber. I like eating mine raw or sometimes with a bit of honey.
3. Seaweed. My friend, Leslee from Her Happy Balance, LOVES seaweed – and rightfully so! Seaweed has a LOT of antioxidants that help alkalize the blood and strengthen the digestive tract by extracting any toxins.
How I like to eat seaweed: I LOVE seaweed salads from Japanese restaurants, but I have never tried to make my own at home. With a little bit of lemon, seaweed salads are a great way to detox your body!
4. Dark leafy greens. Dark leafy greens help boost chlorophyll levels in the digestive tract, which helps the body rid itself of toxins from our environment (such as herbicides!). The darker the greens the better. For instance, iceberg lettuce has the least amount of nutrients because it is very dense in water. Kale and spinach are much darker and are highly nutrient dense foods.
How I like to eat dark leafy greens: either in my salads or in my juices. I almost always eat a large salad every day. It’s something that I’ve come to enjoy and actually find fun! I like experimenting with different veggies and fruits, but one thing for certain – I also use a dark leafy green base. No iceberg lettuce or pasta as my salad base!
5. Green tea. Green tea is PACKED with antioxidants and detoxifying properties, because it is high in catechins – a flavonoid, that helps speed up liver activity and increases the production of enzymes in our bodies.
How I like to drink green tea: usually hot, unless it’s the summer. No milk for me and only a tiny bit of sugar.
Talk to Me
- What are some foods you like to eat everyday or during a detox?
- How often to do you detox?
- What foods do you typically need to detox from? Too much alcohol? Too much sugar?
|March 12th, 2013||Food, Living|
WAHOO. One of the best pieces of news I’ve heard so far this week – Whole Foods announced on Friday that all products in US and Canadian stores containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) would be labeled as such by 2018.
What are GMOs?
GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are plants or animals created through the gene splicing techniques of biotechnology (aka genetic engineering). Scientists merge DNA from different species, creating unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that can not occur naturally or traditionally.
Are GMOs safe?
Most developed nations find GMOs to be unsafe. In nearly 50 countries, including Japan, Australia, and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions on the sale of GMOs. In the US, the government has approved GMOs based on studies conducted by the same large corps that created them and profit from the sale.
Whole Foods’ Initiatives
In case you didn’t know already… Whole Foods’ private label products have been certified as non-GMO since 2009 and the store currently sells 3,300 non-GMO products from 250 brands.
Are you interested in knowing what foods are non-GMO at your local Whole Foods? Check out their list here.
Whole Foods is really leading the way for GMO labeling. Thus far, they have:
- invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in putting house brand products through third party non-GMO verification
- worked over the years to support organic agriculture to provide the largest variety of organic products grown without GMOs
- supported mandatory product labeling measures over the years – most recently including California’s Proposition 37 and Washington state’s Initiative Measure 522
- celebrated Non-GMO month every October
Talk to Me
- What are your thoughts about GMOs?
- Do you look for non-GMO products before purchasing?
- Random – Trader Joes or Whole Foods?
|March 6th, 2013||Advice, Food|
I came across one of Andrea Cox’s recent videos and she mentioned the Ayurveda tastes. I wasn’t familiar with the term, so I did a little research. *Please note, I am not a nutritionist nor a medical doctor. This is just the research that I found and believe to be of interest.
Ayurveda is an ancient system of holistic healthcare. Ayurveda emerged from ancient India as far back as 5000 years ago. Ayurvedic medicine focuses on all areas of health – including diet, lifestyle, exercise, detoxification, sleep and the mind. According to Ayurveda, health is not a state defined by lab tests. Instead health is a continuous and participatory process that embraces all aspects of life: physical, mental, emotional, behavioral, spiritual, familial, social, and universal. The balance of all of these things is what equals vibrant health.
Ayurvedic nutrition is based around tastes. According to Ayurveda, the sense of taste is a natural guidemap towards proper nutrition and it’s important to integrate all 6 tastes in each of our meals. These 6 tastes are categorized in the following way:
- sweet (fruit, grains, natural sugars) – builds tissues and calms nerves
- sour (sour fruits, yogurt) – cleanses tissues, increases absorption of minerals
- salty (natural salts, sea veggies) – improves taste to food, lubricates tissues, stimulates digestion
- bitter (dark leafy greens, herbs and spices) – detoxifies and lightens tissues
- pungent (chili peppers, garlic) – stimulates digestion and metabolism
- astringent (legumes, raw fruits and veggies) – absorbs water, tightens tissues, dries fats
How Do I integrate all of these tastes into one meal?!
Including the 6 tastes in each meal isn’t as difficult as you may think!
I’ve put together a sample meal that is both easy to make and delicious! What is it you’re probably wondering? A salad with the following:
- Grilled salmon (salty) cooked with lemon juice (sour) and garlic (pungent)
- Dark leafy greens (bitter)
- Tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots (astringent)
- Craisins or raisins (sweet)
- Olive oil and lemon juice vinaigrette (sour)
Talk to Me
- Have you ever heard of the 6 tastes?
- Are you interested in trying to increase your number of meals with these 6 tastes?
- Random – how often do you grocery shop?
|February 21st, 2013||Advice, Food|
I’m so glad so many of you enjoyed my latest post, You Are What You Eat. Going with that theme, I’ve decided to take a look at Super Foods. Some of you probably have heard the term thrown around left and right in recent years. So, what exactly are super foods?
According to Health.com, super foods are “nutrient powerhouses that pack large doses of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins and minerals.” They may reduce risk of chronic disease and prolong your life.
1. Kale. Kale is a leafy green that contains carotenoids that help protect against cancer, heart disease and infection. Kale also promotes eye health and is high in fiber. For those of you looking to lower your cholesterol, Kale is a great vegetable to eat because you can find kale year-round.
My favorite way to eat it: Kale chips! I love kale chips, because it’s a great alternative to potato chips. Do they taste the same? Of course not, but if you’re looking for a crunch than these are perfect. Drizzle with a tad bit of olive oil and stick in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
2. Blueberries. Blueberries are super delicious, but I can say that I wasn’t always a fan. Shocking, I know. These berries are high in antioxidants and help prevent infection and promote brain health. They are high in selenium, zinc, iron, vitamin C, B complex and vitamin E.
My favorite way to eat it: Raw! Although I do love blueberries in baked goods, my favorite way to eat them are raw. But, they have to be just right. I don’t like when blueberries are still kind of crunchy, but I HATE them when they are too ripe and mushy. It’s a delicate balance for me.
3. Acai Berries. Another berry to add to the list are acai berries. Acai berries contain anthocyanins for heart health and are FULL of antioxidants. They help reduce inflammation and improve circulation. They also help protect the skin from cellular damage.
My favorite way to eat it: Confession. I’ve actually never had acai berries raw. The only way I’ve had them were in juice form. I guess now with all the wonderful health benefits, I’ll be trying these raw as soon as possible.
4. Coconut Oil. You know my love for coconut oil. It can be used topically as a moisturizer, but also used in cooking at high temperatures. It helps control diabetes and contains monolaurin, a nutrient only found in breast milk.
My favorite way to eat it: I don’t. I prefer to use it topically, but I know many of you use it in baking. I use coconut oil every night to remove my makeup. It’s a great alternative to harsh chemicals and works great! Next time you’re at the grocery store, pick some up!
5. Lentils. Lentils are FULL of soluble fiber great for reducing cholesterol. Iron is also a great nutrient that is in lentils. To maximize iron absorption, pair lentils with a vitamin C-rich food.
My favorite way to eat it: I love lentils in a cold salad with cranberries. It is absolutely delicious. Whole Foods makes a great lentil salad!
Talk to Me
- What’s your favorite super food?
- Do you look for super foods when grocery shopping?
- Do you tend to pick super foods high in one particular mineral or vitamin?
|February 19th, 2013||Advice, Food|
Good morning. I would normally do my weekend recap on Monday, but since it was a holiday, I took the day off. Overall the weekend was pretty busy. We toured two wedding venues, had dinner with Bryan’s parents, I went to brunch and a bridal show with my bridesmaids, and relaxed all day Monday. Monday was pretty fantastic. We napped in the afternoon for a few hours. Boy, I miss afternoon naps. I remember in college when my classes were spread out, I would come home and nap for a few hours before heading back out. Perfection.
You’ve heard the saying a millions times… you are what you eat. What you put into your body can help determine how you look on the outside as well as how you feel on the inside. When I go grocery shopping now, I don’t just use my When to Buy Organic resource, I also think about the vitamins and nutrients I need for a balanced lifestyle (I would have said ‘balanced diet’, but I hate that word). When I buy groceries, these items almost always end up in my cart. *Please note, that I am not a nutritionist, nor a medical doctor. The information below I’ve learned from hours of research both online and in print.
1. Avocados. I just started liking avocados. I don’t know whether the texture freaked me out before or just inexperience using it, but I love avocados now. Avocados are full of vitamins A, E and B and biotin. They assist with keeping your skin hydrated and your hair and nails strong.
2. Cucumbers. I LOVE cucumbers, but only with the skin on. Cucumbers help support skin and nails also. They contain silicon which helps fight wrinkles.
3. Tomatoes. Tomatoes are another food that I used to hate as a child. I remember my sister used to eat tomatoes like apples – it used to gross me out. Good thing I love them now. Tomatoes contain high amounts of lycopene, an antioxidant that helps prevent oxidative damage to your skin and internal organs.
4. Greens. Clearly, greens would be on this list. Spinach, kale, romaine and the likes contain great amounts of essential vitamins C and E. These vitamins are antioxidants that are known to help protect your skin from aging and sun damage. All of you tanning bed addicts, please up your greens at least!
5. Sweet potatoes. If you’re looking for a starch, reach for the sweet potato over the white potato to get more potassium and beta carotene. Beta carotene is converted to vitamin A (retinol) by the body and is needed for good vision, a strong immune system and for healthy skin and mucus membranes.
Talk to Me
- What items always end up in your grocery cart?
- How many times per month do you go grocery shopping?
- What is your favorite fruit and vegetable?
|February 5th, 2013||Advice, Food|
Let’s face it. Organic products can be expensive. However, that being said my health is one thing that I don’t feel bad spending money on. Clothes, jewelry, makeup – eh, I could save money there. But, my health is one thing that I am going to (hopefully) have for a very long time.
That being said, I don’t have an endless supply of money and I have to pick and choose when I buy organic. But luckily for me (and now you!) I found a great resource online to bring to the grocery store with me.
This list came from residue testing data from the US Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration.
Foods high in pesticides
The plus category at the bottom highlights two crops – green beans and leafy greens (kale and collard greens). They are commonly contaminated with highly toxic organophosphate insecticides. The insecticides are toxic to the nervous system and have been removed from crops over the past decade, HOWEVER they are not 100% banned and still show up on some crops.
Foods low in pesticides
Highlights from this year’s testing
- Every sample of imported nectarines tested positive for pesticides, followed by apples and imported plums
- The average imported nectarine had much higher total weight of pesticides than any other food crop
- As a category, grapes have more types of pesticides than any other produce, with 64 different pesticides
- A single bell pepper sample was contaminated with 15 different pesticides
I am so glad that I found this resource, and I hope you use it as much as I will. There are so many gross things in this world and the last thing I want to do is ingest them. For those of you who don’t believe in organic products, that’s completely fine. I’m not pushing anyone to purchase organic. Just wanted to share this resource with those of you who may want to utilize it.
Talk to Me
- Do you buy organic? If so what do you ALWAYS buy organic?
- How often do you go grocery shopping?
- What’s the one thing you found shocking about this list?
|January 15th, 2013||Diary, Food|
1. What did you eat for breakfast?
Today I had one of these Special K Pastry Crisps packs. I woke up feeling kind of sluggish and nauseous because of the pizza I ate last night for dinner, so I’ll be having a spinach smoothie later!
2. How much water do you drink each day?
I need to drink more water, but you all know that from the 240983 posts I do about it.
3. What is your current favorite workout?
Today I’m going to do my 2 mi HIIT run. It’s a fast way to get cardio in for the day.
4. How many calories do you eat each day?
I don’t count calories. I like to eat small meals throughout the day instead of 3 large meals. My stomach tends to digest food easier that way.
5. What are your favorite healthy snacks?
- Greek yogurt and a banana
- Small bowl of cereal
- Fruit salads
- Baby carrots and salsa
6. What do you usually eat for lunch?
It completely depends on how much time I have in the mornings to pack my lunch. When I was working at my old job, I ate out at least 3 times a week. I never eat out at my current job – which is good, because I’m eating better and saving money at the same time! Lately, I’ve been loving my Trader Joes Butternut Squash Ravioli. I love eating them right from the refrigerator.
7. What is your favorite body part to train?
Hmm… I love training my legs. Lunges, squats and leg press are my favorite exercises on the Live Fit Trainer plan. Whenever I see a leg day, I get excited!
8. What is your least favorite body part to train?
Triceps! They are super difficult to train. No matter how much I do, I never see an improvement. Any tips?!
9. What are your “bad” food cravings?
I think everything is OK in moderation. But I’m a totally sucker for frozen yogurt and anything with bread in it.
10. Do you take vitamins or supplements?
11. How often do you eat out?
We don’t really eat out that frequently. Every once in a while we will if we just don’t feel like cooking but don’t want cereal. Recently we’ve been eating out more than usual, but that usually just means we need to go food shopping!
12. Do you eat fast food?
I don’t eat meat, so there’s not many options for meat-less fast food. I’m OK with that.
13. Who is your biggest supporter?
Bry of course! He’s always at my races and pushing me to get off my butt and get over to the gym with him. We enjoy going to the gym together because it allows us to do something together after work that isn’t just watching TV.
14. Do you have a gym membership?
Nope. Luckily, we have a clubhouse gym in our apartment complex so I use that. I think eventually I’ll get a gym membership so I can take some group classes. I do miss those! Otherwise, I’m OK with saving money and just using what I have available at my disposal.
15. How many hours of sleep do you get each night?
I try to get as much as I can. Some nights I’m in bed by 9PM (like last night) and some nights I don’t fall asleep until midnight. It’s a toss up. I was telling Bryan this morning that we actually have to start getting into the habit of going to bed around the same time every night so we won’t be exhausted every day. The nights when we go to bed early just compensate for the crappy sleeps we had earlier in the week.
16. Do you have a “cheat” day?
Not really. I eat what I want in moderation, so there’s never many days when I go all out crazy. Of course, I’m human and I have bad days, but I try my best to make healthy choices 90% of the time. My stomach likes me better that way. I’ve found that with some of my past digestive issues, eating well most of the time can fix some of them.
17. Do you drink alcohol?
I don’t drink all that often. I do love wine, but I don’t go all out that often. Sometimes if it’s a special occasion, I’ll have more than normal. I definitely don’t drink as much as when I was in college!
18. Do you have a workout buddy?
Nope. Sometimes Bryan goes to the gym with me, but besides him I don’t.
19. What is the best thing that has changed about your life since committing to a healthy lifestyle?
Being more comfortable in my skin by making healthy choices instead of crash dieting.
20. What was the last healthy thing you did?
Developing creative ways to get my live fit trainer workouts in!
|January 10th, 2013||Breakfast, Food, Live Fit Trainer, Recipe|
I’m finally back into the swing of things! Yes, it took some time, but I am finally starting to get back into my old routines again. Yesterday for breakfast I made one of my protein shakes. This time instead of strawberries, I used frozen mixed berries. It definitely tasted different than usual – not bad, just different. Want to make this too? Here’s what you need.
Berry Spinach Vanilla Protein Shake
1 cup frozen mixed berries (mine had blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries)
large handful of spinach
handful of ice cubes
one scoop of vanilla protein powder – same kind used here
1 cup Original Almond Milk
1/4 teaspoon xantham gum
a splash of orange juice
Place ingredients into blender
Nothing that complicated. I have the same core ingredients in all of my shakes, but from time to time I will switch it up and 90% of the time the outcome is tasty. Because this time I didn’t have any bananas on hand, the shake was a bit more icy than I’d like. Don’t worry I stocked up on bananas for the rest of this week!
Jamie Eason’s Live Fit – Day 1
I told you yesterday that I’d be finally starting the Live Fit Trainer again. Half of you probably thought, “No, she’s not. She keeps putting it off. She’ll never actually try it again.” Well, my friends. I did it.
**EDIT: clearly I don’t know what year it is…
After getting home from work, I had two pieces of bread for some needed carbs, and headed to the gym. Goodness, it was crowded! Both treadmills and both bikes were taken, so I started with 15 minute warm-up on the elliptical. My gym has a hybrid of a stair stepper and an elliptical. The machine was definitely more difficult than a normal elliptical. I stayed on it for 15 minutes at resistance #6.
You can see the weight training exercises above. The only thing I didn’t do was the narrow pushup exercise. My arms were absolutely burning after everything else. I definitely have more leg strength than arm strength!
I didn’t take my binder with me, and I’m glad I didn’t. There was way too many people in the gym and I didn’t want to misplace my binder or worry about moving it around the gym with me. Instead, I wrote all the exercises I needed to do in Notes on my iPhone, and filled in the weights as I went along. When I got home, I added everything to the workout sheet.
So far so good. I’m looking forward to keeping up with this routine and seeing how my body changes with the weight training.
Talk to Me
- What’s your favorite ingredients to add to your shakes or smoothies?
- Do you have more leg strength or arm strength?
- Do you use a community gym at your housing complex, a gym at home, or a larger gym like a LA Fitness?