Clean Eating

Clean Eating:

What is it?

  • Clean eating is basically when you consume foods closest to their natural state or in their natural state (2-3 ingredients or less) and avoiding processed and refined foods.

How do I do this?

  • Don’t use or eat a food if it has 3 or more ingredients.
  • Eat 5-6 small meals a day
  • Control your portions
  • Drink 2-3 liters of water a day
  • Eat breakfast within an hour of waking up
  • Combine lean protein (i.e., boneless / Skinless chicken, tuna, fish) with complex carbohydrates (i.e., fruits and vegetables)
  • Protein keeps you full and the carbohydrates keep your blood sugar levels stable.

Health Benefits:

  • Clean eating is effective in losing weight.
  • You will see an increase in energy levels
  • The healthy foods you are eating help to promote good cell growth and can eliminate harmful free radicals and toxins in your body.
  • These foods are high in macronutrients and can help to reduce cholesterol levels and regulate blood sugar, they also keep your digestive system regular.

Links to recipes for clean eating:

http://www.thegraciouspantry.com/

Also, pinterest has a lot of good sites for recipes.  I have a board on there if you want to follow me its http://www.pinterest.com/ihawk80/

 

Resources:

What is clean eating?  http://www.cleaneatingmag.com/food-health/food-and-health-news/waht-is-clean-eating/

Eating Clean for Dummies Cheat Sheet. http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/eating-clean-for-dummies-cheat-sheet.html

What is Clean Eating? http://www.livescience.com/42086-what-is-clean-eating.html

Why do I need Protein?

Did you know that protein helps to repair and build your body’s tissues.   Protein is also a building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.  When working out and especially weight training, it is important to have enough protein in your diet.  Typically, the average person needs about 10-15% of their daily calories to come from protein.  However, there are different amounts of protein for different individuals whether they are sedentary, active, adult, or teenagers.  Here are some examples:

  • Sedentary Person:  0.4 g / lb.
  • Recreational Adult:  0.5 – 0.75 g / lb.
  • Competitive Adult Athlete:  0.6 – 0.9g / lb.
  • Growing Teenage Athlete:  0.8 – 0.9g / lb.
  • Dieting Athlete, Reduced Cals.  0.8 – 0.9g / lb.
  • Maximum for all healthy Athletes 0.9g / lb.

After doing my research on this topic, I found that you should stay within your limits of how much protein your body needs.  More protein does not equal better.  Your body needs carbohydrates also to function properly when working out.  When all of the carbohydrates are depleted then the body has no more fuel to run on.  It is important to balance your meals appropriately and throw in a protein shake if you want after a workout to help rebuild and repair those tissues in your body.

I also found out that if you eat a small amount of protein before your workout (you only need about 6g) that this can actually help your body to build and repair muscle immediately after a strength workout.  It is basically like the protein is digested into amino acids and are put on standby waiting to repair the tissues.

Fighting those cravings!

When I am trying to watch what I eat, I know that the hardest thing to do is fight back the urge to eat those oreos or have a bowl of ice cream. However, I have put together a few tips to help fight the sugar cravings.

  • Don’t skip meals – this is very important because if you skip meals you are automatically setting yourself up for failure.  You should eat 5-6 small meals a day to keep your blood sugar levels balanced and also to keep you full and happy.
  • Get rid of the tempting foods and snacks – not having these high-fat, sugary foods around will not make you as tempted to snack on them.
  • Keep busy – from experience, I eat out of boredom.  However, I have realized that I have to ask myself before I reach for food “are you hungry” or “are you bored.”  If you keep yourself busy then there is not time to be bored and no time to eat out of boredom.
  • Keep Healthy Snacks on Hand – bring a lunchbag with you full of healthy snacks, so you are not tempted to get a snack out of the vending machine.

I hope that these help in keeping you from giving into those snack cravings.  By no means do you need to deprive yourself of what you like, just make it a treat maybe as a reward at the end of a great week of meeting your goals.  : )

Shopping For Healthy Food

Sometimes when you are trying to shop for healthy food, it is hard to determine which food is healthy and which is not. The best rule to live by is to shop the outside perimeter of the grocery store. This part of the store is where you will find fresh produce and lean meats. You won’t find the processed foods in this area. The processed foods are usually kept on the interior isles of the store. Sometimes you will find frozen vegetables in the frozen foods areas and those can be very good for you. Frozen veggies can hold most of their nutrients in when frozen. That would be one of the only exceptions when shopping on the interior isles.

Regular vs. Greek Yogurt…Which is Better???

I had a friend post a status on facebook on whether or not the Greek yogurt she was eating was worth it or not.  Well, I did some research and this is what I found.  When it comes to benefits, the Greek yogurt benefits out weigh the benefits of the regular yogurt (i.e., yoplait). 

  • Greek yogurt has double the protein (about 20g compared to 11-13g) of regular yogurt.  (Protein acutally helps to curb the appetite)
  • Greek yogurt has fewer calories and half of the sodium of regular yogurt
  • Greek yogurt can be used for cooking, whereas, regular yogurt cannot because it will curdle

So, even though the taste is slightly different, if you are looking to get serious about your health and about losing weight Greek yogurt is the way to go. 

Want to start running? Do you want to run a 5k, half, or full marathon?

This post was inspired by the fact that I love to run and by my friend Chrissy who just ran her first marathon today at Disney World.  Running is something that some people do just for fun and some people decided they want to do because it has a lot of benefits as far as health wise and losing weight.  Running is one of the best exercises that can help you burn the most calories (approx 600-800+ per hour) and is also the best exercise for conditioning your heart and lungs.  As well as burning a lot of calories, running also is a great stress reliever and helps fight depression.

If you are already a runner and / or would like to challenge yourself to run a race such as a 5k, 10k, half marathon, or full marathon, there are websites that set up great plans to get you ready for your first race.  Here are a couple of websites I have found that can help you with the 5k plan and half / full marathon training:

couch to 5k

http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3

 

Half / Full marathon training programs (from beginners to advanced running levels)

http://www.yourmarathontrainingplan.com/free-marathon-training-plan/couch-marathon/

 

 

Benefits of Bananas…

Other than just being delicious, bananas have quite a few healthy benefits.  Bananas are loaded with carbohydrates, lots of vitamin A, potassium, iron, and natural sugars.  They are a great source of energy.  I usually can’t handle a lot in my stomach before I go to run, so I usually eat a banana just to give me some energy.  I have to make sure my blood sugar doesn’t bottom out and I don’t get dizzy during or after I work out.  The banana usually will hold me over until I can get a protein shake after my run.  Bananas also reduce the risk of heart disease and they can lower your blood pressure.  Other interesting benefits of bananas that I recently learned about are that they can help with depression and improve your brain function.  So, unless you are totally opposed to the taste of bananas, eat a banana a day it can only do you some good. : )