Monday, June 20, 2011

Eating Healthy Ain't Easy (not always)

You know, I sit here and preach what everyone should be eating, meanwhile, I've had 5 Big Mac Trio's this month, several slices of greasy pizza, and an Italian poutine over the weekend. None of it felt good. In fact, my body was very much rejecting all this food but I just chose not to listen. As a result, I've put some weight back on, my skin looks dull, and I feel tired all the time.

Since I completed the detox in April, I found that the times I struggle to maintain my clean lifestyle is when I'm with my friends, or when I don't feel like cooking. The majority of the restaurants around me are fast food places or Indian. It's not easy. 

Of course, the more food I eat that isn't clean the more my cravings increase. The more my cravings increase, the more out of control I eat. Yesterday, for example, I had chicken and potatoes (good) followed by a mini danish (not good) followed by watermelon (good if you're eating first thing in the morning, not in the afternoon) then back to the chicken and potatoes. Later, I had nachos with salsa followed by cookies, then back to the nachos with salsa. 

I overate. Too much, too quickly. No stopping me.

So, I need to get myself back on track. I started my morning with a Glowing Green Juice
  • 1 bunch spinach, 
  • 2 green apples, 
  • ginger, 
  • a hint of mint,
  • 1/2 cucumber, and 
  • 1 lemon. 

It's so yummy that I'm even considering serving it as an updated iced tea!!! Yum! 

If you have a juicer, then try this concoction. And you can mix your greens any which way you like. The apple is important because it removes the bitter taste of green veggies. So refreshing!!

So that's my update for this week. I'm still working on some other articles so don't forget to sign up to my posts by adding your email address on the top right hand corner of my home page. 



Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Beauty Basics Vol.1: Food Pairing Guide

Hey you!
Have you ever been on a dinner date, in the middle of a business meeting, or out with your friends when you suddenly experience uncontrollable gassiness and/or bloating? Uncomfortable, yah? I know! And embarrassing too.  
The especially hate when I feel sluggish or groggy at the end of my meal and all I want to do is lie down in front of the tube on my big ol’ comfy couch (there goes that jog I’ve been trying to squeeze into my night).
What if I told you it’s all due to the ill-combined foods we eat, would you be willing to make the change? No? Even if these changes will help you fight the signs of aging, help you regain your youthful glow, and get rid of the bloat and fat you've been so desperately trying to lose?
Booyah! Now we're talking!!!
Stripped directly from The Beauty Detox Solution I got a while back (find book here), the much-anticipated food-pairing guide has arrived, finally (sorry for the delay)! So please, have your pad and your pen handy as this is the first of three installments on how to look and feel radiant!
Ready? Good.

#1: Our bodies can’t properly digest more then one type of concentrated food at a time.
 Concentrated foods are foods that don’t contain any water (proteins and starches) whereas non-concentrated foods are water-containing foods.
Non-concentrated Foods: ripe fruit; non-starch veggies
Concentrated Foods: All starches (grains, starchy veggies, breads, etc); All proteins (fish, chicken, meat, seeds, nuts, etc.)
You've all heard of steak and potatoes not going together, right? Well, you can also forget about scrambled eggs with toast, tuna/turkey/salami sandwiches, etc. These foods are harder for your body to digest.
 (stop crying)
#2: Proteins + Starches = No, No!
On that note, here's more bad news; we also shouldn’t be eating bagels with cream cheese, grilled fish with rice, chicken pad thai, etc.
I know what you’re thinking, WTF, right? Relax, you don't have to quit everything you love all at once, but you should gradually eliminate them in the long-run. Meantime, you can still eat these foods in moderation, but just not all of them at the same time.
Why? Simply put, you’re body has to work overtime to break down all the junk you’ve ingested before it can attempt to digest anything; making you lose copious amounts of energy. For those who want to understand further what’s going on inside our bodies, read on (it’s quite important). Otherwise, skip to the next rule.
The longer it takes for your body to break down the food, the longer the food stays idle in your body. *In case you weren’t aware, your body’s temperature is about 98.6 –degrees. This means that long hours of [food] stasis in our hot bellies will cause animal protein to rot, and most carbs will become fermented. You’d be losing most of the nutrients you were meant to absorb. Anything lost is unusable. Anything unusable does not a healthy body make.
Quick Recap: Rotting and fermented food are some of the major causes of aging. The more toxic sludge in your body, the more you speed up the aging process.
#3: Veggies are A ++

Eat ‘em up! These bad boys are neutral and can be mixed with anything!

#4: Starch + Starch = A. Okay!
Say you're going for Indian and you're having a chutney with basmati and of course some naan bread... It's not as difficult to digest so it’s okay to eat these two starches at the same time (even though not ideal). Same goes for bread and pasta- but careful, if you throw seafood to the mix, you'd be breaking rule # 2!

#5: Animal Protein + Animal Protein = Don’t even think about it!
I’ve talked about proteins in a previous blog post so if you’ve been following then you know what I’m about to say – animal protein is the hardest to break down. Our bodies need the amino acids that come from protein. Since animal protein is the hardest to digest, it makes our bodies work that much harder to break down the protein into amino acids for assimilation. Therefore, consuming more then one protein at a time isn’t efficient (chicken and ribs, hot dogs and hamburgers, eggs, bacon, and sausage).
You can mix plant proteins as much as you want because of their ease of digestibility.
#6:Fats + Protein are to be eaten moderately; Fats + Carbs are no problem!
Pair minimal amounts of protein with fat for the sake of digestion, particularly if you want to lose weight (tuna and avocado).

#7: Eat Fruit on an empty stomach
Fruit increases vitality and has many minerals and vitamins so it’s important they get absorbed first thing in the morning; your body is a clean canvas in the morning allowing the fruit to break down quickly while absorbing all the good stuff.
*Fruit goes well with raw greens (smoothies, juices)
So instead of running for that mid-afternoon coffee after lunch, or spending another uninspired night on the couch watching T.V., reconsider the foods you combine and read this guide. 

Next up: Eating light to heavy for optimal energy and digestion!

Food Pairing Cheat Sheet
Starches DO mix with veggies
Proteins DO mix with veggies
Starches + starches DO mix
Fats + starches DO mix
Fruits + raw greens DO mix
Fruits should be eaten on an empty stomach
Proteins + starches DO NOT mix
Proteins + proteins DO NOT mix
Fats + proteins DO NOT mix (pair moderately)


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I Challenge You: Be Clean for 1 Week

Okay, so an obscene amount of you have been asking me what my diet consists of, how I lost all this weight, and how you too can get into better shape. I've become your very own personal nutritionist!!! "SHOW ME THE MOOONEY!!!" Kidding.

Nah, but seriously, it's a good thing because this allows me to get back to blogging, more importantly to get back to what I loved most about blogging: sharing health tips that have helped me turn that junk in my trunk around. Wow. Totally off topic.. i think i'm gonna share this tune with you right NOW:

Random, I know. Okay, back to the challenge.

With that being said, I've created a week's worth of our favorite smoothie recipe's for you to try during breakfast. Combine those with the following YES/NO foods and you'll feel a world of a difference. If you don't have time to make smoothies, you don't have to. Just eat fresh fruits in the AM (jump to bottom of page to see why).

YES Foods:
  1. ALL legumes and green veggies: the greener, the better
  2. Grains and starches: Amaranth, Quinoa, Buckwheat/kasha, Millet, Beans (all), Black-eyed peas, Brown or wild rice, Chickpeas; Gluten-free crackers and pastas, and other foods, Lentils, sweet potato, yams, squash (all)
NO Foods:
  1. Dairy
  2. Wheat, and wheat products
  3. Processed and refined sugars and starches; white rice, barley and rye. 
*Eat more plant-based foods then animal protein. Keep animal protein lean (fish, chicken) and to a minimum (3x week max).

Smoothie Recipe Ideas:
(you can make your own fruit smoothies, this is just for the lazy folk)

Kale, Pineapple, and Chia
½ cup pinappele chunks
2 leaves kale
2 tsp soaked chia seeds
1 cup pure water
1-2tsp agave syrup
1.     Blend until smooth
Mango and Coconut Milk Smoothie
1 cup mango chunks
½ cup pinapple chunks
1 ½ cups coconut milk (can be replaced with coco water and ¼ avocado)
1.     Blend until smooth
Berries, Carob, and Almond Milk
1 cup berries
1 ½ cups almond milk
1-2 tsp agave
2 tsp raw cacao powder, carob powder, or cocoa*
1.     Blend together until smooth
·      Cacao is same as cocoa, but the raw form is usually called cacao and is packed with nutrients and antioxidants!!
Energy Smoothie with Almond Butter and Cardamom
¼ cup almond butter
2 cardamom pods or 1 tsp ground cardamom (not a full tsp, careful, very strong)
1 ½ cups pure water
1 cup frozen peaches
1-2 tsp agave
1.     Blend together until smooth

Berry Smoothie with Coco milk and cinnamon
2 cups mixed berries
2 cups coco milk with coco meat or ¼ avocado added to 1 ½ cups coco milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1-2 tsp agave
1. Blend together until smooth
I ask that you try this for ONE week, and I guarantee you'll see a difference. You're cravings, if any, will diminish throughout the days, and you'll feel more energetic. Plus, you'll get rid of some water weight, making you feel loads lighter.

I feel it is important to note that fruit should be consumed first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, and not during the day.

The reason for this is that all the nutrients get immediately absorbed in the morning because your intestines are free from any 'clutter'. As your body absorbs these minerals the fiber will make it's way down your intestines and out the bum-bum. You'll not only regulate your washroom visits, you'll also maximize the amount of nutrients your body absorbs throughout the day.

It's also important to eat all your veggies first during any meal. Again, this is for absorption and digestion reasons. If you're body digests veggies first, chances are you'll feel fuller after your meals.

So good luck, and keep me posted on your progress!