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Eating Healthy On The Go!

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Eating Healthy On The Go!

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You know how to eat healthy, and it's pretty easy at home, but how on earth to you navigate away from the junk and convenience foods when you are on the go and traveling? The struggle is real! Summertime lends itself to lots of being on the go. From road trips & weekends away to day trips and picnics. Whatever you are getting into in the summer, for many of us it means a lot more running around.

It's a lot easier to keep on track with healthy eating when we are at home in the kitchen preparing our meals & snacks, and it's really easy to falter in healthy eating and lean towards grabbing convenience foods that are less healthy when we are busy, on the go, and on the road. Agreed?

I love road trips and have spent a lot of time on the road, traveling, and otherwise seem to keep an active schedule of busy & running around somehow, especially in summer. Over the years I've found great, easy foods for traveling with, because let's face it...If we are left with the option of grabbing food to go when we are traveling or even just running around town for a day, we are a lot less likely to make choices that treat our body well. Eating healthy, especially when traveling is so important. Besides the obvious reasons, it keeps us feeling good when we are out having fun... to keep the fun part at optimum levels!

I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite go-to foods if I'm on the go for the day, or on the road for a bit. I almost always prep ahead of time, and am sure to have what I need with me, whether it's snacks or a quick meal, or a basket of food and a small cooler for longer road trips. A little preparation sets me up for success, and leaves me feeling good.

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My favorite on the go foods:

  1. Nuts & seeds: They are high in protein and good fats, and can keep you nourished and feeling really satisfied as a snack between meals. I almost always have some in my bag for those moments that I need on the daily, as well as when I'm traveling.
  2. Nut butters and fruit, veggies, & rice cakes: Peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, or sunflower seed butter are all great. Apples, bananas, or celery are delicious with any of them. A rice cake with some nut butter, and apple or banana is a hugely satisfying snack or small meal. Just dip your celery in your nut butter for an easy on the go & satisfying snack.
  3. Hummus and veggies: Hummus is packed with protein & good fats, and is delicious with really any vegetable you like, which makes for a very satisfying snack or meal. Some carrots, red bell peppers, broccoli, and jicama cut up and ready to munch with some hummus, and I'm very happy.
  4. Power shake made by PURIUM: I've fallen in love with this company and their products this year. Their green power shake is packed with green goodness, quite filling, and absolutely delicious. It's rare that I leave the house for a day with out my shaker bottle and some power shake powder to have an instant green juice. I CRAVE this daily, and is often my mini-meal when I'm on the go. (If you are interested in PURIUM products, drop me a line! I'd love to share more, and give you a gift certificate to try them out!)
  5. Fruit: Simple, right? Bringing fruit with you on the road is great. It always makes great snacks, provides great fiber which is important when you are traveling to keep regular, and it satisfies those sweet cravings when they arise!
  6. Kale Chips: I've been making a lot of kale chips recently as my garden has been providing a bounty. A basic recipe is easy to make, and they help me get my greens in while satisfying a salty, crunchy, snacky craving. If you have't made them before, I really recommend it. They are easy & delicious!
  7. Salsa, beans, avocado, and tortilla chips: When I'm truly road tripping or camping, this is a regular go to because it's so satisfying and unless I buy fresh salsa that needs to be refrigerated, I don't even need to use the cooler, except for any leftovers. I mix the salsa, can of black or pinto beans (drained), and cut up avocado in chunks all together, and I have a dip for the chips that is super tasty, full of protein, good fats, and very filling. I sometimes pick up some salad greens and toss the dip in, and crunch a few tortilla chips on top for an amazing taco salad. I also sometimes just eat the beans, avocado, & salsa with a spoon :)
  8. Hard boiled eggs. If you eat eggs, they are a tasty & satisfying dose of protein on the go. If I have a cooler with me, there's usually some in there.
  9. Smoothies are great when you are heading out for the day and have a small cooler with. When I add a lot of goodness to a smoothie and include protein, it's a small meal that keeps me satisfied for a long time.
  10. Homemade energy bars There are so many great, simple recipes out there. When you make them yourself, you know what's in them and can control the amount of sugars, as many store bought ones, are loaded, and they are easy to throw in your bag & go.
  11. Wraps & sandwiches: If you are hitting the road for a day or two, packing up a few wraps or sandwiches is always a great way to go.
  12. Quinoa salad: If you have a small cooler with, quinoa salad is a great to-go salad. Really you can do anything you want here mixing your favorite dressing with your favorite veggies. Just chop some veggies, cook some quinoa, and toss it all with a little dressing of your choice. You could also add some beans for an extra hearty meal. This is the kind of salad that will stay tasting fresh for while.
  13. Cottage cheese & yogurt. If you have a cooler & eat dairy, having a container of cottage cheese or yogurt is a great addition to the road food. Add some fruit, and you are really in business.

 

I feel like I could go on with these Ideas, but what I have listed is many of my usuals. I'd love to hear what kind of foods you like to take on the go with you! Feel free to share in the comments!

Wishing you Wellness!

Shelly

 

 

 

 

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Clean Eating 101 - Part 2

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Clean Eating 101 - Part 2

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Last week I published the first part of Clean Eating 101, where I discussed why we want to strive to eat clean, as well as what it really means to eat clean. If you missed this blog post, you can read it here: Clean Eating 101.

Today is part 2 of Clean Eating 101 where I'm going to share with you some practical ways to actually start eating cleaner. It's one thing to know what it means to eat clean, and know why you want to do it, but the 'how' part is the really important one right? If we want to make actual changes in our life, having strategies on how to create the change is important.

When making changes with your diet, I have one big piece of advice: baby steps. Making small changes a little bit at a time is much more sustainable than trying to make a lot of big change all at once. Take a suggestion or two from this blog post and start working on them. Celebrate the small changes you've made, then add more positive change! Learning to eat clean isn't something that happens over night. Be patient with yourself and enjoy the process! You'll be surprised how big of a difference a small change can make. 

Wishing you Wellness!

Shelly

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11 practical Ways to Start Eating Cleaner:

1. My TOP suggestion for really making change: Once per week purchase 1 whole food that is new to you. There are a plethora of fruits veggies, grains, beans, nuts, seeds out there to try to experiment with. Maybe it is as simple as trying a new fruit or roasting a vegetable that is new to you, or maybe you are trying out a new dinner recipe, or have found a simple great way to prepare that new food online. Just get yourself trying 1 new whole food per week. Even if you only like 1/2 of them, at the end of a year, you will have 26 new whole foods in your diet! 

2. Reference the Clean Fifteen/Dirty Dozen list HERE to understand when its really important to buy organic and when it's not as important.  Be sure you are buying organic when it comes to the dirty dozen list, as these are the foods that are most heavily laden with chemicals. 

3. Give yourself permission to play in the kitchen and be creative! You might mess up sometimes, or not like something you create but that’s okay! The more you play, the more comfortable you get with cooking from scratch, the easier it will get, & the more you will eat whole healthy foods!

4. Find healthier substitutions. Take a look at your diet. What do you consume regularly that you know is not great for you? Seek out healthier substitutions to start adding in, so you are not feeling deprived. 

5. Read Labels! If you can’t pronounce or know the origin of the ingredient, then find another option.

6. Give your taste buds a second chance! (or a third, or fourth) Some foods that are really good for us are a matter of acquired taste. Sometimes it takes the right preparation. Our tastebuds change over time.  Keep trying things over & over. 

7. Remember that the more fresh foods we eat, the more our bodies will crave them. The more processed foods we eat, the more our bodies will crave them. Be patient as you transition to eating cleaner, you will learn to love it more & more the longer you stick to it. 

8. Try to do most of your shopping around the perimeter of the store. Shop local farmers markets. Join a CSA. Grow some of your own food if you are able. Learn to shop & acquire your food differently. 

9. Keep Healthy snacks like nuts & fruit always available & with you so that you are less tempted to grab something processed. 

10. Remember 80/20 rule. It's not what you do ALL of the time, it's what you do MOST of the time. If you can eat really clean 80% of the time, then feel okay with indulging a bit sometimes. Aiming for perfection in anything can lead us to feel disappointed in ourselves. Don't expect perfection of yourself in anything, including how you eat. Allow some flexibility. 

11. Don’t drink your calories. Pay attention to the ingredients & sugar content of your drinks. Drink mostly pure, clean water. 

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Clean Eating 101

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Clean Eating 101

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Are you eating clean? Do you want to eat cleaner? Maybe you want to learn to eat cleaner, but you are not sure where to start?  This Clean Eating 101  blog post is just for you! I've got a lot to say on this matter, but I'm going to keep it simple and straight forward. In this post I am going to talk about why we want to eat clean in the first place. It sounds good, right? But what are the actual benefits of cleaning up our eating? Secondly, I'll cover the basics of clean eating so that you have a clear understanding of what it means & what kind changes you would like to make.

Next week, I'll publish part 2 of Clean Eating 101 where I'll talk about practical ways you can incorporate more clean eating into your diet. What are the action steps you can take to really create change? Be sure to check back next week!

WHY EAT CLEAN?

There is hundreds of reasons, but here is just a quick dozen for you to ponder:

1. You are what you eat. Literally. The nourishment you put into your body is like the building blocks for your cells! These cells that make up your body is what perform all of the amazing functions that you want your body to be able to successfully manage! 

2. Giving your body the nutrition that it needs to function properly gives it the ability to heal itself, be free of disease, and feel good. 

3. It keeps you feeling more satisfied & nourished. If you are giving your body the proper nutrition of healthy whole foods, you are less likely to over eat and/or want to reach for junk foods. 

4. Helps to maintain your blood sugar. Maintaining your blood sugar affects how you feel from moment to moment! Are you familiar with the term "hangry"? I'm sure you can find it in the urban dictionary, but people use this term to describe their mood when they feel angry & hungry. "Hangry" is generally a result of your blood sugar dropping. 

5. Makes it much easier to loose and maintain a healthy weight. Eliminating processed foods and sugary drinks can go a long way here. 

6. Can cause clear skin! Remember, your skin issues have a lot more to do with what you put on the inside, than what you put on the outside. Your new skin cells are created from the inside, and having healthy looking skin starts with great nutrition & clean eating!

7. Can cause improved energy levels. We all want to have great energy right? Nourish your body with the right foods, and you will have plenty!

8. Can cause improved mood. Feeding your body good, clean nutrition helps you to feel better, gives your brain cells what they need, and can also help to balance hormones which greatly affects mood. 

9. Can cause reduction of headaches. For many people, the added chemicals and preservatives in processed foods can be the source of nuisances like headaches. Speaking from my own experience, I had debilitating migraines from the time I was 6 years old into my early 20's. The cleaner my eating got, the less I had them. At age 39, I honestly don't remember the last time I had a migraine. I also know someone that gets a migraine if she ingests anything with red food dye. If you struggle with headaches or migraines....eating cleaner could help!

10. Can help keep you regular. Our health starts in our gut, and healthy, daily, bowel movements are so important. It's how our body gets rid of waste! Not properly eliminating can cause a whole slew of health concerns. Eating lots of whole clean foods with good fiber content helps you to keep much more regular, which supports your health and level of comfort greatly. 

11. It positively affects the environment. We all want to do our part to keep the planet that supports us healthy right? Supporting clean, organic farming practices, and less processed foods and factory farmed animal products can go a long way in this.

12. The ripple effect! If you are eating good & feeling good, you are more likely to take care of yourself in other ways, and create a feeling of wellness will spill into other areas of your life! The ripple effect also spreads out to your family & community as you set an example of healthy eating for all of those around you!

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Now, let's talk about what it really means to 'eat clean'? If you google 'clean eating' you will get endless results to read. I've created a simple list here for you of my 9 top ideas to keep in mind when you are trying to eat cleaner.

BASICS OF CLEAN EATING

1. EAT WHOLE FOODS

  • Think about eating as close to the source as possible.
  • Maximum nutrition when it is closest to the source - fresh & local is best.
  • Some processing is okay. An example would be oats, you can’t just eat the oat plant & digest it.
  • Try to eat a rainbow of colors! Eating a rainbow means that you are nourishing your body with a rainbow of different phytonutrients.
  • Whole foods fill you up and fuel you, unlike empty calories.
  • High fiber content keeps your digestive system in tip top shape, which is essential for optimal health & wellness.

2. AVOID PROCESSED FOOD

  • Read labels, if you can’t pronounce or don’t know the source,  then skip it.    
  • Try to imagine how the ingredient grows as you read the label. If you can't, reconsider.
  • Ignore the health claims on packaged foods such as natural, low fat, heart healthy…. be suspicious of these. Remember that it is It’s marketing, and doesn't mean that product is healthy. It is up to you to read the label, and learn what you want to put in your body, and what is better to skip.

3.    AVOID REFINED SUGARS

  • Avoid white processed foods, white sugar, white flour, white bread, pastries.
  • Refined sugars provide nothing but empty calories, not beneficial to our health and very addictive.
  • Eat fruit & sweet root vegetables to cut sweet cravings.
  • When you want a treat, use natural, more gentle sweeteners such as stevia, honey, & maple syrup.

4. COOK FROM SCRATCH

  • Learn to cook from whole ingredients, rather than from a box or package. It really can be simple and quick with a little experience.
  • Cook once & eat twice (or more!). Always make enough of something to pack lunches the next day, eat for dinner the next night, or freeze some extra portions. Save yourself time while eating great!
  • Use herbs, spices, & simple condiments to season already really good tasting whole foods.

5. ORGANIC & NON-GMO

  • Pesticides have been linked to cancer & a plethora of disease and health issues. 
  • Pesticides are used to destroy the life of insects. What do you think they do to your body?
  • GMO's have not been tested for safety in humans over a long period of time. We are like lab rats eating the GMO food not really knowing what kind of real health repercussions we will be dealing with long term. Many studies are proving that they are harmful to us in a plethora of ways. Avoid the risks!
  • Yes, organic more expensive. Your health is worth it. Your quality of life is worth it.  Medical expenses cost more.
  • Reduce your exposure to chemicals.
  • The environmental benefits are huge to supporting organic!

6. QUALITY MEAT & DAIRY

  • Avoid factory farmed, growth hormones, & antibiotics. Factory farming has some terrible practices in the treatment of animals, and remember that if you are consuming the meat and daily products from factory farms, you are also eating what they were given...tons of antibiotics, and hormones, as well as poor quality, GMO feed. 
  • Organic is better, again limiting exposure to chemicals, hormones, and antibiotics.
  • Grass fed beef and dairy is best. A cows traditional diet is grass, not grain/feed. When fed natural diet of grass, the meat and dairy have totally different nutritional content, including healthier fats vs. unhealthy     fats.
  • Keep portions small. Americans have a tendency to eat much larger portions of meat and dairy than needed. Always shoot for the largest portion on your plate being vegetables, and keep your meat & dairy portions small.

7. MAGIC COMBO OF PROTEIN, FAT, & COMPLEX CARBS

  • Eating these 3 together from whole foods at every meal will create optimum blood sugar levels that are able to stay level for longer, keep you satisfied longer, and stave off cravings & brain fog.
  • Great protein sources are beans, nuts, seeds, grass fed & free range meats, fish.
  • Great sources of healthy fats are avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts & seeds.
  • Great sources of complex carbs are quinoa, brown rice, or sweet potatoes.

8. MAINTAIN BLOOD SUGAR LEVEL

  • Keeping your blood sugar level = making good food choices. 
  • When you wait too long between meals, or eat processed foods that can spike your blood sugar and then send it crashing, we are more likely to reach for sugar, junk food, or caffeine to keep energy up. This can cause a cycle of feeling irritable and tired.
  • Eat whole foods every 3- 4 hours to maintain blood sugar level and mentality.

9. PLANT BASED DIET

  • No matter the nutritional theory or diet plan out there, they all agree on one thing: A plant based diet is where it is at! 
  • Micheal Pollan, a popular author who has studied and written a lot on food said that everything he's learned about food and health can be summed up in seven words: "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants."  Words to live by, if you ask me.

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So, we have talked about why you want to eat clean, and we've talked about what it means to eat clean.  Would you like some practical advice of how to make is happen? How to make the shift? Next week I'm going to share with you a list of practical suggestions in how to you can start to incorporate the practice of eating cleaner into your life. In the end it's about taking action and creating real change, right?

Be sure to check back next week for part 2 of Clean Eating 101!

Wishing you Wellness!

Shelly

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