5 Guidelines for Eating that I know are true… for sure.

rules of clean eating

With every new piece of dieting advice comes a new contradiction, after reading countless diet books, wading through hundreds of studies and…watching Dr OZ every day (of course!) I have boiled all that food advice down into these 5 guidelines.

      1.  Most Importantly if you do nothing else…..EAT REAL FOOD!

Really try to stay away from anything in a box or processed, shop the outer perimeter of the grocery store. So choosing chicken breast over prefrozen nuggets, or a real potato over the boxed stovetop kind. Don’t eat packaged diet food, its not real food and it will just mess you up. I could go on and on but please just eat real food and that’s most of the battle, your body will begin to regulate itself once in understands the fuel your putting in.

  1. Buy organic/no spray, ESPECIALLY YOUR MEAT

You know I’m not completely sold on the whole Paleo lifestyle, although they have many good points and what I agree with the most is making sure your meat and vegetables (but more importantly meat because you can wash vegetables) is organic. I have never been inside of an industrialized farm- but I have watched many a documentaries and the stuff they give to livestock is nasty, and toxic. You don’t want that in your or your family’s body. Plus the way they treat animals is so sad.  I know its more expensive but my response to that would be to eat less meat but of higher quality.

  1. Eat Less Meat

This is not just the yogi in me, eating less meat is directly linked to a substantial reduction in heart disease. Heart disease is the biggest killer of human beings, taking more lives each year then even cancer.  Speaking of cancer those who followed a vegetarian diet were also less prone to certain cancers,  (by the British Journal of Cancer) they think either because the high fat content increases the hormones in our bodies that trigger cancerous cells to grow, or because of the hormones contained in the actual meat itself. There’s a lot more research but I’ll save it for another post, the take away here is add more vegies to your diet and reduce the meat. (And there are a tons of plant based sources)

  1. Avoid Processed Wheat

Now notice I didn’t say Glutton Free, although if you can handle that all the more power to you. Most studies have found that eliminating wheat greatly reduces inflammation in the body. Sadly Canada has some of the worst wheat in the world, its 99 percent genetically modified and in almost everything. Food manufactures love to use it as filler because its cheap and addictive. For many people going glutton free is said to clear rashes, improve digestion and aid in weight loss, but it takes a while for the main protein to clear your system about 3-4 months, so stick with it if you are experiencing any of those side effects. To be clear I still eat artisan/organic sprouted grain bread and wraps on occasion but my feeling is that since its not GMO or sprayed it would likely have a different effect then the traditional stuff on your body. The point is to be conscious about your consumption of wheat products and to eat sparingly.

  1. Consume Dairy in Moderation

Many people think beans are the most difficult food to digest, but turns out that’s not true. A recent study (as seen on Dr Oz) determined that the most difficult things for humans to digest is actually dairy products, mainly due to a protein called casein, its also been shown to increase inflammation in the body, and creates excess mucus.

Disclaimer!

I feel like it always has to be all or nothing, most diet plans say no meat, or no dairy or no carbs ect, but life doesn’t have to be black and white, I think most of us live in a “grey” area. The key is moderation,  follow the 80/20 rule- eat good most of the time but leave an allowance for the occasional indulgence.  Plus if you live a healthy lifestyle most of the time your body is able to heal itself when you don’t make the “right” choice… just remember point one (Eat Real Food!)

 

Peanut Butter Protein Cookies

protein peanut butter cookiesWith this recipe I basically took everything bad out of the classic PB cookie and added healthier ingredients, but guess what?! It still tastes amazing- in fact better then the classic if you ask me.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats (1 cup processed, either in a magic bullet or food processor)
  • ¾ cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter
  • ¼ cup nuts, walnut, brazil or pecans use what you have
  • ¼ natural sugar- I generally use honey its got lots of antioxidants and it’s a great binder, but I’ve also used coconut sugar or agave. NO white sugar
  • 1 egg (or 1 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 2 tbsp water- let sit till goopy then mix in)
  • 1 cup protein powder, I like chocolate vega but it’s personal preference
  • tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup choco chips, I know this isn’t healthy per say, but its not very much and keeps it fun-use organic if it makes you feel better.

1.  I throw all my ingredients into an electric mixer and set on medium, however if you don’t have a mixer thats fine too, with a bit of muscle power you’ll get the same results.

2. Form into balls and press with a fork, bake at 350 F for 10 mins

 

How to Keep your Gut Healthy

As you may or may not have heard the gut is now considered the second brain.

It primarily helps us to digest food but its also a major sensory organ for the entire body, I’m sure you’ve heard of a “gut feeling” or how when were stressed our stomach can feel like it’s in knots.  Taking care of your digestive system is a big part of our overall health, when we eat and act properly it can eliminate or reduce bloating, gas and pain (which also helps you look slimmer), absorb nutrients, dispose of waste more efficiently and most importantly it will make you feel better!

Here are some tips on how to keep your gut in check.

Drink your water warm.

Drinking water warm stimulates the gastrointestinal tract and peristalsis (the muscle contraction that’s moves your food through the intestines) cold water acts as a shock to the system and slows down digestion.

 Don’t hold your stomach in.

This is a big one, especially for women. Last year a natural path told me about the importance of letting your stomach hang out, especially after you’ve eaten but more or less you should only be engaging your core muscles when exercising or doing an activity that requires you to do so (i.e. elimination) When your constantly pulling your muscles in your decreasing the amount of space available to your internal  organs, she cautions that this can majorly disrupt your digestion and causes chronic bloating and constipation.

 Take a probiotic

In my experience eating yogurt just doesn’t cut it, for optimal digestive health your probiotic should contain at least 50 billion cultures and be taken daily.

Have 3 meals a day, and fast for 12 hours at night.

Have a meal then allow your self the time to process it, digestion is a lot of work and if your eating non stop you never give your system the chance to cleanse itself.  This is also why many experts advise going (at least) 12 hours between dinner and breakfast.

Drink lots of water

Lack of water contributes to constipation, staying hydrates keeps your elimination soft and easy to pass… just another reasons to get in your 8 glasses a day.

The Protein Creamsicle

protein smoothie recipe, creamsicle protein shake 1 scoop vanilla protein powder

1/4 cup vanilla greek yogurt

1/2 cup ice

1/2 cup 100% orange juice

5 guidelines you need to follow when trying to lose weight

 Don’t drink your calories but do drinks lots of water

People have been saying this for years but its actually true, drink only water or unsweetened coffee/ tea. If you can’t do this because waters “boring” then that’s a big red flag right there, it shows how truly addicted you are to sugar. Eliminate sugar drinks for a couple weeks and you won’t ever go back.

Sometimes drink plain coffee/tea instead of eating.

If your trying to lose weight then you need to reduce your calories it’s a sad fact of life, but drinking something hot takes time and keeps you occupied during a craving, plus the caffeine will mildly increase your metabolism.

Lay off the Carbs

Tried, tested and true reducing carbs will reduce your waistline; basically carbs convert to sugar in the body which signals the release of insulin, insulin is what signals your body to store energy as fat.

Strength Train

Building muscle is a more effective way to torch fat then doing cardiovascular training (cardio) you burn more calories during the actual activity plus you burn more calories immediately after training then you continue to burn more calories all the time because muscle takes more calories to maintain then fat.

Don’t hang out with people who eat badly when you are trying to eat well

Men are the worst culprits, you’re on track eating your tofu and steamed broccoli and “surprise! I brought home Dairy Queen” It’s like this, misery loves company or nobody wants to pig out by themselves so they try to drag you down with them. Unfortunately it’s harder to divorce but at least try to avoid going for dinner or to the movies with bad eating friends/partners when you’re on a diet.