Sprouting Goodness!

A very quick and I do mean quick, video demonstrating the ease of which you too can sprout your own sprouted goodness! Dheana will add a write up with full instructions soon! :)

 

 

 

Clean = Lean ~ Top 10 Tips

beautiful four years old with watermelon

“What You Put In Is What You Get Out”

When it comes to eating clean and getting lean, you might be surprised the thing I count as most important, has nothing to do with what you put in your mouth, but rather what you put in your mind. Before setting out on any course of self-improvement, whether it’s changing your diet, starting an exercise program or embarking on a journey of healing or therapy, it’s wise to ask yourself why you want to change. Journeys begun from a place of pushing against something unwanted often don’t go very far before failing.

Most people start a diet or workout regime because they don’t like some aspect of themselves. They want to change their shape or size in order to fit in or be attractive. When you start by positioning your body as the enemy, as something you need to punish and overcome, then you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Instead, try starting from a place of love. Eating well and exercising can be ultimate expressions of self –care. Choose to put good foods in your body because you value it, respect what it does for you – and trust it will know how to heal itself, find balance and perform at its highest potential.

Coming from a place of love helps us make daily decisions about what to eat. It can inform how hard to push in a workout and when to give our bodies the rest it needs. It’s time to stop beating ourselves up and working against our own inner intelligence. The human body is an amazing living organism, more complex and intricate than the most advanced super-computer, with trillions of cells, each with their own intelligence, performing millions of functions every second of every day with no conscious direction, or even awareness, on our part. We are blessed to have them, so let’s start to treat them right.

It’s okay if you’re not happy with the shape or health of your body the way it is today. But if you start today to take small steps towards choosing better foods, moving more and taking care of your amazing machine, it will respond. In the meantime, keep your thoughts focused on where you’re going, not where you’ve been. Focus on the positive steps you are taking and be grateful you have the opportunity to do so.

So You’re Thinking Good Thoughts – Now What?

There are a dizzing variety of programs out there all purporting to know best what you should put in your mouth, magazine articles, websites, television programs, infomercials, all saying something different. It can be overwhelming. I’m not going to add to the noise by claiming my approach is best. What I’ve learned over 25 years of study and interest boils down to a simple, common-sense set of principles whose truth will resonate for itself.  To me, eating well should make sense. Trust your own gut and see if these principles don’t make sense to you too.

10 Clean = Lean Tips:

  1. Enjoy Real Food & Emphasize Produce - Choose whole, natural, unprocessed foods.
  2. Eat Balanced - Consume protein, carbs and fat at each and every meal.
  3. Choose clean, well-timed carbs - Choose the best kind and limit to early day or post-workout.
  4. Eat (and drink) Green - Consume more veggies that you do right now and include a green smoothie each day.
  5. Hydrate - Drink a LOT of water. More than you think you need.
  6. Supplement - Take a good multi-vitamin/mineral supplement.
  7. Move Your Body – Get more active in daily life and sweat 3 – 5 times a week.
  8. Plan for Success – Preparing  and putting it all together guarantees success.
  9. Cheat…Just a Little - Avoid deprivation by planning a ‘treat’ or ‘treat meal’ once a week.
  10. Sleep - Make sure you’re getting enough shut eye. 

Together, these attitudes and behaviors create an approach to healthy living that will support your body’s ability to heal, restore and rejuvenate itself.

We invite you to follow along, ask questions, engage in the process and watch patiently and expectantly for the positive signs to come…

Ok, let’s start. In my next post I’ll get in to Tip 1 – Eat Real Food.

Dheana

We’re Back! (and back in balance)

teeter totter

Sorry it’s been so long since we’ve posted an update. Much of our online time has been occupied getting ready to launch our self defense site ondefence.com, which should be ready to go any day now.

In the meantime, Dave and I have traversed the landscape of diets, literally – from the meat-centric paleo diet, right to full-fledged vegetarianism. We even flirted with eating vegan and raw for a while. Crazy, right?

So, the last time we posted we had just finished the Whole 30. For those who don’t know, the Whole 30 is a squeaky clean dietary challenge where you eliminate sugar, processed foods, grains, legumes and dairy for a full month. Prior to that, we’d been following the primal/paleo path, which initially resonated with us because it seemed to be aligned with our ancestry and it’s based on whole foods. But as it turns out, we just weren’t ready to give up grains forever. And that’s not all…

I think the paleo diet can also be very acid forming. I’m a believer the body should be slightly alkaline and that most diseases flourish in acidic environments. Meat is one of the most acid forming foods we can eat. And the paleo diet tends to advocate a lot of crappy meat, like bacon, which I just don’t think is a clean source of fuel for the body.

Paleo advocates claim they model their diet after cavemen – and therefore it’s better suited to our unevolved guts. And I admit, at first that rang true because I know cavemen didn’t have processing plants or 7-11s. But then again, do you really think cavemen ate meat THREE TIMES A DAY? Or do you think maybe they gorged on meat when they had a kill, then starved and ate berries for days in between?

The other issue with such a meat heavy diet is that it’s not sustainable. Meat production is killing our planet. The amazon is being destroyed at some crazy ass alarming rate just to plant soybeans to feed the cattle to try to meet the demand for meat, in order to feed our growing population – many of whom are trying to emulate the North American meat-heavy diet.

So, having said all that, we decided to try vegetarianism.

For about four months we changed our diet completely. I borrowed a pile of books from the library, dusted off my copy of The Thrive Diet and started experimenting with soaking & sprouting and raw food recipes. During the summer months it was actually quite nice – refreshing even! My stomach felt lighter, my poops were abundant, I had lots of energy. And the best part? My once debilitating menstrual cramps became tolerable. For the first time in 15 years I got through my cycles without pounding pills and/or weeping like a baby on the floor!

But after a while, eating became a chore; food became a source of stress. What to eat, when to eat, what to prepare. All our old standbys were off the table and meal preparation lost its fun and freedom. I also started gaining weight – lots of it. What a bummer. Here I was doing something to help my body and I felt like it was turning on me. “Don’t you know this is good for you dammit?!” I asked my body as I watched my the number of clothes I could fit into become fewer and fewer. I had to wonder what was happening and if my body was getting everything it needed.

Ultimately however, it was once again the food stress that really made us reconsider vegetarianism. We love food and I love to cook. But it felt like I was trying to paint with a limited palette and that eating and cooking just weren’t fun anymore. Dave would come home and stare into the fridge, frustrated. We found ourselves repeating the same meals and getting bored, not wanting to go out or share meals with friends. We think food should be a celebration and with this way of eating, it had become a chore.

So, we started adding more animal proteins back in to our diet. And now, as circuitous as it seems, it looks like we’ve come full circle. Back to a happy middle ground where balance is the key. Just like any journey though, we didn’t come home empty handed. We picked up a few new tips and tricks we’re looking forward to sharing with you, like including raw foods each day for enzymes and energy, and drinking a green smoothie full of easily digestible super foods (which I’m pretty sure was the secret to conquering my cramps – more on that in another post).

So what are we eating now? Real, whole food in a balanced way. I am trying to incorporate protein into each of our meals; lots of fresh raw veggies; clean, conscious carbs, including whole grains in as close to their natural state as possible; and healthy fats. In fact, I’ll do a few posts on putting it all together, some sample menus and new recipes in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, let us know what you think? Have you ever spent time on one of the dietary extremes?  What works for you?

Dheana & David

Chunky Tomato Avocado Salsa

Tomato avocado salsa & our Saturday night salmon dinner

Whipped this tasty combination up to kick off another Whole 30 Challenge. Dave will be cheering me on from the sidelines on this one, but still eating as healthy as ever. Not everyone needs this kind of structure or challenge, but if you’ve ever had “issues” with your food, or want to reset your metabolism or clear out allergies, it’s great. I’ve been craving food that’s “FRESH” lately and looking forward to having the kind of health that reflects that – so with that in mind, bon apetit!

By the way, I put together this recipe after receiving a request from a friend, but in truth most measurements were after-the-fact guestimations, so feel free to tweak to your taste.

Chunky Tomato Avocado Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 8 tomatoes, cut into small chunks
  • 2 med or 3 small onions, diced
  • 1 med green pepper, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 2 jalapeno peppers
  • ½ cup cilantro, sliced
  • 2-3 avocados, cut into cubes
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T cumin
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 can tomato paste

Instructions:

  1. Combine onions & green peppers in glass bowl; microwave about 5 mins or until soft-ish
  2. Combine tomatoes, jalepenos, cilantro and cooked onion/pepper mix in large glass bowl
  3. Blend tomato paste, spices and apple cider vinegar in magic bullet & blend; pour over tomato mixture and stir to mix
  4. Stir in avocados gently at the end
  5. Enjoy!

Resistance Band Warm Up/Workout

You can use this resistance band routine as a warm up for your workout or a workout in itself, depending on how hard you push yourself and the resistance level you use. In this video David walks through the basic movement patterns, demonstrating both pushes and pulls in straight and angular patterns – perfect for preparing your body for a free weight, cable or machine workout.

If doing pre-workout, use a rep range that leaves your muscles feeling warm and limber before moving on to the next move. If you’re doing it as workout, choose a higher resistance band and go until you can no longer move the band to the full range of motion.

Bands are portable, cheap and can be used to challenge, balance, coordination, strength, endurance and flexibility all at the same time. A perfect fitness solution if you’re at home, on the road or even on holidays.

Coffee…friend or foe?

I had my first coffee in over a week this morning – a delicious cup of organic espresso with coconut milk. It was yummy, but MAN! was my heart RACING after about a half hour! Crazy! I’d never noticed the effects of caffeine before. I put it to use during my workout, but not sure I actually like the feeling anymore…Anyone else give up coffee and glad you did – or could never IMAGINE life without it?

Dear Sugar, Please stop hiding in stupid places…

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I’ve found sugar in some pretty crazy places: sausages, soup broth and even salsa. But the other day I realized the Italian seasoning I grabbed while in a hurry at the grocery store is full of the stuff! I’m actually a little embarrassed to show you the bottle because I usually do a better job of label reading, but really…it’s Italian seasoning – I figured it’s going to contain rosemary, marjoram and oregano – you know, the usual suspects. Guess again! Try salt as the number one ingredient (egads!) and all sorts of crap like cornstarch, yeast extract and sunflower oil. Ugh! Never again…

In the meantime, Sugar, if you’re listening, please stop hiding in these stupid places. And food manufacturers, please stop pumping your products full of this crap.

Oh, and for the record, I’ve since started making my own broths and salsa – guess I can do the same with the spice mix!

Where’s the craziest place YOU’VE found hidden sugar?

Planning = Success: our weekly menu plan

I’ve been trying to plan and track our meals and cooking schedule each Sunday so we’re never at a loss for what to eat. Nothing thwarts your good intentions faster than finding yourself with an empty stomache and an empty fridge at the same time. What’s not shown on the board are the left-overs planned for post-workout meals, which I’ve been taking to the gym with me and eating right in the change room as I dry my hair and get ready to go back to work. These meals are typically 1/2 cup of yams and 4 oz of whatever protein we cooked the day before. Dave and I are a family of two, but we always cook larger portions of food because left-overs are essential to keeping us on track and minimizing kitchen time.

Tonight we put a few good hours prepping food. Dave made a dozen green salads, I made our favorite Meat-lovers Breakfast and we had some pretty tasty (albeit fatty) Dry-rubbed Beef Short Ribs from Food Lover’s Primal Palate for dinner. The spice rub is incredibly tasty, but I think next time I’ll boil the ribs first to cut down on the fat. If you’re into paleo eating, you’ll know that fat’s not a problem when you’re eating good meat. And this was – local and drug free, but it’s just not our preference.

As the week progresses, We’ll snap some photos and share more recipes. In the meantime, what’s on your menu this week?

 

Whole 30, Days 29 & 30 – It’s a Wrap (but hardly over)

Hard to believe, but we’re at Day 30 of the Whole 30 Challenge. Was it challenging? Oh yeah. Rewarding? Absolutely. And honestly, now that it’s over not much will change. We’ll probably turn down a glass of red wine, I’m definitely having a coconut bliss bar and Dave will likely tear into a bag of rice chips, but then really, we’ll be back to Whole 30 eating.

This whole experience was really an introduction to eating primal for us – and we love it. Neither of us have any intention to reverting back to old ways of eating. We’ve learned a lot about our cravings and what they mean. We’ve organized our food shopping and prep to minimize time in the kitchen. We’ve come up with a gaggle on new most-loved recipes and we feel better than ever physically. Will we never indulge again? Of course not. We’re human and we love food. But our attitudes have definitely changed.

I knew this for certain when I moved the stove out the other day to sweep behind it. I’m a bit embarrassed to tell you what I found – a Christmas cookie. And not a home-baked, so good your eyes roll back in your head, to-die-for cookie. Just some store bought processed piece of white flour and sugar junk. It made me realize that while there may be cookies in my future, they won’t be this kind. If I am going to put something in my mouth I know full well won’t support my health and fitness goals, it damn well better be the most delicious, decadent, divine version of whatever it is. It better nourish my soul and my senses if it’s not going to nourish my health. And for me, I think that’s the biggest reward of all, coming to this new place of thinking about my diet.

Now where’s my corkscrew…?