The holidays are over and the new year is among us — a special and exciting time where we make ambitious plans for our next twelve months and dream of the possibilities. The most popular resolution is improving health, and we usually are quite ready after the holidays. As tasty as the holiday tidings are, they leave us feeling a little less on track with our goals than we’d like.
Those new healthy resolutions don’t have to be complicated, and they don’t have to end before February even arrives. In my opinion, the key to looking and feeling your best is to keep it uncomplicated and simply focus on clean eating. For those of you that have followed me for awhile know that I do not like to complicate things. The more complicated the less I am interested. In case you’ve heard the term “clean eating” but haven’t quite understood what it means — clean eating ( in my humble opinion ) is all about consuming healthy, whole foods and cutting out the processed junk. This word is really all the buzz and I have seen some wild explanations on what it means and some of them make me quiver in my boots. Whether you’re ready to jumpstart your clean eating now or you’re wondering what it takes to get started, I have got super-simple steps for a no-fail progression into clean eating that I hope you enjoy. They have worked for me as well as many of my clients.
Focus on your inner motivation
Whether you’re determined to race in the Boston Marathon next year, or you have seen first-hand the damages done by not eating well through relatives or friends that have suffered as a result of their eating habits. Whatever it is that is motivating you to eat clean, bring it into your direct focus so you will be more successful in sticking to your clean eating plan.
Reevaluate what you’re currently eating
Before you begin your clean eating journey, it helps to journal about what you’re eating before beginning. This way, you can truly see what it is you’re eating and look for patterns. After the stressful end of your work week, you might notice you’re more prone to ordering pizza and by writing your food intake down you can take steps to head that off at the pass rather than fall into the same pitfall time and time again. In addition, anytime I have a new client start with me I always ask them to clean out their pantry. Ditch the temptations. “Most” of us are not that desperate that we would head to the grocery store to get that chocolate cake. If it is not in site chances are it won’t make it to your mouth 🙂
Set realistic, measurable and specific goals
When people make changes to things in their lives such as a change to their eating habits, they can set themselves up for significant failures if they don’t take it step by step. That means that if you want to be successful in the long-term, you should tackle one or two new things every 1-2 weeks, so you have a better chance of sticking to it. Don’t just say you’ll stop eating desserts forever. Instead, set a goal of only eating one small dessert per week, and go from there to decrease it further. It’s realistic, measurable and very specific.
Clean out your pantry
In addition to just ditching the icky food in your pantry take some time to look at the labels. Sadly, most American pantries are filled with processed foods. A good rule of thumb is to cut out anything that contains more than five ingredients on the label. If you have a lot of unopened items, donate them to a shelter. Check those expiration dates while you are there. I am not sure how it happens but every year I find expired food in my dang pantry.
Refocus your grocery shopping strategy
We’re creatures of habit, every one of us. When we go to the supermarket, we usually follow the same path every time. Shake things up and head straight for the produce section. You really should be avoiding almost all of the middle aisles of your supermarket anyway because that’s where those processed food pitfalls lurk! Those marketers are very clever, those outer aisles are filled with processed crud. Try and challenge yourself to really limit anything in a can or a box. It is kinda fun I promise. Somethings are necessary to be in a cartoon or box, just watch those ingredients. Nothing more than 5 ok?
Master meal prep
One of the easiest ways to dive right into clean eating is to prep your meals. You’ll find tons of healthy meal prep plans online that even give you shopping lists to use. If time is a factor, look for crockpot recipes that require you to dump in the whole foods in the morning and come home to a hot, delicious, clean and healthy meal every night! If you are interested in jump starting your new year off with some good clean grain free food then consider joining my Grain Free Detox Program. Also, make sure you sign up for one of my freebie eBooks on my site so you can be put on my mailing list. I am doing a FREE crockpot challenge at the end of January 🙂
As you can tell, it only takes small changes over time to create a sustainable, healthy lifestyle. I’m here to cheer you on every step of the way, Contact me and let me know how you are feeling, and what you’d like to accomplish as your first step. I’d love to hear your plans. AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Are you a fan of no bake desserts? If so you might just want to run into the kitchen now. These little pumpkin cheesecake bites are AMAZING. I love that you do not need to even turn on the oven. It is so hot here in San Diego right now that I am all about the no-bake thing. I also love that these are dairy-free. I am currently doing a Country Heat Challenge so finding this recipe was a big score. I can’t wait to share it with the other challengers in my group.
I got up early this AM and pulled all of these ingredients together so they will be ready for my afternoon meeting. I love to bring healthy treats to my meetings. Next time you are asked to bring a treat to a meeting, luncheon or just cuz you want something sweet, give these a try. This recipe follows the Portion Control Containers so whether you are doing 21 Day Fix, Body Beast or just wanting to eat healthy within good portion guidelines this will be a winner. If you make it will you message me and let me know what you think?
PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE CUPS
(GF, Vegan, Dairy-free)
Total Time: 3 hrs. 20 minutes
Active Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 12 mini pies
WHAT YOU NEED: Ingredients
1 1/3 Cups gluten-free, vegan graham crackers (crushed) Dont panic if you can’t find vegan ones.
1 Tablespoon coconut sugar
¼ Cup coconut oil
1 Cup peanut or cashew butter- It’s easy to make your own in a high-speed blender.
½ Cup pumpkin puree– Look for the non-BPA cans if you can.
1 1/3 cups cauliflower florets
½ Cup coconut cream- Look for the non-BPA cans if you can.
¼ Cup lemon juice
¼ Cup coconut oil
2 Tablespoon coconut sugar. I used date sugar
2 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon sea salt
WHAT YOU DO:
1) Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add cauliflower and boil for 15 minutes, until very soft. Rinse with cold water, drain and set aside.
2) Pulse graham crackers in a food processor or blender until fine, then in a mixing bowl combine them with the 1 T coconut sugar and ¼ Cup coconut oil and knead until thoroughly combined.
3) Line a muffin tin with baking cups and spray with non-stick spray.
4) Place 1 T of crust mixture into each cup and press down with fingers so that it forms a smooth, even disc on the bottom of the cup.
5) Place tin in the freezer to set.
6) Add the cooked cauliflower to the base of a blender along with the coconut cream and blend until very smooth and silky in texture.
7) Add remaining filling ingredients to blender and blend until smooth.
8) Remove muffin tin from freezer and place ¼ Cup of filling into each baking cup, smooth the tops with the back of a spoon and place back into refrigerator for 3 hours, until firmly set. Enjoy!
Tony Horton is a serious trainer but he also delivers serious results. If you are familiar with Tony’s workouts then you might be a little surprised by this one. The program is not out yet but I did have the opportunity to try one of the workouts on the program the other weekend and I fell in love with it. It was very different than Tony’s normal goofy style. With Beachbody’s 22 Minute Hard Corps, Tony takes on a no-nonsense kind of attitude. I am not sure if you are aware of Tony’s dedication to our military. Tony Horton spends a lot of time traveling to different military bases every year helping our military stay in shape with free workouts.
Here is what Tony Horton has to say about 22 Minute Hard Corps. “If you can carve out 22 minutes a day to exercise — and believe me, everyone can — you have all the time you need to lean out and muscle up,” says Horton. “This program is fast. It’s furious. And it only requires a few key pieces of equipment. I don’t care how many times you’ve tried and failed to get in shape in the past — if you want to be leaner and stronger than you are right now, this program will get you there.”
Here is what I love about what I have seen with Tony Horton’s 22 Minute Hard Corps:
Minimal equipment is needed
You can get an amazing workout in the 22 minutes
They have a wonderful modifier for those moves that are a tad too difficult for you ( yes I modify too :-> )
The moves are repeated so you can pick up on the moves easier
The exercises are different than his normal moves but familiar enough to other moves you have done so you can master them quickly
I love the military style of motivation. It’s encouraging and motivating without me wanting to scream at the TV
It is designed for every fitness level, male or female. Individuals just starting out on their fitness journey will not be intimidated by Tony anymore 🙂
The meal plan is easy, covers recipes for common allergies, and provides you with plenty of recipes to maximize your results. Check out this dish from his meal plan.
The program consists of eight routines that alternate between total-body cardio and resistance workouts — one a day, six days a week. “This is a pretty big departure from P90X,” says Horton. “The workouts are shorter, the pace is often quicker, there’s more user participation, and most of the moves are easier to pick up. It’s back to basics for mind-blowing results.”
Here is a preview of this fun “Let’s Get It Done” workout
It’s Fast, It’s Simple and It’s Effective. Do not forget I am here to support you on your journey.
Day 2 is in the bag. It was a great workout day but not so much in regards to food. See why in the video below.
So now you know why my food was not so good. Such a bonehead move on my part. I know it sounds silly but I am only on day 3 and I feel so much better on the inside and out. I have slept fantastic the last few nights. I have also been diffusing some amazing essential oils and that might be helping but I really do feel good inside. I am having some back issues but that has nothing to do with the 21 Day Fix Extreme. (more on that tomorrow)
Here is what I ate (refer back to my day 1’s review if you need more info as to what goes in what containers) or go here for a quick video tutorial.
Breakfast – Chocolate Shakeology with 1/2 frozen banana, almond milk, ice and water and a butternut squash cake ( squash, spices and olive oil)
1 Red, 1 Green, 1/2 Purple and 1 /2 Tsp
Snack- Hard boiled egg and water
Lunch- Mixed green salad with chicken, diced veggies, goat cheese, raw pumpkin seeds and 21 Day Fix dressings.
2 Greens, 1/2 Red, 1 Orange and 1/2 Blue
Snack- Goat milk yogurt with pureed acai berry
1/2 Red, 1/2 Purple
Dinner- Potato tortilla, lentils, chicken grilled zucchini and avocado
1 yellow, 1/2 red, 1/2 blue, 1/4 green
All and all a great day! Look at all that food!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If you would like to be considered for our next 21 Day Fix accountability group and you are new to Beachbody, please go here and sign up. Message me at email@example.com 🙂 and let me know when you would like to start and let me know if you have any questions. If you are already a customer of mine just send me an email and tell me you are ready to push play 🙂
You have heard this before “We are our own worst enemies” Well I 100% believe this. I recently let life get in the way of my exercise routine and I got out of the habit of my 20-40 minute daily workout. Man I had every very good, acceptable, legit reason you could think of but guess what? I started not sleeping well, I was cranky towards the people in my life, I ate more than I normally did, my hip started hurting and I am sure Mike could come up with some more negatives. Yes I 100% believe these all can be tracked back to me skipping my workouts. One week of not working out and I fell apart. I got out of my habit and things just snowballed. I let my mind talk me out of something that I knew was important to me. The issue here is one day of getting out of your routine and then for some reason skipping it the next day just seems a little easier. It is a snowball effect of disaster. 🙁
It is funny because I really did believe my excuses were legit but now that I sit back and look at it, who the heck was listening to these excuses? Yep you guessed it, no one. I think when it comes to exercise we need to take a step back and really look at what it is we enjoy doing. It is like chores right? Who wants to do something when we hate doing it. Please find something that you enjoy doing. There are so many ways to get moving and get the fitness your body craves. It does not need to be complicated.
Twenty minutes is not a lot of time folks. If you can not find twenty minutes to dedicate to your body then we need to talk. It is so uber important that you take the time out of your hectic, crazy day to give your muscles and joints a little workout. Please do not get intimated by weights or big gyms. It really does not matter what you do, just do something. I remember when I had a big aversion to working out. I did not understand what working out really meant. I saw what Mike did and I wanted nothing to do with that crap. When I reflex back on it, the problem was really my mind not the actual action of doing it. I set up my own mental roadblock.
Last week I let my mind put up a roadblock. Today is a new day and I have put those 5 days behind me. The neat thing about life is everyday you wake up you get a chance to correct your mistakes. How cool is that??????
Moral to this story is “just do it, and stop with the excuses.” Hands down legit advice. I learned a lesson this last week and I am not going to go down that road again. If you need help coming up with some motivation to get moving or some fitness ideas, please contact me. I love to help people with this type of thing. I am always running challenge groups that produce good solid results. I would love you to join one of them. Message me if you are interested. firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a great twenty minute routine by Bret Hoebel(creator of Beachbody Rev Abs Dvd Program) I hope you like it. Pay attention to the modifications if needed. Let’s all move it and get this done 🙂
Boy did I mess this up over the years. It seems like for the last 15 years I have been hyper focused on what I have been putting in my body. Between my digestion issues, my weight fluctuation and my gluten intolerance I feel like I have been hyper focused on nutrition and taking care of my good ole insides but OOOPS, I did not realize was I was missing a huge component to the whole chemical, non-processed, healthy lifestyle I was working so hard to achieve. You have heard “you are what you eat” but have you also ever thought about “you absorb whatever you apply”?
I wish I could remember the day or even the article that made the light bulb go off in my head but, whatever it was, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Your skin is like a sponge. Everything you put on your skin gets quickly absorbed into your system. Do you have any idea how many personal hygiene products we, as consumers, apply to our bodies each day? According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a Washington DC-based advocacy organization, the average American uses approximately 10-15 personal care products with a total of 126 different ingredients daily. Ok wait for it, here comes the scary part. The federal government does not regulate the cosmetic industry. Say WHAT??!!!??!!!!??!!! How scary is this folks?
I am sure you have heard the buzz words when it comes to buying natural, organic beauty products but do you know the names of the actual ingredients you are actually looking to avoid? Honestly I did research on a lot of these ingredients and it scared the pants off me, so I stopped. I figured I had read enough just looking into the first three that I said I will AVOID all of them.
According to The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and The Environmental Working Group, the following is a list of the top offenders in beauty products and the one’s you want to avoid:
* DMDM hydantoin and Imidazolidinyl urea.
* Fragrance and dyes
* Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone
* Parabens or ‘-paraben’
* ‘PEG’ and ‘-eth’
* Sodium lauryl or laureth sulfate
* Triclosan and triclocarban
* Triethanolamine (TEA)
* Mercury, often listed as thimerosal
* Lead acetate
* Petrochemicals, (appearing on labels as petrolatum, mineral oil and paraffin)
Scary right? The other thing I wanted to mention besides all of these chemical ingredients is for all of my gluten free friends.
Because of recent labeling laws, shopping for gluten free food is fairly easy because it is so clearly labeled. Unfortunately we do not have the same luck when it comes to purchasing beauty products. They are working hard to try and get beauty products included in the labeling law but, for now, it’s up to us. Because the labeling is not as clear on beauty products, you really need to know what you are looking to avoid. The following is a list of ingredients that you should steer clear of when buying these products if you are gluten intolerant. Now this being said, I realize this is a controversial topic. Not everyone believes in the whole gluten reaction due to beauty products. For me I know what I feel like when I ingest gluten, I know how ingredients are absorbed into my skin once applied so duh, yes I avoid them and do not take any chances.
I hope this information has helped you. Bottom line… read labels! With beauty products, try and go as natural as possible, avoid the above and try and pick products with as few as ingredients as possible.
Coming soon will be some reviews on my favorite beauty products.
For additional reading on BPA in products check out this recent story.