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Posts Tagged eating healthy

Our 2 week reset/clean eating challenge – {some recipes!}

Hubby and I usually eat pretty well. It seems that in the last few months though, we were slipping a little. We’d gone from eating really well about 90% of the time to more like 75% of the time. We decided to create our own 2 week challenge to reset. Our goal is to eat healthy like we had done for so long. Our challenge would go like this:

We’d be eating clean…as clean as possible at least. And we’d cut back carbs to 2 meals a day. We’d eat nothing with added sugar. No beer or wine. And we’d add in extra veggies and fruits. No fast food, very little packaged food – and the packaged food we did eat would be something healthier than most, like Quest Protein Bars(Have you tried these? SO delicious & a TON healthier than other protein bars – which are really more like candy bars. Check the labels!) and Lara Bars. We also decided to log our food for those 2 weeks. That really helps with paying attention to what you’re eating and becoming re-acclimated to what a serving size looks like, and how much our meals SHOULD include.

Today is our last day of our challenge. I lost 4 pounds! We’ll be celebrating with some wine and brunch at our favorite spot. (Can Can Brasserie in Carytown…yuuummm!!) But of course we’re very dedicated to continuing this eating plan at about 90% again now that we’re reset. That’s the beauty of doing something like this. Once you give some things up for a while, you crave it less. It’s a lot easier to continue!

I wanted to share some of the meals and recipes we had…in case any of you wanted to try your own reset/clean eating challenge. Our meals were quick since we both work full time. And I am a big fan of things that don’t take a bunch of ingredients. So, you’ll find some pretty simple stuff here…. I’d love to know what you guys think. Do these looks like meals you’d eat??

Go-To Sandwich

We ate these for many lunches. And usually with mostly the same ingredients, but depending on what we had in the fridge. Here’s my favorite & what we put on it… (and a side note, isn’t it a beautiful sandwich?!)

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Ingredients:

1 slice Ezekiel sprouted bread, lightly toasted

1 tablespoon super hummus

3 slices hormel natural choice turkey (Applegate Farms is a great choice too)

1/2 slice sargento ultra thin provolone cheese

2 slices tomato

1/4 cup baby spinach

1/2 avocado, sliced

Salt & Pepper to taste

(Some optional things that I added some days: Thinly sliced apple, thinly sliced cucumber, or you could use dijon mustard, a little balsamic vinegar, etc)

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Easy breakfast scramble:

Again, we ate this or a variation of this many mornings. It’s super quick, easy, filling and tasty. Oh and healthy.

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Ingredients:

1 cage free, grain fed egg + 1 egg white

handful of baby spinach

a little Sriracha sauce

1 slice Ezekiel sprouted bread

1 tablespoon super hummus

Just scramble the egg and cook with the spinach. Add salt and pepper if you’d like. Spread the hummus on the toast and top with the egg scramble. Add sriracha to taste.

Some variations I like to use: add chopped tomato to the scramble and/or 1/2 of a avocado. You could also skip the toast.

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Quick and Healthy Stirfry
Also a very forgiving recipe to replace or add other veggies you may like!
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Ingredients:
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed (use Extra Firm Tofu if you’d like)
1/2 cup fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup chopped baby carrots
1/4 cup diced pineapple
1/2 cup steamed broccoli florets
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
Sriracha to taste
Just warm the sesame oil over medium-high heat for a minute. Add the veggies and cooked chicken. Add the rest of the sauces, spices, and peanut butter. Stir constantly for a few minutes until sauces and peanut butter are fully mixed in and warm all the way through. Seriously. You’re done. And you could add more or less veggies as you’d like, but we added a lot since there’s no noodles or rice in this stirfry. This was SO delish!

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Sausages and Sauerkraut
(And quinoa.) Oh Em Gee….!!! So good!
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Ingredients:
4 links Aidelis chicken sausages
1 cup sauerkraut
1 serving Red Inca quinoa (or any quality quinoa)
Prepare quinoa according to package. Warm sausages on the stovetop over medium heat for about 8 minutes. Add sauerkraut and prepared quinoa to the pan with sausages and warm for a couple more minutes. 1 serving is 1 link plus a scoop of sauerkraut and quinoa. This made wonderful leftovers for work the next day, too!

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Okay, that’s some of what we used….and all were very satisfying and filling, and super tasty. I’ll save the rest for another post so this one doesn’t get too cumbersome.  Comment below if you’d like me to send you the rest sooner, though!
Tell me what your favorite clean recipe is below 🙂


Try Quest Protein Bars!

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Can’t I just ‘burn off’ bad food with exercise?

We’ve all probably said it at some point. “I work out because I love to eat.” Or, “I can eat this double bacon cheeseburger with extra large fries and a milkshake, I’ll just run a couple of extra miles today.” While working out obviously does burn calories, it’s a little more complicated than just that.

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First, it’s hard to know exactly how many calories you’re actually burning. If you have a good heart rate monitor, you can come close, but it’s still not exact. Same thing with figuring out how many calories you should eat in a day. Unless you go and actually get your metabolic rate tested, you’re just going to be making an educated guess.

Not only that, but, eating unhealthy foods or too much of a food group affects your body with more than just extra calories. For instance, in the example above, eating a double bacon cheeseburger and fries and a milkshake could be anywhere from about 1000-2000 calories at one sitting. First of all, that’s a LOT more running than a few miles. For me, that’s more like running 20 miles. Seriously. BUT also some of the sugar from the milkshake gets stored as fat. The carbs in the fries and the bun that your body doesn’t need for fuel gets turned into sugar and stored as fat. You’ll be storing more than you can burn. Even if you work out. And I don’t know anyone who has a metabolism good enough to actually metabolize 2000 calories in one sitting.

Having said all of that, I don’t want to make you think that working out doesn’t help with eating some unwise choices. It still does. It’s still better than eating all of that and then sitting on your couch the rest of the week. My point here is to try to help you realize that it’s more than just ‘calories in versus calories out’. If you want to be fit, lose weight, be toned and feel amazing, you will have to consider  your choices. Eat healthy most days. Definitely indulge once in a while. It’ll keep you sane. Just try to keep your indulgences small. Instead of that double bacon cheeseburger, fries and a shake, have a regular cheeseburger, small fry, and split the shake with someone. And don’t do it more than once a week.

There’s another point here that should be brought up as well. If you have the mindset of essentially punishing yourself for bad food choices with a workout, then you’ll come to resent your workouts. Your workouts should be your reward. Your happy time. Doing something good for yourself. Be proud of it!

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Love that picture. Not only the message, but how strong and fit she is. Folks, I’m telling you right now, she doesn’t eat unhealthy stuff often. Not looking like that. The good news is, once you get the junk out of your food, you will feel amazing and you won’t even crave it very much anymore. *I speak from experience*

And now that you know that excess carbs and sugar get stored as fat, consider spacing out your carbs into small amounts throughout the day. Your body needs some carbs, so don’t cut them out, but just keep your portions small  and spaced out so your body can use them. In fact, try timing your workout to be about an hour after eating a meal that includes carbs. This will help your body to actually use them as fuel instead of store them as fat.

So tell me, since we’re talking about food choices, what are some of your favorite, healthy snacks? I’d love to know, and I know my readers are always on the lookout for good snack ideas.

(BTW, I just looooove Pinterest. That’s where I got those photos, in case you were wondering) 🙂

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