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What We’re Listening To: Best Day of My Life by American Authors

March 10, 2014

BestDayOfMyLifeAmericanAuthorsAttitude is everything. What is the saying? Reality is 90% Perception – your reality is what you think it is rather than what it actually is.

Given that, we should  have no reason to have a bad day, right? However, if, like me, you find yourself dragging a bit on this Monday-after-losing-an-hour, then you may need some help getting your perception in the right place.

I present, therefore, American Authors and their infectious little ditty, “Best Day of My Life.” Whether this day blows donkey butt or not, just keep humming this tune until you get there. 🙂

 

 

 

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What is Clean Eating, and more importantly, Why should I care?

March 7, 2014

clean-eating-memeIf you have no idea what Clean Eating is, or how to start, or what to do, here is a Clean Eating primer. This is not all encompassing, but will hopefully give the uninitiated some starting points.

Feel free to ask questions, and keep an eye out for follow ups. I would love your feedback!

Much love and HUGS today!

 

What does Clean Eating mean?

Someone who is striving for or maintaining a healthy weight will view clean eating differently than a fitness competitor, but essentially it means eating healthy, whole, unprocessed foods.

Why should I worry about Clean Eating?

What you put in and on your body is the biggest indicator of overall health. We can teach our children now how to eat better so that they have less struggles with their health as adults.

The benefits of Clean Eating include:

  • Feel better physically, have more energy, and sleep better.
  • Have greater mental clarity and be less irritable.
  • Decrease health problems and need less medication.
  • Positive effect on depression symptoms.
  • Help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Eating that is compatible with how our bodies are designed.
  • Better for the environment – less packaged foods, less trash, choosing items farmed and raised in an ethical manner, lower carbon footprint.
  • Clean eating means eating closer to the way God intended.

Clean Eating Guidelines

  1. Choose whole, natural foods over processed foods
    Shop the perimeter of the supermarket, and limit or avoid boxed, canned, bagged, and frozen foods. Avoid Diet foods – low calorie, low carb, or low fat versions of food. It is better to enjoy smaller amounts of the real thing than to settle for the fake version.
  2. Choose Organic when you can
    Organic food is produced without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, GMOs, or ionizing radiation. Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones, and eat organic feed.
  3. Include lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fat at each meal
    Your body needs each of these basic food macros. There is no need to eliminate entire food groups unless you have a specific issue (e.g. food allergies, celiac disease).
  4. Minimize added salt, fat, and sugar
    Eating natural whole foods will give you most of the salt, fat, and sugar that you need. When you do need to add these items, choose natural versions.
  5. Eat five to six times each day
    Eat smaller versions of the normal “big three,” and then add two or three snacks in between. Eating every 2-3 hours keeps your blood sugars level, your metabolism up, and prevents you from overeating or binging on that bag of potato chips you just found.
  6. Drink more water
    Staying hydrated reduces cravings for processed foods, and helps flush out toxins from overly-processed food. Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces each day (150lbs=75oz.) Gradually decrease sodas and sports drinks to allow your taste buds to adapt. And be prepared for lots of trips to the bathroom!

It’s Too Much! Where to Start:

  1. Pick one or two Avoid Ingredients, and start to remove it from your diet.
    And then, pick another one, and so on. It’s expensive and overwhelming to overhaul your home overnight. Make small changes each trip to the grocery store.
  2. Pick one food and start buying the Organic version
    Dairy, meat, fruits & veggies with no skin are all good places to start. Again, start small.
  3. Become a label reader
    Educate yourself about what is in your favorite foods, even if you do not eliminate it just yet. Begin to look for alternatives. Give those a try the next time they are on sale.
  4. Cook more meals from scratch at home.
    Find recipes for meals you love at AllRecipes or Epicurious. Learn to cook them, and let your kids learn with you.
  5. Minimize trips to fast food chains.
    There is nothing clean at a fast food place, even on the healthy menu.
  6. Create your own seasonings and condiments
    Create your own salad dressing, BBQ sauce, taco seasoning, chili seasoning, etc., by using bulk ingredients with recipes found online. Healthier and cheaper!
  7. Find rewards (for yourself, for you kids) that do not involve food
    Don’t associate food with good or bad behavior. Focus instead on special time with mom and dad – learning to cook, trip to a museum or park, or movie night.
  8. Avoid an “All Or Nothing” mentality.
    Stick with your small changes. Know that each change brings better, long lasting health to you and your family. This is not about perfection!
  9. Remember that food is not an enemy.
    Food is a gift from God, and is meant to be enjoyed and savored. It is also your body’s fuel. Strive to put the very best in your body in a way that fits your budget. Choose high quality, all natural versions of your favorite foods that you can truly enjoy and savor.

 “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” – Hippocrates
“You are what you eat. So don’t be fast, cheap, easy or fake.” – Anonymous

What you should give up for Lent

March 5, 2014

And with shattered pieces of herself all around, she reached for consolation
rather than attempt the painful task of picking up and reassembling her broken parts.

It has become Lenten tradition to give up something that you love every Ash Wednesday, in reverence to Jesus’ 40 day fast in the desert. Typical Lenten sacrifices include soda, chocolate, and more recently, social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

There is certainly nothing wrong with giving up a specific food or activity that you love, but I read this quote from Roman Catholic Priest Ronald Rolheiser, and it touched my heart and spoke what I feel.

What to give up for Lent

“Give the angels a chance to feed us.”

Wow. I love that. Do you love that? This idea that when we remove the consolations, when we expose our vulnerability, it opens up an opportunity to be healed! Fed by angels. Did I mention I love that?

Let us consider for a moment, then, rather than the typical vice, we give up Self-Hatred for Lent. Soda is not the enemy. (Well, it actually is terribly unhealthy for you, but that is for another post!). Chocolate is not the enemy. (Chocolate is your friend.) Alcohol, drugs, Facebook – whatever your vice – is not your enemy. Removing those things from your life for 40 days will not bring you closer to Jesus, or God, or Enlightenment. Or Happiness. Removing these things may even create a sense of loss and abandonment, and may be why so many people give up on Lent long before the 40 day mark.

If you wrap your arms around a Diet Coke and feel compelled to say “My precious” like Gollum to The Ring, I would then challenge you to put down the Diet Coke, and instead wrap your arms around your self. Speak to the true precious, which is you.

I know, this is scary! It is much easier, and certainly passes muster, to simply give up a vice and say a few extra prayers these next 40 days. Resist that temptation, however. Instead, love yourself enough to take some painful but rewarding steps towards self-discovery.  Give up that soda or meat on Fridays, and then pair that with giving up your mask that covers your pain. Take this time to journal everyday, and pray. Write what is on your heart. Face yourself in the mirror and forgive yourself the mistakes of your past. Find a Lenten partner that you can share with openly, someone who will not judge your journey. Be open to telling your story, no matter how painful it is or how vulnerable you feel. Start small and then let it grow.

Start today, Ash Wednesday. While we may not break down decades of fear and consolation in a mere 40 days, it is a fantastic first step on a long journey.  There is true happiness in a spiritual journey, when we begin to put the broken pieces back together. A connection to something greater than ourselves. A release of ego and an acceptance of love and hope. And maybe even a chance to be fed by angels.

Your Harshest Critic

March 4, 2014

You know what would be simply amazing? The day when your harshest critic apologized to you for the way he or she has ever treated you. The day they vowed to stop saying such means things about you and to you.

Would that not be the heaviest burden lifted from  your shoulders? Imagine how differently you would feel if this person would only stop bringing you down all the time!

So go ahead. Go ahead, walk right up to that mirror, and apologize to yourself. Say “I am sorry for all those terrible things I have said about you your entire life. I love you exactly the way you are, and I will try harder. You are worthy.”

Did the burden lift? Just a little bit?

HUGS & Love!

What We’re Listening To: Happy by Pharrell Williams

March 3, 2014

Music can set the tone for your day, and my boys and I love to start each day with a song to get us pumped, get us moving, or at least get us out the door. I would love to share what we are listening to with all of you, and hope that you find some inspiration in your day. At the least, you will find some good songs to add to your playlist, right?

We have been listening to this song for awhile now, and to honor him for his Oscar nominee, this week I am sharing Pharrell Williams’s Happy. (I love Disney as much as the rest of them, but was greatly disappointed at Pharrell’s loss last night!)

This song has a catchy tune, gets your booty moving, and if you pay attention, the video can be a fun “spot the celebrity” game! Not to mention the fun of all of Pharrel’s wardrobe changes. If you want to really go crazy, visit 24HoursofHappy.com, because Pharrell and his team actually produced a 24 hour music video for the song. No Joke.

Now that’s a lot of reason to be Happy!

What does “Clean Eating” mean to you?

March 2, 2014

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So what does Clean Eating mean to you?

How and what you eat is the most important part of your overall health, and I am wondering what you think when you hear “Clean Eating.”

I am putting together an information sheet for a group this week, and I know the topic freaks out some people! Let’s get comfy and demystify this term!

What’s for Breakfast: Sweet Potato Hash

February 4, 2014

Breakfast can be tough when you do not eat dairy or eggs. It demands creativity! I cannot remember where I found the inspiration for this recipe. I essentially made it up for a MOPS breakfast last fall, but I know I saw some recipe somewhere that sparked my curiosity.
Whoever you are out there, thank you! Because this is my new favorite breakfast, and one of my most-requested recipes.

I hope you enjoy when this as much as we do!

Sweet Potato Hash
(Pictured with turkey sausage and chopped avocado)

Ingredients:
🔹2 large sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds), and cut into small cubes
🔹1/2 pound bulk pork sausage
🔹1-2 tablespoons coconut oil
🔹2 bell peppers (any color), chopped
🔹1 med onion, chopped
🔹2 cloves garlic, minced
🔹2 teaspoons paprika
🔹Kosher or Sea Salt and fresh cracked pepper
🔹Optional: tortillas, salsa, avocado, eggs

Directions:
1⃣Cook pork sausage as you would ground beef.
2⃣Scoop out sausage, leaving any grease in the pan.
3⃣Add 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil, at least enough to coat entire pan.
4⃣Add onions and garlic, saute for about a minute, then add chopped sweet potatoes.
5⃣Season with paprika, and salt and pepper to taste, then saute until partially cooked. Add bell peppers, and continue cooking until potatoes get a crisp edge.
6⃣Add sausage back in, mix together, then serve.

Notes:
🔹You can peel the potatoes, but try leaving skins on for texture and extra vitamins. Just cut off the tips and any bad spots.
🔹For sausage, I suggest Jones brand all-natural sausage patties from Costco, as they have only four ingredients and no weird stuff. It adds an extra step – I cook the patties until done, and then have to chop them in my chopper while the potatoes cook.
🔹For a lower fat version, try my recipe for turkey breakfast sausage. Still pretty fantastic.
🔹Serving Suggestions: Pour a couple of eggs over the top of finished hash, and quickly scramble into the mixture; serve along side eggs of your choice; top with salsa and avocado, and wrapped in a whole wheat or corn tortilla.

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