Thursday, May 23, 2013

Clean Eating Crash Course For Non-Scientists

Are you guys ready? *drum roll* Ladies and gentlemen here is the much awaited for, highly anticipated post on what (the f's, h's whatever you want to insert here, but this is a clean blog so I won't - HA like the pun?) exactly is clean eating, eating clean... whatever you want to call it!

First, things first, let me ask: do you have nutrition courses, food engineering degree, NASA certification in rocket science? No? GREAT! If yes was your answer, that's pretty impressive and congrats but you really won't need it. 

Clean eating means, at it's core, paying attention to what you eat and staying away from things that are not natural - let's call them dirty. Anything artificial or processed is considered "dirty" when it comes to clean eating. So pretty much when you go do your grocery shopping you want to stay away of package foods that contain a loooong list of ingredients, half of which you can't even pronounce, let alone know what it looks like.

Lean proteins, veggies, fruits, seasonings, wholegrain and healthy fats and sugars are fair game. Always keeping in mind portion sizes and daily recommended amounts - it's all about balance ( is pretty useful for that).

Other than that, to make sure you have the best results possible to your well-being, make sure to drink lots of water (and I mean LOTS - as in a gallon a day if possible), sleep well and obviously, exercise!!
Clean eating may or may not be expensive depending on where you live, how hard-core you decide to go. I found my groceries turned out pretty much the same price since I already ate a lot of fresh produce before and I substituted what I used to spend with 'dirty' foods for clean versions. I am also using up stuff I still have in my pantry that is relatively clean (ie: canned grains, which are technically 'dirty' but I honestly think I will stick to those because they are too practical #cheating).

As I said, it is pretty simple (sorry rocket science people :/) and the great thing is - it is NOT a diet! It is a lifestyle a change and a concept. It's really honoring your body as your temple (I forgot to mention I am a bit of a Yogi - Namaste) and treating it as such.

Now, all that said, I have to admit I am taking this easy. I don't like anything too radical (except when it comes too sports :) but that is a horse of a different color - and a different post maybe). We are living, breathing creatures with desires and sometimes that burger or ice cream will give you that dirty look that is just impossible to resist - I say (and do) go for it! Every once in a while, preferably on weekends allow yourself to get down and dirty, just pay attention to quantities and everything will be OK and life will go on - as long as you don't let a one-time-thing become routine.

Any of you pumped to try? Let me know if you have any questions and I will gladly help you out! :)

Some useful resources:
Grocery list:
Clean eating meal plans:

Monday, May 20, 2013

No-Hunger Games

And the clean eating continues! I am so motivated you guys have no idea! I found so many cool inspirational blogs, instagramers, pinners - you name it - that I am pumped! I don't think I am ever counting calories again and I feel so free! This "clean eating' mentality of reducing processed food, eating nutritious wholesome foods in smaller portions and more often, is extremely compatible with my lifestyle and I honestly think it is working better than any low-cal/ fad diet I've ever tried (ps: I've been getting a lot of questions along the lines of "clean eating?! huh?! what does that mean?" so I'm planning a post on explaining exactly what it is soon, so stay tuned).  Hopefully I will feel even better about this when the results come along - I've got to say I think I see some already (placebo or not, I don't care). 

As long as they are not processed, fake or 'un-clean' - GO FOR IT! 

So last week I decided to go a little wild and try my own Avocado Tuna Salad (recipe below) and it turned out awesome! I encourage you to try it as is or add your own twist - one can never go wrong with avocado (seriously, you just can't). 

This is what my days went like last week (pretty much had the same meals every day for lack of time/ planning): 

Breakfast: Vanilla oatmeal (same from previous post - creativity is not my forte in the morning)
Morning snack: 1/2 cup greek yogurt, 5 blueberries and a dash (and I MEAN a tiny little dash - not the food network definition of "a little olive oil") of honey
Lunch: Tuna avocado salad and a Plum for dessert (which was delicious by the way - is it season yet?)
Afternoon snack(pre-work out): Ripe banana with 1/2 teaspoon of PB (now this is not lach of creativity, I am just obsessed with PB and banana) 
Dinner: Chocolate protein shake (with almond milk - post workout), asparagus, 1/2 cup spinach, 1/4 cup butternut squash puree and 1/2 cup cooked zucchini (OK, creativity failed here again... ) 

Workout highlight of the week: Upper body and Zumba (1hr) - I was lucky enough to finish my workout just in time for Zumba class. I hadn't done zumba in a while and was usually really skeptical that it even really qualified as cardio... but I take all my suspicions back. It IS a workout. I was sweating like... someone who sweats a lot. Not to mention I had a blast - detoxed in every sense!

Oh I love the endorphin high! Do you? 

Tuna Avocado Clean Salad 

I promise it tastes better than it looks in my little bento box 

1 Tuna pouch (low sodium in water)
1/4 Diced Avocado
1/2 Cup fat free greek yogurt
1/3 cup chopped celery
1 1/2 cup baby greens
1/4 tomato diced
Mr. Dash
Lemon juice (I cheated and used the ready made one)
Salt and pepper

Mix the tuna, greek yogurt, celery, avocado and seasoning to taste. Place it over the tomato and baby greens (I added a liiiiiitle bit of olive oil and salt to the greens)



Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Clean eating - Game on!

I've been working out for a good portion of my life but I've never really been fit. You know - toned, defined abs, lean etc. I've never been over weight (minus a liiiittle slip freshman year in college) but I never really had THE body I hoped for. So, I decided its time for a change. I've been reading about what to do and what not to do for so long in terms of eating and exercising to get THAT perfect body that I honestly believe I could write a book on it (or at the very least blog about it). Yet, in spite of my extensive knowledge on nutrition and fitness, I never really practiced it. I mean.. I work out, I eat healthy most of the time but I splurge a lot, have a big pitfall for fake sweeteners  diet coke and other health sins that are bound to halt my fitness progress. Thing is, I have to stop reading and start doing!

I actually hate 'selfies'... but I feel accountability is a must on this one, so here it is...
So here is the deal: I decided to give clean eating a try - bye bye fake food, diet coke and my beloved zero calorie sugar substitute (mind you, Stevia is still allowed). So long to the days of crazy cardio attempts and in comes the era of constant and disciplined weight training! I am hoping to not only see results but also eel better with myself and the world (oh so poetic). I will keep you posted with my tips, tricks and progress (hopefully lots of the latter).

Are you heading down that road too? Well let me know what you think and give me tips to! LETS DO THIS!

For the day:
Yuuum - mind the keyboard 

Breakfast: Vanilla Oatmeal (old style oats, vanilla extract, almond milk and stevia with cinnamon and sliced almonds to top it off)
Morning snack: Baby carrots and 2 tablespoons of cottage cheese with parsley and salt.
Lunch: 2 oz of grilled Chicken (seasoned with cumin, paprica and thyme) and baby greens, cherry tomato and parmesan salad with balsamic dressing + peach for dessert
Afternoon snack (pre-workout): Banana and half a teaspoon of low fat PB
Dinner: Chocolate Protein shake (with almond milk - post-workout), 1/2 cup od cooked spinach, 4 asparagus spears and 1/4 cup pumpkin puree

Workout of the day: Legs + 20 min treadmill

Tip: Cooking and chopping veggies for the week in one sitting saves you a looot of time and effort later on. Plus you're less likely to cheat if everything is handy