Sunday, December 30, 2012

Week One Planned!

The key to eating clean is planning. To be successful you can't just go through your day hoping you eat every 2 1/2 to 3 hours "clean" food, making sure to include a protein and complex carbohydrate each time. At least I can't. I've decided to plan my week on Saturdays and shop on Sundays. (I'm also starting out saying Sundays are free. I know having an entire day free is not good for everyone. But I found last time it worked for me and I was actually really good on Sundays anyway. No sense ruining what you've worked so hard for!)
I keep referring to "last time." This ain't my first eat clean rodeo. I did it for 4 weeks and lost 16 pounds. Why did I quit? It's an excuse, but I worked night shift, 3 nights a week. At least twice a week I would stay awake for at least 36 hours. I couldn't keep an eating schedule and basically just gave up. But I know it works and I'm ready to try again. And, I don't work night shift anymore :).
I am, however, a grad school student and substitute teacher. Which means I'm quite busy and never know exactly how my day is going to go. I guess very few people have an ideal situation though.
Back to planning...
So here is my plan for January 1 - January 5. You may notice a few repeats of meals. I'm single so I will have" planned-overs." And I'm not a breakfast food fan typically, not healthy breakfast food anyway, and I really like the omelet and the scrambled eggs the way I make them. You will also notice sharp cheddar cheese. I LOVE cheese. I will allow myself 1 ounce a day... Or I doom myself to completely fail!

It's week one so I assume I'll get better at mixing things up. The goal this month is pretty much to stay on a schedule and eat as clean as possible!

Happy fueling!
~ Suzanne

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Oatmeal experiment 1....FAIL!

I've always said that I don't like oatmeal. Truth is, I've never actually tried oatmeal. In her book The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged, Tosca Reno sings the praises of starting your day with oatmeal. So, I thought I'd give it a try. How to explain this..... It's not the oatmeal that's so bad, I think I could develop a taste for it, it's the warm water you eat with it. Yuck! I followed her directions (1/2 cup of oats, 1 cup hot water, cover with a plate and let "cook" for 10 minutes). This is what I got.

So I started looking for pictures and recipes of the perfect oatmeal on Pinterest and they all look soupy like this.
Any suggestions? I thought about using less water to "cook" them or putting it all through a sieve.
I'm glad I'm experimenting though, so when I actually have to plan my day of food I don't run into this stuff often. I know me and that would translate into a trip to Hardee's for a chicken biscuit which is not clean!

Happy fueling!

~ Suzanne

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Shrimp Fried Quinoa

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) seems to be all the rage these days. What's the big deal? Well just do a quick internet search on it. It's a superfood! It has protein, lower in carbs than other grains, and is gluten free for those that steer clear of gluten. I'm determined to find ways to incorporate quinoa into more of my dinners.
The easiest way to prepare quinoa is to treat it just like rice. 2 parts water to 1 part quinoa. I personally have a rice cooker and it came out perfect! (You may want to rinse before cooking. I buy it pre-rinsed. But if it's not it can be bitter.) I had it pretty plain, long story of me not getting cilantro at the store, the first night but I decided to experiment with my left overs. I have a great fried rice recipe that I've modified a bit in the past so I decided to give it a go with the quinoa. It was great!! So, without further adieu, (I think that's spelled right)....

Shrimp Fried Quinoa (or chicken, or whatever)
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 tbs coconut oil
2 eggs
1/2 small onion, chopped
3-4 large mushrooms sliced
1/2 cup alfalfa or bean sprouts
Teriyaki sauce or soy sauce, to taste
1/2 cup chicken broth, low-sodium (free-range or organic if you can find it)
3/4 - 1 cup small cooked shrimp (I used the pre-cooked frozen kind thawed out). You can substitute chicken here too.
In a skillet, melt 1/2 tbsp coconut oil and add the eggs. I let the whites cook, then when the whites are almost done pierce the yolks and finish cooking the whole egg. Set aside. Add the rest of the coconut oil, mushrooms, onions, and alfalfa sprouts. Cook till the onions are done. Add the cooked quinoa and chicken broth. Let it cook down a little.
Here is where you add to your liking. I add a little teriyaki till I get a decent flavor. (Remember, these sauces are not "clean" and are usually full of sodium so use sparingly. I'll keep experimenting for new ways to clean this part up. Suggestions accepted.)
Add your shrimp. The heat from the dish will heat up the shrimp quickly.
Now serve!
This dish is quick to make, extremely filling and will keep you full! Feel free to add other veggies, I'm not a peas and carrots fan but you may be!
Let me know how you like it!
Happy fueling!
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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Not a Fad "Diet", a Change in Lifestyle

Change in lifestyle.... Those are scary words, especially if you rather like your current lifestyle. And it's supposed to be a permanent change. This isn't a week or month long experiment.
As a former health and PE teacher with a degree in Health Education, I know what to do...I just don't do it, and it shows. I fill my body with genetically modified, chemical laden, and preservative filled "food." The word "artificial" is in most of the ingredient lists of foods I eat. I'm tricking my body with fake food! It doesn't know what to do with it! But the trick is actually on me.
So I'm going to change what I put in my body. I know I won't be perfect at first, and maybe never. Tosca Reno, in her book The Eat-Clean Diet, calls them "treats." Yes, the book refers to this as a diet...but it uses the correct definition of the word, please excuse the indulgence of my degree here, as a diet is just the food we put into our bodies on a regular basis.
This will take planning, accountability, and a healthy dose of willpower. Sounds like an adventure! So what's this blog for? Partly accountability and partly information, just in case there are others out there interested in doing this or already are. I believe we learn from others. I will share recipes, new foods I've discovered, triumphs, defeats, tips, whatever!
I'm currently re-reading The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged, making notes and journaling.

Click on the picture to go to the Eat-Clean website (which is amazing on its own) and order her book. Or pick it up at your bookstore. Full of great, no-nonsense information. Worth every penny!
Today's nugget...
Body healthy formula = 80% nutrition + 10% training + 10% genetics. (p.16)
The adventure has begun!
Happy fueling!
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