- Eat 5 or 6 small meals every day, eating every 2-3 hours
- Combine lean protein and complex carbs at every meal
- Drink at least 2 L (8 cups) of water each day
- Never miss a meal, especially breakfast
- Carry a cooler full of Clean Eating staples to get through the day
- Avoid all over-processed, refined foods (especially white flour and sugar), saturated and trans fats, alcohol, sugary colas and juices and calorie dense foods that contain little to no nutritional value
- Consume adequate healthy fats each day
- Choose fresh fruits and veggies for fiber, vitamins and enzymes
- Keep your portions in check
- Leave me a comment and tell me how you employ any of the clean eating principles into your daily routine
- Leave a comment with your favourite Clean Eating recipe
- Post about this giveaway on your blog, link to my post and then leave a comment to let me know
- Add yourself as a follower or subscribe to my blog and then post a comment to let me know
You'll receive one entry for the contest for each way that you enter. Please be sure to include your email address (or if you have a blog make sure it's visible there) The contest will close at 11:59pm on Wednesday April 8th (my birthday) at which point I will use a random number generator to choose 1 winner. Contest is only open to residents of Canada and the US. I'm so excited to be doing a giveaway!! GOOD LUCK!
And while you're at it, check out Lindsay's post about letting the scale affect your mood/day/week/general wellbeing.
You are all amazing, beautiful people and I hope these two articles remind you that you are so much more than just a number on the scale.
This morning I saw that the lovely Brilynn over at Jumbo Empanadas is giving one away!! Yes, she is giving away a Vita-mix after singing its praises on her blog. Wish me luck!!
- Figure out your week - this might seem like a weird first step in grocery shopping, but it's an incredibly important part of meal planning as I learned during my show. The amount of prep time you have each day/night to cook is really going to dictate what your menu looks like. When I was rehearsing and performing in my show I relied heavily on my crockpot. Now that the show is over I've got more time at home to prepare meals. You want to determine when you and your family members are going to be home, any activities you have planned or any dinners out you may have scheduled.
- Scope out your kitchen - get a sense for what's in your fridge, freezer, pantry and cupboards. This will help when you're going through the recipes and determining what you need to pick up at the store(s). Are you out of basics (milk, flour, frozen fruits/veggies etc.)? This is a good time to figure it out.
- Get out your cookbooks - or recipe cards or start surfing the net and figure out which recipes you are going to make. This is going to help you figure out what you need at the store and it also helps to keep things interesting throughout the week. Are you going to stick to old favourites? Or try something new? It also helps me to figure out if I'm going to have enough leftovers for lunch so I'll know if I'll need to plan to make a soup or something else to fill the void. I usually do this on Sunday morning while I'm eating breakfast. I pull out my cookbooks and start reading!
- Write it out - I usually start with an 8.5x11 sheet of recycled scrap paper and fold it in half. On one side I write Sunday - Saturday and on the other side I have my grocery list. As I decide which recipes I'm going to make I write them in under the chosen day (sometimes the days I make things change, but I generally try to stick to the plan) I then write in the items that I'm going to need on the other side of the piece of paper. I usually list them by type of item - fruit/veg, protein, liquid or dry goods/pantry - so they're easier to find on my list when I'm in that section of the store.
- Head out - I make three stops when I do the grocery shopping. This may seem like a lot, but the three stores cover my needs and allow me to get the best deals possible.
- Bulk Store - We have a cute little bulk/health food store very close to our house and I love it! Here I pick up herbs & spices, cereal for Joey (he likes to make his own "raisin bran" with bran flakes and raisins - it's incredibly cost effective), stuff for baking, dried beans, brown rice pasta, nuts, canned goods and larabars ($1.69 each which is the cheapest I've seen in Toronto so far) They also have a great selection of teas and nut butters and today I actually bought tofu there because it was cheap!
- Health Food Store - I feel so lucky to live so close to The Big Carrot, because I love it there! Here I get bread, meat, dry goods, soy & almond milk, oils & sauces and sometimes fruit and veggies. They also have a wonderful take away counter where they make amazing vegetarian food and list all the ingredients.
- Fruit & Veggie Stand - I try to buy organic as much as possible and I love one particular fruit & veggie place near me because they often have tonnes of organics and local produce for low, low prices! The price of their regular produce is amazing and the quality is great. Today I got cauliflower, 2 pints of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, 3 green peppers, 1 red pepper, celery, zucchini, asparagus, and 5 lemons for $19.06 and about 40% was organic.
Thai Coconut Corn Stew (Eat Drink & Be Vegan)
This is soup is amazing. It's got a lot of flavor and wonderful texture. Both Joey and I really really enjoyed it and Joey definitely went back for a second bowl. It was amazing in my lunch the next day also. I'll definitely be making it again!! I was also excited as I was finally able to find some lemongrass! It added yummy flavor to the soup.
Lemon Garlic Pasta (made with gluten free pasta) (ED&BV)
This had to be the most surprising meal of the week. I chose this recipe because it looked fairly simple and I knew I wouldn't want to be cooking anything complicated after my belly dancing class. As I was making it, it didn't look too impressive and I wasn't sure that it was going to be very good. I warned Joey... "it's a very simple dish" and he was a little concerned. When we both tasted it, we were amazed - it was delicious!! The flavors were simple, but they worked really well together and it was creamy!!! Joey enjoyed it with a special bun on the side and I had some gluten free toast with Earth Balance. It was an awesome meal and the leftovers were great as well! With all my sensitivities I wasn't sure what I would be able to have on pasta, so this is a keeper. I will definitely be making this again!
Pork chops with squash & brown rice
I had Joey put the squash in the slow cooker, which is the easier way to make squash. I didn't use any sweetener or anything on it, but the squash came out amazing! I seasoned the pork chops with some thyme and rosemary and it was a nice simple, yummy dinner.
Steak with sweet potato fries
I put Joey in charge of the yummy organic steaks that I had picked up and he did a great job! We love sweet potato fries in our house and they were delicious! I seasoned them with some chili powder, paprika and cinnamon. A great Friday night meal because it felt like "junk food", but wasn't at all!!
A few weeks ago I came across this post on Kelly the Kitchen Kop. The post intrigued me and opened up some really interesting dialogue. It also led me to Courtney's blog "Losing It" and we exchanged some really thought provoking emails on this topic.
Since doing WW, my eating habits have changed significantly, but I've definitely made changes to the changes since I've joined - especially in the last few weeks. I posted the following on the 20's board the other day:
...For me, my mentality with eating on WW has really changed since I started. In the beginning I was just happy to count Points and figure out what I could budget each day/week. I would stock up on fun 100 calorie packs and enjoyed eating a variety of WW products (especially the ones I would stockpile when I visited the US) I remember getting really upset at DF after one trip because he commented that I brought back a lot of "junk food". My response was that I wanted to have treats that I could eat. Sweets have always been my weakness, so by choosing the 100 calorie version of something it was my way of justifying that I could have it.
With my diagnosis, visits to the naturopath and the more I read about food and nutrition, I have really changed the way I look at food and the way I plan my meals. Especially now with my elimination diet, I've cut out mostly all processed foods and focus on making wholesome nutritious choices. Because of all my sensitivities I'm no longer able to eat a lot of the things I used to eat, but even if I could again I don't think I would go back to that.
When WW launched the Momentum plan, I really noticed that they were starting to focus more on this concept as well. While they still offer a ton of convenience foods, there is much more focus on the Filling Foods for all members.
I asked the gals for their opinions and thoughts on the topic of WW + Real Food and many of them had some really interesting and insightful things to say. It really proved to me that I'm not alone!
Kim - Now that I'm nearing my weight goal, I find myself focusing more and more on the health aspect of this journey, just as much as the pure weight loss aspect. It's no longer enough for me to be losing weight, or to look skinny...I want to feel healthy, and know that I am making the best choices for my body. I want to feel fit and healthy. Maintaining a healthy weight is certainly a part of that, but so is making the smartest food choices, and exercising regularly.
Similarly, I'm not going to cut down on exercise to speed up weight loss. I would rather lose more slowly while feeling good about my lifestyle. Ditching the granola bars is just one step in this journey, and I don't mean to imply that no one should eat granola bars or convenience foods (and I hope no one takes it the wrong way!). But for me personally, I want to work towards clean and wholesome eating. I'm by no means perfect, but this is the ultimate goal I'm working towards, nutrition-wise.
Another Kim - AMEN! That's EXACTLY what I did when I started, I was heavily dependent on the 100 calorie snacks. Now, I have slowly eliminated them and am much more satisfied with whole foods that I make, regardless of whether they are slightly higher in points value. You hit the nail on the head!
Jess - Yeah it would be great to have everything come pre-packaged in little x calorie packs but personally I don't want to fill myself with whatever is in them and I don't particularly find them all that appetizing or filling.
Another Jess (my favourite youtube star) has been focusing on choosing whole grains, nuts, fruits and healthy oils as much as possible, rather than choosing processed/convenience foods.
Other people commented that they lost less when the relied heavily on 100 calorie packs and convenience foods. Others said that (like me) they had started to make a change after a diagnosis of an illness or disease. It also seemed that many of the Lifetime members who had commented on the post had started to make a similar shift.
In defense of the 100 calorie packs - they can be great for satisfying cravings of sweet or salty things. They are pre-portioned for moderate consumption and can definitely help people survive their cravings without splurging on a billion points. To quote Judith Thompson in Lion in the Streets "We all need treats" - but might it be better to splurge a little bit more on some good quality dark chocolate or a homemade baked good without refined sugar? I realize that everyone is different, but it's definitely something to think about.
If you do find yourself consuming a lot of 1 Point bars and 100 calorie packs, I would just take some time to ensure that you're getting in your Good Health Guidelines and trying to choose Filling Foods as much as possible. We all know that there are a million different ways that one could spend their Points in a day... the possibilities are endless! At the end of the day, we want to make sure that we're getting in the good stuff before the not-so-good stuff most of the time.
It has been really interesting to talk to other people about this topic, especially those doing Weight Watchers. With my recent changes in eating I have so many different things that I'm trying to be cognizant of in my eating and meal planning - food sensitivities, Points - not to mention enjoyment of my food!! I read a ton of food blogs (some of my favourites include: Carrots n Cake, Heather Eats Almond Butter, VeggieGirl, Care to Eat, Chocolate Covered Katie, Eat Live Run, Gluten Free Girl, Kath Eats Real Food - just to name a few) and I really enjoy reading about these writers' passion for good food. Usually they post meals consisting of wholesome, nutritious foods made with amazing produce, whole grains, low-fat dairy or soy, healthy oils and lean proteins - the basis for good nutrition and healthy eating - and indulge on yummy treats that help to keep them satisfied. Amazing.
I said later on in the post on the 20's boards that if you had told me four or five years ago that I would be getting excited about things like broccoli and almond butter, I would have thought you were crazy. Times have certainly changed, but so have my lifestyle, health and weight. Do I miss reaching for a Peanut Butter Bliss bar, 100 calorie pack or just a regular cookie once in a while? Sure. But I know that I'm doing a great thing for my body and I think that that is worth more than all the cases of 1 Point bars in the world.
- Eat Drink & Be Vegan by Dreen Burton
- reFresh by Ruth Tal and Jennifer Houston
- Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson
- Eat Clean Diet Cookbook by Tosca Reno
I'll be doing reviews of these cookbooks in the next few weeks and I'm also going to be doing my very first giveaway!! So keep reading...
I should also tell you about the new recipe I tried last week amid the craziness in our house - Moroccan Lentil Soup. It was very easy to make and it had great flavor. Joey liked it more than I did and he'll be enjoying it for lunch in the weeks to come because I've still got a lot left in my freezer! It's a hearty soup and lovely for lunch. Another fantastic recipe from the amazing Stephanie at a Year of Crockpotting.
Now onto next week's menu!
Monday - Thai Coconut Corn Stew (Eat Drink & Be Vegan)
Tuesday - Lemon Garlic Pasta (made with gluten free pasta) with salad (ED&BV)
Wednesday - Pork chops with squash & brown rice + Split pea soup for lunches (Eat Clean cookbook)
Thursday - Eat Clean chicken & rice (EC cookbook)
Friday - Burgers (bunless or gluten free buns for me) with sweet potato fries (EC cookbook)
Saturday - Dining Out
Check out lots of other meal plans over at $5 dinners
Does anyone have any ideas for some good gf, df, sf snacks? I've got fruit and veggies and thanks to the lovely Heather I discovered Turtle Mountain Coconut Milk "ice cream" and I'm sure I'll find some stuff this weekend in the states, but I'm just curious if anyone has any favourites? Also, what's the scoop on soy yogurt? Any good brand recommendations?
- Beans (green, kidney, Lima, pinto and yellow)
- Egg (whites only)
- Cow's Milk (Casein and one of the whey proteins)
- Mung bean
- Pepper (black & white)
- Rape Seed (Canola)
- Yeast (Baker's and Brewer's)