I’m Baaaaaacccckkkkkkk!!!

I’ve been on a little bit of a hiatus since my last post. Things have been just a little cray cray and we’ve had more than a few life changes goin on. But I’m here and I’m super excited to be back! (I’ll write a post in the about me section to give you a look at what’s been happening in my world later).

Let’s dive right back into it shall we?

Weight Loss Tip Tuesday (oh how I have missed you!)

Cook more. Yup, you heard me. Get in that kitchen and cook! It’s as simple as that!

When you do the cooking, you have way more control over what goes in your food. A gallon of oil on my veggies? Umm…no thanks! I’ll just steam them with water. A  truck load of salt on my food? I’ll stick with a pinch instead.

You can decide if you want organic, hormone free, low salt, no oil, gluten free and/or unprocessed food. Plus, you get to decide how you want to cook it! Some restaurants use microwaves for a lot of their food. This is a big no no! If I’m going out and spending the money to pay ppl to make my food, they better make it! Not just nuke it!

And here’s a bonus, cooking is fun! I used to think that I had to follow a recipe EXACTLY as it was written. I wouldn’t deviate at all. Like never.

Now I realize how boring that is! I look at recipes all the time and tweak them like crazy. Before you know it, they’re unrecognizable from the original recipe. And no one dies. The world doesn’t stop turning and most of the time I end up loving my creative revisions.

So, get in that kitchen and cook!

You didn’t think I’d tell you to cook and then leave you hanging did you? Here’s a simple, delicious recipe for ya:

Pears with Balsamic

1 pear – thinly sliced

1/2-1 tsp balsamic vinegar (any kind)

-Arrange the pears on a plate and drizzle the balsamic vinegar over them. Enjoy at room temp or put in the fridge to make them cold.

Feel free to add things to this recipe. Maybe add some fresh basil chopped and sprinkled on top, or a pinch of red pepper flakes to spice things up. Like honestly, anything goes!

Let your inner creativity out to play, you just may like what you find!

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P.S. Here’s a selfie just for you! It has been a while after all 😉

Weight Loss Tip Tuesday – Anti-inflammatories!

Are y’all staying warm? I know some places have had the first blanket of snow grace their presence and others have significantly dropped in temperature. In my neck of the woods it’s super-duper windy! I feel like a little piggy hiding inside my house while the big bad wolf tries to blow my house down! It’s insane! Winter has arrived folks!

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This weight loss tip is excellent for weight loss (duh) and it will help keep you warm. I thought it was fitting for this time of year. I know I need a little extra help staying warm!

Let’s talk about inflammation for a sec. It is a necessary function that our body performs to keep us going. Inflammation creates a healing response – to help fight infection (think of how your skin swells up after a mosquito bite or after a paper cut). The problem that most of us face is that our body is too inflamed and our immune system is a little overwhelmed because of stress, environmental factors, diet and poor lifestyle choices. The bells are constantly going off and alerting your immune system that there’s a problem. This can lead to a variety of illnesses including obesity, cardiovascular issues and possibly even cancer!

Clearly we need to be proactive in our response to inflammation. We can do this by limiting inflammatory foods (like sugar, processed foods, and saturated fat), limiting our stress and eating more anti-inflammatory foods.

These include: omega 3s (found in wild salmon, chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, etc), whole grains (like brown rice, amaranth, oats, quinoa), fruits and vegetables (beets, dark leafy greens, broccoli, turmeric) – basically eat the rainbow and you’ll be well on your way.

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Now, this is the cool part. Remember last week we talked about eating seasonally? There are different fruits and veggies in season at different times and there’s a purpose for this. There are some anti-inflammatories that will warm you up when you eat them. These are things we mostly eat in the winter. Like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg…remind you of something? This combo always brings up memories of happy holidays for me.

To stay warm this season and fight inflammation (double bonus) stock up on root veggies, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric and garlic.

You didn’t think I’d leave you hanging without a new delicious, warming, smoky, sweet recipe did you?!

I have basically been obsessed with these babies…just thinking about them is making me drool!

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Smokey Sweet Potato Fries with a Killer Sauce

1 medium sweet potato
1 tsp chipotle olive oil*
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt

Killer Sauce:
2 Tbs veganaise
6 drops chipotle tobasco sauce
1/4 tsp smoked paprika

– Slice the sweet potato into fry size pieces. Put in a bowl
– Add the oil. Toss to evenly coat all the fries.
– Add the remaining ingredients and toss to coat.
– Bake at 450 F for 10 minutes. Flip the fries. Bake an additional 10-15 minutes until golden brown and delicious.
– Mix all the sauce ingredients together and dig in!

*If you don’t have chipotle olive oil, don’t fret…regular olive oil can be substituted.

Enjoy!

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Weight Loss Tip Tuesday – Work Those Chompers

It’s that time again! Our favorite day of the week! Weight Loss Tip Tuesday!!

Remember last Weight Loss Tip Tuesday? It was all about beans…anywho, I mentioned I would talk more about how important it is to chew your food. Well, today’s the day my friends.

Have you ever shared a meal with someone who scarfs their food down like it’s the first and last meal they’ll ever have? They inhale it so quickly and it feels like there’s been a whirlwind or a tornado in the room.

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My sister-in-law, Brandi took this epic shot. These were clouds right above her house before a tornado blew through town!

I used to love to see how quickly I could consume my food. Not anymore kimosabe, not anymore. Now I am frequently the last one to finish my food. I attempt to eat consciously and be present in the moment. It is so much more fun to eat now! I can actually look and feel and taste my food .

Ideally, you should shoot for between 30 and 50 chews per bite. Let me tell you, at first, it may feel weird and you may even hate it. But keep it up! I promise, the benefits definitely outweigh the weirdness. It’ll change your life.

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Did you know that digestion actually starts in your mouth? Ya, go figure! As you chew your food, digestive enzymes that are present in your saliva begin breaking it down prepping your body to absorb all the wonderful nutrients.

Chewing this way helps with portion control, which is a huge issue in America especially. Have you ever gone to a restaurant, ordered an entrée and had a dish that could literally feed a family of 4 presented to you? I know I have! Portion sizes are so skewed! It’s hard to actually know how much you should be eating. Chewing your food allows you to listen to your body. It may take some practice, but if you listen, it will tell you when it’s full.  

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Chewing also helps your beautiful pearly whites. Teeth need a workout too! Chewing helps to keep them strong. Bonus: the saliva produced when you chew also helps with plaque buildup and tooth decay.

If you chew your food, your body doesn’t have to work as hard so you’ll encounter less gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, cramping along with other digestive problems.

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Now that you’re not rapidly chowing down on your food, you have more time in between bites to notice things you never have. If you can, surround yourself with instrumental music or silence. Try to be mindful, look at your food, really look at it. Think about everything that went into bringing this food to your plate and into your tummy. Notice the smell. I know your mom probably told you to never play with your food but touch it, take note of how it feels. Now put it in your mouth and notice the movement of your tongue. Pay attention to the taste – describe to yourself what you’re tasting. Is it sour? Sweet? Juicy? Notice the texture. Swallow. Now, pause for a moment and take a breath. You did it! Now repeat! 

This can actually be a meditative experience. It took me a while, but now I don’t have to count every bite. Eventually you’ll be able to do this without having to put a lot of thought into it as well. It takes practice, but don’t stop! Keep it up!

 

Now, for the recipe that will blow your socks off…it’s a kick butt hummus recipe! Check it out!

 

 

What are your thoughts on chewing? Have you ever given it thought?

 

 

 

 

Sources:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/07/31/chewing-foods.aspx

Weight Loss Tip Tuesday – Lotsa Labels

Hey friends! I have been MIA for over a week, and it feels like forever! But I have a good reason…half of my family came to visit me! My parents and my sister all came out to play for the week. We had a blast! We had lots of food and we explored all over, from Cannon Beach to meandering downtown Portland – hitting up China town, the Japanese Gardens and of course Voodoo Donuts to hiking in the plentiful, awe-inspiring forests, to shopping at the outlets. It was a week packed full of adventures and fun!

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This is a teacup from our tea party at the Japanese Gardens

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They went home early on the 4th. After they headed to the airport, Jon and I drove up to the Seattle area to spend the weekend with his parents. Friday we went to a park where there was a live symphony that played music to the fireworks. They were so beautiful!

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Since I left y’all hangin and because you’re all awesome, I’ll give you a weight loss tip and a killer recipe today.

Weight Loss Tip Tuesday:

Read labels! Look at the ingredients. If a third grader wouldn’t be able to pronounce it, put it back on the shelf.

Processed foods are loaded with all kinds of chemicals that are no good for our bodies. I can guarantee you that you won’t find propylene glycol (also used as antifreeze for cars and airplanes), disodium guanylate  or monosodium glutamate (MSG – aka natural flavor and hydrolyzed yeast extract) naturally occurring in nature. These, along with over 3,000 other food additives the FDA allows in our food, are manufactured in a lab.

Eliminating these chemicals will make you feel better and will help your body become healthier. Our bodies are really smart, but they weren’t created to take in all of these scientifically made chemicals. Eating these things can make us very sick. They have been linked to an array of health issues from respiratory distress, headaches and nausea, to lung disease and cancer and just about everything in between.

This week, look at the labels on your food and try this tip out. Pay close attention to how you feel once you’ve eliminated the hazardous, man made chemicals. Let me know what you think.

You’re all fabulous! Never forget that!

Sources:

http://www.sustainabletable.org/385/additives

Michael Pollen “Food Rules”

Why Lentils Are Amazing!

The recipe I tried last night was a winner! And, as an added bonus, it’s packs a major nutritional punch! We couldn’t get enough, and ate ’til our tummies were stuffed. Needless to say, it’s husband approved.

I cooked with lentils for the first time probably about 6 months ago and have never looked back! There are a variety of different kinds of lentils. I’ve tried quite a few different ones, but for what I’ve cooked, I really like the French Green and regular Green lentils.

French Green Lentils

Green Lentils

Let me tell you why they’re amazing. First, they are one of the easiest things to cook. You don’t have to measure out water or pay close attention to them. Just fill a pot up with water (at least enough to cover the lentils) and pop it on the stove – cook for 20-25 minutes until they’re tender. That’s it!

These guys help fight against obesity and help us lose weight. They are loaded with protein and fiber.  They help keep blood sugar stable, have tons of vitamins and minerals (including folate and magnesium) and help protect against heart disease. They help keep us full so we don’t feel the need to  jump off the wagon. All this, and they’re low in calories and have virtually no fat! Talk about a superfood! 

The recipe I tried is from Oh She Glows. To see the recipe, click here.

I ran out of cumin, so I added 1/4 tsp cumin (that’s all I had) and 1/2 tsp garlic powder instead. Jon likes things spicy, so I cut up a jalapeño for him. Other than that, I pretty much stuck to the recipe. 

It’s fast, easy, delicious and healthy! Let me know what you think! I would love to hear from you!

Sources:

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-5488/7-Health-Benefits-of-Lentils.html