The Veggie Secret

Hey there good lookin!

Today’s weight loss tip is one that I love and that I live by! It’s a portion control tip that’s sure to not disappoint. You’ll leave the table satisfied, satiated and full. You’ll feel great and have a rush of lasting energy that will help get you through your day. What is the mystical tip that can possibly do all this?

It’s simple. Fill 1/2 your plate with low carb veggies (sorry potatoes). Steamed, raw, sautéed, baked, stir fried, marinated, grilled…you name it, you can have it.

Veggies are oh-so-amazing for a variety of reasons. They:

1. Are chalk full of fiber (helps us feel full so we don’t overeat)

2. Are loaded with vitamins and minerals and other nutrients which our bodies can’t live without.

3. Are low in calories and fat (we can eat lots of them and not feel guilty)

4. Reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and obesity.

5. Increase our energy

6. Help us have healthy skin and hair

Talk about nutrition powerhouses! These little beauties are packed full of these and about a million other healthy benefits.

So, really, there’s just no excuse not to eat your veggies!

What are some of your favorite ways to eat your veggies?

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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 – A Whole Lot of Whole Grains

This weekend was fabulous! We went out on the town! We actually went across the river to Vancouver – our old stomping grounds. It was so fun! I love going to our old favorite places. We ate dinner at one of my all time favorite restaurants. They have Thai/Laotian cuisine and it is heavenly! It’s called Wild Tiger. They were so sweet and more than willing to accommodate me and my healthy, crunchy people ways 🙂

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It’s also hatch chili pepper season…finally! I LOVE these things! They are basically amazing. I love adding them into almost everything. My newest snack obsession is hatch chili chips with hatch chili salsa. Overkill on the hatch? Umm…I think no. If you tried this, you would understand. 

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So, now for the scoop of the day. What is gluten? I love this clip from Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Don’t be like these poor people. Know your stuff. Now, let’s explore why gluten is such a hot topic these days. 

As Jimmy mentioned, gluten is a protein found in wheat. The problem with this is that a lot of people are sensitive and some are even allergic to it. The wheat we eat now isn’t the same as the wheat our ancestors ate. It has been modified in labs which has made it difficult for our bodies to process and digest. Symptoms of gluten issues (sensitivities, intolerance, or celiac) range from: gas, bloating, constipation, fatigue, brain fog, dizziness, migraines, inflammation, mood swings, depression, even ADD to Fibromyalgia, hormone imbalances and infertility. 

There are some people who are sensitive to it and some are straight up allergic to it (Celiac Disease). A person with Celiac Disease has to be sure to avoid gluten at all costs. Their body attacks itself every time they eat gluten. Ouch! This damages their small intestine so they can’t absorb nutrients which brings about a whole host of other issues. 

We know that things like bread and pastries have gluten in them, but what else? Some of the common grains that contain gluten are: wheat (obviously), barley, bulgur, couscous, kamut, rye and spelt. Oats should be avoided. They don’t have gluten, but often are processed in a factory where they can be cross contaminated.

How do you know if you have an issue with gluten? It’s simple really. Go on an elimination diet. Remove gluten completely (like 100%) from your diet for 3 weeks, then re-introduce it. If you feel amazing without it, or if you feel worse when you re-introduce it, chances are gluten isn’t for you. 

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Now that we’ve talked about that, I must say that I am a HUGE fan of whole grains. There are a ton of whole grains that are gluten-free and are full of amazing nutrients that our bodies will love. These include: brown rice, buckwheat, amaranth, cornmeal, millet, quinoa and farro (low gluten, avoid if Celiac).

These whole grains are full of complex carbs that help keep our blood sugar stable, our tummies full, our energy up and our willpower as strong as ever. They are packed with B vitamins, fiber, iron and other nutrients. They all have protein (quinoa is a protein power-house with 8g per cup!)

Whole grains are simple to make, cheap and most don’t have a lot of flavor which means you get to be creative and can pretty much add anything that looks good to you. Curried quinoa…why not? BBQ brown rice…sure! South of the border amaranth…go for it! 

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I  love looking in my fridge and whipping up some random creation with anything I can find. This recipe was born out of randomness and has been a huge hit! You can definitely use regular whole wheat spaghetti noodles if you don’t have an issue with gluten, but if you’re giving the elimination diet a shot, try this using buckwheat soba noodles. They’re delicious! Click here for this incredibly simple, nutrient packed, drool worthy, delicious recipe. 

 

Weight Loss Tip Tuesday – Dark Leafys

One of the first homework assignments I give to my clients is to eat more dark leafy greens. Why? I could tell you that greens are the #1 food missing in the standard American diet or that they are loaded with essential nutrients that we need to survive and thrive, but they are so much more than that!

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Dark leafy greens are vital to our health! Calorie for calorie, dark leafys are one of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat. They are loaded with vitamins, minerals, micronutrients and phytochemicals that help filter out pollutants, strengthen our immune system, help with blood purification, clear congestion, promote a healthy gut, prevent cancer and strengthen our respiratory system. Not to mention, they are brimming with calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous and zinc – along with vitamins A, Bs, C, E and K, folic acid, protein and chlorophyll.

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They are also full of fiber. This is so important, I’m giving it it’s own paragraph! It keeps your systems flowing – goodbye constipation/ diarrhea. Fiber helps make and keep you fuller for longer. This makes it so much easier to resist those mid day or late night munchies. If you’re full, you’re more likely to avoid the temptations that result in impulsive choices. Hello weight loss!

Dark leafys include bok choy, cabbage, watercress, endive, swiss chard, romaine, mustard greens, radish/turnip greens, beet greens, escarole, broccoli rabe, and brussel sprouts. A few of my favorites are broccoli, kale, spinach, arugula and lettuce – all varieties.

I would say that the majority of my clients have never tried more than a couple of these, let alone incorporated them daily. But once they do and recognize how good they feel, they’re hooked!

It’s amazing how they’re so versatile! You can steam them, sauté them with water, boil them, or enjoy them raw. You can throw them in soup, a smoothie, casserole, lasagna, or even as a wrap instead of a tortilla – you can pretty much sneak them in anywhere!

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Here are a couple of my all time favorite recipes to help you include dark leafys into your life.

 Massaged Kale Salad: http://www.laciegibson.com/massaged-kale-salad-13

Steamed Greens: http://www.laciegibson.com/steamed-greens

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How do you get your dose of daily greens?

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 – Magical Beans

This weather has been so gorgeous! We had a blast this weekend hanging out outside in the sunshine. One of my most favorite things to do on Saturdays is to go to farmer’s markets. I love everything about them! The crowds, the beautiful fruits and veggies, the dogs, the smells, the music random people play – it’s just so awesome to me! We want to try to explore different ones each week. So much fun! I just need to get better at taking pictures.

For this Weight Loss Tip Tuesday, let’s talk about beans. Did you ever sing the bean song when you were a kid? It went a little something like…beans, beans, the magical fruit! The more you eat, the more you….ya, you know the rest 😉

Beans are an incredible source of high quality plant based protein. In fact, you can eat these awesome little guys instead of meat! They’re packed with antioxidants, zinc, iron, magnesium, B vitamins, potassium and fiber. Beans are pretty low when it comes to calories – 1 cup is about 100 calories. They help you feel more full for longer. They help us have healthy skin and hair, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, good eye health and an improved memory. Beans also help with weight loss, decrease the risk of diabetes and heart disease. There might be something to that song after all, sound a little like magic to me.

Not to mention, they’re super cheap! Try getting a pound of animal flesh for between $1.50 and $2.00. And when was the last time you heard of farmers putting hormones in their beans to fatten them up so they could make more money…uhh that would just be weird.

Some people have a slightly difficult time digesting beans…hello gas. If you find yourself in this predicament, here’s a few things you can try.

#1. Cook them yourself!

#2. Soak those bad boys. Soaking your dried beans overnight helps soften them up. They bring their guard down and the nutrients are able to unravel.

#3. Add kombu when you cook your dried beans (it’s a type of seaweed loaded with minerals your body is dying to have). Scientists actually tried to replicate the flavor of kombu and MSG was born. (Don’t be alarmed, this is not made in a factory with tons of scientists behind the beakers.)

#4. Chew your food. At least 30 times per mouthful (more on this another day)

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So, you’ve never cooked your own beans before huh? Not to worry, I hadn’t either.

Here’s the skinny on how to get cookin’

1. Rinse your beans thoroughly.

2. Soak for 6-12 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse them.

3. Add to a heavy pot and add 3-4 cups of water and a 1 inch piece of kombu.

4. Bring to a boil (skim off foam if you see any)

5. Cover and let simmer (check 30 minutes before the minimum cooking time)

6. Beans should be tender and easy to squeeze with your fingers when finished.

The cooking time varies depending on the bean you’re cooking. These are a few of my favorites: (1 cup of dried beans)

Black Beans: 60-90 minutes

Cannellini: 90-120 minutes

Chickpeas: 120-180 minutes

Ok, confession. I have an electric pressure cooker and I LOVE it! It cuts the cooking time down by more than half. I use it every time I cook beans. If you don’t have one, it’s cool. This way totally works. And the beans still taste incredible!

Canned beans are good in a pinch, just be sure to get the organic variety to ensure no other nasty chemicals are sneaking into your food.

Now, for this recipe that my amazing mom created! (She’s such a fabulous chef! Like, seriously, when I grow up I want to be just like her)

I just made this last night. It’s a winner! Click here for this super simple, perfectly crunchy, tangy and sweet “Curry Chickpea Salad Sandwich” recipe. Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on this!

I’m excited to hear what you think! Let me know!

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”