Saturday, February 28, 2009

Eat-Clean Diet for Men

Tosca Reno and Robert Kennedy are coming out with a new Eat-Clean Diet Book: The Eat-Clean Diet for Men: Your Ironclad Plan for a Lean Physique!

You can preview the book on the Eat-Clean Diet website (click on the book in the right side bar) and you can pre-order the book here from Amazon.

I am really excited to have some new reading material from Tosca!

Friday, February 27, 2009

SNOW!!!

Yesterday we had a huge snow storm that dropped several inches of snow in Minneapolis. Today I spent over 1 1/2 hours shoveling our little walk. Some of you have seen the inner-city house that we live in and know that this is an insane amount of time to spend shoveling snow... for those of you who have not seen our house - there is not much to shovel here - a small driveway, and a short walk to the house, around the house, and to the street. In some places I think that the snow was over a foot deep! Needless to say it was a great workout!

You can bet that I will definitely be feeling the burn today after the snow shoveling and the intense full-body workout that I did yesterday afternoon !

I am off of Cooler 1 for the weekend - my husband gets home from Portland, Oregon, soon and I am sure that we will want to celebrate. I plan on keeping to a strict Cooler 2, like always. Tonight I am making Pizza for Clean Eaters (from Tosca's Family and Kids book) topped with homemade pizza sauce, organic pepperoni, skim-mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, peppers, onions and whatever else we can find - this is my husband's favorite meal. And will have a cheat of a few glasses of red wine or a pomegranate-champagne drink (from the Eat Clean Diet Cookbook). 

Have a fabulous weekend and keep it clean!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Reading List

Hello everyone. I am trying to compile a reading list for myself. I would love to start reading more and am really interested in reading about the following:

  • Nutrition 
  • Fitness
  • The Environment - specifically related to food chain and greening your home
  • Christianity

Does anyone have any suggestions of books that I should add to my reading list? I am re-reading the Eat-Clean Diet Expanded Edition and jotting down the name of books/resources that Tosca mentions and am adding them to my reading list.

Food Journal: Companion to Checklists

I love how much easier the Cooler Checklists make it to plan my food intake and ensure that I am eating strictly Cooler 1 or Cooler 2. However, I found that I still wanted to write down the food that I was planning on eating in addition to checking the boxes on the checklists - so I always used the blank back of the checklist to jot down my planned eats for the day. 

Unfortunately, doing it that way made for a disorganized list of food and sometimes when packing my Cooler in the morning I would forget to bring food that I was planning on eating during the day. So, I decided to make a supporting resource to the Cooler Checklists - Food Journal.

To save paper, I print the Food Journal on the back of the Cooler Checklist.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions to improve the Food Journal page.

Food Journal
Food Journal

Cooler 1 Checklist
Cooler 1 Checklist - 2B Landscape

Cooler 2 Checklist
Cooler 2 Checklist - 2B

Cooler 1 : Day 3

Yesterday did not go well. I kept it clean, but was feeling weak and dizzy in the late afternoon. I bought myself a small Americano and it seemed to help with the energy level.

Today I feel much better. I think that I did a much better job of determining the order of the food that I eat. On Cooler 1 it is very important to get enough to eat earlier on in the day. It is also important that you do not try to sustain yourself on simply egg whites and protein powder - they are easy to grab and go, but just do not pack enough calories to keep you nourished.

Here are my eats for the day (I had 1/2 an extra serving of grains today and only 1/2 of my sweet potato to balance it out.)

Meal 1 - 1/2 cup scrambled egg whites + 1/2 serving baked oatmeal
Meal 2 - 1/2 serving spaghetti squash + 1/2 serving cooler 1 vita-mix marinara + 1 serving bison + 1 serving broccoli
Meal 3 - 1/2 serving spaghetti squash + 1/2 serving cooler 1 vita-mix marinara + 1 serving bison + 1/2 sweet potato
+ 1/2 serving baked oatmeal
Meal 5 - 1/2 serving long grain brown rice + jambalaya (recipe from latest Clean Eating Magazine) + 1/2 apple

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tosca's Interview with KATU AM

Here is Tosca's interview with KATU AM on February 11th, 2008. I have never seen this video and when googling Eat-Clean Diet I stumbled upon it. Enjoy!

Cooler 1: Day 2

1 Day down, 3 more to go!

I didn't feel hungry or starved at all yesterday. I worked out when I got home and actually felt motivated and energetic. After dinner I had a craving for something sweet and instead of giving in to the temptation, I made myself a cup of Mint Tea. It really helped!

I then treated myself and went to Crate & Barrel to pick out some fun springy gadgets for the kitchen. I purchased a mango slicer, egg separator, grapefruit knife, a cute green spoon rest, a matching veggie brush, some flexi-grip mats, two cute glasses to sip fun spring drinks out of (when I am back on Cooler 2 and can Vita-Mix) and a few other misc items. I still want to pick up a Pineapple corer/slicer and a citrus peeler... I will have to go to Bed Bath and Beyond sometime soon to find them.

Here are my eats so far today:

Meal 1 - 4 hard boiled egg whites, 1 serving baked oatmeal
Meal 2 - 1 serving egg bake, 1/2 sweet potato
Meal 3 - 1 serving roasted chicken breast, 1 serving lightly steamed green beans, 1 serving raw orange pepper

Here is what is left in my Cooler for the day:

Meal 4 - Egg bake, 1/2 sweet potato
Meal 5 - Leftover spaghetti squash and bison marinara
Meal 6 - Cooler 1 Hot Chocolate and 1/2 apple

I sing in the church choir and we have practice tonight. I am singing two duets and a solo soon and today is Ash Wednesday, so I will be there most of the night tonight - my workouts will have to wait until tomorrow. I will work out twice as hard to make up for it!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cooler 1 Egg Bake

Cooler 1 Egg Bake



16 egg whites (or 2 cups pre-packaged egg whites)
2 cupped handfuls yellow zucchini, diced
2 cupped handfuls scallions, diced
2 cupped handfuls spinach
2 cupped handfuls red pepper, diced
dash salt and pepper, to taste

Customizable Seasonings:
  • dash grill seasoning, to taste
  • dash frank's red hot (cayenne pepper sauce), to taste
  • dash italian seasoning, to taste
  • dash cajun/creole seasoning, to taste
Customizable Cooler 1 fillings (substitute for any of the vegetables in the original recipe):
  • Diced tomatoes, drained
  • Broccoli 
  • Mushrooms
  • Celery
  • Cucumbers
  • 1/2 - 1 cup cooked ground bison, turkey, or tofu
  • Cooler 1 low-fat Chicken sausages
Preheat oven to 400˚ F. Lightly mist a glass baking dish or casserole with oil.

Whisk the egg whites to make them fluffy.

Gently stir in your vegetables of choice.

Pour in the egg white and vegetable mixture into prepared pan.

Bake 30 - 40 minutes. The baking time will depend on the width/depth of your baking dish. Check how the egg bake is progressing after 25 minutes. Bake until golden brown on top and cooked through.

Serving size: 1/4 of baked mixture
Portions: 1 lean protein, 1 vegetable


*Sorry for the fuzzy pic - my husband took the digital camera with him to work and I am using my phone's camera to take pictures this week.

Cooler 1 Baked Oatmeal

Here is the recipe for... 


Cooler 1 Baked Oatmeal

2 cups rolled oats
2 tsp cinnamon
5  single serving (5 gram) pkgs of Organic Zero
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
2 apples, cored and cubed
1/2 tbsp vanilla
2 cups water (if desired, can substitute 1 cup almond milk and 1 cup water)

Preheat over to 400˚ F. Lightly mist a medium sized casserole or baking dish with olive oil. 

In a large bowl combine rolled oats, cinnamon, organic zero, wheat germ, and flaxseed. In a separate bowl combine apple, vanilla, and water. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until moistened.

Spread mixture into the prepared dish and bake for 35 - 40 minutes until edges begin to brown and mixture is set up.

Serving Size: 1/4 Baked Mixture
Portions: 1 Grain, 1/2 Apple, 2 TB Flax, 2 TB Wheat Germ

Cooler 1: Day 1

Here are my eats so far today:

Meal 1 - 16 oz water, 4 hard boiled egg whites, 1 serving cooler 1 oatmeal bake, Coffee
Meal 2 - 16 oz water, 1 serving egg bake, 16 oz water
Meal 3 - 1 serving chicken breast, on 1 serving spinach with 1 tsp balsamic vinegar, 16 oz water
Meal 4 - 1 serving protein powder, 1 serving almond milk, 1/2 apple serving, 1 serving broccoli
Meal 5 - 1 serving spaghetti squash, 1 serving cooler 1 vita-mix marinara, 1 serving bison

To make Cooler 1 easier, I have listed modifications for many of my recipes to make them Cooler 1 friendly. I have also listed the Portions for each recipe. Remember to use your hand as your measurement tool to figure out your personal serving size for each recipe. You can find all posts that pertain to Cooler 1 by looking for the Cooler 1 label.

The following are Cooler 1 Recipes:

Monday, February 23, 2009

Cooler 1


For the next four days I will be doing Cooler 1, so my posts will focus on the foods that I am making and eating.

To get ready I am making an egg bake and baked oatmeal tonight. I already have some hard boiled eggs in the fridge which really helps to reduce my prep work tonight.

Today's egg bake includes one serving of the following veggies:
  • Spinach
  • Yellow Zucchini
  • Red Pepper
  • Scallions
I also used 2 cups of egg whites in the egg bake recipe so that I would get 4 servings of protein along with 4 servings of veggies to make it easy to divide up the servings.

Later tonight or tomorrow morning I will post pics of the finished egg bake and my recipe for Cooler 1 Oatmeal Bake.

Coming Soon: Food Journal Pages

I am really excite because I am working on a new addition to the Cooler Checklists that I posted a couple weeks ago... a Food Journal. I always write my meals on the back of my Cooler Checklist and thought to myself - why don't I make a nice gridded out document that could be printed on the back of the Checklist to organize the foods - that way I can better plan my eats for the week. I hope to have these new and improved Checklist/Journal pages ready this week!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oil Mister


As most of you already know, my Vita-Mix is my favorite kitchen gadget. However, in my opinion, the most useful and cost effective kitchen gadget is an oil mister. Not only is misted olive oil much better for your health by avoiding propellants in Organic Sprays and isobutane and propane in other sprays it is also easier on your wallet. Also, many oil sprays use thickeners, stabilizers, and preservatives.

A can of Spectrum Organic Olive Oil can run upwards of $7 per 5 oz bottle and a 5 oz can of Pam is somewhere around $4; while a 25.4 oz bottle of Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil will run anywhere from $12 - $20 and the mister is $15. 

For the first use you are paying about $8 for 5 oz using the mister; however, in the long run the cost reduces dramatically to about $3.50 per 5 oz, which is less than a can of Pam. 

In addition, with the mister you actually end up using less oil than with a traditional spray can - so the same amount of oil will last longer.

Chocolate-Banana Protein Muffins

These were amazing! I cannot believe how good they turned out - they taste like a decadent cheat, but are Cooler 2 clean and could be easily made Cooler 1 clean with a few substitutions and deletions.


Batter in Muffin Cup

YUM-O!

Chocolate-Banana Protein Muffins

1 cup oats, divided
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
2 scoops chocolate protein powder
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
4 tbsp raw almonds
1/2 cup mashed banana (about 1 banana)
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 tsp pure vanilla
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp amber agave nectar

Preheat oven to 350˚. Spray 12 cups of a muffin tray with olive oil. 

Blend 1/2 cup oats in food processor (I use my Magic Bullet) to make oat flour. Combine oats, oat flour, protein powders, cocoa powder, sea salt, almonds, and cacao nibs in a medium sized bowl.

In the bowl of a food processor (again I use the Magic Bullet) combine mashed banana, applesauce, vanilla, honey, and agave nectar. Process until smooth. 

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until combined. Distribute mixture evenly into prepared muffin cups.

Bake 13 -15 minutes. Do not over bake. Cool on a wire rack. Store leftovers in the fridge.

Makes 12 muffins.

Serving Size is 2 muffins and counts as 1 complex carb and 1 protein for Cooler 2. 

For nutrition information go here.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Honest Food Guide

I am just taking a quick internet break after putting away the groceries that I ordered from Byerly's and boiling 2 dozen eggs. After I am done here, I plan on making protein bars. I am plan on making Allan's favorite Chocolate Protein Bars and a new Chocolate Banana Protein Muffin recipe that I devised - we will see how they turn out! 

I was just on the CE forum for a couple minutes and spotted this PDF that someone had posted and thought that some of you might enjoy it. It is the Honest Food Guide and lists Disease Causing and Health Promoting Foods along with why they are either good or bad for you. Check it out!

21407.1_HonestFoodGuide

Friday, February 20, 2009

Clean Protein Hot Chocolate

There are times in my life that I have a nostalgic craving for Hot Chocolate. Unfortunately, traditional Hot Chocolate Mixes are crammed full of sugar, fat, artificial flavors, fillers, and preservatives. To indulge my craving, I came up with the recipe for a yummy hot chocolate recipe that can be enjoyed guilt free.


Clean Protein Hot Chocolate

1/2 C Almond Milk (can substitute Skim or Unsweetened Soy Milk)
1/2 C Water
1 tsp Vanilla
1 scoop Protein Powder (vanilla or chocolate works)
2 TB unsweetened, dark Cocoa Powder
1 tsp Organic Zero sweetener (can substitute any CE approved sweetener)

Mix Milk and Water together in a microwave safe dish and microwave until hot. Add the vanilla and set aside.

Mix Protein Powder, Cocoa Powder, and Organic Zero together in a Magic Bullet cup. Add Milk mixture. Blend in Magic Bullet until frothy. Pour into a mug and enjoy!

If you do not have a Magic Bullet, you can use your blender, a shaker cup, or a spoon.

Cooler 1 Substitutions:
  • Substitute Water for the Milk
  • Use Chocolate Protein Powder instead of Vanilla
  • Use less Cocoa Powder
  • Portion: 1 serving Protein Powder

Thursday, February 19, 2009

"Pumpkin Pie" Yogurt

I have been spending my days this week at my parent's house with my mom who had neck surgery last week. Today I brought 1 c plain, fat-free yogurt for my afternoon snack, but forgot to bring a packet of Organic Zero. So, as I was scouring the cupboards I saw the Pumpkin Pie spice. I added 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie spice to my yogurt and it was amazing! I had to share!

This would be so good with sweet potato or pumpkin whisked into it. I will have to try this again some time soon.

LOL Cats Return

This LOL Cat is very appropriate because it is back to being cold again here in Minnesota - with the wind chill it feels like 3˚ F!!! I thought that we were passed this already - apparently not!

I am still feeling a bit under the weather and have not worked out since Monday. I plan on making today my last rest day, as I am starting to feel better. Tomorrow I will do NROL4W Workout A tomorrow morning in addition to 20 minutes of interval training on the treadmill.

Today's eats have been Cooler 2 clean:

Meal 1 - 1/2 C egg whites, 1 chicken sausage, 1 slice Ezekiel Bread
Meal 2 - 1 protein muffin and 1/2 Vita-Mix Juice: spinach, strawberries, orange, hemp protein powder, flax, what germ, bee pollen, vanilla, ice and water
Meal 3 - Tortilla Soup, 1 protein muffin
Meal 4 - 1 C yogurt and apple
Meal 5 - Marinara Sauce, Ground Chicken Breast, WW Noodles

I am going to start reading my new copy of the Eat-Clean Diet Expanded Edition. I read the first edition last Fall and recently purchased the Expanded Edition after giving the first edition to my Mom. I feel like I need a little refresher course to re-motivate myself... I will hopefully be able to start that in 15 minutes or so.

Have a magnificent day today!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bisphenol-A

I found the following article on the Whole Foods website and thought that you have the right to know what exactly you might be consuming!

WHAT IS BISPHENOL-A?

Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a chemical compound used to create polycarbonate plastic, a hard, clear plastic used widely in consumer products, including food and beverage containers. Recent research suggests that small amounts of BPA may leach into foods or beverages stored in polycarbonate containers, especially when the contents are acidic, high in fat, or heated. Research also suggests that, at certain levels, BPA acts as an endocrine disruptor, a substance which mimics natural human hormones.

ARE #7 BOTTLES SAFE?

Note that #7 stands for a number of different materials; Polycarbonate plastic is generally marked with the #7 recycling symbol, but not all plastics marked #7 are polycarbonate. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates food contact substances, says polycarbonate is safe as a food contact surface. While research suggests certain plastics contain estrogenic materials, it has not shown conclusively that these substances are harmful to humans via exposure from food packaging. Much more work is necessary, and we are pursuing the answers, working with leading experts and our suppliers to understand this complex issue.

WHAT IS WHOLE FOODS MARKET'S POLICY ON BPA?

We are committed to helping our customers protect themselves and their families and as such are concerned about the growing body of research which connects BPA and other estrogenic compounds, including phthalates, to certain negative health effects. The FDA says that such materials are safe as a food contact surface. However, we are currently evaluating certain products and packaging materials on a variety of criteria, including endocrine activity, toxicity, recyclability and functionality. Our goal is to help our shoppers avoid endocrine-active materials in products and packaging where functional alternatives exist.

WHAT ACTIONS HAS WHOLE FOODS MARKET TAKEN WITH REGARD TO BPA?

We actively follow academic research regarding the endocrine activity of substances present in plastics, including BPA. When appropriate, we have stopped the sale of certain products and/or provided information to our customers about the products. For example, as of January 2006 we were the first national U.S. retailer to stop selling baby bottles and child drinking cups made from polycarbonate plastic or other plastics with added phthalates because of the emerging scientific evidence on their risk.

We are also actively supporting our suppliers' transition to non-BPA materials where functional alternatives exist. For example, the majority of the refillable individual water bottles in our stores were once made from polycarbonate plastic. Currently, nearly all of those bottles are made from other materials. Polycarbonate plastic is still used in certain large plastic bottles and aluminum can linings in our stores; we are working with manufacturers to strongly encourage the development of alternative products.

We continue to closely examine the packaging materials used in our stores, and we will continue to search for the safest and most functional packaging materials for our stores.

WHAT IS THE NATIONAL TOXICOLOGY PROGRAM, AND WHAT DID THEIR RECENT REPORT ON BPA SAY?

The purpose of the NTP — and its Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction, which issued the report — is to provide scientific evaluations of the potential for harm to humans from substances in the environment. The NTP issued a draft report on BPA on April 14, 2008. In this report, the NTP evaluated relevant scientific research on BPA and its health effects, and made the following preliminary conclusions:

People are exposed to BPA from a number of sources, primarily the diet, as BPA can migrate into foods and beverages from polycarbonate plastic. Food temperature appears to be one major factor in determining the rate of leaching.

BPA can possibly affect human development or reproduction. There is not sufficient data on the effects of low doses of BPA such as those caused by food contact to make a definite conclusion. NTP writes that "the results of 'low' dose studies on BPA provide limited evidence for adverse effects on development in laboratory animals."

There is some reason for concern for the effects of BPA on humans, and there is a definite need for further research in this area.

NTP's final version of the report was released in September, 2008. The center's final conclusions were consistent with their preliminary findings. Their complete findings are available on their website.

WHAT DID THE SEPTEMBER 2008 JAMA ARTICLES SAY ABOUT BPA?

A study in the September 17, 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association examined the association between blood BPA levels and certain diseases. Higher BPA levels were associated with higher incidences of cardiovascular diagnoses and diabetes as well as abnormal levels of certain liver enzymes; no correlation was found between BPA and any other diseases.

This study is an important one in the very young field of research on BPA and its relationship to human health. The authors conclude that "These findings add to the evidence suggesting adverse effects of low-dose BPA in animals. Independent replication and follow-up studies are needed to confirm these findings and to provide evidence on whether the associations are causal."

The authors highlight the "multiple potential routes of human exposure" for BPA; humans are exposed to this substance not just through diet but via medical and dental devices, airborne dust and transdermal exposure. This study does not assess the likelihood of exposure via the various potential exposure routes, and we believe this is an area of study that should be further researched. Consumers and the food industry would benefit immensely from a more sophisticated understanding of how humans are exposed to BPA.

Splenda

YIKES! Read this article about the effects of Splenda.

Stevia

Just because something comes from nature does not make it safe for human consumption... I don't foresee petroleum becoming the newest energy drink or poisonous mushrooms as the newest snack choice. I am being facetious; however, there are some studies that have been published that show that stevia has been linked to an increased rate of infertility.

I understand that many people reading this are not trying to become pregnant so infertility is not a concern - however, what concerns me more than the symptom of infertility is my concern about the chemical reactions that are occurring inside of the body after Stevia consumption that would actually cause infertility - what else is going on and what are the side effects of that?

The studies that I am referencing showed that infertility rates increased after Stevia consumption was stopped - so they are not permanent - however, very obviously linked.

If you would like to check out a zero calorie sweetener that is created from a completely organic process using an organic fermenting agent you should look at Organic Zero by Wholesome Sweeteners. It is just as sweet as sugar and can be used 1:1 and does not have an after taste.

I also have several other sweeteners in my pantry:
  • 100% Pure Maple Sugar
  • Maple Sugar Flakes
  • Sucanat
  • Agave Nectar (Regular and Amber)
  • Honey
  • Dates (taste like brown sugar)
  • Molasses
  • Organic Zero by Wholesome Sweeteners
All of the above sweeteners have low-glycemic index, a similar caloric value to sugar, and each have their own individual taste. I prefer the taste of all of the above over sugar - and I love sweets!


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bison: the other red meat

Bison (aka Buffalo) is an excellent source of lean protein that if cooked correctly tastes very similar to beef with a bit more sweetness. 

Bison is a good source of protein, iron, vitamin B12, selenium, zinc, phosphorus, vitamin B6, niacin, iron, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids while being low in fat. Click here for a nice nutrient comparison chart.

The main problem that most people face when trying bison for the first time is that cook it just like they cook beef. Unfortunately, that is why most people think that bison is dry and chewy. Bison contains a lot less fat than beef causing it to cook faster - so it should be cooked at a lower temperature than beef.

I was browsing my local co-op's blog and found an interesting post with tips and tricks for cooking bison. Check it out here

I also found a downloadable sheet that details the degrees of doneness for bison.



Toxins in Cosmetics

Lately I have been doing research on the safety of cosmetics and beauty products. Unfortunately, I found out that the items that have been a regular part of my life for years are not as safe as I had thought. I have always been a regular user of Clinique products and have now moved away from using them due to the ingredients that they choose - some of which are known carcinogens.

After doing my research I found out that there is little United States FDA regulation of Health and Beauty products. During this process I found the following PDF on the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics website that does a great job at outlining the "problem" with the US Cosmetics industry - including the top ingredients to avoid. You can also check out the Skin Deep website to research the various products that you use and see which chemicals and (possibly) carcinogens are in the products that you use. It is very eye opening.

In addition, if you are interested in doing your own research on the safety of the products that you use, here are a couple links:

Unfortunately, simply buying products that are Labeled Organic or Natural does not mean that the products are safe. Here is an article about a suit that Dr. Bronner's has raised against some manufacturers that claim that their products are organic when they very well may not be.

Be sure that you check out all of the products that you intend to buy, not just a few from a certain manufacturer; because I have found that a line or brand of Health and Beauty products may have one or two items that are safe, but the rest of their products are junk! An example of this is Boots No. 7 - they have a few products that I would consider purchasing; however, many of their powders contain Talc - which is a carcinogen.

Here are some links to products that I have researched and found to be safe:
Please let me know if you have additional questions about brands, ingredients, or the safety of products that you like to use.

THANK YOU!!!

Thanks to everyone for reading my blog. I really appreciate all of you! YOU are my inspiration to make posts, do research, and feel accountable to my goals. THANK YOU! 

Please feel free to post any questions or comments that you have or suggestions of things that you would like to hear about. I always like to have new material to work with.

Fitness, nutrition, wellness, and writing are all things that I have a passion for and wish that I could make my living doing these things (maybe some day!). 

Monday, February 16, 2009

Fun V-Day Pics

Allan and I had a very fun Valentine's Day this year - we went to Azia for sushi and then to a party in NE Minneapolis called VD09. The sushi was SO good!!! I started with a bowl of miso tofu soup and Allan had squid salad, then we had brown rice nigiri salmon and yellowfin tuna followed by a brown rice maki roll of BBQ yellowtail and this cool mixture of tuna, salmon, shrimp pressed on a layered bed of brown rice and snow crab. YUM!!! I was so full. 

The party was nothing like what I was expecting - there was art, beer (ick), and some crazy dressed people. The invite said that women should dress sexy and men should wear suits - so we dressed to impress. But some of the other people were ridiculous! There was even a guy in a furry bear costume! Srrr-iously! 

Click here to see our pictures on Facebook.

Nutty-Maple Cinnamon Muffins

Today I made Nutty-Maple Cinnamon Bars from the Winter 2008 CE Magazine. They are one of my favorite homemade Protein Bars - because they are simple and taste good. I saw on the forum that someone had made them in muffin tins instead of making individual foil wrappers for each bar - this seemed so much easier and would cut the prep time in half - so I just had to try it... and they turned out amazing! Here is my take on the recipe for Nutty-Maple Cinnamon Protein Muffins:



Nutty-Maple Cinnamon Protein Muffins

Ingredients

Olive Oil Cooking Spray
2 cups Rolled Oats, divided
6 Tbsp raw almonds
8 scoops Vanilla Flavored Protein
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon (can substitute Pumpkin Pie Spice)
1 t sea salt
1 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup dried cranberries, unsweetened
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (can substitute amber agave nectar or honey) 

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350.

Spray muffin tins with Olive Oil.

Take 1 cup oats and dry blend for 1 minute to make oat flour.

In large bowl, stir together oat flour, remaining 1 cup oats, almonds, protein powder, cinnamon, and salt.

Then add applesauce, cranberries, vanilla, and maple syrup to dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Spoon equal portions of batter into prepared muffin tins.

Bake in preheated oven for 16-18 mins. Do not overcook.

The muffins will look a little under done at first, but as they cool they will thicken up. Be patient!

Store the leftovers in fridge. I usually divide the bars into serving size portions and put in sandwich bags so that I can grab them on my way out of the house.

This recipe will yield about 16 muffins. One serving is 2 regular size muffins. For the coolers one serving accounts for 1/2 Whole Grain, 1/2 Fruit, and 1 Protein.

Batter


In Muffin Tins


YUMM-O!

Protein Supplementation

I found the following article about Protein Supplementation on the Eat-Clean Diet forum and thought that I would share. It covers how much protein to eat along with the best times to have a protein supplement to ensure that you are always building and repairing your muscle - instead of letting your body use muscle to fuel itself. Enjoy!


D-I-S-C-I-P-L-I-N-E ! ! !

I have been out of my routine for a couple weeks now and am in desperate need of getting things to SLOW DOWN so that I can re-focus on myself and my goals! Today I am doing New Rule of Lifting for Women Workout B of Stage 4 for the first time. I am still sore from workout A, which I did on Saturday morning. Stage 4 is identical to Stage 2 - which I find to be kind of nice because it was really easy to get into the workout and do it all the way through without worrying too much about whether or not I was doing the exercises correctly or not - because I am already comfortable with them. I did buy a set of adjustable dumbbells last week and it was really nice to be able to up my weights significantly on each exercise - it left the sweet pain in my muscles that I still feel today! :)

Rachel Cosgrove made a very interesting blog post the other day that you should check out. In the post she talks about her workouts and the nutrition plan that she suggests to clients to drop some weight.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Ready for A New Clean Week...

Usually Sunday afternoon is my time to bake and prep work for the week ahead. Today we spent the day at my parent's house helping out. I hope to be able to spend some time tomorrow making protein bars, a couple dinner/lunch options to freeze (lentil or wild rice soup, Pizza Sauce, Marinara Sauce and some Friday Night Chili), along with some oatmeal cookies to bring over to my parent's house to feed my dad and sister. We'll see how far I get with the cooking!

Last week it was nice and warm and most of the snow that was covering my lawn has melted. I was really excited to see my flower beds emerge. I cannot wait until Spring arrives and I get to see my beautiful flowers!!! This last fall, my husband and I added two new flower beds and transplanted several flower, so I cannot wait to see how everything looks this year when it grows in on its own.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Love

Love is love. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. — Leo Tolstoy
Tonight my husband and I are going to Azia to have sushi. I am very excited. :) I love you, Allan.

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

I apologize that it has been a few days since I have posted. I have been at the hospital with my mom and the blogger home page was blocked by their internet access. My mom's surgery was a success and she received her discharge papers this morning. My dad will be happy to have her home.

I have been keeping it pretty clean while at the hospital. I packed a cooler both days with my Cooler 1 Protein Bars, low-fat plain yogurt, and fresh fruit. I did eat some of the hospital food - I made salads at the salad bar and brought some of the Simple Vinaigrette from the Winter '08 Clean Eating Magazine with me to put on it - as none of their dressings were even close to clean - lots of High-Fructose Corn Syrup :(. We ate at Panera last night and I had a nice little salad and a half a chicken sandwich on a whole grain bagel - it was good.

Here are my Valentine's gifts to you:

  • A radio interview with Tosca Reno can be accessed here, click on the microphone half way down the right hand side of the page
  • Tosca also did an interview with Micheal Ray Dresser that can be downloaded and listened to here
  • Tosca has been a busy girl, and she also did this interview
I have been feeling under the weather and have not worked out since Wednesday. This morning I plan on starting Phase 4 of New Rules of Lifting for Women. Since most of my symptoms are Upper Respiratory, I will hold off on doing my interval running until after the symptoms have passed.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cooler 1 and 2 Checklists

With the help of my forum friend, Ms. Tracey, I have been working on perfecting my Cooler 1 and Cooler 2 Checklists. Without further procrastination I present to you my Checklists! 

I would also like to Thank Laura for helping me to convert my files to .jpg's so that I could post the pics here for you!

When you click on the Link above the Preview window you will be brought to a screen that will show you a preview of the document. In the document viewer, above the preview, you will see tabs - one of those tabs is Download (3rd from the right) - if you click here you can opt to download a PDF of the Checklist and save it on your computer. Otherwise, you can Send the document to a friend (or yourself) or Share it on your Facebook or Blog. YOu can also use the iPaper drop down to complete many of the same actions.

Please let me know if you have any questions or problems downloading the documents.

Cooler 1 Checklist
Cooler 1 Checklist - 2B Landscape

Cooler 2 Checklist
Cooler 2 Checklist - 2B

Cooler 1 Protein Bars

Good Morning, Bloggers!

Did anyone watch American Idol last night? Why did they do an elimination last night and then another one tonight. I am slightly confused... are the contestants performing again tonight. Aaahhh... the drama. And why did Tatiana Del Toro get moved to the next round? I really dislike the drama that she brings to the show. Also, I was very surprised to see that Leneshe was kicked off. I actually liked her. And the show goes on... oh well.

Tomorrow I will be at Methodist Hospital all day. My mom's surgery is at 7:40 AM. She should be released on Saturday and I will spend next week working from my parent's house helping to take care of her while dad is at work. I love my mom so much, she is my very best friend. She is sweet, loving and understanding - she gets me like no one else (other than my husband). Please say a prayer for her today and tomorrow morning. 

There is an overstated note of apprehension and stress associated with her surgery because my uncle passed away in December after he developed an infection post-surgery. Also, when mom had her lower back surgery 9 years ago she had a tear in her spinal cord and the surgeon had to place her nerves back into the cord and fix the tear. I know that she will be fine - some surgeons do this surgery outpatient! :)

This week on the forum, there are many women doing a Cooler 1 Challenge - I was thinking about joining, but did not because we were out of town last weekend and was not able to get to the grocery store, also with mom's surgery this week I will be away from a fridge for long periods of time. However, Tacey, one of the members of the forum posted a very delicious recipe for a Cooler 1 version of the Nutty Maple Cinnamon Protein bars that I love so much. I made a couple modifications to the recipe and made 3 Chocolate Cooler 1 Protein bars and 3 Cinnamon Cranberry Protein bars last night. Here is the recipe:

Cooler 1 Protein Bars































Protein Bar Base:
1 cup oats, divided
3 TB ground flax seeds
4 scoops protein powder 
1 TB Agave (see below for Cooler 1 substitute)
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp vanilla
2 TB water

Possible Flavor Variations/Mix Ins:
  • Cooler 2 : 1 tsp Cinnamon, 1/2 tsp Nutmeg, Vanilla Protein Powder, ¼ cup cranberries
  • Cooler 1: 1 tsp Cinnamon, Vanilla Protein Powder, 1/2 c apple, diced
  • Cooler 1: 1 ½ TB Unsweetened Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder, Chocolate Protein Powder
  • Cooler 1: Replace the Agave Nectar with the comparable amount of Organic Zero, as I don't use Stevia due to possible side effects
Method:
Preheat oven to 350˚.

Make oat flower with 1/2 C oats by grinding in food processor or magic bullet. Choose a Flavor Variation. In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients together (both Protein Bar base and Flavor Variation). In another bowl mix all liquid ingredients together (both Protein Bar base and Flavor Variation). Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and combine.

Spray 6 tin foil trays with olive oil spray 1/6 of mixture in each one.

Bake in oven for 16-18 minutes.

Two bars count as ONE serving.

For the Cooler Plans, one serving counts as one serving of protein powder, 1 fruit serving or 1/2 apple, a flax serving and a bit under the oats serving (1/3 C instead of 1/2 C).

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tortilla Soup and Ice Cream

I have been diligently working on a user-friendly version of my Cooler 1 and Cooler 2 checklists so that I can post them for everyone to use. I finally finished them tonight and will hopefully post them in the morning. Today's eats were very clean and I am proud of myself!

Meal 1 - 1/2 c egg whites, 2 Tb red peppers, 1 chicken sausage, 1 slice of cinnamon raisin Ezekiel Bread
Meal 2 - Vita-mix of 1/2 c Kefir, 2 TB hemp protein powder, 2 cupped handfuls spinach, 1 cupped handful strawberries/mango, 1 date, water and ice
Meal 3 - leftover Turkey and Veggies from Sunday night
Meal 4 - Protein Bars inspired by Tracey's Cooler 1 Protein Bars from the forum (I will be posting my version of this recipe later tonight or tomorrow morning)
Meal 5 - My own version of Tortilla Soup (inspired by the Tortilla Soup recipe from the winter '08 issue of Clean Eating Magazine)

Here is the recipe for my Tortilla Soup:

Tortilla Soup

1 TB Olive Oil
1 Onion, diced
3 cloves Garlic, minced
3 Carrots, diced
2 stalks Celery, diced
8 cups of homemade Turkey Broth (from CE Mag, using bones from Sunday night)
3 cups Turkey Breast, shredded
1 can Fire Roasted Tomatoes (14.5 oz)
1 tsp Parsley
2 tsp Oregano
1 TB Cumin
1 TB Chili Powder
1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
dash of Salt
dash of Pepper
Juice of 1 lime

Pre-heat olive oil over medium heat in a dutch oven. Add garlic and onion and saute for 2 minutes. Add carrots and celery and saute another 3 to 4 minutes. Add Turkey Broth, Turkey, Tomatoes, and Spices. Bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low, cover and simmer for 25 minutes.

Top with lime juice and serve. 

Possible Toppings:
Dash of Green Tobasco
Clean Whole Grain Chips (You can make these in the oven with WW Tortillas)

Cooler 1 Substitutions:
  • Substitute additional Celery for the Carrots in this recipe to make it Cooler 1 approved
  • Portion: 1 Vegetable Serving and 1 Lean Meat Serving


One of my biggest downfalls is that I LOVE sweets. Every night I get cravings for yummy desserts. Some nights a cup of Tazo Passion tea will do, but other nights that is not the case. Many times I end up reaching for a small square of Endangered Species 88% cocoa chocolate. Tonight I made my own Strawberry Banana "Ice Cream" in the Vita-Mix, here is the recipe

Strawberry Banana Ice Cream

2 cupped handfuls Strawberries, frozen
1 cupped handful Banana, frozen
2 Dates
1/2 C Kefir
1/4 C Almond Milk
Splash of Orange Juice
2 handfuls ice

Put all ingredients into the Vita-Mix container in the order listed and secure lid with tamper. Set the Vita-Mix to VARIABLE speed #1 and turn on the machine. Quickly increase speed to #10 and turn to HIGH. Use tamper to push ingredients into the blades until all ingredients have been mixed together. YUMM-O!

Some Interesting Tidbits...

Since I started this blog I have been receiving lots of random articles, photos, and interesting information on fitness and nutrition. I thought that you might find the following entertaining and/or interesting:

This is a very disturbing forum where people can post "Deliciously Gross Food"... I don't know why this exists - but it made me happy that I eat clean. :)

This is someone's take on Pepsi's new ad campaign:



And the infamous Baconnaise! A heart attack in a jar!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Portions and Calories

I know that this questions comes up a lot on Tosca's forum and when I saw it on the Eat-Clean Diet website in the Ask Tosca section I knew that I had to post it...

Question: "...why is it that some of the recipes you list the size of a serving and others you do not? As someone who has to watch every portion that goes into her mouth, it would be helpful to know say...if the Stew serving size is a 1/2 cup or a cup or more...I've gotten pretty good at "Jethro-ing" it out but, it would have been handy to have them all listed...instead of just a few."

Answer: "This is a great question and one that many people have asked. The simple answer to why we didn't include this info is that portion sizes are actually different for everyone. If you are a 5' tall woman then your portion will not be the same as a 6'4" man. We included calories, etc, because the staff here at Robert Kennedy Publishing insisted that we do so, but really calorie/carb counting is not a part of Clean Eating. Portion sizes are individual. Just try to make sure that in each meal you have the amount of lean protein that would be the size of your palm, starchy carbs that would fit in one cupped hand, and fruit and vegetables that would fit in two hands cupped together. Keep eye-balling it!"

Days 5 and 6 from Alwyn Cosgrove...

Day 5

The Hierarchy of Fat Loss (cont.)

4. Activities that burn calories and elevate metabolism
The next level of fat loss programming would be a similar activity. We're still looking at activities that eat up calories and increase EPOC.

EPOC (Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption) is defined scientifically as the "recovery of metabolic rate back to pre-exercise levels" and "can require several minutes for light exercise and several hours for hard intervals."

Essentially, we're looking for activities that keep us burning more calories after the exercise session. If you aren't using fat burning programs that maximize EPOC then you are:

             1. Wasting your time

             2. Using fat burning methodologies s from last century

5. Activities that burn calories but don't necessarily maintain muscle or elevate metabolism
This is the "icing on the cake" -- adding in activities that'll burn up additional calories but don't necessarily contribute to increasing metabolism. This is the least effective tool in your arsenal as it doesn't burn much outside of the primary exercise session.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Day 6

Today is the last day of the Afterburn Training eCourse. We are going to wrap up the course with a closer look at both resistance and interval training.

Metabolic Resistance Training
Basically we're using resistance training as the cornerstone of our fat loss programming. Our goal is to work every muscle group hard, frequently, and with an intensity that creates a massive "metabolic disturbance" or "afterburn" that leaves the metabolism elevated for several hours post-workout.

A 2002 study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology used a circuit training protocol of 12 sets in 31 minutes. EPOC was elevated significantly for 38 hours post-workout.

Thirty-eight hours is a pretty significant timeframe for metabolism to be elevated. If you trained at 9AM until 10AM on Monday morning, you're still burning more calories (without training) at midnight on Tuesday.

Can we compound this with additional training within that 38 hours? No research has been done, but I have enough case studies to believe that you can.

In my experience, full body training in a superset, tri-set, or circuit format (with non-competing exercises) in a rep range that generates lactic acid (and pushes the lactic acid threshold or LAT) seems to create the biggest metabolic demand. It makes sense: training legs, back, and chest will burn more calories and elevate metabolism more than an isolated approach training one of them.

The rep range that seems to work best is the 8-12 hypertrophy range, although going higher will work just as well with a less trained population.

High Intensity Anaerobic Interval Training
The second key "ingredient" in fat loss programming is high intensity interval training (HIIT). It burns more calories than steady state and elevates metabolism significantly more than other forms of cardio. The downside is that it flat-out sucks to do it!

The landmark study in interval training was from Tremblay et al. This study pitted 20 weeks of endurance training against 15 weeks of interval training:

Energy cost of endurance training = 28661 calories.
Energy cost of interval training = 13614 calories (less than half)

The interval training group showed a nine times greater loss in subcutaneous fat than the endurance group (when corrected for energy cost).

Read that again. Calorie for calorie, the interval training group lost nine times more fat overall. Why? Maybe it's EPOC, an upregulation of fat burning enzyme activity. I don't care. I'm a real world guy.

If the interval training group had lost the same fat as the endurance group, we'd get the same results in less time. That means interval training is a better tool in your fat loss arsenal.

If you want a fat loss program that has everything we've talked about over the past 6 days (all the good parts) and you want to lose fat at the fastest possible rate then you want Afterburn Training.

Head over to www.AfterburnTraining.com and pick up your copy today.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Chocolate Protein Bars

Good Evening.

This weekend we ventured southwest to the city of Sioux Falls to celebrate the 3rd Birthday of our nephew, Jakob. We had a good time catching up with our family and playing with the kids. Happy Birthday, Jakob! 

It is very difficult to resist temptations when you are not at home. And even though I did bring a cooler full of clean food (hard boiled eggs, nonfat plain yogurt with blueberries, oatmeal, and nutty maple cinnamon protein bars) I still found myself reaching for a rice crispy bar covered in chocolate (I only ate half of Allan's) or a piece of homemade pizza that Annie made (it WAS a pizza party and it did have lots of veggies on it) or going out to eat (fajitas for supper and a denver frittata with espresso for breakfast). I am not beating myself up for having these cheats - I had planned for them with a couple extra hard workouts and that's why I know that I will still be successful this week. It's just one of those things that you need to realize and plan for in order to be successful at reaching your goals. Also, you can't let it get you off track because one cheat can turn into completely ditching your clean eating lifestyle.

On Friday I did my usual Sunday preparations for the next week (since I knew that we wouldn't be home until late-afternoon today). I started marinating two 2.5 lb turkey breasts which I roasted this evening. I used the Asian Marinade from the last issue of Clean Eating magazine and the turkey breasts were terrific! This is one of my favorite meals. The meat was especially tender and flavorful after marinating for 2.5 days. As a side dish, I roasted some leftover veggies from last week in another pan: green beans, sweet potatoes, yellow zucchini, carrots, onions, garlic (grated), rosemary, salt and pepper. I now have lunch for a few days and meat to use in tortilla soup and whatever else I feel like making.

I will need some good and easy food to bring with me for next week after my mom's surgery this Thursday. I plan on working from her house next week to help her out while my dad is at work. I will also need a few good and easy recipes to make for my mom, dad, and sister next week for supper while I am there. Any suggestions?

On Friday afternoon, I boiled 14 eggs and made Chocolate Protein Bars. Many of you have asked me for my Chocolate Protein Bar recipe... so here it is. They are very easy to mix up and do not require baking. ENJOY!

Chocolate Protein Bars

Olive Oil Spray
1 C oats
1 C oat flour (process oats in food processor to make flour)
12 scoops chocolate protein powder
4 TB ground flaxseeds
1 C non-fat dry milk
10 TB natural peanut butter (no oil, salt or sugar added)
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 C water
1/2 C milk
1/4 C dark chocolate chips (optional)

Spray a 9 x 13 pan with olive oil.

In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients together.

Add peanut butter & mix until crumbly.

Add vanilla, water, milk and chocolate chips. Stir until all of the liquid has been absorbed. It may be difficult to mix – just keep mixing until all of the dry ingredients are moistened and the liquid has been absorbed.

Place mixture in the prepared pan and freeze or refrigerate until the bars are solid and cut easily with knife. Cut into 18 bars. Store in the fridge or freezer.

For nutrition information go here.

Friday, February 6, 2009

12 Weeks, 12 Pounds, 12 Inches

Today was measurement day, I try to take my measurements every 4 weeks. I find that I don't see as big of a difference if I measure more often. I am happy to say that in the last 12 weeks I have lost 12 pounds and 12 inches! I feel that this is a complete success and am VERY proud of myself because in the last 12 weeks there were many temptations and stressors: Thanksgiving, a week long vacation in Mexico, a long hospital stay of a close family member, his death, 3 Christmas Celebrations, New Year's, and my Dad, Mom, and Husband's birthdays. 

I am now 25.75 inches and 21 pounds away from my goal. Which is completely achievable by the end of June.

RSS Feeds

I have received some inquiries about how to use an RSS feed to keep track of this blog. Today while I was browsing through the blogger gadgets I stumbled upon a tool that will make subscribing to Simply Clean easy to do. If you look at the right hand bar you will see that there is a new Gadget that will allow you to subscribe to RSS feeds from the Simply Clean blog. That way you can always stay updated on what's going on here. Also, if you would prefer to receive an email every time that there is a new post, I can set that up for you. Just send me your email address and I will take care of it. 

Another way to keep track of Simply Clean posts is through Facebook. I set it up so that the RSS feed of Simply Clean is automatically imported into my Facebook Notes application. So, if you friend me on Facebook you will also be able to see when there are new posts on the blog. 

Isn't technology amazing!  

Hierarchy of Fat Loss

It is very nice to get a validation of the Clean Eating way of life from someone who is independent of Clean Eating. The key messages of today's eCourse from Alwyn Cosgrove is that proper Nutrition is invaluable and combining that with building lean muscle to increase your RMR will produce fat loss.

Today we starting looking at what you need to do to burn fat. But before we get started I want you to know that this is not fat burning theory. I get people lean everyday. Simply put, I can get 20 pounds of fat off a client faster than my competition.

Today and tomorrow we are going to look at my hierachy of fat loss. If you want to get lean these are the things you need to pay attention to (in order!)

The Hierarchy of Fat Loss

1. Correct Nutrition
There's pretty much nothing that can be done to out-train a crappy diet. You quite simply have to create a caloric deficit while eating enough protein and essential fats. There's no way around this.


2. See #1
Yep. It really is that important. Several trainers have espoused that the only difference between training for muscle gain and training for fat loss is your diet. I think that's a massive oversimplification, but it does reinforce how important and effective correct nutrition is toward your ultimate goal.


3. Activities that burn calories, maintain/promote muscle mass, and elevate metabolism
I think it's fairly obvious that the bulk of calories burned are determined by our resting metabolic rate or RMR. The amount of calories burned outside of our resting metabolism (through exercise, thermic effect of feeding, etc.) is a smaller contributor to overall calories burned per day.


We can also accept that RMR is largely a function of how much muscle you have on your body -- and how hard it works. Therefore, adding activities that promote or maintain muscle mass will make that muscle mass work harder and elevate the metabolic rate. This will become our number one training priority when developing fat loss programs.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Supplements...

Here is the leftover Spaghetti Squash with Bison Vita-Mix Marinara sauce that I had today for Meal 3. It was very tasty. It was the first time that my husband and I had spaghetti squash and I was pleasantly surprised. I cooked the squash the way that Dani Spies demonstrates in her Spaghetti Squash 101 video. Although, I think that it was a little over cooked.

Supplements

I am planning a trip to GNC tomorrow to pick up some Multi-Vitamins for myself and my husband along with an omega, vitamin C, vitamin B complex and a cal/mag supplement for myself. I am wondering what other supplements that people are taking. I am very active and eat well, but I would like to make sure that I am taking good care of my muscles and enhancing my weight loss.