Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Everything you have asked and more! Diet tips, Juicing, Exercise, Supplements

First off...
...I LOVE you all, yes all of my wonderful fabulous friends. I really hope no one has taken offense lately that I haven't had time to reply to your health/fitness/diet questions. Lately, I have been asked nearly every day for advice & tips, to asking for detailed meal plans & work out routines. As much as I love to share my recipes and fitness tips.. I also LOVE to be outside and also been trying to really be dedicated to work & hopefully new career soon. So please please understand it is not ever personal... and seriously your messages mean the WORLD to me!

This may be sporadic but trying to touch on all the questions I've been asked...

What is covered (in case you want to just scroll for what you are looking for):
-Why am I Gluten Free?
-Diet & Shopping List
-Portion Control
-Juicing & Juice Diets/Fasting

A huge resource for work outs for me is bodybuilding.com - so many awesome plans to follow! I really enjoyed this one: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/felicia-romero-fitness-360.html She has a muscle building plan or a weight-cutting plan. I sort of do my own plan now but it's great as it shows you how to do each exercise and nice to have every day already planned out for you!

Another thing I LOVE is the Insanity work-outs! I must warn you that I would not recommend them to someone new to working out or someone just starting to get back into shape. Let's put it this way - I am a fairly active person, work-out regularly... the first time I did a full Insanity work-out I threw up. What I love is that no weights or machines are involved, it's just you using your own body so for those of us without full gyms (my apartments is very limited) or unable to pay for gym memberships it's great!

My work out schedule varies: some weeks I work out every single day and some weeks I go rock-climbing, or do other activities instead of working out. If I am feeling guilty about my activity level... that's my obvious sign I need to go work out! Remember something is always better than nothing.... and no one ever says "oh man I shouldn't have worked out". Working out always makes my mood, day, life better!

Try getting in at least 30 minutes of cardio and focus on a part of your body 5 times a week - may seem like a lot but just set your alarm 1 hour earlier and see how much your life changes!

I recommend for most people that aren't taking any vitamins to at least start taking a good multi-vitamin morning & night. Again, I am not a doctor nor nutritionist - you know what you eat and I don't. I can not take a multi-vitamin as for some reason they make me nauseous even with food.

What I Take & Works great for me:
-Aloe Vera Juice 1 oz in AM & 1 in PM - www.edsaloe.com has the best on the market
-Omega 3 Fish Oil 1 in AM & 1 in PM
-Vitamin D in AM & PM
-B Vitamin Complex - usually just 1 a day in the AM
-AlphaMax - helps me with my allergies a LOT (also available through edsaloe.com)
- Superfood plus powder (GREAT stuff for you - my #1 Recommendation. More info here: http://bit.ly/KLIWCU) Once daily in juice - I do it with Cayenne pepper & Super Tonic Tinctures
-Every few days I do an EmergenC Joint Health - The one with added Glucosamine

Why am I Gluten Free? 
I have had stomach issues my entire life from stomach cramps so bad I couldn't sleep, to not being able to keep anything down, to uncontrollable bloating even with what I thought was a healthy diet. What I did was an elimination diet and first thing I did was cut out gluten and oh. my. gosh. my life was so much better. Even when I ate small meals before I would feel so weighed down, so tired, that feeling of my stomach eating itself, and like aforementioned stomach cramps. I was Miss Whole Grain EVERYTHING and little did I know I was poisoning my body. To test it a few weeks after I cut gluten out I had 1-2 sips of Greg's beer... and oh stomach cramps that night. I've been gluten free since November of last year and without sounding too corny my quality of life is so much better!

What is my diet?
Crap. I don't even know.... it's a random concoction of everything I have learned. I have recently gone about 90% Paleo aka Paleolithic Diet (Love this site for more info: http://robbwolf.com/what-is-the-paleo-diet/) So far I REALLY like it! I think the easiest way to do this is to give you a sample of a normal grocery list for me - I do take into consideration what's on sale, what's in season so this is just a sample. I also buy organic whenever I can!

Basically I eat a lot of lean protein, a lot of veggies, keep my carbs minimal and complex, never eat carbs after 5PM, only drink alcohol here and there (going to go 30 days without after this weekend!), really watch my sugar intake and try to make sure I consume a variety of veggies/foods to make sure I am getting everything my body needs. DRINK A LOT OF WATER. Keep it on you, by you, ALL of the time. When you wake up in the morning slam down a glass of water to wake up your body!

Quick note - beans are not on the paleo diet but despite this I do eat black beans from time to time as well as quinoa - as I think both are great for you... Like I said I always sort of make my own diet.

I'll try to do this is order of importance kinda sorta ;)

Shopping List:
-Ground Turkey
-Turkey Breast (try to stay away from deli meat! So much salt)
-Chicken Breast
-Tuna canned & fresh (love trader joe's flash frozen ahi steaks!)
-Salmon & Salmon Patties (LOVE the ones from Costco)
-Coconut Oil
-Romaine Lettuce - Don't buy iceberg it literally has no nutritional value - it's a waste of space
-Fresh Herbs & Dried
-Peppers - mostly bell peppers & jalapenos
-Collard Greens (sooo good with a little braggs aminos)
-Tomatoes & Tomato sauce (only natural no added sugar etc)
-Mushrooms - I think BBQ'd Portabella's are seriously one of God's gifts to the world :)
-Spaghetti Squash - I know it sounds weird but it's the only way to eat spaghetti! SO good!
-Various Squashes
-Sweet Potatoes
-Brussel Sprouts
-Black Beans
-Cauliflower (mashed is a great substitute for rice or potatoes)
-Almonds - Raw
-Seltzer Water (aka fizzy water)
-Ginger root
-Chia Seeds - easy to find in bulk bins at Whole Foods
-Ground Flax Seed
-Coconut Flour
-Chicken Broth - Reduced sodium
-Turkey Bacon
-Lean Steak Cuts
-Natural Peanut Butter - also not paleo but I eat here & there
-Braggs Natural Amino Acids - Soy/Salt Alternative
-Almond Milk Original Plain
-Agave Syrup and/or Maple Syrup
-Frozen Berries
-100% Juice - NO ADDED SUGAR! I use it for my superfood and 'Mikaelaa Soda' - Mostly Seltzer water with a dash of juice!

Limited usage but I keep on hand:
-Gluten Free Bread (frozen keeps for a long time - mostly for when I am sick or for a cheat meal)
-Popsicles - 100% Juice
-Red Wine... oh yes, I LOVE wine but try to really limit my alcohol intake
-Sake - a lower cal/carb alternative to hard alcohols - again alcohol will never be good for you and it really will limit weight loss if that's your goal!

I will probably be like OOPS! Forgot this.. or take away that.. but for now there is a rough idea.

Portion Control:

This is OH SO IMPORTANT and I'll admit I can be the worst offender. I highly recommend eating 5-6 small meals a day or every 3-4 hours - It's insane how much it boosts your metabolism. The WORST thing you can do is try to starve yourself all day and just eat one meal... that's what sumo-wrestlers do (of course with like 10,000 calories). We all love to go out and be social and I am not saying you shouldn't I am just saying to be very conscious... this is a GREAT video about portion control:

Juicing or Ode to thy Juicer: (just kidding)

The #1 asked question is about juicing, juice diets and juice fasting. I LOVE MY JUICER. This is no secret. I juice all the time.. it's a normal part of my diet. After the horrific experience with the HPV vaccine there was over a month of barely being able to walk, couldn't get out of bed, no energy... I did a juice fast for 5 days - two days off - then 5 days and it literally saved my life. I started to get color back in my skin, I could walk without feeling like I was going to collapse, I had an appetite again, I could smile again and laugh and feel human again. So no matter what your experience is with juicing... whether you love it or hate it, it's something that is super important to me and my lifestyle.

If I need to lean up a bit sometimes I will juice for every meal but eat a lean dinner. If I am in a rush or know I will be gone from home for a long time I'll eat say breakfast then bring a juice with me to have ready for my next meal. Now for a juice fast some prep is involved and let me stress it is NOT EASY. This is long and some of it I don't 100% agree with but provides a lot of info: http://www.doctoryourself.com/juicefast.html

If you seriously want to juice fast. You need to do a prep diet aka 5-7 days before NO alcohol, nicotine, sugar, dairy, wheat, fatty animal meat, and limit your caffeine intake. This is so your body doesn't go into shock.

If you really want the benefits of a juice fast you need to fast for at least FIVE days - I know, ouch. But you digestive track uses food stored for 2-3 days. You want to primarily juice vegetables as fruit contains a lot of sugar.

I like a lot of variety in my juices - some people like two ingredient juices this is ALL up to you! For some good recipes to start with go here: http://www.raw-foods-diet-center.com/vegetable-juicing-recipes.html

Note: I save the stems to broccoli, the stem of romaine, beet greens any and all veggie parts you don't usually cook & eat I will save to juice!

Here is an example of what I would usually juice:

Large handful of spinach
Few Romaine Leaves
One beet (even if you don't usually like beets they are GREAT in juice - I leave the skin on)
Maybe 5 Carrots depending on size
1 Tomato
2 Stalks of celery - celery has a lot of natural salt so just don't over do it
1/3-1/2 Cucumber
Small piece of Ginger
Either an orange or apple

There are limitless combinations of juices - my general guidelines is 25% dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, collard greens; some "sweeter" vegetables like carrots & beets; some thinning vegetables (as in thins the juice out a little) like romaine, cucumber, celery and then a fruit or fruits. If you want more fruit I suggest doing more fruit earlier in the day when you need the sugar/energy. For some reason ginger & strawberries go amazingly well together! Do not juice frozen fruit or banana's your juicer will not be happy.

As for brands I have tried a few and my very favorite is the Jack La Lanne's Juicer (http://www.powerjuicer.com/?gclid=COOc_ODW8a8CFWQKRQodeCvMXA) - it's in the mid-range for price but they offer payment plans. Easier to clean, you get the most out of your veggies, I like the wide chute and dependable.

Whew! I know there are probably some questions I have not yet touched on and I will come back but  have literally been working on this for hours and time to get outside and run! Please leave comments, questions and I promise to get back to you!

Much love, health and fitness to everyone! <3

Maple Pecan Paleo Protein Cakes

- Maple Pecan Paleo Protein Cakes -

Remember Sandies? Those amazing pecan shortbread cookies - they are definitely one of these things some of us LOVE and some of us can't stand, obviously I'm one of the LOVE people. Although these aren't too reminiscent of the buttery, white sugar, bleached flour goodness of my past.... these actually tricked me into thinking I was eating dessert for breakfast. 

So I just bought Hemp Protein, why you ask? Hemp protein contains all nine of the life essential amino acids that our bodies require: Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan, Valine, Histidine. Hemp protein contains an almost perfect balance of essential fatty acids (EFA’s) Omega-3 and -6, a high content of fiber, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. But I won't lie I do NOT like the taste... like not one bit. What's a girl to do? Find some dominant flavors that will compliment the weird nuttiness of the Hemp Protein... TA DAAAAA!

Quick note to you worried about the fat content in nuts - There are several scientific studies that have shown that pecans help protect your nervous system, have heart healthy antioxidants, are cholesterol lowering, and increase your metabolic rate! http://www.ilovepecans.org/nutrition.html for more info.

What you will need:

-1 Cup of pecans, chopped or food processed to nice little bits
-2 TB Coconut Flour
-2 TB Hemp Protein - I bought Bob's Red Mill brand that you can find at most Whole Foods
-2 TB Maple Syrup - I bought Whole Foods Organic Grade A (You can sub for Agave!)
-1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
-1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
-1/2-1 Tsp Cinnamon (I love cinnamon so I did a full tsp)
- 1/4 - 1/2 Cup Almond Milk - or milk of your choice
-2 Egg Whites
-1 Full Egg

-Coconut oil for your baking sheet or parchment paper

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the middle. I chose to use my nifty little food processor Greg's mom got us (thank you Cathy!) but if you are without just chop up your pecans into nice little bits. Like this...

After you chop them up place them in a decent sized bowl. Add in your dry ingredients: coconut flour, hemp protein, baking soda, cinnamon and stir well. Yes hemp protein makes everything look a little odd.

Next add in your egg/egg whites and vanilla. Next add in maple syrup, than 1/4 almond milk. The batter seemed a bit thick to me so I added 1/4 cup more almond milk but honestly I think it was a little too much so maybe just add a dash until you have a good workable consistency. 

I forgot parchment paper AGAIN so I tried to oil the pan well with coconut oil. They shouldn't need too much room in between your cakes as they rise upwards but not really outwards. Note: my first batch came out slightly better using a cool pan - so if you need to do multiple batches let the pan cool a little!

I baked them for about 9-10 minutes and pulled them out as they will cook a little more after you bring the pan out. I let them sit for a few minutes than transferred to cooling racks.

Now my favorite part of this EAT! The texture was awesome.. kinda chewy, kinda crunchy all together YUM and best part? Did NOT taste like hemp protein - mission accomplished! If you want them a little more moist spread a little coconut oil on top or if you want to be a little naughty sprinkle some maple syrup on top! I made about 11 good sized cakes - if you want more snack size just make a bunch of small dollops! 

Nutrition Break down:

11 Servings
Amount Per Serving
  Total Fat8.4 g
     Saturated Fat0.7 g
     Polyunsaturated Fat2.3 g
     Monounsaturated Fat4.4 g
  Cholesterol0.0 mg
  Sodium81.0 mg
  Potassium53.8 mg
  Total Carbohydrate5.9 g
     Dietary Fiber2.0 g
     Sugars2.8 g
  Protein3.1 g
  Vitamin A0.8 %
  Vitamin B-120.0 %
  Vitamin B-61.2 %
  Vitamin C0.2 %
  Vitamin D1.1 %
  Vitamin E4.5 %
  Calcium1.8 %
  Copper6.5 %
  Folate0.6 %
  Iron1.8 %
  Magnesium3.5 %
  Manganese25.2 %
  Niacin0.6 %
  Pantothenic Acid    0.9 %
  Phosphorus    3.2 %
  Riboflavin0.8 %
  Selenium0.6 %
  Thiamin4.8 %
  Zinc3.3 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Until next recipe! Happy health & fitness! 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Healthier Paleo "Chili Rellano's"

I said I would do this post last night... but after a KILLER work out, some LA Kings Playoff action (leading the series 3-0!!), and quick hot tub sesh - I was down for the count.

One of my (and my Mom's) favorite Mexican dishes is good old deep fried Chili Rellano's - no matter what I do my recipe will never come close to the crispy, gooey, wonderfulness of beer batter but I tried to make a worthwhile replacement. Again, first time doing this and as you may see with my other recipes I perfect them as I go...

Note: for Greg's I did put a little cheese inside and as you can see on the outside as well - used the 2% Reduced Fat Sharp Cheddar - as with stronger cheeses you need much less to get that cheesy flavor that you may crave. His looked prettier cooked so I mostly took pictures as all I have is my trusty iPhone :)

Paleo Stuffed Chile Rellano's:

Note: I only had 3 Poblano Chile's & there was a lot of ground turkey left over - Which I don't mind as I eat 5-6 small meals a day and it's great having something pre-prepped (use in scrambles, with spaghetti squash & tomato sauce). However if you'd rather reserve your ground turkey for other uses try just cutting the recipe in half.

-1 Package Ground Turkey
-6 Poblano Chile's
-2 Tomatoes - I used Roma's
-1 Onion
-3 Gloves of Garlic
-1/2 Cup Chopped Bell Pepper (I had to use frozen as they are expensive in our area - canned green chile's would work great too!)
- 2 eggs separated (more for more chile's)
-Gluten Free Bread Crumbs (Basically Corn Meal broken down -next time I will try to just use corn meal and coconut flour and put it in my food processor)
-2% Low Fat Sharp Cheddar if desired

"Taco Seasoning": - You can buy pre-made but watch out for lots of salt & MSG!
-1 TBS Chili Powder (I added a few dashes more as mine isn't very potent)
-1/4 tsp Cayenne
-1 tsp Oregano or Italian Herbs is fine
-1 tsp Paprika
-2 tsp Cumin
-1 tsp Veggie salt or Sea Salt
-1 tsp black pepper - I added more but I LOVE black pepper

Also Need:
-Coconut oil for skillet
-Brown paper bag (I honestly use my Whole Foods bags)
-Enchilada sauce if desired

Slice a small slice to reach in and de-seed your peppers and rinse out (mine was too big whoops!). Turn the oven on Broil High & have your rack on the top spot. I like to let flavors "meld" for awhile so I chopped up the onion, peppers, tomatoes and pressed the garlic (mincing is fine too!) and let it cook on medium heat in a fair amount of coconut oil. I than placed the peppers on a baking sheet and put them on the top rack under the broiler. Keep mixing around your veggies in the skillet to prevent burning but they are good when they get a little browned! Keep an eye on the peppers in the oven, you want the skin to get blackened and flip so that both sides get a good blackened skin on each side. While the peppers are "burning" add in your Taco Seasoning to the veggies - I do this before I add the turkey as it seems to spread the seasonings easier. 

By now you should be able to take your peppers out - take them and place them in a brown paper bag and roll closed and let sit for 2-3 minutes to steam. DON'T LET THEM SIT TOO LONG! I accidentally did and they were a pain to work with. They'll taste fine just hard to stuff. 

Add in your turkey and "chop it up" well with your spatula and mix it thoroughly with your veggies. While you let that cook your peppers should already be back on the cookie sheet and gently peel all the skin off - just the thin layer of semi-transparent skin.... It should be pretty easy at this point. Cover the turkey and cook until you can just see there is no pink anymore - add 2 egg yolks near end of cooking. Remove from heat and let cool for a few. 

Preheat over to 350 degrees - and place rack in middle of oven. Whip your two eggs whites until frothy. Now carefully stuff the peppers as much as you can - add cheese if desired - pinching the open edge dip well into the egg whites and than immediately into your bread crumbs and place on well greased or foiled baking sheet. Repeat with all your peppers - then sprinkle the rest of the egg whites over each and drizzle some more bread crumbs (GF bread crumbs just don't stick as well as normal bread crumbs). I also drizzled a little Tapatio.. couldn't help myself :)

Bake for 30 minutes and if you're like me and like them good and crispy turn that broiler back on and broil for 5 minutes - really that's all you need!



I have not figured out calorie info for them yet but I will later today - time to get to work! :)

If you don't like them too dry you can easily follow all these steps and heat some enchilada sauce in a sauce pan and drizzle over afterwards which we may do next time I just didn't have any prepped!