Getting Back on Track

 

It feels like forever since I last posted on this blog. I have just felt too ashamed to post much. I mean how can I try to encourage others to do something I am not doing. To be honest I haven’t been doing very good with my eating and exercise has been almost nonexistent for the last month and a half. Normally I schedule my workouts and plan our meals. Then in mid May I went out of town to see my daughter graduate. I did great with my eating but I don’t think I worked-out  any while I was there. We did walk a lot but that was all.

Then when I got back I had lots of stuff (housework, gardening and work) to catch up on and began getting ready for an 11 day motorcycle trip. I wanted to get ahead with work related task, I picked up some extra classes to teach for some extra money and well the excuses go on and on. I even convinced myself that I was too busy to make juice regularly.

Then comes the trip. We ate out for every meal for 11 days. We made good choices and had some fantastic meals. One of the highlights was getting to eat at Laughing Seed in Ashville, NC. It is a vegetarian restaurant with some of the best food I have ever eaten! The bed and breakfasts we stayed at were lovely but as you can guess they served a huge breakfast with lots things I do not usually eat. I didn’t want to be rude so I ate it. I didn’t clean my plate or take seconds but I ate a lot more than normal! Throw in no juice and very little exercise and it is no wonder I have gained weight and feel sluggish. My face even broke out a bit which hasn’t really happened in about a year or so.

We got home and I promised I was going to get back on track but again the excuses are plenty. I am back to eating well and have made juice several times but other than some short walks no exercise. Then Friday I began planning my week. The calendar filled in quickly and I could see where I was heading yet again. I stopped and filled in my work-outs. It is going to mean some early morning walks and work-outs but I am going to get back on track. I don’t like to feel moody or sluggish and I don’t want to get back to where I was. I will do my best to post regularly on here and Facebook. Hopefully the accountability will help.

Do you struggle with staying on track when life gets busy? Do you find it hard to go back to working out after you skip for a while?

 

Vegan Breakfast Tacos

I am not a big breakfast eater but I do realize it is an important meal. During the work week I usually have some fresh green juice, a handful of almonds and cranberries. On occasion I’ll grab a bagel and Tofutti. On the week-ends however I like to take it easy, sip on my coffee and enjoy a “real” breakfast. One of my favorite things to make is breakfast tacos. They are healthy, filling and easy to make. I promise you won’t miss the eggs or cheese.

Ingredients: 
Potatoes or hash-browns
Green onions
Bell Pepper, any color
Tomato
Salt & pepper
Tortillas
2 tablespoons of Olive oil
Your favorite salsa *optional*

You can add any veggies that you like, the options are endless. When it is just me eating them I load up the mushrooms!

1. Either wash and cut your potatoes or start baking your hash-browns. The potatoes can be cooked in the over or on the stove top to avoid heating up the house.  I use hash-brown patties because they are quick and easy. I do make sure that the only thing they contain are potatoes.

2. Heat your pan with olive oil in it on medium heat. 

3. While your potatoes are cooking and your pan is heating up you can chop up your veggies. I have to say that I am pretty proud of my chopped veggies! There was a time when they look mangled. The Complete Knife Skills from Craftys changed that! If you want to improve your knife skills this class will do it!

4. Saute your veggies in the Olive oil

5. Chop up your hash-browns and add it to the veggie mix. This is when you can add salt and pepper to taste.

6. Cook the mixture for a few minutes to give everything a chance to mix together.

7. Scoop the mixture into a tortilla, and top with your favorite salsa!

Start to finish, including browning the hash-browns these take about 20 minutes to make. If you make a big enough batch you can freeze or refrigerate the leftover, pop it in the microwave and you have a quick and healthy breakfast that a fast food restaurant can’t compete with!

What’s your go-to healthy breakfast?

30-day bodyweight challenge

 

It is that time again, time for another awesome 30 Day Challenge with Betty Rocker. It’s a 30-day bodyweight challenge that increases strength and effectively metabolizes fat over a 4-week period.
Challengers receive 4 weeks of instructional videos, downloadable PDF’s with demonstrations and pictures, as well as a support forum on facebook for questions and sharing.There will be live support provided throughout the challenge along with bonus content – recipes, health tips and special prizes.

 

Bodyweight exercises are a fantastic way to get a stronger, leaner and more sculpted physique – and best of all, they don’t require any equipment or a gym!
                         Register for the 30 Day Challenge 
 
Wherever you are on your fitness journey, the 30-day Challenge will motivate you to get to the next level. With an incredible community, an easy format to follow and fun, challenging workouts, she will help you reach your health and fitness goals!
 

 

Questions about eating Gluten Free and Grain Preparation

The information below is the rest of the interview I did with Betty Rocker. She shared so much information with me on eating gluten free and grain preparation that it deserved a separate post.

Q How did you become interested in a gluten free diet?
A. I started eating gluten-free several years ago when I realized a lot of my digestive issues went away when I avoided gluten. I used to suffer from a lot of bloating, gas and stomach pain, and it prompted me to start researching the effects of inflammatory foods on our ability to digest and absorb nutrients.
Gluten, the protein found in wheat can be extremely irritating to the villi of the small intestine when eaten daily, even in people who don’t have a gluten allergy – causing inflammation and bloating, and interfering with a smooth digestive process.

However, this is not the whole story. Grains, nuts, seeds and other plants contain a phosphorous-bound compound called phytic acid, (found on their external coating) which binds to important minerals in our digestive system – prohibiting their absorption.

Should you suddenly stop eating these foods? No! Healthy indigenous people have been including them for centuries. The difference that we miss is that people prepared their food differently than we do now in our rush to get food ready as fast as possible.

Traditional methods like soaking, sprouting and fermenting are still practiced around the world. All of these processes allow the phytic acid to break down, and effectively begin pre-digestion of the gluten protein. American pioneers were famous for their sourdough starters. Ever heard of miso? It’s fermented bean curd, common in Asia. Overnight oatmeal allows the oat groats to absorb all of the liquid and become easily digestible.  Sprouted grains and sprouted grain products are becoming more available and mainstream as the health movement and more access to this kind of information has begun to drive consumer spending.
If you think you have a gluten allergy (Celiac’s), which is something quite serious you should definitely get a blood test. But “gluten intolerance” is a symptom of a much bigger problem which is how our food is prepared, and a sign that we need to return to simpler times and more traditional wisdom.

Try this simple method for overnight oatmeal

Q. Based on your experience, what are some considerations people should think about before committing to a gluten free diet?

A. For health, longevity and an optimal state in the body, eliminating processed foods will rid your diet of most of the gluten you’re eating. There are plenty of healthy, wholesome complex carbohydrate sources like brown rice, oats, quinoa, amaranth and fibrous vegetables like sweet potatoes and yams that will deliver the slow-digesting carbohydrates you need for lasting energy without the blood sugar spike.
Be sure you are preparing your grains by soaking, sprouting or fermenting processes to get the full benefit of their nutrients and allow your body to absorb and properly digest them. You may find that going completely gluten free is unnecessary once you start applying these principles to your food, and keep processed cereals, crackers and breads to a bare minimum.

Q. What are the biggest misconceptions people have about a gluten free diet?

The biggest misconception about this way of eating is that it is one of deprivation.  Most people are concerned that they won’t be able to eat bread and pasta. That’s fair, because most breads and pasta do contain wheat flour. I would recommend re-thinking wheat products from bread and pasta in the first place, because they’re made with wheat that’s been refined. The refining process strips out many of the minerals and fiber that promote a slow release of energy and sugar into your bloodstream, causing your blood sugar levels to spike.

It’s also a common misconception that going gluten free means that it’s suddenly okay to start eating “gluten free crackers” “gluten free cookies” and “gluten free cereals.” These processed gluten free products are NOT necessarily healthier for you. Often loaded with sweeteners or preservatives, processed gluten free products can cause as much irritation to your body as the gluten-containing products. Stick to whole food sources whenever possible, and always read your food labels to avoid food additives and processed sugar.
People may also believe that the gluten free diet will solve all of their stomach troubles. While eliminating gluten from the diet may initially cause some relief from symptoms like bloating, gas, etc, the most important thing to remember is that gluten itself is not the culprit. It is the way we are commercially preparing food that isn’t doing us any favors.

Chocolate Chip Raisin Cookie Pancakes

Q. What kind of mindset should a person have when committing to eating the way you describe?

A. An open mind! There are so many wonderful, simple recipes that you would never expect once you start opening up to a different way of eating.

I enjoy sweet potato pancakes made with almond meal flour, sprouted grain bread (easy to find – look for Ezekial brand), wholesome gluten free products (seek out those that do not have added sugar for best results), and so many more delicious options.

Q. What is the toughest time of the year to maintain this type of program?

A. In my program, I talk about “NSA days” – which means “no strings attached.” I dislike calling meals “cheat” meals, because that implies you’re doing something wrong. I think it’s really important to have balance – and choosing to enjoy occasional treats or special meals is not wrong or bad. Holidays are always perceived as this horribly tempting time of the year where no healthy eating plan is going to work. But that’s ridiculous. Thanksgiving is one day. Christmas is one, or two days. Let yourself enjoy the moment and the time with family and then get back to your clean eating afterwards.

For myself, I would have to say that traveling is the hardest time. Because I prepare a lot of my own food, I take for granted how challenging it can be when your only options are the restaurant, bar or local grocery store. And long days at conferences in hotels with hotel food can be really tough. My strategy is to always bring protein shakes with me, look over the menu for ingredients I can order rather than a specific meal – lean protein, vegetables and greens as much as possible, look for some good fats like nuts, avocados, or olive oil, and get rice, oats and fruit when possible to meet my carb needs.

Q. What kind of results can people expect when following your program?

A. Many of the people who have used my clean eating program, The Body Fuel System, have written to tell me how surprised they were to see their belly fat melting away so quickly. The ones who considered themselves clean eaters before the plan are always really impressed, because it makes it so apparent just how inflammatory certain foods can be.

Having great recipes and a clear and simple plan to follow that balances the nutrients makes it a lot easier to feel satisfied and full without relying on typical processed foods.

Q. What will people find most attractive about owning your ebook?

A. The Body Fuel System is about creating a sustainable lifestyle of healthy habits around food. It simplifies your life and will allow you to drop unwanted pounds. In addition to all of the health information, the book contains practical guides to dining in restaurants, traveling, substitutions in cooking, strategies for success – and a 30-day user guide that gives you grocery lists, recipes, weekly food prep and daily menus.