How to START losing weight- the right way

Eat-Stop-Eat-healthy-eatingI am asked all the time- “what do you eat??” and my answer is- “A LOT”.  But I eat a lot of GOOD stuff. Mostly.  This is not just because I am forced to stay away from certain things due to food allergies either. Truth be known, gluten free stuff is the WORST when it comes to being healthy (loaded with sugar).  It is because I make a decision to think about what I eat.

I have comprised a list of the top ten things that work for me.  Keep in mind, these are my guidelines, and when special occasions occur, feel free to splurge, as I sometimes do.  However, I follow these 95-98% of the time.  I am not one to recommend what others should or shouldn’t do as I do not believe there is a one size fits all ‘diet’..but not only does this work for me (and some are just common sense), but it is recommended by The Health Science Academy.  Make adjustments as you need (allergies, etc.):

  1. Drink at least two liters of water a day (at minimum).  You can also drink an additional 8 oz for every 20 pounds you want to lose on top of the two liters
  2. Fill your tummy with large amounts of dark leafy greens or root veggies first (such as broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, green beans, cabbage, brussel sprouts, bell peppers, onions, carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes)- side note: you may need a digestive aid as your body gets used to eating large quantities of this or you could be pretty GASSY
  3. Minimize (or GET RID OF) refined carbs such as: breads (other than paleo- in small quantities still), rice, pasta
  4. Instead of the above, include: beans, lentils, quinoa (my fav), chia seed
  5. Eat at least two servings of fresh fruit a day such as apples, berries, pears or citrus fruit
  6. AVOID drinking sugary drinks, soda, fruit juices
  7. AVOID eating sugar (other than honey or natural sweeteners), cakes, biscuits, desserts (some paleo ones in small quantities), pastries
  8. AVOID fried foods, burnt foods, hydrogenated fat, excess animal fat
  9. Focus on healthy meats; chicken, turkey, fish
  10. LIMIT alcohol intake to one-two drinks per week (of course other than special occasions), or if you are really, really dedicated- no alcohol at all (I am not on this band wagon)
I stay away and/or limit CRAP foods, and recommend you do too.  They trigger overeating, are empty calories and cause one to put on weight rapidly:
  • Carbonated Drinks
  • Refined Sugar
  • Artificial Ingredients (colors, flavorings, etc. and ALCOHOL)
  • Processed Products

What do you do to stay healthy and feel good?  Please feel free to share what works for you.

Spinach and egg tortilla wrap

It’s what’s for breakfast! 

I LOVE using herbs from my herb garden.  Makes me happy.  Oh and tastes FABULOUS.

herbgarden

This morning I whipped up some eggs for me and the kiddos.

photo 1And then threw in some left over quinoa/rice as well as some fresh basil from my garden.  So simple, so yummy!

photo 2

  • Fresh eggs whipped with almond milk (yes…gasp..I use the yolk)
  • Gluten free spinach tortilla
  • Quinoa/rice with a pinch of sea salt
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Fresh cut basil

Easy and super yummy!  Start your day right!

Peaches & Pork

I have made peaches and pork before, but this time I did it with a roast and vegetables.  SO great!  Enjoy the recipe below!

Peaches & Pork

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Ingredients

  • Pork tenderloin roast
  • Salt for seasoning
  • Fresh cut peaches (can use frozen-not canned)
  • Carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower (add as many different ones as you want!)
  • Chicken stock
  • Cinnamon (1 tablespoon)

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Directions

  • Heat oven to 250
  • Wash tenderloin and then salt for seasoning; place in center of large glass baking dish
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon
  • Add vegetables and peaches
  • Pour chicken stock in until it reaches just below the top of the glass dish
  • Cover with foil and cook for 3-4 hours (until internal temp reaches 145 degrees)

Cinnamon pork chops and mint salad

I am in a cinnamon stage.  Some have said that it is a spice that not only tastes good (to me at least) but has good health benefits too.  “Lab studies have found that cinnamon may reduce inflammation, have antioxidant effects, and fight bacteria. (webmd)”.  Whether it is really true or not is yet to be proven in humans, however it is an ancient spice that adds a delicious flavor to not only sweets, but rich foods such as pork and lamb.

The other night I added it to my pork chops.  YUMMMY.  Topped it with a simple tomato and mint salad.  A new favorite simple meal.  Enjoy the recipe below!

 

Cinnamon Pork Chops

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Ingredients:

  • Pork chops (4)
  • Cinnamon (1- 1/2 tablespoons)
  • Olive oil (for brushing and a lil to fry)
  • Fresh minced garlic (3-4 heads)

Instructions:

  • In a frying pan, heat a little olive oil and the fresh garlic
  • Brush each pork chop with olive oil and sprinkle the cinnamon on both sides
  • Lightly fry the pork chop in the garlic and remove immediately
  • Grill to finish cooking and serve!

Tomato Mint Salad

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Ingredients and instructions:

  • Grape tomatoes
  • Chopped fresh mint
  • Slivers of almonds
  • Grapes
  • Balsamic reduction
  • Toss together
  • (can add cucumbers too)

Almond Banana Nibblers

I made these for the family last night- SO yummy!  I am going to continue to play with this and see what other nibbler combo’s I can come up with!

 

Almond Banana Nibblers

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Ingredients:

  • Organic dark chocolate (about 1-2oz)
  • 5 ripe bananas
  • Almond butter (I like using the crunchy one) 1 tablespoon (can use peanut butter)
  • Vanilla yogurt (I use the almond milk version for dairy free)
  • Cinnamon

photo 1Directions:

  • Melt half the chocolate
  • Mash one banana, 2 oz of yogurt, the melted chocolate, the almond butter and cinnamon together
  • Slice the bananas in 1/2 inch pieces (or so)
  • Using the fill, spread onto one side of the banana and then use another side as a topper (for a sandwich look)
  • Freeze for one hour
  • Melt the remainder of the chocolate and drizzle over the tops
  • Can keep frozen or refrigerated if planning to finish within a day

 

 

Turkey Meatballs

I am in love with meatballs.  Unfortunately, I haven’t found any meatballs at any restaurant (locally) that are gluten-free.  Which stinks.  However, I love making them (and personally think mine would taste better anyhow!).  See my yummy turkey balls below (that just does NOT sound right).  You can substitute red meat if you would like.

photo 4

Ingredients:

  • Approximately 2 pounds of meatHalf a zucchini and half a squash (chopped into big chunks)One red apple (cored and chopped into big chunks)1/4 cup of carrots (chunks or shredded)1/4 cup of chopped onion4-5 fresh garlic heads1 egg (beaten)3/4 cup buckwheat flour1 tablespoon dried basil1 tablespoon dried oreganoSalt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 and line cookie sheet with parchment paper
  • Add zucchini squash, apple, carrots, onion and garlic heads in a food processor (or hand chop very fine- will take some time to do it this way); process till finephoto 1
  • Put all ingredients in a large bowl and mix by hand
  • Form meatballs and place on cookie sheet
  • Bake approx 20-30 min (will depend on size of balls you make)
  • Can eat em just like that or add to pasta!  Sprinkle fresh chopped basil on top for extra yummy!

photo 2

UPDATED Paleo Bread Recipe

I have TWEAKED, changed, SHIFTED, and finalized…I think…my practically paleo bread.  I have now made four batches using this recipe and each one came out FABULOUS.  YAY.

Enjoy!

paleobreadFind the recipe here also.

*These instructions are intended for a bread maker
Ingredients:
Almond flour (2 cups)
Tapioca flour (3/4 cup)
Coconut flour (3/4 cup)
Sea salt (1/2 t)
Yeast (1 T)
Flaxseed (3 T)
Xantham gum (1 t)
Baking soda (1 t)
Eggs (4)
Apple cider vinegar (3/4 T)
Almond milk (can use vanilla; 3/4 cup)
Hot water (1/4 cup)
Honey (3 T)
Applesauce (1/4 cup) OR Coconut oil (3 T) melted

Directions:
Put the hot water in a cup and add the flaxseed; let it sit while you prepare the rest
Beat the eggs
Combine the wet ingredients (except the flaxseed)
Mix all the dry ingredients except the yeast
Add the flaxseed mixture to the wet ingredients and blend well
Put the wet mixture in the bread maker, then add the dry on top, then put the yeast on the very top (careful not to touch the wet ingredients with the yeast)

Settings of the Bread Maker:
Use home made course setting
Set rest to OFF
Knead 15 MIN
Rise one for 1 hour
Rise two for 15 MIN
Shape setting off
Bake 75 MIN

Set out to cool on a drying rack.  Slice when cool.  Store in airtight container.  If not used within 48 hours freeze.

Banana Carrot Muffins (Paleo style)

Yesterday was a special day.  CrossFit boxes across the country honored the 19 fallen firefighters from Arizona with a special WOD- HOTSHOT19.  I heard it was torture and watched some live heats, but I personally did not WOD as I have a triathlon tomorrow and am trying to take it easy.

(please note this is my first triathlon and let me tell you I am SCARED shitless…just throwing that out there)

I did make a special paleo ‘dessert’ for the members of our box though and dropped them off.  Took them to my youngest brat’s 2nd birthday party yesterday too.  They were YUM.  Recipe is below.

Tonight I am making some of my home-made meatballs and pasta (carb back loading for tomorrow) and gonna go say a few hundred prayers that I MAKE it through tomorrow.  Wish me luck.  Afterwords I plan to LOAD up with some CHAMPAGNE and FLOAT in my pool (in other words, I won’t be able to move my arms and plan to get drunk as hell…I mean celebrate..)

Enjoy!

bananacarrotmuffins2

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbs cinnamon
  • 1 cup dates, pitted
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 ½ cups carrots, shredded (better if finely chopped)
  • ¾ cup walnuts (or nuts of choice), finely chopped
  • Honey for drizzling
  • Muffin paper liners

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350℉.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  3. In a food processor, combine dates, bananas, eggs, vinegar, agave nectar and oil.
  4. Add mixture from food processor to dry mixture in the large bowl and combine thoroughly.
  5. Fold in carrots and nuts.
  6. Spoon mixture into paper lined muffin tins.
  7. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes then drizzle honey on top of each muffin
  8. Bake at 350° for 10 more minutes

Turkey Tacos

This post is so simple, it probably doesn’t need to be shared.  However, one of my favorite dinner meals, Paleo style, are turkey tacos. They are FULL of flavor, yet so very good for you. See my recipe below.

On the subject of good for you, I am so excited that my daughter and I finished another 5k together.  This one was through a fabulous organization, Girls on The Run. If you have a daughter, you must check out this program.  It is not JUST about running.  It is so much more.

GOTRpic

She ran it with me NONSTOP. Which is a big deal for her.  And for me.  I do about two 5K’s a month, and yet I HATE running.  Yes, yes I do.  So…why do I run you may ask?  Like my husband always asks.  Because I hate it, I do it.  I want to either learn to love it, OR learn to at least NOT hate it.  I have come pretty far.  When I started running 6 months ago, I could barely run to the end of my block…which is maybe 200 feet. In that time I have formed a new respect for running.  And a hopeful feel toward it (starting to lean…a bit…out of the HATE zone).  Perhaps one day I will love it.  From barely running 200 feet, to now 3.2 miles nonstop (I DID NOT SAY FAST), I am optimistic that I can one day finish a 10k….perhaps, maybe…a marathon.  Not bad for someone who hates running.  My true hope is that it will be something that me and my daughters can do together…and whooo hoo it is FREE. 🙂

Back to the tacos…which I think I may make tonight.  And I will try not to open a bottle of Chardonnay (which goes GREAT with them) since it is NOT my cheat meal….yet.

Enjoy!

Turkey Tacos (Paleo Style)

turkeytacos

Ingredients

  • Ground turkey meat
  • Seasoning (see seasoning below)
  • Bib lettuce
  • Avocado (2)
  • Tomatoes (3 roma, diced)
  • Onion (1/2 white, chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

Directions

  • Season the meat (see seasoning mix below)
  • Cook the meat thoroughly with 3/4 of the chopped onion
  • While the meat is cooking, make fresh guacamole;
  • Mash the avocado, add in the lemon juice, 1/4 of the chopped onion, 1/2 of the diced tomatoes and the salt and mix thoroughly
  • Use the bib lettuce as a ‘shell’ and add in your meat/guacamole
  • Add some side veggies (I did zucchini and squash brushed with agave nectar and salt and roasted for 10 minutes)

Seasoning mix

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1  1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Directions for seasoning mix

  • Mix together and store in an airtight container.

 

Paleo Banana Carrot Muffins

I am a natural skeptic when it comes to food.  Despite this two year journey of finding/making food that taste delicious AND is good for you, I still am wary of new recipes. I always try out a recipe, then tweak it, then tweak it some more.  The sad part is I never stop tweaking a recipe.  Even those I post on here…like my Paleo bread recipe (which my family loves)…. I just keep tweaking.

Those eating Paleo know that eggs start to get real old at breakfast. Even though I LOVE eggs, I am TIRED of eggs. So down the rabbit trail I go looking for other options.

Like banana carrot muffins.

I usually try to share recipes that are not difficult to make.  This recipe, though not difficult, takes time.  If you are like me, and wake up hungry, make these the night before and freeze them (it makes about 18 muffins).  They taste just as good heated (I promise).  And trust me…they are DELICIOUS.  I only post recipes that pass my family test (myself, my hubby and ALL FOUR kids from 1 year to 17 years).

Enjoy!

Drizzle honey on top for extra pizazz

Drizzle honey on top for extra pizazz

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1.5 Tbs cinnamon
  • 1 cup dates, pitted (or baking raisins)
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (or 1/2 cup applesauce)
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar or honey
  • 1 ½ cups carrots, shredded
  • ¾ cup walnuts (or nuts of choice), finely chopped
  • muffin paper liners

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350℉.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  3. In a food processor, combine dates, bananas, eggs, vinegar, agave nectar and oil.
  4. Add mixture from food processor to dry mixture in the large bowl and combine thoroughly.
  5. Fold in carrots and nuts.
  6. Spoon mixture into paper lined muffin tins.
  7. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes.