Category Archives: Nutrition-Food-Recipes

Why Are Some Foods Banned?

Do you ever wonder why some foods are allowed in our country, but have been banned in other countries? Is there more we need to know to make informed decisions about what we eat and what we feed our families?

Check out this info graph about 10 foods that are allowed here, but banned in other countries. There is so much more to know, and you can read about it at the link posted. Be wise and be blessed!

10 Banned Foods to Avoid

Are you eating food that’s already banned in other countries but is still allowed to poison and kill Americans? Learn these pernicious ingredients and common foods through this infographic. Use the embed code to share it on your website.

<img src="http://media.mercola.com/assets/images/infographic/superfoods.jpg" alt="10 Banned Foods to Avoid" border="0" style="max-width:100%; min-width:300px; margin: 0 auto 20px auto; display:block;"><p style="max-width:800px; min-width:300px; margin:0 auto; text-align:center;">Are you eating <a href="http://www.mercola.com/infographics/10-banned-foods.htm"><strong&gtfood that's already banned </strong></a> in other countries but is still allowed to poison and kill Americans? Learn these pernicious ingredients and common foods through this infographic. Use the embed code to share it on your website. </p>
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Black Bean Quinoa Pilaf

This dish smells amazing!  It is fast, simple, and nutritious!  I am putting one foot in front of the other as I make wise choices to eat healthy.  Healthy doesn’t have to mean you spend hours in the kitchen.  Healthy meals can come together fast and easy.

Talk about fast, this meal comes together in 5 minutes by premaking some ingredients once a week and storing them in the fridge or freezer until you are ready to use them.  I make a big batch of several healthy foods like quinoa use them for several dishes throughout the week.

I use my premade quinoa, and fresh salsa from the fridge to make this quick lunch.   But if you don’t have those on hand, allow yourself an extra 15 minutes or so to cook your quinoa (dry quinoa and water and heat for 15 minutes), and to chop your fresh salsa veggies.

Black Bean Quinoa Pilaf

Black Bean Quinoa Pilaf

1 can Black Beans, drained

1/2 to 1 cup fresh salsa

1 cup pre-cooked quinoa, (or use 1/2 cup dry quinoa plus 1 cup water )

1/4 tsp chili powder (optional)

1/4 tsp cumin (optional)

1/4 tsp sea salt

Heat everything in a sauce pan over medium heat about 5 minutes if using premade quinoa.  You will need to cook for 15 minutes with a lid on if using dry uncooked quinoa and add the extra water.  Don’t cook too long or you might over cook your quinoa.  If you like your beans softer, heat them on the stove first until they become the texture you like.  Then add your quinoa after that.

Use this dish as the main meal, or as a side dish.  For the main meal, you can serve it with a side salad and fresh cucumbers, or use it as a filling for tacos, burritos, enchiladas, stuff it into peppers or potatoes or zucchini  or serve it like a taco salad, or blend it smooth into a dip and serve with veggies or tortilla chips for dipping.  You can also put this in the blender and cream it with water, broth, or milk of your choice to make a smooth protein packed soup and serve with tortilla chips or warm bread.

My personal preference is to make my quinoa ahead and add it with raw salsa both right at the end so this dish stays nice and fresh tasting.   I keep a double batch of quinoa so I have this ready to go in my fridge and another batch in my freezer to use for super quick nutritious meals.  It’s all good!!!

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Delicious Chocolate Praline Extreme

Oh yeah, Baby!  You know your mouth is watering now!

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I asked my husband what I should name this and he stated, “Delicious!”

So without further ado, I give you:

 

Delicious Chocolate Praline Extreme

1 scoop Complete Dutch Chocolate protein powder

1 frozen banana

1/8 cup pecans to blend,

1/8 cup pecans for the topping, whole or chopped.

1 cup unsweetened Coconut Milk (or milk of your choice)

Blend all of the ingredients in the blender until smooth.  ENJOY!

This recipe makes a large 24 oz serving.  I use a special 24 oz size jar that holds three cups (instead of the standard 32 oz or 1 quart jar), and this recipe fills it to the top.  These jars are nice for shakes as they are easy for everyone to hold and easy to reach all the delicious yummy treats inside.   You could easily divide this recipe in half and share smaller servings between two people.  I also make this recipe without the nuts (leaving the nuts out reduces about 1/2 the calories).  It turns out like a chocolate Frosty and has a whole lot less calories, and is way better for me and my family too.

Nutrition:  429 Calories, 16g Protein, 13g fiber, 20g Fat (healthy fats from nuts and plants), Vit C, Vit A, Potassium, Iron, Calcium,  and so much more.

Nutrition Facts:

Delicious Chocolate Praline Extreme Nutrition

Options:

2 Tbsp whipped cream (optional)

1 tsp chocolate sauce (optional)

These extras are purely optional.

Complete Dutch Chocolate
Whole Food Shake / Smoothie Powder:

The Dutch Chocolate Complete powder costs about $2.00 a scoop (or you can use a half scoop for $1 a serving for a smaller portion and make it even more budget friendly) and makes your ice cream and smoothie treats creamy, but also light and fluffy.  It is amazing!

You would not know it, but it is made with 20+ wholesome plant foods like broccoli sprouts, quinoa, pomegranate, apples, spirulina, alfalfa sprouts, radish sprouts, millet, pumpkin, cocoa, and more, but tastes like the best chocolate powder.   It is a complete meal, or use it as a healthy snack or treat too.   The Complete powder also comes in Vanilla too.  The flavor combinations you can come up with using this as your base and adding other fruits or nuts is endless!  You just have to give this whole food powder a try, it is amazing!

Such a simple way to nourish your body with whole food nutrition! 

Be wise and blessed!

 

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Raising Homemakers

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Getting In More Fruits and Vegetables

I’ve been making healthy changes in my life. I’m 45 and I realize I haven’t always made the best food choices.  There are things about my health I can improve. One of those is to consume more healthy fruits and vegetables.

Fruit Kabobs

It is recommended that we eat at least 9 to 12 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.  Those are minimum numbers for basic nutrients. You  will want to eat a lot more to stay healthy and fight disease, and also if you do athletic activities.

Veggie Sandwich

4 Ways To Get In More Fruits And Vegetables.

Here are 4 ways to include more fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet:
1. Make fruit bowls, fruit or fruit and veggie kabobs, and smoothies at breakfast.
2. Include vegetables on your sandwich, in a salad, or as a fresh crunchy side dish for lunch.
3. Set out vegetable trays, or make your own “???” (salad, taco, loaded potatoes, veggies and dip, etc) for supper,  and offer bowls and plates filled with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables to choose from. The more exposure your kids (and husband) has to seeing and sampling these, the more likely they will be to develop a desire to eat them.
4. Take Juice Plus+ Capsules or Juice Plus+ Chewables.

Veggie Tray

The Next Best Thing

I know I don’t eat enough servings of fruits and vegetables in a day.  Over time this creates a gap in my nutrition and health.   I am thankful for the option to eat additional whole food nutrients in a simple way, dried and encapsulated. It is the next best thing to fresh fruits and vegetables and supplies a full spectrum of nutrients, enzymes, probiotics, and the synergy of the live food my body needs.

Juice Plus+ Capsules

I am bridging the gap with these 6 capsules.  I am eating the nourishment of 30+ fruits, veggies, berries, and grains. All the nourishment is in tact, just like when I use my juicer and dehydrator to preserve my garden harvest. It is still whole food and all of the nutrients are there including vitamins, minerals, enzymes, prebiotics, probiotics, antioxidants, cartenoids, phytonutrients, chlorophyll, anthocyanosides, polyphenols, immune boosting and histamine lowering herbs, and so much more.  I wish I had known about this years ago, but it’s never to late to make a positive change.

Fruits, Veggies, Berries Juice Plus+

KIDS

And I don’t have to worry about my kid’s diet missing out on vital whole food nutrients. Juice Plus+ offers the same whole food nutrition in gummy chews that kids love.

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My kids love these amazing chewy fruity gems of nutrition.

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On average most kids in the USA get less than 5 servings a day of fruits and veggies.   That is far less than the 9-13 servings that are recommended.  Let’s face it, kids don’t always have big appetites for fruits and veggies.  They prefer cookies, junkfood, hotdogs, and chicken nuggets.  So what is a parent to do?

Spinach and raspberry salad

Keep trying.  Keep introducing fruits and veggies at each meal and snack times.  And then do the next best thing to be sure you have covered all the bases.

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But with Juice Plus+ Chewables, parents can have the confidence that they are bridging the gap in their child’s nutrition too.  And Juice Plus+ offers the chewables to children for free with the parents purchase of adult capsules or adult chewables.

Juice Plus Chewables

Let me know if you would like more information about how Juice Plus+ can help you and your family with bridging the gap in your healthy lifestyle.

Be blessed!

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Tuna Pepper Boats

This is a delicious lunch. It foocuses on lean protein and lots of low glycemic vegetables. This meal is a lot of food, and it is bursting with fresh flavors. Though it seems like a meal for lunch, I really enjoy this for breakfast too. I find filling up on a great salad and lean protein at breakfast or lunch helps to curb hunger pains. If you find you are still hungry with this meal, try adding some chicken, steak, or turkey bacon to the side salad. I often use this salad as a base in my meals on Phase 2 and then add meats to make a whole meal. But today I wanted to pair it with egg whites and tuna so I came up with these fun little tuna pepper boats.

Tuna Pepper Boats

Tuna Pepper Boats
FMD Phase 2 (THM E-Meal)
2 servings
157 calories, 1 fat, 9 carbs, 2 fiber, 26 protein, 10% Vit A, 130% Vit C

1 bell pepper, seeded and cut into four wedges or “boats”
1 can tuna in water, drained
1 stalk of celery, chopped (I love using celery stalk loaded with leaves and chop it all)
2 Tablespoon red onion, chopped or sliced thin
2 boiled egg white, chopped small
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/16 tsp ground pepper
1/4 lemon, juiced

Mix all the ingredients (except the bell pepper) together. Stuff the tuna mixture inside the bell pepper wedges. Serve.

Tuna Pepper Boats and Side Salad

Side Salad
FMD Phase 2 (THM E-Meal)
2 servings
37 calories, 0 fat, 8 carbs, 3 fiber, 2 protein, 84% Vit A, 56% Vit C

1 cup baby spinach, chopped
2 cup romaine lettuce, chopped
1 cup cucumber slices, cut in half
1/2 cup radish slices
1/4 cup red onion chopped
1 lemon, juiced, or serve the lemon wedges so folks can squeeze on their own dressing.
sea salt and pepper to taste

Toss it all together and serve.

Life is what you make of it. Be blessed and enjoy the journey!

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Raising Memories

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Black Bean Taco Salad

Black Bean Taco Salad is an easy quick meal to prepare and has been one of my favorites over the years.  It comes together so fast with fresh flavors and fun textures and is really a treat in the mouth and satisfying to the tummy.

I enjoy this taco salad for lunch or dinner.  It is super delicious and nutritious.  Some suggestions for different diet variations: If you are following a certain diet like Trim Healthy Mama, then you can serve this dish with blue corn chips or homemade baked Joseph’s pita / tortilla crisps / chips.  If you are following a diet like The Fast Metabolism Diet then leave out the chips and instead serve this salad with sliced veggies like cucumbers, jicama, or large wedges of peppers, etc. If you are following a Low Carb Diet, leave out the black beans and chips and serve with low starch veggie slices or just on romaine lettuce. If you are on a Nourishing Foods or Eat Fat Loose Fat plan, add in a spoonfull of geletain powder and a spoonful of coconut oil to your pan while it cooks and serve with full fat sourcream and fermented Pico de Gallo and serve with sprouted corn chips. All of these methods are delicious variations you will not be dissappointed with.

This meal comes together fast and takes less than ten minutes to throw together if you keep a batch of Pico de Gallo in the fridge or freezer and canned beans on hand for quick meals.  If not, then it will take you about another five minutes to chop those veggies and throw in the pot.  If cooking beans from scratch, you will need to plan ahead and soak them overnight and plan to cook for an hour on the stove the next day before using in this recipe as dried beans should always be soaked for at least seven hours and drained before cooking to neutralize the phytic acids.  This truly is a fast food meal.  I like to make a batch of Pico de Gallo ahead and keep it in the fridge and some in quick meal packs in the freezer for fast meals when I don’t feel much like cooking or making a big mess in the kitchen.

The best part of all in making this meal is that my kids enjoy it and they don’t complain about eating it, and that makes the effort of putting this nutritious meal together for them so worth it!

Black Bean Taco Salad

 

 

Black Bean Taco Salad

Ingredients:
1 cup Pico de Gallo (fresh or frozen). Check out my Pico de Gallo recipe at the bottom of this post.
1 can black beans drained and rinsed.
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder or a fresh clove of garlic minced
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
1/4 cup shredded cheese

Optional (for crunch) serve with:
1 cup tortilla chips or 1 cup sliced raw veggies

Directions:
In a pan heat the Pico de Gallo on medium heat until the onions are tender, add in beans, garlic and spices till heated through and no moisture from the veggies remains. Scoop the taco filling onto plate and serve with lettuce, cheese, and tortilla chips. Add sour cream or guacamole if desired.

Nutrition Data: Calories 415; Protein 25 g; Fat 11 g; Fiber 20 g; Carbs 58 g; Sugars 8 g; Vit A 6105 IU; Vit C 42.2 mg; Vit K 66.7 mcg; Calcium 303 mg; Iron 5.4 mg; Thiamine .6 mg; Folate 610 mcg; Magnesium 159 mg; and so much more. This meal is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidents and is very nutrient dense. Data figured for the taco salad filling, plus lettuce and cheese, but without the optional chips or raw veggies.

This basic meal is very versatile. You can serve the taco filling in crunchy taco shells, on tostada shells, or inside soft tortillas too. It works for tacos, burritos, and enchiladas if you just change up the sauce or shell you are working with. I also love to add in already cooked rice for a delicious meal of rice and beans or to also fill a variety of shells. The kids love to add the taco filling, rice, cheese, and crunchy corn chips inside a soft tortilla shell for their own homemade version of FRITO BURRITOS from Taco Bell. If you want to use the taco filling as a dip, then just blend it in the blender until desired smoothness or chunckiness and serve with veggies or tortilla chips or spread on the inside of bread or tortillas for variety to sandwiches. Also for a creamy mexican soup, after blending the taco filling, this it with water or milk (real milk, almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, etc) and reheat the soup on top of stove, then garnish the soup bowl with sour cream, or more Pico de Gallo when serving if desired. This basic recipe is very versatile and you can get a lot of different meals from it.

Homemade Pico de Gallo

1 medium chopped onion (red or white)
2 medium chopped tomatoes with seeds removed
1 small chopped jalapeno with seeds removed
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or 2 Tbsp dried cilantro
1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lime or lemon juice
1/2 tsp sea salt

Toss everything together and store in fridge or freezer and use for adding to meals (tacos, burritos, eggs, soups, etc.) or as a garnish. Pico de Gallo is basically a fresh salad made from uncooked salsa. It is traditional in Mexican cooking, comes together quick and easy and makes meals POP with flavor and texture. I highly recommend keeping batches of this awesome food in the fridge and freezer for various uses. I love to make quick breakfasts by adding a few tablespoons of Pico de Gallo in a skillet, sauteing with chopped spinach and then piling all of that inside a delicious omelet. The best omelets ever!!! If desired, you can also ferment Pico de Gallo in a glass canning jar for one to three days on the counter, and then for another week or so in the fridge before using just by adding in 2 Tbsp of liquid whey when preparing a fresh batch. It will turn out similar to Kimchi (Kimchi is a raw fermented Asian spicy salad) but without the cabbage and red chili peppers. It is amazing what you can do with ferments. The Lactobacillus in the liquid whey helps safely ferment the veggies and activates lots of enzymes and good bacteria that are beneficial to the digestive and immune systems. Whether you eat it fresh, cooked, or fermented, Pico de Gallo is YUMMY!!!

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Homemade Pico de Gallo

If you have ever eaten Mexican or Hispanic food at an authentic Mexican restraunt, then you have probably enjoyed Pico de Gallo served either on top or on the side of your meal. It is traditional in Mexican cooking, and it comes together quick and easy and makes meals POP with fresh flavor and texture. Pico de Gallo is usually served raw and is the opposite of a cooked salsa. It is basically a fresh uncooked salsa so it is a salad. It is also sometimes called Salsa Fresco “fresh salsa” and also Salsa Bandera “salsa flag” because it’s colors are similar to the Mexican Flag. No matter what you call it, or how you serve it, it is delicious!

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Homemade Pico de Gallo

1 medium chopped onion (red or white)
2 medium chopped tomatoes with seeds removed
1 small chopped jalapeno with seeds removed
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or 2 Tbsp dried cilantro
1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lime or lemon juice
1/2 tsp sea salt

Toss everything together and store in fridge or freezer until ready to use.

Nutritional Data:

I have figured the nutritional data for 1 cup or about 1/2 of the recipe. This recipe makes about 2 cups of salad. Many times you might only use a tablespoon or two if using this salad as a garnish, or inside of a shell, so adjust the data per the amount you use:

Calories 55
Protein 2 g
Fat 0
Fiber 3 g
Carbs 13 g
Sugars 6 g
Calcium 34.4 mg
Iron .6 mg
Magnesium 22.8 mg
Vitamin K 17 mcg
Vitamin C 28.5 mg
Vitamin A 1224 IU

and much more vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and antioxidents.

How I use Pico de Gallo:

I highly recommend keeping batches of this awesome food fresh in the fridge and frozen in the freezer for various uses. It can be used on various diet programs too such as Trim Healthy Mama, The Fast Metabolism Diet, Paleo, Lowcarb, Eat Fat Loose Fat, Nourishing Foods, etc. You just can’t go wrong having a batch or two of this dish on hand.

I use Pico de Gallo for many different meals both as a raw topping and as a cooked base for chili, tacos, burritos, bean dips, breakfast omelets, breakfast egg scrambles, soups, stir fries, spanish rice, etc. and also as a fresh topping or garnish on other meals (steak, salad, cucumber salad, etc). I love to make quick breakfasts by adding a few tablespoons of Pico de Gallo in a skillet, sauteing with chopped spinach and then piling all of that inside a delicious omelet. The best omelets ever!!!

Here is a great idea that enhances the nutritional value too. If desired, you can ferment Pico de Gallo in a glass canning jar for one to three days on the kitchen counter, and then for another week or so in the fridge before using just by adding in 2 Tbsp of liquid whey to the recipe when preparing a fresh batch. It will turn out similar to the Asian fermented Kimchi (you can make Kimchi with this by adding chopped cabbage and red chili peppers). It is amazing what you can do with ferments. The Lactobacillus in the liquid whey will grow at room temperature in the jar and will help safely ferment the veggies and it activates lots of enzymes and good bacteria that are beneficial to the digestive and immune systems.

Whether you eat Pico de Gallo fresh, fermented, or cook it as a base in different dishes, it is YUMMY!!!

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Summer Grilled Chicken Pecan Salad

A salad is a great way to eat a healthy meal, if it is topped right.  You can convert a plate of lettuce into something amazing with just a few ingredients.

Besides veggies and fruits, be sure to include proteins and healthy fats when making your salad too.  There are vitamins and minerals in greens such as lettuce, kale, and spinach that require healthy fats to make them extractable and usable by the body.

A great thing about salad is that it can use up leftovers from a previous meal, and it can be made a day or two ahead and refrigerated and still taste fresh when you go to eat it. That makes it a wonderful convenience and budget friendly food too.

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One thing I really like about summer is cooking meat outside over hot coals.  It gives meat such a delicious smoky flavor.  And in my opinion, no meat on the planet tastes better with a side salad, or on the main entre salad than smoked meat!  And a little goes a long way too.  So go ahead and have a nice dinner with your grilled meat, but save a few extra pieces for leftovers to use as toppings on salads to enjoy later during the week too.  Here is a delicious salad I made with leftover smoked grilled chicken breast.

 

Summer Grilled Chicken Pecan Salad

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Ingredients:

Grilled Chicken  2 oz  cut up

Romaine Lettuce  1 cup shredded

Baby Spinach Leaves 1/2 cup shredded

Romano or Plum Tomato 1 cut into small pieces

Pecans broken into large pieces 1/4 cup or 1 oz

Lemon 1/2 cut into wedges to squeeze out juice as dressing over salad.

Directions:

Wash, chop, cut, and toss!!!  Your salad is now ready to serve!  It just can’t get any easier other than if you made it up a day ahead, and all you had to do was walk to the fridge and pull out a delicious prepared salad when you are hungry.

Nutrition:

Calories 214 g; Carbohydrates 15.7 g; Net Carbs 12.4 g; Fiber 3.3 g; Protein 10.4 g; Fat 13.2 g;               Vitamin A  6025 IU; Vitamin C 34.7 mg; Vitamin K 134 mcg;  Niacin 3.9 mg; Folate 113 mcg; and a good source of manganese, magnesium, selenium, iron, potassium, zinc, and so much more.

Optional: a drizzle of good quality olive oil and a sprinkle of Himalayan sea salt would provide even more great nutrients to top off this salad with.

This is a delicious meal anytime of day.  Lunch, supper, or split it into two side servings to go along with another meal.  I would even eat it for breakfast too.

Enjoy!

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Back At The Starting Line, But On My Way!

I’m on my way to a new me!  But boy oh boy it is a lot harder than I thought it would be.  I started this journey to a healthier me in December 2012.  I joined the YMCA in Asheville NC and started a Walk and Talk Wednesday program to inspire other moms.  I made good progress for 6 months until we moved across the states to Indiana at the end of May 2013.  By December 2013 I was right back where I started.

Fat and Frustrated!!!

Have you been there?  Do you know what I mean?

After feeling sorry for myself for a while, and not completely sure I could get it turned around, I decided to try a method of eating I had heard about from a friend on the TOS crew.  She had done a combination of Trim Healthy Mama and Lowcarb eating and she was able to reach her fitness goal last year, while meanwhile I went backwards and found myself back at the starting line.

I’m a firm believer in true healthy foods, and if any diet starts spouting off dietary nonsense then I am going to run the other way.  I spent countless hours reading and re-reading the Trim Healthy Mama book which is a combination of a recipe book, a science text, and a faith based self help book.  It all made sense!  Over and over on their Facebook page REAL women had posted their successes too.  I really connected when I read the testimony of a mom with a lot of kids who had followed the program and successfully lost a 100 lbs and reached her goals.  Wow!

I started Trim Healthy Mama February 1, 2014.  I started at 249 lbs (ouch that hurts to admit publically), and weighed in at 230 lbs today, July 18, 2014.  Yeah me!!!   This winter I was at my true breaking point with my weight and so discouraged as this is the most I have ever weighed in my life.  I weighed less when pregnant 8 times (we have 6 children and 2 in heaven).   My weight just seemed to climb and climb this past winter even though I was eating healthy.  I could not seem to get it to stop climbing.

Also though I am loosing weight slowly, I have stalled in my weight loss several times over the past few months while following the Trim Healthy Mama program.  I will loose here and there and then stall for a week or two and nothing changes.  Sometimes I gain weight too and it is easy to get discouraged and want to quit.   The yo-yoing up and down can be very discouraging.  I had a vindictive 5 lbs I kept gaining and loosing for weeks on end in April and May.  I definitely see that stress has a big impact on weight gain.  I was stressed because of family finances, and my husband was out of work for more months than he had work over the past year.  He finally got a new job in mid April, but money was so tight and the stress of finances once again was unreal.   At the beginning of July, I was sad to see those 5lbs come back and my weight hovered once again at 235.  It is crazy how I can gain or loose 5lbs almost overnight.  I’ve done enough research to know it is water weight and it is affected by hormone changes and also stress plays a big role.

I felt I needed something more, since I keep having these stalls.  Over the past 17 years I have followed a Weston A Price method of traditional foods which helped me over come infertility.  And for the past  two years, I had added in a Paleo approach.  I had read about a Keto / Lowcarb  approach, but did not implement it at the time.  Finally I am understanding how these methods can compliment each other and benefit me.   Again, the science all makes sense.    I have read a lot about how a lowcarb menu plan can help the body to burn fat for fuel, so that is what I am aiming for.

So after finally getting my brain to understand how this all works, I finally started the 90 Day Healthy Choices Lowcarb Challenge on July 16th at 235lbs and I am at 230lbs today.  I wish I was starting at 229 instead of 235, and I am very frustrated that those pounds I worked so hard to loose found a way to come back this past week.  But I am more determined than ever to be successful on this lowcarb challenge and see if I can bust through some of these difficult hurdles.  So far on Trim Healthy Mama I have an average loss of about  0.8lbs per week or 3.16 lbs per month.   But I want to try to improve this to 2.5lbs a week or 10lbs a month by going on this 90 Day Challenge.

Day three of the challenge is DONE!  Yeah!!!

I am making healthy choices, eating low carb meals with a strategy.   It is definitely a challenge to mix and match the right combos to keep my carb intake low.  I am making healthy choices, and getting great nutrition, and my overall sugar intake is low.  However, I am still above the amount of carbs I want to be at to meet the goal of this lowcarb challenge.  My goal for carbs is to stay below 20 net carbs a day or 5% of my calories, protein 25%, and fats 70% but still incorporate the Trim Healthy Mama approach.  It will take me a little time to get into a good routine so that I can learn to alternate between the lower carb meals, and no carb meals to reach these goals.   I am a work in progress.

So how did I do the first 3 days?

Day 1 Net Carbs = 57

Day 2 Net Carbs = 52

Day 3 Net Carbs = 21

Note:  These net carb totals above include sugar alcohols from Erythritol sweetener and Xylitol sweetener and need to be subtracted off yet and should not have been included in the total.  For some reason the software totals them into the net carbs but it should subtract them as they do not count because the body can’t digest them and they pass on through and have no impact on blood sugar.

It has become very obvious why pre-planning food combinations for meals and snacks individually but also for the whole day to be sure I get in all the nutrients is so critical to achieve my health goals.  I’m back at the starting line, and I have a lot more work to do.  But I am on my way!

 

 

Are you working on any fitness goals?  Please leave a comment and tell us about it.  Thank you.

 

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90 Day “Healthy Choices” Low Carb Challenge

Are you tired of guessing if you are getting enough nutrients each day?  Are you tired of trying to figure out how to loose weight?  Are you tired of feeling like you are starving when you try to keep that New Years Resolution to go on a diet to loose weight?  I can tell you with certainty that I am tired of listening to false dietary advice from folks who really don’t know what they are doing, and tired of failing at getting fit and trim.  Instead of guessing, I want real answers.  I want to know the science of how it works, why it works, and how to repeat it with success.  Don’t try to sell me a pill, or some fancy weight loss program that costs hundreds of dollars!  I want the real change and it should be free because it should be about understanding some facts rather than buying products that may or may not work.

Next week I will be joining up with the 90 Day “Healthy Choices” Low Carb Challenge.  The upcoming challenge runs from July 16, 2014 through October 13th, 2014.

The goal of the challenge is to help you get healthy by making wise food choices, and eat around 20 NET Carbs a day.  The majority of your nutrients should come from healthy fats, healthy proteins, and low carb / high fiber vegetables and low carb / high fiber fruits.  The goal of a low carb meal plan is to maintain an over all low glycemic index, maintain ketosis, and help the body use fat as its main fuel instead of glucose.

All sugars in their various forms, and all starches, and even proteins are broken down into glucose in the body.  You might be asking “What is glucose?  What is glycemic, or low glycemic?”  Glucose is the form of sugar the body uses for fuel, and it breaks down all other sources of sugar into this chemical structure for use.  Glycemic ratio is a method of computing how fast foods are broken down into glucose.  It measures the impact breaking down carbs such as sugars and starches has on the blood stream.  The higher the glycemic load on the body, the higher the glucose in the bloodstream and the harder the liver and pancreas has to work to regulate blood sugar.  High glycemic load results in high blood sugar and eventually leads to diseases like Insulin Resistance, Metabolic Syndrome, Diabetes II, etc, and also feeds various fungus and cancers.  But a low carb lifestyle that maintains a low glycemic load on the body, and tends to support ultimate health and longevity.

I have always studied nutrition since my highschool days.  In college I spent countless hours studying dietary information.  I also allowed a dietary student to follow my food journals to help them and myself learn.  After college I became a medical social worker and observed first hand the impact of food and medications on mood and behavior as well as weight loss or gain and overall quality of life in my clients.  When I was in my late 20’s I learned about a better way of food preparation based on traditional diets of our ancestors instead of highly processed foods.  I joined the Weston A Price Foundation as a student and lover of learning and kept up with all the latest research about the health impact of various foods and how foods should be prepared to maximize their nutritional value.  Following the WAPF methods of food prep and eating traditional foods helped me overcome infertility and restored my reproductive health.  I finally had my first child at age 30 and now have a total of six living children and two in heaven.  During this time, I also opened a healthy foods store to sell natural traditional foods and supplements to my local community.  We eventually closed the store when I was 38 years old, to take a job opportunity for my husband in another state.  But I will never forget all the lives that were forever impacted for the better including my own.  I give all the glory to God, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to learn about real nutrient dense food.

Fast forward and I am now 44 years old.   With my last child born two years ago, I had an emergency C-section that seems to have caused some damage to my metabolism and immune system.  My body did not recover as fast as I had expected it to from the trauma of emergency surgery and the effects of anesthesia.  I also gained weight after the surgery and I could not seem to maintain my weight.  So last year I began a new journey of learning about the endocrine system (mainly the thyroid and adrenal glands) and how to heal.

Over the past year I have learned a lot about using carbs and fats as fuel for the body and how to separate them in various meal plans so the body only has to uses one fuel source provided instead of having to use one and store one when they are both provided at the same time.  Last spring I dug right in and learned about The Fast Metabolism Diet.  This book provided an introduction to manipulating meals and causing healing of the thyroid with nutrition.  FMD helped me loose 18lbs by eating 5 meals / snacks a day, starting within the first 30 minutes of waking.  They also encouraged mild exercise every other day and have a helpful Facebook group for support.  Then this past winter I dug in and read a huge book and learned about another method of food combining and fuel switching called Trim Healthy Mama.  I finally tried it out in February and by April I had lost 14lbs following this method.  I really liked THM because it allowed dairy (cream, cheese, butter, etc.) and because it is Christian based and it supports the whole person, not just menu planning, and there is tons of support through a forum and various online Facebook groups.

Both programs, FMD and THM control the kind of fuel being used by the body and give the body a rest between eating a different fuel source.  The FMD switches fuel sources every two to three days.  So it has two days of moderate carbs and protein, two days of no carbs (or very little) and  lean protein, and three days of moderate carbs, protein sources that contain higher fat, and healthy plant-based fats.  The THM switches fuel sources as often as every other meal.  Both programs space meals and snacks three hours apart and with both you eat about 5 times a day.  Both programs are seeing wonderful successes and I have learned a lot about how to meal plan and when to switch fuel sources.

I am wanting to take my nutritional goals a step further, as I am learning about auto immune reactions to foods, and I want to eliminate most legumes (eat only occasionally or not at all), and eliminate most grains (though I would still enjoy some soaked or sprouted gluten-free low carb grains), and bring the over all carb counts from plant foods down in the meals.  This is very exciting as I learn more about the body and how various foods and nutrients impact the body differently.

I have been creating some recipes, and doing meal planning before starting the challenge.  On my trial run, I tried to reach a goal of 20 or less net carbs (total carbs – fiber carbs = net carbs) on a few different days over the past few weeks to see if I could actually eat this way.  It is one thing to read about it.  It is a whole different thing to actually try to live it 24/7.  Most of the time, by the end of the day, my overall total carbs were between 35 to 90, and my net carbs (carb count after subtracting fiber) were usually between 19 carbs and 30 carbs with a few days over 40.  So I am feeling hopeful that with a few more tweaks, and learning how to actually keep up with keeping track of net carbs while still getting all the macro and micro nutrients, I will be able to do this.  It boils down to a learning curve and following through with a plan.

On this challenge, I plan to make lots of low carb meals and snacks, many from my own original creations with dietary knowledge I have gained from learning different methods.  I think my recipes will combine ideas from Trim Healthy Mama, Weston A Price Foundation, The Fast Metabolism Diet, Keto, Paleo, Glutenfree, and Sugarfree  variations.  I plan to track not only my carbs, but understand the various nutrients in the meals I eat and what nutrients are in excess and what nutrients are lacking and need increased for a more balanced nutritional approach.

I am personally at a point in my life where guessing about my health and nutrition is not a healthy option for me.  Don’t just tell me this or that is healthy.  I want to understand the macros and micros of what I am eating and know with confidence that I am doing the right thing for my body.  I have been tracking the nutrients on each recipe I create and also on the menu for the whole day.  The results have been eye-opening.  I can see what days I need more protein, or more thiamine, or B12 for example.  This mix of research and recipes should be a fun exploration, delicious I hope, and a very interesting learning journey as I track my changes over a 90 day period.

I hope you will check back for my progress updates.

If you would like to join the 90 Day Low Carb Challenge, check out the information over at Traveling Lowcarb and register with your email for updates and encouragement.  It’s free!

Be blessed!

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