Wednesday, October 22, 2014

{What I Ate Wednesday} 10/22/14

Happy Wednesday Everyone!! Yesterday was just one of those days. Do you know what I mean? When you try so hard to make your day run smoothly and things just fall apart. I really didn't get anything accomplished and I pretty much had a kid crying at all hours of the day! Whew! Exhausting to say the least! I am just so thankful that I get a fresh start today. :)

Let me share with you guys what I ate yesterday:

Breakfast: My favorite Steel Cut Oatmeal topped with all natural crunchy peanut butter and honey.

Snack: Apple and almonds

Lunch: Leftover Crock pot Pork tenderloin with a half of a baked sweet potato topped with cinnamon.

Snack: KIND bar **I think this was dark chocolate almond

Dinner: Salad from Newk's. It was a spring mix salad with chicken, cranberries, grapes, pecans, artichokes and blue cheese. Topped with balsamic vinaigrette.

All in all...not too bad considering all of the chaos!! I had every intention of cooking dinner but by the time 5:00 hit...I was exhausted and it was not happening! The salad was tasty and fast! 

So tell me...

What is your favorite healthier take out meal?

Monday, October 20, 2014

My 10 day Cleanse RESULTS!

Hey you guys! I decided a couple weeks ago that I needed to do something to shake my system up. I was feeling very lethargic, my immune system was weak and my eating although mostly clean was a little too dependent on convenience items. Life has been so crazy after the addition of my 3rd child that I haven't been able to figure out how to fit in time for me. Time to make myself actual meals instead of grabbing a bar or a piece of fruit and calling it lunch! I chose the 10 day Advocare Cleanse after hearing about how great my friend felt after doing hers!

Now on to my results:

First off let me say this....I did not follow this cleanse exactly like you are supposed to. I didn't do a lot of research prior to purchasing this cleanse and after receiving it....I realized that the fiber drink that you are supposed to drink most of the days of the cleanse has sucralose in it. I like to avoid artificial sweeteners which is why I opted out of the Spark energy drink that is also recommended for the cleanse. I decided not to do the fiber drink either. I did take the Probiotic supplements and the herbal cleanse pills. I ate pretty much the way that I always do but I didn't eat any bars or dark chocolate! I also didn't have any of my beloved Ezekiel bread. I focused on eating mainly lean proteins, fruits, veggies and healthy fats. I did drink black coffee and I tried to eat the recommended 5 meals a day although some days were crazy and I didn't get 2 snacks in. I am not posting my before and after pics because well...they look exactly the same! :)

I didn't lose any weight and it is hard to tell if my immune system was boosted or not. I do feel pretty good and I feel like my digestion has improved. This cleanse may have not been a huge change for me but one thing it did do was force me to focus on eating more protein and start cooking again! I have been eating WAY more veggies than I was before so for that reason alone....I am glad that I did it. Would  I do it again......probably not...just because I don't think that I need to detox. I am a clean eater and have been for years. What I really need to do is exercise! I have got to figure out a way to fit that in and find some options that I can physically do at this point. I know that exercise will improve my energy and make me feel fabulous! I hate doing it but I am so glad I did when it is done!

My husband also participated in this cleanse. He was eating terrible when he wasn't at home. I don't have any unhealthy food in the house so when he would leave for work...he would stop by Dunkin Doughnuts for candy all day and then even stop and get fast food before coming home to eat one of my "healthy" dinners. It was bad...ya'll! This was a great and much needed change for him. He has lost almost 10 pounds and has been eating SO much better!! I hope that he will continue with this way of eating but who knows! I am not convinced yet!

My final thoughts:

If you are eating terrible and you need something very structured to change your life...I think this may be a good option for you. I wouldn't buy the whole herbal cleanse box. I think that the probiotic restore pills and the herbal cleanse pills are good products but I would replace the fiber drink with metamucil or add flaxseed meal to your oatmeal or shakes.

I am still on the fence about cleanses. Just eat clean and exercise. It is pretty simple. If you want to change your life and become a healthier on my Clean Eating tab at the top of the page. There is so much useful information there! You can do this!! I promise that it seems challenging at first but once you commit to changing your will get easier every day. I eat this way because I love it and because I feel good while doing it! Feel free to ask me any questions! I have a ton of great resources on the blog that will help you change your life!!

Thank you all your support and kind words! I am far from perfect but I just try to be as real with you guys as I can be! It is nice to have so many wonderful ladies (and gentlemen) on this journey with me! :)

Monday, October 13, 2014

{Fall Recipe Round-Up}

Hello Everyone! Who else is loving these cooler temps? I am so excited about sweaters, boot and coat weather! This has to be my favorite time of year...for sure! I also love cooking this time of year. Butternut and spaghetti squash, apples, pears and of course pumpkin everything!! If you love this season as much as I do...then you are gonna love these recipes!

Here are some of my favorite fall recipes:

So tell me....

What is your favorite fall food/recipe?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Why I decided to cleanse?

I will start off saying this...I am not a huge fan of cleanses. My reasoning is that if you eat whole, unprocessed have no reason to detox. I think that most cleanses are really strict and I personally can't handle drinking my meals all day. I decided that I would open my mind up a little and give a cleanse a try at this time in my life.

Here's why:

  1. My immune system sucks!! With my daughter starting Kindergarten...germs have gone rampant around here! Everyone is sick and in order to take care of them...I have to be at my best! Even my sweet little 2 month old has been sick this week! :( I used to NEVER get sick! Being a nurse....I was exposed to so many germs and my body had no problem fighting them off. Staying at home with my babies and not being around a ton of people on a daily basis...has taken its toll on my body's ability to fight off simple viruses.
  2. I need energy! Right body hasn't completely recovered from childbirth and physically I can't handle too much exercise. That used to be a huge energy boost for me. My life is the craziest it has EVER been and although I know in a couple months things will slow down and my body will be able to handle it....right now is not the time to commit to a fitness regimen. I have heard great things about the energy boost that a cleanse will provide so we shall see!
  3. I have 8-10 pounds that I would like to lose and I have hit a major plateau. Weeks and weeks of clean eating and these last few pounds aren't budging! I know it takes time and I am not concerned at all with the number on the issue is that I want to feel comfortable in my clothes again! I don't want to go buy a whole new wardrobe and although I fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes....I wan't to fit minus the muffin top that happens in some of my jeans! :) Seriously though...if I could lose a few pounds....that would be fine with me!
  4. I need a diet overhaul. Yes...I eat clean 90% of the time but no...I don't eat as well as I would like. I am craving chocolate daily and depending on too many protein bars/Larabars to get me through the day. I need something to force me to take a few extra minutes and get some veggies in! I also need to increase my protein so this cleanse will force me to do that!

I am doing the Advocare 10 day cleanse. The reason that I liked this one is because it encourages clean eating. Lean proteins, healthy fats, fruits and veggies are all that you eat during these 10 days. No dairy, breads, or refined sugars.  I love that! I purchased the Herbal Cleanse packet and the Catalyst pills. The herbal cleanse includes probiotics, a fiber drink and the herbal cleanse pills. The Catalyst is to preserve lean muscle mass which I thought would be good although I feel like I have very little muscle mass left after this pregnancy. I decided not to do the Spark Energy drink. I know people LOVE Spark but it has artificial sweeteners in it and I like to avoid those if at all possible. I will continue drinking black coffee through this cleanse. I do plan on cutting back to one cup instead of the 3...errr 4 cups I have daily!

My husband is also doing this cleanse with me and I am very excited about that! He is a junk food addict and I hope this will encourage him to continue eating healthy even after the cleanse! I promise to keep you guys updated and let you know how it goes! We start tomorrow! Wish me luck! 

I don't distribute Advocare products at this time and am not affiliated with them in any way. Just heard about it through a friend and thought I would give it a try!

Monday, October 6, 2014

{Q & A} with Ashley #2

Hey Guys!! It has been a year since my last {Q & A} and I was curious to see if you guys had any questions for me!! I asked my facebook followers to ask me any questions that they may have and I would answer them!! Let's get started:

The first questions is from Allison:
 I was actually just thinking yesterday how I had some questions! I am really working to clean up my diet. What do you do when you go to someone else's house or eat out? We are at family's a lot. Do you just do the best you can? Are there restaurants you recommend that are better for clean eating? I realized that my salad dressings are not clean! Is there one you like best? It's also been tricky to find clean crackers.

Thanks Allison....Great questions! 

When I go to someones house to eat....I just do the best I can. I usually try to focus on the protein and the veggies. If there is something there that looks really yummy and I really want it...I eat it! Not a huge portion...just a bite or two so I don't feel deprived. When I am at a restaurant...I usually go for the salads with chicken and a vinaigrette on the side. If I am not in the mood for a salad...I will order grilled chicken or a steak with veggies on the side. I always drink water or unsweetened tea.

For restaurants....I wouldn't say that any restaurant is great for clean eating. Peruvian restaurants usually have some healthy choices. I also really like Chipotle and Zoe's Kitchen. None are perfect but I find that I don't feel terrible after eating from those restaurants occaisionally.

For salad dressing....I almost always make my own.  My favorite is the dressing that I make for my Apple and Onion salad. I haven't found a store bought dressing that I am happy with the ingredients and the making my own is always the best option!

Clean crackers.....not easy to find! I don't eat crackers very often but the ones that I buy for my kids are either the regular whole wheat Triscuits or Carr Whole Wheat Crackers.

Hope that helps Allison!! :)

The next question is from Kelly:
Ditto to the cracker question! Do you come up with your own recipes? Where do you learn about clean eating? Resources?

Thanks Kelly!!

Any recipe on my blog was made up by me! If I was inspired by another recipe...I will link to that recipe or just link to the blog/website where I got the recipe. I am not a great recipe follower and I usually always tweak recipes to make them my own! 

I learned about clean eating from Tosca Reno's Clean Eating books. I have quite a few and they were my bible when I started out on my "clean eating" journey. I would highly recommend them to anyone! Another great resource and a website that has taught me SO MUCH is 100 Days of Real Food. Check it out! So much great information!

Please guys always feel free to ask me questions! Follow me on facebook or instagram and post your questions there!! 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

{What I Ate Wednesday} 9/24/14

Hey everyone!! Hope you're having a great week so far! Just a quick update...I went for my 6 week post-partum check up last week and all is well. I don't think I'll be starting any kind of structured workout regimen just yet. Life's crazy and I'm not sure I'm quite 100% yet. I don't want to rush it. I think it's always best to take things slow and listen to your body.

Now on to {What I Ate Wednesday}:

Breakfast: Steel Cut Oatmeal with chia seeds in place of egg whites. A cup of pumpkin spice coffee with organic half and half.

Snack: Dark Chocolate Protein Shake: just chocolate protein powder, dark cocoa powder, half of a banana, almond milk and ice. 

Lunch: Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel toast with organic chunky peanut butter and two pieces of uncured bacon.

Dinner: Take out with my family...a big Caribbean salad with grilled chicken. Yum!!

It doesn't look like much but I was surprisingly full all day. :)

So tell me...

What is your favorite way to eat chia seeds???

Monday, September 22, 2014

My Top 5 Quick & Easy Clean Eating Dinners

I don't know about you...but my life is hectic! This is the busiest I have ever been so quick and easy meals are a must!! I wanted to share with you my favorite quick and delicious meals! Not only are these meals fast and take very little energy to make but they are also very budget friendly!! :)

1. Breakfast for Dinner

 If you have followed my blog at all...You know that I love everything breakfast and I eat breakfast foods 24/7. I don't know why,,,,I mean they are delicious, easy and fast!! My go-to is scrambled egg/egg whites, Ezekiel bread with almond butter and if I have a few extra minutes I will make a couple slices of uncured bacon on the side. This is a popular dinner at my house. My husband loves breakfast foods as well and my kids love whole grain pancakes or waffles. I like to make a big batch of Bob's Red Mill 10 grain Pancake/Waffles and freeze any leftovers so they are super easy to grab out of the freezer and re-heat for dinner!

2. Clean Out your Fridge Salad

This is kind of a no-brainer. I almost always have spinach, kale or spring mix in my fridge so we just kind of use up whatever we have for dinner one night. I like to throw in beans or whatever leftover protein that I have just to beef up the salad some and make it more filling. Throw in fruit/veggies and drizzle on some balsamic vinegar and dinner is DONE!!

3. Hobo dinner

This one is new to me but it is AWESOME!! It is kind of embarrassingly easy. You just throw some veggies, olive oil, salt, pepper and some kind of protein in aluminum foil and you bake it! It is in little packets so you just throw anything in there and throw it in the oven. I usually do some red potatoes or sweet potatoes, whole green beans and a ground beef patty. My whole family loves this!

4. Burrito Bowl

I am a huge fan of burrito bowls. They are so easy and I have tried all kinds of variations and it is always delicious! My favorite is brown rice, black beans, roasted red peppers, caramelized onions, cilantro, salsa verde and plain Greek yogurt! YUMMM!! Make them any way you want!! They take no time at all!

5. Leftovers or Snack Dinners

I have no shame at all telling you guys that a lately I have not been cooking much at all!! I have a newborn, a 2 year old, a 5 year old and a husband to take care of...not to mention enough laundry for a few families, constant straightening of the apartment to make it livable, drop off and pick up from school to deal with and by the time 6:00 rolls around....I don't have the time or the energy to cook an extravagant dinner! We usually always have leftovers in the fridge that we can eat. Sometimes.....we just kind of all eat something. I make some Annie's Mac and cheese for the kids and my husband and I just snack on a few things until we are full and call it a day! Protein shakes are popular for me because they are fast, filling and portable. I have learned that you can do pretty much anything with one hand while using the other to hold your blender cup! This phase in my life is VERY CHAOTIC but I know that once #3 gets a little will be easier for me to get back in the swing of things and start cooking again. I miss it. :(  So if your life is crazy too and you don't have time to cook every night....don't feel bad! Sometimes you just have to do...what you have to do! I think eating leftovers or healthy snacks for dinner is WAY better than fast food....don't you?

So tell me....

What is your favorite ridiculously fast but delicious meal??

DISCLOSURE: Some of my posts contain affiliate links. The cost of the product is the same but I may receive a small compensation through the links. Don't worry...I would never recommend anything that I don't 100% love and use myself!
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