Clean and Lean

You Can Have It All... (In Due Time)

Food is a force of life, a source of energy that keeps us going. But being the human beings we are, we easily can confuse food to being our source instead of a source. Sometime we just don't know when to stop. It's why buffets will never go out of business here in Florida. We are ravenous creatures whose eyes are a great deal larger than our stomaches. But it's not abnormal to deal with this unsatiable appetite. We all deal with this at one point or another - at least if you're human.  Liz Lemon from 30 Rock, is that type of woman, that relatable human being (at least to me.) One whose blunt, unapologetic and unfilitered thought process and impulses can probably relate to most of us. (Sorry : I know 30 Rock may be a dated example, but I don’t watch much tv except for a recent fixation about a certain chemistry teacher turned meth producer, that may have the best health-related materials, at least for now.)

I think Liz Lemon relates to food the way most of us are afraid to admit we do on a weekly basis (particulary women - sorry girls, just being honest)...
“I CAN HAVE IT ALL!” Some of us eat like it’s our last meal, with no tomorrow in sight. I’ve done it, and particularly struggled with this when I’ve put too much food off limits (like major food groups.) If your trying to be too angelic everyday (ex. low-fat foods, substance-lacking salads, sugar-free fat-free froyo), your cravings will likely turn you into a 'lil devil. Certainly it explains some of our mood-swings. But this all or nothing mentality, in relation to our diets, seems to be a common eb and flow ( or a rather vicious cycle.)

Granted we deal with this “I want it all” idea, with nearly every aspect of life. How often are we completely content in the moment? Especially when we've got our eyes on something that we can't have or that's limited.   But just like you learn to budget your money, organize your time, and allot some relaxing or entertainment in your week, you must “budget” your eating patterns. Or you will forever find yourself in such situations...

So how do you control this ferocious voice inside you that says, “I can have it all!” and be satisfied?

1. Eat Breakfast - You all hear it all the time. But this will truly make a world of difference to your day.

2. Avoid Eating late - Unless you're wake up call isn't until 2pm everyday, avoid 2am Taco Bell runs. ( And one effects the other. of course if you eat too much at night you’re not going to feel like eating first thing in the morning.)

3. Cut Your Portions Way Down - Leave meals feeling satisfied rather than full.

4. Eat about 5 Small Meals Instead of 3 Big Onse -  But don’t think captain crunch, pizza, and big macs 5 times a day, but whole, clean foods.

                                                        Here’s an example of one day:

                                                       Breakfast - Oatmeal w berries, almonds w a dollop of greek yogurt

                                                       Snack - handful of sunflower seeds and an apple

                                                       Lunch - Grilled chicken, roasted broccoli & squash w olives

                                                       Snack - Carrots and hummus

                                                       Dinner - Sauteed Fish with green beans, quinoa & avacado

5. Cheat Meal/Day - Now I know I've said before I don't like the idea of "cheating" but really it's another way of "budgeting" or allowing indulgences while staying on track. So one meal (or one day) a week let yourself eat whatever you’re craving. This is all apart of the Clean and Lean philosophy, that I've been applying & sharing with you. It works!

Just a little patience and you can eventually have it all. Eventually....






For All You Salad-Haters

If you hate salads, chances are haven't had a good one. A bowl full of romaine drenched in fat-free ranch would sounds about as appetizing to me as munching on strafoam insulation as well. A few weeks ago I mentioned the "Clean and Lean" Cookbook I began using (now available in the states!), altering and cleaning up some eating habits, and the best reminder through it has been their simple but creative approach to salads and vegetable. Veggies should never be bland and boring, but delish! I know I sound ridiculous, but seriously these recipes are freak'n ridiculously good! Yes, I said freak'n (sorry Mom.) I'll still be trying out more new recipes from James Duigan's cookbook until I tire of them, so hopefully they'll appeal to all of you as much as they do to me! Thanks Bodyism for keeping eating clean and lean, scrumptious! Or as James Lipton would say "Scrumtrulescent."

Yummy. Eat your veggies...


Roast Squash with Feta, Pumpkin Seeds and Sprouting Broccoli

Serves 4 

Ingredients  1 large acorn or butternut squash  2 tablespoons olive oil  1 teaspoon chilli flakes  1 teaspoon cumin seeds ( you can also use about 1/2 of ground cumin - go light, cause this stuff is pungent! A little goes a long way)  sea salt and freshly ground black pepper  1 cup purple sprouting broccoli  (or cauliflower, asparagus, whatever sprouts are around) 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted (I used sunflower seed) extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling  feta cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F

2. Peel and cut the squash into wedges or large chunks, then toss in the olive oil, chilli flakes, cumin seeds and salt and pepper. 

3. Transfer to a roasting tin and roast in the preheated oven for approximately 35-45 minutes or until slightly golden and cooked. 

4. Meanwhile, blanch the broccoli in salted boiling water for approximately 4 minutes, or until al dente. Once cooked, toss with the squash and pumpkin seeds. 

5. Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and the feta crumbled over the top. 

*Top Tips: This would go great with any grilled meat or oily fish. You can substitute the feta for goat’s cheese if you prefer.

Clean and Lean

Image from

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So I’m not one to tweet every “tweetable” thought  or instagram every morsel of food that goes into my mouth. It can be a little overwhelming, for me and everyone else, when your life is exposed via social network, but I have enjoy writing (be it ever inconsistent and sparse as I it.) So here’s what’s going on with me currently health-wise. A few weeks ago Hillary, a friend (and former boss,) asked me to help her get healthier and wanted to go on some type of cleanse to kind of purge her system of sugar and processed foods. Prior to hearing from her I had been reading up on random health books and bought a new cookbook called  “Clean and Lean” by James Duigan, a well-know Australian trainer. His plan and approach, never mind the fact that he’s worked with the likes of Elle MacPherson and Hugh Grant, struck me as sensible and doable.

A few months ago my sister went on the plan for some wedding-prepping. She lost 7 lbs the first 2 weeks, and loved it so much she's kept up with the approach and lost 12lbs altogether, which helped her look crazy-hot for her wedding day. I suggested Hillary try the same plan and decided to join her, since I was feeling the need for a little tweaking myself. One too many movies nights of popcorn and chocolate can do that to me.

So Hillary and I have been kinda tackling this plan together.

Duigan's approach is so simple and satisfying, there's no reason anyone couldn't maintain this approach for life.

Here's the gist of it: For 14 days you...

CUT OUT  (what Duigan calls) CRAP : Caffeine, Refined sugar, Alcohol & Process foods, basically anything that comes out of a box. But Duigan says you can go ahead and have up to 2 coffee a day (sans the syrups & whipped creams.) So of course when I heard that, I was all over th plan.

EAT & EAT OFTEN - The approach for the first 14 days is just to get your body on track, eating less but more often.  The focus is a lot of greens, veggies, fruits, nuts, avocados, lean proteins like chicken, fish, yogurt and whole grains like oatmeal, quinoa & brown rice.

While I know the whole “Gluten-free diet” can be a whole other gimmick to get you to buy a lot of processed “gluten-free” nonsense, a whole foods approach cuts out processed food entirely. So technically this is a Gluten Free diet.

It may sound hard at first, but I honestly haven’t craved chocolate or junk in a week. Though I’ve done the whole yoga, pilates, health-foodie-blogging thing, it doesn't mean I’m not human and crave crap on occasion. I do look forward to my next splurge. But committing to a week or two of this helps you balance things out to make sure you're feeding yourself right, so that occasional treats are just that - occasional. Once you get through these 2 weeks you can allow a “cheat-meal” once a week. (Not gonna lie, mine may look more like a cheat-day,) but we'll see how things go.

CHEATING – I hate this term because it sounds like a free-for-all approach. But once you start eating whole, unprocessed foods all the time, really your body won’t be craving a day full of junk ( if you’re being honest with yourself.) Over time you may be able to understand when your body really is craving chocolate or can share a dessert with someone once or twice a week. The "Cheat meal" is a good approach to let yourself eat what you want and keeps things from getting boring or too restrictive. Essentially, following any kind of cleanse, you want to be able to maintain and live with more of a 80/20 approach.

This was just a taste of what a "cleanse" could look like. Let me know if you guys have any questions. More to come…