Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What is Eating Clean?

What a better time to be introduced to clean eating then a time of the year where every one is setting new goals for themselves. Being healthier is always a great goal to set. I know I say this statement a lot and maybe many of you are asking what exactly I mean when I say to "eat clean". The definition of eating clean may have different variations but I follow Tosca Reno's version of clean eating (eatcleandiet.com). Eating cleanly is all about fueling your body with what it needs and craves to help you perform your day to day tasks with vibrant energy. You eat with a conscience.  This means you listen to your body signals and are constantly aware of what you are eating and how your body reacts to the food. So how do you eat clean?
  • You eat 5-6 meals a day
  • You eat every 2-3 hours
  • You do not eat processed, chemical enhanced, or artificially sweetened foods
  • You stay away from the white stuff (sugar, flour, salt)
  • You eat as organically as possible
  • You watch your portion sizes
  • Drink a lot of water (at least 2-3 liters)
So what do you eat?
In a day I try to follow a 40, 40. 20 principle where 40 percent is Carbohydrates and Proteins and 20 percent is from fat. Ideally each of your meals should contain a protein and a carbohydrate. This is because carbohydrates are used in the body for quicker energy and so paired with protein this combination has a more long lasting energy effect and helps stabilize your blood sugar levels. You should eat your carbohydrates from whole grains (oatmeal, wheat bread/wraps, brown rice), fruit, and vegetables. Proteins need to be as lean as possible meaning as little fat as possible. Fat from animal fats are saturated and this is bad! Too much of this fat is what you find around your arteries etc. You want unsaturated/ hydrogenated fats which aren't solid at room temperature. So lean proteins include chicken, pork loin, lean beef, sea food, egg whites, protein powder, and even beans. Good fats are nuts, oils (olive, coconut, sunflower,etc), nut butters, avocados.

Most people I talk to are intimated by eating 5 or more meals a day every 2 to 3 hours. Yes, this is a lot of eating, but its so important to eat smaller meals throughout the day rather than 3 mid-size meals...or worse one big whopper at the end of the day. Eating throughout the day not only stabilizes your blood sugar for long-lasting energy, but it also revs up your metabolism so you are burning more calories during the day.  It may also be hard to believe but you will lose more weight eating more food! Clean food is REAL food. It is perfect food you can actually eat more of because of its lower calorie, salt, and fat content. This is a way lifestyle not simply a diet to lose weight quickly. Yet, it does take some planning and organization to get it engraved into your days. For example, I typically plan out a few meals to cook for the week that I can munch on often. Then, I will usually pick a day to get it all done. I will do the grocery shopping, cut up and wash fruit and veggies for quick grabbing, and prepare some meals in one day. Once you get the hang of a routine like this you will be amazed with how easy this all becomes.  I hope this helps with some questions on clean eating and maybe this will inspire a few of you to try this out. If you have any questions or simply help with a head start please contact me!

A typical meal plan for me:
meal 1 (6:30/ 7am)- 1/2c oatmeal (or oat bran), 2 tbsp ground flax, 2 tbsp wheat germ, 1/2c berries, 1 c milk (or scoop of protein powder), green tea with lemon

meal 2 (9am) - 3 egg whites, spinach, tomato, 1 small apple

meal 3  (12/1pm)- veggie soup (low sodium) broth based, 4oz grilled chicken

meal 4 (3)- 1 Ezekial bread slice, 1 tbsp peanut (or almond) butter, cucumber

meal 5 (6)- 4 oz salmon with spices and lemon, veggies, small sweet potato with cinnamon

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Winter Break- new recipes

Since my return from Spain, I have truly enjoyed my time at home to catch on some much appreciated R & R as well as spending time with my family and friends. When I came back into the states I decided to put my clubs down for a few weeks and which is always and interesting experience for me. Usually I start enjoying the time to do other things from golf, so most of my time was spent working out, cooking, seeing friends and family, and shopping : ). Eventually this also becomes a routine....so when its time to get back into my golf routine its definitely hard sometimes to reach for that inner motivation. What usually gets me going is knowing I have a tournament coming up to prepare for.... I hate not being ready for a tournament and so sometimes you just gotta grit and bare the cold and laziness and move forward. My next string of tournaments begin January 20th in Australia. I will be playing in 2 back to back tournaments, after I will have a week break and then I will go to New Zealand to play in their Women's Open. I'm really looking forward to competing again and playing with some pressure, which is fun! The season is supposed to be their spring/summer so I can't wait to bring out my shorts and soak in the warm temperatures. I leave this Sunday the 16th so I still have golf practice and travel preparations to wrap up in order to be completely ready for the long flight across the world. Anyways I will fill you in later on how I will prepare for this trip. I do have some recipes for some good eats I've prepared over the break. I hope you try them out and enjoy them as much as my family and I did!

  Applesauce Pumpkin muffins (from The Eat Clean Diet Cookbook)

1c old- fashioned oatmeal
1/2c unsweetened applesauce
1/2c canned pumpkin
2 large egg white, 1 egg white (lightly beaten)
2 tbsp and 1 tsp canola oil
1 tbsp double-acting baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2c milk or soy
1/2 c flour of your choice
1/4 c whole-wheat flour
1/4c maple sugar flakes (i used a free tbsp of maple syrup instead)
1/2 dried cranberries or raisins

1) Preheat oven at 375 degrees. Line muffin pan with cooking spray and liners 2) Combine oatmeal, pumpkin, applesauce, milk, eggs and oil. Mix until all ingredients are blended 3) Measure and mix all dry ingredients. Make a well in the center and pour in all wet ingredients. Mix all ingredients until all dry are moistened. Fill muffins cups 2/3 full. Bake 15-20 minutes until brown on top

Maui Black Bean Soup (The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook pg. 71)

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 ribs celery, trimmed and chopped
1 fat carrot, peeled and chopped
1 small purple onion, peeled and chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and de-veined, chopped
1 green pepper, seeded and de-veined, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
1 tsp dried cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp chili powder
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 x 15oz cans black beans
1 x 15oz canned diced tomatoes
1c fresh (or frozen) corn kernels
Sea salt and ground pepper to taste

1) In large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add celery, carrot, onion and bell peppers. Saute' until onion becomes translucent, about 8 min. Add garlic and spices cook another 2 minutes. 
2) Add stock, beans, tomatoes. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes. Use a hand blender to slightly puree mixture. Add corn and simmer. Add salt and pepper

Black Bean Brownies (from Sept. 2010 Oxygen mag)

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 whole eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
12 oz package Mori Nu, extra-firm lite tofu
1/2c unsweetened applesauce
2 tbsp canola oil
1/3 pure maple syrup
1/2c unsweetened cocoa
3/4c chocolate whey protein powder
1 tsp baking poweder
1/2 tsp sea salt

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2) Puree beans in a food processor. Add the rest of the wet ingredients and blend to combine
3) In a large mixing bowl, use a fork to mix together the dry ingredients. Add to the wet ingredients and blend until smooth
4) Pour batter into an oiled 8x8 baking dish. Bake for 30 min

Makes 16 servings. 100 cal, 3g fat, 11g Carb, 8g Protein     

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

As promised here is the next part to my Spain trip. We left last Monday from Cartegena en route for Granada. I heard about Granada from my Auburn team mate who's from Madrid. She recommended going there because of its Muslim and Arabic history. Dad and I decided to take the scenic drive along the ocean which would eventually detour along the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains. The next day was definitely one to remember! Tuesday, was one of those days where everything sort of started out against us. We woke up in our hotel and left around 8 or 9 because everything is later in Spain. Our first plan of the day was to see the Muslim built fort Alahambra. But before we went there, we first wanted to find a grocery store possibly for snacks or a sandwich for later. That was a no-go. All the stores we could find were closed and didn't seem to open probably til lunch time. Next, we needed to exchange our American dollars for Euros. So we headed to the nearest national bank and who would have thought that a bank would not exchange money!!! Strike 2. What next? The search for Alahambra. For the trip we brought our TomTom to help navigate us....which really only got us more lost! I plugged in the name Alahambra and one showed up, so we followed it only to end up at a beer factory plant which processed the beer named Alahambra. Whew!!! After driving around in circles trying to find a fort (which shouldn't be too hard to find considering its supposed to be huge), we decided to drive up to the Sierra Nevada Mountains so I could for the first time try skiing or snowboarding.

Probably one of my favorite part of Spain was being able to experience its beautiful landscape. The drive through the Sierra Nevada Mountains was one of these experiences. The road just kept climbing up and around the mountain surrounded by wildlife, as well as,  pine trees and olive trees. Along the drive something I kind of expected would happen eventually along the trip did....we were pulled over for my father not wearing his seat belt! I wish I had video of this for you all...it was typical of my dad. The officer came to the window and announced we would need to pay him 100 euros right then for not wearing a seat belt. When he went back to the police car with my father's license and information my father pulled a quick one on him and pulled the belt across his lap but not over the shoulder. Now keep in mind that we don't speak much Spanish and this officer spoke very little English. So when the officer came back to the window my father some how pulled it off how he was wearing a seat belt all a long and that he had restrictions in driving when he wore the belt across his shoulder! Wow! Of course I was sitting in the front seat trying to in vision how we were going to get out the jail cell they were going to throw us in. Eventually, the cop actually just told us to go probably just so he didn't have to talk with my father again! So off we went.  The ski village on top of the mountain was too cute. The houses and buildings looked as if they were just stacked on top of each other going up the mountain. The stores were all ski or winter related and then there were restaurants that like most in Spain were devoted to selling coffee (cafe) and pastries. We headed first to the information center. Never would have guessed this...the lifts (or the mountain) was closed! What is that strike 3 and a half maybe? At least at this information desk we were able to pick up a map of Granada that had the true location of Alahambra! After a coffee on my part and a pastry of my dads part we left the ski village.

Skip forward to the part where we actually do find Alahambra. So we parked, followed the crowd to this building where a line had formed to enter Alahambra. As we stood in the long line, one of the workers walked along telling everyone that all the tickets to see Alahambra had been sold out for the day! What a day right? Well it did eventually turn around. We decided to walk down to the downtown center of Granada and boy did we walk. It seemed every which way we walked was up hill but it was definitely worth the experience. Granada was beautiful! It was everything you expected an old town to be like and the people fit this image completely. I personally enjoyed the hippies and old palm-readers since I don't come across these personalities quite often in Alabama :)

Our Spanish tour ended pretty quickly. Truthfully we were so set on just going home after 4 to 5 days of being tourists. My dad really enjoyed the beautiful sites but the driving, walking, eating, hotels, and hardly no communication to friends and family became tiring. I really wanted to just go home and relax with friends and family. So we left December 11 from Spain and I have really loved doing nothing at home!!! So whats next? Australia!!!!

Thanks for being patient with me!