Saturday, March 31, 2012



I've been working my chest out every few days, just in the hopes to gain some strength to do a push up. If you missed my previous post, I confessed that I have never ever been able to do a proper push up. I've even been told by fitness instructors that 'your body just isn't made to do a push-up'. So I've been using that excuse for ages. I just. Can't. Do it.

Well, when I told Commonlaw Spouseoid this, he balked. He grunted. He scrunched his forehead and slanted his eyes and scoffed. And his words were, "That's total bullshit. You're not only gonna do a pushup in a few weeks, but you're gonna be doing many of them in a few months. That's all there is to it."  So, he's been coaching me to try. I've been getting better at the girl ones, so he finally said, "It's time.", and made me stop whining, and do it. AND I DID IT!!!

Thusfar, I can only do one. And then I go down, and can't get back up. But it's a start!!!

BTW, today is the last day of Mad Abs March... time for 60 second sideplanks, 60 crunches and 45 pushups (or for those of us who just figured out how to do ONE, 45 seconds of a regular plank).

What does April have in store for us?? Well, here's not one, but two NEW goals!!

Pick which one you want to do, or join me in trying them both!!
On another note, yesteday I made Pesto Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms. They were amazing.

Tonight, was Mediterranean Lamb and Bison Meatballs. I made them with no yolk, whole wheat pasta. They were INCREDIBLE! And a perfect amount of spice with the chili pepper flakes. Love spice!

Both recipes were from the Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook 2 by Tosca Reno. You, my lady, are a culinary genius. Or your staff is. Whichever. THANK YOU!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Honey Mustard Glazed Salmon!

Well, Clean Eating magazine strikes again... this time, in online form!
I had some salmon in the fridge that I had decided I wanted to make. But I was completely undecided on what to do with it. Well, a quick browse on Pinterest led me to a link on Clean Eating Magazine's website, and I thought, 'Damn, that looks mighty tasty.'

And I was right. It was bloody amazing.
I skipped the lentils however, and made oven-roasted brussels sprouts and bulgar with green onion, sundried tomato and spinach.

Here is the link to the recipe! Honey Mustard Glazed Salmon

Also, a few days ago I tried my hand at 'Roasted Vegetable Eggplant Parmesan' on page 180 of The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook 2. I replaced the zucchini with mushrooms because I think that zucchini tastes like ass. Commonlaw Spouseoid nearly ate the entire thing, it was THAT TASTY. Tosca... you win again.

 I also remade the BBQ Pork Ribs from the same book because he's been dropping not-so-subtle hints about them ever since I made them a few weeks ago.

Spouseoid: (eating ribs at a restaurant) "Hm. These are good. But, you know, not AS GOOD."
Spouseoid: (eating at home) "This chicken is awesome. But... I could really go for some ribs...."
Spouseoid: (looking through the fridge) "Is that the leftover BBQ sauce you made for the ribs? *SIGH* Those were good."


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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Stuffin' Squash

I just got sent the new April edition of Clean Eating on my tablet... I hope you've picked up your copy! I love it when the new edition comes out, there are so many new recipes to choose from!

Thusfar I already made the Farfalle with Chile-Lime Shrimp, and it was EXCELLENT! I'm not going to lie though, I didn't have farfalle, so instead I used Multigrain Fusilli. When I began clean eating, I thought that every single ingredient had to be exact. My grocery bill went up, and my cupboards got stocked with a bunch of random shit that were really only good for one recipe! So I've learned that you can accomplish the same thing using what you have on hand, so long as you look at the similarities and differences of what you're substituting (refer to my older post regarding substitutions!)

Last night, I tried my hand at Guy Fieri's recipe in CE magazine, called Stuffed Acorn Squash with Turkey Sausage & Peppers. Because I have always wanted to try cooking acorn squash, and I love Guy Fieri.

So, call me an idiot, but I always thought that the definition of 'Sausage' was a meat that's minced or ground and then mixed with spices and stuffed into an intestine or other casing. You know, sausage = tube. Well, this recipe says 'sausage', but it's basically just ground turkey, mixed with spices, and then cooked. I... I still don't get it. But whatevs. Wacky.

(I will point out that I did not let the meat sit with the spices for the 8-24 hours required. I don't really know if it makes THAT much of a difference, I'm sure Guy would impale me with his spiky bleached noggin if he found out, but meh.)

(I would recommend that, if making this recipe, you sprinkle the seeds on AFTER broiling them. It seemed that before the ricotta could even get a chance to melt, the seeds were already starting to burn.)

All I know is that, it tasted bloody delicious. To you, Guy Fieri.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


We all know that clean eating makes us feel happier and healthier. It also helps us dash those extra stubborn pounds.

But remember Mad Abs March? Well, I've been faithfully sticking to my guns. Well, almost. There have only been a handful of days where I *insert lame excuse here*. (except for Blue Man Group. Not only was that a damned good excuse, but I worked my fucking balls off those 3 days. And I don't even have balls.) But every time I didn't have time, I made up for it by doing my reps during my "Sunday rest day", or doing twice as much the next day.

Today was the first day I realized the fruits of my hard work. It didn't happen overnight, it took 22 days to even see a tiny difference! But BAZAM! Zombiegyrl is gettin' some cuts!

I had to squat to get the picture on my tablet. I look ridiculous.
But I stand by my original BAZAM!

So DON'T GIVE UP! Let's do this!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

And the hills cried out, TRAITOR!

What a weekend.
Am I ever exhausted. I've been avoiding writing this post out of pure shame! This weekend was a big reminder of why I eat the way I do. Because let me break this down for you.

This weekend, I got the incredible opportunity to work load and props for Blue Man Group! I cannot explain how amazing it was.
Friday wasn't too bad. I was up at 4:30am so that I was at the theatre for the 5:30am load in. I had a quick breakfast in preparation for unloading 6 semi trucks, FULL of motor cases, set pieces, video screens, decking, and everything else under the sun. So I worked my skinny white ass off, hauling gear. I will say this: I am SO happy that I have been working my arms and chest recently, because I was able to carry and push a lot more than what I would have been able to a few months ago! Hard work has been paying off!
Lunch was provided for us. I tried to make the healthiest choices with what was in front of me. Chicken sandwiches made with brown bread, and as many veggies and fruit as I could fit on my plate! Then, back to work.

So here's where the cheese slipped off of the cracker a bit.
Props for Blue Man Group includes a lot of food. Bananas, Cap'n Crunch, marshmallows, cream cheese, Twinkies, Jell-O.. The list goes on. So you get hungry working your ass off around food all day! Then came,
Lead Props Guy: "Hey Amber. Will you break this case of white Toblerone bars into 3 triangles each, and shave all the pointy corners off of them with this grater?"
Amber: "That's wacky, sure thing, man!"
Lead Props Guy: "It's not easy to break them off in 3's, so if you accidentally break off a wrong number, just eat 'em"
Amber: 'This is going to end badly. Badly, but tasty.'

Thankfully I mastered the fine art of Toblerone Sculpting with only 6 triangles of carnage. And I shared. :)
Supper, we walked to a restaurant where I had a veggie burger. BUT, although I opted for yam fries, I had the miso mayo dipping sauce too. I had such wicked heartburn all night during the show. It was easy to ignore my volcano belly because Blue Man Group is SO amazing, and I was running the whole night.
Saturday, I made sure to have a full breakfast with eggs, turkey bacon and whole wheat toast with peanut butter. Must fuel the machine! Them back to the theatre for a matinee. Between the break before the evening show, I went with the crew to a buffet Chinese food place. Although I filled myself with mostly salad, and tried to choose veggie dishes, I felt like a heap of shit shortly after. Weighed down, bloated, nauseous, tired... It's absolutely incredible how food can change your whole body!
Sunday, I tried to make better choices. But now working on a weekend of long hours and non-stop excitement, I forgot all about Friday's belly-fire and had the same veggie burger, yam fries and horrid mayo. Heartburn, we meet again. Then after the evening show, we had load out. Packing up all 6 semis! Hours after midnight when it was all said and done, I was starving. I wolfed down a couple of bananas and a cupcake that was backstage. A cupcake. After hostile negotiations with my stomach until 3:00am, my stomach decided enough was enough and evicted said cupcake from my body.

Thank you, body. For that vile reminder.

Next time, I promise to plan my meals in advance. Bring a lunch box with an emergency wrap, sandwich, granola bar, fruit and veggies for those moments when I just need fuel. This way, I won't be tempted to eat the only things I can find laying around.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Crap situation made awesome!

You wanna know what I freakin' hate?

When I go to make something delicious, and I find out that my bread or buns has gone mouldy. I kind of die a little inside, because by the time I go into the pantry to grab said products, I have already committed myself to the happiness of whatever I have decided to ingest. And my plans are suddenly ruined.

The other day I went into the pantry to grab some yummy ancient grains tortillas to make a tasty wrap, and discovered that they had gotten dry. You know, how tortillas have to be all soft and roll-able to make a wrap? And you open your package and you're all, hey, they're not crusty, but they're not rollable either? How frustrating, because you know they're like, 1 day past being perfect. So you know what I did? I made up for my lack of wrap, and made tortilla chips.

I sprayed some extra-virgin olive oil on those bad boys, dusted them with sea salt and chili powder, cut 'em up with a pizza roller, threw 'em in a 350 oven for about 10 minutes, and whammy. Yum. I had to check them frequently so as they didn't burn, but once I took them out and let them cool, they were perfectly crisp.

Take that, crusty tortilla.
Experiment with your own favorite seasonings, and begin to wonder why you ever buy prefab!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pizza, anyone?

Who DOESN'T like pizza?
But personally, I hate the cheesy, greasy, doughy versions that you can get delivery or ready-made. What a sure way to take a greasy sticky dump on your healthy diet. So I make my own! (how did you guess I was going to say that..)

I start with whole-wheat dough. I normally make a big batch of it on a Sunday, and freeze it into balls so that I can just grab a ball of dough and thaw when the culinary inspiration hits me.

Last night I made a pizza topped with brie, raspberry and basil, with a carmelized onion and rosemary puree base. But thankfully, pizza is so versatile, that the sky's the limit when it comes to toppings! So long as you keep it clean! I also have frozen and jarred homemade tomato sauce that I keep on hand, but pesto works just as well for a base (and is freakin' delicious)! Experiment with fresh veggies, fruits, cheeses, spinach, goat cheese, chicken, artichokes, sweet pea sprouts, herbs, feta... It's amazing what flavours harmonize when they're baked together!

Don't want to use whole-wheat dough? Grab a large wheat pita! It's amazing as a crust! OR, if you don't want leftovers, or are cooking for yourself... toast English Muffin halves, spread the sauce and toppings on each half, and broil for a few minutes. Instant mini-pizzas, and a great way to portion control, if you're like me and taste something amazing. You know, when I need a team of gladiators to prevent me from finishing the entire thing off, because I'm "SO full, but it just tastes SO GOOD".

Pizza can actually be a very healthy dinner, if you do it right!

Since this is a sharing blog... even though I've been the only one doing the SHARING thusfar (is anyone even out there? Bueller? Bueller?)... RECIPE TIME!
I figure that I should share my recipe for Whole Wheat Pizza Dough with ya'll. I don't even remember where I got it from, so here you go!

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

1 tbsp honey
1c. less 1 1/2 tbsp lukewarm water, divided
2c. whole-wheat flour
4 tsp vital wheat gluten
1 tsp sea salt
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 pkg active dry yeast (2 1/2 tsp)

1. In a large bowl, mix honey and 1/3c. water. Sprinkle yeast & allow to prooof, 10 minutes or until foamy.
2. Mix 2c. Flour, wheat-gluten and salt in lrg bowl
3. Add remaining water & 2 tbsp oil to yeast mixture. Pour in flour mix, gently fold until just combined. Will form a very wet ball. Coat the bottom of a large bowl with remaining oil. Transfer dough to bowl, roll ball to coat in oil. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap, set aside at room temp. to rise for 1 hour. Dough will be soft and sticky.
4. Lightly dust counter with 1/4c. flour. Transfer dough. Gently knead using remaining flour for 1 min. Cover tightly again and set aside to rise for about 30 minutes
5. Transfer dough to floured surface, cut dough to form 2 balls. Lightly knead for 30 seconds, reform to balls. Form to pizza crust, or store.
To store: Refrigerate for 24 hours, freeze up to one month.
Bring dough to room temperature before using.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Weekend warrior!

Well, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but nonetheless, I try to use my weekends to do productive things, like planning meals for the upcoming week. Unfortunately, my weekend consists of one day this time around. After working yesterday, my amazing Commonlaw Spouseoid put the pork ribs in the oven to boil in stock for 3 hours. When I got home, they were pretty much ready to be thrown on the barbecue! I can't even take credit for the cooking of this meal... all I basically did was make the BBQ sauce a few days ago. He did everything, and since it was a balmy 17 degrees Celsius, we were able to break out the grill!
Not enough.
This recipe was from the Eat-Clean Cookbook 2. 'BBQ Pork Ribs'. Oh my sweet merciful God, they were incredible. The meat fell off the bone, they were so tender. And the BBQ sauce which I had prepared days beforehand was better than the crap you can buy in the bottles. It was spicy, sweet and flavorful. I'm so thankful that I have some left over, I can see this being basted on some chicken in the near future...

This morning I took a little time to make 'Blueberry Blintzes' from the same cookbook. From my limited expertise, 'blintz' is just a fancy word for crepe. Which, I thought, was a fancy enough word on it's own. Crepe. Whatever you want to call it... blintz, crepe, flat pancake, yummy breakfast tortilla... I call it DELICIOUS. The blueberry sauce is the perfect compliment to the lemony ricotta and yogurt cheese filling. I immediately knew I had a breakfast winner on my hands when Commonlaw Spouseoid actually licked the plate. That is a sign of ultimate belly yum yums, my friends.

Yes. They're as good as they look

The unfortunate part is that, I've been working, had appointments and been going out with friends a few nights in a row recently, so my exercise routine has suffered because of it! Still up keeping 'Mad Abs March', but my cardio routine has been in the crapper this week. So today, after having my rehearsal for my upcoming Shakespearean production, I plan on trying to take advantage of my one day off by getting either a run or some impromptu zumba in.

How do YOU fit exercise in to your daily schedule?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Try New Things Week!!

So last night, I made a pizza out of a large whole-wheat pita round, pesto, peppers, onions, basil, sundried tomatoes and feta. It's a creation that my commonlaw spouseoid came up with, and I freakin' love it. Not only is it clean, but it's SO DELICIOUS!!!

But tonight... I'm going to try a dish I've never attempted before.

Mission: Lasagna!! (I've only ever had it a handful of times, I don't even know if I like it. But... here we go!)
Recipe: Chicken and Spinach Lasagna.
Source: "The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook 2" by Tosca Reno.
Prep time: 30 minutes.
Cooking time: 90 minutes.

Okay, first of all, the prep time is about 80% true, 20% LIES AND DECEIT, if you do it the proper clean eating way. Because it calls for yogurt cheese and clean marinara, both of these had to be made before-hand.

Yogurt cheese: 24 hours
Clean Marinara: 40 minutes.... unless you count the fact that I made the clean tomato sauce before hand... which was about a half an hour a long time ago. Seriously. I don't even know how I had the time. Just... just use the canned, for the love of Gawd! (I DO love knowing that EVERYTHING was from scratch though!)
No ingredients were hard to locate. Really. Stay tuned for the update: Here I go!

*UPDATE: While the lasagna is baking in the oven for an hour, and smelling effin' delicious, I am making Spicy Clean BBQ Sauce. This is in preparation for this Sunday's upcoming New Thing: BBQ PORK RIBS!!! (both from Eat-Clean Cookbook 2). I'm excited, I've NEVER made ribs before. The more I prepare ahead of time, the easier it is!

**UPDATE: Sooo I was GOING to attach a picture of a beautiful square of lasagna, on a plate, with the whole grated parm cheese and the little basil leaf and the hey hey hey. But the damned thing smelled SO GOOD and I was SO HUNGRY that we just dove right in. It was delicious!!

So here are the remnants. Upside? LEFTOVERS!!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Can you direct me to the escarole-ehshshesh-shhh??

Here's a question I've been asked many times:


Honestly, I get a bit frustrated with the obscurity of ingredients in some of the cookbooks and magazines. I mean, Ostrich tenderloins? Like... really? Not just the random meats, but some of the small things thrown in there sound like they're written in pig-latin. But I've found that a quick Google seach of the ingredient will tell you what it is... will give you a good idea of what you can substitute it with! I know, I know, it's probably bastardizing someone's recipe creation... but screw that, I live in a small city in western Canada. Even if some of the grocery stores get it in, the staff hasn't heard of it, and it's in a random place that NO ONE WOULD LOOK FOR IT. And the only people who are buying it are the people specifically scouring their brain trying to sort out where the hell 'daikon radish' would be. I would have to drive 3 hours to the next major city to find some of that shit. Like Kombucha.

Kombucha? Like... whatthefffff...

BUT a quick Wikipedia search will tell you that, "Kombucha is an effervescent tea-based beverage that is often consumed for its anecdotal health benefits or medicinal purposes. Kombucha is available commercially and can be made at home by fermenting tea using a visible, solid mass of yeast and bacteria which forms the kombucha culture"

Sounds delightful, no?

But substitutions for most ingredients can be easy.

Agave Nectar. I couldn't find it for the life of me. It's a sweetner that is sweeter than sugar, but much healthier. It doesn't spike your blood-sugar levels like sugar. SO... because I couldn't find it, whenever a recipe asked for Agave Nectar or Agave Syrup, I just used honey instead. :) Where there's a will, there's a way. I brought some agave nectar home from Mexico when I was there in February. A week later, I stumbled on a bottle of it in a store at the mall. FRACK. Agave Nectar comes from the agave plant. Which is used to make tequila. The agave is a wonderous, wonderful thing.

If I don't feel like buying specialty rice, I use brown. Don't have a vanilla bean? Use extract. No special mushrooms in the store with words you cannot pronounce?? ... those other mushrooms in the produce aisle will do just fine. I can't eat broccoli, so I use other greens and veggies instead. I'm allergic to kiwi, so I use strawberries or another fruit. Can't afford a million variations of seeds? Use what you have! Be creative! Hell, you may discover something new and fantastic!

Monday, March 5, 2012


Not for the zombie apocalypse. That's for another blahg. Equally important, though.

This weekend I had a day of time on my hands. Which NEVER HAPPENS. So I took the spare time to bake some awesome morning treats. The problem is that, my partner Philipe is equally into the clean-eating parade as I am. But his job makes it next to impossible for him to prepare for meals, snacks etc, and he barely EVER eats breakfast. Which I am equally as guilty of. Because let me tell you. In my world, morning = the devil. Morning means going to work, which means the end of all things happy as I know it. So therefore, I avoid getting up as MUCH AS POSSIBLE during the week. Because on weekends, most of the time, it's the EXACT OPPOSITE FEELING. Weekends, I get up early, all chipper and eager to take on the day and invest in as many weekend fun non-work related activities as I can cram in. Which is probably a gigantic neon Vegas-sized sign of my unhappiness with my job, but I digress...

Back to my original point. Breakfast = rarity in my house. So the last few weeks, I have tried to be proactive in preparing as many things ahead of time as I can to make the whole breakfast thing a very do-able thing. This has included Banana Coconut Muffins from the January/February 2012 edition of "Women's Running", Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins and Breakfast Fruit and Nut Cookies, both from "The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook" by Tosca Reno. And all batches of these last the week, and then I'm back to square one. :) They're extra delicious, and not only good as a quick grab-and-go for breakfast, but an awesome mid-morning snack as well!

Another breakfast happy-time is smoothies. I throw a banana, frozen (or fresh) strawberries, pineapple (or blueberries, saskatoon berries, raspberries, etc etc etc), skim milk, greek yogurt, ground flax-seed, wheatgerm, coconut oil... or whatever else I feel like... into a blender and whir away. Pour, drink.... ahhhh...

I also cooked up "Gluten Free Taco Bowls" from the Clean Eating Magazine last night. I'm totally going to share this recipe, because it's UNBELIEVABLY delicious. My one weakness is TACOS. I love 'em. I can't get enough of 'em. I'll eat and eat them until I have the food-belly baby and want to vomit. This recipe, has made me love tacos to a totally different level. It's my new guilty pleasure food, without ANY GUILT!!!

Gluten-Free Taco Bowls. Get ready to blow your taste-buds away.

1tsp xtra virgin olive oil
1/3c. chopped red/yellow onion (I used yellow... because it's what I had.)
1c. brown rice
3 tbsp tomato paste (low sodium)
1 1/2 tsp chile powder, divided
1 tsp ground cumin, divided
1/2 tsp garlic powder, divided
1/2 tsp sea salt, divided
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 15oz BPA free can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
olive oil cooking spray
1 lb xtra lean ground beef (or I used ground turkey, good with both!)
1 tsp paprika
3/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 head lettuce (about 3 cups)
3 vine-ripened tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1/2c. fresh cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 lime
1 cubed avocado
1/2c nonfat plain greek yogurt

1. Heat oil on medium low in a med saucepan. Add onion & rice, cook, stirring frequently, until rice is glossy and slightly opaque about 2 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir to coat. Add 1/2tsp chili powder, 1/2tsp cumin, 1/4tsp garlic powder, 1/4tsp salt and oregano and stir well. Stir in 2c water and increase heat to high. Cover and boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until rice is tender, about 55 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in beans. Cover and set aside.

2. Heat a large skillet on med-high and mist w/cooking spray. Add beef or turkey, cook, breaking up with wooden spoon, until no longer pink 5-7min. Add remaining 1tsp chili powder, 1/2tsp cumin, 1/4tsp garlic powder, 1/4tsp salt. Stir in paprika, onion powder, blk pepper & 1/2c water. Reduce heat to med-low, simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 3-5min. Remove and set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, combine lettuce, tomato, jalapeno, cilantro and lime juice. Toss to coat.

4. Layer each serving bowl with rice mixture, beef mixture, lettuce mixture, top with cheese & avocado. Serve with yogurt. Stuff in your word-hole and enjoy.

*Note: If you go ga-ga for lime, the recipe calls to also add lime wedges to each bowl to squirt on top. I found that, considering the whole lime in the lettuce, that the dish was citrus-y enough as it was, and really, I freakin' love lime. But if you want to be an even more limey bastard, so to speak, feel free to follow the proper instructions.


NOTE: I apologize that I have no pictures of food or funny things attached to this blagh entry. I am tired, and forgot to take photos of my creations. So here is a picture of Brian Boitano holding twine.

You're welcome.
I'd like to thank my hero, the bloggess for this.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

We all have our days!

Well, it figures.

It just figures that, after months of talking about it, I start a blog about health and wellness. And then that night, I go out and get bombed. My excuse was 'friend's birthday'. BUT let's point out that, although booze is NOT good for you, I did make wise decisions, and scoured the menu for the healthiest drinks. Gin and soda with lime, and Mojitos. See? Even when going out to get shitfaced, you can make good choices. (However, I just realized this morning that mojitos contain a small amount of sugar. I did not think of that after my 4th gin and soda!) Most of the problem with alcohol is all of the extra crap they put in it. Sugars, juices, pop, etc. I like to stick to drinks that involve club soda, because they avoid the sugary excesses. Not that booze is good for you. But, let's face it, we need to celebrate and have fun once in a while!!

But that's why I did this. To show that, we can all be healthy, and still live normal lives. You don't HAVE to be perfect to exercise good health!!!

Today, since I slept in due to a late night of bad choices, I missed breakfast! The most important meal of the day! So for 'brunch', I'm planning a veggie eggwhite omelette. Yum! Here's a little note: I cook my omelettes using COCONUT OIL instead of olive oil, or butter! It adds such a marvelous hint of flavor to the omelette, it's DELICIOUS! AND, don't even get me started on the health benefits of cocount oil!! I try to incorporate a teaspoon of it into my diet every day in some way or another. Whether it's substituting it for olive oil, or throwing it in a smoothie, it's amazing! Yum!

On another note, I should probably mention the fitness side of life! I had mentioned that I have a few fitness goals that I want to reach, so since this is a sharing blahg, here they are!

1. I want me some visible ABS!
2. I want to do push-ups for the first time in my life!

So, for #1, I've started a daily routine. Here's the breakdown I found on Pinterest:

I'm actually doing more than this as well. Once I get into this, I start doing a regular plank, jackknives, and bridges. Just because I find that starting is the hard part. Once I have started, I usually want to keep going! I mean, really. Look at that calendar. 10 crunches? 10 seconds of a side plank? That doesn't take any time at all!!! Which leads me to:

#2. I've never been able to do a proper push-up. Never. I can do tricep push-ups, but not regular ones. Not even 'girl' ones! When I was in karate, even my sensei said that my body just isn't designed to do push-ups, so he made me do extra situps instead. So I had reserved myself to the fact that I was physically unable to do them.

But... that's a crock of shit. I'm gonna do it. So I've been doing some chest flyes and 'planks' in pushup position to get my chest in shape. The problem is that, I can hold my body up in the position, but be damned if I can push myself up! And yes, that's even for the 'GIRL' pushups!
NO MORE EXCUSES!!!So for the last few days, I've been working out my chest. And let me tell you.... DAMN IT HURTS TODAY! Apparently it's obviously a muscle that doesn't get any work for me, because OUCH! I don't like it when my boobies hurt.

Today is a rest day. I'm going to take advantage of it!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Start it up!

I've been meaning to write a blahg regarding my healthy lifestyle, and haven't had the balls to do it. Maybe because I thought it would be boring? Maybe I thought that it would make me accountable to others? Myself? Either way, I get asked all the time about what I do to stay in shape, and how hard it is, and my lifestyle. People seem to think that I must spend all of my time in a gym and eat only lettuce. Which is 100% NOT TRUE. I don't even HAVE a gym membership!! And believe me, I eat MORE now than I ever did before! It's one of my favorite topics, because it transformed my mind and life so much. So this is a perfect medium to, not only keep myself on track, but to hopefully help motivate and share with others. And I might as well just stop talking about it and start blahging about it.

It started almost 2 years ago. I was living in a condo with a friend, and since I'm a HUGE fan of cooking, I picked up a book that she had lingering in the pantry, called "The Eat-Clean Diet: Recharged!" by Tosca Reno. I'm not exaggerating when I say, it totally changed my life.

If you're reading this in the same mindset as I was in those 2 years ago, which was never having heard of the concept of clean eating before, let me explain.

The basics of the clean eating lifestyle are:

Eating lean proteins, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats
Eating whole, natural foods
NOT eating refined sugars, bad fats, preservatives, white breads.
"If man made it, don't eat it!"
Eating 5-6 small meals per day

So, following these principles, I threw out all of the white flour, white sugar, processed foods, etc in my pantry and fridge, and started anew. The one thing that the clean eating life stresses is that it is NOT A DIET. It is a LIFESTYLE. Your stomach should NOT be a waste basket!

-starve yourself
-count anything, like calories, points, grams, etc
-buy pre-packaged, pre-portioned food
-take pills, shakes or potions

DIETS: a feeling of deprevation, lethargy and feeling like you're MISSING something. You're giving up something. Bad fats, processed foods, etc are not GOOD for your body. In fact, they're poisining your body! So once I realized that I wasn't giving up anything, in fact, I was GAINING healthy eating habits, it just became second nature.

DAMMIT. I just realized that I sound like a perky infomercial. Long and short:


Months after committing myself to it, I began to feel better. I was waking up earlier. I was perkier. I was 'regular'. <- (yes, that's a poop reference.). I had more energy. And here's the kicker- I was shedding weight like crazy. Without increasing my fitness at ALL. It was all the eating. And I was eating MORE than I ever had before! Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, supper, snack.

I fell off the wagon for a little while due to vacations, people, schedule, excuse, excuse, excuse. And yep, I gained weight and became lethargic and weighed down again. So long story short, I 'cleaned up my act' so to speak, and am back on it. And I'm back to where I was before I fell of the health train. So now, I'm also adding some fitness goals into the mix as well.

So feel free to join me! I'm going to share my meals, etc. Most of the dinners I make are from "The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook" and some from "The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook 2" by Tosca Reno, so if you feel so inclined, find these books and follow along! (as I'm pretty sure Tosca would be pissed about me sharing her recipes all over the place, and there's likely legal issues involved with that). Otherwise, I'll share recipes, and encourage you to do the same for me! I'm always looking for new 'clean' things to eat!

What I DON'T want this to be is just a "Hey, look at me and how healthy I am!" blahg. I want this to be the opportunity to share, inspire, and motivate with others. I want to show how easy it can be, and I want to point out how little changes can make a big difference.

As I post this, I am eating warmed up "Smooth and Hearty Borscht-style Beet Soup" from the E-CD Cookbook 2. A lot of the time, since there are only 2 of us in our household, I'll make a huge batch of whatever I am cooking, and I'll jar and/or freeze the leftovers. This makes quick lunches and express suppers easy, because it's already made! Pop it into a saucepan (or microwave it, but I try to stay away from the microwave as much as I can), and voila!

Happy Journey!!!