We live in a world of options and much confusion. From big life-changing decisions (should I buy that house?) to smaller, everyday decisions (what shoes should I wear today?).
When it comes to eating, we may think about what to eat, when to eat, and whether we want to eat healthy or indulge. However, there is a vast array of conflicting information in mass and social media about the food we eat. Should everyone eat organic? What are GMOs? What’s the deal with the local food movement?
Use this infographic as a guide to clean and healthy eating.
Note: This is a simple and general guide on clean and healthy eating. Individual needs and concerns should be taken into account. Consult with your doctor, a health coach and use your judgment to decide what works for you.
Workout motivation, or as I would call it: gym-tivation, is tough to come by if you are overwhelmed with responsibilities, sleep-deprived or are just bored out of your mind.
After skipping the gym for days, I had a great workout today. Here are some tips to motivate yourself to move (indoors or outdoors):
Sleep. When I lack sleep, I can’t exercise as well, and when I don’t exercise, I don’t sleep well (bad cycle). Break out of this pattern by ensuring you get a good night’s rest.
Look the part. Never underestimate the power of cute workout clothes and accessories. I am not saying that you must shell out a fortune, but wear something that is comfortable and makes you look good. When you look good, you will feel good and motivated. Set out your clothes, shoes and accessories the night before so that they are within your line of sight as soon as you are ready to workout. Even if you don’t feel like working out, put on your workout clothes anyway. As long as you’re dressed for the part, you are more likely to exercise.
Warm up. Have some green tea and relax before the workout. Breathe deeply. Listen to upbeat music and do some stretches.
Have fun. Find out what you enjoy to do physically (run, dance, jump, jog, yoga, pull, push). Take a new class that you had been curious about and try something new.
Do something (anything). If you are just not feeling it, give yourself some measure or goal to reach. For example, aim to stay on the treadmill for X minutes, run at least Y miles, or until you burn Z amount of calories. Even a short workout is better than none. Reaching an attainable goal will make you feel more productive and more likely to exercise again. For when you feel really exhausted, try something relaxing like yoga.
Music. I love listening to music when working out. It’s my chance to disconnect from the world, social media, all sorts of nagging thoughts about what I need to get done, and just enjoy my alone time. Depending on my mood, my workout repertoire can be either upbeat or relaxing.
Get support. A gym buddy can either help or detract. I tend to workout best alone, but I also keep promises I make to other people. So when I really need motivation to exercise, I ask a friend to join me to go for a walk or take a new class.
Schedule. Put it in your schedule / day planner. Not only will it be a good reminder, but when you schedule something, you can visualize what your day looks like and what type of workout fits in with the rest of the day’s activities. On a similar note, sometimes, scheduled classes offered at gyms or studios help me stay on track.
Make it a habit. It becomes easier to do something if you make it habit. You don’t need motivation to brush your teeth in the morning or take a shower, do you? It’s because those activities have been so ingrained that you don’t question whether you should do them. For tips on how to change or form new habits, see Changing Habits.
Rest. The frequency and intensity of your workout sessions will depend on your schedule, personality and body. However, everyone needs some rest. Allow yourself at least one or two rest days each week to give your body a chance to heal and become stronger.
I love Pret-a-Manger’s lentil soup on a cold or rainy day. It is the perfect comfort food without being heavy. I was trying to replicate a cleaner version of the soup sans the sodium, while keeping the process simple by using a crockpot. Lentils have lots of protein and fiber, while carrots provide Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Tomatoes are rich in Vitamin, E, folate and lycopene, a powerful antioxidant, which is absorbed easier when the tomatoes are cooked. Onions and garlic provide an immunity boost, while the combination of spices adds flavor and aids in digestion. This soup is hearty enough to make a complete meal, but light enough to have as a side in a smaller portion.
2 cups low sodium, organic vegetable broth
2-3 cups water
6 oz dried lentils
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 large chopped tomatoes
1 small chopped onion
2 large minced garlic cloves
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp mild curry powder
pinch sea salt
1 bay leaf
Pour all ingredients, except the bay leaf, in a crockpot.
Lay the bay leaf on top.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours on low heat until almost cooked.
Pour about 1/3 of the soup in a blender (not including the bay leaf) and puree until smooth.
Pour the pureed mixture back into the crockpot and cook for another 1-2 hours on low heat.
Remove from heat, discard the bay leaf, and serve.
I love fresh, warm, smooth, satisfying, creamy, savory hummus. You can use it as a spread in pitas, eat it with crackers or veggies, or just have a spoonful on its own! Garbanzo beans are full of fiber and a good source of vegetarian protein. Soaking dried garbanzo beans overnight cuts down on anti-nutrients and speeds up the cooking time. Olive oil and tahini contribute to a creamy texture and healthy fats, and using water cuts down on the amount of fat naturally. Garlic boosts immunity and improves overall cardiovascular health. Black pepper increases the absorbency of turmeric, which has anti-inflammatory benefits. Go ahead and give this The Good Life staple a try!
5 oz garbanzo beans (+ a few extra for garnish), soaked overnight, rinsed and cooked
1 oz olive oil (or a little less if using water from cooking garbanzo beans. + more for garnish)
1 tbsp tahini
1 lemon, juiced
1 small garlic clove
1/2 inch of fresh turmeric or 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp paprika (+ more for garnish)
Pinch sea salt
Blend all ingredients together in a food processor.
Adjust for desired taste and texture.
Spoon the mixture into a bowl.
Garnish by sprinkling black pepper and paprika and extra garbanzo beans. Drizzle olive oil on top.
Serve warm or room temperature with crackers and cut veggies. Lasts approximately one week in the fridge.
Wow your guests with this surprisingly decadent and chocolatey dessert! It requires minimal preparation and is surprisingly easy to whip up. Cacao powder and cacao nibs are full of antioxidants and maca powder is great for energy and balance, while coconut oil and cashews add healthy fats. No wonder this amazing dessert is one of my very favorites for clean eating and healthy living!
1/2 cup cashews, soaked 4 hours, rinsed and drained.
1/2 cup almond milk
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup raw unfiltered honey
1/8 cup cacao powder
1/8 cup maca powder 1 tsp milled or ground chia seed powder
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cardamom
1/8 tsp pink Himalayan salt
crushed walnuts (optional for topping)
chocolate chips (optional for topping)
shaved chocolate (optional for topping)
cacao nibs (optional for topping)
Combine cashews, almond milk, coconut oil, honey, cacao powder, maca powder, chia seed powder, vanilla extract, almond extract, cinnamon, cardamom and salt in a blender until smooth and creamy.
Pour into ramekins or small glass bowls.
Chill in the fridge for at least 4-6 hours.
To serve, garnish with shaved chocolate, crushed walnuts, chocolate chips or cacao nibs. In a pinch you can also sprinkle some extra cacao powder or maca powder on top.