Scraping your insides clean: Cleansing

The first few months of the new year is the time when people decide to get healthy. Usually this also means that they decide to do a cleanse in order to “reboot” before they (hypothetically) completely change their diet and lifestyle. Cleansing is a great idea if you’re doing it the right way and for the right reasons.

If all you want is to lose weight, DON’T cleanse. A successfully completed cleanse will only allow you to lose up to 3 pounds. If you lose anymore than this in such a short amount of time, it’s because you are literally starving your body and it’s using your muscles as energy instead, causing you to waste away. You don’t want to lose muscle. You want to lose fat. Fat won’t be lost through starvation, muscle will. To lose weight, you have to alter your diet and increase the exercise. Another post on that later.

Today we’re talking about cleansing in order to boost your health. If done properly, a cleanse can help boost your immune system, rid you of certain ailments, help with allergies and arthritis, cure bloating and many many other benefits.

There are many different ways to clean your body out to fit all sorts of lifestyles. I’m actually currently doing a three day cleanse through my job at Kreation Organics. You can do cleanses on your own and make fresh juices each day, but it can be tedious and it might just be easier to buy the juices (organic and raw, please!).

So, back to the types of cleanses:

1. All Juice:

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This type of cleanse generally has 6-8 16 oz juices that you drink through out the day. You drink juice and eat NOTHING. You can have as much (non-caffeinated) tea and water as you want as well. This type of cleanse is great because it gives your digestive system a total rest. Like any machine, if it is in constant use, then it will  break down. In today’s society, we are constantly snacking throughout the day and never really giving our GI tracts a break. A juice cleanse gives the GI tract a rest while still absorbing the important nutrients your body needs. This cleanse is kind of intense for beginners. It’s do-able, but be prepared to be incredibly hangry. PS, don’t do this cleanse for longer than 7 days. Ideally, you would do this for 3-7 days.

2. Juice and Food Cleanse:

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In this cleanse, you will drink 3-5 juices with one meal in the middle of the day. The idea is that you are still giving your body a good 20 hours of rest per day while still allowing yourself some substance. The meals you eat should follow “clean” guidelines. So no caffeine, alcohol, sugar, meat, etc. If you choose to do this type of cleanse and have more questions about what to eat at lunch, comment below or shoot me an email for more information!

This is the cleanse that I’m doing. I don’t want to lose any weight and I am choosing to still lightly work out so the higher calories work better for me. If you are a newbie to cleansing, have an active job or are still opting to work out, then this would be a good choice for you.

Since we’re on the topic of working out… Here are some general guidelines for working out while cleansing:

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1. Keep it light and simple. Don’t do heavy muscle workouts. Don’t run five miles. You’re taking in about half of the calories you normally would. Just use common sense. Workouts like a light jog, walking or yoga are all good ideas. Just don’t go all gym-rat on me and hit the gym at your normal pace. The action of working out breaks down your muscles. Normally, you would have enough protein and nutrients to build it back up. While cleansing, you don’t. So you end up just tearing down your muscle and not rebuilding it. This is not good. Just do me a favor, and keep it light and simple.

2. You should still be at least a little active. I know I said to keep it light and simple, but that doesn’t mean avoid exercise. You should still at the very least be walking about 5.000-10,000 steps.

My Cleanse:

Today is day one of my cleanse. Yay! I’m doing four juices plus a lunch. I’ve done cleanses before and had a terrible experience because I didn’t consume enough juices in general. I was BEYOND hangry the last few times of cleansing. I was the hulk and I was on the verge of smashing everything in sight. But the whole adding food thing really works for me. I’m still cleansing, the juices plus the water I’m drinking really fill me up and I’m not scary, hangry Autumn! I already feel less “icky” inside from this first day. I eat really well on a fairly regular basis already, so I’m not experiencing much of the “detox” symptoms, but some people may. This would be caused from drinking too much alcohol on a daily basis, consuming too many simple and refined sugars daily or depending on coffee to get your day going.

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I’m also taking a probiotic during this time to help restore my gut flora. This is always a good idea to implement into your daily life even when you’re not cleansing. Probiotics are a huge field in nutrition that are linked to curing or aiding in treatment for a wide range of diseases and ailments: Crohns, IBS, depression, allergies, nutrient absorption, etc.

I’ll be posting the next two days about my experience so you can understand what to expect during your own cleanse!

If you have any questions at all about cleansing, just comment below or email me at healthyfoodylife@gmail.com

Happy Cleansing!

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UrthBox made my case of the Mondays a whole lot better

I just discovered something that I wish I had when I was a freshman in college so that I could have used it my entire 4 (and a half..) years at school. Let me preface this with the fact that I get through my day because of snacking and I’m sure that’s the case with most students. When you’re a student, you don’t really have the time (or desire) to cook full meals and so quickly grabbing a snack from the store on the way to school is usually what you have to do. If you’re especially unlucky and forget to grab something at the store, you’re usually stuck buying “convenience” crap food on campus that typically consist of a coffee to keep the hunger away and a bag of chips or a muffin that has an expiration date that’s further out than your own.

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When I discovered UrthBox, I felt like all of those years of abuse from grabbing junk food on the go when I was too unorganized to have healthy snacks available could have been avoided. Even as a nutrition major, I know it takes a ridiculous amount of time to go through the grocery store and read every snack label to make sure that there isn’t anything bad in it. My friends really hate grocery shopping with me because of this… so it can cause social issues as well. Just ask any roommate I’ve ever lived with and they’ll explain the methods they’ve used to entertain themselves at the store while I desperately scan every food label for healthy snacks–basically, the process isn’t fun for anyone.

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UrthBox is everything I’ve ever needed, especially as a student (Plus, it makes a great monthly care package for family members to send to their kids! *cough* Hi mom *cough*). They provide a monthly box of goodies that have passed their strict criteria for calorie and nutrition content, ingredient source and manufacturing reviews. Only the best reach your doorstep. So not only do you get to try a bunch of new products that were delivered straight to you every month, you also don’t have to worry about checking the food labels because they’ve already done it for you!! Praise the lord! Think of all the sleeping.. I mean studying.. you could do instead of wasting time checking food labels!

UrthBox has four different types of boxes to order based off of your dietary needs as well: Classic, Gluten-free, Diet, and Vegan. I got the classic. It was delicious. But more on that later. You can also get different sized boxes delivered to you depending on the type of “snacker” you are. You can get the small discovery box which is only $19 per month and has 7-10 products, the “part time snacker” box which is $29 per month and has 12-15 products or the Happy snacker which has 20-24 products and is only $49 per month. You can do the math, but I’ll just explain this to you: This is way cheaper than if you were to actually go out and buy all of the products that they sell. And it’s delivered to your door. Every month. I really shouldn’t have to say more because those facts alone got me beyond excited about UrthBox. But one more fun fact: You can get discounts and gift cards on the products that they sent you online or at local stores.

STUDENTS and PARENTS: It’s cheap. It’s healthy. It’s convenient. It’s delicious. It’s always fun getting mail. Do yourselves or your kids a favor and sign them up for this. I’m a student and a nutrition expert and this passes both the need for something easy as well as the body’s requirement for something healthy.

I can’t possibly explain all of the perks of UrthBox in this post, so to sign up or to get more information, check them out on facebook, their website, instagram or twitter:

www.urthbox.com

www.facebook.com/urthbox (like them and you’ll get a $10 off coupon code! Score.)

Instagram and Twitter: @Urthbox

Let me tell you about my experience with UrthBox:

I first received an email saying my UrthBox should arrive in 1-3 business days. So obviously, I immediately checked my mailbox to see if somehow the magical folks at UrthBox were able to teleport my package of snacks to me. Unfortunately, they haven’t yet discovered how to do this but I didn’t have to wait long for my UrthBox to arrive because two days later (when I again over-eagerly checked my mailbox) I had my box of goodies in my hands.

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Which is when I took this picture. You’re lucky you even got a picture of the unopened box. It took a lot of will power for me to take the time to snap this picture before tearing it open.

It was like Christmas in November. Which Christmas basically is in November now with Starbucks blasting Christmas music and using their holiday cups-very confusing- but I digress.

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I first see the UrthBox card saying “You are what you eat! So don’t be fast and cheap”. Oh, UrthBox. How did you know I require humor in my relationships? I can already tell this is going to work out really well.

When I brought the box into my apartment, I suddenly had the urge to artistically display the products around a pumpkin because, you know, it’s fall and food makes me inspired.

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My roommates were eyeing all of my snacks and looking down at their own barren sections of the kitchen with extreme sadness (Again, students have ZERO time to buy their own snacks. It’s just a fact of life.).

I now have a full stash of snacks to bring to class with me so that I don’t starve/resort to snickers bars or bags of chips. You guys. Listen to me and sign up for UrthBox. It’s probably the best thing that could happen to a student. Just do it. You’ll be happy, just like me and my satiated little belly.

PS: I’m writing this while snacking on the “Jackson’s Honest Sweet Potato Chips” from my box. I’ve never tried them before until now and I’m hooked. Non-Gmo and all! God, I love snacks.

Coffee: evil devil worshiper or angel of all that is wonderful?

We’ve been hearing some mixed messages lately on whether or not coffee is good for you. Plenty of people are praying to all that is holy that their addiction will some how prove beneficial to their health. But then there are also those that swear off coffee and blame it to cause a variety of diseases ranging from insomnia to stroke.

So what’s the deal? Is coffee good or is it bad?

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Unfortunately, there’s not really a straight forward answer. But let me give you some facts and you can decide for yourself…

Things that make coffee a pretty healthy drink…

1. Coffee can boost your metabolic rate by 3-11%, helping you lose weight.

-However, this diminishes the more often you drink coffee. Like anything, you can build up a tolerance and I          have yet to find a study regarding whether or not your metabolism slows down to even lower than you were before drinking coffee once you’ve stopped drinking coffee altogether.

2. Coffee contains a decent amount of vitamins B2, B3, B5 and Magnesium, Manganese and Potassium.

-And that’s just in one cup of coffee (8 oz). If you were to have about 16 oz, which is what most Americans have, you can get up to 1/4 of your daily RDAs for those vitamins and minerals.

3. Coffee may lower your risk of Alzheimer’s.

-Observational studies have found that coffee drinkers have up to 65% lower risk of developing the disease.

4. A cup or two may help increase endurance during your workout making it feel easier.

– There may be up to a 5% increase in endurance during your workout following a cup of Joe.

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Why coffee should be avoided like the Plague…

1. Coffee is one of the most heavily sprayed crops.

-Lots of pesticides is not good. Its a bunch of chemicals that kills bugs. Some even cause the buggies to explode after ingesting the pesticide and those pesticides have been found to have similar effects on stomach and intestinal cells. So… you might want to avoid that.

2. Coffee is a diuretic.

-This means you pee a lot and lose water. Most people don’t even get enough water to start with so dehydrating yourself further is never a good idea.

3. Coffee depletes your body of Potassium,

-This causes muscle cramps (which hurt like a mother, especially if you’ve ever gotten a leg cramp that wakes you up in the middle of the night.. not fun), digestive upset, irregular heart beat and lack of energy.

4. Surprise, surprise… it can also cause insomnia and anxiety.

-I don’t think this one is much of a shocker, considering most of us drink it to wake ourselves up anyway. But it can also cause anxiety or increase anxiety in those who already experience it.

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My opinion

If you’re going to drink coffee, try to limit it to only a couple of times a week and drink it without any sugar. If you can get your hands on it, buy some organic coffee beans and freshly grind them yourself each morning. It tastes more fresh and it causes the beans to not go rancid. Just don’t go making a habit of getting the sugary dessert lattes from Starbucks, Coffee Bean or where ever else you go. Just read my girls article about the Pumpkin Spice Latte and maybe that will help you get over your addiction.

When I have coffee (and it’s a very rare occurrence), I get organic beans, freshly grind them in the morning, make it in a french press and I only add a little bit of organic almond milk and maybe some cinnamon or pumpkin pie spices. It’s an acquired taste but once you’re used to it, it’s actually pretty tasty! Trust me, it’s worth getting used to instead of risking your health drinking sugary 300 calorie drinks everyday.

A quick side story…

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**The picture above was of a coffee I was drinking in Florence, Italy while writing in my travel journal. Those were most of the places that I visited and wrote on the back of my journal. Everyone should travel!!! But I digress..

When I was in Italy this summer studying abroad, I drank a LOT of coffee. However, I was drinking straight espresso without anything added to it so I tried to tell myself it wasn’t that bad. Through my 5 weeks of traveling and drinking espresso, I experienced 6 excruciating muscle cramps that woke me up in the middle of the night and caused me to lose a lot of sleep… which ended up with me drinking even more coffee the next day. I attributed my muscle cramps to the excessive amounts of coffee that I was drinking and the potassium that I was losing. So, If you choose to drink coffee, try to limit it to just a few cups a week of sugarless coffee.

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(Above) Me drinking my 1,115th coffee (roughly give or take) while in Nice, France.

References:

1. http://authoritynutrition.com/top-13-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coffee/

2. http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2014/07/11/6-coffee-pre-workout-benefits.aspx

3. http://www.livestrong.com/article/519356-coffee-potassium/

Labor day plans? Here’s some tips for eating well on the go!

I’m in my last semester of college which means that this weekend is my last Vegas trip as a college student. I’ve been to Vegas and plenty of other mini vacations with frats and friends, and if you have ever been on one of these too… you understand just how difficult it is to eat well while booze cruising. It’s actually especially important to eat healthy the day after drinking a lot because your body goes into repair mode after all of the hurt that you put it through the previous night. If you don’t give it some healthy food to work with, you’ll fall weeks behind in your diet and training schedule and all that working out will be reversed in a matter of days.
Yeah, sounds sh*tty huh? I personally don’t like to keep starting from square one whenever I go on vacation, so I’ve developed some strategies for how to maintain a healthy diet while out drinking for a weekend with your friends. If the de-training doesn’t scare you, then at the very least these are awesome tips for not spending too much money going out to eat while on vacation.

The number one theme you’ll notice throughout these tips is be prepared. When you’re hungover, it’s going to take a lot of effort to just get out of bed, let alone go through the extra effort of finding healthy food. So you have to be prepared to make things as easy as possible for your little hungover future self.

Do this BEFORE you leave…
Buy breakfast and snack items
This is the easiest thing you can do. It’s easier to make healthier choices when you’re out to eat at dinner and lunch because for the most part you’re over your hangover and not craving crappy food anymore. But you MUST have breakfast and snack items that are healthy and readily available so that you don’t opt for that McDonalds Hashbrowns or McFlurry.
Here are some of my favorite items..
Breakfast:
Vigilant Eats Super Food Oat-Based Cereal

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*This is one that I always bring to Vegas. It’s under 400 calories, it fills you up until lunch AND it’s packed with organic, gluten free superfoods. Plus it requires cold water and it has it’s own spoon so that you don’t have to worry about bring your own spoon and heating up water! Plus it tastes great!

Snacks:
-Fruit. Preferably ones that aren’t easily squished.
*I mean apples, oranges and bananas. Don’t even try bringing pears, plums or kiwi. They will get squished and it will be gross and smelly.
-Hummus and baby carrots.
*Super easy. Just buy a pack of baby carrots and hummus and you’ve got yourself a protein and fiber packed snack on the go! You just may want to opt out of the garlic flavored hummus. You are on vacation after all and you won’t want to scare away the other people you’re with.
-Mixed nuts.
*Another great item. You just might want to pre-portion them out into baggies so you don’t go ham stuffing your face with cashews and almonds. Mixed nuts have a lot of great things in them, but you don’t want to accidentally eat 1000 calories of them in one sitting. It’s a lot easier to do than you think.
-Water.
*This is an easy one to forget about. However, you really can’t forget this one. Especially if you’re going to someplace like Vegas. I have one very terrible memory of being a freshman in college and going to Vegas for my first time without my parents. I woke up feeling so ill and dehydrated, like most people do in Vegas and went on a search for water. I didn’t have any cash and the vending machines weren’t accepting my card. It wasn’t until an hour later of excruciating hungover pain that I was finally able to obtain water. And it cost me $6 for a 16 oz bottle. Just bring water. Don’t make that mistake.

**Lastly, bring a cooler. It can either be a throw away plastic one or a legit nice cooler that you borrowed from your parents. Just don’t forget to bring a cooler.

Do this WHEN YOU ARRIVE
If you didn’t bring a cooler, then empty out a clean trash can and use that as one. It may seem gross, but just make sure to use it before anyone has vomited in it and you’ll be fine. If you were prepared enough to bring a cooler then good job-a gold star for you! Either way, fill your cooler/trash can up with ice from your hotels ice machine and put any perishable items and your waters into it. You’ll want cold water when you wake up the next morning with a throbbing head ache. It would be a shame if you went through all the effort of bringing food up if it just went bad by lunch time.

Now you’re all prepared for your holiday weekend. Go enjoy it with your friends and maybe even fit in a workout while you’re there!

Try my 22 minute full body workout that you can do anywhere without any equipment! You could even do it in your hotel room!

Have a fantastic labor day weekend everybody!

Eating healthy on a post grad budget: making the struggle easier

I have one more semester until I’m completely done with school and honestly, it scares the sh*t out of me. It’s hard to get excited about graduation when all I can think about is the impending doom of being on my own and having responsiblity thrust upon me. Thankfully, I have learned how to at least feed myself on a limited budget so I won’t starve to death or survive off of plain pasta.
One of my friends who graduated in May asked me to shed some light on how to eat well while pinching your pennies. I’m going to provide tips that have gotten me through hard times of barely any money and an example week of how to eat when you can’t even rub two dimes together.

SURVIVAL TIPS

1. Meal planning will become your best friend. It can be extremely annoying to have to plan out what you’re going to eat each day for 5 days, but unfortunately, you’re broke and you don’t have much more of an option. When you’re making the big bucks, you can go crazy and decide on a whim what you’ll eat, when you want to eat it. But for now, you have GOT to learn how to meal plan.

???So how do you meal plan???
Great question, young post college graduate. That leads me to my next point…

2. Make simple meals that all use some of the same ingredients. This is really important. Lets say you want to make a veggie pasta with zucchini, tomatoes, and broccoli. Use the leftover vegetables the next day to make a veggie quinoa bowl. It takes some planning, but it gets easier, I promise.

 

I’ve told you how to plan to eat cheaply for a week… now how do you make it healthy?

SIMPLE!

3. Use the recipes that I post to plan your meals around! And stay updated with the recipes that I post. I have been living a healthy and CHEAP lifestyle on my own now for four years. I’ve learned a lot. Use my information to help you succeed in staying healthy on a budget.

 

Now I’m going to lay it all out for you in a 5 day example so that you can get the gist of how to do this. I’ve  listed enough meals for each category to get you through the week. Some won’t have 5 different meals and that’s because you can eat this on multiple different days to save you money:

Breakfast: Eggs and toast, strawberry and almond butter toast (use bananas instead of strawberries), leftover savory eggs and potatoes

Lunch: raw kale salad with avocado dressing, fajita style chicken lettuce wrap, dinner sized salad (add chicken),  chicken sandwich (using leftover chicken from one of your meals), black bean quinoa bowl 

Snacks: peanut butter protein bars, kind bar, greek yogurt

Dinner: Vegan shepherd’s pie, green monster quinoa bowl, savory eggs and potatoes, potato leek soup with toast, teriyaki chicken plate (use quinoa instead of rice)

Drinks: a bottle of wine… you know… for the weekend. or something.

You can eat ALL OF THIS healthy food for only $55.61. And I even included a bottle of WINE! Take that out and you’re under $50!! I actually went to Trader Joes, wrote down the cost of every item that you need for these meals, and then figured out the cost of everything. You’re welcome. Now you don’t have any excuse! Go eat healthy and check in for more recipes on my blog! All are diet friendly. All approved.

Just a reminder… THESE are all the money saving meals that you’ll be able to make. Looks a lot different than ramen, huh?

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My favorite post workout meals for any type of workout

Last week at the fitness class I taught, someone asked me what they should eat after working out. What you eat post workout is vital to recovery so it’s important to really know whats best to have. It does vary slightly depending on what type of exercise/how long of a workout you’ve done. If you look it up online, you’ll get all these confusing numbers for exactly how many protein grams to carb grams you should eat. I wanted to make it simple for everyone and let you guys know what exact food work for ME post workout. It may not work for everyone, but it’s a good starting point to try out.

I’ve done almost every type of sport there is, so I’ve been through all of the trial and error for what works post workout.

Here’s what works for me…

1.If you just finished a long endurance type of workout (45 minutes or more of biking, swimming, running, etc.), it’s important to refuel as well as get some protein and fat in there. I tend to drink my banana date smoothie. Here’s the recipe:

Banana Date Smoothie

362 calories, 25 grams protein

1 banana

1 packet/scoop of vanilla protein powder (I used Garden of Life Raw Protein Powder)

1 cup of unsweetened almond milk

2 pitted dates

1 tablespoon almond butter

1. Blend everything together for 30 seconds.

2. If it’s a muscle workout day such as HIIT or leg day, I go for something quick and tasty and that has higher protein and fat to help build muscle.

I am in LOVE with Perfect Bars! They’re gluten free, non-GMO, and most of their ingredients are organic. Plus, it’s made with superfoods and it has 17 grams of protein. Any of the flavors are great for post workout, but my favorites are carob chip and cranberry crunch. It also has 17 grams of good fat to keep you satisfied. Don’t be afraid of fat. If it’s good fat, then fat doesn’t make you fat!

3. If I’ve just finished a yoga class, I go for something to rehydrate. 

I like to guzzle down a freshly pressed green juice. This will give you all the nutrients you need without the calories (since you don’t burn as many calories during a yoga session). If you do a hot yoga or power yoga class, you may also want to add in a Perfect Bar with your green juice.

 

I hope this helps when you decide what to eat after your workout!

Fit Tip Friday

I believe that applying one small change a week results in many big changes over time. I also believe that these changes last longer than making one big change all at once. For one thing, you can fool your mind and body into not really realizing that a change has been made when you apply a single little change at a time. Because of this, I am going to start supplying one fitness change and one nutrition change a week for everyone to try. These changes will be EASY. So easy that you might get a little annoyed and want me to post an even bigger challenge.

Just trust me on this. Don’t try and add more on yourself. Just add my little alterations or additions. You’ll see changes sooner than you would’ve imagined if you stick with them.

For todays Fit Tip Friday:

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FITNESS: Do an extra 5 minutes of cardio.

*This could be any type of cardio: running, biking, swimming, surfing, dancing… etc. If you choose to walk, do an extra 10 minutes of cardio.

NUTRITION: Have a smoothie for breakfast.

*In my opinion, smoothies are some of the healthiest breakfasts’ that you could have. You can pack in so many good for you foods, such as kale, spinach, chlorella, and fruit into one drink! My favorite is either the <a href=https://autumnthehealthyfoody.wordpress.com/2013/10/02/day-13-chocolate-smoothie-time/>Raw "Chocolate" Smoothie</a> or the almond butter banana smoothie which you can find on my Instagram (healthyfoodylifestyle).

These are two very easy changes that can be implemented into your daily life! They might not seem like big changes, but a week of 5 extra cardio minutes is an extra 35 minutes of cardio per week. That means about an extra 350 calories (depending on your speed and choice of cardio) that you’ve burned that week! About 3500 calories burned is required to get rid of 1 pound of fat. That means after a month of just adding in 5 minutes of extra cardio a day, you will have lost about half a pound! From that ONE SMALL LITTLE CHANGE.

Now imagine how each weeks small changes will add up after just seeing that one change in action…

Try these out and lets start making some changes to our lives!

Happy Friday!