Wednesday, July 16, 2014

WIAW: Clean Eating

I'm coming off of a great week filled with lots of learning, new friends, and clean eats! The phrase clean eating can mean something different to everyone. So, what does clean eating mean to you? 

For me, it means scaling back big-time on sugar (sorry Hersheys), and really incorporating lots of vegetables into my diet. It also means a lot more mindful eating - appreciating my food and eating in parasympathetic mode aka relaxation. Mindful eating is truly important and critical for good digestion! 

Normally, I try to base my diet around eating whole foods, but life creeps in, and by "life" I mean dessert. Sugar is something I've always struggled with because, well, sugar is truly addictive and my Mom is a chef who knocks it out of the park with her desserts. 

But I don't like to focus on restricting foods - with myself or with my nutrition consulting clients. That's no fun, right? I like to focus about which foods I get to add in or which new fun recipes I plan to try. That's much more my style. 

So, on this What I Ate Wednesday, lets focus on all minimally processed foods and whole foods that taste really good. Like, worth-it good.

Pre-run: a bite of Larabar, which really means half of a Larabar since they're so dang small, with a spoonful of almond butter - this is certainly a processed food, but as someone who struggles to eat before a morning workout, this is working for me as of lately

So, the whole sugar thing. My Nutrition mentor, Lisa, has a rule. This is funny to type out since she is the ultimate rule breaker and loves to challenge the norm. Which is why I love her. But anyways, her rule is to aim to keep sugar around 20 grams per day. Let me tell you - that's an apple. Or not even a whole Larabar (this one had 23 grams of sugar). And sure, that rule may need to be modified based on individual needs, but still. Food for thought, right? I bet most of us are eating at least 50 or 60 grams of sugar daily. At least.

Immediately post-run: I ate the rest of that Larabar, which equaled out to one bite. Darn, those bars are tiny.

Breakfast: The grossest looking smoothie, which tasted delicious: blueberries/3 handfuls mixed greens/ice/almond milk/coconut water/Vega One/almond butter

Lunch part 1: Farm-fresh, pastured eggs hardboiled with sea salt & pepper + new-to-me gluten-free Chia seed crackers. Look at those yolks! So much Vitamin D.

And while we're on the subject of sugar, I am not a huge Kombucha fan, as it's made from mold and so people with mold-sensitivities or candida, for example, aren't benefiting from it. Research shows that craving sugar is a common symptom of candidiasis. Kevita is made from fermented coconut water, as well as some other natural ingredients. I like KeVita because it is light, refreshing, bubbly, and filled with probiotics; highly recommend.

Normally, I drink a half-bottle at a time, but this cold beverage tasted so delicious in the hot weather that I finished the entire bottle. This flavor tastes like a mango bellini - truth.

Lunch part 2: Apple slices with almond butter & cinnamon

Did you know that cinnamon is a super-powerhouse spice with lots of cool nutritional properties? It can help with digestion and it can help stabilize blood sugar. I like to sprinkle it on apple slices or sweet potatoes as it adds a hint of sweetness.

So on this clean-eating WIAW, lets focus on the fun that comes with exploring new foods that make us feel darn good and don't leave us with a sugar-high. Switch it up! For example, zoodles! While I've been at this health training, I've been in a committed relationship with my friend's spiralizer as I try to perfect all-foods with the potential to become curly. 

Zoodles - zucchini noodles served as the basis for a healthy,veggie, fiber-filled dinner

This recipe knocked it out of the park. I made two modifications, which were adding about 1/4 cup more nutritional yeast as well as sauteed mushrooms as a topping. I can't wait to serve this to a certain midwesterner who has refused to go grocery shopping while I've been gone these past 9 days - how can one hate grocery shopping so much!? It's one of my favorite activities. Lets just say for him, thank goodness for Sprig

So on this WIAW, I may have gone slightly over the 20 grams of sugar "rule," but I'm okay with that because I ate so many delicious, healthful things. And the sugars I did consume, were from {mostly} real foods like dates and apples, and didn't leave me traveling on the sugar rollercoaster

Best of all, I enjoyed each bite throughout the day. So this, to me, is a pretty clean-eats kind of day. I felt nourished, satisfied, and happy. 

So on this WIAW, what are you looking forward to eating, cooking, or baking?


  1. ZOODLES! YES. I can't deal with Larabars because they are SO TINY. I'm looking forward to meeting my mom for salads for lunch today... and not having to do any dishes afterwards!

    1. Love lunch dates! I could eat 3 Larabars in one sitting I think...!

  2. Whoa! Less than 20 grams is a serious sugar commitment. That's awesome!
    My garden is currently exploding so I have all sort of fresh veggies to eat or preserve quickly! I'm making zucchini bread this week!

    1. I know, I agree - 20 grams is low! So jealous of your San Francisco, we have no space for gardens. I love zucchini bread, especially with chocolate! Enjoy!

  3. Kombucha isn't actually made from mold. If your kombucha has mold on it, throw it out.The scoby is a colony of yeast and bacteria. I suspect that your KeVita is made the same way as kombucha, but rather than fermented tea it's fermented coconut water.

    Enjoy the blog!

    1. Thanks for the clarification! The base of a Kombucha drink is often made from fermenting a black tea which can tend to contain more mold. But I think you are right about them being made the same way! Thank you for reading!