Monthly Archives: April 2015

The Food Plan

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One week down on my clean eating 30 Day challenge.  I am pretty proud of myself.  I usually get off track in two situations.  One, is when people come to visit.  Two, is when I am catering.  I tend to skip meals.  This weekend I catered four events and had eight house guests – and I stuck with my plan!

What is clean eating?  Wikipedia’s very vague definition is “…eating foods without preservatives, and on mixing lean proteins with complex carbohydrates.”

Fitness Magazine takes a deeper and less specific definition:

 “Clean eating is a deceptively simple concept. Rather than revolving around the idea of ingesting more or less of specific things (for instance, fewer calories or more protein), the idea is more about being mindful of the food’s pathway between its origin and your plate.”

Clean Eating Magazine has by favorite, but long definition (I’ve paraphrased a bit here).

 “The soul of clean eating is consuming food in its most natural state, or as close to it as possible. It is not a diet; it’s a lifestyle approach to food and its preparation, leading to an improved life – one meal at a time.

Eat five to six times a day

Three meals and two to three small snacks. Include a lean protein, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and a complex carbohydrate with each meal. This keeps your body energized and burning calories efficiently all day long.

Choose organic whenever possible

If your budget limits you, make meat, eggs, dairy and the Dirty Dozen your organic priorities.

Avoid processed and refined foods

This includes white flour, sugar, bread and pasta. Enjoy complex carbs such as whole grains instead.

Know thy enemies

Steer clear of anything high in trans fats, anything fried or anything high in sugar. Avoid preservatives, color additives and toxic binders, stabilizers, emulsifiers and fat replacers.”

 

My Clean Eating regiment is a lot like the one above. I eat five to six small meals a day.  I eat a lot of lean protein (chicken, turkey, and fish).  I have some complex carbs (oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice), but I eat them early in the day.  I generally avoid wheat and gluten.  I sometimes have a piece of toast or pita bread, but it is always the Ezekiel brand, which is sprouted grain and a complete protein. I eat some fruit and TONS of veggies.  I am careful to limit veggies that are high in starch and sugars.  I limit fats (even the good ones).

I do count calories.  It helps me keep track of my day from meal to meal.  For breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I keep my calories around 250-300. My snacks are around 150-200.  That gives me some wiggle room.  If I have a really long workout, I can eat a little more after, or sometimes I am really hungry after dinner.

My fitness pal is an app that is a great way to keep track of calories.  It also keeps track of protein, carbs, fat, sugars, etc. It can seem a bit tedious at first, adding everything in, but once you get some foods established, it goes more quickly. It’s very important to measure your food.

Breakfast:

1 cup of oatmeal or ½ cup of low calorie granola with ½ cup unsweetened almond milk.

AM Snack

Lunch:

4 ounces of lean protein, 4 ounces brown rice, quinoa or sweet potato, and unlimited (approved) veggies.

PM Snack

Dinner:

6 ounces of lean protein,  and unlimited (approved veggies).

The snacks vary.  I make my own gluten free banana bread and protein bars.  Smoothies, 2 Hard boiled eggs, frittata, rice cake with sun butter and raisins, greek yogurt, cottage cheese…

I will be posting some meals and snacks through my 30 Day plan.

Below is a recipe for my low calorie granola.  I eliminated the honey and cut down the almonds from my original post on this blog.  ½ a cup with ½ cup of unsweetened almond milk in the morning is about 200 calories.  I look forward to it in the mornings.

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SKINNY ALMOND GRANOLA RECIPE

10 cups rolled oats

2 cups slivered almonds

8 Tablespoons flax seeds

4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon Diamond Krystal kosher salt (use 1/2 the amount if using Morton’s)

2 Tablespoons water

2 teaspoons almond extract

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups raisins

¼ cup powdered stevia

Procedure:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Measure oats into a large bowl.  Measure almonds, flax seeds, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, and kosher salt into the bowl.  Stir well to combine.
  2. In a liquid measuring cup, place, water, and almond and vanilla extract.  Using a small whisk or spoon, and stir to combine liquids.
  3. Pour liquid mixture over oat and nut mixture.  Using your hands or a spoon, stir well to combine.
  4. Spread the mixture in a single layer between two sheet pans lined with parchment paper.  Place the pans in the oven and cook for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and toss with a spatula.  Return pan to the oven on opposite racks.  Cook for another 15 minutes.
  6. Remove pans from the oven and sprinkle 1 cup of raisins and half of stevia evenly over each pan.  Allow granola to cool completely.  Place in an airtight container for up to three weeks.

Makes about 16 cups granola.  Recipe is easily halved.

Goal Setting

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Day two of my 30 Day challenge is almost over.  It’s going pretty well.  I have been working like crazy, but I have been able to stick to my clean eating plan – thanks to proper preparation and bringing my meals and snacks along with me. I have also kept up with my exercise goals.  My body has been a bit sore and tired, and overall I have been a little low on energy, particularly toward the end of the day.

I am a big fan of Jack Canfield.  He’s the co-author of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book series.  He’s written several books since, including, “The Success Principles.”  He is a big believer in the Law of Attraction.  The basic idea is that whatever you focus on, you attract more of.  If you are always stressing about not having money and bills you cannot pay, you will attract more of that.  If you focus on abundance and prosperity, you will attract more of those things.

Jack goes a bit deeper in his teachings.  He has a whole set of behaviors and practices he recommends which include setting goals and visualizing the outcome you want.  He recommends setting goals in seven areas of your life.

  1. Finances
  2. Career
  3. Health and Fitness
  4. Relationships
  5. Personal (things you want to do just for you)
  6. Recreation
  7. Legacy (what you want to leave for the world, your contributions)

Jack recommends having three goals in each of these areas, reviewing the goals twice daily while visualizing the desired outcome. I know it seems like a lot.  It does take time, but it’s important to have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish.

I have been using this technique for my business and career goals for several weeks now.  It has made a huge difference.  I’ve noticed opportunities popping up from places I never expected them to.  I have five solid, consistent clients who I cook for weekly. I’ve scored an amazing professional kitchen to cook in. It’s in a beautiful spot where they want me to do catering and offer clean eating workshops. My clean eating programs have been taking off with happy, successful clients. It’s seems as though every day a new opportunity pops up.

Health and fitness was the easy one for me. I love eating clean, and I LOVE working out, running, doing yoga, and other physical activities. I consistently do these activities, and I am in very good shape.  I have, however, surrendered to too many treats.  One main reason I am doing this 30 day challenge and posting it here is to keep myself accountable.  I want to embrace and succeed in ALL areas, and achieve ALL of my goals.

I am not going to list all of my 21 goals, but here are a few.

  1. Finances: Totally debt free with all of my taxes and bills paid with ease.
  2. Career: To write a book which will inspire people to eat and live well through clean and healthy, delicious foods.
  3. Health and Fitness: To get back to my clothes fitting well, maintaining my eating and exercise regimen, and feeling great.
  4. Relationships: To really be available for my kids, husband, family, and friends.  To listen to them without judgement, and to offer pure, unconditional love.
  5. Personal: I want a big garden and to grow herbs and vegetables. I want to pickle, make salsas and flavored vinegars, and can them.
  6. Recreation: I want to attain and start riding a mountain bike.
  7. Legacy: I want to help public schools serve nutritious, scratch-made food.

Reeling it In

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I have been working very hard on getting my personal chef business established.  I have also been working very hard in personal development.  I have been setting goals and visualizing the outcome I want. I have been meditating and learning to control my mind. All of these developments have been amazing transformations in my life.  My business is taking off, and I feel focused on my vision.  I have, however, let other aspects of my life get a bit out of focus.

I’ve gained some weight.  My jeans are tight.  Living in the remote Adirondack Mountains of New York, it was easy to stay on target with health and fitness goals.  There was only one small grocery store in town, which opened at 8, and closed at 7. There were only two restaurants in town, a diner and a pub. To get anywhere in town, you had to go either straight up or straight down.

Moving to Asheville, NC, brought big changes into our lives.  The food scene is booming. There are unique and interesting restaurants all over town.  There’s also a craft brewery on every street corner, and a weekly beer festival to go along with it.  There are a lot more temptations at my fingertips, and a lot more people asking join them out for a drink or a meal.  I’m a lot closer to my family, which warrants a lot of celebrations.

This is what I do.  The programs I offer are designed for weight loss. I provide food to people to help them lose weight.  I have healthy, light food at my fingertips all the time. Every time I get back on track, life gets in the way.  I tell my clients not to avoid experiencing life because they are dieting. I fully believe in this, but it is time to reel it in.  Even Chef Katie can get off track.  It happens to the best of us.

I am inspired by my recent personal growth.  I am ready to fully get back on track.  I am starting a 30-Day Get Clean Program.  For thirty days, I am going to be focused on getting my body and mind aligned for success.  I will be posting recipes, tips, and other great information I have learned.  I will also feature some amazing people and facilities that offer great teachings and motivation for overall wellness.  Join me in my journey.  I took today to get organized. It officially starts tomorrow.

Environmental Working Group

The Environmental Working Group has a new logo!  I cannot stress enough how important this organization is.  When it comes to living clean, the EWG does the research for us.  They are an amazing resource for all things safe and clean when it comes to the food we eat, the household products we use, and the environment we live in.