In life, it’s the little things that count. Not the great big momentous occasions, but the daily moments that all strung together, make up your own personal circle of life. We cannot measure the quality of our lives by the big events like birthday celebrations, weddings, baptisms and graduations. It’s the day-to-day stuff that makes up your life.
This is also true with eating. It’s not just the big meal occasions—dinner out, Thanksgiving, birthday cake and such. Becoming a healthy eater has everything to do with daily decision making over what will go in your mouth, rather than worrying about a special occasion (I say, splurge and enjoy it! The next day, do penance and throw in a little extra exercise and pare a few calories off your daily intake for the next few days.)
But it’s those daily decisions that count; to choose not to drive thru and wait an extra 15 minutes to get home to real food. It’s choosing fruit over donuts; water over soda and not to have that bowl of ice cream watching TV. Those are the little decisions that matter much more so than eating an extra piece of pie at Thanksgiving. Yeah, overindulging is hard on your body and we talk about being “Thanksgiving full” as the ultimate test of fullness, but the daily awareness of what you put in your body is what the definitive cause and effect of how your body looks, feels and operates.
Sometimes it’s easy (like the above example of fruit over donuts). Other times, it’s harder to know what to do. Here are some easy swaps to help you to save calories, your health and your sanity, too, so you know that what you’re doing will make a difference!
Instead of a blueberry muffin (which, let’s be honest, is really a cupcake with blueberries in it!) have a cup of Greek yogurt with 1/2 a cup of blueberries stirred in. Save yourself 249 calories (and some considerable carbs!).
Instead of a 2 slices of whole wheat bread, have 1 Orowheat Sandwich Round (whole wheat also), saving yourself 140 calories!
Instead of 1 cup of white rice, have 1/2 cup of brown rice mixed with chopped steamed broccoli. You’ve just saved yourself nearly 100 calories (and ratcheted up the fiber count, too!).
Instead of a pork chop, go for an equal serving of pork tenderloin and save yourself 50 calories (plus a lot of fat grams!).
It’s not that difficult to make a big difference a little bit at a time. Awareness counts as much as calories do. Keep that in mind as you hit the grocery store this week!
Our Dinner Answers menu planner allows you to completely personalize your grocery list and do your grocery shopping from your PHONE! Check it out!
One of things I used to promote was eating 5-6 small meals a day–that’s right, you just kept that jaw chewing and your body in digestive mode pretty much all day.
Well guess what?
It doesn’t work!
As a matter of fact, it’s ruinous to your health and will keep your blood sugar levels perpetually up (that means your pancreas is exhausted from constantly pumping insulin–and that eventually leads to diabetes type 2, folks).
Snacking also increases the risk of bacterial overgrowth in the intestinal tract. This is because the digestive waves need time to reset and to move things along. If you’re a snacker, there’s constantly food in there and there’s no time for the reset to happen. Food stays in the system too long and you end up with SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth).
NOT everyone ends up with SIBO of course, but it does put you more at risk.
Snacking all day (yes, even healthy snacks!) also puts you at higher risk for acid reflux, especially if you’re a nighttime snacker.
Or how about constipation? That’s a fun one! Snackers are more likely to be constipated because of the lack of peristalsis; larger meals will trigger the nervous system’s reflex, but constant snacking will not.
And finally, it messes up your hormones–leptin and ghrelin are the hunger hormones. Proper leptin levels help you stay in control while ghrelin is the gremlin making you want to strap on the feedbag!
You are constantly stimulating that gremlin and suppressing your leptin if you’re always eating throwing everything out of whack, turning yourself into a food beast!
Eat three good meals a day–better, eat TWO good meals a day.
And start your day with a collagen rich smoothie like one of my favorites:
Green Garden Chocolate Smoothie
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 celery stick, chopped
1/2 cucumber, sliced
1/2 apple, peeled
1/2 cup fresh kale, chopped
1 tablespoon flax seeds
2 scoops Perfect Paleo Protein 2.0
1 scoop FiberMender 3.0
In a blender, add unsweetened coconut milk, celery, cucumber, apple, kale, flax seeds, PPP and Fibermender 3.0; blend until smooth and enjoy! It’s ok to add a tad more milk or water, if a thinner smoothie is preferred.
Here’s the deal–we were sold a bill of goods a few years back when it came to eating 5-6 small meals a day.
Yes eating like this means you won’t ever feel hungry, but you need to know what hunger feels like so you know when it’s time to eat!
AND you need to give your poor body a break!
2 tasty, healthy meals a day, one amazing, nutrient dense, keep you full smoothie each day is the ticket to holding on to your health AND holding on to a healthy weight.
If you have weight to lose, this formula works well too!
Do your own research–you’ll be surprised at this all-you-can-eat small meal deal has become a relic of the past, it just plain doesn’t work and it keeps your body in a state of stress as well.
And speaking of research, check this out:
In one study, a high protein breakfast smoothie (at least 20 grams of protein) helps you eat less calories (but still get the nutrients you need when you make them our way!).
In another study, high protein breakfasts help cut cravings by 60% and late night snacking in half!
Three more studies–one shows that increasing your protein especially with a breakfast smoothie, helps you to eat up to 441 calories less per day without actively trying to limit your portions.
Love this study–smoothies containing at least 20 grams of protein, decreased hunger by 50-65%! WOO HOO!!
AND, by the end of a 12 week study, participants lost an average of 11 pounds!!
Now THAT is great news!
Making sure your protein rich smoothies are nutrient rich is the key!
PS–We’ll help you dial this smoothie thing in–we’ll send you a FREE smoothie recipe ebook with each order of our Perfect Paleo Protein! (YES, that includes the Kits!)
I’ve been on vacation—on a little lake in eastern Canada, far away from civilization.
Except for the birds in the trees and the haunting melodies of loons calling to one another on the lake.
For the most part, I’ve stayed off the grid.
Instead of working, I sit on the beach with the lake lapping at my feet, or go kayaking into the middle of the lake, or even go fishing on the boat. And sometimes, I take luxurious naps in the afternoon on the screen porch.
I will admit, I’ve cried a bit, too. I’ve thought a lot about my mom, how much I miss her and what a relief it is to know she’s no longer suffering.
I’ve cooked epic meals on the lopsided stovetop, drank wine and dove into some great conversations about life, love, what’s important and how do you get there—still haven’t figured it all out, but is that possible?
I’ve made some personal assessments of the direction I want to go in my life. Where I want to live, who I want to be around, what I want my life to look like.
I’ve assessed my health as well—am I living in optimal wellness, can I do better, what more do I need to do to get there, what am I missing?
From all of this quiet time, I’ve made some huge decisions—one of which I’ve share with you earlier about my own health and weight.
I’ve done great losing 45 pounds. I feel good, I’m proud of my accomplishment and my blood test numbers look good, too.
But the nagging question remains—can I do better?
Am I as fit as I want to be? Am I at my absolute ideal weight? Can I feel better than this?
The answer to the main question—“can I do better” is a resounding YES. There’s always room for improvement.
And NO, this isn’t perfectionism…not at all.
It’s a QUEST. A journey…seeking more for my life. Dialing in what I know and adding to my “knowledge bank” so I can apply it to my own health and ultimately, the enjoyment I can wring out of my life.
And the reason for all of this is because it’s all so very interconnected.
I’ve found personally (and I’ve seen it too, in my own little Take Back Your Body community) that you cannot divorce yourself from your body! It’s all together, your mind, heart, body and soul. And ultimately, your wellbeing is tied to that body whether you like it or not.
This isn’t a post about body shaming.
I’m also not talking about not accepting yourself as you are.
It’s not about fitting into your skinny jeans, wearing a bikini or a little black dress, either.
I’m talking about a gut wrenching, honest evaluation of where you REALLY and truly are.
So 2 questions for you—
Are you living your life to its fullest?
Is your body serving you as the vehicle to get you there?
Those are the big, overarching questions you need to ask yourself.
Life is too darn short to live it only halfway.
Because here’s the truth—
You have a life you want to live…and you have the life you’re living.
The choice is yours to make the journey or to stay put.
What will you choose?
By: Leanne Ely
Fresh mint is a common sight in the summertime and today you’re going to get a tip, a trick and a recipe featuring this pretty little leaf!
I have mint growing in my garden and let me tell you, when you plant mint, you have mint for life! Really. Mint can take over so you really have to be vigilant about keeping this plant in line.
But if you can manage a mint crop it’s well worth growing! (If you don’t have a green thumb, fresh mint is a relatively easily fresh herb to get your hands on.) Mint is quite high in Vitamin A and it also contains Vitamin C, iron and manganese.
There are many uses for mint leaves. While you see it most often used as a garnish, you can add mint leaves to your smoothies for a minty kick (can you say chocolate mint?!), make yourself a cup of peppermint tea, or even flavor your water with them!
Now, it’s time for your Trick
When you’re freezing a tray of ice cubes, try adding a mint leaf to each one for a pretty (and refreshing) way to keep your lemonade or cocktails cool!
If you wish to plant your own mint, I recommend planting it in a container. This is probably the best way to keep that mint under control.
And your Recipe
Mint Chip Smoothie
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 to 3/4 cup water (or more coconut milk)
2 tablespoons mint leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon cacao nibs
1 scoop Perfect Paleo Protein Mix (chocolate preferred for this recipe)
2 teaspoons Saving Dinner Fibermender (optional)
1 tablespoon Just Juiced Greens (optional)
In a blender, place coconut milk, water, mint leaves, cacao nibs, Saving Dinner all-in-one smoothie mix, Saving Dinner Fibermender and Saving Dinner Just Juiced Greens (optional); blend until smooth and enjoy! It’s ok to add a tad more milk of your choice, if a thinner smoothie is preferred.
Speaking of smoothies…I LOVE Perfect Paleo Protein–dairy free, creamy yumminess and anti-inflammatory to the 10th degree! Highly recommended!
By: Leanne Ely
There is a topic that keeps coming across my radar, both on Facebook, my email inbox, and even at the market when my fellow shoppers wonder what I’m doing with all of that kale (when my own crop has been harvested for the season, of course!): kale chips.
And, today, we’re going to talk kale chips with a trick, a tip, and a new kale chip recipe to try.
Kale, as you know, is a super food, and many people are jumping on the kale bandwagon (yay!). Kale chips are an easy-to-make snack food that is delicious and super good for you.
Be sure to buy organic curly kale. Kale is on the Dirty Dozen list and is one of those vegetables that should only be eaten when you can find it organic. (Curly is my preferred variety for kale chips—feel free to buy other varieties for other kale recipes!)
Now, it’s time for your Trick!
The secret to the best, crunchiest kale chips is to get them as dry as possible. So, after you soak your kale in a big bowl of water to remove the dirt and any bugs that might be lurking in there, spin the heck out of it. Any moisture on those kale leaves is going to lead to soggy chips. (And you don’t want that.)
Cook a batch of kale chips before you start your dinner prep and offer them to the kids as a snack. This is a great way to get the veggies into them in a manner that might appeal to them! You don’t even have to tell them that the kale chips were part of their dinner 😉
And your Recipe:
Garlic Chili Kale Chips
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
6 cups chopped kale
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
In a large bowl toss all the ingredients well. Pour kale mixture onto a large baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until kale is crispy. Serve warm.
Most of us aren’t getting enough veggies into us in the run of a day, and while kale chips are a great start, you can probably be doing more. We developed our Just Juiced Veggies to help you get in all a great dose of green veggies in one easy shot. Check it out here!
By: Leanne Ely
If you’ve been following a Paleo diet, you might be frustrated at why your weight loss results aren’t as great as you thought they would be.
I stand firm in my belief that Paleo is the ultimate way to meet nutritional requirements and to maintain good health. And this way of eating naturally comes a svelte figure…if you go Paleo the right way!
It’s very easy to adopt poor habits when eating Paleo, or to completely neglect the basic premise of the diet in the first place—consuming organic plants, healthy fats, and locally sourced protein. That’s basically it.
Eat a ton of veggies and some lean protein with some healthy fat for each meal. That’s Paleo in a nutshell.
If you’re calling yourself Paleo but that isn’t how your diet looks, you might not be doing it the right way!
Many people do Paleo by eating bacon with every meal, eating the odd salad, and filling up on fruit and nuts. That is not the way to do it if you want to slim down.
Keep the following tips in mind if you want to get lean while eating Paleo.
- Drink water. You need to drink about 2 liters of water per day. Water is essential for the body’s metabolic processes and is a major ingredient in weight loss.
- Eat vegetables. Fill your plate with a variety of colorful vegetables. Add some healthy fat (either sliced avocado, or a nice drizzle of olive oil), and lean protein like chicken, fish, or beef. Our Perfect Paleo Protein is ideal if you can’t imagine eating a plate of meat and veggies for breakfast! Just scoop it into a smoothie and off you go!
- Go easy on the fruit and nuts. It is very easy to overindulge in healthy foods, because, well, they’re healthy! But you still have to watch your portions. You can easily eat 1000 calories worth of nuts in a sitting without realizing it. And then you wonder why your pants feel tight!
- Don’t go overboard with the Paleo treats. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You do not need another muffin! Paleo treats are just that…treats. Just because you see a great recipe for a date/almond/banana brownie doesn’t mean it’s okay to cook it up and eat the whole thing! Paleo muffins and cookies are great to toss in the lunchbox as an alternative to a packaged processed food, but remember they are to be eaten in strict moderation, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. (Note: Just because a flour is gluten-free does not mean it’s calorie-free!)
- Eat fewer calories. If you eat too much of anything, you’re going to gain weight. Well, maybe except for celery. Just be conscious of how much you’re eating. Try plugging your daily food intake into one of those online calorie trackers and see what sort of damage you might be doing. You might surprise yourself!
- Eat more calories. Yes it can go the other way! Look up your healthy calorie range and try to be sure to eat at least your minimum daily requirement of calories. Too few calories and your body goes into starvation mode. That means it holds onto the fat you’re trying to lose.
- Adjust carb intake. If you’re not working out and you’re eating a lot of carbs, try eating fewer and see what happens. Too many sweet potatoes and Paleo treats will put weight on you.
- Eat more protein in the am. Most of us don’t eat enough protein in the morning. Again, our Saving Dinner Perfect Paleo Protein powder is ideal for this, but if that’s not an option for you, have some leftover chicken or fish or something in the morning. It will really help to fuel you and set you on the right path.
- Sleep more. You need 8 hours of sleep a night. Period. I know it sounds a little bit impossible, but if you’re doing everything right and the scale isn’t budging, sleep on it! In a nice dark room. For eight hours. 🙂
If you’re interested in trying the paleo diet, I recommend you give our 21 Day Knockout a shot! The Knockout includes 21 days of new paleo recipes, and is designed to help you lose fat and rejuvenate your health! Click here to learn more