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
By: Leanne Ely
We’ve all been there.
Our plan is printed out, the food shopped for, the preparation done—we’re ready. We are excited—this time, we’re really going to do it!
Then out of nowhere, suddenly this urgent, silent craving hits you upside the head and makes all your good intentions fly out the window with record speed. It’s depressing, it rocks your boat and shakes your self-confidence. You ask yourself, “Can I really do this or am I going to have to battle these cravings forever?”
I know that feeling all too well. I’ve been there and done battle just like you have. And I have good news. There are ways around them!
Here are some of the tactics I’ve deployed in my war against cravings:
More good fat. I try to eat healthy fat with each meal, whether it’s a few nuts as a snack, some avocado on my salad or butter on my veggies. Eating plenty of healthy fat helps you feel nice and satisfyingly full.
More water. I really don’t have to tell you that drinking water is essential for a well-functioning body. Being hydrated facilitates all of your body’s processes, and you should always have a glass of water at the ready. When I started drinking half my body weight in water in ounces every day, it started making a big difference in bloating, weight loss and as a bonus, my skin looked amazing.
CLA and B6. This summer I added CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) to my supplements, which can help those of us with thyroid issues lose weight. CLA has been shown to decrease abdominal fat, increase the metabolism, help lower cholesterol, enhance the immune system, and it may even lower insulin resistance. I also upped my B6 intake (along with my B-complex; B’s work together better) which also helps with metabolism.
Krill oil. I bumped up my krill oil, too. That’s because of the high concentration of Omega 3s in krill oil that help encourage weight loss when a healthy eating plan is followed. Look for a very good quality krill oil. Mine is from the Arctic Ocean—you need a clean source.
Crave Crusher and MetaFixer. These two supplements work to kill cravings and boost your metabolism like nothing else I’ve ever tried (and I’ve tried every supplement there is!). In my opinion, they’re two of the best supplements on the market today—that’s why I take them myself and decided to carry them!
There’s even more that can be done—l-glutamine is an amino acid you can add in loose powder form to your smoothie to kill sugar cravings. Making sure to have adequate fiber and protein is another, plus having an accountability partner or group makes a world of difference!
By: Leanne Ely
To date, I’ve dished about barre classes, my diet, getting plenty of rest, and keeping tabs on my thyroid and how this has all made a big difference in my weight.
And today, I’m going to talk about a classic weight loss secret that seems to be totally ignored by so many. Probably because it’s not sexy or considered a “hack” or is geeky enough to grab an ohh or an ahh from anyone.
I’m talking about portion control.
It’s that simple, but don’t freak out!
I’m not talking about weighing food, counting calories, grams, fiber, carbs, etc. I’m talking teaching your body to understand how much you need and eating that amount, period.
I’ll share how I do it, not how it’s traditionally done because that will make your head spin right off its shoulders!
First of all, begin with a plan. Your plan is to eat healthfully as possible. You want lean, clean protein, green veggies, something colorful (think orange, red or yellow veggies), something starchy that isn’t a grain and a nice helping of fat, the good healthy kind.
The key to getting full is this combo: adequate protein, fiber and fat. Each has a role in satiation.
Now that you know what belongs on your plate, you can eyeball what should go there.
If you’re a small woman, a serving of protein should be roughly the size of a deck of cards, a serving a veggies the size of your fist and for your fiber (I like sweet potato or some kind of winter squash), half the size of your fist.
You may not eat exactly this way—you may have rice or some other grain in there and that’s fine, just as long as you get your veggies in.
Now remember I said “if you’re a small woman.” For me, that wouldn’t cut it. I’m 5’8” tall and about 145 pounds. I need about “a deck and a half”. But not always, sometimes, just a “deck” will do, other times, I need more. The point is to learn where your satiation point is and stop eating.
Don’t be a cleaner upper of your plate or anyone else’s. You’re not responsible for world hunger anymore than I am so stop that habit, stat.
Learning how to portion your food according to your needs takes work and practice. Remember, if you call it wrong and you’re hungry, you don’t have to stay hungry—get some more to eat!
There’s more to all of this of course—portion control is just a part of mindful eating.
By: Leanne Ely
Last month, I did something I never thought I would be able to do at this stage in my life. I put on my high school cheerleading skirt! Did you see the pic??
Now, I’m not saying I was able to zip it all the way up, but I pulled it right on up over my hips and what an incredible feeling! And now I have a new goal—to be able to zip that thing up!
I’ve been eating a mostly paleo diet for years (2009). But I would cheat occasionally—some brie cheese, maybe a little parmesan on my gluten free pasta (if I splurged on pasta). I’d do my best going out to restaurants (like I wouldn’t order something obviously full of gluten like a sandwich or something) but I wasn’t as strict as I should have been going out for sushi, one of my favorite things (for example, soy sauce has gluten in it and is a goitrogen).
So when I got super serious and on target for my goal of losing weight, I stopped playing with cheese, didn’t eat soy sauce out (took my own CocoAminos), and really paid attention to sneaky dairy and gluten in particular.
I was one of those people who thought I was doing ok and toeing the line only to find out, I’d let a lot of that stuff sneak into my life because I wasn’t being careful enough. And for me, gluten and dairy are two massively, inflammatory foods that not only disrupt my thyroid function, but also cause me unwanted grief in the form of weight gain, bloat and disfiguring rosacea!
Inflammation comes in many forms—and it can be delivered by the food you eat. When your body is inflamed, your joints might ache, you could have tummy issues, your skin’s a mess, bloating might be out of control and you may even be depressed, cranky or dealing with a lot of brain fog. THAT’S the issue with inflammation. So eliminating inflammatory foods is a huge needlemover for not only how you look, but how you FEEL.
And by the way, back to my cheerleader skirt. If you’re trying to lose weight, consider doing something similar to measure your success. The scale can be very deceiving and cruel, but if you have a dress or a pair of jeans you can’t wear (now),you can actually see your progress and applaud your own success. Amazing impact!
PS–I’ve shared all of my top weight loss tips in my brand new program, Take Back Your Body! If you are looking for a change in 2016, you don’t want to miss enrollment in this program! It’s only available for a short time, so don’t delay! Click here to learn more and get started