Saturday, April 30, 2016

How Clean Eating Finally Worked for Me

Even though I've been a crappy blogger lately, I'm always posting on Facebook and Instagram.  You should be following me there.  For those of you that are have been reaching out and asking me what am I doing to "eat clean" I'm finally here to answer your questions.

First, I have a major love for food and I tend to eat lot of junk.  I'm looking at you Lay's potato chips. I'm also the queen of the yo-yo.  Why you ask?  Because I couldn't find a way of eating that I could maintain for any length of time. Until now.

Here's the thing, even though I felt like I knew what I was doing, I had no idea.  It used to be, in my 30s and even up to last year, I could cut my portions and calories and lose weight.  Calories in vs calories out right?  WRONG!  So wrong!  I found myself eating far too few calories and feeling starving.  Enter my friend Tracey.

Tracey and I have been friends for about 4 years.  She's an athlete (triathlon, CrossFit) and we're both moms to the most awesome Jacks in 2nd grade.  She and I run (literally and figuratively) in a lot of the same circles.  I've talked to her about nutrition A LOT.

Me and Tracey 
Tracey knows my struggles with food and I think honestly she probably gave up on me.  But this year starting January 1 I decided to take off the 15 pounds I spent 2015 packing on to my body.  By April 1 I had lost maybe 2 pounds.  I was frustrated.  My old tricks weren't working.  So I started talking to Tracey about my frustrations and she rolled her eyes (not really.... I hope) and set out to have another conversation with me about food, nutrition and "clean eats".

Tracey focuses on not only WHAT you eat (I mean duh), but also when you eat it and how much you eat of certain food groups.  I can't get into all the specifics of what to eat when EXACTLY, but I'm going to share what she taught me.

Life is now about "coloring" my food.  No I don't mean putting different color foods on your plate literally.  Let me explain.  Every food has a color and I'll explain it in simplest terms.

Blue:  Protein
Green: Veggies
Red: Natural Carbs
Purple:  Simple Carbs
Yellow: Fat

And there's really only one thing you need to know from here.  Blue + Green = Lean (I'm pretty sure that's trademarked by Tracey).  George joked with me, "well, what does purple + red equal?"  My answer?  Purple + Red = Dead.

Tracey taught me to eat mostly blue and green with a smattering of red NEAR YOUR WORKOUTS and to use purple and yellow sparingly.  I really focus on the blue + green.  And since I know people really want to see EXACTLY what I've been eating.  Here are some samples.

Grilled chicken breast: Blue
Black Beans: Red
Tri Color Peppers: Green
Cauliflower Rice: Green

Homemade Grass Fed Organic Hamburger:  Blue
Spring Mix:  Green
Carrots:  Green
Dressing (less than 5 gm sugar per serving):  Purple

Flank Steak:  Blue
White Potato:  Red (Not Tracey approved.... sub sweet potato)
Spring Mix: Green
Tomato: Green
Carrot:  Green
Half Serving Dressing:  Yellow
Half Serving Feta Cheese:  Yellow

Pork Tenderloin Grilled: Blue
Sweet Peppers:  Green
Red and Sweet Potatoes roasted:  Red

Mahi Mahi: Blue
Mango Salsa (Mango, onion, jalapeno): Green/Purple
Cilantro:  Green
Corn Tortilla:  Red
(I could definitely have used more green in this meal) So yeah, ditch the tortillas and make it a salad

Salmon Burger:  Blue
Organic Salsa:  Green
Spring Mix: Green
Strawberries:  Purple
Half Serving Dressing:  Yellow
Half Serving Feta Cheese:  Yellow

Salmon Burger:  Blue
Organic Salsa:  Green
Broccoli: Green
Shaved Kerrygold Dubliner cheese:  Yellow

Post Workout Breakfast:
Banana:  Purple
Eggs:  Blue
Salsa: Green
Steak:  Blue

Eggs: Blue
Salsa: Green
Mushrooms:  Green

Post workout Breakfast:  
Eggs:  Blue 
Salsa: Green 
Red and Sweet Potatoes:  Red 

Cucumbers: Green
Cashews:  Yellow
(green and yellow make good snacks.  I find I need the fat to keep me full.)

Whole day worth of Snacks for work:  
Apple and Cashews:  Purple and Yellow 

Cucumbers/Carrots/Turkey and Mustard:  green/green/blue/yellow/hmmm I don't know what color mustard is. 

Organic Grass Fed Uncured Beef Stick 

I eat a LOT of the same things over and over again because that is what works for me.  I'm a creature of habit and I kind of like what I like.  In addition, these are only the foods I took pictures of.  Obviously these are not the ONLY meals I have eaten.

When I eat blue + green and add in bits of red, purple and yellow I feel full and satisfied.  Before my meals would be RED + RED + RED and a tiny bit of blue and I'd wonder why I was hungry in a few hours.  I couldn't keep myself full and it was miserable.  

Listen, I will ALWAYS have food demons.  I love food and I don't necessarily love to eat super clean.  I'm a foodie.  I love good food that's not good for you, but I also have goals for how I like to look and feel.  As I've gotten older it's really taken me buckling down.  I'm not sure why "coloring" my food worked for me.  I visualize the colors as I'm putting them on my plate and it helps guide me as to what I should be eating.  

You can eat salads all day long but if it's full of purple, red, and yellow (dressing, bacon, avocado, feta cheese, fruit) it's not a "healthy" salad.  I only allow myself to have on serving of fat at a meal.  So 1/2 a serving of dressing  and 1/2 a serving of feta.  I certainly don't do more than one serving of red in any meal.  HUGE for me.  I didn't realize having clean organic yogurt, granola and fruit could be a detrimental as eating a candy bar.  

Listen, I'm certainly no expert (that's Tracey) but this is finally working for me.  The weight is coming off.  I'm now down 8 pounds since January.  Sure the weight is coming off slowly, but I feel like it's coming off the right way with more likelihood of staying off.  

Also I should disclose that I do have 1 to 2 cheat meals a week.  It's what keeps me going and I really don't care what I eat when I cheat.  It's my time to get it out of my system so to speak.  I do it on the weekends and it allows me to reset for the week.  

In addition, I'm drinking about 80 ounces of water a day and don't drink much else.  Just coffee and an occasional Diet Coke (disgusting I know) or glass of wine with my cheats.  

I really hope taking a look into what I'm doing helps you, but I'm a firm believer that Tracey can help anyone that REALLY wants help and is willing to listen and do what she says.  She will evaluate YOUR body and help you determine your goals.  She'll even intervene on your pantry (*shudder) and help you figure out what to ditch and what to keep.  I really enjoyed the personal shopping trip we did to Costco.  I learned so much there and I was surprised on just how much there is out there to eat on a clean diet.  It's not ALL broccoli and salmon.  

If you're interested in Tracey's help please reach out to her at for her nutritional services and pricing.* 

*While I told Tracey I would provide her contact information for this post, and obviously I benefited from her services, the opinions I offered about what she taught me are my own. Meaning, this isn't some bullshit post to get you to use her services.  It's just me telling you what finally worked for me and believing in someone who has a passion for helping people AND knows what she's talking about.  What Tracey teaches you isn't a fad or a shake, it's learning how to use food to fuel your body.  I encourage you to let her share her passion with you.  You won't regret it!  

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Hiking Camelback Mountain

I know you guys were hoping that I'd be here blogging about my healthy eats lately, but I'm so far behind on blogging and I'd be sad if I never blogged about my trip to Arizona with Ella.  I'm working on my healthy eats post too.

When I planned my trip to Arizona, Bianca told me she wanted to take me hiking.  I was very excited as hiking is something I feel like I could truly get behind.  I'm not sure what I pictured exactly, but I did NOT picture this.

Luckily it wasn't blazing hot in Arizona the week we were there.  It was about 55 degrees when we started.  Don't worry, I heated up quickly.  When I saw the first big hill I thought I'd die and as it turns out this one isn't even big.

Pictures never ever do hills justice.  This is literally a mountain and I had to climb it.  It was definitely a challenge, but I loved every minute.  The views were so amazing.  I had to stop every few minutes just to snap pictures.

Including a selfie (of course)!

As we went further up the mountain, it was less of a trail as seen before, but more of just rock.  It took some finesse to make it up without killing myself.

Bianca moved with ease and kept me going the whole way.  She's a beast!

It took almost a full hour, but we made it to the top.  I was taken bake by the scene from the top.  Totally work every huff and puff.

My relationship with Bianca is so special to me.  She is one of the most selfless people I know.  She's easy going and genuinely kind and upbeat.  So if you're going to hike to the top a mountain with anyone, you'd want it to be Bianca.  I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

Thanks for taking me on this adventure B, it's not one I'll soon forget.

Tune in again soon for more Arizona adventures.  I thought this was great, but every day I spent in Arizona got more amazing than the next.