Category Archives: Food

Spring Clean: Do you need a DETOX and my TOP 3 Faves

Spring has finally SPRUNG! Open the windows, let in the fresh air and deep clean everything. It’s also a good time to take closer look at your own health and see if you might need some internal spring cleaning too.

Have you ever considered doing a DETOX? Well, I will be honest in telling you that when I hear this word I immediately start to cringe because to me it means I will be needing to limit or take away foods from my diet. In some cases, this can be a good thing but to an endurance athlete, we need to keep our fuel clean and keep it coming to give our bodies the nutrition to support the level of training we put in day in and day out. Therefore, it is not usually recommended that anyone in training for any level of Endurance Events/Races participate in a detox. That being said, we all have our “off training” months or even periods within our training schedules where we are working out at a lower intensity and THAT is the perfect time to find a detox program that fits your needs and schedule.  I’d love to share with you some common reasons WHY you might consider or your body might NEED a detox!

  • DeBloat
  • Cravings
  • Weightloss Resistance
  • Insomnia
  • Fluid Retention
  • Moodiness
  • Gallbladder Issues (or you’ve had it removed)
  • Constipated
  • Feeling Depressed
  • Skin Problems/ Allergic Reactions

If you have more than 3 of these symptoms it’s a sure sign that your body might be out of balance and a Detox may be able to help! There are so many programs out there and I’m here to tell you that I’ve tried a couple and happy to give you my take a ways today. I encourage you to look at several options and find one that fits best with your lifestyle. Depending on the intensity of the symptoms you may want a longer program, but for my own personal ACTIVE lifestyle I’m finding that anywhere from 3 to 21 days works for me.

Whole 30. First you should read the book It Starts With Food. This is the bible for this program and will tell you exactly what you can eat and what you will need to limit for 30 days. I say limit because most American’s do not normally eat this way and so it’s a big shock to most people’s body. I mention this one first because it has been recommended to anyone suffering from celiac or gluten sensitivities. If that is you, talk to your doctor and see if plunging head first into this program can deliver you real results, real fast.

21 Day Sugar Detox (Diane Fillapino) Loved this program and especially her cookbook. What’s nice about this program is you can pick your LEVEL of intensity and really ease your way into a “Whole30” level of thinking. You complete a short survey to find out where you should start and for me I was already cutting out dairy and grains so I followed level 3. What really worked for me was creating a list of foods I had that were “approved” for my level of the program taped to my fridge. I listed all the items in my pantry, fridge and pre-made snacks so that helped me eat healthy.

3 Day Refresh (Beachbody) 72 hours is very doable for anyone, which is what makes this program the most versatile ever! It’s also gentle enough that if your wallet allows it you could essentially “Refresh” monthly, but I’m thinking for me I’ll be doing it at least 4-5x a year. Every kit comes with a journal booklet, suggested snacks and meals and daily guide. If you use and follow the friendly “fill-in-the-blank” daily journal you cannot go off track.

No matter what program you choose, be it one of the ones mentioned above or another one that you research on your own, I highly recommend seeking out some sort of support group. For all of these I found an online community of new friends who were doing the same program at the same time. We checked in daily, shared recipes and asked questions of each other for modifications or for suggestions on how to food prep and outside factors like effects it was having on our moods and family/work life. It makes a big difference to know there’s someone you can lean on and everyone brought an energy to pushing through to the end of the program. One final word, it is important to know that a detox is just that, it is a TEMPORARY eating lifestyle. For me, my body is happiest when I find a grey area between Paleo/Whole30/Sugar Detox/LowCarb/NoDairy/LowGrains diet. See what I mean? Everyone’s body, activity and metabolism is on its own frequency so dont try to fit yourself into ONE “boxed” solution.

I’d love to hear from you about your detox journey, keep me posted.  Cheers to your good health!

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FOOD FRIDAY: Makeover 2 Favorite Treats Shamrock Shake & Thin Mints

Have you seen it? It’s that time of year again and ever since I can remember as a kid we LOVED the chance to get a McDonald’s shake, especially looked forward to that one time of year when they released the tasty SHAMROCK SHAKE. Well, I’m a little older and wiser now and if I can help it my kids will not be enjoying shakes of any flavor from McDonalds. We are living in a society where we are fighting obesity and giving into fast food and treats like these are not ok —even as a cheat treat! I am so thankful for my shakeology and that my own kids wake up and have a frothy chocolate shake to start their day, they really look forward to it even. So when celebrating St. Patty’s Day I’ll wake up this year and present them with this yummy treat and not feel one bit guilty about it.

Heck Yeah! So now even I can have a Shamrock Shake that has 70+ superfood ingredients, the equivalent to 6 salads in one meal, not feel bloated, not kill my diet and still lose weight and have energy!!! Enjoying food is one of those things that I love to do! I enjoy sweets and this is another way I can make it healthy!


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So What’s the Ingredients:

  • 8 oz Skim, Rice, Almond or Soy Milk
  • 4 oz ice and water
  • splash of peppermint extract or some mint water (don’t over do the extract or it will taste nasty!!!!)
  • 1 tsp all natural pb
  • 2 tbsp vanilla sugar free instant pudding mix
  • 1 packet of Greenberry shakeology
  • Blend & Enjoy!

shakeologythinmintsFINAL2Second up today, we have the ever popular Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies. The number one seller every year is Thin Mints, yum! I’m not sure how it is in your house, but when we open one sleeve it’s GONE. So here’s a simple shake recipe to help you get that FIX!

Let’s do the MATH:

4 cookies = 160calories TMShakeo = 156calories

It’s not fair to even compare the nutrition content, hands down you know Shakeology is the winner!

I wish you all a very happy St. Patty’s Day and if you’re craving one of these treats, you now have a HEALTHY  ALTERNATIVE that you and your loved ones can enjoy!

Cheers to Good Health!

XO –Jenn

 

My 21 Day Sugar Detox Journey: My WHY

As a fitness professional, I strive to find new programs and resources that I can suggest and refer to friends and clients to help them reach their health and fitness goals. One area that is most challenging for everyone is balancing out our nutrition. You cannot go a day without hearing or reading something in the news about diet and nurtrition and there are so many fads out there promising quick results that we all want to believe in that miracle diet that somehow has given others beyond believable results. What we are seeing more often is a shift to adapting a more healthy eating LIFESTYLE rather than taking on a DIET.  That being said, I had heard a lot about the 21 Day Sugar Detox program by Diane SanFilippo and after looking it over I thought this was something similar to how I already eat—at level 3 of her program and there were levels 1 & 2 that you could begin with to work towards achieving level 3 which is very close to a whole 30 or paleo-inspired diet with no dairy or grains. I had attempted a whole30 once before so this program was really attractive to me!

Sitting down to begin the Sugar Detox, as I would with other programs I wanted to map out how I could stay accountable and have success with staying on track in completing the 21 days. Here is my WHY and the steps I took towards beginning the program, there were several resources that I decided I personally did not need but I am going to share them here because they may be just what you need in trying this yourself!

  • Writing out my WHY statement—what did I want to accomplish by the end of this journey? Why begin?

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  • Resources, what I used and how you can find out what will work to give you the right level of support for you!

IMG_1172My Journey began with a trip to my local library where I checked out Diane’s Cookbook. In it I found just about everything I needed to get started. In addition I visited 21 day sugar detox website, followed the 21 day sugar detox on Instagram and connected with a support group on facebook. As it turns out I had two close friends who were doing it so we started our own private group & text messaging system where we could provide each other support in an emergency situation.  My friend Darci had been through the program before so I leaned on her heavily to help guide me through the basics.

Second for me was a visit to Diane’s website 21 Day Sugar Detox where she gives away tons of recipes, tips and printables for you to use and you can purchase your own cookbook and guide to own. During the detox you can also submit your email to receive motivating emails while on the 3 week program.

21daysugardetox.guidesEssential to your success is having the lists for what level you are doing, there are 3 levels and so it’s important to have this list handy. Halfway through the program it was suggested in my facebook group to take a screenshot and keep the list on your phone so if you are out shopping or away from home that it can be referenced it at moments notice.  This was extremely helpful!

 

21daysugardetox.podcastNear the end of the program, I discovered the Balanced Bites podcast! Love this and I now listen to it 1x a week, catching up on tips from Diane Sanfilippo and Liz Wolfe. Click link to subscribe and listen yourself–you do not need to be doing the program to enjoy this podcast!

 

  • I’m an athlete in training, how can I still incorporate a Sugar Detox? Yes, there are modifications that you can use and I took full advantage of them including adding sweet potato and banana on a regular basis on days that I had intense, HIIT or endurance/cardio workouts.
  • I am an Instagram JUNKIE and invite you to follow me at @jennvfitness. I am always taking pictures of my food and I used my account to create a pictoral food journal while following the @21daysugardetox and connect with others who were doing it at the same time as me.  To see my collages I made while doing my January 2015 detox, I created a photo album on my facebook fitness page : Jennvfitness
  • Wine /Alcohol free for 21 days and counting! I love red wine and I know I probably consumed more than my share over the holidays. I am in training for my 4th marathon and so I used these 21 days to really curtail my intake of alcohol. I’d like to share this article from THE GUARDIAN, it’s a great running blog and I am always trying to improve my nutrition to support my level of training and endurance which can be effected by alcohol.
  • Post Detox, there is ongoing support or you can choose to join the next faceook group starting the Detox and continue at your current or new level of commitment. For me and my eating lifestyle, I made decision that I would give myself some wiggle room with going sugar free. I’m covering my new habits in another post but here I will say that less than 8 weeks until my marathon I decided that without a personal chef in my home, I just could not keep up the level of food prep I did and confidently give my body the nutritional needs it needs to push it to the limits. I am continuing to include several healthy recipes and foods I used in the detox and have made several new foodie friends.  I stay in touch with my group and continue to learn more about how I can live as close to a sugar free diet as possible.

I am happy to share these steps, this seemed to work for me and I encourage you to take a look at doing this program. For me I’m always inspired to find clean recipes and take recipes I love and make them healthier. Have you done a detox? How did you prepare heading into it? What were the deciding factors for you to do one program over another? I’d love to hear about your experiences!

Stay Healthy & Strong!

– Jenn

Eat Your Way Thin: FIVE foods that can JUMP START your weight loss

IMG_0532It’s Monday, time to get back on track or is it time to BEGIN? No matter, you are not alone because weekends are typically NOT when people decide to start a new fitness or nutrition program. In fact, weekends are where most people fall off the wagon, lose their way and give themselves permission to do so. So today I thought I’d share FIVE foods that can Jump Start your weight loss this week and when you see that scale going down, chances are you are more likely to continue your healthy habits!

1) Eat an APPLE! Apples are about 85% water and contain anti-inflammatory properties, they’ve also been shown to boost performance and energy.

2) Add Flax Seeds to your Foods! Studies have found that the Omega-3’s in flax seeds can help with FAT Loss.

3) Eat Fiber-Rich Foods: Oatmeal! Oats/Oatmeal is a good choice because it is low in sugar and high in fiber. It’s easy to freshen up as a meal or snack: Simply add in fresh berries, nuts and your choice of milk and you’ll stay full!

4) Coconut Oil, or other Healthy Fats! The secret to cooking to feel full and satisfied is to cook with healthy fats. Coconut oil is a great choice because it is also loaded up with lauric acid which may also help increase your metabolic rate.

5) Drink Coffee upon waking up! You knew I had to include this staple that I cannot live without. Coffee revs your metabolism to help you burn more calories. Studies show coffee is also an effective appetite suppressant and helps with Energy & Performance. Shhh….In my book, coffee is a superfood! Of course, coffee has caffeine that is a diuretic so try to drink at LEAST 1 cup of water with every cup of coffee you consume during the day.

 

Easy Egg Muffins and Make Ahead Meal Prep

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Weekends are a great time to reset for the week ahead and TODAY I will be resetting my nutrition as I begin my very first 21DSD (21 day sugar detox) alongside starting a new fitness program, Insanity Max 30. It is not unlike me to want to do it all, to take on a bigger challenge and so I took the initiative to do more prepping more this weekend than I have in the last couple months.

 

 

This 21 Day Fix Friendly recipe works perfect, falls within the guidelines of the sugar detox program and I’ll be using my colored containers to measure my foods for all my meals over the next 3 weeks. This is nothing new, but I wanted to share my tips on how to make your next egg muffin batch turn out perfect in every way!

Ingredients can vary…but one ingredient I think you should include ALWAYS is onion. So follow this simple equation and you cannot fail: Eggs + Veggies + Onion.  In keeping track of meal portions and using the 21 day fix containers this is how it breaks down. I use a 12 serving muffin pan, so 4 “egg muffins” equal 1 red/1 green serving on the plan.

Ingredients: 3 Red Containers (6 eggs) +3 Green Containers (Veggies) Pics of today’s prep, I used what I had on hand: Frozen Broccoli &Fresh Cauliflower &Red/Yellow Peppers.IMG_0284IMG_0283

IMG_0286PreHeat oven to 350 degrees. Scrambled Eggs, chopped veggies & onion and added to egg mixture–I added 1 tsp of salt/pepper. Spray muffin pan generously with oil. I used a ladel to pour the mixture into the pan. Bake for 15 mins. At end, I noticed tops were still a little runny so I put my muffin pan under broiler for 2 minutes to finish them off, use your judgement, eggs should not be runny.

I put one set of four in the freezer, the others I separated into sandwich baggies and placed in fridge on top shelf perfect for Grab n Go!

Enjoy and let me know what veggie combinations you use when making your Egg Muffins!

–Jenn

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