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Friday, 31 July 2015

Mushroom Pesto Pizza



Ok so this isn't just a Mushroom pizza with any old pesto sauce on it... this pizza uses Mushroom Pesto and it's incredible! If your a mushroom lover you have got to try this pizza on for size!  

I used a Tortilla wrap for my crust but I normally would make my Whole Wheat Pizza dough in the bread machine which makes this pizza even more delish!  

Basically for the Pesto, you fry up a whole pile of mushrooms the more the better, and the more variety the better.  I usually use some Shiitake mushrooms, brown mushrooms and portobello mushrooms.  The Shiitakes are a treat but they make this pizza.  This week I actually found a big package of Organic Shiitake Mushrooms at costco!!!  Score!  So that's what prompted me to make mushroom pesto pizza this week.  


Add a few whole cloves or garlic to your mushrooms while they are cooking and a bit of coconut oil or butter.  Once it's all cooked you take 3/4 of the mushrooms and all the garlic and blend everything in the food processor.  Then add another tsp of coconut oil to bring it all together.  You can also add in some parsley and a little Thyme too!  

Now you have an amazing tasty and healthy pesto.  



Now I actually made this pizza to fit the 21 Day fix program so if your following that program you can use your containers to measure your ingredients. The grilled mushrooms and mushroom pesto count as one green container, I only used one blue container of cheese and the wrap counts as one yellow.  The added coconut oil to the pesto adds one orange container.  So your total 21 day fix containers count is:  1 Blue, 1 Yellow, 1 Green and 1 Orange.  Now you could totally add chicken to this pizza to add a little protein (1 Red Container). 



Mushroom Pesto Pizza Recipe

For the Mushroom Pesto


8-10 Shiitake Mushrooms (the more mushrooms the more pesto you will have)
5-10 Brown Mushrooms
1 Portobello mushroom (optional)
3 cloves or garlic (or more)
Coconut Oil
Parsley
Thyme


For the Pizza


Whole Wheat Pizza crust or a whole wheat tortilla wrap
Aged White Cheddar
Mushroom pesto 
Grilled mushrooms to top


Instructions


Make your Mushroom pesto as mentioned above my grilling up all your mushrooms and Garlic in a frying pan with coconut oil and then blending 3/4 of them in a food processor with a teaspoon of coconut oil.  Add in seasonings. 

Spread Mushroom pesto onto your pizza dough or wrap.  Top with Aged white cheddar and then the remaining grilled mushrooms.  

Bake in the oven at 400 until cheese melts and starts to brown slightly.  




Monday, 27 July 2015

Smoked Cheddar Broccoli & Mushroom Quesadilla

I threw together this Smoked cheddar broccoli and mushroom quesadilla for lunch today out of what I had in the coolers! 

I have been living out of two coolers for the past 3 days while I awaited my new fridge!!! We sold our old fridge and delivered it on Thursday so coolers it is! 


I received the new fridge this morning but I don't have too much left to eat! 

I excited to stick it up with fresh groceries for the week! 

Here is the recipe for my quesadilla.


Smoked Cheddar Broccoli and Mushroom Quesadilla


21 day fix portions: 1 yellow 1 green 1 blue

Ingredients


1 tortilla wrap
1/2 green container of mushrooms
1/2 green container of broccoli 
1 blue container smoked cheddar

Directions


Sauté mushrooms and broccoli with coconut oil and garlic. 

Add half the smoked cheddar to the wrap and cook on grill or in frying pan. 

Top with veggies and the remaining cheddar. 


Once cheese is melted remove from the grill and cut into pieces. 

Serve with a scoop of Greek yogurt.





Sunday, 26 July 2015

21 Day Fix Dinner Recipes


I know most of my challengers as well as myself tend to plan our meal plans around Dinner.  That is why I decided it might be helpful to start a big list of 21 Day fix Approved Dinner Recipes to draw from.  

Below you will find a few photos of the recipes some of the recipes I have selected as well as titles and 21 day fix portions for each of the recipes.  You can then click the link to visit the page with the corresponding recipe. 

I find it SO helpful if a recipes lists the 21 day fix portions up front for me so I know if it will work for me or not.  Thats why I have listed them here for you to reference before even clicking on the recipe link!  

If you have an awesome 21 Day Fix Approved dinner recipe to add to the list please email the recipe and a photo to crystalpfitnessfood@gmail.com.

20+ Dinner Recipes for the 21 Day Fix!


Macaroni and Cheese 1 Blue 1 Yellow 1/3 Red (top with chicken or ground meat for more protein)

Turkey Black Bean Lettuce Wraps - 1 Red, 1 Yellow, 1 Green

21 Day Fix Chicken Enchilada - 1 Green. 1 Red, 1 Yellow, 1 Blue

Caprese Chicken Pizza - 1 Red, 1 Yellow, 1 Blue 1/2 Green

Pineapple Chicken Tacos - 1 Red, 1 Yellow, 1/2 Green, 1/2 Purple

Twice Baked Potatoes - 1 Yellow, 0.5 Blue, 0.5 Red

Pesto Goat Cheese Veggie Wrap - 1 Yellow, 1 Green, 1 Blue

21 Day Fix Chicken Fajitas - 1 Red 1 Green 1 Yellow

Kale Berry Salad - 1 Green 1 Purple 1 Blue

Chicken Artichoke Pesto Pizza - 1 Red, 1 Green, 1 Blue, 1 Orange, 1 Yellow

Meatloaf Muffins1 Red, 1 Blue, .5 Yellow and .5 Green (per 3 meatloaf muffins with no glaze)

Grilled Fish Tostadas - 2 corn tortillas-1 yellow container  1 red container of fish , 1 blue container of avocado/guacamole, and count salsa on fish, lettuce or other topping as 1/2 green container

Asian Garlic Tofu with Rice - 1 Red 1 Green 1 yellow

Quick Lemon Chicken - 1 Red Serve with veggies and rice for 1 Green and 1 Yellow

Spitfire Shrimp - 1 1/2 Red 1 Green 1 Tsp

Broccoli and Cheddar Stuffed Chicken - 2 Red 1 Blue 1 Green


Turkey Taco Zucchini Boats - 1 Green 1 Red 1 Blue

Taco Turkey Burger - 1 Red 1 Green (Optional 1 Yellow 1 Blue)

Artichoke Pizza - 2 Green 1 1/2 Yellow 1/2 Blue 1/2 Orange

Chicken Bruschetta - 1 Red 1/2 Green 1/2 Orange

Mushroom Pesto Pizza - 1 Green 1 Yellow 1 Blue 1 Orange

Smoked Cheddar Broccoli & Mushroom Quesadilla - 1 Yellow 1 Green 1 Blue


Saturday, 18 July 2015

Day 14 - Eating Clean Mini Challenge



Day 14: No more than 5-ingredients – Avoid any and all packaged food products that contain more than five ingredients no matter what ingredients

Today's Mini Challenge is about reading the ingredients on packaging and paying attention to how many ingredients are in there!!! This week I'm going to ask you to avoid any and all packaged food products that contain more than five ingredients no matter what ingredients are listed.  Obviously it would be ideal if these ingredients adhered to the other mini challenges we have already completed.   

Here is Michael Pollan's take on this rule:

“Avoid food products that contain more than five ingredients. The specific number you adopt is arbitrary, but the more ingredients in a packaged food, the more highly processed it probably is. Note 1: A long list of ingredients in a recipe is not the same thing; that’s fine. Note 2: Some products now boast, somewhat deceptively, about their short ingredient lists. Häagen-Dazs has a new line of ice creamed called ‘five.’ Great–but it’s still ice cream. Same goes for the three-ingredient Tostitos corn chips advertised by Frito-Lay–okay, but they’re still corn chips.”

Try to find products where the ingredients are all real food and have a max of 5 listed!  It's a challenge but I know you can do it!!  These last two weeks have prepared you for this!

The main goal of this rule is to get people to start reading and scrutinizing the ingredient labels on their food.

To give you a leg up here is a list of groceries that typically have less than 5 ingredients listed: 
  • All fruits, vegetables, local meat/animal products, and wild-caught seafood
  • Dried fruit, nuts and seeds
  • Popcorn
  • Carrot Raisin Manna Bread (Freezer Section)
  • Lara bars
  • Triscuits
  • Fruit leathers
  • Applesauce
  • Whole-wheat Matzo crackers
  • Brown rice crackers and cakes
  • Oats
  • Cheese
  • Brown rice
  • Whole-wheat pasta
  • Olives
  • Beans
  • Peanut butter
  • Puffed whole-grain corn cereal
  • Shredded wheat cereal
  • 100% pure maple syrup and honey
Share your 5 Ingredient or less finds with us in the Eating Clean Mini Challenge Event on Facebook! 

Friday, 17 July 2015

Day 13 - Eating Clean Mini Challenge





Day 13: Nothing artificial – Avoid all artificial ingredients including, but not limited to: sweeteners, flavors and colors.

Artificial flavorings are derived from chemicals made in a laboratory and offer absolutely no nutritional value and are a magnet for processed foods. They show up in almost everything today, including bread, cereals, flavored yogurt, soups mixes, and cocktail mixers, so they can be hard to avoid. Every single artificial flavor in the food industry has some kind of detrimental health effect. These include neurotoxicity, organ, developmental, reproductive toxicity and cancer.

Food colouring is a tactic the food industry has used for decades. From those marshmallows floating in your bowl of milk to brightly colored orange cheetos, even the most common household foods contain ingredients such as Red #40 (the most widely consumed artificial dye) and Yellow #5.

However, the dangers of artificial dyes are often an issue in food safety, with many claiming them to be toxic and a factor to the rise of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in recent years. Curiously enough, many natural colors previously used to color food contained toxins such as mercury, and at the turn of the 20th century, companies began to create synthetic solutions to replace harmful natural dyes.

There are several food colourings still on the market linked with cancer. 

Blue 1 and 2, found in beverages, candy, baked goods and pet food, have been linked to cancer in mice. Red 3, used to dye cherries, fruit cocktail, candy, and baked goods, has been shown to cause thyroid tumors in rats. Green 3, added to candy and beverages, has been linked to bladder cancer. The widely used yellow 6, added to beverages, sausage, gelatin, baked goods, and candy, has been linked to tumors of the adrenal gland and kidney.

Another food additive to look out for is "MSG" which hides behind dozens of names, such as natural flavoring, yeast extract, autolyzed yeast extract, disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate, caseinate, textured protein, hydrolyzed pea protein and many others. Currently, labeling standards do not require MSG to be listed in the ingredient list of thousands of foods.

One quote from Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food pretty much says it all:

One of the problems with the products of food science is that, as Joan Gussow has pointed out, they lie to your body; their artificial colors and flavors and synthetic sweeteners and novel fats confound the senses we rely on to assess new foods and prepare our bodies to deal with them. Foods that lie leave us with little choice but to eat by the number, consulting labels rather than our senses.

Another issue with artificial foods is that, just like other highly processed foods, they’re relatively new and therefore we don’t know exactly how their consumption affects the body long term.  Remember how margarine was touted as a healthy alternative to butter when decades later we learned the dangers of hydrogenated oils?

There have been recent studies on the effects of artificial dyes in our food especially for kids.  Think about how your kids react not only when they have had the dreaded SUGAR but when that sugar is tied to artificial colourings!  Usually this combination makes kids crazy, causes melt downs and the like!  Not fun!!  

This mini-challenge reminds me that I’ve been wanting to share the difference between “natural” and “organic” food products. Packaging and labels can be very confusing these days! When a product says it is “natural” it just means that the ingredients come from something naturally created like a plant or an animal. If a product weren’t “natural” it could contain artificial ingredients like Red Dye #40 that’s chemically created or “invented” by food scientists in a lab somewhere. Sound appetizing? 

“Organic” food is a whole different story and refers to products that have not been treated with synthetic fertilizers or chemical pesticides, which is a good thing.

For the record, whether you are buying food that is “all natural” or “organic” it does not mean those products are whole grain, low in sodium, or lacking loads of sweeteners like sugar. To put things in perspective, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is actually a “natural” ingredient since it is made from corn. But that doesn't mean it's an ingredient I'm ok with if I come across it on the back of a package!  However if given the choice I would much rather consume HFCS over an artificially created sweetener like Splenda. With that being said, natural products are a far better choice than artificial ones although we would by no means automatically deem them as being “real food.”

So I'm sure this is all a bit confusing but the beauty of all this is that with the Facebook group we can all talk about what we come across and I can help clean things up for you.  Packaging can be SO tricky!!!  But I am hoping this Challenge won’t be too difficult because I'm not asking you to go full force with “real food,” but instead to just avoid the items that are basically fake. And hopefully this experience will be eye opening for you as far as how many products contain these fake, artificial additives. 

Even most cough syrups, children’s Tylenol products, and throat lozenges contain artificial ingredients! So be on the lookout next week and avoid all additives that were “invented” within the last century and instead stick to those trustworthy ingredients that our ancestors have survived on for thousands of years!  Remember Great Grandma?  If she would recognize it than it's ok!

INGREDIENT
WHY IT'S USED
WHY IT'S BAD
Artificial Colors
  • Chemical compounds made from coal-tar derivatives to enhance color
  • Linked to allergic reactions, fatigue, asthma, skin rashes, hyperactivity and headaches
Artificial Flavorings
  • Cheap chemical mixtures that mimic natural flavors
  • Linked to allergic reactions, dermatitis, eczema, hyperactivity and asthma
  • Can affect enzymes, RNA and thyroid
Artificial
Sweeteners
(Acesulfame-K, As-partame, Equal®, NutraSweet®, Sac-charin, Sweet’n Low®, Sucralose, Splenda® & Sorbitol)
  • Highly-processed, chemically-derived, zero-calorie sweeteners found in diet foods and diet products to reduce calories per serving
  • Can negatively impact metabolism
  • Some have been linked to cancer, headaches, dizziness and hallucinations
Benzoate
Preservatives
(BHT, BHA, TBHQ)
  • Compounds that preserve fats and prevent them from becoming rancid
  • May result in hyperactivity, angiodema, asthma, rhinitis, dermatitis, tumors and urticaria
  • Can affect estrogen balance and levels

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Day 12 - Eating Clean Mini Challenge




Day 12 Eat local foods – Eat at least 1 locally grown or raised food at each meal. This includes, but is not limited to: fruits, vegetables, eggs, grains, nuts, meats, and sweeteners like honey.


I’ve become such a big fan of eating local foods and supporting local farmers who, frankly, do a much better job than all those big factory farms! Grocery shopping os so much more fun at the local market, the kids enjoy it and I look forward to it every Saturday morning!  This week Gord and I were up in Parksville and picked up some local produce from the root cellar in Coombs as well as the big Tuesday market in town!  I just love the atmosphere of the market and the produce is so much more fresh and flavourful!
I don’t think it is realistic for anyone to eat locally 100% of the time, but it is certainly possible to incorporate some local foods into our diets every week.  Did you know that the produce in the supermarket (whether it is organic or conventional) travels, on average, 1,500 miles from the farm to your plate? Not only is all that travel taxing on the environment, but it also gives the produce a chance to lose some of its nutritional value along the way. And the varieties of produce chosen to go on such an adventure are limited because factory farms are only interested in fruits and vegetables that travel well and can survive a long shelf life. That's why when you grow a tomato in your home garden it tastes so sweet, most tomatoes in stores ripen unnaturally and fruit is often picked before it is ripe too.  
So here is tomorrows mini eating clean challenge, which starts on Friday:
Mini-Challenge Day 12: Eat at least 1 locally grown or raised food at each meal. This includes, but is not limited to: fruits, vegetables, eggs, grains, nuts, meats, and sweeteners like honey.
To give you a better idea of how many varieties of produce we are really missing out on when we shop at the grocery store I want to share an interesting fact from the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, which is about a family who ate almost 100% local (off their own farm and from other surrounding farms) for an entire year:
“According to Indian crop ecologist Vandana Shiva, humans have eaten some 80,000 plant species in our history. After recent precipitous changes, three-quarters of all human food now comes from just eight species, with the field quickly narrowing down to genetically modified corn, soy, and canola.”
Another intriguing tidbit from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is about the reaction of some kids when they learned that their food is grown in dirt:
“Malcolm liked hanging around when Steven was working in the garden, but predictably enough, had a love-hate thing with the idea of the vegetables touching the dirt. The first time he watched Steven pull long, orange carrots out of the ground, he demanded: ‘How’d you get them in there?”
“Absence of [knowing how foods grow] has rendered us a nation of wary label-readers, oddly uneasy in our obligate relationship with the things we eat. We call our food animals by different names after they’re dead, presumably sparing ourselves any vision of the beefs and porks running around on actual hooves. Our words for unhealthy contamination – ‘soiled’ or ‘dirty’ – suggest that if we really knew the number-one ingredient of a garden, we’d all head straight into therapy. I used to take my children’s friends out to the garden to warm them up to the idea of eating vegetables, but this strategy sometimes backfired: they’d back away slowly saying, ‘Oh man, those things touched dirt!’ Adults do the same by pretending it all comes from the clean, well-lighted grocery store.”
Asher in the backyard garden
under a huge rhubarb leaf!

So how’s that for “food for thought?” How many of your kids know where their food comes from and how it got to the supermarket in the first place? While I am a big fan of buying locally I also love the idea of growing our own food locally…as in our own backyard. There is no carbon footprint whatsoever when you grow it yourself, and this is the perfect time of year to have a summer garden (at least where we live!). And growing your own fruits and vegetables can actually be a rather simple process if you start small. All you need is a pot, some dirt, a plant, some organic fertilizer, and a little TLC. In fact, you can even skip the pot and just cut open the top of the bag of soil and plop a tomato plant right in the dirt if you want. There is no better way to learn about what it takes to grown your own food than doing it yourself. It can actually be kind of fun and rewarding as well.

Asher picking raspberries which grow
on the side of our house!


When Gord and I first moved into a basement suit at age 21 my love of gardening blossomed.  I'd never really gardened much other than helping pull weeds at my parents home but for some reason I decided to start container gardening on our patio. When we moved into our first home I had a small garden that did very well with the peas, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower I planted.  I learned as I went and made many mistakes. Now I have a backyard garden in addition to a garden I co-share with my in-laws which I have dubbed In-law gardens.  I grow a larger variety of vegetables and fruits in both gardens now that I have more room.  I've made many many mistakes along the way and really learned what grows well and when to plant certain things when.

The best part is teaching my kids where food comes from, and appreciating the different shapes and sizes, clouds and varieties the fruits and vegetables come in.  I have grown so many varieties of tomatoes and my kids love them all from purple to green, yellow to red they aren't afraid to try something new if mom has grown it for them!  
As we’ve discussed locally grown food
products not only support local farmers and are more nutritious, but they are much better for our environment as well. Aside from having to travel far distances from the farm to your plate an unbelievable amount of fossil fuels are utilized throughout the entire growing process at factory farms. Forget our gas guzzling SUVs…nothing sums up just how much energy is actually used to grow, fertilize, harvest, pack, and ship produce all over the world better than one last quote from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle:
“If every U.S. citizen ate just one meal a week, any meal, composed of locally and organically raised meats and produce we would reduce our country’s oil consumption by over 1.1 million barrels of oil every week. … Small changes in buying habits can make big differences.”
So Yes you can make a difference with your small changes!
One of this years pickings from in-law gardens

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Day 11 - Eating Clean Mini Challenge




Day 11 Eating Clean Mini Challenge: No refined or hydrogenated oils including (but not limited to): vegetable oil, organic vegetable oil, soybean oil, corn oil, canola oil, organic canola oil, margarine, and grape seed oil.

Olive oil, for example, that is unrefined, uses olives that have been pressed to extract the oil, but the oil itself hasn’t been filtered, heated, treated with chemicals, and so on. In other words, without getting too technical, it’s in its pure state.

Overall, it is best to consume unrefined oils.

Many of the oils used in the modern American diet are hazardous to our health. They are processed, cleaned with chemicals, and most come from genetically modified corn, canola or soy. Most oils found on the grocery store aisles are heated to very high temperatures during processing; this heat oxidizes the oils. Oxidation also creates free radicals that can damage the cells of our bodies so it is best to avoid them. The processing increases the shelf-life of the oils (remember when I mentioned that on Day 4 in the video message to our Facebook group) and removes most of the natural flavoring, making them more attractive for the industrial food industry, but less attractive to the consumer. Vegetable oils, like canola and corn oil, are usually made with genetically modified corn, canola, and soy. So, I suggest you limit the use of those oils and stick with unrefined oils.

Here’s an easy checklist of oils to avoid:

Vegetable Oil
Organic Vegetable Oil
Soybean Oil
Corn Oil
Canola Oil
Organic Canola Oil
Grape Seed Oil
Hydrogenated Oils
Margarine
Any oil that is labeled as refined, hydrogenated, partially-hydrogenated

Oils to use:

Coconut Oil - When buying coconut oil, make sure you buy organic, unrefined, centrifuged oil. To receive the maximum benefits you really want to find the best oil possible. Coconut oil is extremely stable so it is great to use when higher heat is necessary. In a typical recipe, coconut oil can be used as a replacement for other oils 1:1. If you are sautéing, however, I have found that you need less coconut oil than you may initially think (due to low water content), so use it very sparingly.

Butter - best is organic and grass fed but regular butter will do for this challenge!  Go for unsalted.

Olive Oil - When buying olive oil, look for oil that is extra virgin, cold-pressed, and unfiltered.

Sesame oil is a stable oil that is great for cooking at high heats.

Red palm oil is a beautifully rich red oil that contains oleic and linoleic acid.

Flaxseed oil is rich in omega-3s and should be kept refrigerated until consumed. Since heat will oxidize this oil, it should not be used to cook with, but rather only added to salads, smoothies, and other cold foods. It is best to use this oil in small quantities because the body absorbs it slowly. I add Flaxseed oil to Asher's Smoothies to bump up his calorie level because he has a hard time putting on weight!

Lard – preferably from organic, pastured animals

Ghee (clarified butter) – good to use at high temperatures

Tallow – preferably from organic, pastured animals

Avocado oil – good to use at high temperatures

Although cooking at home with healthy oils can be an easy switch, it can be far more difficult to find processed foods cooked with healthy fats.  Make sure to read the labels on packaged foods to know what kinds of oils were used and choose products that use the most healthy ingredients.  Gord and I have found avocado oil chips that are a nice treat once and a while and I love knowing that they are cooked without canola or another unhealthy refined oil!

Start small with this challenge and work towards eating more and more unrefined oils.  If you have never used coconut oil maybe try purchasing some today and using it for cooking and baking in your home!  We often use coconut oil for grilled cheese instead of butter, especially when the butter is hard in the fridge or we have run out! Coconut oil is great for so many uses including moisturizing the skin!

Comment below "All in" if your are participating in today's Challenge and head over to the Facebook event to share how you are incorporating today's mini challenge into your day!


Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Day 10 - Eating Clean Mini Challenge




Based on research, Michael Pollan says instead of using our internal cues to know when to stop eating most of us “allow external, and usually visual, cues to determine how much we [should] eat.” Think back to your last meal…did you stop eating when your gut told you you’d had enough or when your plate was clean, the package was empty, or the T.V. show was over?

Day 10 Eating Clean Challenge: Listen to your internal cues and stop eating when you feel full.

I've mentioned before but I'll say it again, when I first discovered this whole world of eating what I called Real food or now refer to as Clean eating (it's easier that way) I read the book In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan.  

Pollan Says:


Supposedly it takes twenty minutes before the brain gets the word that the belly is full; unfortunately most of us take considerably less than twenty minutes to finish a meal, with the result that the sensation of feeling full exerts little if any influence on how much we eat. What this suggests is that eating more slowly, and then consulting our sense of satiety, might help us to eat less. The French are better at this than we are, as Brian Wansink discovered when he asked a group of French people how they knew when to stop eating. ‘When I feel full,’ they replied. (What a novel idea! The Americans said things like ‘When my plate is clean’ or ‘When I run out.’) Perhaps it is their long, leisurely meals that give the French the opportunity to realize when they are full.



I don’t know about you, but as long as I can remember I’ve been told to “clean my plate.” I'm finding that meal planing along with the 21 Day fix portion control program has been very helpful for me in understanding how much is the correct amount for me. I fill my containers up and put my portions onto my plate and it's usually more food than I expect it to be.  This makes it easy to know I'm getting the correct portion of carbs, veggies and protein.  I've now become very good at eyeballing how much I should be having so I don't overload on the potatoes or not take enough protein.  
But I've also been 3/4 the way through dinner and felt that full feeling and allowed myself to stop, even if I have half a protein left on my plate.  I know I can have that half of a protein later on.
But aside from that portion control container system,  sometimes it can be difficult to stop eating an exceptionally good meal when there are only one or two or even three bites left. I know we’ve all been taught how awful it is to “waste” food and even when you do start to feel that full feeling it can be hard to leave those last few bites on your plate. 
The key is when you start with less food you can always add more. So instead of taking 2 scoops of potatoes, start with one and if you really loved them and Feel hungry you can go back for more. You may be surprised at how often you don’t feel the need to pile on more…especially if you rest for a few minutes before going back. This is something I’ve honestly struggled with myself ever since I first read Pollan’s book, but I continue to try as hard as I can to not be won over by a delicious meal and instead stay in check by listening to my body. As Pollan says “Better to go to waste than to waist,” which will “help you eat less in the short term and develop self-control in the long.”
Not to mention “Americans are on average eating 200 more calories a day than they were in the 1970s.” We think this concept of controlling our portions goes hand-in-hand with eating real food because I have personally found that real food is incredibly filling. Your body is getting the nutrients it needs to be more satisfied too so you have fewer cravings for high calorie low nutrient dense foods between meals. You truly don’t need to eat as much to get to that “full” feeling as you would with the empty calories that make up highly processed food. But following through on this concept can sometimes be easier said than done, which is why I'm devoting today's mini challenge to the “way we eat.”
Check out these tips from the “How should I eat?” section of Michael Pollan’s book Food Rules:
  • Pay more, eat less.
  • Stop eating before you’re full.
  • Eat when you are hungry, not when you are bored.
  • Eat slowly.
  • Spend as much time enjoying the meal as it took to prepare it.
  • Buy smaller plates and glasses.
  • Serve a proper portion and don’t go back for seconds.
  • Do all your eating at a table. (A desk does not count!)
  • Try not to eat alone.
  • Leave something on your plate.

Which one of these tips speaks to you the most?  For me it is probably the first one: "Pay more, eat less".  This is because I often hear people say that eating healthy costs so much more money than packaged junk food and processed meals.  And it's true but I can tell you that your body will not be satisfied by that bag of chips and will leave you searching for more an hour later.  For example if I drink Shakeology in the morning for Breakfast, it costs me about $5.  Compared to a muffin from the coffee shop that might be only $2, but the sugar in that muffin and the lack of nutrients will leave me hungry an hour later and searching for another sugary treat to fill the void.  Cravings are directly related to nutritional needs and when the nutritional needs are satisfied the cravings stop.  


This topic came up in my Challenge group last week actually when one of the ladies posted in the group to ask if it was normal to lose her Chocolate cravings while on the 21 Day fix. Because that program is all about eating to fuel your body with real food and drinking shakeology, her body is satisfied nutritionally so her cravings have gone!  Big Win! 


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