How to Tackle Anxiety and Depression — The Flexi Foodie

There are such a wide range of reasons why a person might struggle with anxiety and depression that it is impossible to say that everyone can benefit from the same advice. However, there are certain things at the core of these mental health issues that people may share. These things can pertain to a prolonged […]

via How to Tackle Anxiety and Depression — The Flexi Foodie

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Could switching the TV off change your life? — Straight Talking Fitness

It’s late in the evening and I’m about to embark on one of my favourite pastimes, going for a walk. I have my earphones in and I look at the list of podcasts that await my listening. The theme is the exact one I write about; health, fitness and self development. I get halfway up […]

via Could switching the TV off change your life? — Straight Talking Fitness

Why Coffee is KING!..

I LOVE COFFEE! Yes I wrote that in all caps because I want to yell it-I LOVE COFFEE. Here’s why you should too:

Let’s start with an AWESOME recipe that revs you up and will slim you down!

  • Brew 2 cups of coffee, use a French press if possible to retain maximum nutrients.
  • Combine coffee with 2 tbsp of grass-fed butter and 1 tbsp of extra virgin coconut oil. Whip everything together until the top foams and enjoy this decadent drink. The coconut oil and the butter will control your hunger and boost you energy!
  • Drink this in place of your usual breakfast and watch the pounds disappear!

Stay HYDRATED by drinking COFFEE!

That’s right, you heard me; Experts happen to be wrong on this one! Coffee, tea and other beverages with caffeine are not dehydrating! Having up to four cups of coffee per day won’t dehydrate you one bit-they happen to be as hydrating as plain old water…I know, I couldn’t believe it either but a new British study in the journal PLOS ONE confirms it!


Coffee is the FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH!

According to a study done at Harvard, people who drink 3-5 cups of coffee a day OUTLIVE those who don’t drink the delicious brew…BY 3 YEARS! It’s the antioxidants in coffee beans that give the longevity boosting benefits.

So get your butt to Starbucks and order yourself a VENTI!

kaboompics.com_Happy Coffee

Reboot Recipe…

Easter officially ends tomorrow and I know that most of us are in need of a reboot when it comes to nutrition. Overindulging in lots of Easter treats have left most of us sluggish and a little bloated. But good news-I have the perfect Reboot Recipe! It’s essential to getting back on track. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 small piece of fresh turmeric
  • 1/2 small head of green cabbage
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 1 small handful of watercress
  • 1 clove of peeled garlic
  • 1 small piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 medium green apple, quartered
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions:

Fill the chute of a juicer with all of the ingredients. Start the machine and push the ingredients completely through the chute. Process until all ingredients are juiced, then pour into a glass and serve immediately.

Just a quick note on turmeric-it may be hard to find in a regular grocery store so try a health food store or an Indian grocery store. Also, rinse your juicer out right away because turmeric has a tendency to stain.

carrot-juice-665820_1280

Reboot your body…

 

Diet of the week…Happy Easter

This may sound crazy but we’ve decided to do low carb for our next diet. I myself, know that my sweet tooth is out of control and I think that it’s time to reign it in again, considering that I’ve eaten 2 Easter bunnies while typing this…so this might just be the answer. I’m not going to say that this is the insanely popular low-carb diet that starts with an A but I will say the principals will be the same. So, for 1 week we will be following this diet to see if it works, see how we feel physically,mentally and emotionally and of course we want to see if the number on the scale drops and if our jeans fit better.

Here’s the skinny on the plan!

All fish including:

  • Flounder
  • Herring
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Sole
  • Tuna
  • Trout
  • Cod
  • Halibut

All fowl including:

  • Cornish hen
  • Chicken
  • Duck
  • Goose
  • Pheasant
  • Quail
  • Turkey
  • Ostrich

All shellfish including:

  • Clams
  • Crabmeat
  • Mussels*
  • Oysters*
  • Shrimp
  • Squid
  • Lobster

*Oysters and mussels are higher in carbs so limit to about 4 ounces per day.

All meat including:

  • Bacon*
  • Beef
  • Ham*
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Veal
  • Venison

*Some processed meat, bacon, and ham is cured with sugar, which will add to the carb count. Avoid cold cuts and other meats with added nitrates, if possible.

Eggs in any style, including:

  • Deviled
  • Fried
  • Hard-boiled
  • Omelets
  • Poached
  • Scrambled
  • Soft-boiled

Eggs are one of nature’s most nutritious creations. That’s why eggs are a staple breakfast in the Nutritional Approach.

Feel free to get creative with your eggs: Add mushrooms and onions, or even green pepper. Top the dish off with feta cheese or add basil, oregano and other herbs.

Fats and Oils

There are no carbs here, but keep in mind that the serving size is approximately 1 tablespoon.

  1. Butter
  2. Mayonnaise – make sure it has no added sugar
  3. Olive oil
  4. Vegetable oils – Those labeled “cold pressed” or “expeller pressed” are especially good and olive oil is one of the best.
    • Canola*
    • Walnut
    • Soybean*
    • Grape seed*
    • Sesame
    • Sunflower*
    • Safflower*

*Do not allow any oils to reach overly high temperatures when cooking. Use olive oil for sautéing only. Use walnut or sesame oil to dress cooked veggies or salad, but not for cooking.

Artificial Sweeteners

Sucralose, saccharine or stevia – one packet equals 1 gram of net carbs

Beverages

  • Clear broth/ bouillon (make sure it has no sugars added)
  • Club soda
  • Cream, heavy or light
  • Decaffeinated or regular coffee and tea*
  • Diet soda (be sure to note the carb count)
  • Flavored seltzer (must say no calories)
  • Herb tea (without added barley or fruit sugar added)
  • Unflavored soy/almond milk
  • Water – at least eight 8-ounce glasses per day including…
    • Filtered water
    • Mineral water
    • Spring water
    • Tap water

* One to two cups of caffeinated tea or coffee is allowed as desired and tolerated by each individual. If you experience symptoms of hypoglycemia or cravings as a result, do not use caffeine. If you have a true caffeine addiction, it is best to break the habit during the induction phase.
* Limit lemon and lime juices to 3 T per day
* Limit cream (heavy or light) to 3 TBSP or 1.5 fl oz per day

Cheese

 SERVING SIZE

NET COUNT™

Parmesan, grated

1 TBSP

.2

Goat, chevre

1 oz

.3

Bleu cheeses

2 TBSP

.4

Cheddar

1 oz

.4

Gouda

1 oz

.6

Mozzarella, whole milk

1 oz

.6

Cream cheese, whipped

2 TBSP

.8

Parmesan, chuck

1 oz

.9

Swiss

1 oz

1.0

Feta

1 oz

1.2

Keep in mind that cheese does contain carbs, about 1 gram per ounce. You may have about 3 to 4 ounces of cheese per day. An ounce is about the size of an individually wrapped slice of American cheese or a 1″ cube.

Foundation Vegetables

 

SERVING SIZE

NET COUNT™

Alfalfa sprouts (raw)

1/2 cup

0

Chicory greens (raw)

1/2 cup

.1

Endive (raw)

1/2 cup

.1

Escarole (raw)

1/2 cup

.1

Olives, green

5, each

.1

Watercress (raw)

1/2 cup

.1

Arugula (raw)

1/2 cup

.2

Radishes (raw)

1, each

.2

Spinach (raw)

1/2 cup

.2

Bok choy (cooked)

1/2 cup

.4

Lettuce, average (raw)

1/2 cup

.5

Turnip greens (cooked)

1/2 cup

.6

Heart of palm

1, each

.7

Olives, black

5, each

.7

Radicchio (raw)

1/2 cup

.7

Button mushroom (raw)

1/2 cup

.8

Artichoke (marinated)

1, each

1

Celery (raw)

1 stalk

1

Collard greens (cooked)

1/2 cup

1

Pickle, dill

1, each

1

Spinach

1/2 cup

1

Broccoli rabe (cooked)

1/2 cup

1.2

Sauerkraut (drained)

1/2 cup

1.2

Avocado, Haas

1/2 fruit

1.3

Daikon radish, grated (raw)

1/2 cup

1.4

Red/white onion, chopped (raw)

2 TBSP

1.5

Zucchini (cooked)

1/2 cup

1.5

Cucumber, sliced (raw)

1/2 cup

1.6

Cauliflower (cooked)

1/2 cup

1.7

Beet greens (cooked)

1/2 cup

1.8

Broccoli (cooked)

1/2 cup

1.8

Fennel (raw)

1/2 cup

1.8

Okra (cooked)

1/2 cup

1.8

Rhubarb (raw)

1/2 cup

1.8

Swiss chard (cooked)

1/2 cup

1.8

Asparagus (cooked)

6 stalks

1.9

Broccolini (cooked)

3, each

1.9

Bell pepper, green, chopped (raw)

1/2 cup

2.2

Sprouts, mung bean (raw)

1/2 cup

2.2

Eggplant (cooked)

1/2 cup

2.3

Kale (cooked)

1/2 cup

2.4

Scallion, chopped (raw)

1/2 cup

2.4

Turnip (cooked)

1/2 cup

2.4

Tomato, small (raw)

1, each

2.5

Jicama (raw)

1/2 cup

2.6

Portobello mushroom (cooked)

1, each

2.6

Yellow squash (cooked)

1/2 cup

2.6

Cabbage (cooked)

1/2 cup

2.7

Green beans (cooked)

1/2 cup

2.9

Bell pepper, red, chopped (raw)

1/2 cup

3

Leeks (cooked)

2 TBSP

3.4

Shallots, chopped (raw)

2 TBSP

3.4

Brussel sprouts (cooked)

1/2 cup

3.5

Spaghetti squash (cooked)

1/2 cup

4

Cherry tomato

10, each

4.6

Kohlrabi (cooked)

1/2 cup

4.6

Pumpkin, mashed (cooked)

1/2 cup

4.7

Garlic, minced (raw)

2 TBSP

5.3

Snow peas (cooked)

1/2 cup

5.4

Tomato (cooked)

1/2 cup

8.6

You should be eating approximately 12 to 15 grams of net carbs per day in the form of vegetables, which is equivalent to several cups depending on the actual carb content of the veggies you select.

1 cup is roughly the size of a baseball. Measure salad vegetables raw.

Salad garnishes

 

SERVING SIZE

NET COUNT™

Crumbled bacon

3 slices

0

Hard-boiled egg

1 egg

.5

Sautéed mushrooms

1/2 cup

1.0

Sour cream

2 Tbsp

1.2

Grated cheeses

(see above carb counts)

Herbs and spices

 

SERVING SIZE

NET COUNT™

Basil

1 TBSP

0

Cayenne pepper

1 TBSP

0

Cilantro

1 TBSP

0

Dill

1 TBSP

0

Oregano

1 TBSP

0

Tarragon

1 TBSP

0

Parsley

1 TBSP

.1

Chives (fresh or dehydrated)

1 TBSP

.1

Ginger, fresh, grated

1 TBSP

.8

Rosemary, dried

1 TBSP

.8

Sage, ground

1 tsp

.8

Black pepper

1 tsp

.9

Garlic

1 clove

.9

Make sure herbs and spices contain no added sugar.

Salad Dressings

 

SERVING SIZE

NET COUNT™

Red wine vinegar

1 TBSP

0

Caesar

2 TBSP

1

Ranch

2 TBSP

1.4

Lemon juice

2 TBSP

2.0

Bleu cheese

2 TBSP

2.3

Lime juice

2 TBSP

2.4

Balsamic vinegar

1 TBSP

2.7

Italian, creamy

2 TBSP

3

Any prepared salad dressing with no added sugar and no more then 2 grams of net carbs per serving (1-2 tablespoons) is acceptable. Or make your own.

So that’s the acceptable foods list-I don’t eat bacon or meat or any dairy so this plan will be modified to fit that as a vegetarian. Wish me luck…I have a feeling I may need it!

salad-791891_640

Do you think those are French fries or carrots?…hoping for French fries…

 

Diet Update…liquid meal replacements

Ok…what a tough week. This diet was HARD! It wasn’t hard to plan and it wasn’t hard to  prepare but it was hard to stick to. I was SO.HUNGRY. Here was the plan that I followed:

Breakfast and lunch will be replaced by a shake (meal replacement liquid) that contains 260 calories per serving.

There will be 2 x 100 calorie snacks between meals.

Dinner will be whatever you want as long as it totals 500 calories.

Total daily calories for this plan=1220.

Yes the plan was just over 1200 calories but it left me with absolutely NO ENERGY. My mood swings were wicked and I found that I was binge eating at night after I came home from work. Even after a 500 calorie dinner I was starving. This diet didn’t keep up with my training requirements either…it left me exhausted and totally unmotivated to train. I barely did any exercise on this plan because I felt so weak and tired. I felt this way for 2 reasons…

  1. I didn’t eat enough calories for my activity level.
  2. The shakes were high in sugar and simple carbs, (even though they said they were high in protein on the bottle)which caused my energy levels to crash and burn.

So in conclusion, this diet made me feel miserable, shaky, angry, tired, achy, headachy and weak. Not a good way to live that’s for sure. Shakes work for some people but the just make me shaky…:) Did I lose weight-YES but I put it all back on when I started eating normally today so what was the point other than to figure out if this diet works…the answer for me anyway is a resounding NO.

We’ll be trying out and posting a new diet tomorrow…stay tuned!

chocolate-smoothie-1058191_1280

This incredibly popular shake diet left me starving! It looks yummy but it wasn’t filling at all .

 

Benefits of Herbal Teas…

First and most importantly let me say that our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Brussels. What another sad day for humanity. 


 

Herbal teas are wonderful, relaxing and convenient but do you know which teas have specific benefits? All of them actually! They each have their own special benefit that ranges from being high in antioxidants to helping suppress our appetites.The great news is that most, if not all of these can be found in the grocery store or health food store. Please do not take this as medical advice as I am not a doctor and do not claim to be. Before starting anything new, talk to your doctor.  Let’s get started:

  • Oolong Tea-Helps to alleviate skin conditions
  • Black Tea-Has anti-inflammatory properties
  • Green Tea-Is high in anti-oxidants
  • Yerba Mate-Opens up respiratory passages
  • Stinging Nettle-Recommended for those who suffer from seasonal allergies
  • Dried Ginger Root-Helps with motion sickness and has antihistamine properties
  • Peppermint-Decongestant, anti-inflammatory and helps suppress appetite
  • Rooibos-Caffeine free, helps with skin irritations
  • White Tea-Antibacterial, has the highest antioxidant properties of all of the teas

Take time out to try some of these terrific, tasty  teas and reap the benefits! Tea is meant to be enjoyed slowly and I think that all of us could use some relaxation time in the middle of our busy schedules. Cheers to tea and cheers to you!

tea-381235_1280

 

Home Stretch…

As many of you know I’ve been training for the past few months for a 30 km race. Today marks less than 2 weeks before start time! I’m going to be totally honest, it’s been a struggle. I’ve battled bronchitis, the weather, hills, stairs, fatigue, injury and the voice in my head that says I can’t do this. So far I’ve learned so much about myself-I know what my triggers are for veering off track whether it be my training plan or my diet plan and I’m slowly figuring out how to control them and be better than I was yesterday.

I’m really excited about this upcoming race. It’s going to be challenging; my body will fatigue, my muscles will want to cramp and tighten and my brain will tell me it’s ok to stop…but I won’t because the whole point of this race for me is to find out what I’m made of. I guarantee that who I start this race as, will not be the same person that crosses the finish line. There will be a transformation. The negative thoughts will be replaced with knowing that I did this, knowing that I finished and knowing that I’m capable of challenging myself and coming out alive.

I hope this happens for all of the people that race. I hope that the people who hate their bodies will start to love them and be proud of what their bodies are capable of, that people who thought that they could never run this will find out just how strong they are and that they will start trusting in themselves in all areas of their lives. I hope that this race is a transformation of self for those who need it, I hope that they realize that this is just the beginning of great things for them. I hope that those who are fighting their minds every step of the way find the inner strength they need to just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

I hope that every single person who runs realizes that we are constantly at battle with ourselves; there’s one part of us that’s a liar and says that we can’t do this, that we don’t have what it takes, we aren’t ready, we should give up or give in or just walk for a while. There’s another part of us that says, we can do this, we have the strength, endurance and support to finish, we are well prepared and we will cross the finish line knowing that we’ve just done something awesome.

So which voice in your head wins? THE ONE YOU FEED.

Stay positive, keep going and be proud of what you’re on the brink of accomplishing.

iphone oct 2015 112

Training…

Diet of the week…Liquid Meal Replacements

Hello All,

So we’re a few days behind on our diet of the week because life got in the way! But it’s totally fine because we are back on track. This week’s diet is an interesting one. It’s based on a very popular diet plan where the dieter (that’s us) has two liquid meal replacements, usually at breakfast and lunch, a regular dinner of around 500 calories and 2 x 100 calorie snacks per day. This plan is around the 1200 calorie mark or just above. Here’s the skinny.


Breakfast and lunch will be replaced by a shake (meal replacement liquid) that contains 260 calories per serving.

There will be 2 x 100 calorie snacks between meals.

Dinner will be whatever you want as long as it totals 500 calories.

Total daily calories for this plan=1220.

Wish us luck with this one because it’s going to be a tough week…but we’ll let the scale do the talking!

kaboompics.com_Girl holding yoghurt

 

Diet Update…400 cal plan

For the last week I’ve been sticking to a 400 calorie plan (400 calories 3xs per day for a total of 1200 calories per day) well, the results are in and they’re quite surprising!

On the 1200 calorie plan I decided that I could eat whatever I wanted as long as my calories stayed within that range. There has always been a huge argument that you can eat whatever you want as long as calories in vs calories out are in the proper amount. What a horrible week! I have never felt SO tired or unmotivated than I have this week on the 1200 calorie plan.

My cravings were intense, I ate a whole host of bad for me foods and I was cranky, miserable and had NO desire to keep up with my exercise/training regime. It was really odd because even though I was enjoying the food for the first few days, (what a treat to be able to eat what I wanted to at any given time) my mood, skin, enthusiasm, and drive suffered. I didn’t want to do anything! So yes, chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, a burger for lunch and pasta for dinner were all awesome and within the 1200 calorie range, but I’ve never felt worse! SO that leads me to believe what I already knew…it doesn’t ONLY come down to calories! IT’S ABOUT THE FOODS YOU EAT! None of the foods were giving me the proper energy I needed, plus the calories for me were too low because I’m EXTREMELY active and my entire exercise plan got the boot for the week because I had no energy. I basically treated it as, hey, as long as I only eat 1200 calories who cares WHAT I eat? It was a very bad idea and I am suffering from HUGE sugar cravings and I had a headache everyday last week.

Would I recommend strictly relying on the concept of calories in vs calories out? No, not for me anyway. I know what my body needs and wants and how to properly fuel it so I can reach my fitness goals. Did I lose weight?….here’s the funny part- I actually GAINED 3 pounds! How is this possible you ask? Stress, water weight, too much sodium, not enough exercise, not enough motivation to exercise and all the wrong foods.

On tomorrow’s post I’ll be starting another diet and will give you all the details of what will be happening for the week. Stay tuned!

restaurant-coffee-chocolate-dessert