Thursday, September 26, 2013

nut butter lovers, there's something you need to know....

do you really know how your peanut butter, almond butter, and cashew butter are made?  you know i'm all about supplying you with information to help you make better choices, and trust me when i say that i couldn't have been more shocked to learn how one of my favorite foods is made.

if i were to ask you what peanut butter is made of, you'd probably answer, confidently, that it is a paste made primarily from ground dry roasted peanuts.

you're wrong.

if i were to ask you how peanut butter is made, you'd probably answer, confidently, with something closely resembling the following:

first, harvested peanuts are taken to buying stations where they are weighed, graded, and inspected to determine quality and value.  after the buying station, peanuts travel to shelling plants.  here, farm materials such as sticks and rocks are removed, and the peanuts are sorted by size.  they are shelled and inspected to eliminate immature kernels.  the sheller packs the peanuts into bags, boxes, or railcars for delivery to manufacturers.  peanut butter manufacturers inspect the peanuts to ensure high quality, and then roast them in special ovens.  after roasting, the peanuts are cooled rapidly to halt the cooking process, retain an even color, and prevent the loss of oil.  another machine rubs the peanuts between rubber belts to remove the outer skin.  this process is called blanching.  the kernels are split, the hearts removed and the peanuts are cleaned and sorted a final time.

because you have the tendency to ramble, you would finally tell me that the peanuts are ground twice, as one long grinding would produce too much heat, damaging the flavor.  first, the peanuts are ground alone, then with ingredients like salt, sweetener and stabilizer to keep the oil from separating.

you're wrong.

this is how peanut butter, and all nut butters are made:

Monday, September 23, 2013

excuses are like armpits...everyone has them and they stink

it's easy to rationalize a food binge (i worked out! i have pms!). but it's just as simple to talk yourself out of inhaling unwanted calories.  most every woman has a food angel and devil resting on either shoulder, one giving permission to indulge even as the other advises against it. "we've come to label foods as 'good' and 'bad,' so we feel guilty when we eat something we believe we shouldn't," says harley pasternak, celebrity trainer and author of the body reset diet.  but we've also become masters at rationalizing what we put into our mouths, which can lead to overeating, dubious food choices and even weight gain.  evelyn tribole, rd, a nutritionist in newport beach, calif., says, "let's get rid of the guilt! women need to remember that having foods they love won't make or break their diets as a whole." readers bravely let us into their heads to hear how they justify dining decisions, then experts shared some eye-openers. bet you can relate!

it's "good" fat
"as long as it's a 'good' fat, like the kind in avocados or almonds, i can have as much as i want." —stacy rogers sharp, austin, texas
reality check! for sure, certain fats are beneficial. "monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats help reduce cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease and stroke," says walter willett, md, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the harvard school of public health. still, they are just as fattening as the bad-boy saturated kind found in cheese and red meat. there are 9 calories in every gram of fat, generally twice the density of proteins and carbs, points out caroline kaufman, rdn, a nutritionist in san francisco.  nutrition guidelines to keep in mind: 30 percent of your calories should come from fat, with less than 10 percent from the saturated kind. in other words, favoring heart-healthy fats like the ones in nuts, avocado and olive oil: good. treating them like an all-you-can-eat buffet: bad.

it's the weekend
"i tell myself that if I have mostly salad all week, i can pig out on the weekend." —elizabeth upchurch, jackson, miss.  reality check! enjoying an indulgence is fine, says dr. willett, "but a whole weekend of pigging out may undo progress made during the week." weight control boils down to basic math: there are approximately 3,500 calories in a pound of fat, so unless you burn more calories than you consume, you're likely to gain weight.  many people kick off their food fiestas on fridays, notes tribole, co-author of intuitive eating; that means they're overdoing it 156 days a year, not just the 104 of weekends. "overeating promotes a disconnect between you and your body," she continues. "you should be focusing on hunger, fullness and satisfaction anytime you eat."  and don't fool yourself about sticking to salads, adds nutrition pro pasternak: "the reality is that most salads are far from healthy, loaded with calories from dried cranberries, bacon bits and dressing."

i'm going to the gym tonight
"of course i can have two slices of pizza at lunch—i'm going to the gym tonight!" —hope a. rising, clearwater, fla.  reality check! props for working out, but sadly, calories burned at the gym do not necessarily cross out calories consumed, says pasternak. two slices of pizza, on average, pack close to 800 calories. a 130-pound woman burns roughly half that calorie amount during an hour of high-impact aerobics.  some days, says tribole, we're hungrier than others; it's often due to sleep deprivation. "think about what your here-and-now body needs," she says. "if it's a slice of pizza you want, have it. you don't have to justify it." just don't rationalize having the whole pizza.

i have PMS
"when i have PMS and my body is craving salt and sugar, all bets are off. either i eat or i kill someone! —liz seccuro, alexandria, va.  reality check! there's a scientific reason your body yearns for potato chips and cookies when you're PMS-ing: it's the bliss fix. studies show that production of serotonin— a hormone that regulates mood and weight—slows down during PMS; starchy foods tend to boost it, improving your mood...but not your waistline. one MIT study showed women ate about 1,100 more calories per day during that time of the month.  your best pick: complex carbs with a little protein (it inhibits the production of serotonin). "by eating rice, pasta and oatmeal, women in our studies felt better," says researcher judith j. wurtman, phd, co-author of the serotonin power diet. and when only a super sugary treat will do, "have your special food—just don't buy a whole box of it," says melinda manore, phd, professor of nutrition and exercise at oregon state university. "get one cookie and eat just that."

it's a "free" food
"popcorn is one of those 'free' foods, so i can eat as much of it as i want." —cynthia fabian, somerset, n.j..  reality check! with all the low-carb, low-fat choices out there, nutritionists say many clients mistakenly deem them "free" foods. "i see some women do this with frozen yogurt and diet gelatin," says tribole. low-fat foods are particularly deceptive, adds brian wansink, phd, a researcher in food psychology at cornell university: "people often believe that low-fat foods have 44 percent fewer calories than they do, but when companies remove fat, they add sugar, so these alternates typically have only about 10 percent less calories."popcorn may taste like air, yet 3 cups (without anything on it) is the caloric equivalent of a slice of bread. but, he says, don't think too hard about produce: "if you start counting calories in fruits and vegetables, you'll talk yourself out of eating them—and you shouldn't."

i drink lots of water
"if i eat too much, drinking lots of water will flush it out of my system." —diana lynn, woodland hills, calif.  reality check! although guzzling glass after glass of water will help whoosh out toxins from your body, it won't do much for the massive plate of spaghetti carbonara you feasted on. when you eat, your body breaks down the food and shuttles the nutrients off to your cells for energy or stores them, explains dr. willett: "even drinking gallons of water won't compensate for eating too much." end of story.
story found ::here::

eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.

Friday, September 20, 2013

the fit beast feasts: overnight carrot cake protein oats

i have been craving carrot cake for the last few months and this breakfast treat, here, really hits the spot for me.  the heartiness of the oats, the crunch of the almonds, and the sweetness of the raisins and carrots are amazing.  oh, there's greek yogurt, too, that gives it a zingy flavor like a cream cheese frosting!  i hope you'll give it a try!

1/4 cup organic greek yogurt (vanilla flavored)
1/3 cup old fashioned oats, dry
3 tbsp grated carrot
1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/2 cup unsweetened and unflavored almond milk
5 almonds, chopped
1 tablespoon raisins
cinnamon to taste

combine all ingredients in a small bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

depending on what products you use, the nutritional information may vary.  mine came out to 300 calories, 37.92 grams carbs, 26 grams protein, 8 grams of fat.

eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.

Thursday, September 12, 2013


okay, so you might need to click on it to make it a little bigger, but if you want a great resource to keep on hand for working those stubborn abs of yours, this is it!!

eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.

Monday, September 9, 2013

can't get this thought, and image, out of my mind

sorry, i know the image isn't all that big, but truly, the worst thing is watching someone drown and not being able to convince them that they can save themselves by just standing up.  the frustration of hearing people make excuses about how hard it is to get healthy and the justification behind their actions is so hard to hear.  stand up.  stop drowning.  stand up!!!!

eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.

Friday, September 6, 2013

veggie loving

i have been on a quasi-vegetarian kick lately.  and i'm loving it!  i might have had a little bit of chicken once this week, but this end of the season produce rush is a blast.  my energy is up, i feel great, and the freshness of everything rocks.  after reading about some of the following top fruits and vegetables, i'm understand a little better why!

each of these fruits and veggies (yes, i know the picture says vegetables.  yes, i know that tomatoes are fruits.  yes, whoever made this needs to be educated), except for the eggplant, are consumed almost regularly in my house.  follow the tips on the sheet if you're not too familiar with how to use or prepare one and get your veggie on!!!

eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

99 bottles of protein powder on the wall, 99 bottles of protein....

i challenge you to the 99 workout!  join me, tomorrow morning, in doing this!!!

eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.