The Ripe Stuff: My first cleanse

This morning I started my day off with a cup of “Morning Joe.” and while you might be thinking your usual cup of coffee, you’re wrong. Instead, I started my day off with a green juice made of kale, spinach, romaine, celery, cucumber, green apple, and ginger. It kind of tastes like grass-but in a cup. So why am I drinking this stuff? You’re probably thinking- HELLO aren’t you the girl who passed out on one of these other fad diets (and that was reall food!) Yup, that was me, but…listen. First off, let me say that I do not believe in detoxes or most cleanses. As a nutrition professional, I agree that your body naturally cleanses itself so by no means do you need a juice cleanse. However, after being sick for a week and a half and hardly being able to exercise I felt a little blah and lazy and honestly kept getting hit in the face with facts about all the health benefits of fruits and vegetables! I admit my diet has been lacking, and what better way to get back on track? Besides, my gym, Crossfit Southie, just began the Whole 30 challenge, and I wanted to get a taste of what that might be like for a day.

SO, today I started my 1 day cleanse. Which might sound silly, as it’s only a 1 day cleanse, but honestly, I don’t think I could do more than a day. I’ve had the first 3 juices, and I’m STARVING! I feel energized I must admit, but it’s hard to ignore the rumbling sensation in my tummy. The diet consists entirely of fruits vegetables and spices- where’s the protein?! This is hardly sufficient to keep one full, especially considering the lack of fiber in this cleanse as well.I’m supplementing with almonds and lentil chips to keep me satisfied before my 530pm run (god help me!). The diet suggests noshing on celery and avocado if you must, but as all RD’s will tell you, you need some protein! Especially for an avid athlete such as myself 🙂

Furthermore, let me say that I would recommend a cleanse to someone who wanted to do it, but it must be approached with caution. So far I’m doing good- no passing out 🙂

SO why specifically did I choose “The Ripe Stuff?” Well for beginners the owner is a 20-something female who started her this business from scratch! And she’s local- I came across her ad at one of my bar method classes- so I just had to support. And, it’s a) low in sugar-relatively and b) Easy to follow- you can choose to do just a one day cleanse if desired and the juices are delivered fresh to your door! Some other cleanses required at least a week plus 3 weeks of eating vegan, raw, etc before starting the cleanse and that just seemed like a little much to me.C) The juices came in really cool flavors (I chose the corporate cleanse) boring I know, but you could choose from flavors such as:

Mojito
Pina Colada
Sour Apple Martini
Sangria
Margarita
White Russian

Hello yummy! what’s not to love! As well as

A New Leaf


Fall Foliage
Apple Picking
Weekend Getaway
Touchdown
Daylight Savings
Harvest

I went with the corporate cleanse, because, well..I’ll be doing the cleanse while at work! It’s now 3:30pm and I’m still very energized and my hunger has started to subside.. a little. I’ll most likely have a real wholesome dinner tonight (no juices for me!). but I’m glad I at least stuck with the juices for my other meals and snacks. I definitely feel more focused, though deprived, yet I don’t find myself craving sweets like I usually do on a daily basis.

Furthermore, while I don’t feel like my digestion has improved or changed in any way, I didn’t suffer any stomach pains today! (yay for someone with IBS, who normally experiences discomfort). Hopefully this cleanse, “cleansed,” me, helped remove toxins, and “reset” my body- putting it back into balance after the poor eating habits and sickness wrecked my health.

As far as taste goes, I do like the other juices- they’re not half bad! And I get almond milk mixed with cinnamon as my “late night tv snack.” I’m enjoying that I don’t have to plan my meals or snacks- I can simply grab and go and what’s not to love about the convenience of that (I got to sleep in an extra 15 min today!)

So, would I do it again? Most definitely! I feel bad that I wasn’t strict with it and perhaps that negated the effects of the cleanse- but I did still reap many of the benefits. I provided my body with easy to absorb nturients and plentiful nutrients from fruits and vegetables at that. Research shows that most Americans don’t get enough fruits and vegetables in their diets, so this is definitely one great way to ensure adequate intake, while feeling EXTRA healthy. I was provided with the following nutrients (that I may not be getting on a daily basis), which as you can see have huge benefits!

Kale

Lowers Cholesterol, helps excrete acids to promote alkalinity, lowers risk of cancer because of it’s high concentration in flavonoids, strongest aid in detoxification

Spinach
High in Folic Acid, Vitamin K, Iron and Calcium, high concentrations of lutien fight cancer

Romaine
Vitamin C and betacarotene keep the heart healthy by preventing oxidation

Celery
A strong diuretic because it is rich in potassium and sodium, helping to regulate fliud balance

Cucumber
Relieves indigestion, hydrating, and the magnesium and potassium help regulate blood pressure

Green Apple
Contains a number of flavonoids that prevent cancer, amounts of pectin, sodium, magnesium, and potassium aid in blood purification

Lemon
High amounts of antioxidants and vitamin C, which fight cardiovascular disease and cancer, purify the liver and aids in digestion

Ginger
Aids in digestion, also contains gingerols which act as anti-inflammatories

Beets
High in phytonutritients called betalains which aid in detoxification and purify the liver. Also act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory, high in iron

Carrots
High in betacarotene, vitamin C, and lutien, which help fight cancer, promote good vision and good cardiovascular health

Pineapple
Aids in digestion and acts as anti-inflammatory, supports healthy immune system

I at least feel like I filled up my nutrient tank, just in case it was depleted 🙂 This wasn’t intended for weight loss purposed, but simply to try and reboot my health. Additionally, because many detoxes and cleanses are al lthe rage, I only felt like it was appropriate to try as I’ll most likely be working with clients someday who have done a cleanse or will be cleansing. I like the fact that I’ll be able to better put myself in their shoes and understand. As counselors, I feel like we should be able to understand, and what better way than to experience this for myself?

#cleanse #juice

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Is it really a whole grain product?

Wanted to re-post this because there is a lot of confusion behind food labels and whole grain/whole wheat products If you don’t typically buy Cheez-Its or Ritz crackers as healthy snacks, don’t start now simply because some of the varieties have ‘whole grain’ or ‘whole wheat’ splashed across the front of the box.

whole-grain-stamp.jpg wholegrainscouncil.org  

Sure, whole grains are more nutritious – they contain all parts of the grain, including the germ and bran, and have more antioxidants and phytochemicals than refined grains. Plus the fiber helps to keep us feeling fuller, longer.

Unfortunately, it can be tricky to indentify what’s legitimately a whole grain product, since food labels can often be misleading.

Those seemingly whole grain Cheez-Its and Ritz crackers, for example, have more white flour than whole wheat flour. And with just one gram of fiber, the nutritional stats are essentially the same as the regular versions.

So how can Ritz crackers get away with screaming ‘whole wheat’ on the front of the box when there’s really more white flour than anything else? The FDA guidelines are pretty lax when it comes to whole grain labeling, and don’t mandate that products labeled as whole wheat or whole grain really are. The FDA’s guidelines simply ‘recommend’ that a product be labeled as whole grain or whole wheat only when all of the flour ingredients are entirely from whole grain or whole wheat flours. But there’s minimal enforcement or penalty if it isn’t.

Even something labeled as 100 percent whole grain doesn’t mean that it contains only whole grains. Original Wheat Thins don’t contain any refined flour, so they’re legitimately labeled as 100 percent whole grain. However, they also contain sugar, malt syrup, and invert sugar – not exactly what you’d call wholesome ingredients.

And the term multigrain simply means simply means ‘more than one grain’, but not necessarily ‘whole’ grains. Take Pepperidge Farm’s 12-grain Farmhouse bread, for example. It has 12 different grains, but unfortunately the first ingredient is unbromated unbleached enriched wheat flour (translation: white flour).

And then there’s what I consider to be one of the most confusing whole grain stats, when labels list the number of grams of whole grains in a serving. Those Cheez-Its and Ritz crackers each boast ‘5 grams of whole grain’ on the front of the box, but how many people even know that 16 grams of whole grains counts as one serving? So basically, for a 150-calorie serving of ‘made with whole grain’ Cheez-Its, you’re getting less than one-third a serving of whole grains. Not to mention, it’s can be easy to confuse this number with grams of fiber, of which these Cheez-Its have only one gram per serving.

So what can you do to ensure you’re really getting the whole grains that you think you are?

Start by checking the ingredient list for the word ‘whole’ before the names of grains, and look for products that list a whole grain as the first ingredient, indicating that it contains more of this than any other ingredient.  

Whole wheat will be listed as ‘whole’ wheat. If it just says ‘wheat’ flour, it’s white. Same goes for enriched wheat flour, unbleached wheat flour, and unbromated wheat flour – all are just white flour.

And while whole wheat is one type of whole grain, the term ‘whole grain’ also encompasses other grains like brown rice, oats, barley, buckwheat, bulgur, and corn (so even snack foods like low-fat popcorn and many baked corn chips are good sources of whole grain).

Another way to identify whole grain products is to look for the Whole Grain Council’s Whole Grain Stamp, which is used on foods that contain at least half a serving (8 grams) of whole grains. The black and yellow stamp lists the number of grams of whole grain per serving, and if all of the grain is whole grain, the stamp also includes a ‘100%’ banner.

And only products that contain at least 51 percent whole grain ingredients are allowed to use the FDA-approved health claim of “Diets rich in whole grain foods and other plant foods and low in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers.” So if you see this claim, you’ll know the product at least contains more whole grains than white.

The bottom line: When it comes to packaged foods, it’s fine to use the marketing banners and claims as a starting point, but always turn the product over to check the ingredient list and nutrition facts label to see what you’re really getting.

Molly Kimball is a registered dietitian in New Orleans. She can be reached at eatingright@nola.com. Comment and read more at Nola.com/health.

The best stuff comes from yogurt

I’m serious! the yogurt choices at the supermarket for limitless, and then came…GREEK YOGURT! and let’s be honest…who isn’t obsessed with Greek yogurt? Greek yogurt was born from yogurt, and when it came along, every other yogurt was pushed aside to make room for this new king of yogurt. Then they all tried to become greek yogurt. Why? because it’s fucking awesome! It has less sugar, is thicker, and has 2X the protein! Hello! In my opinion, this stuff is awesome. 

 

Yogurt tastes great and is being used in more dishes worldwide due to its versatility and nutrition profile. Some of the best dishes I have had have been made with yogurt (can you mac salad without the mayo and froyo?) By using yogurt, you save money annnddd calories!

 

And it gets even better. Now you can enjoy all of your favorite thick and creamy dressings for less calories and fat, but still loaded with flavor! Check out bolthouse farms creamy yogurt dressings. 

*45 calories

* 2.5 g of fat

* 2g of sugar

YES PLEASE! and that’s for the Cesar Parm

The chunky blue cheese scores even higher with only 35 calories thank you very much. 35 for chunky blue cheese! Other varieties include classic ranch and honey mustard..and let me tell you these dressings are delicious! You absolutely cannot tell the difference.

So what are you waiting for you little fat americans? Jump on this and wittle those waistlines!

Dessert for Breakfast: But Healthy!

February is national Hot breakfast month, so on the 1st of the month, I find it suiting to post about breakfast. I actually had this for lunch as I was lucky enough to get out of work early. And let’s be honest, not all of us have time to make a decadent breakfast in the morning. Hence, the creation of FRENCH TOAST in a cup! I’ve always been curious for new breakfast ideas, so when I started getting sick of my everyday eggs or oatmeal for breakfast, I stumbled upon this creation all my own.

 

You see, Cooking is relaxing to me, until I get to the point of impatience when I’m ready to indulge in what I made. I absolutely have no patience for extensive recipes that take more than 20 minutes. God bless those of you that do. So when I started feeling hungry for something sweet, my new favorite meal was created. My boyfriend and I used to make the richest stuffed french toast for breakfast, but it was very heavy and got old fast. So when I started craving something low-carb, cinnamon, and sweet, the french toast in a cup was created!

It’s love in a cup and absolutely delicious! I racked my cupboards and this is what I put together:

Take a mason size jar or old peanut butter jar. 

1) Dip low carb multigrain (or whole wheat or oat or whatever bread you desire) in 3 eggs with a dash on cinnamon- like you would for regular french toast. Pull bread (2 slices) apart and place in bottom of jar. Next. Take 1 banana and chop up and layer over bread. Feel free to mix in chico chips and nuts in between layers 

Then, pour 1/4 c oats into jar. Add more bread if desired, more banana, maybe some apples, and finally top off with rest of egg mixture. I then like to add peanut butter as well but that is optional. 

 

Pop in microwave for 2.5 minutes and voila! delicious, yummy, warm french toast in a cup! Feel free to top off with more nuts and yogurt 🙂 Picture is below! May not look the best but is FANTASTIC i promise!