Tag Archives: health

BACON! Yup, it’s good for you.

3 Oct

So here’s the amazing NEWSFLASH:

Bacon is GOOD FOR YOU!

Ok, stop shaking your head.

Bacon contains fat- Yes. But it’s the good kind called monosaturated fat. The good-for-you, oleic acid, fat that can help lower bad cholesterol levels; the same fat found in olive oil. There are lots of studies that have revealed that eating a protein-rich diet in the morning (eggs and bacon), lowering your carb intake, and eating smaller meals throughout the day will in fact leave you feeling full longer, help you lose weight, and boost your energy. SCORE! Add in a good amount of exercise and youโ€™re more likely to lose weight and keep it off. DOUBLE SCORE!

Some people still think saturated fats are evil, and because of this misconception have banned bacon from their homes. GASP! However, fatty acid experts today say that saturated fat from natural sources like meats, dairy, and tropical oils (coconut, palm) are not detrimental for our health, but instead much better than the polyunsaturated and hydrogenated substitutes weโ€™ve been recently using. I cook with coconut oil ALL the time and find it amazing, nutritious, and delicious. No, it doesn’t taste like coconut. Well, if you douse your food in it, then yes, it will taste of coconut. So just don’t do that. ๐Ÿ™‚

Lots of people believe that starting the day with cereal or pancakes gives you a strong push to get through the day. However, this is not the case. “A breakfast high in carbs would promote carbohydrate utilisation throughout the rest of the day, whereas if you have a fat-rich breakfast, you (can) transfer your energy utilisation between carbohydrate and fat,” says Dr. Martin Young of the University of Alabama at Binghamton. He says the first meal of the day is what programs you for the rest of your day. So filling up on fat-rich foods is actually a good thing, not something to be shunned as it was in the past. You spend the day burning that fat. Loading up on carbs simply causes that dreaded insulin spike which causes you to store any fat you eat as opposed to using it the right and best way for your body. YAY for bacon in the morning!!!

Ok, but put down that pound of bacon you just reached for. We still need to practice moderation. Anything in excess is not good for you. Bacon has amazing benefits and so many misconceptions that hopefully this article can help clear up- however- eating an over abundance of it isn’t the smartest choice. Just add it to your weekly menu 3-4 times a week (along with dropping the excessive carbs and getting your butt off the couch a few times a week) and watch and see how your body thanks you ๐Ÿ™‚

DISCLAIMER: Remember, I’m no doctor. This post is simply for information in a easy to digest (see what I did there??) way. For more information regarding high fat diets and how good they actually are for you (AND the precautions you still must take)- check out this article from Marksdailyapple.com.

Ready for some recipes???

Here’s a bunch of bacon goodness:

http://paleodietlifestyle.com/for-the-love-of-bacon/

Crispy bacon

Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potato Fries (EEEEE!!! How good does that sound??)

www.health-bent.com/pork/paleo-bacon-wrapped-sweet-potato-fries

paleo bacon wrapped sweet potato fries

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs

http://paleodish.com/2012/05/07/bacon-wrapped-mushroom-chicken-thighs/

Bacon Pesto Stuffed Hamburgers

http://www.amazingpaleo.com/2012/08/24/bacon-pesto-stuffed-burgers/

The 80/20 theory..

23 Sep

“It’s too much work.”

“I don’t have time.”

“I don’t have the will power to keep it going.”

Does this sound familiar???

photo courtesy of toptvstuff.com

Yea.. those are some of the most common phrases uttered by people who just can’t seem push themselves to make a change. I know those phrases well. I SAID THEM FOR FAR TOO LONG!

Here’s the coolest part about Paleo….there is this little, eensy weensy theory that we use (use, not LIVE BY) that says:

STRIVE FOR 100%…KNOWING THAT YOU MAY ONLY BE ABLE TO HIT 80%.

Life happens. Things come up. And situations don’t always allow us to be perfect cavemen(women). Ever since processed foods have been introduced into modern society, we sort of can’t avoid them depending on where we are. If we are always home, never leave, and never eat out- sure! 100% Paleo is a breeze. But that type of lifestyle is just not realistic for most people. We eat out and menus don’t always offer the best solutions (though most restaurants do! I have NO problems eating out now that I’m Paleo!)

Once of the things that got me on the Paleo train at first was the fact that there is this 80/20 theory that simply says you can abide by the Paleo lifestyle 80% of the time while 20% of the time you are non-paleo. If you hit the 80/20 ratio, you will still see excellent results…. more energy, weight loss, health benefits, etc. When I realized that I could change my life slowly, still eat the things I really wanted until I was ready to give them up, and I’d still see results?? I was in. Sign me up.

Photo courtesy of bodybuilding.com

Best thing about this is simply this: I don’t beat myself up if I have something non-Paleo. I don’t stop eating for two days because I had something that wasย  unacceptable to my lifestyle. I tell myself “80/20 Kristina. It’s all good. Tomorrow is another day.” I don’t stress. I don’t freak. It’s amazing. Because let’s face it- every once in a while you are faced with that delish Carvel ice cream cake for someone’s bday or a night out with friends during which you find the menu offers nothing exactly healthy. This is part of life and I’ll be darned if I lock myself up to avoid it.

So, those of you out there saying, “I just don’t have time.” Or patience. Or money. Or will power. Whatever it is you are using as an excuse- let it go. Paleo allows you to follow your own course and do it in your own time. There is no “bad girl” feeling if you go off course. And once you find the Paleo foods that you love, you will see how easy, quick, and delicious your meals become! I have never again uttered any excuses when it comes to our menu each week. We look forward to food shopping, planning our meals, marinating hunks of meat, persusing the farmers market, and cooking after work.

80/20 guys. Try it. I’m 99% right now, but certainly started 80/20! And every once in a while, I really work that 80/20 theory…. especially when I hit little Italy and Ferrara’s Bakery is calling my name…

Photo courtesy of culinaryfool.com

Let us know your thoughts and whether this 80/20 theory can help give you that little push. I know it did it for me ๐Ÿ™‚

Shopping Trip Numero Uno! WEGMANS!

26 Jul

Ok, so last post focused on the must haves for a healthy kitchen. I hope you all jotted some goodies down and went out to get em!

I did ๐Ÿ™‚

Though it was a small trip- I think it was pretty darn successful.. The best way to stock your kitchen to fit your new healthy lifestyle is to do it slowly… grab some essentials, but as you come across recipes you want to try, then make a new list and go out and get what you need for the week. This trip was simply a “let’s try a few things” sort of trip… I will have part two coming soon! On Monday,ย  my girl Krista takes me to TRADER JOE’S! Yippeeee!

Let’s see what I got…

First off- ALMOND MILK! This stuff is delish, especially vanilla flavored. Look at the protein in this puppy! Skeptical about almond milk? Let me give you some info to get you over the hump…

First off..it contains more nutrients than any other dairy alternatives- so that’s pretty awesome. There are some amazing health benefits related to drinking almond milk: weight management, heart healthy, it’s blood sugar friendly, bone health, skin care, eye health, and more muscle power. Um, no brainer right?? Check this article out to give you more details.

Next…..

Lots of my favorite goodies- quinoa, beans, fruits and veggies!! If you know me, and you will pretty soon if you don’t- I LOVE BEANS. I pretty much put them in anything and everything. Though they are considered “incomplete” proteins because they do not hold as many proteins as meat, they do have enough to pack a punch and they offer lots of other good health benefits:

Beans have been proven to lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, regulate functions of the color, reduce the risk of many cancers, among other things. It’s also pretty cool that the richly colored beans such as kidney beans offer a huge amount of antioxidants AND small red kidney beans rate even higher than blueberries in this area! Knew I loved these little legumes for a reason ๐Ÿ™‚

Onto quinoa- my new favorite side dish. It’s pronounced [keen- wa] and is a SUPER food. It can be used and made in so many yummy recipes and packs amazing health benefits. It is a protein powerhouse and has become a fave new treat among vegans and vegetarians because it’s protein content matches, if not trumps, the protein found in meat and eggs. Plus it tastes yummy. Win/win, I’d say. Read up on this site for more info on this delish dish.

Fruits and Veggies- Oh my! Anything I tell you about these power foods is already common knowledge so all I will tell you is – EAT LOTS OF EM! I decided to buy grapefruit for it’s vitamin C and help with digestion. It also aids with weight loss because it is low in sodium, high in fat burning enzymes, and has high water content. Trifecta of goodness for a fit bod ๐Ÿ™‚

Then of course, I bought spinach. My absolute fave leafy veggie. It is high in fiber and high in antioxidants- both are super important when making healthy eating choices. Any foods that offer these things, should be on your shelves.

And bananas? Well, duh, bananas are just amazing. Now, I don’t actually like bananas. The texture just doesn’t do it for me. BUT banana flavored ANYTHING is perfection. So I bought these puppies to freeze in order to make Kim’s yummy peanut butter banana smoothie. Yummm! Bananas are super high in fiber and relatively low in calories. Eating bananas or banana smoothies can help curb your hunger too… score!

Whats next??

Ahh yesss, treats. No shopping trip would be acceptable or successful without treats. I opted for salty and sweet. Heard so many good things about Annie’s so I grabbed a box of chocolate bunnies- I LOVED chocolate Teddy Grahams so I figured this was a great alternative. (Um, they are. So gooooood). Kashi is another company that I like. All natural (though I did see an article that claims otherwise, but who knows.) I do know that I feel good when I eat Kashi and it tastes darn good too.

So there it is! My first little mini trip… and I think it was pretty stinkin successful. Can’t wait for my Trader Joe’s trip with Krista! There I will be getting all my oils, and nuts, and goodies like that. So pumped to try coconut oil! Krista is Paleo and will be teaching me a little about that lifestyle. She’s also going to start guest blogging for us so you all can learn too!

So what have you guys gotten?? Any suggestions for my Trader Joe’s trip??