nutrition

5 MEAL-PREPPING TIPS FOR RUNNERS

This might be bold for me to say, but I consider myself a master meal prepper. I’ve been meal prepping on and off for the past seven years. I started in 2009, after finishing grad school when I realized that living on garbage for the past few years had taken a toll on my health. To fix my predicament, I started running and then I stumbled upon fellow Canadian and fitness enthusiast Tosca Reno and her Eat-Clean Diet books. The books appealed to me because they weren’t just about losing weight, but viewed the diet as part of overall fitness. Important for us, her plans emphasized the importance of meal prepping. Being the Type-A that I am, I loved the ideal of planning meals and being ready for the week. Seven years later, and here I am running far more than ever and meal prep has become essential to balancing my running goals with the demands of daily life. Over the years I’ve refined my prep, and offer these five tips to meal prepping like a champ.

Read more at Salty Running.

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Why I tried a juice cleanse with Urban Juice Press

Truth be told, I've never not eaten something in a day, let alone a juice cleanse. I look back on my many years of yoyo dieting and attempts to stay fit through running {hard to do when your nutrition is out of whack}, and shudder. I do not do well with restriction. In fact, it wasn't until I started learning of the wonders of nutrition and meal planning did I recognize just how unhealthy my previous behaviours have been. Over the years I've made a lot of progress in this area. Fast forward to present day. I generally have my nutrition in order. Sure, there are always things we can improve, but I now see my body as a performance vehicle and treat it accordingly (how can I expect it to run fast, if I'm not fuelling it right?).

I've always wanted to try a juice cleanse. Some of my favourite health and wellness advocates and endurance athletes talk/write about them. Yet, I always found excuses why not to give it a try, despite knowing all the benefits (too expensive, I'd get too hungry, why are there so many bottles). I also knew I couldn't go the restriction route. The idea of drinking a class of water with lemon and cayenne pepper makes me ill. I've done lots of reading on juice cleanses over time and knew there are a TON of options out there these days. Options that wouldn't require me to live on some weird water sludge. That lead me to a local business, URBAN JUICE PRESS.

URBAN JUICE PRESS began with the idea that people can heal themselves and take responsibility for their own health. Founder, Justin Gauthier story includes a diagnosis for Crohn's disease in 2010. After years of pain, at a certain point, Justin had had enough. The current treatments were just not working for him, and he made the conscious decision to take his health into his own hands. Justin soon discovered juicing! I am so glad he did.

I chose the URBAN JUICE PRESS Kickstarter Cleanse because it targets beginners and, well, that’s what I am. It also has an appealing mix of juices + smoothies + nut milks, so I didn’t feel restrictive. I already eat a smoothie bowl for breakfast most days!

Day 1

Bottles: 9

Coffee: 0

7:10 am – Skin Tonic – Organic Cucumber, Organic Apple, Organic Lemon

I got up around 5:45 am. I normally would have a coffee before working out, but had a lemon ginger tea instead. I am reminded how much I love coffee. Can I really go two days? I worked out from 6:30-7:15 am (strength). When I got home, I drank the Skin Tonic while rolling out my legs. Normally I would be drinking my Vega Accelerator. The Skin Tonic was light and fresh. I’ve had some juices where the lemon and celery and too pronounced; this one was more subtle.

8:15 am – Green Energy - Organic Green Collard, Organic Matcha, Organic Maca Root, Organic Chlorella, Organic Raw  Cashew, Organic Hemp Seed, Organic Banana, Organic Date, Filtered Water

I wanted to have my breakfast before leaving the house, so ended up having the Green Energy (280 cals of deliciousness) within an hour of the Skin Tonic. The Green Energy is a smoothie and not technically a juice. It was creamy to taste and filling. I filed the bottle up a bit with water to shake the remaining smoothie out. As if I would forego some of these nutrients.

9:45 am – Turmeric Avenue - Organic Sweet Potato, Organic Pineapple, Organic Carrot, Organic Lemon, Organic Turmeric Root, Organic Jalapeño

Normally I would be working on my second coffee at this time. The cleanse provides two morning snacks, so I planned for them at 9:45 and 11:30. I love turmeric and often use it in my shakes, so naturally I loved that taste. It was the jalapeno in this juice that I found so interesting. The juice wasn’t hot, but it did have a kick. Feeling surprisingly energized and not hungry.

12:00 pm – Greens 101 – Organic Kale, Organic Cucumber, Organic Apple, Organic Celery

I ended up having my second “snack” at noon. Plans change. Similar to the Skin Tonic, I found this one light and sweet, re: apple. I enjoyed it, but knew I would be hungry soon. I’m used to having a fairly substantial lunch and normally have a pretty big appetite around noon. I’ve also noticed that I don’t have the usual heart burn I experience before lunch re: coffee. That’s a discussion for another day.

1:15 pm – Green Energy - Organic Green Collard, Organic Matcha, Organic Maca Root, Organic Chlorella, Organic Raw  Cashew, Organic Hemp Seed, Organic Banana, Organic Date, Filtered Water

Ooooh. What a treat to have this one again! 1/4 done my cleanse. Feeling optimistic knowing that I have 4 more juices + smoothies + a cashew milk after this “lunch”.  Like breakfast, I really enjoyed the taste and texture. I’m busy today, so it’s kind of nice to just grab this bottle vs. my bag of Tupperware.

3:00 pm - Happy Rabbit - Organic Carrot, Organic Apple, Organic Pineapple, Organic Lemon, Organic Ginger Root

I don't know if it's because I've only drank juice today, but this carrot juice was so good. My energy level normally dips a bit around this time of day, so I normally have a snack with me. While not my usual Superhero muffin, the carrot juice did give me a bump in energy.

Pre-dinner - Creamy Cashew - Filtered Water, Organic Raw Cashews, Organic Dates, Organic Maple Syrup, Organic Vanilla, Organic Ceylon (True) Cinnamon

I'm thinking about food and how my dinner tonight will be a smoothie. Hmmm. Don't get ahead of yourself; you WANT to do this. *Opens Creamy Cashew,* oooooh, this is good. I enjoyed the vanilla and maple I can taste in the "milk". I start to wonder more about what is in the cashew milk in my fridge and how long the list of ingredients are compared to this.

6:15 - Raw Chocolate - Organic Cacao, Organic Green Collard, Organic Hemp Seed, Organic Chia Seed, Organic Raw Cashew, Organic Banana, Organic Date, Organic Blueberry, Filtered Water

I drank Dinner right before heading into see a viewing of Patriots Day. The cacao smoothie was tasty. The bottle said it had blueberries in it; I tasted more chocolate + greens more than anything. I got a tea afterwards to sip on. I have a bad habit of snacking in the night, so I know I will need to keep busy {thankful to have the movie to go to}.

9:45 - Immune Supercharge - Organic Carrot, Organic Apple, Organic Beet, Organic Lemon, Organic Ginger

Back from the movie and I can have my evening snack. I'm impressed with this one. I've tried a number of beet juices and this may just be one of the best I've ever tasted. Is it because it's so fresh? Is it because I haven't eaten real food today? I go to bed not feeling hungry. Success.

Day 2 

Bottles: 9

Coffee: 0

Day 2 was the same as Day 1 in terms of bottles. I woke up early for a run. I felt lighter than normal {the absence of salt in yesterday's diet had an impact}. I weighed myself and was down 1.6 lbs. Again, water weight. But all in all I feel fine. I drank herbal tea throughout the day. By dinner time I had an appetite and drank my Raw Chocolate and Immunity Supercharge 45 minutes apart. I feel like this was a huge personal win to make it to the end of Day 2 strictly on juice. Wicked way to start 2017.

All in all, I am SO happy I tried this juice cleanse! After completing the two days, my body and mind are feeling pretty good. This was the reset I needed. I would highly recommend this entry-level cleanse to anyone who is seeking to improve their overall health. Press restart!

Have you tried a juice cleanse before? 

Beet juice? Yay or nay? 

You can find URBAN JUICE PRESS on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Strava. Check out my running story in Canadian Running Magazine

Immunity Boost Ginger Carrot Soup

So you've just completed a marathon, when suddenly you have a sore throat, or a cold. You may think that all that running makes you healthy, but did you know that your immune system is at its weakest in the two weeks following a big run or a race? According to Runners World, while 30 to 45 minutes of moderate daily exercise does stimulate the immune system, the rigors of running longer distances temporarily weakens it. Now, I don't want to jinx myself, but I have done a pretty good job at staying healthy through the past two marathon training cycles. Multi-Vitamins, immune-boosting foods, you name it, I've probably tried it. That is why I was bummed this past week when I came down with a horrible sore throat. With many people around me being sick, I guess it should come as no surprise that my weakened immune system left me susceptible to a bug.

Enter my Immune Boost Ginger Carrot Soup. I was first introduced to white miso by Shalene Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky's, Run Fast Eat Slow, cook book. Knowing that it is rich in probiotics, I decided to use that as a the base for my soup. Ginger is a known cold and flu fighter, so adding that was a no brainer.

Immunity Boost Ginger Carrot Soup (serves 1)

Place all ingredients into your blender or vitamix

  • 1.5 tsp white miso paste
  • 1/2 cup steamed carrots
  • 1/2 cup sweet potato
  • 1 table spoon raw ginger
  • 1/3 cup almond or cashew milk
  • 3 cups hot water

Blend on high for 2 minutes.

Serve with a tablespoon of nutritional yeast sprinkled on top (hello, vitamin B12!)

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How do you stay healthy while training or racing? 

Do you have your own immunity boost soup recipe? Please share!

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on TwitterInstagram and Strava. Check out my running story in Canadian Running Magazine

What I eat in a day

Marathon training requires much more than just running. Powering my body with top-notch fuel is a huge component in successfully getting to race day. Here is a glimpse into what a typical weekday looks like for me.

4:45 am. Wake up. Coffee with almond milk.

5:50 am. Head out the door on my morning run. Anywhere from 10-20 km.

7:20 am. Get back from my run. Drink water, 1 table spoon of Apple Cider Vinegar and 1 tsp Sweedish bitters.

7:30 am. Feed the cat. Jump in shower.

7:45 am. Pack lunch for the day. Make breakfast shake (meal 1).

Beet Ginger Protein Shake
  • 1/2  raw beet
  • 1 chunk raw ginger
  • 1 scoop Vega Sport Protein
  • 2 cups spinach
  • ½ banana
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 5-6 ice cubes
  • 1 tbs coconut milk
  • 1 tbs almond butter
  • 1 tbs turmeric
  • 1 tsp xanthum gum

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8:15 am. Get ready for work.

8:45  am. Walk to work.

9:00 am. Arrive at desk. Begin the work day.

9:15 am. Second coffee, with almond milk (normally brought from home in travel mug).

12:00 pm. Lunch (meal 2). Spinach salad with sockeye salmon burger, 50g avocado, mix of carrots, apples, beets. Dressing: 1 tbs balsamic vinegar, 1 tbs olive oil, 1 tbs nutritional yeast. 10 macadmia nuts.

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12:45 pm. 1 serving of dark chocolate (85-90%).

1:30 pm. 1 litre of water with a Nuun tablet.

3:00 pm. (Meal 3) 1 hard-boiled egg and a Chocolate Chip Lara Bar (ever since cutting the processed junk out of my diet, these have been my go-to afternoon snack).

6:30 pm.  Dinner (Meal 4). Cooked in a pan with coconut oil:

  • 2 cups kale
  • Raw beet
  • Raw ginger
  • Braggs Liquid Aminos
  • ½ Egg whites, with Italian spices

Once cooked, I add some cut up apple on top. Something about the salty/sweet combo. On the side, I steam a cup of cauliflower, with 50g avocado, nutritional yeast, Himalayan Pink salt and pepper on top.

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7:45 pm. Dessert (Meal 5).

“That is definitely not Ice Cream” Ice cream

  • ¼ cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 scoop Vega Sport Vanilla Protein
  • 1 tbs coconut milk
  • 9-10 ice cubes
  • ¼ water or almond milk
  • ½ tbs xantum gum (this is what makes it thick)
  • 1 tsp ginger powde
  • Blend in Vitamix for 4 mins.
  • Once blended, 1 tbs shredded unsweetened coconut ontop.
“That is definitely not cake” Pumpkin Cake
  • 1 tbs coconut flour
  • ¼ egg white
  • 2 tbs almond milk
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Microwave for 2 mins.
  • 1 tsb almond butter and 1 tsp chia seeds on top.
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9:30-10:00 pm. Sleep.

What's your favourite afternoon snack? 

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on TwitterInstagram and Strava. Check out my running story in Canadian Running Magazine.

Coco-Cash-Chia-Cherry Powerbombs

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I rarely make a recipe twice. I try lots, but only on rare occasions do I find myself remaking something multiple times. These Powerbombs would be one of those times. I've been focusing on cutting the junk from my diet. That means any processed garbage (e.g., maltitol, aspartame, sucralose), including the protein bars I used to inhale are OUT. I'm pleased to report I've been making lots of progress in this area.

Additionally, I've been reading lots about the low-carb high-fat paleo approach to nutrition. Interestingly, there's a lot of information out there that suggests that this approach to fuelling can be extremely advantageous for endurance athletes. The traditional view that we need to "carb-load" seems to have a few flaws, to say the least.

Enter my Coco-Cash-Chia-Cherry Powerbombs. They are the perfect afternoon snack or pre-workout fuel, and pack a ton more nutrients in them than any processed protein bar does. I'm also pleased to note they are nearly half the carbs, and double the {GOOD} fat of some of the bars I had been eating.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BBx73fwCbbW/?taken-by=thepacinglife

Coco-Cash-Chia-Cherry Powerbombs (makes 22 bombs)
1 cup almond meal
1/4 cup cashew butter 
1/4 cup chia seeds 
1/4 cup dried cherries 
3 tbsp cocoa nibs 
2 tbsp hemp seeds
2 tbsp real maple syrup 
1 tbsp coconut oil
Rolled in 2 tbsp shredded coconut

1 ball: 110 cal/ 8.6g of Fat / 7g of carbs / 3.3g of protein

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https://www.instagram.com/p/BCoSksgCbdw/?taken-by=thepacinglife

Directions

  1. Simply place all ingredients in your blender. Blend for 1 minute. Use a table spoon to measure one Powerbomb. Roll into balls.
  2. Once all mix is rolled into balls, take a ziplock bag with 2 table spoons of shredded unsweetened coconut in it. One by one, put a Powerbomb into the bag and shake around. Voila.

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Enjoy!

What's your favourite snack recipe?  Please share in comments below! 

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on TwitterInstagram and Strava. Check out my running story in Canadian Running Magazine.

Carrot Ginger PoweRAW Cakes

When things get busy, I've learned that putting health {both mental and physical} needs to be priority for me. It means I'm more productive, focused, happier, and generally just a better version of me. While it may seem harder to pull off your X# of runs a week, not to mention eat well and get at least 8 hours of sleep, in the long run it will pay off. I say this now because I feel like I have 100 things going on {not complaining about this at all}. I just need to make conscious decisions about what I do and don't do with my time. To support my eat well goals, I use Sunday as a meal prep day. This week I roasted a bunch of sweet potato and made ground turkey to add to my salads for the week. I also cut up a bunch of carrots and boiled eggs for my mid-afternoon snack. Given that I run most mornings, I find that I need to have a few things packed for the afternoon.

I used to have a protein bar every day. I'm talking, for the past five years {at least}, like clockwork around 2:00-3:00pm I would have my bar. Quest, Victory, Daryl, Kind bars. I've tried them all. And yes, I know some of them aren't bad at all. I just found that the routine of eating a bar wasn't satisfying me anymore. I'd just eat it out of habit.

Y'all know I'm reading everything and anything on nutrition now days, and let's just say I've had a change of heart about my daily protein bar routine. I'm focused on cutting the crap. So less "natural flavours" and more REAL freakin' FOOD. If  you follow me on Pinterest, you know I've been pining up a storm on my "eat" board. Power Balls, Gluten/grain-free snacks, DIY Paleo Bars, I'm all over that.

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On Sunday I made it my mission to create something to replace my daily protein bar. While these were supposed to turn out a bit firmer, I'm comfortable calling them Carrot Ginger PoweRAW Balls Cakes. So without further ado....

Carrot Ginger PoweRAW Cakes {inspired by this recipe} Makes 7 servings - 2 cakes per serving

Ingredients

  • 3 large organic carrots, grated
  • 9 dates, soaked in orange juice for + 1hr
  • 1/2 cup cashew butter
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 2 tsp of real ginger
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice mix (nutmeg, cinnamon)

–  Place carrots in food processor, after shredding, squeeze the excess water out of the carrots with a few paper towels. I skipped this step, which is why my consistency is less "Ball" and more "Cake".

–  Toss the rest of the ingredients into the food processor (I'm all about easy to make).

– Using a table spoon, use two scoops per cake.

– Keep in the fridge, will keep 5 days.

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Delish.

Do you have any good snack recipes?

Do you use Pinterest to find recipes?

Wipeout & nutrition update

Week Five of Ottawa Marathon training is in the books. I hit 65km for the week. Long runs are getting longer, and speed work is starting to pick up. Only one run had to be done on the treadmill, due to black ice and freezing rain. For the most part, it's been a beautiful week. Shout out to the groundhog(s) for NOT seeing their shadow. Hello spring? For my long run, I had 28k scheduled for Saturday. G and I also had a commitment that day, starting at 9:30 am. I always feel better once I get my run done, so I was out the door by 5:15 am. I listened to Serial podcast for the first half, and then switched to music (loving this song right now).

I let myself zone out. Normally that's ideal for my long easy pace runs, but yesterday it lead me to missing a small lip in the road at 11.5 km. Just like that, wiped out. flat. on. my. face. I went down pretty hard. I was startled. It was dark. I immediately thought did I break anything? Thankfully, no. I could feel my knees pretty badly scraped up and my adrenaline was racing. For a second I thought about calling an Uber and packing it in. Instead, I called my Mom and walked for a few minutes. After calming down, I decided I'd carry on nice and easy.

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Outside of running, I'm happy to report that I've officially been off my heart burn medication (a proton pump inhibitor) for 1 week and 3 days. Given that it's been around 3 years since I started taking it every day, I'm pleased with this progress. I have to take a few Tums throughout the day, but it's fairly manageable. My diet has been completely grain free, and only a bit of dairy. Meats/eggs, lots of veg, a bit of fruit and nuts/seeds. I've started to notice that my heart burn flares up after dairy, so I may try to knock that out completely.

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One of my biggest changes has been substituting my oatmeal breakfast (which I've eaten for years) for coconut pancakes. Pancakes may seem inconvenient to make, but I've mastered a quick'n'easy recipe:

  • 2 tbs coconut flour
  • 1 tbs ground flax
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • tiny splash of vanilla extract

Mix ingredients. Heat up a frying pan with a tiny bit of coconut oil. Pour mix in pan. Flip as needed. I then add 1 tbs of almond butter, 1 tsp of organic honey, 1 tsp of chia seeds, and 1/2 sliced banana.

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If I'm running that morning, I also have a beet vega protein shake. Essentially, 1/2 banana, 1 scoop of Vega vanilla sport protein, 1/2 raw beet, 1 tsp turmeric. That carries me until lunch.

In terms of natural supplements, I'm taking Apple Cider Vinegar, Swedish Bitters, and a digestive enzyme before each meal. Before bed, I take the ever so popular Calm magnesium supplement. I've been reading everything and listening to all kinds of nutrition-related podcasts. I'm loving learning about the different approaches to digestion and nutrition. I'm still amazed that I accepted being on that heart burn drug for so long!

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Coach has given me a rest week this upcoming week. I'm totally cool with this. I've been working some long hours, so running some shorter distances this week gives me a bit more time in the morning. My parents are also here this weekend! So the shorter long run lines up well. :D

Have you ever wiped out while running?

First ever 5km

Can you believe it's already February? I'm totally ok with this. It only means we're that much closer to spring. I wonder what the groundhog will say tomorrow. At the beginning of January, my coach suggested I sign up for 5km to get an idea of where I'm at. A 5km?! I thought. I'd never done one! But, of course I scoured the internet and was able to find a local 5km at the end of the month. G agreed to run with me.

The race was on Sunday, which meant I held off on my long run until after the race. I had 25km scheduled for the day. As you know, I normally run long on Saturday mornings, so this was a bit of a change. I did a light 4km on the treadmill Saturday morning, with Iron Strength afterwards, then worked during the day. At night we did groceries, made dinner and went to bed pretty early.

In terms of race nutrition, my night before dinner was a standard sweet potato, cooked kale with Bragg's aminos, and two organic eggs. The race started at 8:30am, which is later than I usually start my long runs, so I made some gluten free sourdough toast, with avocado and banana. No issues with my stomach, although I took a heart burn pill that mornings just in case (I've been off of them for 3 days before that; I've read that you need to taper off of these things. Ugh.)

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The race was at a nearby casino/racetrack, about a 20 minute drive from our place. We left around 7:20am, to give us time to pick up our race bib beforehand. By 8:30am, we were lined up at the start and ready to go. It was a beautiful day, so the turn out was great (200 people or so in the 5 & 10k).

There wasn't a fancy timing system set up, which was fine as we managed to start right near the front. We were told that when we finished, we would be given a popsicle stick to indicate our time. We would then take that into the building to be matched with our bib. I kind of loved this.

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The first 0.5km was on a road, then the race quickly turned to snow covered trail. The footing was ok, for the most part (thanks to my Hoka One One trail shoes). I took off pretty quickly, and realized I was running too fast. I told myself to dial it back a bit, but to hang on - this is 5km. I got this. It was a 2.5km out and back. Given that this was my first EVER 5km, I really had no idea what to expect. It's not like in a half marathon or a marathon where you pace yourself big time at the start.

1) 4:21 2) 4:40 3) 4:45 4) 4:40 5) 4:39

Finish: 23:10:54 12th Overall, 2nd Female. I was pleased with my 12th place overall finish (108 participants) and 2nd female overall. Frankly, I surprised myself.

After the race, we had some Nuun they had on site and we drove back home. I didn't even go inside, before leaving for my 20km. By this time, it was 10:00am or so. I knew there was no time for dilly dallying. I just had to get it done.

6km in, my blood sugar felt off. I attribute this to the start and stop between the 5km & the 20km. I decided to take my Hammer Gel espresso early and things quickly turned around. I ran 10km out along the Rideau Canal and 10km back. I listened to Hilary Biscay on Endurance Planet for an hour, then switched to my iPod. It was one heck of a beautiful morning.

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By the time I got home, it was noon. I was hungry! I whipped up a Vitamix of beet, turmeric, Vega vanilla sport protein, half a banana, and a side of Nuun. I definitely felt like I needed fuel asap. Pancakes followed shortly after :)

All in all a successful sunday runday.

Have you run a 5km? 

What is your go to post long run meal?

Real talk on food matters

With the start of a new training cycle, I've been doing some thinking about my nutrition. Generally, I know that I eat pretty healthy, with lots of fruits and vegetables already in my diet. And while I like to think I have a pretty good handle on what types of food my body feels best with (e.g., instead of pasta, I'd go with a sweet potato), there are often times I feel yuck and bloated. I'm focusing on eating REAL food, with more balance throughout the day (vs. a huge meal a night). I should note that this is not some "diet" in the Weight Watchers sense (good for Oprah, though), but rather, a recognition that the fuel in my system was low grade cheap stuff, and I'm making it a priority to go HIGH OCTANE. 

Full disclosure, at the beginning of January I bought a digital scale and realized my previous standard scale had been lying to me by 7-8 pounds. Yikes. While I don't really care about the number, it was a bit of a reality check. A reminder that the extra pieces of chocolate and  other junk (I'm looking at you Terra chips) are probably not needed, but also a light bulb moment on the quality of my overall diet. 

Since then, I've come to two conclusions. One, and this is a huge one, is that I have a lot of artificial crap in my diet. I'm talking a diet coke a day, processed protein bars, and buckets of Splenda (in my oatmeal, coffee), not to mention the hidden artificial sweeteners in things like yogurt and protein powders. Ugh. I'm bummed just thinking about it. Like many of us, I ate this food thinking it was "good" for me, based on that low-fat, low-calorie mentality. What can I say, I was spun, big time.

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In the past two weeks I've taken steps to cut the garbage. For example, I am now using raw organic honey in my oats, rather than splenda. It's much less sweeter, but I'm actually really liking it. I've gone back to using Vega protein powder for my shakes. My previous whey protein powder had so much junk hidden in the ingredient lists, it blows my mind! I'm also eating more vegetables throughout the day. For example, my mid-afternoon rice cakes and almond butter have been replaced with carrot sticks, hummus and a hard boiled egg.

Secondly, I've decided it's time for me to stop taking my heart burn medication. I've been on it for a while, because I was dealing with some heart burn issues in 2011-12 and just kept taking it. Jeeeze. Reflecting on that now, I shake my head. I have no idea if my body even ever really required it! I'm also pretty sure that all the artificial crap (diet pop, aspartame) was a key ingredient creating the discomfort. I will need to taper off of this stuff, but I know that cleaning my diet up will help.

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I'm reading lots on nutrition now days. I'm so excited to get my hands on Practically Paleo, by Diane Sanfilippo. I can't even remember the last time I bought a cook book! I've even toyed with cutting grain for a few weeks to see if it makes any difference. It's time to start taking better care of my body!

What is your favourite recipe book?