Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Big Changes!

I know, I know, its been over a month since my last post. I have been soooo busy! Working so much, and also trying to organize myself in preparation to move to Alberta next month. I have not forgotten about you, though, I promise!

I have been reading my nutrition for dummies book every chance I get, and have been learning so many things. As well as learning from my wonderful friend, McKenna Gordon. I have changed my eating habits dramatically, since my last post, and was hoping to inspire you to do the same. :) Be sure to click the links to learn just as much as I did. Below are many of the things that I have changed.

Dairy intake:
I have been continually learning new things on McKenna's website and had read a post, not long ago called The Truth About Dairy and Calcium. She describes the ill effects of cow's milk, such as mucus overgrowth, which is harmful in many ways. Also described in the article are the lovely ingredients in every cup of milk (puss, blood, etc.). I know what you're thinking. Ew! Why would anyone want to consume such disgusting things like that? I know I don't. McKenna also explains that many of the vitamins contained in milk, such as calcium and vitamin D, can be found in much healthier things. Leafy greens, many kinds of seeds, and of course, that beautiful shining light that we call the sun, all contain the "healthy benefits" found in cow's milk.

I thought long and hard about what would happen if I excluded milk, and most dairy products from my diet.  It seemed like such drastic and difficult thing to do, since I drank it every single day, from before I could remember. One day, it just happened. I did it. I went shopping and didn't buy milk, or cheese, or Yoplait. I amazed myself! I do still occasionally buy Greek yogurt, and recently bought some fresh parmesan, for salads and such. Other than that, I am dairy free.


McKenna does a great job of making everything healthy sound so very easy to make, and she is so right!. I started making almond milk around the time that I started the green smoothie challenge. It is so quick and easy to make, even in my tiny Cuisinart blender (which was free with my RBC points). I started to use it in my smoothies, over my granola, and even used it in some delicious baked goods. Almond milk, although it contains less protein than cow's milk, has only 60 calories per cup, and contains no cholesterol or trans fats.

I have definitely reaped the benefits of halting most of my dairy intake. I used to have a terrible clog in my throat and it has since, completely disappeared. I generally just feel more energized and healthy, knowing I am doing good to my body. 

 Smoothies: 

Ever since I did the green smoothie challenge, I have been trying new recipes for my green smoothies. I have come up with one that is my all time favourite. I follow it loosely, every day, and sometimes add new things, or leave out things. Here it is:

1 cup freshly made almond milk
2-3 cups of spinach 
1 orange
1 banana
1/4 cup frozen peaches 
2 tbsp ground flax seed (Whole flax seeds will go right through you. When flax is ground, the cell walls are broken and the benefits are optimized)

Blend the milk and spinach first, then blend the rest. Enjoy in a tall smoothie cup, with a straw! :)


Meat:

Over the past month I have slowly decreased my meat intake. I have learned that it is not that important to eat meat at every meal, or every day, for that matter. Sufficient protein can come from many things, besides animals. Vegetables have protein! Did you know that? 1 cup of spinach has 1 gram of protein. 1 cup of kale  has 2 grams of protein. Also, an 175g serving of my favourite non fat greek yogurt has 18 grams of protein. Add all of that into a smoothie and you've already got nearly half of the recommended daily intake for women (50g; 63g for men). Add a spinach salad for dinner with some hard boiled eggs, delicious soaked almonds, and dried fruit, and you're set for protein for the day. Imagine that! Beans also contain a sufficient amount of protein; around 7-10 grams per half cup serving. They can be added to many delicious dishes, to up the protein. Click here for a list of  many foods and their protein count.

Cut out processed foods:

I know, it looks delicious, doesn't it? Delicious but deadly. Thinsations and many other 100 calorie treats, not only contain a lot of refined sugar but they have hydrogenated everything! Hydrogenation is a process that is used to increase the shelf life of processed foods. During that process, the food is converted from an unsaturated fat to a saturated fat. BAD. Trans fats are also a product of hydrogenation, and are proven to cause heart disease and diabetes. See! Calories don't matter when its 100 calories of unhealthy!

Once I learned these facts it wasn't hard to stop myself from eating them (and many other things). Nowadays, I don't even go down the junk food isle. It makes me feel so great, to go to the grocery store and actually have the knowledge to know what is good for my body (fruits, veggies, and whole grains) and what isn't (hydrogenated, processed, packaged, yucky things).

Coconut oil:
I learned about coconut oil on Totally Healthy Recipes.com. I had no idea it was in existence before, and I am so glad I discovered it! Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, but can also be melted and used in anything that calls for oil or butter, such as cooking or baking. It is even delicious in smoothies. It is the oil with the lowest melting point of any solid cooking fat, at between 23 and 26 degrees Celsius. Having a low melting point means that it doesn't need to be heated very much and therefore is healthier. Once an oil has been heated to a certain point, it starts to break down and turns into a trans fat, which is BAD. Some healthful benefits of coconut oil are: promoting weight loss and boosting the immune system. It can also be used as a body butter for dry skin. (Read more about coconut oil here)
 
I hope this post has inspired you to go out of your comfort zone, and to try the healthful things that I have talked about. Please, if you have any questions or opinions, feel free to leave a comment.

Thanks for reading! :-)

2 comments:

  1. Hey Robyn! I'm so proud of you! You are doing a great job!
    PS. Coconut oil is also great on your skin, I use it in my massage practice, and clients love it!
    You can use it in place of synthetic moisturizers, lotions etc. (Great on cracked heals)
    Also, it makes a hell of a coconut rice!
    SHELLEY

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    1. Thanks so much, Shelley!! :D I am planning to buy a gallon of it after I move, so I will definitely be starting to use it on my skin! I can only imagine a massage would feel 100 times better with coconut oil! it would smell soooooo good!!!

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