Veggie Spring Rolls

This afternoon I got a hankering to make my own spring rolls.  Something I had never done before.  But, I said I’d do it…and I did it.  I wanted something that I could take to work for lunch, something yummy and interesting and I believe I succeeded.  It was actually really simple and cheap and they were delicious.

I picked up a package of rice paper at the grocery store – the only required necessity – and a few more vegetables to add to what I already have in my fridge and went on my merry way.

Rice paper

You dunk the rice paper rounds in warm water for about 20 seconds then spread them out on a plate or platter

I had a gorgeous repertoire of veggies – and an apple for a little bit of sweetness and added crunch and chopped everything up perfectly.

Veggies

Red and orange peppers, red and green onion, cabbage slaw (because I’m really cheap and really lazy to buy it all separately), tomato, cucumber, and apple. 

I tossed heaps of all that beautiful and healthy goodness onto my rice paper and rolled like a pro.

Veggie Rolls

Beauties.

I left most of them cold and raw but wanted to try a couple of them warm so I tossed them in the skillet and sauteed them.

Skillet Rolls

This one looks like it’s had a rough night, but I promise it was just as delicious.

There you go!  An easy meal option when you want to eat healthy and try something new.  (If you have kids you can fake like it’s Taco Tuesday and let them make their own rolls – super fun!)

I’m not a big fan of people who say eating healthy is “expensive”, “too hard”, “gross”, etc. and use that as an excuse to eat junk.  The package of rice rolls was around $3 and I think has 12 or 15 rolls in it.  I made 6 rolls in total – 2 or 3 would be enough for a meal on it’s own (1 or 2 if you’re having it as a side to something).  I have plenty left over for lunches.  AND, you can put as much fillers in as you want – as long as you’re gentle and don’t tear the paper.  Cheap and easy and healthy and decadent.

~FB

Healthy Snacking

Quite often people ask me what I snack on, especially when I’m on a Whole 30.  In fact, when I tell people about the Whole 30 I am usually met with “what do you eat?”.  I’m finding that people don’t realize how much nasty crap they’re eating until I really spell it out for them by explaining what I eliminate and why.

Because I’m on the go so much and, it seems, pretty much living at the gym, I’m always hungry and need to be prepared for when hunger strikes and for pre-workout fuel.

So, for those of you who are interested, here’s the short-list for my snacking staples:

  1. Dates – You can almost always find a bag of dates in my desk drawer at work, and somewhere in my house.  I love dates.  Dates are a great pre-workout fuel, since they’re rich in glucose (a simple carb).  Glucose travels directly to the liver for immediate energy transport – meaning the body doesn’t have to convert it to a different form of energy in order to utilize it.  Sometimes, if I’m feeling a little draggy during the day, I’ll pop a few dates for quick (and sweet) energy.

Dates

2. Larabars

Larabars

I LOVE me a good Larabar.  There are so many different flavors to choose from and they are made (mostly – some of them have chocolate or peanut butter) from 100% natural, clean ingredients.  And since the primary ingredient in a Larabar is dates, they’re an excellent source of energy.  You can be certain there are always a few Larabars stuffed in my gym bag.

I often make my own Larabars…especially when I’m rockin’ a Whole 30.  It’s inexpensive and I can ensure they’re compliant.

Homemade Larabars

3. Fruit – Fruit is usually my number one go-to for snacks.  I usually have apples and bananas in my fridge at home and at work.  If I have a big workout coming up, I will usually have one of the two a bit in advance.  I often will throw an apple in my gym bag as well.

Fruit

You really can’t go wrong with fruit

I also like to have tropical fruit – mango, papaya, pineapple, dragon fruit – for occasional snacking sweetness.

4. Plantain Chips – I am addicted to plantain chips.

Plantain

I get these dudes at Walmart for $2

Okay, I may not be addicted, but I do enjoy plantains – home-cooked or store bought.  They’re low in calories and fat, and are sugar-free.  I sometimes keep these in my desk drawer (where my coworkers steal indulge in them) and in my cupboard at home.  They are so good and since they are Whole 30 compliant, I usually have them on hand for “emergency” snacking.

As you can see, my snacks are all Whole 30 compliant.  But there are also options available for people who are looking for snacks that are organic, or gluten-free, or vegan.  The company GoMacro offers products that meet all of the above.

GoMacro

GoMacro is a family-owned company that “put their heart and soul into a natural, whole-food based lifestyle”.  Their pursuit of health thus became a path of living in balance with themselves and nature.  (Seriously, do yourself a favor and go read their story – it’s truly inspiring!!  <3)

Their products are, as I mentioned, gluten-free, organic, and vegan (they’re also kosher). They are cold-pressed and nut-butter based and made from simple, clean ingredients.  These little bars are perfect for throwing in your gym bag or your back pack or your purse.

MacroBite

I can almost taste the nom nom nom

Unfortunately, GoMacro Bars are not yet available in Canada (they’re working on it), but if you’re living in or visiting the US, you can order them here or pick them up in select stores.  (GoMacro peeps – feel free to send me a sampler. 🙂 ).

Well there you have it.  What I eat.  What I want to eat.  A few healthy snack ideas that you can consider keeping on hand and getting you through your workout, especially if you’re struggling to maintain compliance in a Whole or clean or vegan diet.

Cheers, ~FB

 

 

Why I’m Waiting to do the Whole 30

whole30header

If you have been reading this blog for a while you will note that I love the Whole 30 program.  Seriously, I am absolutely in love with it.   (If you’re not familiar with the program, go check out the website: Whole30.)

I love the food I get to eat and the way I feel when I’m doing it.  And I love how proud I am when I’ve finished it.  In fact, I love it so much that I’ve been super excited to get started on a Whole 30 in early 2017.

I’ve noticed that there are currently tons and tons of challengers out there – all who started their programs on January 1st.  And I applaud them.

Me, however, I have opted to wait a week.  Because I’ve done the program so many times over the last year and a half, I know that if I had started on New Year’s Day I would have been setting myself up for failure.  With so much “junk” in my system throughout the month of December (wine, chocolate, cookies, wine, wine, wine), I knew that I would need to ease my way out of Christmas goodness for a good week before jumping into my 30 days.  Which, by the way, I am hoping to turn into a Whole 60. *fingers crossed*

I didn’t eat terribly the entire month, but I did have way more sugar than I normally would.  I mean, everywhere I looked there was chocolate.  And I had more wine date (with and without others!) then necessary.  In fact, I have had more wine in the last month than I have had in the last 3 months.  (And that’s still not saying a lot.)

This week I have been omitting most of the holiday garbage…limiting the chocolate, omitting the other sweets, cutting out down the wine.  And by the weekend, I will have all of it out of my system.

I am really stoked to get going on this though.  And, to top it off, my boyfriend bought me the Whole 30 Cookbook for Christmas and intends on trying the program with me this time.

Whole30Cookbook.png

Another fitness wish come true.  🙂

I really encourage anyone who is planning to do the Whole 30 to read the book.  Spend the money and read it.  It’s worth it.  It may change your life!  I have truly benefited from this program and I think everyone can go clean for 30 days – even just once.

The basis of the program is to eliminate food cravings, sugar dependency, and systemic inflammation.  “Think of it as a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system.”

This is not a cleanse – that’s what you have a liver for.  This is a program to help you rid yourself of all the garbage that is unnecessary in our current diets and destroy the sugar dragon.

If you’re interested in the program, definitely check out the website or the book.  And if you have any questions about my experiences with it, please send me a note.

~FB

 

 

Today = Tomorrow (Day 23)

Today is Tomorrow

Exercise, healthy food choices, enough sleep, kicking the negativity in your life to the curb, supportive friends, loving family:  everything in our today is our tomorrow.

~Fit Bitch

30 Day Whole Food Challenge

Real Food

I’m finishing up Day 17 of a food elimination program (I will be posting about this when I have completed the program).  I have struggled with stomach issues since I was a small child and I’ve had doctors and allergists put me on elimination “diets” in the past that completely sucked the life out of me – not to mention the medications and invasive tests that I’ve undergone in my lifetime.

The program I’m participating in allows me to eat real, whole foods – fruits, vegetables, and meat – nothing processed.  Like I said above, I’ll be posting about this experience once I complete it but the let me just say the theory behind this program is that there are foods that cause systemic inflammation in the body which can have other effects on us (allergies, sleep disorders, skin problems, tummy troubles, etc.) and so the foundation is to eliminate all the processed stuff and whatnot and rely on fueling your body – your temple – with nutritious, delicious, whole foods.

So I have cut out sugar in all forms – except what I get from fruits and vegetables – all processed foods, dairy in all forms (which isn’t so bad for me since I’m allergic to dairy anyway and sometimes indulge in foods that make me feel like I got hit with a bat), etc.  And you know what?  I.Feel.Great!

I was trepidatious and doubtful going into this program but by day 3 I really started to notice a change in my digestion of the foods I was eating.  I’m not going to elaborate (at least not yet) but I will say that for that reason alone this elimination program has been worth it.  And for the most part, it’s a program that I can sustain.  AND the best part of it:  nothing I eat has to come from little silver packages.

So, all of that being said, what I’m about to challenge you to is a little different than what I’m doing.  Instead of eliminating everything, I CHALLENGE YOU to eliminate a processed food from your diet for one whole month.  It sounds easy enough, but believe me, letting go of something you “rely” on daily isn’t always that easy (I sorta miss my mayo – but am learning to love avocado).

For instance – try cutting the cream out of your coffee for a month.  Either go black or drink it blended with a little coconut oil or coconut milk.  (I do this all the time anyway and love it.)  Or, go without bread in all forms for the month.  That means no morning bagel, no cronut at the office, no weekend PB&J.  I swear you can do this.

Step outside you comfort zone and try something new.  If you like pasta try using zucchini or carrot “noodles” instead of actual pasta noodles.

Zucchini-Noodles-with-Pesto-8

Or try making your regular ice cream from frozen bananas and fruit.  Instead of going out for that sugary, calordie-dense frappuccino, make your own at home with fresh brewed coffee (cooled), sliced frozen banana, 100% real cocoa, and some coconut milk – this is just as delicious and refreshing and it’s pretty healthy.

Instead of topping it with all kinds of crap, instead add some unsweetened coconut (toasted is even better), cinnamon, or mint leaves.

Instead of topping it with all kinds of crap, instead add some unsweetened coconut (toasted is even better), cinnamon, or mint leaves.

Give this 30 day challenge a try.  It may seem hard – but it’s really not; and it’s only 30 days.  You can do anything for 30 days.  Try it.  See how you feel before, during, and after.  See if your body changes at all – inside or out.  See if any part of your health improves.  Try it.  You’re worth it.

And if you do it – hashtag it, baby!  Let the world know you’re participating.

#wholefoodchallenge  #realfoodchallenge  #30daywholefoodchallenge  #justeatrealfood  #nsfitbitch

~Fit Bitch

Note *Remember, this is not a calorie-restrictive, low carb, low protein, unhealthy plan.  The goal is to focus on clean eating – therefore eating an abundance of nutritious foods without the added sugar, chemicals, or unhealthy benefits

Cauliflower Popcorn

It’s Friday (Thank Goodness!!)! And with Friday comes Friday night (followed by Saturday and Sunday nights) which means, for many, that it might be movie night. I know that sometimes, after a long and exhausting week, I like to curl up on the couch with my guy or my cat and just veg out with a movie. And, like many of you, sometimes I like to snack.

My guy likes popcorn – microwave popcorn. Me, honestly, if I never had microwave popcorn again in my lifetime I would be okay with it. In fact, if I never have popcorn again I’ll be okay with it. (I say that but I know if I hit the movie theater and smell really popped corn I’d be all “YUM!”)

First of all, microwavable popcorn is full of chemicals and additives and can be just plain yuck. Thankfully, I inherited (and when I say “inherited” I actually mean borrowed and never gave back) my mom’s old fresh popper so if I ever get the hankering for real popcorn I can pop the real stuff.

In the meantime, I’ve completely fallen in love with Cauliflower Popcorn. Have you tried it? It is so good. And the best part is that it’s nutritious and low in calories. It’s chalk-full of fibre and vitamins and contains no cholesterol.

First thing once you choose your cauliflower is ensure you wash it well. You can wash it as a full head or after it’s chopped up, then pat it dry.

via Google

via Google

Once you’ve washed and dried the cauliflower chop it up into bite-sized pieces and toss it in a little olive oil. It’s your choice whether you want to add anything else to your ‘popcorn’ – you can add sea salt, fresh herbs, a little parm, or even regular ol’ popcorn seasoning. Then spread it over a baking sheet.

via Yahoo

via Yahoo

Put the pan of cauliflower into a preheated oven at 425. Depending on how soft or crunchy you like your cauliflower popcorn you roast in the oven anywhere from 15-45 minutes (tossing it every 5-8 minutes), and voila: A healthy and delicious (and inexpensive) snack.

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

~Fit Bitch

Healthier Version Fish Burger

This is not my fish burger....my fish burger did not last long enough to be posed for a photo

This is not my fish burger….my fish burger did not last long enough to be posed for a photo

There’s a little restaurant a few towns over that boyfriend and I love and they make the most delicious fish burger.  I know what you may be thinking “Fish burger?  Gross.”  But it’s not gross….it’s soooo good.  *And I live in Nova Scotia where there is an abundance of seafood. Jealous?)

When I was really little I loved McDonalds’s Filet-o-Fish.  Back in the day, eating at McDonald’s was a treat, not the everyday norm that it seems to be now – and again, I’m not that old.  But my parents raised us on pretty healthy home-cooked meals and eating at fast food joints just didn’t happen that often.  But when I got to go, I almost always  got the F-o-F.  I can’t even recall the last time I’ve had one of those…probably high school.

And, as I was saying, this particular restaurant makes a YUM fish burger and it’s not super battered or super greasy – which is perfect.  So, a few days ago I got a craving for a fish burger.  But, because of my evening fitness classes, I have to plan my meals out so that a) I’m not going to the gym and then classes with a heavy stomach  b) I’m not getting home until close to 10pm and chowing down and hitting the sack on a heavy stomach (PLUS – who wants to clean up all those dishes at, like, 11 o’clock at night?).

So, here’s the thing: Tuesday nights are (for now) my no class nights which means I left work, hit the gym and then made myself a great dinner of a healthier version fish burger.  I literally just inhaled it because it was so good.

I baked a lightly seasoned haddock filet – NOT battered and NOT fried – and threw it on a whole grain crustini bun with some spinach and light garlic mayo and had a side of grilled purple cabbage*.

Not quite as good looking as mine

Not quite as good looking as mine

It all was so wonderfully indulgent and delicious and to be perfectly honest, if I had made two fish burgers I probably would have eaten two fish burgers because it was just.that.good.  (Okay, just want to say here that I really wouldn’t have eaten two fish burgers, I’m just trying to emote here how darn good my dinner was.)

*By the way, cabbage is delicious raw or cooked and has an abundance of health benefits including being packed with fiber and vitamins and potassium.  I often chop some up and eat it when I’m craving something sweet or crunchy or snacky.

Let me just say this, my dinner tonight was better and obviously more nutritious than any fish burger and side I could get at a restaurant (especially a fast food restaurant).  So, the next time you’re craving an indulgent, try making your own healthier version of it.

~Fit Fish Bitch 😉

 

How to Eat Healthy on a Budget

healthy-eating-on-a-budget
I saw this article today and thought I’d repost to give some tips on
How to Eat Healthy on a Budget.

Some other ideas:

1. Check the flyers. There are three major grocery stores in my town. Every week I check the flyers of each to see what sales are on. I’m a big fan of BOGO and sometimes stock up on items that are on sale, BOGO or reduced. A few weeks ago one of the stores had full pints of blueberries on 3 for $5. I got 9 pints. Also, I often visit the grocery store(s) several times a week. Sometimes I will find items (and on sale) that were not originally on my list.

2. Buy seasonal produce in large quantities and freeze what you cannot use immediately. You can make shakes and smoothies all winter from a couple of flats of frozen organic strawberries or raspberries. The flavour is better, too!

3. Shop the farmer’s markets for food in season. The best prices and the freshest organic produce come from the farmer’s market.

4. Join a food co-op. Members often receive a discount or monthly coupon for five to 10 per cent discounts.

5. Buy a share in a CSA (community supported agriculture). Shares are typically about $400 (you can pay in installments) for a weekly box of produce during the growing season. The cost typically works out to about $30 or less per week. My sister-in-law does this and they always have farm-fresh meat and eggs.

6. Use coupons. The best way to obtain coupons for natural or organic foods is to visit the website of the manufacturer, or use an Internet search engine and type in the words “grocery store coupons” and “organic” for printable coupons.

7. Buy from the bulk bins. Organic flour, sugar, cereals, pasta, spices and many snack foods are less expensive (and easier on the environment) if you purchase them from the bulk food section. Some stores even have peanut butter, maple syrup, cooking oil and even cleaning products available in bulk. Bring your reusable bags or containers and reduce your waste at the same time.

8. Grow your own healthy foods. I LOVE gardens.

9. Have breakfast for dinner. Sometimes I will make eggs for supper. They’re super cheap and you can make tons of different dishes with them (omelets, wraps, scrambles, etc.) and they’re so friggin’ good that I often crave them. But, aside from my addiction with eggs, there are several items you can have as a cheap dinner – cereal, oatmeal, toasted sandwiches. You don’t always have to have a 3 course meal for dinner. Also, have a shake or smoothie as one meal replacement occasionally.

10. Practise cooking creatively. When you have leftovers from dinner, try to use them in another meal — add them to a pasta dish, veggie burrito or omelet, or fold them into a soup or sauce. Don’t waste food.

11. Soup is always a great and inexpensive meal.

There, just a few ideas but it might help you save some money.

~Fit Bitch

Afternoon Munchies

I’m a little bored today. It’s hot and it’s a Sunday of a long holiday weekend and I’m waiting for my boyfriend to finish up at work so we can head off for vacation for a few days. And of course, I have the munchies. Eating out of boredom is never a good thing but I’ve been snacking healthily today.

I’ve been going between the following two – which are both, not only completely yummy but healthy too:

#1 Sugar Snap Peas
Mann's
I love sugar snap peas. They are so refreshing and sweet and the crunch is very satisfying.

#2 Chocolate Covered Frozen Banana Peanut Butter “Sandwiches”
ChocolaPB Bites
This treat has a long-winded name but they are great..and pretty healthy with 3 ingredients: Banana, Natural Peanut Butter, Dark Chocolate.
Just slice up a banana, cover slice with peanut butter, top with another slice of banana. Freeze. Once frozen, dip in melted dark chocolate. Freeze. Enjoy.

Can’t really top the simplicity of these snacks.

~Fit Bitch

Make Better Choices

I’m human.  As I am sure hope all of you are.  Because I am human I get cravings and I don’t eat 100% healthy all the time (tho it’s close).   But I do make better choices….and sometimes I give in to those cravings.  And you know what?  I’m alright with that. Eating healthy is ideal, however, a lot of the time there are circumstances where I’m not able to eat the greatest (or I just don’t want to).  When that happens, I am conscience of what I’m eating and what I’m putting into my body so, although I have cravings I still try to make better choices.

For instance, I love me some Iced Coffee from McDonald’s (even though I’m supposed to be caffeine-free these days, I still can’t shake this habit) but, I try to do a healthier version.  So, instead of the calorie-laced cream coffee I get mine made with skim milk.  And now McDonald’s has sugar-free shots so my treat is even better.

A taste of summer paradise - courtesy of Dollar Days at McDonald's

A taste of summer paradise – courtesy of Dollar Days at McDonald’s

If we’re on the road and the only dinner option is fast food I go for a salad or a grilled chicken wrap or something along those lines.  Just because we’re stuck at Burger King doesn’t mean I need get a Whopper.  And I never drink pop/soda.  In fact, I don’t ever get fountain drinks – period.  Unless it’s my Iced Coffee (which is normally just a morning thing), I usually just stick with water or I go without a drink.

If I’m craving chocolate I will opt for the dark chocolate bar.  A little goes a long way and I find that with its bitterness, just a tiny piece will satisfy my craving and I can shove the rest of the bar in my desk for the next time.  Or I will have a half a glass of dark chocolate almond milk.  It’s thick and it’s chocolately it’s so good and.  Yum!

A lot of the time if I’m craving something sweet I will have some melon (watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe {does that count as a melon?}) or berries or other fruit.  And, although it doesn’t happen too often, if I get the craving for something crunchy I will chow down on either sugar snap peas or chopped up cabbage.  These are so good, I promise.

Of course, tho, there are days when you just have to give in to cravings (been there!)  and have that bag of chips or go for a nachos date with your friends.  Do it.  Be happy.  Enjoy.  And don’t make it a habit. 😉

~Fit Bitch