Categories
Life Hacks

What is the best diet out there?

I’m going to let you in on a big secret. Because in a world with hundreds of different fad diets and constant marketing schemes it’s hard to figure out what the best way to eat is. Especially if you have weight loss goals or health goals you want to achieve. Well here it is guys the number one, best diet out there, is… “sustainability”. So any diet that you can consistently adhere to over a long period of time is going to be the best diet for you. It’s true there is no one “best diet” that’s why sustainability is the answer. I will explain why in this blog.

The term “diet” is referring to eating a certain way in order to maintain current body weight OR be in a caloric deficit for weight loss. 

At some point, if you really wanted to make a change in your life or if you want to avoid gaining weight as you get older and your body changes or metabolism slows, you’re going to have to practice some discipline and maybe even sacrifice a few things (treats at work, late night snacks, extra sweets, careless eating, double dessert etc).

The harsh reality is that you cannot eat whatever you want all the time and expect to see positive changes in your body. Nobody can. Maybe when your young and you’re growing and your metabolism is fire. But reality is that we age and our bodies change and adjust.

According to BioLayne’s book – Fat Loss Forever: Sustainability involves six different things: 1) Cognitive restraint 2) Self Monitoring 3) Regular Exercise 4) Structured Programs 5) Focus on long term 6) Social Support

GOOD NEWS, you CAN find a way to enjoy food, to eat guilt free, to not be super restricting, to have a great social life, AND see changes or maintain your weight. The key is to find the BEST routine or balance that works for you and your life, that you can do LONG term. Not some hokey thing that a friend tried that she feels AMAZING on and won’t shut up about lol. The key here is YOU.

I’m sorry to tell you this but there is no “drink this magic weight loss tea and lose weight forever”, there is no “just try keto for a little bit and you will lose weight forever”. There may be things out there that cause weight loss really quickly BUT there is NO QUICK FIX THAT LASTS. All great things take time people!

Everyone is different, has different habits, different lifestyles and different bodies therefore what works for one person may not work for another. Some people find sustainability in carb cycling, for some it’s counting macros, for some it’s using portion containers, for some it’s intermittent fasting, and for some it’s just pure listening to their bodies and recognizing hunger and practicing will power. The trick is finding what works best for you.

When I first made a change with the way I was eating I seen results fairly quickly about six weeks or so in. I was able to sustain this way of eating for about a year and a half and then had to change up my diet and this is what happened:

At first carb cycling worked really well for me I enjoyed it at the time, I found it easy to do, I always had two days of the week that worked well to do low carb and enjoyed mixing up things so I got a variety of different foods without the guilt associated. I enjoyed high fat foods on low carb days bring on the cheese, avocados, and coconut oil mmm. When it changed over to high carb day, pasta babyyy. Because I seen results and continued to feel great this kept me motivated to sustain this diet. Like I said a year and a half.

Then I started working full time eight hour shifts. This meant stretches of seven night shifts in a row, or two weeks of day shifts where I was constantly on my feet burning energy like crazy. I found it really difficult to do low carb days when I would have to be up and awake all night. I also found I didn’t have enough energy on my day shifts when I ate low carb and didn’t have enough days off to mix the low carb days in then. So I decided to stop carb cycling and just tried to continue to eat healthy. 

I didn’t have the knowledge to expect changes with my body. I thought because I was still eating healthy there would be no negative repercussions. What I failed to realize is the volume of food I was now eating. When I was carb cycling there would be two to three days of the week where I would cut out a whole macronutrient. This meant that all the calories I would get from carbohydrates are essentially cut out on those days. So this caused me to lose weight because I was in a caloric deficit every week.

When I changed my way of eating or “diet” I ended up in a calorie surplus again because I was now eating all those extra calories from carbs everyday of the week. Eventually I realized what was happening and decided to start “flexible dieting”. Which is essentially the same as counting macros. I had to trial different calorie and macro counts for my body over time, to find a good number that my body didn’t want to gain weight or lose muscle on. (For more information on flexible dieting see my blog post – Flexible Dieting).

But I stayed positive even with the unwanted changes and STUCK with what felt right for my body and over TIME because I SUSTAINED this new way of eating my body came back to where it was and over more time became even leaner and stronger because I had patience, I made little tweaks here and there, but most importantly I stuck with it. I did NOT give up. I sustained this way of eating.

If your GOAL is to lose weight, over time, as you lose the weight and your body changes you will have to adjust the volume that you eat as well because your metabolism is going to adjust to your new muscle mass, new overall weight, and new activity levels etc. Each one of our individualized bodies is essentially “pre set” for a certain weight, meaning our bodies are programmed to be a certain weight based off of a number of factors including genetics, your nutritional habits, your metabolism, and age at the time etc. This means your body does NOT want to change. It will fight you if you try to lose weight. It will change it’s way of processing by adapting your metabolism or how your body burns energy will adjust. So making little adjustments in how MUCH you eat and how much protein you consume will be important.

But overall whatever lifestyle you have decided on that is working for you will be important to stick to long term. And if you find it’s not working for your life anymore you need to fully expect to maybe gain a bit of weight back until you can sustain a new routine long term that works.

Your best bet if you are very serious about wanting to lose weight is to find yourself a qualified and competent trainer. One that understands there is no one size fits all or one way of being. Find a trainer that can help you find the perfect routine or balance so you can keep going.

If your not interested in getting a trainer than the best tip I can give you is start small. Make little changes and don’t try to do any of these extreme fad diets that will just set you up for failure. Trial new things that you can work into your life and make a habit of. A good example is drink more water. Drink one extra glass of water everyday for two weeks until you start incorporating another habit. Stick with things! And most importantly be patient.

Your new amazing lifestyle awaits!

Frecklefit

Categories
Recipes

Creamy Coconut Chicken and Mushrooms

Low carb, low cal, high protein, filling and delicious! Is a great recipe which you can add any sides you want. If you don’t want it low carb this dish would go so great with some crusty bread or on top of rice! Can add extra nutrition with a side of steamed veggies.

Brown Chicken then set aside.

Sauté Mushrooms and Green onion.

Pour in worst, soya sauce, apple cider vinegar mixture.

Throw in coconut milk, onion powder, dijon, and salt.

All simmered and thickened!

Serves 4

Cals per serving 342

Carbs 8g

Fat 17g

Protein 47g

Ingredients:

20 ounces of raw chicken breast cut into smaller pieces

1 450g pack of mushrooms

3 green onions

2 tsp each of worsteshire, soya sauce, and apple cider vinegar mixed in water to equal a total volume of 1/2 cup

1 can full fat coconut milk

2 tsp onion powder

2 tsp dijon mustard

Salt to taste

Salt both sides of chicken and pan fry on a greased skillet until both sides are browned. Remove from pan and set aside. Throw in mushrooms whole with green onions. Stir continuously for 2 minutes. Add worsteshire, soya sauce, ACV mixture and let boil and simmer for 2 minutes until liquid is absorbed. Throw in coconut milk, onion powder, dijon, and salt dish and whisk. Throw chicken back in put lid on top and simmer for 15 minutes. Let sit without heat for five minutes to thicken further. If needed take chicken out and whisk 1-2 tbsp cornstarch to get even thicker. Put chicken back in once thick and serve!

Categories
Recipes

Sriracha Meatballs

Tis the season for trying to desperately search or brainstorm an appetizer to make for just another Christmas potluck. Well this year I got you covered. Most pot lucks lack protein besides the last minute people who bring the meat and cheese trays.

What I have found is a lot of people bring a whole lot of carbs and it’s basically a big carb overload party. There is nothing wrong with indulging in some delicious carbohydrates but a good way to stay in check with your nutrition is to get adequate protein as well.

So my strategy for staying on track is picking out the foods higher in protein and loading those on my plate first. Then choosing the best most delicious looking carbs from the bunch to try, usually sticking to only the ones I enjoy.

I find most people love a good ole meatball so this is my inexpensive protein filled appetizer idea that I’m personally making for my potluck tonight!

Because it’s packed with most of the sauce ingredients and seasoned before baked, these mighty and spicey balls are on the healthier side as there’s no need to slather them up with sauce. They transport well and are good warm or cold if heating them up isn’t an option.

Hope you enjoy these balls and feel stress free making them too!

Makes two dozen

Cals per ball 45

Carbs 1.5g

Fat 2g

Protein 4-5g

Ingredients:

400g extra lean ground beef

¼ cup whole wheat panko crumbs

¼ cup parmesan

2 tbsp sriracha 

1 tbsp honey

½ grated onion

2 minced garlic cloves

½ tbsp dried parsley

½ tsp cayenne pepper

Pinch of salt

Mix all ingredients really well in a big bowl with a gloved hand. Form into 24 small meatballs. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes turning them after the first 15 minutes.

Enjoy your holiday festivities!

Categories
Hard truths

Short but Blissful Moments

Becoming a more positive person or changing your attitude to enjoy little things in life really takes practice. It doesn’t come overnight and involves rewiring your brain little bits at a time to focus on the JOY!

Here is an example of a moment for me that I decided to sit down write and soak it in:

“I’m just feeling so grateful in this moment. I’m sitting here at starbucks just like the good ole university days. Partly to get a change of scenery while writing my book and partly because I was craving a soy latte so bad! I apologize to all the current students reading this blog post but at the same time I don’t apologize because I want to describe a feeling you will once have too! Starbucks is flooded right now with students hunched over, papers scattered everywhere, highlight markings, and pens flying. It gave me a little bit of a nightmare at first remembering what it was like with that amount of stress trying to cram everything into my brain. But then I focused on how great it is to be at a place in my life where I can read, write, and learn about what I want without the stress of a final exam afterwards. How great it feels to sit here with my soy latte and just write my own book with no final grade, no restrictions or citations, and full out creativity on my own ideas.  I’m just on a gratitude cloud right now. I hope to possibly remind you all to feel those emotions when you’re having a great moment. Take a second to feel what it really feels like and let the good happy energy pulse through you.”

So once I noticed a gratitude cloud come over me, I soaked it in. I wrote it out so I could remember it further and bring my self back to this moment. The more little moments we have like these that we soak in, the more we can gather more joy out of our lives.

The more positive things we notice the more good positive energy we will bring in. Thoughts become things. So thinking positively will bring only good things to life. When bad things happen they happen for you and not to you because it was meant to be a life lesson.

Big things or big changes don’t necessarily have to happen to feel new joy in life. We should feel joy every single day. Majority of the time it’s going to be the little things, the realizations of all the things you have to be thankful for and being thankful for the opportunities you will have moving forward, that bring you true bliss.

So purposely find these little moments… Soak them in, take deep belly breathes, smile, and hold onto the emotions that are associated with how you are feeling in that moment. Over time your brain will rewire, your attitude for life will change for the better, and you will live a more joyous life.

“It is impossible to feel unhappy and grateful at the same time” – unknown

Frecklefit

Categories
Recipes

Cauliflower Mash

So once upon a time I had my in laws over (about three years ago). I had attempted to make cauliflower mashed “potatoes”. Which I only made one time before. Needless to say they were a huge soupy flop… I was so embarrassed and felt bad because nobody would admit they sucked and ate them anyway even though I knew they just didn’t want to hurt my feelings lol

Well I’ve come back with vengeance on those dang cauliflower mashed potatoes and here we are with the delicious holy grail of cauliflower mash. That’s not only delicious but ridiculously EASY to make! Win. Win.

This works as a great side dish. Could be a great side for a big holiday dinner as well as something a little less carby and healthier.

Here is my masterpiece:

Serves 4

Cals per serving 147

Carbs 13g

Fat 9g

Protein 7g

Ingredients:

1 large head of cauliflower

6 cloves of garlic

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup shredded parm

Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut cauliflower into three big chunks. Tightly wrap big chunks of cauliflower with 2 cloves of garlic each in tin foil. Bake for one hour. Mash with the rest of the ingredients in a big bowl while it’s hot so cheese melts. Serve hot!

Awww Yeeeeeaaaaaaa

Frecklefit

Categories
Recipes

Banana Oat Bread

I’ve been making this banana bread for a long time. It is definitely my go to! Not only is it delicious but it is a very healthy version. Rather than sugar it is sweetened with either honey or agave, bananas of course, and apple sauce.

It’s very versatile as well. I’ve experimented with different flours including whole wheat, spelt, oat, and coconut flour and they all work really well! You can sprinkle oats on top for show or what I’ve done here is hemp seed just to pretty it up.

Making this for a work pot luck tomorrow and going to cut into little squares with tooth picks just as little samplers. This is half why I’m rushed to get the recipe on the blog because I know everyone will ask me for the recipe…(fingers crossed).

Hope this will be the last banana bread recipe that you all search for too!

Cut into 8 slices width wise for calorie count.

Cals per serving 230g

Carbs 48g

Fat 2g

Protein 7g

Ingredients:

1 large cup of ripened banana

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup dairy of your choice (cows milk, soy, almond, cashew)

1/3 cup apple sauce

1/3 cup honey or agave (maple syrup would work too)

1 cup flour (oat, whole wheat, or spelt)

1/2 cup coconut flour

1 cup oats

3/4 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp cinnamon

1 pinch salt

Hemp seeds for sprinkling on top.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mash banana well in a mixing bowl. Add the rest of the wet ingredients and whisk until smooth. Whisk together all dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Grease a loaf pan with a skinny piece of parchment paper laid across the middle for lifting out once cooked. Mix wet and dry ingredients well. Pour into loaf pan. Sprinkle hemp seeds or extra oats on top. Bake for one hour. Let cool completely before slicing.

Enjoy!

Frecklefit

Categories
Life Hacks

How to Recover from a Night Out

We have all been in that place where we went a little overboard on food or bevies and are left in the morning with feelings of food shame, guilt, sometimes disgust, and sometimes a really bad hangover.

I’ve been in this place more times than I can count. It was all fine and dandy when I didn’t have any big goals to achieve and my values were essentially placed on just having the best time I can.

Now that I’m older and more mature I will admit that no matter how good of a time I am having in a drunken state, it just isn’t worth the feelings I get the next day if I have drank too much and unconsciously binge ate double my caloric intake. I will also admit that sometimes I slip up and it still happens. 

Because Alcohol will do that to me! If I have even just ONE to many it can lead to me chasing a happy drunken state that is only attainable by drinking more and more and more. It’s lead to times of extreme embarrassment for me, times of throwing up or making myself do so, times of not remembering the events of the night even. 

These are just experiences I don’t care to have anymore but in the event that I make a lapse in judgement or lose sight of what my new found adult and more mature values are I do know how to recover from the event. At the end of the day mistakes happen and we have to learn to forgive ourselves for them and more importantly move on and not dwell over them. 

I’m going to call this idea my oopsie hangover protocol in which I follow each time I wake up with a dang hangover praying it’s not going to take me out completely! This can also work for a food hangover as well if you’re not a drinker but binged on way to much unhealthy food.

1.Electrolytes and Hydrate

Although you probably can’t stand the sight of food or have a full belly from the overindulgence the night before it is important to replenish your body of what was eliminated after you “broke the seal”. Not only water but you need the salt especially to balance it out. If your only battling a food hangover than the electrolytes are not as necessary but the water IS! If it was the booze and you can’t get a good hearty salty but well balanced breakfast in (which is what I recommend), the least you can do is get a Gatorade in or an electrolyte pack. Other ideas include chicken broth, orange juice, or start munching on a jar of pickles. Whatever isn’t going to make you throw up and will get some salt and hydration back into your body. The best hangover Breaky includes eggs, bacon or sausage, and toast or a good breakfast sandwich.

2.Nutrition

After you’ve had your replenishing breakfast try to focus on getting your nutrition back on track. Include some health in there like fresh fruit and veggies. Try to consume a little less calories that day if you can, to balance what you may over did the night before but DO NOT starve yourself. Eat small frequent meals in order to avoid becoming hungry. 

3.Keep Moving

After getting some sustenance, try and get some fresh air. Although this may be extremely difficult sometimes laying in bed or on the couch makes things SO much worse. Go out for a walk, go shopping at the mall, or if your brave enough go to the gym and walk lightly on the treadmill with some music or podcast, keep yourself busy and distracted from the agony. After you start to feel a little better THAN you can do some Netflix and chilling but if that hangover starts to creep back get your ass up and move!

4.Get Wet

If your by a body of water or a pool, swimming can be a great hangover cure. If you don’t have this luxury just a nice Luke warm shower will do. Clean yourself up, dust yourself off, and bring a little dignity back to yourself by practicing personal hygiene. Oh and brush your teeth too! 

5.Caffiene

If your a regular coffee drinker, AFTER you have nourished yourself and replenished some hydration into your body try a coffee to get rid of that pounding headache. This will help with any Caffiene withdrawals you may be experiencing along with the other hell that’s going on.

6.Forgive yourself

I find writing down my mistakes, where I messed up, and how it made me feel super beneficial in moving on. Sometimes we let these mess ups get the best of us. Sometimes we decide to quit on ourselves and give up on our goals even. If you can hone in on your feelings and reevaluate your goals and why you made them in the first place, it’ll really help get you back on track and back to feeling good!

Much love

Frecklefit

Categories
Life Hacks

The Elimination Diet

The Elimination Diet is a process of eliminating common trigger foods to discover if you are intolerant to specific foods or if certain foods cause unwanted symptoms. The elimination diet can be used for a whole vary of symptoms for example, excess gas, bloating, or GI disturbances, eczema, psoriasis, or acne, lethargy, or allergy type symptoms such as itching or inflammation etc. 

The elimination diet is NOT used to diagnose chronic disorders so please seek medical advise or see your family physician if you have any severe chronic symptoms. The elimination diet is mainly used if you suspect that something in your diet is causing you discomfort.

I journaled my process and experience doing the elimination diet and will use my journey as an example. My reason was to find if I had a trigger food causing my clinically diagnosed eczema. So yes I did seek medical attention and have been diagnosed with eczema. I had tried all the prescription creams suggested, and tips my doctor had gave me and NOTHING worked. Hense my reason for resorting to the elimination diet. 

The Process of eliminating: 

Create a list of all suspicious foods. If you are unsure of what could possibly causing a symptom for you here is a list of common trigger foods:

So all these foods will have to be eliminated from your diet for up to two weeks… Sounds crazy I know especially if doing a full blown elimination phase but it is possible to do it without starving I promise. They key is in the planning!

First piece of planning would be to make a list of all the foods you CAN eat. You may have to do some research on what has gluten in it or what has dairy etc. These two are especially tricky because they’re hidden in a lot of foods you wouldn’t think. Here is an example of my list:

Next step is to meal plan. Think of things you can make to have on hand and ready because the hardest part will be when your hungry and feel like you have nothing to cook or have to eat. Figure out what kind of quick snacks you can have. Also figure out your protein sources as adequate protein will be important for feeling satiated and aiding in bodily processes. 

Next plan out your time frame. Some research will say you have to do it for a month some will say one week, but in my opinion this will be different for everyone and it’ll depend on your specific symptoms and how severe they are, AND how long it takes for them to subside. I planned for two weeks on the diet with reintroduction of one food item at a time after that. 

Next will be to create a journal or get a little notebook and write down what your baseline symptoms are so you can monitor if they are getting better or worse with eliminating foods. Another option would be to take pictures if problem is external. From my log I noted symptoms starting to get better after just three days. 

That being said symptoms kind of fluctuated after that. They would seem to get better then I would have a flare up, then they would get better again. This lasted for just up to the two week marker but in my log noted there were food items I consumed that were “cheat” items I was unaware had elimination things in them. Example had some vodka and didn’t realize it had gluten in it lol Hand did flare up but subsided two days later. 

Reintroducing:

By the two weeks it appeared my symptoms were pretty well gone just some scarring from where my eczema patches were. Therefore I decided to start reintroducing. My plan was to reintroduce one thing at a time and give each food item two days to react. I wanted to start with my biggest suspicions first. What I found is I had almost an instant reaction right away when consuming a “trigger food”. I gave it a day to see how severe the reaction would be and then if severe enough I would eliminate it again.

I then moved on to the next item. The second item I had no reactions therefore kept consuming it and monitored. If I made it a full day with no reactions to the item I considered it okay to eat. 

It was the third big item that I really screwed up on because I lost compliance. I started cheating and consuming little small amounts of the first item which I KNEW caused triggers. This is where will power has to be SO strong. Even me who can turn down anything just couldn’t obtain from certain cravings. Maybe because I felt too restricted? 

Anyways I did come back from the cheats and kept going with reintroducing foods. In the end all my symptoms did go away, my skin cleared up and I stayed away from my trigger foods for a good month and a bit. Eventually I reintroduced my trigger foods back and my symptoms remained gone. Not sure if it was the change of weather or if something switched systemically in my body. 

I know this won’t be the case with everyone and that it is possible you may have to stay away from trigger foods for life. It will depend how much your symptoms effect your life or bother you. You must decide how much quality of life you have with either eating these foods and having discomfort or vice versa, staying away from those foods and having other options with a higher quality of living. 

Frecklefit

Categories
Recipes

Shepards Pie

Everybody loves a good shepherds pie! So what sets mine apart from other recipes you might have tried?

Mine is very healthy of course but equally as delicious as your normal average recipe. I use ground turkey rather than beef, a large variety of veggies, a healthier version of the creamy potato topping, and tasty rosemary in the filling.

This recipe is a great way to use frozen riced cauliflower which is fairly new to the food market due to the ketogenic diet craze.

My version has great macros and micronutrients. If you want to boost the flavour and the health benefits you can also use sweet potato rather than the white mashed potato on top with all the same ingredients.

This recipe is great to serve for a crowd and also great to prep before hand and even freeze to use another time.

Serves 8

Cals per serving 218

Carbs 29g

Fat 5g

Protein 15g

Mashed Topping:

6 Small white potatoes or one large sweet potato

3 cloves garlic

½ cup milk

¼ cup chicken broth

2 tbsp greek yogurt

2 tsp chives

Salt and pepper

Bottom Layer:

1 pack or 450g ground turkey

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion

3 small carrots

2 cloves garlic

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup frozen corn

1 cup frozen cauliflower rice

2 tbsp flour

1 cup chicken broth

1 tbsp tomato paste

2 tsp worsht

2 tsp rosemary

Paprika to top

Peel and boil potatoes. Place in a pot of boiling water and boil until you can pierce easily with a fork. While potatoes boiling start browning ground turkey with a sprinkle of salt in a large skillet pan. Chop carrots and onion, mince garlic with a knife. Once turkey brown set aside and toss in olive oil with carrot and onion cook on high until soft then add garlic, season with salt. Turn heat down and sprinkle in flour and stir to coat. Add chicken broth, tomato paste, worsht, and rosemary, stir well. Throw ground turkey back in and let everything simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile preheat oven to 400. Mash potatoes with minced garlic, milk, chicken broth, yogurt, salt, pepper, and chives. Pour bottom layer into a baking dish and top with potato mixture. Sprinkle with paprika and bake for 20 minutes.

Enjoy!!!

Categories
Recipes

Homemade Chewy Granola Bars

I first made this recipe years ago and actually it was the first recipe in my first little cookbook! I have made a few changes to it one being the type of flour I used.

I tried the recipe using buckwheat flour because I have been using buckwheat flour for a ton of things lately. It’s gluten free, and gives things a nutty flavour with a chewy texture.

I decided to name these chewy bars for that reason. They are similar to a homemade granola bar but chewy due to the buckwheat and have added protein in them.

You can easily use peanut butter or almond butter rather than wow butter but I use wow butter due to my nut allergy. But if using wow butter you can send them to school with your kids!

I make them in a big rectangle baking sheet and cut them to size after cooled.

Cut into 24 pieces

Cals per piece 103

Carbs 12.5g

Fat 4g

Protein 5g

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups oats

1 cup buckwheat flour

1/4 cup flax

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 scoops vanilla protein powder

2 tbsp stevia

1 cup dairy of your choice

1/2 cup wowbutter

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients together with whisk. Mix wet ingredients together. Combine both mixing well. Pour into greased baking dish and bake for 17-20 minutes.

Let cool before slicing!