Fast Fat Burning Meals

fbm_03I’m a bit late to the party but I am super excited to share this awesome video and cookbook with you! Yuri and I set out to prove that not only is it healthier to make your meals at home, but it is also faster, and WAY more delicious!

This video comes at a time when we are ready to share our Fast Fat Burning Meals cookbook and cookbook club with the world.  No longer will you have to ask yourself “what should I make for dinner?” Because, the answer to your nightly dinnertime nightmare is here.  The healthiest, quickest, and most delicious meals you can make for your family!

I wish I could share the burger in the video with everyone because it is melt in your mouth better than any other burger you’ve ever tasted – and it’s super easy to make! Seriously, make these burgers for dinner tonight.  You will LOVE them.

So, is fast food really faster?  Watch the video:

We’ve gotten some backlash for “wasting” that food, but in all honesty, McDonald’s is not food in my opinion. I would rather put it in the garbage any day than put that stuff in my body. If you are bothered by us throwing it away, you may want to ask yourself why it bothers you so much. If I had eaten it, the outcome would be the same.  No one else would have gotten to eat it!

File 2015-05-13, 11 22 16 AMBest Burger Ever 

  • 1/3 lb ground sirloin
  • tomato
  • pickle
  • red onion
  • ketchup
  • mustard
  • greens as a base (not pictured)

To prepare the burger, simply turn on your frying pan to medium, salt and pepper both sides of your patty, and throw it in the pan!  Cook just like a pancake, flipping when the burger is half way done, after just 2-3 minutes.  Cook until your desired level of doneness is reached, and top that puppy with anything you wish!

Avocado/Tomato Salad

  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 avocado
  • olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • sea salt and pepper

Place chopped tomatoes and avocado in a medium bowl, and season with olive oil, a dash of lemon juice, sea salt and pepper.  Done!

 

Guilt Free Hot Chocolate

When I started this journey into healthy eating it became apparent straight away that I was addicted to sugar.  While my eating habits have changed completely over the past 10 years, the sugar monster remains at some level.  My sugar of choice has always been chocolate, and although I eat the healthiest form of it, I am still guilty of eating too much of it sometimes.

Taming the monster.

The best defense is a good offense, so traditional candy doesn’t make it into the house.  But I do have a healthy stock of organic, fair trade, 70% or more cocoa chocolate bars, chocolate chips, and chocolate chunks.  Under normal conditions, I don’t reach for them.  But as soon as you add the stress of parenting 3 young boys, I can eat an entire 100g chocolate bar in just a few minutes!

Wanting to dive into the chocolate this morning in a fit of stress, I decided that I would only have a little piece.  And this time, I knew that’s all I would have.  Usually a little bit turns into a lot of little bits, but this time was different because I had a plan.

This hot chocolate is the best defense I’ve had in awhile.  I didn’t add any sweetener at all – just whatever is in the 70% chocolate itself, but you may add a little stevia, erythritol, or honey if you wish.  Though, I challenge you to drink it as written – without any added sweetener.  I liked it immediately and didn’t need any sugar, but of course, I am motivated to limit my sugar intake in the name of health.  This just may be the sword that slays my inner sugar monster for good.

hotchoc

Guilt Free Hot Chocolate

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 0.5 oz 70% cocoa chocolate (amount pictured above)
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Place all ingredients in a sauce pan over low heat and whisk until both combined and desired temperature is reached.

 

 

So Happy.

yammy1I am literally smiling all the time.  My skin looks better every day.  Tell me again why I went off raw?

Yesterday I spent about 4 hours cleaning the kitchen.  Now it’s so bright and inviting!  Today I cleaned out the pantry and I threw out so much crap – including some white flour we haven’t used in more than 2 years!!!  Gross.  I also managed to spill the flour all over the floor, and the dog didn’t even move, and if the dog won’t eat it – you know it can’t be categorized as food!

I just got in from a run and whipped up some nori wraps, but this time I made a raw almond dipping sauce that was out of this world!!!  I was so eager to eat that I didn’t take any pictures of it.  The dipping sauce kicks my lame almond paste’s butt!

 

Raw Almond Dipping Sauce

4 tbsp raw almond butter
2 tbsp water
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 tbsp tamari or Braggs
1 tbsp lime juice

I also picked up some E3Live at the health food store since we’re in-between wheat grass harvesting “seasons” (which last 10 days).  E3Live is a highly concentrated shot of greens.  It’s even darker than wheatgrass juice – and more bitter.  When you take greens as green and as bitter as E3Live (or spirulina, kale, collards, etc.) it means your liver is getting detoxified hard-core.  This also explains why I have had a pretty intense breakout of eczema on my right middle finger.  It’s so swollen that I can barely bend it!  I really hope the swelling goes down through the night because it is so uncomfortable.

If you’re going raw for the first time or starting to take concentrated greens like this, keep in mind that you could go into a healing crisis and feel a lot worse before you feel better.  This is because the liver has the tools it needs to release toxins into the bloodstream for elimination…and this can be extremely intense if you are higly toxic.  I have done my fair share of cleanses, and usually the nausea/sickness goes away 4-5 days after starting/modifying a cleansing program -for me, but all experiences are unique.  So hang in there if you find yourself in a healing crisis!

Spirulina: Why I Eat It Every Day.

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The question I get asked most often when I tell people that I eat raw, vegan food is: Where do you get your protein?  The simplest answer: spirulina.  “Spir-what?” They ask.  So rather than explain myself over and over again, I thought I’d just write about it and refer people to this website.Spirulina is an amazing superfood.

I guess you could say that spirulina is my preferred source of protein, although that isn’t my main objective in eating it.  To be honest, I am a firm believer that all foods in nature have the perfect amout of fats, carbohydrates, and protein, so I never strive to get any single macro-nutrient.  I just eat a wide variety of foods and listen to my body.  Society, on the other hand, seems to be obsessed with the protein question, and if you’re one who is protein obsessed, this may be your reason to include spirulina in your diet!

Spirulina is a complete protein, which means that is contains all of the essential amino acids.  It’s also rich in EFAs: GLA, ALA, LA, EPA, DHA, and AA.  If you don’t understand what those mean, don’t sweat it.  Just think Omega 3s!

Spirulina is also loaded with vitamins and minerals – just look at its colour.  Anything THAT green is golden for the body.  Everyone could use more greens in their diet, that’s for sure.  What I can say for certain is that spirulina gives me loads of energy every time I eat it.  And at the moment, my favourite way to eat spirulina is in a smoothie loaded with local, fresh berries!

 

Tennis, anyone?


Today we were at the Rogers Cup, and although we brought some raw chocolate and some cashews, we were starving for something different.  Amongst all the crap that other people were eating, I found a yummy fruit salad, but I needed to buy about 10 of them to be fully satisfied!  Which would have cost about $50…  Just a reminder that if you’re out of the house all day, you had better be prepared!

Raw Food Praise – I WANT to exercise!


It’s amazing the effect that eating raw has on my desire to exercise.  Last night I took the dog for a 5 k run.  Today after work I went to a hot yoga class, and after I biked home I went for another run with a friend.  It’s really nice to have a running partner because you have that little bit of added motivation.  When you have someone calling you and asking if you want to go running, it’s like an alarm going off and motivation calling you!  If you get several running partners, there’s a guarantee you’ll be running a few times a week!

I haven’t had much to eat today, which is kinda weird considering the amount of exercise I’ve had, but I don’t feel much like eating anything right now.  When you eat raw, natural, good quality foods, you are more in touch with your nutritional needs, wheras when I eat cooked foods, I think I need food all the time!  I’d eat late at night all the time when I was on cooked food. 

When I eat raw, I only go into the kitchen when I am truly hungry…or if I can’t wait to try a new raw recipe!  Also, on cooked I always cleaned my plate, but on a raw food diet, I just stop eating when I’ve had enough.  I eat raw dessert for breakfast if I feel the desire!  And when I have dishes that are rich in nuts or other heavy raw ingredients, my body steers me clear of them for a few days.  Never, ever on a cooked diet did my body tell me anything!  I remember years ago when I didn’t have any idea the effects that food had on my mood or energy level.  Now, I know the second I have eaten something that doesn’t agree with me.  I can just feel it. 

And since you only eat when you’re hungry on raw, there is no breakfast, lunch, dinner schedule…you eat on your own hunger schedule…that being said, I think my hunger level just rose…so apparently “dinner” tonight is going to be around 11pm!

Marinara Salad

Marinara Salad

Dinner: Marinara Salad

Time To Make: About 3 minutes

Would I Make It Again: Yes!

Ingredients: 1 cup leftover Marinara Sauce, (recipe in Eating for Energy) an avocado, 6 stalks asparagus, 1 yellow pepper, 3 green onions, and 1/2 a cucumber.  Variations:  Whatever you have in the fridge!

My Return to Raw: Day Two

Today started with a:

Green Super Smoothie

1 tbsp spirulina
1 mango
1 tbsp bee polin
1 cup strawberries
few cubes ice
1 tbsp chia seeds
2 dates
1 tbsp sesame seeds
water to desired consistency

Then it was off to pick berries at Whittamores Farm on Steeles Ave.  So many delicious berries!  I think we picked for a couple of hours, and I got sunburnt 🙁 but it was worth it.

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Trans-formed Fats, Trans-formed Body!

Margarine

The term trans-fat might as well be short for transformed fat. And transformed fats have no place in your body. While the term “trans” refers to the specific bond of carbon atoms, it is all too coincidental that this bond is often artificially created by scientists in laboratories when they partially hydrogenate liquid oils to make them solid so they can withstand longer shelf lives.

Saturated fats are more tolerant to heat treatment than mono- and poly-unsaturated fats, so if you’re thinking of cooking something, it’s best to use butter or coconut oil to avoid minimize the creation of trans-fats.  And don’t be fooled by restaurants that boast “trans-fat free” signs. As soon as their “trans-fat free” oil is heated, it has become trans-formed!

Canola Oil – After you read this, you’ll be emptying your cupboards!

How often do you use vegetable oil? When you bake, when you fry…every day? If you frequently use these seemingly “healthy” oils, then you need to read on. Supermarket oils are highly processed. First, they are refined using sodium hydroxide (think Draino) to remove “impurities”. They are then treated with phosphoric acid (think Windex) to de-gum; which removes lecithin, chlorophyll, calcium, magnesium, copper, and iron. To make it look appealing, it is bleached to remove pigments, which turns the oil rancid. Colour is added later because clear oil does not look natural. It is then heated above 220˚F to remove any odour, which creates monster trans-fat molecules that will eventually become part of your body! Then you take it home and heat it again in your frying pan, mutating the molecules even more.

We must start thinking of the quality of every morsel we put into our bodies. There is a huge difference in quality between canola oil and cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil. Olive oil is not heat treated, and extra virgin means the oil was obtained from the olives’ first pressing. Cancer is linked to processed vegetable fats. This includes hydrogenated shortening and margarine.

Margarine

Margarine is a synthetic, man-made chemical, alien to our bodies. Hard stick margarine is loaded with trans-fats. Hydrogen is forced into vegetable oil to turn it into a saturated fat, solid at room temperature. Hydrogenation changes the shape of oils at the molecular level, and the shape of a molecule s extremely important. Think of your body like a moving jigsaw puzzle. The billions of processes that occur every second are all little parts and pieces of your body puzzle. If any piece has been altered in any way, it will not be able to fit in where it should…and could even fit in places it shouldn’t! Newer margarine is made from vegetable oil and modified palm and palm kernel oil. It boasts non-hydrogenation, but I’ve never been a fan of the word “modified,” and palm oil is liquid at room temperature. Somebody messed with it, for definite. Would you like your body to be “modified” or all-natural? Remember to read the labels of any food you’re planning to consume.

Did you know? Margarine is one molecule away from being plastic!

Product Dissection: Becel Margarine:

Ingredients: Canola and sunflower oils 74%, water, modified palm and palm kernel oils 6%, salt 1.8%, whey protein concentrate 1.4%, soy lecithin 0.2%, vegetable monoglycerides, potassium sorbate, vegetable colour, artificial flavour, citric acid, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D3, alpha-tocopherol acetate (vitamin E).

An Aside: One interesting question on the Becel website made me laugh, and its relevance will be noted in the following section “The Low Down”:

Q: Why is Becel Margarine a different colour in Quebec?
A: In all parts of
Canada, except for Quebec, margarine and butter are the same colour. In Quebec, a colour restriction law does not allow for this. In that province, most margarine is an off-white colour.

The Low down:

  • Remember what happens to canola oil before it hits the shelves? This product is 74% rancid, bleached, artificially coloured vegetable oil.
  • It contains 6% “modified” oils.
  • It contains dairy in the form of whey protein. Milk is the #1 allergen. Humans have difficulty digesting cow’s milk, whether they are aware of it or not…and I must say that many of us are painfully aware.
  • Monoglycerides are a common food additive used to combine two things that wouldn’t normally mix such as water and oil.
  • Potassium sorbate is a preservative used to discourage the growth of molds and yeasts, thereby increasing shelf life. Apparently since it is used in such small quantities, there are no known adverse health effects. Comforting.
  • Vegetable colour is a tricky one. My instincts are to say that it likely comes from Yellow dye #5 which is known to create a myriad of problems within the human body, especially known to exacerbate autism and other behavioural problems. But to be fair to Becel, it could be turmeric, which has a vibrant yellow colour, but since I think Quebec would let turmeric into their province since it is a cleansing herb…so it must be something else that Quebec’s government is afraid of, and I think we should be too!
  • Becel contains artificial flavour. I’m not a big fan of eating anything artificial, especially if it’s there to trick my brain into thinking plastic tastes good.
  • The next 3 ingredients are added vitamins. Vitamins are best obtained from whole foods as found in nature, and not in a tub of chemically processed margarine…
    • Vitamin A palmitate is a common pre-formed Vitamin A supplement. Better sources include apples, apricots, beets, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, collard greens, mango, peas, pumpkin, spinach, sweet potatoes, and winter squash.
    • Vitamin D3. 15 minutes of sun on your hands and face will get you the same amount of vitamin D, so go for a walk and get some exercise! Go for a longer walk in the wintertime as the sun is not as vibrant then.
    • Vitamin E. Better sources include walnut oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, (make sure all oils are cold processed) nuts (raw), sunflower seeds (raw), whole grains, and green leafy vegetables.

Always remember, quality matters!

A New Earth – Awakening the Body to its Needs

I just recently started reading A NEW EARTH by Eckhart Tolle, and I’ve got to say it is an unbelievably good read. At one point, Eckhart makes a statement about Bulimia, and how sufferers often make themselves vomit so they may continue eating.

“Their mind is hungry, not their body.”

Now, not everyone suffers from bulimia, but if you or someone you know is struggling with a weight issue, you will know that there is a large body-mind connection to which you or they are not aware.  Unless every effort is made to strengthen this connection, any effort to lose weight will be in vain.

It may take some time to become aware of your body’s true needs, but you can do it.  The trick is simply to pay attention.  There is a connection between the foods you eat and the way you feel.  If you’ve ever had a hangover, you know what I’m talking about!

Once you start paying attention, you will notice subtle changes in the way you feel, expecially if you are eating foods to which your body is particularly sensitive.  For most people, this will include dairy and wheat products as they comprise the top 2 allergens.  You likely eat some form of dairy or wheat every single day, multiple times a day, without awareness.  Try going 4 days without eating dairy or wheat products.  On day 5, indulge in some ice cream or pancakes and note how you feel afterward.

I say 4 days because that is roughly the amount of time it takes the body to work through, process, and eliminate foods from the cells of your body.  You may feel symptoms of “withdrawal” after the first or second day, and it may not let up through the 4th day.  In this case, I challenge you to keep on with this little experiment, perhaps going beyond the 4th day, because the fact that these symptoms exist is your body telling you that it is indeed sensitive to these foods, and it needs extra time to expel them from your body due to years of toxic build-up brought on by eating these foods every day.

The results may suprise you.  It wasn’t until I did this exact experiment on myself that I realized my body had been telling me for years to stop eating dairy foods.  Once I became aware of my body’s needs, I drastically cut down on my dairy intake, and I have never felt better!  If you have eczema, psoriasis, acne, or any other dis-ease, I encourage your participation even more because your body is screaming and you are not paying attention.

Once you start paying attention to the messages your body relays, over time it will become easier and easier to tell when you are truly hungry and when you are not.  You may become aware that you eat in social situations, whether you are hungry or not – just becasue others are eating.  You may find the courage to say no to your eyes when they see ice cream, and listen to your body when it says “I don’t like ice cream, it makes me feel sick.”