Wednesday, January 9, 2013

In: Chia seeds and Juicing; Out: Processed Foods

After a fun lunch out with my man and a glass of sangria, I snuggled up on Saturday night with my pup and my tablet to the documentary Hungry for Change. It's short and VERY worth the time. What really struck a chord with me is the discussion about how most of the "food" we eat today is not really food. It's not real. It may have come from real food at some point or it may have been created in a lab using chemicals. Regardless, it may be edible, but it is not food. 

This hour-ish documentary helped me really take a look at the amount of processed foods I eat. It's pretty sad. I focus so much on hitting my calorie, fat, carb, and protein goals for the day in my food log, that I often mistake (limited) quantity over quality. Last week I survived breakfast and lunch off of protein bars for all three days that I was in the office. I excused the behavior because I "didn't have time" to grocery shop, prep anything, or even run downstairs to the cafe for a salad or egg whites. Chemical and sugar filled protein bars it was. Did I hit my food log totals for the day? Yes, but if you read carefully enough the contents would be frightening. I am admittedly hooked on the faux chocolate and peanut butter combos that taste dangerously close to a candy bar. Now that I'm thinking about it, the whole concept of them is pretty gross. 

Here's how my workday looked on Wednesday:

That's a lot of bars and protein powder. Even the peach cup, in water, had splenda in it (yuck). More importantly than having a lot of processed foods in there, there is NO real food. 

After a quiet night with my tablet on Saturday, I woke up Sunday morning full of determination and inspiration. I headed to they gym for a 4 mile run and a 1 hour spin class. I finished up with some stability ball ham curls, push ups, and crunches, before heading over to the Fresh Market to stock my fridge for the week. 

(Side note...this was my first spin class and it was VERY tough! I was under prepared with no towel or water bottle. I was a sweaty mess and very sore afterwards. What a great alternative to running when my knees need a rest! I will definitely be going back!)

With the inspiring words from the previous night's documentary still fresh in my mind, I loaded up on organic veggies, fruits, and ground chia seeds. I didn't even glance at Fresh Market's irresistible bakery section and I left without a single processed item (excluding the chia seeds, which are cold milled and ground, but have no additional ingredients or preservatives). Oh...and $90 poorer, but it's worth it!

Let's start with these babies:

I've heard about chia seeds before, but never knew much about them. The documentary and my own side research taught me that these little gems are full of omega 3s, fiber, vitamins and protein. They are a great vegan alternative to eggs in baking, as they become a jelly or egg like consistency when water is added. Hungry for Change recommended pairing chia seeds or aloe vera with juicing, since juicing removes all fiber from the vegetables which can make it a little rough on the belly. I googled the aloe option and decided I'd start with chia seeds first. 

Monday morning, still inspired, I woke up a little early to attack my freshly stocked fridge. I measured out 2 tbsp of the chia seeds in to a mug then added enough water to cover the grounds plus a little more. I set this aside while I prepped my veggies for juice. By the time I turned back to the mixture, it had become the jelly like consistency as described. I was hoping to gulp it down quickly...

But the Jelly consistency made it quite a mouthful.

Please excuse the silly picture and poor picture quality...I'm still working on this photography thing, but I know no pictures = no readers. So I'm putting aside my critical eye (when it comes to pictures of myself) and including even the not-so-flattering shots.

Once this was down, it was time to move on to my juice! This juice had 1 peeled cucumber, 3 kale leaves, a bunch of leafy lettuce, a handful of cilantro, a handful of parsley, 2 celery sticks, 1 roma tomato, and 1 small apple (seeds removed due to arsenic content). 

The picture does not do this justice. It was A LOT of vegetables. Far more than I'd ever be able to eat in a day. All of this became about 900 ml of vitamin-packed juice!

I gulped down a few big sips then poured the rest in to a water bottle before heading off to work. For the most benefit, fresh juice should be consumed within the first 15 minutes, but for me there's no way all this could fit in my belly that quickly. I happily sipped on my delicious concoction until lunch time. The cilantro really added a fun kick, while the carrots and apple kept it sweet enough to cover the bitterness of the fresh kale. 

That was a great kick-start to my week, and it's been pretty easy to keep up. I wonder if I can get through the weekend on this new positive track? The rest of the day looked a little more like it should:

Ever so slightly high on the carbs, but since they were mostly from the juice I think that's OK. I ended my evening with a tough workout with my trainer and a good home-cooked meal (a healthy spin on Chinese food! There are a few tweaks I'll make next time so I'll post the recipe once I get it just right).

I want to talk more about my food log and daily nutritional goals, but that's a post for another day. For now I'm not making any grand announcements about how I'm throwing all processed foods from my diet and going on a raw food cleanse, but I am feeling great 3 days in and definitely will be making REAL food a bigger part of my daily intake (and less so of the uber-processed "health" foods).

Hope you all are having a great hump day! Before I go...someone wants to say hi...

1 comment:

  1. LOVE this! Your juice looks delicious and I wouldn't worry about those extra carbs (the ones from the juice) either! I love your pictures :)