Olive Oil Taste Testing

If you’re looking for a new way to season your vegetables, spice up your fish, marinate your meats, or just create a great dip, then olive oil and balsamic vinegar tastings might be for you.

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Olive oil is a staple in most Mediterranean diets and has become popular in Western cooking in the recent decades. Many may not know this, but there are over 20 different types of olive oils, infused with various herbs and spices. When paired with infused balsamic vinegars, the flavor combination possibilities are endless.

Generally when it comes to taste testings wine might come to mind, maybe even cheese or coffee, but never oil. The best way to taste test the quality of olive oil is to place a small amount in a glass, and take a sniff. It should smell fresh. If it smells slightly musty or like cardboard the oil is not pure or has gone bad. Don’t worry if you’re a newbie to all of this, the expert doing the tasting will guide you. And if guzzling a little oil by itself sounds unappetizing, you can always pair the oil with a balsamic vinegar or dip in some bread.

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More Fats For Breakfast..Is Good For You?

So you want to build muscle and burn fat. Ok, so eat less fat right? Wrong. Just like you need carbs for fuel, you need fat for energy as well. Breakfast sets the tone for the rest of your day, and this is usually how I start mine along with a protein green juice on the go.

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Two Medium Hashed Potatoes, Four Eggs, 1 Cup of Gluten Free Oatmeal, 1/4 Cup of Almonds, Fruit

A Skinny Person’s Lament

I’m probably about 10 lbs lighter now than I was a few years ago, and my weight took even more of a nose dive when I started eating strictly clean to the point where I had to stop working out because I was afraid I was going to look like a 12 year-old. No offense to 12 year-olds. If your goal is to lose weight, this is probably an ideal scenario for you. For me not so much. Mind you I have a pretty fast metabolism and an autoimmune disease,  gaining weight, especially trying to gain muscle weight is hard when eating a clean low-fat diet all the time. Food allergies are a curse and a blessing sometimes. Sigh.

Feed Me

So where is all that weight going to come from to make my gains? More calories and FAT for breakfast! I make sure my fats come in the right form of course, ex: almonds, flax seeds, fish, olive oil, avocados, and eggs. Binge eating on sugary, saturated foods like junk food is never the way to go. This  site goes into more detail here under Don’t Forget The Fat .

 

Day 1 Breakfast: Gluten-Free Oatmeal

I never got turned onto oatmeal as a kid. I absolutely hated the texture and the blandness. All I wanted was my sugary cereals for breakfast. Growing up does a funny thing to your taste buds though. I actually like oatmeal now. The nice thing about it is, you can add whatever you want to create a different taste. Maple syrup, cinnamon, and apples; honey and strawberries, raisins you name it. I like to skip the instant oatmeal because it normally has some other added ingredients that I find hard to pronounce so I stay away. I like to get organic rolled oats. Any brand will do. I switch between Trader Joe’s and Bob’s Red Mill.

How to cook rolled oats:

I usually fill 1/3 of my bowl with the rolled oats and pour in boiling hot water to where it just barely covers the top of the oats. DON’T pop in the microwave like you do with instant oatmeal. These oats expand and will get all over your microwave.

After the oats have cooked, remove the plate/cover and add your choice of sweetener and whatever else you want. I’m staying away from sugar during detoxing so I like to add in Stevia. For this morning’s breakfast I added ground flax seeds loaded with omega-3s and fiber to keep me full, cinnamon, cacao nibs, blueberries, cranberries, and strawberries.

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if you focus on results you'll never change if you focus on change you'll get results littleblissbook quotes life

Health Motivation Tips For Success

if you focus on results you'll never change if you focus on change you'll get results littleblissbook quotes life
Whether this is your first time going on a cleanse/diet or your nth time, motivation is key to keeping yourself on track with any type of diet or fitness goal.

Here are some sure-fire tips I used when I went on my own personal elimination diet:

Go public!

Share your journey by telling your family, your neighbors, your coworkers, and your friends. It shows accountability. If Susie at work knows you’re going on a health cleanse, but sees you stuffing your face with a handful of fries at lunch you’ll look less credible. We tend to break the promises we make for ourselves, but when we know another pair of eyes are watching us we’ll most likely stick to our goals. It may seem scary at first, coming out so openly, but you’ll be surprised with how many people will actually cheer you on in full support. So forget about the judgement. If anything, you might just inspire someone to start their own detox or fitness journey and they’ll be the ones coming to you for advice.

Use social media

Share your fitness pictures or recipe ideas. Just be careful not to spam your friends’ Facebook walls everyday. In this case I would use Facebook sparingly, and use a blog, or Instagram to document everything. These platforms are great for documenting lifestyle changes because they’re niche-specific. If you don’t feel like you have the time to blog, definitely go with Instagram. Don’t underestimate the value of a good hashtag. They’ll help direct you to the categories you’re interested in, and lead you to connect with other like-minded people that can inspire you. I suggest using or searching tags like #fitness #cleaneating #healthy #recipe.

Trust the process

Expect that there will be setbacks. There will be days when you don’t see progress, and you’ll feel like giving up, but that’s when you need to push through it the most because after that hump you’ll see the results. Once you start to see the progress, you’ll feel too good to go back to feeling bad again. If you fall off the wagon, it doesn’t mean it’s over. Start where you left off the next day. I mention this in Making time for a Detox:

It took me nearly 3 months to get myself ready to fully commit … One week I would cut down on my sugar and wheat intake, and the next week I would see a piece of strawberry shortcake beckoning my name and I would cave…The following week when I felt like I was ready, I would start up again and this time I would try to cut out a said food for 2 weeks. I did this on-and-off-again for the next 3 months, gradually increasing from 2 weeks to 3 to 4, etc. until I felt like the changes I had made would allow me to fully commit…

Stop counting

Leave that to your accountant. No more counting calories. As long as you’re keeping your processed foods to a minimum and have less than 30 grams of added sugar a day, you really can eat all the healthy food you want.

Document

Write down what you’re eating. If you’re at work, fill in your calendar while you’re on a break. At school? Jot it down in your planner if your teacher’s putting you to sleep. If you’re always on your phone, there’s apps like MyPlate among others that help track what you’re eating, and even breakdown the ratio to carbs, fat, and protein you are consuming.

Most importantly stay positive and enjoy the process. Have fun with creating new meals and recipes that you would never pair together before. You don’t have to be a great cook…I know starting off I certainly wasn’t. I could get by with the basics, but I had no clue until I started to really get dirty in the kitchen of how I could play with different flavors. Good luck and as always…

How to start a Detox : The Basics

So you want to start eating clean.

Remember all those years ago when Cover of you were a teenager and all the grown ups said they envied you because you could eat whatever you wanted and not have it affect you? Well fast forward a couple years, the sand glass is running out and you’re probably starting to realize you can’t eat the way you used to anymore either. You’ve lost that spring in your step, you’re constantly tired, or sluggish, your allergies seem to be getting worse every season, bloating after a meal is a common nuisance, you’re not satisfied with your body as much as you’d like, and your skin is showing signs of gulp AGING! What is HAPPENING?! Years of bad eating habits is what is happening. For me, college happened. Late nights spent guzzling down energy drinks and cups of coffee, 4th meals at Taco Bell, eating out more than cooking in, tailgating every weekend during football season, and way too much ramen.

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