Thursday, April 12, 2018

14 Ways to Make Coffee Healthier

Top 10 Favorite Foods + Week 2 Meal Plan

Hi, guys! Happy Thursday to you!

I have the meal plan for week 2 coming at ya soon (link below), but, first, I wanted to share my love for my breakfast this morning. I swear, I could eat peanut butter and banana just about everyday – and sometimes I do! I love that it’s so darn filling, especially when loaded up on a rice cake. It keeps me full for hours. I know you’ve probably seen this same breakfast 8,000 times on CNC in the past, but it tasted especially delicious this morning. Maybe it’s because I mixed the peanut butter with ground flax? I dunno, but peanut butter and banana are definitely two of my favorite foods. Speaking of which…

Back in 2010, I published a post called “Top 10 Favorite Foods” with a list of current favorites. Fast forward 8 years and my list has only changed a little bit!

2010 favorites:

  1. Cake
  2. Cookies
  3. Nachos
  4. Peanut butter
  5. Oatmeal
  6. Bananas
  7. Apples
  8. Coffee
  9. Chocolate
  10. Pizza

Please note: The comments about “pug meat” on Mal’s list of favorite foods from the blog post. They’re hilarious! 🙂

2018 favorites:

  1. Cake
  2. Peanut butter
  3. Iced coffee
  4. Bananas
  5. Brussels sprouts
  6. Cheese
  7. Avocado
  8. Chocolate-covered nuts <– I really like when chocolate involves nuts!
  9. Wine
  10. Cookies

And here’s the meal plan with recipes for week 2!

CNC Meal Plan_Week 2

Some notes:

  • Our meal plans include 3 build-out days (here’s why), so you’ll see a Workout Day 1, Workout Day 2, and a Rest Day, which I’ll rotate accordingly throughout the seven days of the week. You’ll see that there are different calorie needs for workout days versus rest days.
  • Our meal plans come with personalized grocery shopping lists (you can see a screenshot here), but I didn’t include them because the quantities wouldn’t make sense if you decide to follow this meal plan on your own. (The qualities are based on the schedule that you set for yourself in our software system at the beginning of the week.)
  • The plan is customized to where I grocery shop as well as some of my favorite products. You’ll see Trader Joe’s products as well as brand-specific ones, but these are all individual to the client.

If you like what you see and want these meal plans delivered right to your inbox, just sign up here. I’ll send each week of my plan along with all of the corresponding recipes.

Question of the Day

Your turn! What’s on your top 10 favorite foods list? 

The post Top 10 Favorite Foods + Week 2 Meal Plan appeared first on Carrots 'N' Cake.

from Carrots 'N' Cake

Lemon Asparagus Spring Pasta

Hey You! Ya you! Don’t do that to yourself! You’ve go this!!

Hey you! Ya you!

The one who has a million things to do in a day, so you always come last on the list, if you even make the list at all.

The one who thinks that you messed up today, so you’ll try again tomorrow. Or hell, you don’t have any willpower anyway, so why even try again? Sound familiar?

The one who believes that putting yourself first will accomplish nothing other than getting behind on the other things you need to do.

The one who lays in bed at night beating yourself up because you just cannot seem to figure out what will work best for you and your body.

You are not alone.

I’ve been there. I’ve been in bed at night, beating myself up with all those questions and all that self doubt. All those negative little voices that tell me, at the end of the day, I’m not worth the dirt on my floor.

Will I ever figure this out? Will I ever get rid of this excess fat on my body? Will I ever find that magic combination that works for my life AND my body?

Thankfully, I have, and it’s working. But for years, that wasn’t the case. I struggled just like you with all that negative self talk. I would walk into a room and become an instant wall flower because I felt so uncomfortable with myself.

Admittedly, that’s still something I work on. But I’m a heck of a lot better than I was.

I’ve been there too.

I realized that if I didn’t start to live my truth, each and every day, I would never reach my goals or feel good about myself.

And it would seem for now, I’ve found my “magic combination” for weight loss. I went 100% plant based about 1 1/2 months ago and I’ve also been testing out different fasting methods. It’s been the biggest journey of self discovery I’ve been on in a while. I’m learning to have an entirely new relationship with food.

For the longest time, I believed myself to be a food addict (and maybe I was/am!). I would get to the end of the day, after putting Mini Chef to bed, and begin many almost unconscious walks to the fridge for whatever looked good. And not just one trip, multiple trips for multiple different things in the span of just a few hours. Like my body was taking over in search of some sort of nourishment it just wasn’t getting in my normal meals. It took me a long time to realize that it wasn’t something my body needed, it was several things that my body couldn’t help craving. I was literally like a drug addict. There were several times I didn’t even know how I got to the fridge. It was that automatic.

I will admit that this all took place while I was caring for my dying mother. So there was an emotional/comfort aspect to that as well. But beyond the comfort, it was a real, physical addiction and I just didn’t know what to do with it.

I joined a support group for people like me. It was helpful and I learned a lot. But the fight against those cravings was insane. Each and every night it was the most intense battle I’ve ever had to fight, and I eventually lost.

Fast forward to today and I’m in a very different place. I discovered that corn is one of my worst enemies. Even small amounts will set off cravings like crazy and I have to literally sleep them off and start over the next day. That’s what got me interested in fasting. While I slept at night, it seems my body was resetting itself. This intrigued me.

Many of you know that I went low carb for a long time. Some of those recipes are still here on this site in my low carb section. But it seemed like the more carbs I removed from my eating plan, the more sensitive I became to carbs. To the point that I almost couldn’t eat any at all with out my blood sugar spiking super high.

I eventually found my way to a plant based diet and I haven’t looked back.

What’s different this time?

I had tried being vegan once before and had a really rough time with my blood sugar. So much so that I eventually gave it up.

So this time, I thought if I was going to do this, I was going to make it a true experiment. I kept a journal of everything I ate and how I reacted to it. It didn’t take me long to figure out what caused my cravings and what I could enjoy without issue.

I’m happy to report that I now am completely craving/addiction free! As long as I avoid the foods that trigger me, I have a totally healthy relationship with food. It’s pretty darn amazing. I feel so free!

Along with that comes a new relationship with, and understanding of, my body. All those negative voices I used to have in my head are slowly starting to fade away simply because I feel so positive and happy about my food choices and how my body is reacting to them. It’s like a drug addict getting to the point where they honestly don’t feel the need for their drug of choice. They always have to be aware of their addiction, but they can get through their day without constantly obsessing over it. It’s very freeing.

So what’s the point?

I don’t share all of this to toot my own horn. I’m sharing this because I want to let you know that if you are in the same place I was, there is hope, even if it doesn’t feel like it. If you are stuck in that cycle of negativity, exhaustion and lack of willpower, I’m here to tell you that I will happily be your biggest cheerleader. There is just no feeling as freeing as changing your relationship with food to a completely healthy relationship.

Never give up.

I know it’s so easy to just lay on that couch letting all those negative voices take over. Maybe you don’t know much about cooking because you grew up on packaged, microwavable food. Maybe you didn’t make it to the gym today… again. Maybe it’s been years since you even touched your toes!

But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. That doesn’t mean you won’t find your happy. The important thing is to persevere. Never give up. If even only part of you is willing to experiment with what works for you and what doesn’t (without starving yourself on silly diets that you already know won’t work long term or give you a healthy approach to food), you WILL eventually get there.

I’ll be the first one to tell you that I know exactly how hopeless it can all feel because I’ve been there. I know the feeling of being overweight for so long that you can’t even imagine what it would be like to be rid of that excess weight. I know the feeling of just wanting to dive into that chocolate, or those movie concession stand nachos or that tall glass of wine or beer. I’ve been there! Sooooo many times, I’ve been there.

But I’m here to say, “Hey you! Ya you! You’ve got this!!

You’ve definitely got this. I know you do. I know you have it in you and I’m telling you I’m here to support you in any way I can. Reach out! I’m here via email, Facebook and all those other social media platforms you love. I’ll happily encourage you to not give up. Because the only true failure is giving up. So don’t do that. As long as you keep trying, you never truly fail. You just learn all the things that don’t work for you.

You’ve got this!!

from The Gracious Pantry