WIAW: “clean” eating?

what is clean eating? so many different meaning that can come from this phrase. for me, clean eating means eating the way that makes me physically and mentally feel my best. between school, life, and spring break the past few weeks I haven’t been sticking to as ‘clean’ of a diet as I usually do. this means more sweets sneaking in, less nutrient dense foods, and more snacks/smaller meals. Nothing that will kill me, but not optimal nutrition.

So, I’m focusing back on the basics: no grains, gluten, sugar, legumes, or processed foods. plus a little raw dairy. aka the diet I have found to make me feel and perform my best! this doesn’t mean that my choices are right for everyone, but they certainly work for me.

also today: linking up to Jenn @ Peas And Crayons to share a day of my eats!

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a morning walk is most definitely my favorite way to start the day. activity, thought time, podcast time. Plus, daylight savings time means I get to see more of these beautiful sunrises during my usual walk time!

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probiotics + sauerkraut. two supplements that help keep my digestion on track and my tummy happy.

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breakfast: eggs, asparagus, and spinach//cooked in ghee. my favorite cooking fat for flavor!

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it’s been 75+ here the past two days. I know I live in the South but still.. 80 in March?! Not complaining. *it is supposed to go down a lot the next few days, boo!*

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lunch a la Dining Hall. a huge salad with red wine vinegar and feta cheese on top.

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afternoon snack: I didn’t know what to eat, so I just had a spoonful of this. hit the spot!

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for my workout, I did a 5 minute warmup on the Arc trainer before completing this awesome barbell workout (2x) from Gina at The Fitnessista

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dinner: taco salad paleo style. chicken, lettuce, cucumbers, peppers, onions, salsa, and some mashed avocado. topped with salt + lime juice

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after some homework, chores, etcetera, I needed a little snack. green apple + Happy Cow grass-fed raw milk cheese. #dontmindifido

Question of the day:

What does clean eating mean for you?

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5 favorite foods this week.

college life. it’s busy, it’s fun, it’s exhausting, all in all- I’m pretty blessed to be where I am.

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 ^^morning walks this week. I’ve been able to go on a 30 minute – 1 hour walk every morning, and it is glorious. i love the movement first thing, and i love listening to a good podcast in the morning. especially some Christian wisdom.^^

favorite #1: eggs. 

let’s be real– this is a favorite pretty much every week. eggs with veggies, eggs with salsa, eggs all DAY.

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favorite #2: paleo banana bread. 

i made another batch of paleo banana bread. soooooo good. please enjoy with butter, you won’t be sorry 🙂

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favorite #3: salads on salads.

I mean… this is pretty much an

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favorite #4: grass-fed meat sauce.

grass fed beef, onions, tomato puree and spices. this was amazing.

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favorite #5: alllllll the almond butter.

especially when complemented by chocolate.

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have a great week!

What foods are you enjoying?!

Thanksgiving Weekend + getting back on track after indulgences.

The rest of Thanksgiving weekend was spent relaxing, working out, watching movies, and soaking up family time.
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^^anthropologie treats for Black Friday shopping…as if we needed more food.^^

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^^seeing my sister, the best!^^

So now, Thanksgiving is over, everyone’s headed back home and maybe we’ve had 2..3..4 days of ‘bad’ or overeating.. It can be so easy to continue down the path through the rest of the holidays, and suddenly it’s New Year’s and we really need those resolutions…

But it doesn’t have to be that way! Today is Monday, a great day to start back on your healthy habits. So how to do it?

1. make a plan.

It’s so much easier to be successful when you plan. Plan your meals for the week, even if it’s just what dinner you’ll have each night. That way there is no scrambling for food at the last minute, and ending up overeating or taking down the Christmas cookies before you get to the meal.

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^^east meals, that can still be healthy. These take less than 5 minutes to throw together!^^

2. Schedule your workouts.

You make room for eye doctor, dentist, etc. appointments right? Well what is a workout besides another appointment to improve your health! Whether it is when you first wake up, or after you get home form work, scheduling in your workout holds you accountable to yourself. Just do it!

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3. Enlist your family/roommates/friends.

No one really wants to gain weight over the holidays— think of all the parties and events , right? So ask your family, friends, roomies- whoever is around- to get on board and go for a morning walk with you, or trade off cooking healthy dinners. It is a lot easier to stay on track when you know someone else is counting on you.

4. Know when to indulge and when to keep it clean.

Eating healthy is not boring. It can seem that way when there are lots of cookies, cakes, eggnog, and other holiday treats around. When you are at a party, and there is your mom’s chocolate cake that she only makes once a year, or a glass of peppermint eggnog that you never drink- go ahead, indulge. But on an everyday basis, don’t keep those treats around! Plus- if you can have them every day, you don’t need to eat them all the time, they’re not that special!

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You can keep it clean and still enjoy your foods- salads can have cheese or even corn chips and still be balanced. You can eat chocolate and stay healthy– maybe some Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter? Always takes care of my sweet tooth without the unnecessary buckets of added sugar!

Have a marvelous Monday- and a marvelous holiday season by keeping these tips in mind!

thehealthydiva Marvelous in My Monday Details!

Questions of the day:

How are you going to stay healthy this holiday season?

Think of someone right now who you can enlists as your healthy buddy!

Chocolate for Breakfast and Salads for Lunch.

Healthy living is all about balance right? Workouts, an active lifestyle, healthy foods, and some indulgences. I eat my vegetables, my protein, my good fats, and I try to live an active lifestyle. Sooooo, when I decide I want to throw some chocolate chips on my oats? Not a big deal. I roll with it. Even if it’s two days in a row…

Oats, almond milk, roasted nuts, and a few chocolate chips. A happy start to my day.

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Workouts are, of course, an important part of the healthy lifestyle. However it’s important not to push too hard. During stressful weeks, intense workouts can put unnecessary stress on your body.

My workout yesterday was limited by another clumsy accident… I walked into the gym and went to hop on a treadmill. To my surprise… it was already on, at 6.3 mph. There was no one in sight, and I don’t know why it was on but… it left me pretty beat up. My right knee was skinned and my left knee got thrown into the edge of the treadmill, leaving me with some weird hole-esque wound. My arms got a little “treadmill-burn” as well, but I’m so thankful it wasn’t my face that hit the spinning band.

Today, my knee is pretty sore and a little swollen, but I got in a 45 minute Arc workout, and it actually felt good to stretch my knees out a little. It might be a few days before I attempt to run though…

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Move on, right? I rarely go a full week without injuring myself, so I’m pretty used to this kind of this now.

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Another key element of my balanced lifestyle? Heaps of colorful veggies keep me happy, and full of energy. I try to go for a big bowl of vegetables, some protein, and some fats. Balance!

Lettuce and mustard (not a full meal):

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“Falafel” Salad with chicken instead of falafel.

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Take-out salad from the dining hall-salads are my go-to option for the DH. There aren’t many healthy options, and this way I can stick to whole, unprocessed foods, that I know haven’t been covered in unhealthy seed oils or gluten-containing sauces. Salsa and hummus are great toppings + flavor adders.

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What are your best tips for a healthy lifestyle?

Behind Schedule//Settling In

Hey all! If you haven’t noticed, I’m running a bit behind schedule with the posts this week. Settling back in to a class/work/study schedule has been a little hectic. Not to mention catching up with friends! Busy busy , but so wonderful to be back and getting into the swing of the semester. Here are some highlights from Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday:

Workouts:

Wednesday– A quick 41 min workout on the Arc Trainer. I love this machine- easy on my body, but still allows me to challenge myself!

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^Since starting school, I’ve been getting shorter, more efficient workouts in– I walk a mile {one way} to class, so it adds a lot of activity to my day {in addition to running around campus all day long}.^

Thursday– on Thursday my workout was a little all over the place. I had about 30 minutes before a meeting with a professor, so I dropped my bags off and went for a 2 mile run outside. So refreshing! I often spend very little time outside during the school week, and it makes me sad. I have to take more advantage of my gorgeous campus.

Later on after dinner I ran 2 more miles on the treadmill {it had gotten dark + freezing outside} and then walked another 10 minutes on an incline for a good cool down.

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Friday– Friday was another jumbled workout. I wasn’t sure if I would have free time in the afternoon, so I between my first class and lunch/my second class, I  did a quick 15 minutes on the Elliptical, followed by a 15 minute circuit from the Nike Training Club App.

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After being in the lab all afternoon, I still had some time before I was meeting up with friends, so I hopped back on the Elliptical for 20 minutes, before walking the mile back to my apartment.

Eats:

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^Breakfast– oats, apple, greek yogurt. Delicious. And coffee…necessary.^

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^These are all salads, Dining Hall style. Usually it’s lettuce/spinach, lots of toppings, feta cheese, some sort of protein {beans or tofu–the meat is sketchy, and since I just started eating meat…I’m not that adventurous yet}. A couple of corn chips if I feel like it- but I try not to get them too often/too many because I’m not sure if they are 100% gluten free.^

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^Kind bar snacking. This flavor was amazing. Try it ASAP!^

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^Curry Soup, dining hall style^

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^Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup, from Trader Joe’s. It’s so good. I actually just had some for breakfast… veggies first thing in the morning? I have to keep this soup around..^

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^green peppers and hummus. Perfect snack. Did you know green peppers are full of potassium?^

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^A little dessert- rice chez, greek yogurt, and a bit of granola.^

Scenes:

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^waiting for my meeting on Thursday. I was checking to see if I was too sweaty/red from my run…^

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^On Wednesday afternoon, I went for a coffee date with a friend.  I had the most delicious cappuccino and 2 hours of great conversation. There is nothing in the world like chatting with a wonderful Christian friend about the ups and downs of our lives!^

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My new Fitbit!! I can’t wait to share the review with you guys.

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Last but not least. I took a Buzzfeed quiz last night and found out that I should actually be living in Barcelona! I was so so so happy to hear that- I love Spain and Barcelona is absolutely my favorite city I have ever visited in Europe. Guess I have a new life plan 😉

Questions of the day:

What city should you live in? Find out here!

What is going on with your weekend?!

 

Snow and Modge Podge.

Yesterday morning, we woke up to… 10 inches of snow! And it was still coming down. By 10 am it had stopped and we now have a solid 13 inches around our house. Snow is awesome, I love it. Especially the powdery kind like this. It’s light, fluffy, and oh so fun to play with. The part I don’t love…. the freezing temps. It’s been under 10 degrees since yesterday morning. Right now its finally a balmy 17! This little South Carolina girl hasn’t been in 17 degree weather since…. maybe my senior year of high school? This winter is coming for me… but I’ll be back in warm SC weather a week from now. I think I can last until then!

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^Breakfast- Greek Yogurt, Kind granola {it’s gluten free!}, and a banana hidden under there^

I was so happy to find out that Kind makes awesome gluten free granola. Since going {mostly} gluten free because of my Hashimoto’s, I have been missing my granola and yogurt bowls. I just love that crunch! Huge shout out to Kind for being an awesome, wholesome company!

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After getting some work done, I headed into our basement to plow through some circuits. I got the workouts from Sarah’s book, “Get Skinny Again”. I loved how simple the moves were, and the circuit style. They were formatted to be done at home and considering we were stuck inside, that was perfect. Also- irony. I watched Cupcake Wars while working out…

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Lunch was simple, some roasted butternut squash, goat cheese, mixed nuts, and balsamic on lettuce. Followed by some straight up romaine leaves dipped in hummus. Because, that salad was not as filling as I thought. I love crunch lettuce as a dipping device… less guilt that chips and let’s be real, all I really care about is maximum hummus leverage ;).

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Afternoon activities: crafting and hanging out with my mom. I am making collage letters for all my roommates and it is so fun! Luckily we already have a huge collection of already cut out magazine words/pictures {thanks Mom!}. Nothing better than crafting on a snowy day!

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^snacked on some blue corn chips {GF!} while cooking a spaghetti squash. Then followed it up with squash, hummus, chips, and guac. Veggie-filled and satisfying dinner.^IMG_3744

^A little later, I had a last snack of greek yogurt and trail mix. Just cashews, almonds and cranberries. I know dried cranberries aren’t the best {added sugar} but in the past I would always go for the most chocolate-laden trail mix and pretend it was healthy… so small changes! #Lean14^

After heading up to my room for the night {my mom fell asleep on the couch…all that crafting!} I did another 10 minutes of a circuit while watching Pretty Little Liars. I started earlier this fall and have slowly been catching up on Netflix. It gets crazier with every episode!

Questions of the day:

Any PLL fans out there?!

Is it cold/snowy in your neck of the woods? {if not– I’m jealous!}

surveyin’

I’ve seen this survey floating around and since I love questions/lists I thought I would join in!

1. What did you eat for breakfast?

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yum smoothie! Smoothies are the best- a base of almond milk and protein powder + any frozen fruit- a new creation every day!

2. How much water do you drink a day?

I try to drink 80+ oz per day- I love my Contigo water bottle! It has a top that is double secure so I can throw it in my bag on the go and not worry about spills. Keeps me drinking and hydrated all day.

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3. What is your current favorite workout?

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I’m loving at-home workouts right now! Getting things done on my time. The best is cardio in the morning and then I do weights/toning at night while watching tv! Makes it fly by.

4. How many calories do you eat a day?

Good question! I don’t really know but if I had to guess I would say 1500-1700 a day is probably the average. Instead of focusing on calories, I focus on eating clean- whole, unprocessed, real foods. That doesn’t mean I don’t have some treats- but I try to make that the exception and healthy eating the rule.

5. What are your favorite healthy snacks?

So many! How to choose?

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guac! plain simple and yummy!

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yogurt with nut butter

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hummus and veggies

6. What do you usually eat for lunch?

Lunch is usually a big salad that I can throw together easily- lots of veggies, some hummus or avocado, and some sort of protein like a veggie burger.

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this is a typical salad!

7. What is your favorite body part to strength train?

probably…my abs! I love to crunch it out!

8. What is your least favorite body part to strength train?

hm… mostly I enjoy everything but I’ll say arms for the sheer fact that they’re my weakest link.

9. What are your “bad” food cravings?

chocolate chocolate chocolate!!! It’s my weakness (but I don’t really mind!)

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10. Do you take vitamins or supplements?

I take a probiotic supplement!

11. How often do you eat out?

Hard to say…pretty infrequently! Mostly due to $$ consciousness and business. Probably once every 2 weeks.

12. Do you eat fast food?

Nope! Makes me feel gross, I don’t see any need for it!

13. Who is your biggest supporter?

My wonderful family!

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14. Do you have a gym membership?

Yes! I have a membership at our local university for the summer. It’s so close, which is great, because I can bike there as a convenient warmup/cool down!

15. How many hours of sleep do you get a night?

Too few…. probably 6 per night. I like to get 8 when I can, it makes me feel so awesome all day long!

16. Do you have a “cheat” day?

Not really. I have a moderation mentality. If I have the chance to have a delicious piece of cake or a special ice cream…I’m definitely not going to pass that up! By eating healthy most of the time I am able to balance with a few treats once in a while.

17. Do you have a workout buddy?

Yes! My amazing boyfriend Nathan is a fitness lover like me and we always have fun working out together. Hiking is especially great with him.

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18. What is the best thing that has changed about your life since committing to a healthy lifestyle?

The best thing is…feeling great.. I love my healthy lifestyle because I’m happy, energized, and feel like I focus more on the moments of life rather than poor eating or what people think of me.

19. What was the last healthy thing you did?

Worked out this morning! I love to get up and get my sweat on – after a little coffee of course!IMG_1148

What are your favorite healthy habits?

my review of Tone It Up!

I recently purchased the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan. As a fitness junkie, and a healthy eater, I am always interested in ways to improve my diet and my life. Before I bought the plan, I was a little unsure…so I’m going to share my thoughts with all of you and hopefully help you make a decision!

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First things first– I love the plan. It’s straightforward, simple, and provides you with all the tools you need to change your diet, and eat for a fat-burning, fast metabolism!

Things I love:

  • the plan provides over 100 recipes for you, which are really helpful when you’re first starting
  • a meal-by-meal guide is also included so you can create your own based on the template
  • the diet is not restrictive- you eat carbs, fats, proteins- everything! it’s based on ratios/times of day to eat different things
  • the Tone It Up Online Community is a great, supportive network of women who encourage and help each other through every day!
  • with the purchase, you get ALL updates to the plan, plus weekly emails from Karena and Katrina themselves to give you special recipes, tips, and encouragement

Things that I don’t love:

  • the $150 price tag… I know this seems like a lot and can be a turn off for people… but I promise it is really worth it!!!!
  • that’s it!

My experience with it…

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After I purchased the plan (on a Friday), I took a weekend to plan for the week ahead, and to accustom myself with the nutrition plan. On Monday morning, I began my TIU journey and it actually came a lot more easily than I expected! The first few days I was really hungry, but just upping my lean protein intake a bit, I was able to stick to the plan and be energized and satisfied! After only two weeks on the plan I feel like I have it down pat and the system is really great.

I would recommend this plan to people who need a big change in their lives, or people who are just looking for a challenge to tone up, or clean up their diets!

Feel free to email me (livi (.) tant (@) furman.edu) or to leave a comment below.

Do you love Tone It Up? What’s another fitness program you’re loving right now?