Raw Food is Clean Eating

Raw Food is Clean Eating



You may heard of the new raw food diet trend that celebrities like Katy Perry and Gwyneth Paltrow are on and are curious on what it means or how it is good for the body. The raw food diet, or clean eating is a fairly simple concept; instead of obsessing over ingesting less or more of particular things (like fewer calories or more protein) you are more aware of the origin of the food that goes on your plate. Cleaning eating is about consuming whole foods, or “real” foods which are “un” or minimally processed, refined, and handled making them as close to natural as you possible. The production of modern food has become so complicated that simply eating whole foods can be a challenge.

Let’s start by defining processed foods:

> Additives of any kind – like salt, sugar, fat to aid flavor and mouthfeel, preservatives that keep food from spoiling too quickly, and vitamins enriching everything from beverages to breakfast cereal.
> Changing the form of the natural food – removing the bran and germ from whole grains to create refined bread, mashing apples into applesauce, or stir-frying veggies.
> Foods with parts manufactured in a lab.

You probably just realized that processed foods are everywhere from the oatmeal you consume in the morning to the hotdog you grab on your lunch break from that food vendor. And yes, changing the form of natural food includes cooking as well, so even your steamed broccoli is technically processed.

That being the case, why is processing food bad?

It’s not. Or rather, not categorically. Most time processing removes toxins or bacteria; allowing off-season foods to be consume due to freezing or canning. It also includes altering the consistency or taste of food. Yes, that post-workout spiced banana-almond smoothie is processed, even when you add kale and spinach to it. Though pasteurized milk, kale smoothies, and instant oatmeal are process they are not on the same level as honey buns and soda.

Process food is apart of modern diet, but the key is to stay away ‘ultra-processed’; anything food-like product or ready-to-heat.

The problem with ultra-processed foods are they are typical genetically modified organisms (GMOs)

GMOs are linked to cancer and infertility because ultra-processed foods are stripped of nutrients needed for overall health. Heavily modified foods are linked to a list of health problems because they tend to have additive that overstimulate the dopamine (pleasure neurotransmitter) produced in your brain causing a vicious cycle of craving junk food. The danger is that ultra-processed foods are marketed in a way that makes it seem good for you  (less sodium! no trans fats! vitamin-enriched!) but are more damaging to your health.

Eat Clean

> Unprocessed foods:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Dried legumes
  • Nuts
  • Farm-fresh eggs

> Minimally processed foods:

  • Unrefined grains: whole wheat bread, pasta, popcorn, steel-cut oatmeal, quinoa, and brown rice
  • Frozen fruits and vegetables
  • Unprocessed meat; wild over pastured, pastured over grain-fed
  • Hormone-free dairy
  • Oils

Why Eat Clean

Plant-based diets are healthy and can curb or prevent certain life-threatening conditions and diseases like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure. Diets high in fruits and vegetables are linked to healthy weight management and glowing skin and hair.

Shop Clean

Stick to the perimeter of your grocery store, processed food lurks in the aisles in between. When you are approaching those aisle ask yourself critical questions like: Where did this food or its ingredients come from? How much has it been processed or handled?

The ingredient label should be short, and all ingredients should be recognizable. Scan for easy-to-avoid additives like artificial coloring and flavors. Eating clean (raw) doesn’t mean you need to eat everything straight from the ground; just choose minimally processed foods.


Food Affair

Food Affair

It seems that many of us have a love-hate relationship with food; can’t live with it, can’t without it, right? Sometimes we are complete control and oarticle-2021454-0D4493AC00000578-323_468x313ther times, well, we indulge in unhealthy behaviors for temporary satisfaction, then the guilt sets in.

If your personal goal is unique weight loss you must call a truce with food. How? Getting acquainted with Hunger.

There is a difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger, and understanding that will help you obtain your goal. Like most habits, acceptance is the first step; acceptance of your hunger and taking action based on your awareness will change your perception of food and eating habits. This acknowledgement will positively aid you in your long term affair with food, offering a unique weight loss solution.

Emotional Hunger VS Physical Hunger:

Hunger that is stimulated by sensory is emotional hunger. To indulge in this hunger is reactive eating and normally, you are dealing with cravings not nutrition. Emotional hunger leads to eating food for comfort, calm, to excite, pleasure or reward.

However, physical hunger meets a physiological need which begins in the stomach with an empty, hollow, often painful feeling. If you neglect this hunger, you may feel irritated, tired, or even dizzy.

Very few of us eat for purely physical reasons and emotional ones come from added external pressure or stress. Living in a society where billions are spent to target our senses to consume has created a society that eats main for pleasure. Whether it’s the cliché depressed woman inhaling a carton of ice cream or advertisement of all-you-can-eat buffets enticing you to gorge; the media can be your worse enemy.

*Tip: start a food journal and write down when you are hungry and why. You will begin to differentiate between physical and emotional hunger which will allow you to make better decision when it comes to your relationship with food*


Take Control The Relationship:

So, how do you take control back in your relationship with food? Learn what your emotional foods and triggers are. If you can understand your temptations that prompt you to reactively eat, you will become aware of your eating patterns. Remember, knowledge is power! Now, you can begin to change your eating habits and work toward eating for physical reasons instead of emotional ones.

Having a healthy relationship with food IS possible. Here are five steps to help you achieve your healthy relationship with food:

  1. Believe that you can have a healthy relationship with food.
  2. Start a food journal and write for 10 minutes daily. Also, keep in touch with your emotions, write about your day and how you feel.
  3. Differentiate between emotional and physical hunger.
  4. After every meal and snack, jot down whether you ate it out of emotional or physical hunger. You’ll get in touch with your physical needs and emotional cravings.
  5. For every meal and snack, use a scale of zero to 10 to measure how hungry you are. Zero is not hungry and 10 is famished. Concentrate on eating when you feel between six and eight on the hunger scale.

By adding these steps, you’re already on the path to mending your broken relationship with food. This is a unique weight loss solution and gives you complete control of your food affair.


Battle That Belly Fat

Battle That Belly Fat

Here are some delicious and nutritions treats to help you with your journey on your unique weight loss.

Spiced Banana-Almond Smoothie



1 ripe banana

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 tablespoon almond butter

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 tablespoon honey

2 ice cubes


Combine all the ingredients in a blender and purée until smooth


Yield: 1 serving (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)




Honey Grapefruit with Banana




1 (24-ounce) jar refrigerated red grapefruit sections (about 2 cups)

1 cup sliced banana (about 1)

1 tablespoon fresh chopped mint

1 tablespoon honey




Pan-Grilled Salmon with Pineapple Salsa



1 cup chopped fresh pineapple

2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

Cooking spray

4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets (about 1/2-inch thick)

1/2 teaspoon salt


Combine first 5 ingredients (through pepper) in a bowl; set aside.

Heat a nonstick grill pan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Sprinkle fish with salt. Cook fish 4 minutes on each side or until it flakes easily when tested with a fork. Top with salsa.


Yield: serves 4 (serving size: 1 fillet and 1/3 cup salsa)


Salmon Noodle Bowl



4 ounces soba buckwheat noodles or whole-wheat spaghetti

5 ounces asparagus, cut in thirds

Cooking spray

1 (6-oz) salmon fillet, skin off, cut into 8 pieces

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

Zest and juice of 1-2 limes (3 TBSP juice)

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh pepper

4 ounces cucumber, skin on, cut into medium pieces

1/2 small avocado, cut into bite-size pieces


Cook the noodles in boiling water until soft (about 6 minutes for soba, 8 for spaghetti). Transfer with tongs to a strainer. Add asparagus to same boiling water. Cook until al dente (about 2 minutes); rinse under cold water.

Heat a grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Coat lightly with cooking spray. Cook the salmon until cooked through, turning pieces (about 2-3 minutes per side). Reserve.

Make the vinaigrette: Whisk together sesame oil, lime zest and juice, and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Combine the noodles, asparagus, and vinaigrette in a medium serving bowl.

Add the cucumber and avocado; toss to coat. Just before serving, add salmon. Serve warm or at room temperature, or make up to 4 hours ahead and keep refrigerated in an airtight container.


Prep Time:

Yield: Makes 2 servings (serving size: 2 1/4 cups)



Dark Chocolate & Oat Clusters




2 tablespoons peanut butter

2 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk

1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats


Heat peanut butter, milk, and chocolate chips in a saucepan over low heat 3 minutes or until chips melt.

Stir in oats. Remove from heat.

With a spoon, small ice cream scoop, or melon baller, drop 8 ball-shaped portions on a wax paper−lined baking sheet. Let set in fridge 10 minutes.


Prep Time:

Yield: 4 servings

Say NO to Added Sugar

Say NO to Added Sugar


Added sugar is the single worst ingredient in the modern diet. Here are 9 reasons why you should say NO to added sugar:

1. No Essential Nutrients and is Bad For Your Teeth

Added sugars (like sucrose and high fructose corn syrup) contain a whole bunch of calories with NO essential nutrient, also known as “empty” calories. There are no proteins, essential fats, vitamins or minerals in sugar, just pure energy. When people eat to 10-20% of calories as sugar  this becomes a major problem and contributes to nutrient deficiencies. Sugar is bad for the teeth because it provides easily digestible energy for the bad bacteria in the mouth which can lead to tooth decay.

2. Will Overload Your Liver

Sugar enters the bloodstream from the digestive tract, it is broken down into two simple sugars: glucose and fructose. Glucose is found in every living cell on the planet. If we don’t get it from the diet, our bodies produce it. Fructose, on the other hand, is not produce in our bodies nor is there physiological need for it. Fructose can only be metabolized by the liver. Consumed in small amounts doesn’t do harm – the fructose is turned into glycogen which is stored in the liver. The harm comes when the liver is full of glycogen forcing the fructose to turn into fat. If you have a western diet of high-carb and high-calorie intake it can lead to fatty liver and serious health problems.


3. Causes Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

A growing problem in Western countries is associated with metabolic disease. When fructose get turned into fat in the liver, it is shipped out as VLDL cholesterol particles. However, some of it can lodge in the liver which can lead to Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD).


4. Insulin Resistance

Insulin is a very important hormone in the body. It allows glucose (blood sugar) to enter cells from the bloodstream and tells the cells to start burning glucose instead of fat. Having too much glucose in the blood is toxic and one of the reasons for complications of diabetes. The cells become “resistant” to it,  also known as insulin resistance, which is believed to be a leading driver of many diseases including metabolic syndrome, obesity, cardiovascular disease and especially type II diabetes.


5.Can Give You Cancer

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and is characterized by uncontrolled growth and multiplication of cells. Insulin is one of the key hormones in regulating this sort of growth. For this reason, many scientists believe that having constantly elevated insulin levels – constant sugar consumption- can contribute to cancer and metabolic problems (another potential cause of cancer). Studies show that people who eat a lot of sugar are at a much higher risk of getting cancer.


6. Can Cause Fat-Promoting Effects

Studies show that fructose doesn’t have the same kind of effect on satiety as glucose. In one study, people drank either a fructose-sweetened drink or a glucose-sweetened drink. Afterwards, the fructose drinkers had much less activity in the satiety centers of the brain and felt hungrier. There is also a study where fructose didn’t lower the hunger hormone ghrelin nearly as much as glucose did. Over time, because the calories from sugar aren’t as fulfilling, this can translate into an increased caloric intake.


7. Dependency

Sugar can be addictive for a lot of people. Like abusive drugs, sugar causes a release of dopamine in the reward center of the brain. The problem with sugar and many junk foods is that they can cause massive dopamine release… much more than we were ever exposed to from foods found in nature. For this reason, people who have a susceptibility to addiction can become strongly addicted to sugar and other junk foods.


8. Leading Contributor to Obesity

The way sugar affects hormones and the brain is a recipe for fat gain disaster. It can get people addicted so that they lose control over their consumption. People who consume the most sugar are by far the most likely to become overweight or obese. Many studies have examined the link between sugar consumption and obesity and found a strong statistical association. The link is especially strong in children, where each daily serving of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with a whopping 60% increased risk of obesity. One of the most important things you can do if you need to lose weight is to significantly cut back on sugar consumption.

9. Raises Your Cholesterol and Gives You Heart Disease

New studies are showing that sugar, NOT fat, may be one of the leading drivers of heart disease via the harmful effects of fructose on metabolism. Large amounts of fructose can raise triglycerides, small, dense LDL and oxidized LDL, raise blood glucose and insulin levels and increase abdominal obesity in as little as 10 weeks. These are all major risk factors for heart disease. Not surprisingly, many observational studies find a strong statistical association between sugar consumption and the risk of heart disease.


Travelling Woes

Travelling Woes



Let’s face it, you are a nomadic soul

or your job is pretty demanding, either way traveling can’t be avoided. Spring break is in the air and summer is right around the corner, for most of us traveling results in us putting on weight instead of losing it. Why is traveling

counter productive in weight loss efforts? The reasons are:

  • We eat more than normal when traveling
  • We are less active
  • We dine out at restaurants more than usual
  • We make a few too many toast – drink more
  • We consume more take out or fast food
  • We prefer taste over health

If you want to maintain your weight or weight loss regimen, you must maintain normal activities and diets as much as possible while you travel. Of course this is easier said than done. If we are traveling on business, most meals are on the go or dining with coworkers or clients; when traveling for pleasure we are looking to relax and indulge our senses. Regardless if business or pleasure, the weight loss pitfalls start at the airport upon departure and don’t end until we are back in baggage claim heading home.

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Here are some tips to keep our weight in check while traveling:

  • Walk whenever and wherever possible
  • Always carry water and drink often to keep well hydrated and feeling full
  • Visit a gym with reciprocal arrangements with your fitness club or pay for a casual workout (about $15)
  • Book at hotel with a pool and gym – use them
  • Exercise before breakfast and get it out of the way
  • Pack a skipping rope (ten minutes of skipping is great exercise)
  • When eating in a restaurant, order a side plate of veggies
  • Follow your normal routine as closely as possible but allow yourself to have fun
  • Try to avoid quick-fix airport meals
  • Don’t drink too much alcohol on the flights; full of empty calories plus alcohol dehydrates our bodies even more than normal while flying
  • Avoid too many buffets
  • Watch portion sizes carefully – especially in restaurants
  • Decide what you will eat throughout the day
  • Let others know how important your exercise program is to you
  • Make the supermarket your first stop after checking into your hotel room


The hardest thing to do is maintain our current  weight and throwing traveling into mix can be disastrous – follow these simple tricks to maintain that summer body.