So, It’s Salad For You, I Guess?

I love my job! But like most clean eaters, work functions are not catered to my dietary preferences. That’s ok. While I think it would be best for everyone to eliminate processed foods and chemical additives from their diets, I understand that not everyone believes like me, and I’ve said before, I will not be the food police. Today, my job thanked the management  staff with lunch at Golden Corral.

Even before gravitating to a clean eating lifestyle I was not crazy about the GC.  But, what I am crazy about is that my job appreciates me…and appreciates me enough to say thank you for my hard work by buying me lunch. Not to sound too corny, but in today’s times, just having a good job is awesome, and having a good job where the company wants to do nice things for the employees sometimes is really awesome. And I’m not going to let my preferences stop me from being appreciative of this appreciation.

But…I’m also not going to throw my dietary values out of the window either. I was telling my best buddy about the upcoming meal and the response I got was a laugh and “So, It’s salad for you, I guess?”  Pretty much. But wait? The GC has veggies right? Yes, but to be honest, I don’t trust the likelihood of those green beans having not been treated with a preservative before going into a can, and the good looking broccoli was probably seasoned with a special spice blend that I doubt they would be willing to reveal to me. I did have a salad (with oil and vinegar), and fresh fruit. There were likely preservatives on some of the salad items as well (some places will treat lettuce to keep it fresh longer), but that’s the best choices I could make. Sometimes you are going to have to make the best choices you can make.

Remember that idea that this takes some work? Well, I put a little work into this morning and planned for a light lunch. I had a BIG smoothie for breakfast that I knew would keep me fuller. Then I packed this little goody bag up to take with me today.

Homemade Mixed Berry Muffin, Homemade Granola Bar, Trail Mix thrown together at the last second this morning, Clif Crunch Bar. There was a bottle of water too.

I ended up only eating the granola bar and most of the trail mix. I also keep 1 scoop of the Garden of Life Protein Powder in my office for a snack, so I could have mixed that up if I needed to. (Note: The Clif Bar is not at all a clean food. It’s an indulgence that is mostly organic and I got on a killer sale. Clif bars hold a special place in my heart after I lived on them pretty exclusively while dealing with a non-healing ulcer a while back.)

Eating clean doesn’t have to mean the end of eating with other people. It certainly doesn’t have to mean the end of your manners to be thankful for the opportunities to be appreciated like I had today. It does mean a little more planning and a little more carefulness in the execution. A good time was had by all and I was once again reminded that I am making the right choice to live a healthy lifestyle and eat clean. Once again, it’s all in the positive attitude.

I’m proud that I didn’t let this throw me off track. In the past, something like this would have been a temptation on a diet, too much opportunity to “cheat.” That’s how I know I really have changed my lifestyle. I can go and enjoy an event with other people, at a buffet, and not feel pressured to eat foods I shouldn’t. This isn’t a diet. It’s a life. My life. And I am finally in control of it.

 

Home Grown Power Bars and a Challenge Circuit Work Out

I found this recipe on Pinterest and have been dying to try it. I had an epic fail at homemade granola bars once before, so I was a little nervous about it admittedly. The texture is perfect and the ingredients are all minimally processed. If you choose coconut or olive oil over the icky generic “vegetable oil”  the only thing of any question is the brown sugar and the dried fruit. I did use Craisins in mine which have added sugar, and they are a little on the sweet side. You might could sub maple syrup for the brown sugar if you wanted, but I’m not enough of a cook for all that. The variations on this are endless. The next time I make these, I think I’d like to try more nuts and less fruit. They are incredible! The recipe calls them “Power Bars” but I would call them more like granola bars, nothing like the shoe leather I think of when I think of commercial energy bars.

Apologizes for the iPhone pic. I guess if I’m really going to do a blog I need to find my real camera.

Ingredients
1 cup quick cooking rolled oats
½ cup whole wheat flour (I used whole white wheat)
½ cup Grape Nuts cereal
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 beaten egg
¼ cup applesauce
¼ cup honey
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
¼ cup unsalted sunflower seeds
¼ cup chopped walnuts
7oz chopped dried mixed fruit (I used craisins and raisins)

Directions
Preheat to 325
Line a 9 inch square baking dish with foil and grease foil. In a large bowl stir together the oats, flour, cereal, and cinnamon. Add the egg, honey, brown sugar, and oil. Mix well. Stir in the seeds, nuts, and fruit. Spread evenly in the pan and bake for 30 minutes or until firm and lightly brown around the edges. Let cool. Use the foil to lift from the pan and cut into bars or squares. Store in the fridge.

Source: http://trickschefs.com/showthread.php?tid=855

I’ve also been checking out new exercise ideas on Pinterest a lot recently (Pinterest is to me what peanut butter is to my dog apparently. No matter what else I have to do I seem mesmerized by the power of all the pretty links…). So I set up a challenging circuit for myself today using some of the exercises I found plus some from the Nike Training Club app. Before I go further, let me give this app a GLOWING RECOMMENDATION. It’s got a ton of variety of workouts that can be done both at home or at the gym, for all levels (you may need to take them at your own pace sometimes), and with a variety of time commitments. It’s got all cardio workouts, it’s got more strength based workouts, its got circuits. It lets you use your work out play list, and the trainers voice just pipes in with the exercise to do at the appropriate interval. It times the drills for you. And best of all…it’s FREE! Can’t beat that with a stick as my momma says. Seriously. Try it. It will make you sweat.

This morning’s work out looked like this:

Rolling Plank with Stability Ball
Leg Lifts
Decline Push Ups
Slow Motion Moutain Climbers
Box Step
Hop Scotch to Arm Curl
Inner Thigh Machine
Donkey Kicks on Machine

The stability ball plank wasn’t that hard…until you add the rolling into. All you have to do is roll the ball out a few inches and back in. Simple enough right? Whoa. That’s one to keep on the “challenging” list for sure. I did better with the decline push ups than I thought I would. I am so proud to be able to say I can do real push ups on my toes. The box step is a cardio burst for 1 minute. The Hop Scotch to Arm Curl is sort of like a jump squat with arm curl, but add a box into it. Jump up, arm curl, down into a squat, and immediately back. That was rough on the knees, but doable. The last 2 are areas that I’ve just been neglecting lately, and it is swimsuit season 😉 Repeat 3x through and it was a challenge for sure.