Tuesday, February 28, 2012

read up

I'm turning into a hippie...

an educated hippie though

Currently reading:
But it is really great!

Josh is currently reading Michael Pollan's latest title Food Rules

On our/my summer reading list:

I am sure it is racy, I know it is controversial. But I am intrigued. 

This book seems to have put Michael Pollan on the map. It is constantly recommended and on the top of my list. 

One night I got completely sucked into watching Jamie's "Food Revolution" tv show on youtube. It was so great and really started my craving for more of this information.

What other books and websites/blogs are good for offering up the story of food and best way to eat? 

:) amc

subtract the additives

Contrary to Dad's popular belief- #EatClean isn't just all of that organic mumbo jumbo. Right now what Josh and I focus most on when grocery shopping are additives. We aim to buy the majority {90% or more} of our foods in the outer aisles and prefer that these foods not be pre-packaged {anti-food}. Doing so helps greatly cut down on the amount of additives that we put into our bodies. 

FoodMatters released a great article last night that breaks down the additives that should be avoided

A typical American household spends about 90 percent of their food budget on processed foods, and are in doing so exposed to a plethora of artificial food additives, many of which can cause dire consequences to your health.

Some food additives are worse than others. Here’s a list of the top food additives to avoid:

1. Artificial Sweeteners

Aspartame, (E951) more popularly known as Nutrasweet and Equal, is found in foods labeled "diet" or "sugar free". Aspartame is believed to be carcinogenic and accounts for more reports of adverse reactions than all other foods and food additives combined. Aspartame is not your friend. Aspartame is a neurotoxin and carcinogen. Known to erode intelligence and affect short-term memory, the components of this toxic sweetener may lead to a wide variety of ailments including brain tumor, diseases like lymphoma, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue, emotional disorders like depression and anxiety attacks, dizziness, headaches, nausea, mental confusion, migraines and seizures. Acesulfame-K, a relatively new artificial sweetener found in baking goods, gum and gelatin, has not been thoroughly tested and has been linked to kidney tumors. Read more about the dangers of Aspartame here.

Found in: diet or sugar free sodas, diet coke, coke zero, jello (and over gelatins), desserts, sugar free gum, drink mixes, baking goods, table top sweeteners, cereal, breathmints, pudding, kool-aid, ice tea, chewable vitamins, toothpaste

2. High Fructose Corn Syrup

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a highly-refined artificial sweetener which has become the number one source of calories in America. It is found in almost all processed foods. HFCS packs on the pounds faster than any other ingredient, increases your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, and contributes to the development of diabetes and tissue damage, among other harmful effects.

Found in: most processed foods, breads, candy, flavored yogurts, salad dressings, canned vegetables, cereals

3. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG / E621)

MSG is an amino acid used as a flavor enhancer in soups, salad dressings, chips, frozen entrees, and many restaurant foods. MSG is known as an excitotoxin, a substance which overexcites cells to the point of damage or death. Studies show that regular consumption of MSG may result in adverse side effects which include depression, disorientation, eye damage, fatigue, headaches, and obesity. MSG effects the neurological pathways of the brain and disengaged the "I'm full" function which explains the effects of weight gain.

Found in: Chinese food (Chinese Restaurant Syndrome ) many snacks, chips, cookies, seasonings, most Campbell Soup products, frozen dinners, lunch meats

4. Trans Fat

Trans fat is used to enhance and extend the shelf life of food products and is among the most dangerous substances that you can consume. Found in deep-fried fast foods and certain processed foods made with margarine or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, trans fats are formed by a process called hydrogenation. Numerous studies show that trans fat increases LDL cholesterol levels while decreasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol, increases the risk of heart attacks, heart disease and strokes, and contributes to increased inflammation, diabetes and other health problems. Oils and fat are now forbidden on the Danish market if they contain trans fatty acids exceeding 2 per cent, a move that effectively bans partially hydrogenated oils.

Found in: margarine, chips and crackers, baked goods, fast foods

5. Common Food Dyes

Studies show that artificial colorings which are found in soda, fruit juices and salad dressings, may contribute to behavioral problems in children and lead to a significant reduction in IQ. Animal studies have linked other food colorings to cancer. Watch out for these ones:

Blue #1 and Blue #2 (E133)

Banned in Norway, Finland and France. May cause chromosomal damage

Found in: candy, cereal, soft drinks, sports drinks and pet foods

Red dye # 3 (also Red #40 – a more current dye) (E124)

Banned in 1990 after 8 years of debate from use in many foods and cosmetics. This dye continues to be on the market until supplies run out! Has been proven to cause thyroid cancer and chromosomal damage in laboratory animals, may also interfere with brain-nerve transmission

Found in: fruit cocktail, maraschino cherries, cherry pie mix, ice cream, candy, bakery products and more!

Yellow #6 (E110) and Yellow Tartrazine (E102)

Banned in Norway and Sweden. Increases the number of kidney and adrenal gland tumors in laboratory animals, may cause chromosomal damage.

Found in: American cheese, macaroni and cheese, candy and carbonated beverages, lemonade and more!

6. Sodium Sulfite (E221)

Preservative used in wine-making and other processed foods. According to the FDA, approximately one in 100 people is sensitive to sulfites in food. The majority of these individuals are asthmatic, suggesting a link between asthma and sulfites. Individuals who are sulfite sensitive may experience headaches, breathing problems, and rashes. In severe cases, sulfites can actually cause death by closing down the airway altogether, leading to cardiac arrest.

Found in: Wine and dried fruit 

7. Sodium Nitrate/Sodium Nitrite

Sodium nitrate (or sodium nitrite) is used as a preservative, coloring and flavoring in bacon, ham, hot dogs, luncheon meats, corned beef, smoked fish and other processed meats. This ingredient, which sounds harmless, is actually highly carcinogenic once it enters the human digestive system. There, it forms a variety of nitrosamine compounds that enter the bloodstream and wreak havoc with a number of internal organs: the liver and pancreas in particular. Sodium nitrite is widely regarded as a toxic ingredient, and the USDA actually tried to ban this additive in the 1970's but was vetoed by food manufacturers who complained they had no alternative for preserving packaged meat products. Why does the industry still use it? Simple: this chemical just happens to turn meats bright red. It's actually a color fixer, and it makes old, dead meats appear fresh and vibrant.

Found in: hotdogs, bacon, ham, luncheon meat, cured meats, corned beef, smoked fish or any other type of processed meat 

8. BHA and BHT (E320)

Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydrozyttoluene (BHT) are preservatives found in cereals, chewing gum, potato chips, and vegetable oils. This common preservative keeps foods from changing color, changing flavor or becoming rancid. Effects the neurological system of the brain, alters behavior and has potential to cause cancer. BHA and BHT are oxidants which form cancer-causing reactive compounds in your body.

Found in: Potato chips, gum, cereal, frozen sausages, enriched rice, lard, shortening, candy, jello

9. Sulfur Dioxide (E220)

Sulfur additives are toxic and in the United States of America, the Federal Drugs Administration have prohibited their use on raw fruit and vegetables. Adverse reactions include: bronchial problems particularly in those prone to asthma, hypotension (low blood pressure), flushing tingling sensations or anaphylactic shock. It also destroys vitamins B1 and E. Not recommended for consumption by children. The International Labour Organization says to avoid E220 if you suffer from conjunctivitis, bronchitis, emphysema, bronchial asthma, or cardiovascular disease.

Found in: beer, soft drinks, dried fruit, juices, cordials, wine, vinegar, and potato products.

10. Potassium Bromate

An additive used to increase volume in some white flour, breads, and rolls, potassium bromate is known to cause cancer in animals. Even small amounts in bread can create problems for humans. 

Found in: breads

education is power 
:) amc

Monday, February 27, 2012

michelle motivation

"And the truth is that you can get out of shape so much faster than you get in shape, and that's really frustrating. 

We talk about this all the time with our trainer. You take a couple of days off and it's just like, that's just not right.

 So that tends to be my motivation. It's like, I can't go backwards and I know if I get off the wagon it's just too hard to get back on.

So we've got to give ourselves six weeks, don't look at the scale, don't try on anything, don't look for a change. 

Just wake up every morning, write down what you eat, try your best. 

When you fail, brush it off; get up the next day, do it again one day at a time."

-Michelle Obama 

the celeb life

I was bad this weekend...burger, drinks, chips & salsa, tater tots....eek. 
But it's a new week which gives me a refreshed opportunity to have a successful healthy week.

Awards season tends to help with the motivation as well. Each Sunday skinny mini little fit and fashionable stars flash across the red carpet...and I am inspired!

Oh to have the lifestyle & food budget of a celebrity...trainer, chef, gyms, classes, etc. They have it made. {kinda...}

Those arms! 
{Kelly Rippa}

Toned thighs
{Ashley Olsen}

Those are some legs! 
{Carrie Underwood}

Tight & Toned
{Elisabeth Hasselbeck}

The abs
{Jennifer Aniston}

Even though their lifestyles are unrealistic. They still are real women and proud of the strong bodies they have. You just can't hate that. I am encouraged! 

I realize this was a strange and kind of creepy post. But it's Monday and I am feeling unhealthy. Forgive me :) 

:) amc 

the weekend via instagram

Instagram makes me think that I lead a pretty cool life...

Friday night date night w a bottle of Josh! 

Saturday morning cuddle session w Mr Mason

Sweetwater Brewery on sunny Saturday

a veggie filled breakfast casserole to recover Sunday morning :)

my boys

my girls at Tin Lizzys for Sunday Funday

Happy 25th to Kelley and Emily! 

How hilarious is this car we saw on Sunday? Love it! :) 

Hope you had a great weekend! 
Buckle up for the week....
:) amc

Friday, February 24, 2012

stripe on

Went on a mini shopping trip with the girls today at lunch and it really hit me how predictable I am. Stripes. Navy. White. Solid colors. Bright colors. Stripes. Stripes. Stripes. Predictable. 

And I love it :) 

Things "Predictable-Amanda" would buy

and I would pair this with a white tee and jeans. really shaking it up :)

Just purchased these 2 spring/summer scarves. Find something you like- buy it in every color. 

silky & stripey

precious polka dots. to me- they live in the stripe family
{victorias secret}

Now we will begin the home portion of this obsession:

{west elm}

stop it! i want this so bad! 
{west elm}

pretty sure there isn't one stripey thing at west elm that i don't adore
{west elm}

so....i searched "stripe" on the West Elm website. and my theory was correct. i adore it all

stripe on
:) amc

Thursday, February 23, 2012

giving up & adding in

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Everyone seems to be discussing what they are "giving up" for Lent. Last night on Facebook, I saw a post that encouraged me to develop a new positive habit instead of giving something up. 

I like both :)

Much like I am semi-documenting my #EatClean and workout journey; I figured if I typed this out I would feel more...held to it. 

Giving Up: My nightly glass of red wine. I love to enjoy a full glass of red wine each {almost each} evening while I cook. But it is really useless calories that I take in and...my workouts have been a great stress reliever to end the day. So...goodbye glass of red wine. I will appreciate you more on the weekends anyways. 

New Positive Habit: Reading a book in the evening. Yup. A book. Do we even know what those are anymore? I love to read- mostly girly senseless novels, but last week I picked up a Michael Pollan book--"In Defense of Food." 
I started reading it last night in the living room and then the strangest thing happened: I enjoying reading this actual book with actual pages so much that I turned off Khloe & Lamar the intelligent TV show I was watching and focused just on reading. The silence was golden and I loved the feeling of getting so into a book. So- it's my new positive habit. I will be doing more reading of actual books. In the evening. In silence. 

While we are kind of on the subject...

If you are interested in learning more about the Western diet throughout the decades and how it can affects your health & waistline- this is a great book. It provides an eye-opening perspective on the food and nutrition industry and you will quickly be able to relate it to your own food and shopping experiences. 
"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

:) amc

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

workout wear

They say putting on your shoes is half the battle. I say the whole dang outfit is half the battle. 
Workout clothes are tricky. Can't be too tight, too loose, too bright, too boring, too expensive, too cheap. It's a hard shopping world to navigate. 

These are some of my favorites: 

I get mine at TJ Maxx or Marshalls for no more than $20 each. They come in fun colors and are reversible. Great fit and I like the look. 

Pretty sure I have this in every color. Since...well...I really don't need much support {sad face} these suckers are great! Stretchy, crazy comfortable, inexpensive and fun colors! 

I don't know about you, but I am in the gym for a reason. To get rid of my belly buldge, not to show it off. Tanks like this are few and far between. 

Men's or Boy's White Crew Neck Undershirts
Yup. The best workout tee. Thin, lightweight and cheaper than cheap. Stock up, you won't be sorry. 

Workout Tights
I am not specific to a brand- Target, Gap, TJ Maxx and Marshalls always seem to have a great selection. For outdoor workouts- these are a must. Bonus, they are incredibly comfortable- you'll be grabbing for these instead of sweatpants for weekend errands. 

Does everyone and their mother have these? Yes. And there is a reason why. Hello, ease of mobility, coverage and stylish color combos. 

Compression Capris
Another must-have. I am not brand particular here either- just try them on in the store to be sure you buy the right size. Oh- and make sure those suckers can breathe! Good fabric for workout clothes is important

Much like my closet- my workout clothes collection will never be complete. Here is what I am loving right now/sale stalking:

I need a jacket so I can layer for outside workouts- the one I use now is just gross. 

How cute does Stacey Keibler look rocking the GapFit line? 

Tanks that allow me to be confident and move around are a must-have for Spring/Summer. 
Lululemon has an amazing selection. Save your pennies...

What are your workout wear essentials? 

:) amc

it never gets easier, you just get better.

It never gets easier, you just get better. 

Last night Josh & I did some cardio in the gym; afterwards on our walk back he told me that he looked over at me a couple of times and said he was impressed and that I looked like I was doing really well! 

Being the girl that I am I pushed for more adjectives. :) 
All in all, I was proud that someone else noticed my progress! I am really enjoying working out and eating clean comes naturally for me now. 

I cannot recommend this "lifestyle" enough- please check out Tone It Up, Oxygen Magazine {don't be scared...) and The Eat-Clean Diet and try it out for yourself. :) 

:) amc

p.s. did you know that Under Armour and Nike both have great online clearance/outlet sites? If only Lululemon did... :(