Happy New Year!!!
I have loved seeing all of the new goals that people have set for themselves with the holidays behind us and a new year ahead of us. I have seen and heard a ton of cynical views on new years "resolutions" (which are really just new goals we set, no?) and I think it is totally unfair because on the flip side, I've noticed a lot of people who have set new year's goals and taken action towards accomplishing them. All of the blog posts and Facebook statuses that I have been reading stating new years' goals have been inspiring and motivating to me, and I am excited to set some goals of my own. To keep from becoming overwhelmed, and to make sure my goals are attainable, I wrote down three goals for January that play into my goals for the year. Breaking big goals down into smaller, more attainable goals is a realistic approach that I highly recommend.
My goals for January are:
1. Eat 90% clean all month - Not only does eating clean help you stay (or get) lean, but it keeps you healthy and fit too. I had no focus with my eating this past month - I ate lots of indulgent treats and foods at dinners, parties, and other holiday gatherings. Both my health and waistline have suffered for this. Healthwise, I am the sickest I have been in a very long time right now and I strongly believe that this is a testament to how a poor diet contributes to poor health. When I eat clean, I literally NEVER get cough/colds like I have right now. Eating clean provides my body with nutrient rich foods that boost my immune system and keep me healthy. In terms of my waistline, I have gained about 3 pounds this month, on top of about 2 that I had gained in November. I know that does not seem like much, but look at the pace at which I gained and it actually is kind of scary. Think about it - if I continue eating like this all year, I would gain about 36 lbs in 2013. No thanks!!!
2. Drink no more than 2 alcoholic beverages/week - Alcohol not only adds calories, but also impedes my judgement when it comes to eating and decreases my body's ability to burn fat while I am working out. Therefore, I am limiting my intake. I originally was going to set this to no alcohol but I think that is unrealistic if I am being honest with myself ;)
3. Lose 5 pounds - I want to fit into all of my jeans again and be able to wear all of the clothes hanging in my closet and right now, that just isn't possible. I gained 5 lbs in such a short period of time that I am very confident in my ability to take it right back off. My plan is to watch my portions the way I do when I prepare for a show, and workout 6x/week (5 days of strength training & cardio, 1 day of functional only).
To help kick start my clean eating habits, I pulled out a Christmas gift that I received two years ago from my mom, The Eat Clean Diet Cookbook.
I absolutely love this cookbook because there is a ton of variety and pictures of all of the recipes throughout the book. For me, even just flipping through the pages and seeing all of the delicious, clean recipes helps motivate me to want to eat clean. Sometimes I think I forget about the variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, nuts, etc. that are a part of a clean eating diet! A lot of these recipes are very simple to make and/or can be easily modified based on what ingredients you have on hand.
On New Year's day, after a long trek home from New Hampshire, lots of unpacking, recovery, and cleaning, I was more than ready to make a fresh, delicious, healthy meal. After going back and forth on a bunch of the options, Keith and I decided on Pad Thai - Clean Eating Style. The final version did not quite resemble the picture in the cookbook since I made a few modifications, but it was good enough to make again.
Recipe: Pad Thai - Clean Eating Style (with my mods)
Grab these ingredients:
8oz rice noodles
1tbsp Sesame Oil
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 cups cabbage, shredded
1 carrot, peeled and sliced into thin strips
1.5 cups egg whites (I use liquid egg whites)
1 can Bean Sprouts
1 cup green onions, chopped
3 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
1/4 cup tomato past
2 Tbsp reserved noodle water
2 Tbsp unsulfured molasses
2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce (note: can use tamari to make this gluten free!)
Get to work:
1. Cover rice noodles with boiling water in a ceramic bowl. Let stand for 20 minutes. Drain, reserving 2 TBSP of noodle water (put it in the bowl you are going to use to mix the sauce together).
2. In a small bowl, whisk together all sauce ingredients.
3. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Stir in garlic, cabbage, and carrot. Stir-fry for 5 minutes. Make well in the middle of the pan and scramble the egg whites. Add noodles and sauce and cook for 5 minutes. Add bean sprouts and green onions and cook a little longer to and heat through.
4. Remove from heat and serve. Enjoy!