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Posts tagged “Choosing Raw

{Guest Post} Food & The Daily Battle

Welcome to Part II of the Women’s Health series here on Moi Contre La Vie. Today we’re going to hear more from Megan of Kaia F.I.T. Sacramento on the daily struggle to eat well. If you’re new to this series be sure to check out Megan’s bio {Guest Post: Women’s Health} and her previous post – Fashion of the Fitness World.

Part 2: Food… The Daily Battle

I love ice cream, especially cookies & cream. I love cheeseburgers and extra crispy french fries. I can put down a serious amount of pizza. I love crafty cocktails and champagne. I worked in fine dining restaurants for 10 years and was privileged to indulge in some amazing dishes and glasses of wine…

But now I work in the fitness industry. And I constantly try to balance my view of food… Fuel or Delicious Goodness? My answer is both.

The majority of the time, on the day-to-day, food is fuel. Looking at it that way leads me to eating cleaner, leaner, and healthier. I view myself like a machine and if I want to run properly, perform well in my workouts, and feel energetic all day, I need to provide myself with the best fuel available.

I personally feel the best when I eat multiple times throughout the day, always beginning with breakfast. I feel great when I eat lean meat and eggs, lots of veggies and greens, and fresh fruit. I like nuts and trail mix for snacks and dried fruit for dessert. Avoiding the starchy carbs, dairy, and sugar is essential to feeling good.

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However, coming from the restaurant industry, I love nothing more than a nice dinner out. I appreciate a perfectly cooked noodle and a salty piece of pork belly. And I absolutely love home-made ice cream and cookies at my mom’s house. These are the good things in life.

So, how do I balance it? When do I decide to devour a sandwich and when do I stick to a salad full of veggies? I practice MODERATION. I try to stick to healthy ‘fuel’ most of the time. When I treat myself to ‘carbs’ and sugar, I view it just that way… As a TREAT. I think it’s better that way anyway. I feel like crap when I eat sugar and bread days in a row and I stop appreciating it.

Everyone has to make their choices, each and every day. But awareness is where it all begins. If you never go without bread, dairy, sugar, alcohol, etc., how will you ever know how you feel without it?

Our go-to detox at Kaia FIT is 7 days without the following:

  • All starchy ‘carbs’ (bread, tortillas, rice, potatoes, etc.)
  • Sugar over 9g per serving (besides sugar naturally found in fruits/veggies)
  • Alcohol
  • Dairy
  • Processed Foods (if you can’t pronounce something on the label, avoid it!)

Eating clean is a great feeling and I highly recommend letting yourself experience it. And remember, “All things in moderation, including moderation.”

A big thank you to Megan for this great insight into her way of thinking about nutrition. It’s very easy to get into patterns of binging or restricting, so avoid all the negative side effects of both of those ways of eating and try practicing moderation as Megan has suggested.

What’s your personal approach to your daily diet?


Links You’ll Love

Fashion:

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My Spring cleaning urges are clearly starting to kick in early this year – Check out Gala Darling’s Blog On, Babe: Get Organized! for some great ideas for organizing your work – Whether you’re a blogger, a writer, or any other creative type.

Did you enjoy my recent organizational tips & recommendations for closet cleaning {Closet Organization}? If so you’ll love these suggestions from Apartment Therapy – Get Sorted: 5 Functional Shoe Organizers.

I’m in an outerwear state of mind these days – Between San Francisco being colder than I can ever remember and a trip to New York City scheduled for two weeks – I’m determined to find the perfect coat. Stylish but warm. Leave it to Olivia Palermo to have all the answers to our statement coat questions – How To Rock: The Coat.

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It’s just about time to start daydreaming thinking about planning your Spring vacation. So why not take some advice from stylist-to-the-stars Brad Goreski – How To Travel In Style.

In the market for a new lipstick? Get the right one with Cupcakes & Cashmere’s Lipstick Guide to help you through the process!

Health & Fitness:

You know that coconut oil is good for you and I’ve shared some tasty ways to get coconut into your diet, but have you tried using it in your beauty routine? Glitter Guide has the scoop in their piece 10 Ways To Add Coconut Oil To Your Beauty. Routine

ChoosingRaw

Whether you’re gluten-intolerant, following a paleo/primal diet, or just interested in eating a healthier diet kelp noodles are a great new food to try out, you should read Choosing Raw’s Kelp Noodle 101: How to Prepare and Serve Kelp Noodles.

I’m always interested in learning how my nutrition affects my health & how my body feels, and clearly I’m not the only one. Check out Purely Twins’s – Day 18  interesting reads about fructose malabsorption & hormonal acne.

Bones

As we grow up we need to pay attention not only to our overall health, but to our bone health at all. You may think that eating a calcium rich diet or taking supplements is all you need to do, but staying educated and aware is what you really need – Best Foods For Your Bones.

If you’re interested in strengthening your thighs than FitSugar has the answers in their Inner Thigh Exercises post – Work it!


Links You’ll Love

Health & Fitness:

LinksYou'llLove

Here are some GREAT things to keep in mind as you’re working through your list of New Years Resolutions for 2013 – The Things Successful People DON’T Do.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been shivering my way through this recent cold front in Northern California. Rain in December I’m used to. Wind & air so cold it feels like it should be snowing? That’s new. If you’re in a similar boat these simple tips can save your booty this Winter – Stay Warm!

Keeping your energy levels up during the way can seem impossible sometimes. Day-to-day you may feel changes due to diet, the amount of sleep you got, stress levels… And while you can’t always control every aspect of your life, there are some things that you can keep an eye on to help with this – Fatigue Facts: 5 Things That Make You Tired.

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While I enjoyed all of the “round-up” style posts during December to celebrate the end of 2012 I have to say that this was one of my favorites so I just HAD to share – Best of 2012: My Favorite Vegan & Raw Recipes.

Staying inspired and positive about your body is an important step towards being happy and healthy! See what The Huffington Post has to say about keeping your attitude in check – Seven Ways To Be More Body Positive In 2013.

Fashion:

There’s nothing quite like a flashy new campaign to get you in the mood for some serious shopping. That’s part of the reason we adore fashion magazines, right? Well Fashionologie has the low-down on all the killer campaigns for Spring here.

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Finding stylish but simple new updos that’s keep my hair out of my eyes is a new mission so I was thrilled when I stumbled upon this fabulous tutorial – Beauty How To: Braided Bun Tutorial.

Need some inspiration to get creative with your hair this Winter? Check out Rebecca Minkoff’s 2013 Ushers In A New Wave Of Hairstyles for some serious tips.

I ADORE Winer outwear & accessories so this Glitter Guide post had me in raptures. If you’re similarly inclined head over for their Style File: Chic Winter Wear and prepare to swoon!

DIY

If you’ve been trying to find a fabulous statement necklace but have come up empty so far, why not make your own? This DIY Charm Necklace from I Spy DIY is to die for!


Beginner Fitness

In 2012 a reader came to me with a simple request – Could I help her ease into a workout routine that would put her on the path to overall better health? I documented a part of the process in the following series of posts – Want To Achieve Gym Goddess Status?, Part II, Part III, Part IV & Part V.

I’ve recently received a similar request and thought that 2013 would be a great time to share some of the details with my readers again because I think it’s such a worthwhile topic and achieving better health is widespread goal. I’m sure there have been countless New Years Resolutions related to this so why not get started on your path to health and happiness now?

In addition to providing short beginners workouts for the next few weeks, I’ll be recommending reading and do my best to keep you all motivated and inspired – Which is half the battle.

Workouts:

You want to ease into a new workout regime regardless of your current level of fitness, however if you’re not currently working out, attending classes, and/or running on a regular basis I would suggest starting with one or two small workouts a week and gradually increase to 3-5 as you start improving and feeling stronger.

Let’s start Week One with two short workouts to get us in the mood:

Day One

Warm Up: 5 minutes of cardio {Walking quickly, jogging/running, elliptical, stationary bike, rowing, stair climber…}

Warm Down: 5-10 minutes of intervals on a machine of your choosing {See the suggestions under Warm Up}

  • 30 seconds as fast as possible
  • 1 minute 30 seconds recovery – moderate speed
  • 30 seconds as fast as possible
  • 1 minute 30 seconds recovery – moderate speed

*My recommendation is to turn this into a mini circuit workout – After your warm up do one set of planks, one set of lunges, and one set of squats, then repeat the process a second and third time to complete the circuit before your warm down.

Day Two

Warm Up: 5 minutes of cardio {Walking quickly, jogging/running, elliptical, stationary bike, rowing, stair climber…}

  • Reverse Lunges {FitSugar’s Back to Basics: Stationary Reverse Lunge} 3 rounds of 10 lunges on each knee
  • Crunches {Dummies.com’s How To Do Crunches} 3 rounds of 20 – Be sure to watch your form & keep your chin & elbows UP form is important w/ this move
  • Leg Lifts {Shape Magazine’s Double-Leg Lower & Lift} 3 rounds of 20

Warm Down: 5-10 minutes of cardio {Walking quickly, jogging/running, elliptical, stationary bike, rowing, stair climber…}

Nutrition:

Following diets, participating in cleanses, and going through detox programs are interesting ways to find out how your body responds to things, but they’re not a way of life. Learning to eat well & make smart food choices on a daily basis is going to do much more for you than any short-term healthy eating “fix.”

Depending on your typical diet transitioning to a clean eating regime can seem pretty daunting, so to make the switch more manageable I’ll just recommend a few tips and suggest some things to cut out of your diet each week.

To start, it’s time to get cooking! Your first goal should be to cut out packaged, processed, and pre-made food from your diet. Don’t panic! That doesn’t mean that you’ll never be able to order Chinese again or never enjoy a handful of chips in the future, but if you want to transition to a clean diet the first step is to eliminate all of these types of foods. So your mission for the next two weeks is to start giving up anything processed, stop hitting the drive-through, and spend more time in the kitchen and less time at restaurants.

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Here are a few alternatives:

  • If you like chips or salty other snacks – Try raw almonds, butter-free air popped popcorn, or baby carrots w/ hummus
  • If you crave the beta-endorphin rush of sugary treats, baked goods, or candy – Switch these high calorie picks for fresh fruit, natural almond butter, or homemade sweet treats like Choosing Raw’s Cinnamon Caramelized Cauliflower or Maple Cinnamon Candied Pumpkin Seeds

Homework:

Understanding why you feel the way that you feel and how to improve your health is important. Anyone can blindly follow instructions, but learning about health, nutrition, and your body will help you for your entire life.

So with the goal of educating yourself and expanding your horizons here are some interesting articles you might enjoy:

  • Healthy fats like avocados, olive oil, and nuts & seeds {in moderation} are an important part of a healthy diet. Learn more about this subject by reading Natalie Jill Fitness’s Eating Fat Will NOT Make You Fat…
  • One of the things that impacts your health almost as much as nutrition and fitness is stress. You need to pay attention not only to how much stress you have in your life, but how you deal with it – How Stress Affects the Body.

Stress

So what do you think of this new series? Are these topics and the information I provided above interesting and relevant to your life?

Disclaimer: I am not a trainer, doctor, or dietitian nor do I have any certifications associated with physical fitness or nutrition. I’m merely an enthusiast {and former athlete} who reads & does research daily and has worked out alone or with coaches & trainers since the age of 6. I am lucky enough to have access to a handful of blogs, websites, and trainers to answer my questions though. Prior to making any dramatic changes to your fitness routine or diet I suggest that you consult a physician.

For more inspiration, my daily workout routines, and more Moi Contre La Vie you can find me on these platforms:


Links You’ll Love – Resolutions Edition

We survived 2012 and celebrated the end of the year, and now that the first week of January is coming to an end those New Years Resolutions are starting to look further and further away. This week’s Links You’ll Love post is here to help keep you motivated, inspired, and on track with your resolutions. Whether your goals are aimed at career success, personal improved, fashion, health, or fitness – Keep yourself going with these great inspirational pieces!

Fashion:

I love the idea of this No Shopping Challenge {Inspiration: My No Shopping Challenge} from Style Within Reach – It’s a great idea to not only purge your closets at the beginning of the year, but take stock in what pieces you have and try to mix up your current wardrobe rather than blindly adding to it. But in practice I’m not sure that I have her self-control… What about you?

Refinery 29 is here to help you with your Fashion New Years Resolutions – 20 Influencers, 20 Resolutions To Adopt Now.

Fashion magazine’s are a great place to find inspiration – From fabulous advertisements to glossy, well-styled editorials to great articles filled with advice & ideas from industry insiders:

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Staying inspired and motivated to try out fun & interesting new trends and styles can be hard – But Pinterest is a great tool for fashion stimulation, so check out my La Mode to get yourself in the mood!

Health & Fitness:

Ever wonder how the models with killer bodies keep themselves in shape all year around? Check out this interesting article from Modelinia – Behold the Ultimate Model Master Cleanse! 

red lentil soup 7710 thumb   Most Popular Vegan Recipes of 2012 {#30 16}

While you have your health & eating better on your mind, why not try out some new recipes? Here are a few great round-ups from some top food bloggers of their favorite recipes from 2012 – So give something new & delicious a try!

Are you determined to shake things up at the gym this year but not quite sure where to start with your fitness resolutions this year? Check out The Fitnessista’s 12 Days Of Fitness.

The Whole 30 is a great clean eating plan that you could try in 2013 – So do some research, check out other people’s thoughts & experiences, and try some delicious new recipes – Holly Would If She Could’s Whole 30 Meal Plan – Week One (Plus Homework!)

I’m not a huge proponent of cleanses and detoxes that are too restrictive or severe – But this clean eating version is great, filled with healthy, nutritious, easy to digest suggestions – New Year New You: Easy Detox.


Links You’ll Love

Health & Fitness:

Sweet potatoes are a great addition to any healthy diet so you should definitely try out some of these nutritious recipes from Shape Magazine – 10 Healthy Sweet Potato Recipes.

fall detox salad 7422 thumb   Fall Detox Salad + Hurricane Sandy Fundraiser Update

OhSheGlow’s Fall Detox Salad is a must try – Filled with Brussels Sprouts, carrots, apple, celery, sunflower seeds, and raisins, it’s as nutritious as it is delicious {also check out this salad as part of the Thanksgiving Recipe Round-Up}.

Eating well and living a healthy life doesn’t have to mean giving up all sweets and desserts, you just need to make healthier, smarter choices when you want to indulge – Try FitFluential’s Five Healthier Desserts which include amazing choices like Raspberry Chocolate Chips, Dark Chocolate Nut Butter Pretzels, Fruit & Yogurt Parfaits, Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes/Muffins, and Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries.

Do you want model-worthy skin? Refinery 29 has the goods – The Surprising Secret To Model-Worthy Skin.

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Finding a great, healthy snack that you love and that’s easy to make is wonderful – One of my favorites recently is Choosing Raw’s Cinnamon Caramelized Cauliflower.

Fashion:

Interested in spicing up your daily makeup routine? It’s always fun to see what other beauty products are out there and the sort of routines that women go through on a daily basis, so let’s check out how blogger Trop Rouge has set up her makeup routine – Makeup Monday.

Top 9 at 9: A Model’s Must Haves with Lonneke Engel gives you all of model Lonneke Engel’s Fall 2012 picks – From workout gear to sweaters to what her favorite shoes are for Fall.

Ulyana Sergeenko’s dramatic, eye-catching clothes are the perfect pieces for this dreamy Moscow-based photo shoot in the most recent Carine Roitfeld Fashion Book issue – Moscow Walk.

Oxblood is everywhere for Fall 2012 and if you’re not sure whether it’s the trend for you, trying beauty products and nail polish are great choices – 3 Chic Ways To Do Burgundy Beauty.

The Fall 2012 Collection for J.Crew is pretty phenomenal – It’s filled with great outerwear, fun, printed pants, and killer accessories. And none of those accessories are better than the Lulu Frost’s Capsule Collection – Shop It Now: Lulu Frost For J.Crew Holiday.


Links You’ll Love

Health & Fitness:

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Packing lunch during the week is a great option to save money and make sure that you’re getting a healthy, nutritious meal mid-day to keep you going. I like to do some work in the kitchen during the weekends to prepare for the week {Sunday Prep}, you can also get some killer tips from Choosing Raw – Monday’s Lunchbox.

Thinking about jumping on the treadmill or elliptical for some cardio and neglecting the machines and weight racks are you gym? Think again! I’m a huge advocate of not only changing up your gym routine on a regular basis but of foregoing machine cardio for walking and weight training. If you don’t believe m just read this piece from Natalie Jill Fitness: Only WEIGHT and INTENSITY Will Change Your Body – You HAVE to lift HEAVY if You Want to Lean Out and Change Your Body!

Fitting in a workout is a MUST during the hectic holiday season – It reduces stress, gives you some much-needed alone time, produces endorphins, and keeps you healthy & fit so you can enjoy the holiday festivities with your friends and family. Regardless of whether you have an hour or 15 minutes available, or if you even have time to make it to the gym – Make time!

Fashion:

I love the old Hollywood, film noir feel of killer black & white photographs. The subjects somehow always manage to appear chic and timeless, regardless of the year, the pose, the style of their clothes… I just can’t get enough and neither can A Fashion Friend – It’s Better In Black & White.

Have you ever been tempted to run off to Paris so that you can live a fashionable, glamorous life? If the answer is yes, you probably shouldn’t click on these links because you will most likely run off to Paris to live a fashionable, glamorous life.

As you may know – I adore stripes – Whether they’re the traditional nautical variety for Spring or demure pinstripes for the office. So why not take this fabulous print into the Fall season as well? Harper’s Bazaar definitely agrees – Shop the Street Style Look: Summer’s Stripes for Fall.

Are you a jeans girl? There are so many varieties this day in age there are almost endless choices when you head into a store and start to peruse their denim department. 70’s flare, wide-leg, cropped, skinny, cut-off, distressed, boyfriend, boot cut… Check out Love Me Jeans for some serious denim inspiration and worship – What’s your favorite pair?

We’ve all had the rule “No White After Labor Day” repeated ad nauseam over the years, but is this a rule for our grandmothers and not for our generation? Well The Man Repeller is making quite the argument against this rule with her fabulous photographs from Nolita – Accent In White.


Fall Fabulousness

Fall is by far my favorite season – I love the weather, I love the fashion, I love the holidays, I even love the decorations – From Halloween pumpkins to Autumn leaves to Thanksgiving turkeys. And here in San Francisco, Fall has most definitely arrived.

As far as I’m concerned the decorations box or closet it one of the best parts about changing seasons! So why not try some of these fun ideas to spice up your home for Fall – Glitter Guide’s 10 Simple Fall Decorating Ideas.

If you’d like some seasonal pictures frames why not try this too cute technique to spice up your photos! Easy Halloween Framed Pictures from Lilac & Lace.

If you’re not in the mood for traditional orange pumpkins this season than give this fun new style a try – DIY Glitter Pumpkins from The Glitter Guide.

Taste of Fall

A lot of what makes Fall to me is what I’m putting in my mouth! 🙂 I’m always dying to break out the squash, pumpkin, and apple pie by the time Summer wraps up. Here are some fabulous recipes to get you in the mood too.

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What’s your favorite part about Fall? Do you like recipes that showcase all of the Fall produce that’s hitting the stores?


Links You’ll Love

Health & Fitness:

Adding some healthy recipes to your repertoire is a great way to stay in shape and make sure that you’re getting all the necessary nutrients and vitamins. Here are some great options to try out:

Interested in the benefits of a raw diet and how eating high raw can help your health and digestion? Why Raw? Revisiting the Question from Choosing Raw.

Staying  hydrated while you’re working out during the summer is key, whether you’re hitting the gym or going for a long run, it’s something that you need to be sure that you’re considering – 5 Tips for Staying Hydrated in the Heat.

omg vegan desserts header TOP 25 OMG Vegan Desserts

And what’s life without a little dessert? 25 Vegan Desserts – Including every delicious thing from Coconut Tiramisu to Fudge Daddy Brownies to Cinnamon Sugar Monkey Bread to Caramel Peach Sticky Buns.

You can eat it or you can take it in a pill, but you should be sure that you’re getting enough! Enough what? Garlic, of course. Read Organice Your Life’s Garlic health benefits.

Fashion:

Here’s a fun, quick project that will help you entertain fashionably at your next dinner or cocktail party – Cupcakes & Cashmere’s Sparkly Rustic Tray DIY.

Need some new nail art ideas? Check out Refinery 29’s Nail Art’s New Wave: How To Get The Bubbly, Beautiful “Pop Fizz” Look.

I’m a fan of Fashion Vibe’s Zina Charkoplia’s personal style so it’s great to see her showing up on others radar as well – Looks of the Week & Looks of the Week. Check out some of her best looks on WhoWhatWear’s Style Stalker piece.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!


List Girl

My June Listing post was such a success that I thought I’d make it a semi-regular offender, so get ready for some information about me and details about what I’ve been doing lately.

What I’ve been eating:

I can’t seem to get out of the kitchen actually, something which I blame this new 11-Cup Cuisinart Food Processor for. I was thrilled to upgrade from the 4-cup to the 11-cup but I haven’t stopped baking since it arrived, and that’s rough on the jeans!

I’m still eating tons of veggies, cooking healthy meals for Arianna at least once a week, and eating my body weight in fruit every day, but everything I eat seems to come with a side of baked goods these days…

{JL Goes Vegan’s Cherry-Oat Ice Cream BarsPeanut Butter Protein Balls & OhSheGlow’s Oil-Free Chocolate Zucchini Muffins}

The boy has been thrilled by this little development and no one in my office is complaining about the abundance of cookies and zucchini muffins, I can assure you!

What I’ve been reading:

It seems like lately I’ve spent a lot of time on the train or in the car, so reading materials have been a must. The benefit is that I’m all caught up on my favorite magazines now, which is a relief, and I’ve read a handful of books over the last few weeks.

Recently I’ve gotten through the too cute Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, Martin Cruz Smith’s Russian crime novel Stalin’s Ghost, and the international espionage novel Moscow Vector by Patrick Larkin. Now it’s on to Robin Maxwell’s Signora da Vinci and Lucrezia Borgia by Sara Bradford, both of which have been gathering dust on my bedside table.

What I’ve been writing:

Um… I take the 5th. I swear I’ll have an answer in my next Listing post. I swear!

What I’ve been wearing:

I’ve been making an effort to trade in my easy-to-wear dresses for fun separates and that’s given me a chance to be more creative with colors and prints and accessories so far this Summer.

Hopefully I can keep this up through the end of Summer and start Fall off right with lots of great skirts and pants paired with fabulous tops and all the cold weather accessories I’ve been missing!

Some Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Me:

  • I spend most of my waking time thinking about food – I love to cook and eat, and trying a new recipe is one of my favorite parts of the day.
  • I compulsively double lock my front door whenever I walk inside my apartment. Even when Sean’s just walked out to drop off the garbage. I can’t help it!
  • I love swimming and spending my vacations in the water, but I’m afraid of lake monsters. Don’t ask.

How have you been spending your time lately? Have you eaten anything great? Read anything new? Worn anything fabulous that you’d like to share?