The importance of fat

Although I have been seeing small changes like a slimmer face, a lifted behind, and a, might I add, sexy collar bone, I weighed myself to find out that I was at 199 pounds. Still. :< And this midsection is not moving along fast enough for me. Maybe it is a little early to get concerned, but fearful of a 2 week plateau I’ve decided to change my diet.

Sean of Underground Wellness explains this plateau pretty darn well.

I’ll let yaw know how this goes. I brought some raw cheddar and raw butter today as well as some beef, bacon, and sprouted wheat grain bread. And breakfast was the bomb! I had two omega-3 eggs fried in coconut oil, bacon, a skillet-toasted slice of Ezekiel 4:9 Bread with raw butter, and a medium banana. Right away, I noticed having a boost in energy. But we’ll see how everything feels after a few days. My tummy is weird like that.

Quinoa Pancakes

Thin batter. Not a huge fan.

On Sunday I made quinoa pancakes from scratch. What I liked about this recipe is that they are straight up pancakes meaning it is quinoa flour, baking powder, oil, eggs, and milk. Nothing more, nothing less. What I did not like too much was the taste. Next time I will try vanilla extract, some more sugar, and maybe some melted butter. Also, I will be adding milk instead of all the water the recipe called for. I got the recipe from Bob’s Red Mill website. He uses way too much water in his batter so I found myself adding more quinoa flour.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups of Quinoa flour – I used GoGo Quinoa flour
  • I eyeballed the raw sugar – Sugar in the Raw – the sugar is not a requirement but be warned of the taste, you might want to add agave nectar are organic maple syrup as a sweetener
  • 2 Tb Coconut oil – or which ever oil you prefer to use. Vegetable oil is a huge no no for me.
  • 2 eggs – not a requirement for the recipe
  • 4 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 cup of water – Bob says 2, but I got some of the most pitiful looking pancakes ever

What to do:

  • Heat pan for HOT so that it can catch your pancakes before they become blobs. Especially if using the watery batter from Bob’s website. Adjust heat so that you aren’t burning your pancakes.

Combine all dry ingredients first and whisk together

Add liquid ingredients next. I also added some chopped bananas and my eggs at this point.

You can also add oil or butter to your pan for crispy edges. If you're into that sort of thing.

Scoop out about 1/4 of batter and slowly pour into pan. Flip when bubbles begin to form. If you choose not to use sugar, your pancakes will not brown so don't be alarmed. It is all good.

I made way too many pancakes with this recipe so you might want to adjust the amounts so that you’re not swimming in pancakes like I am.

And enjoy! I had eggs and chicken sausage with mine. I also sautéed a chopped apple to top my pancakes in addition to the apple sauce.

And here are my recipe bloopers. This is what you get with too much water. Thin, pitiful looking pancakes.

Attempted to flip them... No bueno

And here is the mess.

Week 2: Mo’ water, mo’ water, mo’ water, mo’!

Photo from fan page of Black Women "Do" Work Out!

Oh the importance of water. You’ll be surprised once you are anointed with the knowledge. It makes up to 60% of the human body and is how the body moves everything along smoothly, removes waste adequately, and keeps the skin healthy.

And how about its key role in weight loss? Yes, you need water. You, NEED water.  According to a 2010 article from WebMd.com, water is key to weight loss because it helps the stomach feel fuller before a meal. The article also states that no scientific research proves why water helps with weight loss and nutritionist do not know how much water a person actually needs.

But the unconventional health knowledge from the experts I came across through Underground Wellness have broken down the science of water and weight loss pretty well.

According to what I have learned thus far, the human body has a desire to be healthy and optimal in performance. That means there are plenty of defense mechanisms and processes that take place in the human body to make sure it is healthy and running in top shape. One thing the body does to make sure it is healthy is remove waste.

I’ve heard that waste is also stored in body fat. My guess is that the more water you drink, the more the body and its cells can address the fat it has stored and the waste contained in this fat. Think about it. When you drink plenty of water and have to use the restroom in almost minutes to an hour, does water really get through the system that quick? I don’t think so, I think the body is super happy and gets to work.

It is also said that you need half your body weight, in ounces, of water a day. Is that a lot? Well it depends on how much you weight, but your body will most definitely let you know if you are not getting enough.

Which is pretty much what happened to me this week. After another week of sticking to my healthier eating habits and completing all the workouts from the Underground Workout manual, I did not lose a pound and actually put on 4 ounces. I was not completely crushed by not losing weight because I did see my arms shaping up and my dad, who had not seen me in a month, said I looked like I lost a lot of weight.

After improving my consistency in water intake, I seen a pound gone in a day so I definitely know it was the water.

Water and your body according to http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu:

  • The brain is 70% water
  • Lungs are almost 90% water
  • Lean muscle tissue is 75% water by weight
  • Body fat has 10% water
  • Bone is 22% water
  • Water helps cells “use valuable nutrients, minerals, and chemicals in biological processes.”

Plantain: my favorite breakfast carb

I LOVE fried plantain with breakfast, but they also go awesome with spicy cuban black beans and some brown or wild rice.

According to info I found while following nutrition guru Isabel De Los Rios, a post-workout meal should contain carbohydrates so that muscles can heal and the process of weight loss can take place. I usually mix it up between quinoa or a smashed yam with coconut oil, sea salt and seasoning. My favorite though has to be fried plantains.

With just the right amount of sweetness and delicious with coconut oil fried eggs and turkey bacon, plantain is a low Glycemic Index carbohydrate meaning it takes a while to digest, absorb into the blood stream, and gradually raises blood sugar. For my body type, this is awesome because I get hungry quickly, especially after a workout. The plantain keeps me feeling satisfied and helps my body utilize calories I already have stored. 

Plantain is also high in potassium, magnesium, and phosphate and contains vitamins A, B6, and C which are good for vision, healthy skin, and building immunity against diseases.

The green, unripe plantain is low in sugar and good for diabetics. But the ripe, yellow, or brown plantain is very sweet. I like to chose something in-between. The green plantains don’t taste good to me at all and seem much harder to cook while the yellow or brown plantain fry great and taste awesome. In between is where you find a cool amount of sugar for taste, but a good amount of nutrition for the purpose of rejuvenation and nourishment.

Here’s how I get down with the plantain:

What You’ll Need: 

  • 2 to 6 yellow to brown plantains – softer, darker plantains are sweetest while green ones are hard to peel and ideal as a starch like a potato
  • Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

What to Do: 

  • Wash plantain with a small dollop of soap or you can go the organic route and make a vinegar, banking soda, and water mix to rinse your plantain in 
  • Cut the plantain peeling down the middle of the plantain and peel away from the meat of the fruit like a jacket
  • Cut plantain into rounds. I usually cut down the middle lengthwise and then cut thick pieces diagonally.
  • Put approximately a tablespoon of coconut oil in the frying pan and medium heat until it coats the pan
  • Place plantain in the medium heat pan and cover; check every few minutes for sweating. I’ve found that plantains are ready to turn when they are sweating and the meat has a darker yellow tan. Or you can check for how brown you want it. 
  • Flip plantain over and fry on the other side.
  • Remove from heat and cool.

It’s actually a pretty simple process and really simple recipe. I usually fry 6 plantains at the beginning of the week and eat off of that.

Slow Down, Shop Smart

Cheapest trusted Plantains

Today I picked up some produce at one of my favorite stores, Real Produce. Real Produce, in San Jose, is small and the customer service is always awesome. Also equally awesome, if not more, are the prices!! I LOVE THE PRICES!

I have yet to walk out of this shop spending more than 20 bucks. Here is where I found that buying leafy salad greens by the bulk is a whole heap cheaper than buying the bags at the supermarket. I would love to say that everything is cheaper here than at the supermarket, but that is not the case. I can usually remember the price range of a veggie or fruit and decide to go elsewhere. Real Produce, however, remains my first stop. 

It is definitely important to shop around when beginning a wholesome eating lifestyle. Especially if your pockets are about as tight as mine. When I first decided to change my lifestyle, Wholefoods freaked me out. The price of vitamins and supplements also discouraged my intended changes.

Then I discovered the power of being a good shopper. I pay attention to prices and do not hesitate to pass an item. I also found that doing research on vitamins, supplements, and cleansing or detox supplements saves a ton of money. I save by reading ingredients. If the cheaper item does the same thing as the more expensive item and still has a lot of the essential nutrients I was looking for, I go with the cheaper item. Obviously. 🙂

It is essential to begin with a plan to avoid picking up produce and other foods you will not be able to eat in time. When I first started out last year, I found that I purchased food too enthusiastically instead of slowing down for an informed and cheaper trip. At first, I probably lost about $5 in produce every two weeks to mold and my left-overs occasionally went bad. As a busy student, intern, and academic assistant, I was barely at home to eat what I brought.

When I shop I consider how busy my week is, what I have time to prepare, and how much do I actually eat. On busier weeks, anything that decomposes quick or needs a considerable amount of chopping, I don’t purchase. I also found that dried fruits and raw nuts are my friends. 😀

As you explore the world of wholesome eating, and leave behind the heavily processed foods, you will find that what you spent on frosted flakes, pizza rolls, and trips to burger joints, can easily fund better choices. You might even find yourself saving some money.

Good eating for under 20 bucks

 

 

 

Transition and Cleansing

In the past, I’ve noticed that a change in my eating habits is hardest when I am hungry. In order to fight the failure that results from feeling starved, I am going to transition into my new eating habits without jumping in head first.

Since hunger pisses me off, I’m not going with the fasting method of a liquid cleanse. I am choosing to support my body’s own desire to be clean by loading up on wholesome foods from the earth and plenty of water. And when I say plenty of water, I mean plenty of water; half of my body weight, in ounces.

Last year, prior to losing 40 pounds, I began with a cleanse. The cleanse removed toxins and increased weight loss. I also found that the cleanse made coming off of carbohydrates a lot easier. I am a carb junky that gets headaches and feels hungry without a piece of bread or something.

Intended Cleansing Schedule:

For a better view: Transition Chart Sheet1
Find under “Helpful Links” other cleansing methods.