It’s hard to believe we’re only (already ?!) two months into 2019 and there are already articles about the best/trendiest/most popular diets of the year. Of course, these kinds of lists come out every year, and every year people jump on (and off) them.
Do any of these diets actually “work?” Well, I guess that depends on how you define success. Arguably, no, not in the long-term anyway, or else we wouldn’t be perpetuating a multi-billion dollar global diet industry. But there’s always going to be someone, from an instagram “celebrity” to your brother-in-law’s uncle who SWEARS by XYZ diet, and is so fervent in their zeal that you start thinking that maybe, just maybe, it’s finally the diet FOR YOU, and maybe you should check it out.
Out of the “oodles” (that’s the scientific term) of diets out there, certain ones seem to surface and gain more vocal adherents more often than others. This week, my Instagram video series and Facebook posts are looking at keto, paleo, plant-based eating, tracking macros and Intuitive Eating approaches. I’ll give you the low-down on the WHAT of these diets, the pros, the cons and my verdict.
Let’s dive in for diet de-mystification (also a technical term, right?).
I know this tme of year gets even busier for busy professional working moms (just like me). I was so busy that in last week’s post about Smart Strategies for Holiday Eating, I completely forgot to point out that you can also MAKE your own foods to BRING to the events. When you’ve got better-for-you recipes like the ones I’m about to share, you can be confident in your food choices because you know exactly what is in them and just how delicious they are! It’s so disappointing to “waste” calories on a sub-par goodie, isn’t it? I’ve been known to (discreetly) spit out crappy chocolates and dry cookies. If I’m eating it, it had better be DELICIOUS!
So, I assure you that all of the recipes that follow fit the bill for both better-for-you than their traditional counterparts AND delicious – AS delicious-tasting as the originals, if not MORE SO! Some of the recipes are vegan, some are keto- and/or paleo-friendly and ALL of the recipes lack refined/processed sugar. I actually filmed full-length LIVE demos for FIVE of the recipes on Facebook and I shared those same five recipes as my weekly Instagram video series.
Forgot about a class party? Need to bring a dish to a potluck (as I suggested above)? Just want to hide in the basement with some snacks until it’s all over? I’ve got you covered! For all of my recipes and MORE of my top picks from my favourite food bloggers, read on!
Welcome to the second installment of the SWYPO* Series. I’m clearly on an almond butter roll, after the Flourless Almond Butter Muffins. Now we aren’t even baking – it’s time to enjoy the natural, rich sweetness of almonds in a creamy cool treat that might even get you thinking about fudge. Just the size of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, but without any gut- and hormone-disrupting refined sugar, milk solids, chocolate or well, peanut butter!
Welcome to the first installment of the SWYPO* Series. These fluffy, light and moist muffins will have you scratching your head in disbelief. How can they be SO airy with NO flour? How can they have such a delicate, sweet flavour with NO sugar or added sweeteners of any kind? With just a handful of wholesome ingredients, these muffins come together in one bowl. You can whip them up any time. Starbucks, step aside. There’s a new muffin game in town.
That’s right folks, it’s time for a wink and a nod to the concept coined by Whole30 founders Melissa & Dallas Hartwig of “Sex With Your Pants On” concoctions that attempt to mimic the deliciousness of a “real deal” junk food treat with only Whole30-approved ingredients.
DURING your Whole30, these baked (and no-bake) goodies are explicitly off limits, and for good reason:
…If you continue your Whole30 program eating Paleo pizza, Paleo ice cream and Paleo pancakes, well… all it makes you think about is how less-than-stellar this version is, and how delicious the other version would be. Just like… well, you know.
The problem is, if you continue to have sex with your pants on, it’s inevitable that at some point you’re gonna want to take your pants off. And during your Whole30, that spells trouble…
Do you really want to spend the entirety of your Whole30 obsessed with all the stuff you can’t have, and eating the same foods you’ve been eating all along? We sure don’t! If you come out of your program with the same habits, patterns and food choices you had when you started, what are your chances for long-term, life-changing success? After all, those very same habits, patterns and food choices are what got you into trouble in the first place!
So, what exactly am I doing? Well, I’ve set out, deliberately and intentionally, to create goodies that use only nourishing and nutrient-filled real, whole food ingredients that are compliant with the Whole30 program and yet are incredibly delicious, better-for-you desserts and sweet treats. Some are so good, in fact, that I’d dare to call them SWYPOFF (Sex With Your Pants Off)! Because there are going to be times in your life after your Whole30, that you’re going to want or need (i.e. to share with friends or family or to mark a special occasion) a certain special something. But after all you’ve learned from your Whole30 about healthy food choices and their impact on your life, you’re not often going to want to stomach (literally and figuratively) the laundry list of gut- and mood-disrupting and downright unpronounceable ingredients that can show up on processed options, or even in your own (or your mother’s own) homemade, from-scratch baking (there’s a time and place for those treats, too).
Ready for a healthier version of something you likely already have in your fridge? A creamy, cool condiment gets the makeover treatment. I’ve culled the web and done a lot of experimenting on your behalf to bring you The Best Homemade Mayonnaise (Ever). I didn’t just make this up on my own, but I will share the unique combination of ingredients and technique I used for the richest, creamiest, most-delicious mayonnaise you have ever tasted, without any of the less-than-desirable ingredients and additives you might find in store-bought stuff. Keep reading
Other than sticking with Wednesdays, I guess I haven’t been very faithful with Weeknight Winner Wednesdays! But hey, as in all things fitness and nutrition-related, you do the best you can with what you have, when you can. So here is the long-awaited (?) fourth installment and this time we’ve got seafood back on the blog (or perhaps you’ll consider this the first appearance, if you’re grouping seafood such as shrimp separately from fish). It’s heating up outside, but there’s no reason you can’t add some heat in the kitchen with the spices in this Honey-Lime Spicy Shrimp Stir-fry! Make it as hot (or not) as you like!
Ah, guacamole. If I’m eating guacamole, I’m eating some version of Mexican food or Tex-Mex and that means I am a happy girl. Sadly, South Korea is a little bit lacking in the Mexican food department (I know, I know – you don’t come to Korea for the Mexican food), although I hear that there are a few notable exceptions for Mexican food restaurants in the foodie districts in Seoul. At least avocados are readily available at my local Costco. So, I decided to make my own guacamole at home. When I realized how easily you can make this healthy dip with only a handful of ingredients, I just had to share this recipe with you!
I’m always impressed by a bowl of warm and creamy roasted squash soup. This soup is no different: the rich, earthy, subtly sweet flavour of the roasted squash is enhanced by a just-right blend of spices. Adding apple adds an unexpected yet complementary flavour and touch of sweetness to the dish. No matter what time of year you make it, the taste will make you think of fall with its brilliant-hued leaves and crisp weather. Savouring a bowl of this soup is just like snuggling into your favourite cozy knitted sweater.
Not only am I impressed by this kind of soup, I’ve also been intimidated by the idea of preparing such a soup. Not anymore! I promise that this recipe will show you how easily you can prepare this sophisticated yet comforting dish.
Well, here it is: my first official “Paleo” recipe. I’m taking advantage of the short but sweet early-summer apricot season to make these naturally fruit-sweetened and full of fiber (although I’m actually using dried apricots in this recipe so you can enjoy these scrumptious balls any time of year). And since it seems like the healthiest thing you can do these days is attempt to eat, sleep and breathe coconut, I’ve got not just toasted coconut but also coconut flour in this recipe. Stick it all together with some delectable creamy almond butter and you’ve got a winning combination. I’m sure Paleolithic Man would scarf a few (or more) of these before mastadon hunting. Hopefully your pursuits aren’t as perilous, but this is a healthy fuel source all the same!