Weight Loss the Easy Way = REAL FOOD Nutrition!

It’s difficult for me to believe, but just 5 short years ago, my kitchen was fully-stocked with commercial “diet” products. My freezer and cabinets were filled with “low calorie” frozen meals….weight loss and protein bars…and, yes, even….(gasp!) diet pop and sugar-free gum! Like so many Americans, that is what I thought I needed to do anytime I wanted to drop a few pounds. Of course, now I cannot imagine ingesting any of those products! Not only are they comprised of mysterious chemical ingredients, but they also taste… horrible! (Of course, at the time I convinced myself that I liked them – – because I wanted to lose weight! Yikes!) Luckily, I now realize that these weight loss gimmicks and products are SO not necessary, and they actually deplete our health in the long run. So I just stick with eating an additive-free diet, instead! 

In her guest post below, wellness coach Jedha D. shares with us how she lost weight without any “specially-formulated” shakes or other “diet products” – by just eating real, unprocessed foods! She was even kind enough to include one of her favorite, figure-friendly recipes below! Check it out!

So what about you? Have you lost weight and kept it off by eating a real foods diet? What tips can you share with others who would like to do the same? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below….

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Weight Loss the Easy Way = REAL FOOD Nutrition! (by Jedha D.)

When it comes to weight loss, it really seems to baffle so many people. We chase the diet fads and the bright shiny objects that claim to help us lose weight fast. We get drawn into the advertising campaigns, the ‘so called’ truthful claims, and the airbrushed images that portray perfectly beautiful bodies.

Weight loss is easy! I know because, after years of yo-yo dieting, I discovered real food and lost the 33 pounds that I had gained. I learned about the types of foods that cause weight gain and health deterioration, and I got them out of my life for good!

Since then I have never looked back, I can sustain my weight easily and I am more healthy and vibrant than I have ever been. I’m here to share the real truth about weight loss so you can stop chasing all the shiny objects coming your way and buckle down to getting some real and long-lasting results!

Real Food Nutrition

When it comes to weight loss, it’s ALL about real food nutrition!

That’s right! 80-90% of your results are going to come from what goes in your mouth! The other 10-20% can be boosted through exercise. So if you’ve been running wild on those cardio machines at the gym and not getting anywhere, then maybe you’ve just realized why.

Yes, it’s ALL about the food. And despite what many people think, you do not have to starve yourself to lose weight either. You simply have to eat the right foods, real foods!

So the simple equation to real weight loss results is to get your nutrition right, eating the right foods that promote weight loss and improved health. That’s it!

Okay, right now you may be thinking…I’ve heard all this before. But just wait a minute. Has anyone told you what those right foods are? Has anyone told you that a calorie does not just equal a calorie?

Not all calories are created equal. Junk foods, sugar, and even grain-filled foods are all empty calories that do not promote weight loss. They are the type of things you need to cut out in order to lose weight effectively. Additives, preservatives, artificial sweeteners and excess chemicals all have to be cut out of the equation for best results.

So what foods promote weight loss? Believe it or not, it is proteins and fats! Chicken, eggs, beef, pork, and turkey are all good protein sources. Avocado, olive oil, flaxseed oil, coconut cream, and a few nuts are all good fats that promote weight loss. Of course, you still need a big variety of vegetables and a bit of fruit. So to lose weight easily you combine a source of protein with a variety of vegetables and a bit of healthy fat at every meal.

It’s not rocket science; it’s actually that simple and works every time! That doesn’t mean your diet is boring. Far from it because there is actually loads of variety and hundreds of tasty dishes you can make. Essentially you eat real food that is tasty, satiating, and super good for you. That’s the whole idea, right?

It’s not all about just losing those pounds; the focus should be on getting healthy so you feel great as well. One thing is for sure; you must get your nutrition sorted out. Clean up your diet, and you will lose weight without fail so you can finally stop chasing all those bright shiny objects and sustain a healthy weight and a vibrant life forever!

Here’s a delicious real food recipe that is good for you and your waistline (click picture to enlarge)! 🙂

Nut Crusted Lamb Cutlets & Salad

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 6 lamb cutlets
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 egg – beaten
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • Coconut oil or olive oil for cooking

Garden Salad

  • 2 cups lettuce – shredded
  • 1 cucumber – halved and sliced
  • 1 tomato – halved and sliced
  • 1 carrot – grated
  • 1/2 red bell pepper – diced
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Olive oil

Cooking Method

1. Trim the cutlets of any really big chunks of fat around the edges of the cutlet
2. Pat the cutlets flat between your hands and set aside
3. Place the flour on a plate and the egg in a bowl
4. Place the almond meal on a separate plate. Put the ingredients in line in this order:  flour, egg and then the almond meal.
5. Take the cutlets one at a time, and first coat them lightly in flour. Second, coat them in egg; and lastly coat them very well with almond meal, pushing the cutlets well into the nutty mix to coat them thoroughly. Then set aside on another plate.
6. Repeat the process for all the cutlets.
7. Place a thin film of oil in the pan so it completely covers the bottom of the pan. Then heat the pan until the oil is hot and ready for shallow frying.
8. Place the lamb cutlets in the pan and cook for a few minutes on each side or until golden brown. You may have to reduce the heat on the second side to allow them to cook through at a slower rate.
9. Watch them carefully because you don’t want to overcook them. When you think they are done and the crumbs are nicely browned, turn the heat off and let them sit in the pan covered for 5-10 minutes. This resting period will complete the cooking and they will be ready to serve.
10. While they are resting, mix the salad together in a bowl and divide onto 2 plates. Drizzle with lemon and olive oil.
11. Serve your cutlets with the salad, and you have a delicious and tasty meal. Yum!

As you can see, this meal contains a good protein source in the lamb, some fats in the olive oil, and a little carbohydrate in the salad, making it a well-balanced meal.

These are the kind of delicious meals you can eat every day, and you certainly never feel deprived. I hope you’ll try it and enjoy!

Author Bio

Jedha D. is a weight loss and wellness coach who is passionate about helping people get off the merry-go-round and change their life from the inside out. She helps people achieve better weight loss results and a lifestyle they love, with real food and positive mindset changes. She is the author of a paleo breakfast cookbook and 30-day meal plans, and she writes an active real food health blog over at Paleo Weight Loss Coach.

Southwestern “No Bean” Chili

no bean chili

CHECK OUT OUR RECIPES PAGE FOR MORE GREAT RECIPES!!!

If you have trouble digesting beans or your dietary restrictions don’t allow them, then you’ll love this hearty bean-less version of my chili! (Click photo to enlarge.)

This recipe is also delicious served over your favorite noodles and/or topped with shredded cheese!

INGREDIENTS:
3 lb ground beef (grass-fed is best)
2 large onions, finely diced
2 green bell peppers, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
2 large tomatoes, diced (optional)
9 cups water
3 (6oz.) cans tomato paste (choose brand that contains only “tomatoes”)
4 TBSP chili powder, to taste
2 tsp cumin, to taste
2 tsp sea salt, to taste
½ tsp black pepper, to taste
Garlic granules, to taste
Red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
Sauté onion, peppers and beef in large pot until meat is browned and veggies are tender. Season to taste with sea salt, black pepper and garlic granules. Transfer to a large crock pot. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Simmer in crock pot on Low for about 8 -10 hours. If possible, taste a few times while it cooks and adjust seasonings to your taste. This recipe freezes well! It also tastes even better re-heated, so feel free to make in advance! (If you don’t have a crock pot, just simmer together in a large pot on the stove for at least one hour.)

CHECK OUT OUR RECIPES PAGE FOR MORE GREAT RECIPES!!!

(For more great recipes and all of the grocery shopping tips you need to ensure that you select the most additive-free versions of every ingredient you need to make over 150 natural recipes, check out my book “Eating Additive-Free“! Your satisfaction is guaranteed or your money back!)

A Buyer’s Guide to Avoiding Hidden Additives in “Fresh” Meats

It was a devastating day when I realized that there are sometimes ingredients in store-bought meats. And I don’t just mean in hotdogs, lunchmeat and bacon….I’m talking about ground beef, steaks, pork chops and fresh chicken!!! And, while many meats do contain a “salt water solution,” salt is not the ingredient I’m referring to.

I buy most of my meat directly from farmers, so it wasn’t until I started helping some friends and family members sift their way through the meat section at local grocery stores, that I realized….Ahhhhh!!!! There’s “junk” in the meat!! (And, unfortunately, there’s “junk” in all sorts of foods that you may not suspect – it’s not just the meats! So be sure to check out my complete shopping guide here!)

One particular friend picked up a package of ground turkey only to find that the package had an ingredients list on the back. Huh? I had to check with my own 2 eyes, but there it was in black and white: “Ingredients: Turkey and natural flavor“!! (And I can only imagine how many folks are selecting ground turkey in an effort to be healthier. Unfortunately, we are being misled. Ughh!!)

I wish that I could assure you that ground turkey is the only suspect, but an inspection of the ground chicken breast package revealed the same…”natural flavor.” I’m not saying this is automatically true of every brand, but be on the look out.

Unfortunately, there’s more bad news. While assisting a friend with her shopping at a local grocery store that doesn’t have an in-house butcher, I discovered that every meat package that I flipped over contained a solution of all sorts of mysterious words…even the ground beef and the steaks! Wild!

I have since learned that, especially when a store doesn’t chop their meat on site, a preservative solution must be added when the meat is processed in order to extend shelf life because by the time it is shipped and reaches the store (often from several states away), the pre-cut/pre-ground meat wouldn’t have much shelf-life left; and that’s not good for business.

Even so, it’s not as simple as just making sure that your grocer has a butcher. Much of what their butcher is chopping may still be filled with solution. Look at the front and back of the package. If it says nothing, then ask the meat department manager just to be certain because sometimes the meats that are packaged at the store don’t list the ingredients on the label.

Think you’ll just play it safe and buy the “fresh” stuff directly from the meat case? Think again. At least in my town, the 2 major chains that have fresh meat cases are selling solution-filled meats in those cases, and you wouldn’t even know unless you ask. The key here is to ask the butcher (or even better, the meat department manager). And ask often because things do change.

I hate to name names because other unmentioned stores may be just as good/bad as any example I give here, and stores may change their processes and void any examples I give here, but I know people are going to ask me, so as of Spring 2011 here’s the scoop for stores in Omaha, NE…

Amana beef (sold at HyVee) is just meat, no additives.

Bare Naked Chicken is just chicken, no additives.

-Most Smart Chicken is just chicken; check the label

Hormel Pork is injected with a “patented solution”. It says so on the label, but if you buy pork from the fresh meat case at HyVee, for instance, this is the meat you are getting and it won’t necessarily have the ingredients listed. (There used to be a sign posted at the meat counter that listed the ingredients of this “solution,” but I’m not sure it’s still there, so here are the details from their website: “Solution Ingredients: Water, Potassium Lactate, Sodium Phosphates, Salt, Sodium Diacetate.”)

-No Frills & Bag N Save both offer tons of meat products with no other ingredients…even their pork products from Farmland’s Best (but not Hormel) are “clean” of added ingredients.

-All chicken and beef products in the refrigerated cases at Costco are just meat. The pork contains a solution – this was not indicated on the package; I asked the butcher!

And Tyson Chicken takes top prize for Best Label Confusion!!! I was under the impression that their chicken was free of added ingredients…and it does say “All Natural” on the package, which brings me to my next point…ignore all claims made on the front of the package. It’s the ingredients list that matters, and words like “natural” are not regulated by the FDA, so companies can make whatever claims they’d like! But I digress.

So I had advised my friend to purchase Tyson chicken because their ingredients label read “clean.” A few months later, I noticed that the meat contained “up to 15% natural broth.” A quick check of the ingredients list revealed that the chicken contained: “chicken, chicken broth, sea salt and natural flavor.” The 2 packages looked exactly the same, except for that little phrase in small print in the purple box that reads, “up to 15% natural broth.” Strange.

Upon further research, I learned that Tyson has 2 varieties of “All Natural” chicken. As their website explains, one is “marinated” (i.e. “natural broth”) and the other is not. But boy do those packages look the same otherwise. From what I have seen, each grocery store tends to sell just one version or the other; so you’ll have to re-check at each store you frequent. And I had actually seen the 2 different packages at 2 different grocers.

At last check, No Frills & Bag N Save carried the unmarinated version that’s just chicken, and Baker’s carries the marinated version. I went back to the 2 different stores to bring you these photos because I just couldn’t believe how similar the packaging looks for 2 totally different products (Note: the package colors are actually exactly the same; they just look different in these photos because I used 2 different cameras.) Anyone else find this deceptive???

    

Several of my family members shop locally at Fareway and every time they’ve asked they’ve been assured by the butcher that their in-house meats are free of additives. I don’t have a Fareway near me, so I haven’t been there personally. But, again, always double-check….even with what I’ve posted here because companies sometimes change their practices and stores can change suppliers/brands, etc.

Obviously, the specific examples listed here do not represent an exhaustive list. This blog is just intended to give you the tools you need to ask the right questions at your meat counter. If you find particular examples that you’d like to add, please comment below 🙂

In closing, I offer you the following disclaimer:

I am not a fan of store-bought meats at all, and I do not support the way most of those animals are raised or fed. Unfortunately, even if you buy the “cleanest” meat available at most stores, you are still most likely getting much more than just meat (e.g., antibiotics, hormones, corn-fed), but if you must purchase at the store, hopefully this helps you make some more informed decisions.

To access our complete Additive-Free Shopping Guide, purchase a copy of our e-book, “Eating Additive-Free“!

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