It’s time to talk nutrition, clean eating and weight loss on Ambitious Kitchen. I’m sure you all know how important it is to feed your body with nourishing, good-for-you foods. You could run for an hour every single day but if you aren’t eating right, you’ll never see the results you desire. To top it all off, there are SO MANY diet out there; how do you even know what’s right? While I agree that it’s best to eat for your body type and what makes you feel good, I am also a huge advocate of clean eating.
So, what is clean eating? It’s basically a no-junk approach to your diet, plus it’s actually incredibly simple AND delicious! You don’t have to sacrifice the things you love, you just make alternative choices.
Here are some examples:
So you’ve probably heard all of those before, right? Yes, eating clean is a conscious choice but it can also be a constant battle. Come on, are you kidding? I’m not perfect. I drool over Bon Appetit magazine and sometimes I just really crave an ice cream cone from McDonald’s. However, I live by the 80/20 rule which means most days I’m eating simple and clean. This makes me feel better, more confident, and in general, happier. I love the way my body feels when I’m eating healthy foods. Simply put, eating an apple is much more energizing then eating an Oreo. Wouldn’t you agree?
Now I’m not an expert or a nutritionist, I can only speak from my own experiences with weight gain/loss, dieting, and in general being a female. Obviously there’s a huge amount of pressure on women these days, and it’s easy to feel uncomfortable in your own skin. Most importantly, you also have to remember that only YOU are in control of your habits. If you want to make a change, you have to start somewhere. It’s certainly not going to be an easy road, but the good news is that little changes absolutely lead to BIG results!
If you’re not sure where to start on your road to clean eating and weight loss, here are my biggest tips:
I hope that you’ll find some of these tips useful. I’ve found them successful for myself, but I’m definitely not an expert. I’m only sharing my knowledge based on what I’ve read and experimented with in my own life. You can consider that a disclaimer.
Now I think we can all agree that snacking is so much fun and it’s really difficult not to reach for that candy bar at 3pm. But I’ve got a brand that I think you will absolutely love! Quest Nutrition makes protein bars that taste like candy bars. Seriously, I think if I could eat these bars every day for the rest of my life, I would. Yep, obsessed!
Recently Quest Nutrition reached out to me and kindly sent me a sample package of their protein bars. OH MY GOODNESS, I was shocked at how incredible they were. These bars are truly perfect for someone who either loves to work out, is watching their figure, or for a low carb lover.
So let me tell you a little bit about their bars: they’re gluten free, contain at least 15g of protein, are low-carb, and have no sugar is added. Yes, they are as amazing as they sound — I’m not kidding! For me these bars were wonderful before or after a workout or if I needed a quick breakfast in the morning. My favorite flavors are chocolate chip cookie dough, chocolate, peanut butter chocolate, vanilla almond, and strawberry cheesecake. And all of them taste incredible when microwaved for 15 seconds.
I can’t recommend them enough and lucky for you, Quest has agreed to sponsor a giveaway.
Here’s how it works: I will randomly selecting TWO winners who will receive a 12-sample pack of Quest Nutrition Bars.
How to enter:
For additional entries: Each follow on one of social networks below will get you an additional entry, just make sure you let me know in the comments that you have done so.
*Disclaimer: Quest has agreed to sponsor a giveaway for this post, but as always opinions are my own. I’m not an expert on health or nutrition; I just love sharing my experience.
Before we get into weekly favorites, I’d like to share with you my best banana bread recipe. Now I only know that it’s my number one because apparently I can’t even wait to slice into it. Yes that’s right, I basically pick the entire top of the bread and shovel it into my mouth as soon as I pull it out of the oven. It’s just too irresistible when it’s warm and sweetened with a touch of honey and bits of chocolate chips. I really don’t think banana bread could get any better…. unless you slab on a little nutella! SORRY… but I’m totally not sorry.
Anyway the point of me telling you about delicious bread is because I think you should bake it for your mom this Mother’s Day! She’s probably a pretty special lady who definitely deserves a very special bread. Moms love homemade goods!
What are your plans for Mother’s Day? I’m going to treat my mom to a pedicure and hopefully we’ll see the new Great Gatsby movie. If you haven’t listened to the movie soundtrack, go do it now. I’m serious! Download the whole thing; you won’t regret it.
Other things I want to share with you: I’m thinking about making a change in my job. As you may know, for the past 2 years I’ve worked for myself; it’s been stressful, crazy, and amazing… but it appears that there are some really incredible opportunities on the horizon! Please keep your fingers crossed for me!
Anyway on to weekly favorites…
Have a wonderful weekend! Give your mom a big hug. xo!
Yes, it’s the weekend! Finally it’s beginning to become beautiful again in Minnesota.
Yesterday was gorgeous too, so my friend and I went decided to embark on an 8 mile run. Don’t even ask me how that happened since I just started running again last week. I’m thinking it’s because of those magical quinoa stuffed peppers and probably the fact that I put myself on a baking restriction last week.
Besides that, it feels like I’m in a really good place right now. I’ve been trying to take a little more time for myself. In fact, today I went on a fun date! We went to this specialty shop and stocked up on gourmet cheeses, french bread, olives, and chocolate; then had a picnic by the lake. I can’t tell you how nice it is to take a break, relax and just enjoy little moments. I forget to do that sometimes, don’t you?
Anyway, I’m not posting weekly favorites this week but I am sharing with you this unbelievable Dark Chocolate, Raspberry, and Brie Grilled Cheese Sandwich that I made for a fun contest!
Oh… did I mention I NEED YOUR VOTE in order to win?! Yes, you and your awesome self can help me travel to California and tour a winery. HOW AMAZING?! Please head over to the St. Francis Wine Facebook page, and vote for my sweet and savory sandwich! Note: you’ll need to like their page in order to vote!
Thanks guys! Have an amazing weekend. xo!
Like my new yoga shirt? I got it from my yoga studio and I’m obsessed. Serious question though: why isn’t it acceptable to wear workout clothes to work? It would really save me from doing laundry every other night.
Anyway it’s finally sunny in Minnesota, so I went for a 5 mile run this morning. There’s nothing better then starting your weekend off with a good work out. I feel like superwoman! That’s a lie. My hips are actually killing me… welcome to running season.
Other than working out, I have a lot of meal planning to do. Right now quinoa is currently cooking on the stove top. I haven’t quite decided what to do with it yet, but I’m sure it will be something weird and healthy, so look for that soon.
Here are a few of my favorite things from this past week:
Have a peaceful weekend. xo!
HAPPY FRIDAY. No seriously… TGIF!
I’ve added some photos of my vacation for you to look at. I’m a little bit depressed since there was a snowstorm yesterday in Minnesota; I thought it was April showers bring May flowers? Lies.
Okay, I’ll stop complaining. All I really want right now is to get back to sunshine. Why hasn’t anyone invented a teleporter? You know, Star Trek style.
Whatever it’s the weekend, so I’m pretty happy about that. In fact right now I feel like I could run a marathon; I’ve consumed wayyyy too much caffeine. Fridays require extreme happiness and excitement, and sometimes that requires 3 cups of coffee.
Ohhh but I’ve got some fun, delicious links that I’ve been dying to share with you! Here we go:
Have a lovely weekend! xoxo
It’s another Friday and thank goodness for that because I’m sitting here with my Key Lime 100 Calorie Yoplait yogurt wishing it would somehow transform itself into actual frozen yogurt and still be low calorie. Maybe I should put it in the freezer? Forget it, I am too impatient to wait and it is magical enough by itself. I guess Fridays can be a little rough but that’s what happy hours are for, right?
Now the last time I had my weekly favorites I asked you if you’d like to see a weekly post about my healthy living tips, and a lot of you seemed interested. Therefore, I’ll work on gathering up some fun ideas! Feel free to pass any along that you’d like to see.
Hmmmm what else? Well I’m still in the midst of figuring out my blog design and had sort of put it aside while on vacation, but hopefully you’ll see a much cleaner version of Ambitious Kitchen within the next month or so! My goal is to bring you something much easier to navigate and less cluttered in general.
Okay, okay, okay! Let’s get on to my weekly favorites:
Have an amazing weekend! Drink a margarita for me.
*contains Amazon affiliate links
OMG how is it almost the end of March? I swear the weeks are flying by faster and faster! This past week I made my famous turkey tomato meat sauce with basil, garlic, and major amounts of melty mozzarella. Mmmmm LOVE at first bite; plus it’s also secretly healthy!
Speaking of healthy things, I’ve been thinking about starting a new weekly post about healthy living, including my tips for eating right and any helpful advice I can offer. Let me know if you’d like to see that happen, and if you have any questions you’d like to see answered.
One last thing: I’m on season 2 of Felicity and absolutely fell in love with the series all over again. Thank you Netflix for causing me to stay up until 1am during the weeknights. I’ll probably watch Dawson’s Creek next and I’m not sorry about it (PACEY FOREVER!).
Alright now let’s get to some delicious links:
Have a wonderful weekend! xo
*contains Amazon Affiliate links