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“If you’re involved in the health and fitness community, or have ever been on a diet, you’ve likely heard of the concept of cheat meals. In theory, cheat meals might make sense; if you follow your outlined diet for the week you can treat yourself to a meal or a day of indulgence for being good. However to me, cheat meals are not all they are cracked up to be, and not an ideal approach to healthy eating.
The phrase “cheat meal” suggest that there are “good” and “bad” foods and that by eating a cheat meal you are doing something naughty. It suggests that by “eating clean” all week you can allow yourself to “eat dirty” because you deserve it. The truth is, there are no “good” or “bad” foods, and there is no “clean eating” or “dirty eating”. There is only real food, and a bunch of other processed stuff we call food.

The philosophy behind cheat meals suggests that eating real food requires willpower, strength and effort. So once you have used up all of your willpower, by keeping yourself from “bad” foods, you need to rewards yourself by scheduling a day and time to eat all of the food you have been avoiding.

But here is the kicker, there is a very fine line between a cheat day and a free-for-all of food binging. If you schedule, talk about, and look forward to cheat meals, you are probably not yet comfortable with the idea of creating a healthy well-balanced lifestyle. Cheat meals suggest that eating real whole foods is difficult and unenjoyable, and the only reason to continue doing so is knowing that there is a reward of junk food waiting for you at the end of it. One might argue that they also encourage people to ignore hunger cues, to only listen to our taste buds and body’s reward centre, and eat until we are stuffed, uncomfortable and exhausted. Where is the pleasure in that?

I schedule a lot of things in my life; I schedule meetings, I schedule doctor’s appointments, and I schedule vacations. These things are important and they require some advanced planning, but when I chose to eat ice cream does not.” Link to the full post in my profile, have a read and let me know what you think. Agree or disagree?
#redsrecommendations

Going through some old recipe posts on the blog and I was reminded of this Chocolate Zucchini Bread! Such an oldie but such a goodie. The recipe is gluten-free, made with oat flour and buckwheat flour, and naturally sweetened with a little honey. This is the kind of recipe you can make in advance, slice and freeze for later when you just want a little bite. If you can make it last that long 😉 I added to recipe link in my profile for all of your baking pleasure! #redsrecommendations

Tonight’s dinner is going to be 🔥! I made my oven-baked Sweet and Sticky Chicken Wings for a fun Friday night meal.
I used to only eat chicken breasts. It’s the only cut I would buy at the grocery store and the only cut I would order in a restaurant. After years of being told that the breast was the healthiest cut of chicken it was all I ever ate. To me, chicken wings, legs, and any other cut were “unhealthy”, and I would therefore avoid them altogether. But, the truth is that’s BS, and if that is you, I want you to consider this.
1) Chicken wings, breast and legs all come the same animal. Saying a particular cut is unhealthy is like saying the left side of an apple is healthier than the right. It makes no sense.
2) Chicken, no matter the cut, is a whole food. It comes from Mother Nature. If you have no problem shoving processed granola bars in your mouth, you have no place being concerned about cuts of chicken.
3) Chicken breasts are the least nutrient dense cut of the entire bird. Fact. Although they might contain protein, the lack of fats means there is a lack of beneficial fat soluble vitamins which is what nutrition truly is. The odd cuts are rich in beneficial fatty acids, fat soluble vitamins, and collagen.
4) The worst part of chicken wings, drumsticks or thighs, is typically the way they are cooked. Throw anything into a vat of vegetable oil and it’s not going to be good for you. But baking, roasting or grilling are not going to be harmful.
5) If you are only going to eat the breast, you are going to go through a whole lot of chickens. Think about it - 2, 3, 4, or 5 chicken breasts a week adds up into a whole lot of chickens. As a consumer, you have the opportunity to be responsible an support a more sustainable food system that will benefit everyone in the long run.
Remember, there are no black and white “good” or “bad” foods when you are talking about whole food. Sometimes you need to take a step back and look at the big picture. Focus on whole food, think critically, and eat the whole bird. #redsrecommendations

After a weekend of indulgence, you might be looking for a couple extra servings of leafy greens! Save that leftover turkey and whip up some simple mason jar salads for easy grab-and-go meals for the week. I’ve got a great recipe for some Sesame Chicken Mason Jar Salads on the blog, just swap the chicken for leftover turkey and weekday lunches will be ready in no time! #redsrecommendations

Creamy Polenta 👋
Shared a new recipe on the blog this week for a super simple creamy polenta recipe. Last week I shared my leftovers lunch with polenta, so I figured I would post a recipe for you all too! If you’ve never had polenta, it’s essentially just boiled cornmeal which may sound odd, but is absolutely delicious and a traditional whole food. It’s a great gluten-free complex carb alternative to things like potatoes or rice (not that there is nothing wrong with either of those), and a great alternative to pasta. Topped with a spaghetti sauce or simple sautéed mushrooms, it makes a great cold weather meal. Link in profile for the recipe. 😘 #redsrecommendations

Just shared a NEW recipe on the blog for this Cauliflower Fried Rice, just in time for Sunday night dinner. I made this recipe with minimal ingredients that most people already have in their kitchen, so it's easy to prepare but still full of flavour. Plus is keeps really well in the fridge, so it's perfect for a make ahead lunch idea. Just visit the link in my profile for the full recipe. #redsrecommendations

What a Saturday! Had such a blast competing in my second ever CrossFit competition with @mathersjohn today, AND we took second place in our division! 🥈
I shared most of the day in my story so check it out if you want to see more. Now time to celebrate with some good food and some much needed wine. 🍷 #redsrecommendations

What a Sunday. Today was a busy one but a fun one for sure. I woke up early this morning and went for a walk with the pooch and @mathersjohn before going to @tdmottawa for the launch of my Real Food Reset program with them. I honestly love doing my Real Food Reset program so much, it's so much fun working with people in a group setting and watching people have ah-ha moments about their nutrition. I love helping people with their diets in a simple, fun and realistic way. It's truly why I do what I do, so I'm super excited for this group to get started tomorrow!
After my seminar I made a trip to the @ottawafarmmkt to buy a bajillion tomatoes, onion and peppers (I honestly got overly excited) so I decided to make a batch of fresh salsa with them so I can use it on meals during the week. Now I'm just working on the final touches for a new reicpe post for Spicy Black Bean Soup that I'll be sharing on the blog shortly, and it's gonna be goooooood. 💃 Hope you all had the best weekend! 😘#redsrecommendations

It's ON again! Starting February we will be running this 28 day nutrition program w/ @stephaniekaynutrition 🥒🍒🥑 See our Facebook page for the link & more details. OR! Email us at ride@wheelhousecycle.ca #thesweatlife #reFUEL #findyourwheelhouse #redsrecommendations

MOST RECENT

“If you’re involved in the health and fitness community, or have ever been on a diet, you’ve likely heard of the concept of cheat meals. In theory, cheat meals might make sense; if you follow your outlined diet for the week you can treat yourself to a meal or a day of indulgence for being good. However to me, cheat meals are not all they are cracked up to be, and not an ideal approach to healthy eating.
The phrase “cheat meal” suggest that there are “good” and “bad” foods and that by eating a cheat meal you are doing something naughty. It suggests that by “eating clean” all week you can allow yourself to “eat dirty” because you deserve it. The truth is, there are no “good” or “bad” foods, and there is no “clean eating” or “dirty eating”. There is only real food, and a bunch of other processed stuff we call food.

The philosophy behind cheat meals suggests that eating real food requires willpower, strength and effort. So once you have used up all of your willpower, by keeping yourself from “bad” foods, you need to rewards yourself by scheduling a day and time to eat all of the food you have been avoiding.

But here is the kicker, there is a very fine line between a cheat day and a free-for-all of food binging. If you schedule, talk about, and look forward to cheat meals, you are probably not yet comfortable with the idea of creating a healthy well-balanced lifestyle. Cheat meals suggest that eating real whole foods is difficult and unenjoyable, and the only reason to continue doing so is knowing that there is a reward of junk food waiting for you at the end of it. One might argue that they also encourage people to ignore hunger cues, to only listen to our taste buds and body’s reward centre, and eat until we are stuffed, uncomfortable and exhausted. Where is the pleasure in that?

I schedule a lot of things in my life; I schedule meetings, I schedule doctor’s appointments, and I schedule vacations. These things are important and they require some advanced planning, but when I chose to eat ice cream does not.” Link to the full post in my profile, have a read and let me know what you think. Agree or disagree?
#redsrecommendations

Going through some old recipe posts on the blog and I was reminded of this Chocolate Zucchini Bread! Such an oldie but such a goodie. The recipe is gluten-free, made with oat flour and buckwheat flour, and naturally sweetened with a little honey. This is the kind of recipe you can make in advance, slice and freeze for later when you just want a little bite. If you can make it last that long 😉 I added to recipe link in my profile for all of your baking pleasure! #redsrecommendations

Creamy Polenta 👋
Shared a new recipe on the blog this week for a super simple creamy polenta recipe. Last week I shared my leftovers lunch with polenta, so I figured I would post a recipe for you all too! If you’ve never had polenta, it’s essentially just boiled cornmeal which may sound odd, but is absolutely delicious and a traditional whole food. It’s a great gluten-free complex carb alternative to things like potatoes or rice (not that there is nothing wrong with either of those), and a great alternative to pasta. Topped with a spaghetti sauce or simple sautéed mushrooms, it makes a great cold weather meal. Link in profile for the recipe. 😘 #redsrecommendations

Today’s lunch🍴 Made myself a Buddha bowl filled with veggies, sweet potato and black beans for a little added protein. I love these type of meals because they are really easy to prepare and filled with lots of colour! The dressing on this is the real “piece de resistance”; a creamy tahini based dressing with tahini + lemon juice + mustard + sea salt + nutritional yeast. If you’ve never had tahini it’s just sesame paste (sesame seed version of peanut butter), and it makes one heck of a delicious dressing. I’ve got a full recipe for it on the blog, just head over and search “tahini dressing”. ☺️ #redsrecommendations

Monday Funday, kicking off my week with a solid workout @crossfitbytown! This morning’s workout was filled with wall balls - talk about short people problems. 🤣💪 #redsrecommendations

Just shared a NEW recipe on the blog for this creamy Green Lentil and Spinach Curry. This recipe is made with minimal ingredients for maximum flavour so it’s really easy to prepare. It makes a great meal prep idea that stores really well in the fridge or freezer, or a simple weeknight meal. Check out the link in profile for the full recipe. 🤗#redsrecommendations

Tonight’s dinner is going to be 🔥! I made my oven-baked Sweet and Sticky Chicken Wings for a fun Friday night meal.
I used to only eat chicken breasts. It’s the only cut I would buy at the grocery store and the only cut I would order in a restaurant. After years of being told that the breast was the healthiest cut of chicken it was all I ever ate. To me, chicken wings, legs, and any other cut were “unhealthy”, and I would therefore avoid them altogether. But, the truth is that’s BS, and if that is you, I want you to consider this.
1) Chicken wings, breast and legs all come the same animal. Saying a particular cut is unhealthy is like saying the left side of an apple is healthier than the right. It makes no sense.
2) Chicken, no matter the cut, is a whole food. It comes from Mother Nature. If you have no problem shoving processed granola bars in your mouth, you have no place being concerned about cuts of chicken.
3) Chicken breasts are the least nutrient dense cut of the entire bird. Fact. Although they might contain protein, the lack of fats means there is a lack of beneficial fat soluble vitamins which is what nutrition truly is. The odd cuts are rich in beneficial fatty acids, fat soluble vitamins, and collagen.
4) The worst part of chicken wings, drumsticks or thighs, is typically the way they are cooked. Throw anything into a vat of vegetable oil and it’s not going to be good for you. But baking, roasting or grilling are not going to be harmful.
5) If you are only going to eat the breast, you are going to go through a whole lot of chickens. Think about it - 2, 3, 4, or 5 chicken breasts a week adds up into a whole lot of chickens. As a consumer, you have the opportunity to be responsible an support a more sustainable food system that will benefit everyone in the long run.
Remember, there are no black and white “good” or “bad” foods when you are talking about whole food. Sometimes you need to take a step back and look at the big picture. Focus on whole food, think critically, and eat the whole bird. #redsrecommendations

This Make-ahead Broccoli quinoa salad looked SO GOOD we had to repost #renewandempower613
Via @stephaniekaynutrition
・・ I shared this recipe on the blog earlier this week and I think it’s a real keeper. Not only is it loaded with green goodness, but it keeps in the fridge for up to a week for really easy grab and go meals. Talk about meal prep being on point 👌#redsrecommendations

This Make-Ahead Broccoli Quinoa Salad is so easy but it’s SO good. I shared this recipe on the blog earlier this week and I think it’s a real keeper. Not only is it loaded with green goodness, but it keeps in the fridge for up to a week for really easy grab and go meals. Talk about meal prep being on point 👌#redsrecommendations

The hardest part of eating well is actually getting started. Most people know that vegetables are good for them and that cooking at home is always the best option. However actually changing habits is hard, and it takes time. The journey to health is full of ups and downs, and twists and turns. It’s easy to go from zero to hero for a day, a week, or even a month, but sustaining it for the long term is the hard part.
My health journey is not unlike any other. I’ve eaten my fair share of fast food, pre-packaged food, and sweetened drinks. The changes in my diet occurred over time, in fact they occurred over a long period of time. But the more I learned, the more I knew, and the more I could do better. If you had told me I would love cooking and shopping at the farmers market 10 years ago I would have laughed in your face. That girl was all about convenience, coffee shop muffins, boxed mac n’ cheese, and putting ranch dressing on everything. When I look back now I think it’s funny I would even consider that stuff food, but we all start somewhere.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the thought of changing your diet, it’s even scary. People become attached to their food and their habits, and nobody likes change. But the reality is it doesn’t need to be an all or nothing approach. You don’t need to throw out the entire pantry overnight, or become a a master chef just to eat well. You just need to start somewhere and be open to the idea of change. So if you are, I’ve got 10 super simple food swaps on the blog that you can do to help get on the path to a richer, more nourishing, and well-balanced diet, without going from zero to hero.
And I promise it’s a lot easier than it seems. 😘 #redsrecommendations

After a weekend of indulgence, you might be looking for a couple extra servings of leafy greens! Save that leftover turkey and whip up some simple mason jar salads for easy grab-and-go meals for the week. I’ve got a great recipe for some Sesame Chicken Mason Jar Salads on the blog, just swap the chicken for leftover turkey and weekday lunches will be ready in no time! #redsrecommendations

My actual favourite part of Thanksgiving dinner! I love pumpkin pie so much, I can probably make room for ✌️ slices. Hey, it only comes around once a year! 😉 Hope all my Canadian friends are having a wonderful holiday weekend! 🍁 #redsrecommendations

After a long drive, it’s pretty nice to be back in the Eastern Townships and home to mom’s homemade pizza! 🍕 Obviously all of her pizza making were inherited by @jodicatherinekay, because this is not my area of cooking expertise, but I sure am good at eating it. 🤣 Homemade veggie pizza with sourdough crust, tomato sauce, kale, leeks, artichokes, feta and mozzarella. 👌#redsrecommendations

Homeward bound to see my parents for a couple days this long Canadian Thanksgiving weekend and I just managed to dig a couple of these little babies out of the freezer for the drive home. 🙊 These homemade turtles are made with only 4 ingredients (medjool dates, pecans, dark chocolate, and sea salt) and are the perfect treat. If you are looking to satisfy your sweet tooth this week, I highly suggest giving them a try. They are easy for people of all ages to made and don’t require any cooking at all. 👌Check out the link in my profile for the full recipe. #redsrecommendations

Terrible photo, amazing meal.🍴I’m having a late breakfast/early lunch today because I’m headed out to do a corporate seminar before working with my individual clients tonight. I decided to use all of last night’s dinner leftovers to keep things quick and easy. Yesterday I made my Mushroom Skillet Chicken in the slow cooker (worked like a charm 👌), and served it with creamy polenta and sautéed kale to add some simple greens. I don’t make polenta that often, but I’ve been really digging it lately. If you’ve never had it before, it’s essentially just cooked cornmeal which is super easy to make, and a great sub for things like potatoes or rice to mix things up once it a while. I’m thinking I might actually share a basic recipe on the blog because I love it so much. Thoughts? Are you guys into polenta? #redsrecommendations

Shared a NEW recipe on the blog today for these Pumpkin Spice Chia Puddings! I know these might sound a little odd, but I promise the flavour is on point 👌 If you're a fan of pumpkin spice, these puddings make a great snack or dessert, but the real star of this recipe is the coconut cream topping. They’re so good @mathersjohn and I may have been eating these all weekend. May have. For us to know and you to decide 😉 Link in profile for the full recipe! #redsrecommendations

This October weather can't decide what it wants to do but I'm not complaining! Enjoying a little sunshine/coffee break (iced americano + heavy cream) at my favourite coffee shop in town before going back to work. You guys, these blog posts don't write themselves. 💻 ☕️ 🤓 #redsrecommendations

Just shared a NEW recipe on the blog for this Cauliflower Fried Rice, just in time for Sunday night dinner. I made this recipe with minimal ingredients that most people already have in their kitchen, so it's easy to prepare but still full of flavour. Plus is keeps really well in the fridge, so it's perfect for a make ahead lunch idea. Just visit the link in my profile for the full recipe. #redsrecommendations

When you order your brunch and the server brings cutlery for two 🤣 No, no, this is all for me.
After a 'liquid dinner' at the @cflredblacks game last night and a workout @crossfitbytown this morning with @messyjessielin, this little lady is pretty darn hungry. In their defense, my eyes were a little bigger than my tummy and I couldn't finish everything but that quiche was 👌.
Now going for a little walk around the @carpfarmersmarket before going home to relax and the couch with a big warm blanket. Hope you're all having a great Saturday! #redsrecommendations

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