#thatcleanlife Clean Eating Challenge

I love it when I hear from fellow bloggers with similar interests and passions. When I got an email fromĀ Abigail Keeso of That Clean Life (website and blog here) askingĀ me if I wanted to do one of her clean eating challenges, I was all in.

I actually have no problem with doing the occasional detox or cleanse (except for liquid-only cleanses, which sound like the worst thing ever), but I do have a hard time finding time to plan everything out beforehand with my busy schedule. The Spring Break Detox was only 6 days long, and Abigail had already set up grocery lists in advance, so it wasn’t too tricky after all.

And the recipes were delicious! Here are some of my favourites. (Please excuse my food photography; I’m still new at this!)

Breakfast Bowl

This has actually become my new favourite breakfast. And it’s grain free, so no starting the day feeling bloated! The nut butter keeps you full, and the berries add that sweetness that a lot of people crave in the morning.

Sweet Potato Chips

Yum! I never realized homemade chips were so easy to make, but I’ll definitely be doing this again. The squeeze of lime juice over top really completes it.Chicken Salad

This Cleaned Up Chicken Salad was one of my favourites by far. Super easy to make and a great lunch for work. I would probably add pecans or walnuts next time.

xo

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4 Surprising Things About Popcorn

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I absolutely love popcorn. While chocolate still might be my hands-down favourite treat, popcorn is a definite second and comes before chips or ice cream any day. Often, popcorn gets a bad rap for being an unhealthy movie theatre snack, but when prepared without massive amounts of salt or drenched in toxic trans fats, it’s actually more of a superfood. Here are 4 things you might not know about popcorn.

1. It’s packed with antioxidants–even more than fruit!

A study released almost two years ago measured the antioxidant content, in the form of polyphenols, of popcorn, and found that popcorn is highly concentrated with these free radical-fighting, super healthy compounds. The reason why popcorn’s antioxidant content is much higher than fruit is because of its relative water content: fruit contains a high amount of water, which dilutes the antioxidants, meaning we have to eat more to get the same effect. Popcorn is also a whole grain high in fibre, which does everything from promoting digestive health to regulating blood sugar levels and making us feel full longer. Three cheers for healthy and delicious!

2. Ancient people ate it 6,700 years ago

New research shows that ancient people in what’s now known as Peru snacked on popcorn 5,000 years earlier than previously believed–6,700 years ago. They did so by cooking the cobs of corn over coal, over flame, or in an oven, This proves once again that we didn’t really “discover” any superfoods–they have been used by people many, many years ago.

3. Microwave popcorn bags contain chemicals

Chemicals like dangerous nonstick coatings. Yuck. While some companies are planning to phase out the chemicals, who knows what will replace them. To avoid the mysteries of chemicals and their (largely unknown) health effects, be a smarter snacker and make popcorn using an air popper (like mine, seen below). It’s ridiculously easy and fun. Plus, the retro look of a air popper will elevate your hipster status. I like to add butter and cayenne pepper for a kick.

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(As an adorable side note, the family dog Flirt knows my popcorn routine very well, and will come running at the sound of the hot air popper. Her self-appointed job is to eat all the popcorn that misses the bowl and falls on the floor. Well done, Flirt).

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4. It’s non-GMO

If you’re like me in that you’re interested in learning about food politics and issues, you likely know that a large amount of corn we eat is genetically modified. Until recently, I assumed that this was true about popcorn as well. But while doing research for a new article I was writing a few months ago, I learned that popcorn is its own type of corn and (at least for now) it’s non-GMO. Another happy reason to snack on!

xo