A Day in the Life: How I Eat to Keep Skin Tight

Skin can be a major concern for many people, especially those seeking a tighter physique. The wear and tear of cardio and fad diets will leave the skin less than spectacular. Collagen in the skin is broken down and lost not only with age, but with every false step we take towards finding our inner skinny. This is why focusing on health and fitness is of the utmost importance. If you’re suffering from a little loose skin (or want to avoid it) take a peek at a normal daily meal plan for me*.

Upon waking: juice of 1 lemon in 6 oz hot water

Meal #1: A SHAKE (I have a slight obsessions with these shakes) :)

Meal #2: 1/3 cup oats cooked in 2/3 cup water, handful of berries and 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein

Meal #3: 2 cups baby spinach, 5 oz tuna mixed with a spoon of relish some green onion and a little mustard (don’t knock it till you try it!)

Meal #4: 1 whole grain rice cake with 2 TBSP low-fat cottage cheese and a few raisins

Meal #5: 1 scoop whey protein in 8 oz water, 1 fruit (post workout)

Meal #6: 4 oz chicken breast, 2 cups steamed or roasted veggies, 1/4 cup brown rice (optional)

Meal #7: 1 scoop casein protein blended with 6-8 oz almond milk (this is usually ONLY when I’m still hungry or on a heavy leg day)

All meals are manageable and small. You should be eating every few hours for energy as research has not conclusively found that it makes you burn more. I do still drink 1-2 cups of coffee (with cream!) a day and I cannot stress the water enough. Aim for a minimum of 1 gallon per day. Yeah, be that person.

A word of caution: I love sugar. I mean like real sugar, candy and all that. Sugar wreaks havoc on your skin though and will demolish collagen, so it’s best to treat with natural sweets (like fruits) and save the man-made sugary treats for every once in a while.

*As of this post, I am following a competition prep diet. This diet emphasizes a bit more protein and fewer carbs and will tighten skin as well. It is not, however, how I would eat all the time :)

Until next time, keep living fit!

Michelle

After 2

Fad Diets, Detox, Elimination Diets and Your Skin

Good Monday Morning!

Today, I’m tackling a LOT of questions all at once, so buckle up and grab some water….

Your skin. You literally live your life in it. It is your greatest accessory as well as your first line of defense against disease and parasites. It also takes the most beating and can be the cause of many sighs and begrudging thoughts. Your skin may be clear as crystal, though that is highly unlikely. Since we live in an imperfect world, our skin tends to take the brunt of the abuse. Pimples, wrinkles, blotches, moles, skin tags, loose skin, stretch marks, varicose veins, cellulite….these all have a common bond with the skin. How we live will inevitably reflect on the skin we wear, and many times wear-down, daily. Aside from our daily environment, there are a few other factors that contribute to skin health or breakdown. Stress (actually our response to stress), fad diets, exercise, detox and elimination diets all play a vital role in the health of your nearest companion. Let’s take a look at a few of them in a little more detail:

FAD DIETS:

You know where I stand on these, but let’s review. If it seems too good to be true, it is. All meat diets get you nowhere (except in the high blood pressure and a possible heart attack catagorie…but at least you’ll die skinny? Not worth it.) and eliminating ANY macronutrient (don’t confuse this with elimination diets, which we’ll get to) sets the metabolism up for failure. Extemely low-calorie diets also strip the body of weight yes, but they also take lean muscle tissue. This means that as you age, and lose muscle which is normal, your metabolism slows down even more. Think about this…..is it getting harder and harder to lose weight? Yeah, it’s not in your head, it’s in your dead metabolism.

Programs such as Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, and even Medifast have left clients with no idea of how to actually eat. If it doesn’t come pre-packaged and pre-portioned, we feel clueless. HELLO! It’s food, it’s your body and it’s your job to nourish your body with said food. Eating brownies fortified with vitamins for breakfast is NOT nourishing your body!!!!! It’s a vat of crazy that you’ve been sucked into because the marketing geniuses know how to phrase things to grab your attention. When I tell people to get off of these programs, here is the MOST common phrase I get:

“But, it worked for me the last time I did it.”

Um, yeah, let’s discuss this. Did you lose weight? Yes, about 20 pounds. Good for you. Did it stay off? No, it came back with a few more pounds.

People….it DID NOT WORK! What works is creating a lifestyle that you can work with, not being told you can have a brownie and lose weight simply because it’s on your meal plan! I’ve lost 104 pounds and haven’t found it again in 5 years…..I know a couple of things and these fad diets don’t work. It’s not you failing at the diet, it’s tha diet failing you! Put the book down, chunk the unrealistic meal plan and start thinking in terms of actual nutrition. Real food = real results.

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DETOX:

This is a great buzz word right now. It’s cool to detox now. It’s an easy way to forgo non-meal-plan-related foods because you’re cool and detoxing darling. I don’t believe in hardcore detox diets (see above). I do believe that many of our diets can eliminate some harmful nutrients to reset the body and work far more efficiently (see below). Detoxing in and of itself can make many people sick, especially if they are prone to ulcers and migraines. I am a far bigger fan of elimination diets and steer clear of crazy detox plans. I advise you to do the same…

Elimination Diets:

This phrase became really big when Gwyneth Paltrow said she was doing Dr. Junger’s Elimination Diet a couple of years ago. First, I think Gwyneth is gorgeous and a great advocate for a healthy lifestyle. Second, I have the greatest respect for Dr. Junger and his research and willingness to continually learn. An elimination diet can sound harsh, but in reality it is quite easy and very beneficial to your health. This diet (Dr. Junger’s is by far the easiest and cheapest!) works with the basic research in human anatomy in relation to the digestive system and beyond. In other words, it works with our own natural biology instead of against it ( like crazy fads and detox diets). It’s a way to reset our internal organs to function more optimally and it also increases our immune response, therefore making us healthier all over. It’s also a guided way to get the junk food out of your system. Elimination diets usually rid the pantry (and your system) of sugar, gluten, caffeine (ok, I still drink coffee on it, shhh), and dairy, all of which have been shown to have detrimental effects on the body. If you’re sitting there going “But what do I eat?!?!?!” then your diet is admittedly crap and you need to eliminate stuff. Tough to hear, but you needed it.

Elimination diets consist of lean proteins, from plants and animals, as well as LOADS of vegetables and grains (sans the gluten). Why are these diets superior to fad diets? Well, nutritionists have used them for centuries to diagnose food allergies and intolerance. Also, our Western world has access to so MUCH food, even when it’s not in season, that we have developed food intolerance over the years that were not always there. We’re also becoming pretty proficient at making new diseases such as metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance….go us, we’re such entrepreneurs in our own health! I kid because I care. Elimination diets should focus on getting plenty of water, which most of us don’t, and plenty of vegetables (ahem, we don’t). Most elimination diets work in phases for about 21 days. Then you can re-add foods into your diet to ensure you don’t have any adverse reactions. Most people will be able to eat gluten and dairy again while assimilating food at a much higher rate. This means that you actually USE the food you eat, which turns you into a fat burning machine ALL THE TIME. Some will find that they function much better without certain things such as gluten or dairy. It really is an individual response.

Personally, I function better without gluten, sugar or dairy (especially cheese, BUT I LOVE IT!). I can have these things in moderation in my diet without complications. What are some complications of a food intolerance?

  • Constant fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Inflammation
  • Headaches
  • Forgetfulness
  • Constant confusion
  • Sleepiness after eating
  • Restless sleep at night
  • Insomnia
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • GI disorders such as constipation or diarrhea

I know, I totally just diagnosed you right? Chill out! Honestly, most of us have fallen prey to a poor diet simply because it seems convenient. Contact a nutritionist about setting up your plan to get the most out of it. Sometimes you may be able to find an intolerance, other times your pipes just need cleaning and everything will return to normal within a few weeks. More energy, less fatigue and far less pain are all in the cards for you. By the way…there happens to be a nutritionist on this very site that can help you with all that…

So, what have we learned here today? Fad diets have to go! Honor your body and what it does for you with nutrition. Consider setting yourself up for an elimination diet (BTW: your whole fam can do it and benefit!) and reset your energy in a just a few weeks. Remember that you are special and identical diets don’t work for everyone. Oh and….drink your water and eat your veggies!!!!

Have a healthy day!

Michelle

 

The Essential Tight Skin Diet Smoothie

Good Monday Morning!

So, you know that I am a big fan of the kitchen right? I love to play around and come up with clean recipes and tasty treats, but these won’t do me a lot of good unless they fuel my body and help propel me towards my goals. So, I wanted to share with you a Tight Skin Diet staple for my mornings. Yep, I blend this beauty up and drink it every single morning. It’s great for those of you who are dealing with weight loss plateaus as well as skin issues. The nutrition in this smoothies gives you 5-7 servings of your fruits and veggies for the day! You read that right. And it’s great for all you veggie haters out there (you know who you are!). The fruit is what you taste and I’ll even give you some tips to make it more palatable if need be. I drink an ENTIRE blenderful every day and it has even replaced my daily multi-vitamin. This shake is great if you’re just starting out on whole foods or trying to incorporate some more veggies into your diet. It helps increase fat burning, decrease free radicals and amp up that healthy skin glow. Think of it as your beauty shake, from the inside out. :)

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Ingredients:

8 oz pure, clean water

1/4 cup low-fat yogurt, plain

1 handful spinach

3 romaine lettuce leaves

2 celery stalks

1 small green apple

1 small green pear

1 banana

1/4-1/2 small avocado

2 carrots (I suggest these ONLY if you have a Vitamix or high-powered blender)

small handful of berries (I usually use blueberries as they are a TSD staple)

Ice to desired consistency

Stevia or raw honey to taste if necessary

If you are the happy owner of a Vitamix, throw it all in and blend on high. If you another blender, start with the water and cruciferous veggies (spinach, lettuce, celery) then add the fruits with the avocado and banana being last. Make sure all fruits and veggies are washed!

Like I said before, this is a big blender full and I personally drink the whole thing every morning :)

If you aren’t in the mood, I suggest placing the rest in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and place in the fridge. It will stay fresh for up to 48 hours after making it. You can feel free to drink some in the morning as well as the afternoon if you like and play around with your fruits and veggies! Be playful in the kitchen. Some fruits/veggies to try:

  • Swiss Chard
  • Kale
  • Mint leaves (a little goes a LONG way)
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Tomatoes
  • Melons
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Papaya
  • Kiwi

There really isn’t an end. Pineapple has a stronger flavor and can mask veggie taste if you desire that, although growing up and getting over it is another option for you ;)

Be adventurous in your own kitchen! Don’t have time to whip this up every morning? Do it at night and have your jar ready to go as you walk out the door.

It takes me less than 4 minutes from fridge to cup for this bad boy and I reap the benefits of going green daily.

Let me know what you come up with!

 

Michelle

 

What is going on with my skin?

OK, so this could imply so many different things….but for today’s blog, we’ll be talking about loose skin. It seems to be an overwhelming concern among fitness enthusiasts.

Loose skin is not your lot! You can do some preventative exercises to prevent loose skin. Here are a few of the basics:

  1. Focus on resistance training. Cardio queens, step off the elliptical machine! Cardio alone will not help rebuild collagen in the skin which is essential to skin elasticity.
  2. Get your diet right. Make sure you’re getting enough protein. If you think your aren’t, chances are…you aren’t. Think lean protein and get it at every meal.
  3. Ditch the sugar. Cellulite and loose skin have 1 common denominator: they both LOVE sugar. Simple sugar such as candy, baked goods, white breads and pastas all contribute to lower collagen and saggier skin, PLUS they feed those lovely little dimples on your backside.
  4. HYDRATE! Just like protein, if you think you aren’t getting enough water…you aren’t! Chug a minimum of 3 liters throughout the day and add in some herbal teas to boost immunity and cell health :)

Is it easy to keep the skin tight? No. Is it easy to tighten loose skin? Absolutely not! BUT, it is doable and totally worth it in the end…..get the pun there ;)

Seriously, put in maximum effort and you will reap maximum results!

Have a healthy day!

Michelle

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