Fit Diet, Fit Body, Fit Skin

There is a recipe for everything! Although I hardly ever follow recipes, I do believe the recipe for fitness success lies within the walls of your very own kitchen. Whether you shimmy into an alley style kitchen or dance around a large kitchen with an island (my dream kitchen!), you can find everything you need to win the war on weight loss, increase your energy levels and reveal tight, youthful skin with a radiant glow. All it takes is a plan….

Step 1: REAL FOOD!

Photo Mar 12, 4 19 41 PM

Your first mission is to look around your kitchen and identify all sources of real food. This basically means it should have a mother or grow in the ground and Chester Cheeto¬†is father to nobody! Throw out processed foods such as crackers (yes, even those fancy gluten-free ones you got suckered into buying), chips, breads, candy (really?? What is that doing in there?!?), sugar, flour, cereal and cereal bars, protein bars, etc. Don’t freak out on me now! You’ll be without these beloved processed foods for about 3 weeks, then you can slowly start to inch them back into your diet. Well, except sugar…we don’t need that. Replace these foods with oats, rice (brown, black, wild, basmati), quinoa, and so on. You can use sliced cucumber in place of crackers. Don’t scoff! Try it with tuna, it’s quite good plus you get extra hydration. After a FULL 21 days eating whole foods, you’ll notice a difference in your energy level AND on the dreaded scale.

Step 2: SHOPPING!

20130402-105757.jpg

Make a list. This will save you time, money and headaches. On the left side of the paper write the meals you are planning for the week. On the right side, write the corresponding ingredients needed. This is the simplest form of prepared list making. Search your pantry and fridge for signs that you need some staples and make sure to write those on the list as well. Remember that the cheaper the produce, the more in-season it will be. Try not to bog yourself down with fancy recipes. My goal is usually to try out 1 new recipe a week and vary dinners throughout what I know everybody like and what the season calls for. Lunches here are typically tuna or salmon and lots of salads or soups.

Step 3: PREPARE YOURSELF!

Photo Mar 12, 4 00 22 PM

The second step is bringing these whole foods mentioned above and prepping them for consumption. Let’s face it, if it’s not ready to go, we won’t reach for it! Upon returning from the market, set aside about 30 minutes to wash your produce and chop what needs chopping. Typically, I’ll wash apples, pears cucumbers, carrots, celery and all when I return. Cucumber and celery are then chopped and placed into containers at EYE LEVEL in the fridge. I’ll also wash berries and place them in bowls at eye level in the fridge. The clean apples and other fruits go into produce bowls directly beside the sink. I also have a bowl for onions, garlic and potatoes as well. My grocery days are usually on the weekend, so I carve a little extra time to prep what needs to be prepped. If chicken is on the menu, I pound it tender and throw it into a bowl, covering it with milk. This ensures the chicken will not dry out as it cooks. The chicken can stay like this, covered in the fridge, for up to 24 hours prior to cooking. If we’re having beans and rice (a staple in this household!), I’ll soak the beans and make a couple batches of rice in the rice cooker. Meal prep does not need to eat up the majority of your day and you should be able to get most prep work finished within an hour at most. Don’t be disheartened if it takes you a little longer on your first couple of tries…practice will make for greater efficiency!

Step 4: MAKE SOME SPACE!

Ashampoo_Snap_2012.01.30_17h15m54s_008_

This is in regards to your workout. Since food plays the largest role in how we look and feel, I think it is important to make sure our workouts help in this process without overwhelming us. Make sure you have proper space for your workouts. Some people rather enjoy a gym setting and if you’re going to pay for a gym membership, by all means please use it! Just don’t get stuck on the treadmill. Branch out a bit. Try the free weights or maybe even check out a class. If home workouts work best for you, consider clearing some space in your garage or basement. This is why I like yoga so much, you can literally do it anywhere with a small amount of space and a mat (or towel!). When I was in Moldova, I worked out in the bathroom :) Just make sure that your space is special to you. Make sure that it is safe and you won’t bang your knuckles on the ceiling fan should you be jumping!

These 4 steps will get you started on a lifestyle that reaps BIG results. You’ll notice that your nerves will calm as your food is already prepared for the week. You’ll find that happy space for your workouts and be able to release more stress. Remember that this lifestyle isn’t about waiting for everything to be perfect, it’s about making it work for you.

Have a healthy day!

Michelle

Fun N Fit FRIDAY!

So, as we move into the weekend, what comes to mind? Is your weekend full of adventure and fun? Or is it the more mundane tasks that await?

If you find yourself in the latter end, no worries! You can take the opportunities given to make sure you get some extra, fun movement into your everyday lifestyle.

  1. Choose to start the day out right! I am well aware that not everybody appreciates the early morning weekend hours like I do :) , but you can choose to get your fit on before breakfast. Check out the fitness page on Hulu.com for FREE workout vids. Most of which are about 10 minutes long. You can pick anything, from Pilates and dance, to kickboxing and weight lifting. It doesn’t have to last an hour to brighten your mood.
  2. Plan your meals/snacks in advance. This time of year a lot of us are headed to the ball park to watch the kids play. Don’t succumb to ball park food! It’s not just the calories, but this type of food is highly processed and the more you ingest throughout your lifetime (how many years have your kids been playing ball?) the slower your metabolism will be.
  3. While at the park, get OFF the bleachers and stop being the bench warmer in life. Yeah, I said it…. You can cheer your little ones even better while standing and moving, keeping your blood flowing, oxygenating your brain for better function, and showing that you really are involved!
  4. I know you need to clean the house (as most of us do!) so split up the chores and make it a game. Got young ones? Make them honorary detectives and send them on a “hunt” for items that need to be put up. Then, end the housecleaning with a walk. If a local ice cream parlor ends up on your walk, well then it was meant to be! :)
  5. Plan a little park time. Take the kids to the park and challenge them to chin ups on the monkey bars. By the way, totally cool if you “let” your kids win! Run around the park with them, or walk through the glorious nature around.
  6. Lounging by the pool? Not if you’re fit! Laying out is detrimental to your skin (SPF ALWAYS!) and your waistline, so get moving. Swimming is good, water volleyball is even better. Challenge others to a game, or see which one of your kids can out do you on laps. Make it fun and make it count!

No matter what the weekend has in store, it’s up to you to become an active participant in your life. So get moving and find the FUN!

Michelle

P.S. I’ll be trying out paintball for the very first time this weekend. I’ll let you how it goes!