Bikini Morning Ritual and a Sample Meal Plan for Tight Skin

My rituals, or habits, play the biggest role in how my body looks and performs on a daily basis. There are a couple of things that are engrained in my daily behaviors which help me to get the most out of my nutrition and gym time.

THE GREEN SHAKE

I cannot stress enough how important this is. It brings my body into an alkaline state, making my supplements more efficient and my energy levels skyrocket. It’s best if you have a high-powered blender (Vitamix), but if not, simply run it through several times. I make mine in large batches and drink it over a 3 day period.

IN BLENDER (in this order)

2.5 cups pure water

3 cups fresh, washed spinach

Run blender on low/medium for a couple of minutes

ADD

2-3 cups romaine, washed

1 cucumber (washed and chopped)

Run for a minute

ADD

1 green apple, washed, cored and chopped

1 pear, washed, cored and chopped

2 kiwi, washed (skin can be removed OR left on for more fiber)

Run for a minute

ADD

1 banana

Small handful of parsley (if desired. Parsley is excellent for cleansing the blood)

Juice of 2 lemons

Blitz it good :)

Feel free to add the flesh of 1 ripe avocado if your diet is in need of healthy fats. If your skin is looking dull and lackluster, avocado will help.

Add more water as needed to suit your tastes.

Drink 16 ounces every morning. If you’re still hungry, opt for oatmeal.

20130902-063244.jpg

Sample Bikini Ready Meal Plan:

Upon waking drink 6 oz hot water with the juice of 1 lemon

Coffee or tea is fine, sans sugar or flavored creamers

Breakfast: 16 oz green smoothie, oatmeal if desired

Snack: Small handful of almonds or walnuts, 1 orange

Lunch: 2-3 cups mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumber, lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. 1/2 baked sweet potato, 4 oz baked or grilled fish (or canned tuna or salmon)

Snack: 1 scoop whey protein in 8 oz water. If this falls post-workout ADD 1 piece whole grain bread OR 1 banana OR 1 cup grapes

Dinner: 2 cups steamed veggies, 4 oz baked chicken or turkey, 1/2 cup whole grain rice OR quinoa, small side salad if desired (lemon juice over).

Snack before bed, if hungry: 4 oz low-fat (2%) cottage cheese OR 1 scoop casein protein in water

Follow this plan tight (6 days on, 1 rest day with a treat…not the WHOLE day people) for 4 weeks to notice changes.

Omit breads, crackers, pastas and sweets during meal plan days. Save things like this for treats :)

Michelle

Ditch Diets to Lose Weight

Good morning!

I hope this finds you feeling fresh this beautiful Monday :)

Today will mark the beginning of a nutrition series meant to help you reach your health and fitness goals.

The tip for today: DON’T FALL FOR DIETS!

Here’s the most important thing you can remember is that YOU do not fail diets, diets FAIL YOU! Diets are not meant for success, period. There is not a single diet that can be pointed to as the magic pill. How can I say that? Well, let me pose a question:

If you have to stay on a specific DIET for LIFE, does it really work?

In other words, is a diet working once you start living life?

Your personal diet should be just as different as you are! As you can imagine, mine is pretty weird :) We are all made different, from our hair to our intestines and our diets should reflect that difference. Each of us should eat for health first, but we should also have an enjoyment to our food. Eating clean isn’t a “diet”, it is a lifestyle that many who expect great things from their body adhere to. Why? Well, it’s customizable to each individual. This is precisely why the meal plans you find on here are only for a range of 1-4 weeks. You shouldn’t have to stay on a strict plan forever…that’s not enjoyable.

Scientists have found that is we do not enjoy our food then we are more apt to feel deprived. Notice that has nothing to do with calorie count, but rather the enjoyment factor. Personally, I enjoy salads in the warm weather…it’s the body’s natural response to the external change in temperature. However, if you offer me a salad in the winter, there is no way I’ll touch it! It’s all about the enjoyment.

So, how do you up your enjoyment of your daily diet? Invest some time in it! You don’t have to have 5 course meals every time you eat, but you do need to put forth a little brain effort to plan ahead. Like soups and stews? Fix them on the weekends so you always have something satisfying to eat for a meal. Swap out fatty meats for leaner cuts (i.e. ground chuck for ground sirloin) and amp up your veggies. Those who say they are picky veggie eaters, look for different ways to prep your vegetables. It probably isn’t the vegetable you do not like, but rather the preparation or memory tied to it. Not all veggies taste good raw and there is a LARGE percentage of us that have a hard time digesting raw veggies.

Today, I have a treat for you. EVERY week (since it’s still a little cool) I cook a pot of vegetable soup. It’s easy to digest and pairs well with anything OR can be eaten alone as a light dinner. I encourage you to PLAY around in the kitchen! Mix up your veggies and seasonings and figure out what works best for you. Remember, in season veggies are cheaper on the budget and better for the body.

Vegetable Soup

BASE:

In large soup pot, place 4 tablespoons EVOO (or 2 TBSP coconut oil)

add 1 roughly chopped onion, 4-6 cloves minced garlic and 4-6 celery stalks, chopped

once the onion starts to turn clear add in 2 cups chopped mushrooms (I like baby bella) and simmer with a pinch of salt and pepper for about 6 minutes

Add to this 3 sweet potatoes (small cubes) and 3-4 chopped carrots

Bring all to a simmer, cover and cook 10 minutes

While this is happening, I usually bring the tea kettle to a boil.

After 10 minutes, add in any veggies you want (during the colder months, I usually keep frozen veggies on hand and add those)

cover with the hot water from the kettle AND done.

Your soup is ready and can be paired with burgers, deer sausage (my family fave), chicken breast, center cut pork loin, etc. Keep your meats lean and your body will respond :)

Being the queen or king of the kitchen doesn’t take a ton of time. All it takes is a little prep work and some imagination.

Come back later for more on healthy cooking and eating!

Bon Appetite! and have a healthy day,

 

MichellePhoto Mar 12, 4 00 22 PM

 

Weight Loss Secrets: Day 10

Fun Friday! New Weight Loss Series

Monday, January 21, I will be launching a new series that deals with goal setting and weight loss.

The skills that you will learn during the following 20 days will enable you to set goals that are not only attainable, but bigger than you’ve ever dared to dream.

Everything you learn in these next few weeks will help you lose that first and last pound, and these skills can be taken into others areas of life to make you more successful overall.

Get ready, get set…GOAL!!!!

 

Tight Skin Essentials

Hello Fit Lifers!

Welcome to the end of your week! Or at least close enough to it to do some booty shakin happy dances :)

Everybody’s favorite subject is on tap today: SKIN!!!!! Mind out of the gutter….not showing skin, but tightening it up. Once it’s tight, feel free to do what you wish ;)

After losing 100+ pounds (with NO tucks mind you), you get asked how to tighten skin in regards to weight loss…..you get asked that a lot. Today, we’re going over some essentials.

Tight Skin Essentials 101

  • Water. Drink it all day, everyday. You need a gallon per day (shush!) and you can count some herbal teas. Steer clear of elixirs and for goodness sake, put down the Crystal Light! It is so NOT helping.
  • Strength training. I hate to burst your flirty bubble, but Zumba will NOT tighten your skin. Interesting fact: I know the girl on the infomercial that has had 6 kids and they try to make you believe she flattened her tummy with Zumba (her name is Julie and she really is a superstar). Yeah, she has a personal trainer who puts her through rigorous weight sessions and super focused ab workouts, PLUS she’s a runner. We have the freedom of speech, but that doesn’t mean the commercials always tell the truth….
  • Protein. All that strength training needs a solid base of protein to build lean muscle. The more lean muscle you have the tighter the skin. Why? Well, for starters you’ll be burning calories all day and not blowing up in size and shrinking back down, which makes the skin lose its elasticity. Also, the more muscle you have the more collagen your skin will produce. Collagen is a natural product produced in the skin (the ones you rub on are NOT THE SAME) and helps keep the skin’s tight, youthful appearance. Last, you can build muscle where the skin is a little looser to “fill out”. Think about the back of your arms for example…. Yeah, you’re eating protein now right?!?! Good sources include: eggs and egg whites, chicken, lean beef, lean game, fish, whey and casein powders, etc.
  • EAT YOUR VEGGIES! I shouldn’t have to keep repeating this…… A diet high in vegetables has been proven to be more heart healthy AND it fights off free radicals. Those nasty little boogers are no good for tight skin. I don’t care if you like veggies or not! You’re no longer a toddler, so suck it up and eat your veggies!
  • Avoid SOY! OK, I don’t want to cause a riot, but here’s the deal. Weight loss has gone beyond a mere numbers game and into a hormone game. Soy increases estrogen levels as it contains natural estrogens. Estrogen makes us hold on to body fat. Now, read that carefully. It does not cause body fat, but it does make our bodies hang on to it. Even though soy is an acceptable source of protein, if you’re battling loose skin get it out of your diet! If you cannot tolerate dairy (which is NOT necessary for tight skin) you can use almond or coconut milk.
  • Use oil. Coconut oil to be exact. Yes, I get that you are probably tired of hearing about how awesome coconut oil is, but stay with me. You can run this wonder oil on the skin and it has actually been proven to help. How? It naturally fights free radicals (which break down collagen) and keeps the skin hydrated. Hydrated skin will stay tighter, so keep it happy! Rub it on at night after a warm shower. It will absorb quickly and you don’t need much at all.
  • Take your vitamins! A good multivitamin will help with your energy levels. I also recommend a good oil such as fish oil or Omega 3 capsules. Obtain them from reputable companies. I get all of my supplements from Bodybuilding.com
  • The extras: regular massage also helps to tone the skin (it does NOT take the place of regular strength training people!), but I rarely get massages so I consider it an extra :) . You can invest in some good creams and lotions. Most have high amounts of caffeine, which temporarily dehydrate the skin to give it a tighter, smoother appearance. Ones I like are Bliss Fat Girl Slim and Nivea CoQ10. You can also consider using a coffee scrub to rub into areas that may have a little cellulite hanging on. This creates the same dehydrating effect and can be coupled with the creams. Works great for bikini season, but again…it does NOT take the place of a healthy diet and exercise! Tanning is a great cover up for any lingering issues we see as well. AVOID THE BEDS!!!!! Overexposer to UVA/UVB can break down collagen, leaving your skin ragged and lifeless.

Those are my basic secrets to tight skin. I’ll be sharing more and keeping you up to date as always!

Live out loud this year!

Michelle

Fun FRIDAY! New Year, NEW YOU!

TOUGH LOVE TUESDAY!

Beware: I’m not holding back on this one. It’s time to be HONEST to get results!

Tabata Thursday

Every day seems to have some significance to it now right? I kind of dig that though :)

There’s been a lot of talk about tabata training and how adding it to your regular training can enhance fat loss and sports performance. This is very true, but I think there are far too many of us who are unclear as to what Tabata training really is. Buckle up, here we go…..

Tabata is based on time. 20 seconds of work with 10 seconds of rest, 8 cycles through. Can anybody break out the calculator and tell me how long that is? I’ll wait………………….2 minutes is correct and YOU ARE A GENIUS!  :) Now, some people just bust out the timer (you can totally score a free app for your smart phone and it ROCKS!) and time moves. THAT is not Tabata. This style of training is meant to be intense. In other words, crunches for 20 seconds on and 10 seconds of rest is using a Tabata method, but not really the training. During your work period, you should be pushing an 8-9 on the RPE scale (rate of perceived exertion). That’s a hair away from barfing for me personally…..

So, in order to make it more doable, I put together a Tabata training sequence mixed with core work. REMEMBER, during those 20 seconds you’re giving everything you have! If you feel like it’s easy, it is. Easy doesn’t cut it around here. So, clear some space and about 20 minutes from your calendar and get ready to burn some major calories all day long!

Tabata and Core

ALWAYS warm up for 3-5 minutes (more if it’s colder)

Opposite arm/leg reach (bird dogs) for 20 reps

Tabata 1: wide jump, low skaters (it will take 2 minutes)

Reverse Crunches and Bicycle crunches: 3 sets of 20 reps each

Tabata 2: BURPEES! Always add the jump at the top, it’s only 20 seconds :)

Plank dips and toe taps for 3 sets, 20 reps each

Tabata 3: Jump sumo Dorothy—from sumo squat, jump straight up and click your heels together

Side plank pulse and butterfly crunches: 3 sets of 20 reps each

Tabata 4: Pop squats—squat low, explode up and hop feet together and back out

All Tabatas are performed for 2 minutes and it should be killer! If it’s not, push harder or add light weights :)

Let me know how you do! I’m feeling the soreness from this morning :)

Have a healthy day!

Michelle

20121213-083729.jpg

20121213-083744.jpg

20121213-083756.jpg

Happy Holidays: Thirsty Thursday Edition

WOW! November is almost over and the Christmas season is in full swing. It can get crazy during this time of year and I’m sure you  have your own stresses to deal with. Why not take a few moments and chill out with a good stretch, a nice fire, and maybe a few kitchen concoctions to lighten the mood :)

Belly De-Bloater

IN large container mix:

1 large cucumber, washed and thinly sliced

1 large Meyer lemon, washed and thinly sliced

1 handful of mint leaves, washed

Pure drinking water to fill

Stir ingredients together and chill, then drink throughout the day to minimize tummy bloat :)

ACV Miracle Worker

If you suffer from a sluggish digestive system, consider adding this warming and stimulating drink to your daily intake. I drink a large mug 2-3 times per day.

Juice of 1/4 large lemon

2 tablespoons all natural apple cider vinegar

Fill mug with hot water and sip away.

Clean Hot Cocoa

In small sauce pan heat over medium heat:

1 cup skim milk

Then whisk in

2 tablespoons no sugar added dark cocoa

Sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger

Splash of all natural vanilla

Agave or stevia to taste (remember to allow the chocolate to shine through).

Here’s to healthy holidays and a very Merry Christmas!

Michelle

 

 

 

Q and A: Weight Loss Simplified PLUS much more!