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Summer is fast approaching and I’ve got three words for ya. ” THANK THE LAWD.”
Its freaking April 8th as I write this and it was SO cold on my run today that I could NOT use my hands. I’m going to complain. A lot. Because, UGH. I thought it was spring?
The cold weather makes it hard to stay on your sexy body game, because, let’s be honest, when its cold outside even I know its hard to resist a TV-a-thon and chocolate.
But! Summer aside, robust health and bountiful energy are amazing to experience all times of year, but especially when swimsuit season is a hop, skip away.
Let’s talk simple swaps you can make to contribute to a thinner, healthier, and more energetic summer-time-you.
1. Top salads with distilled coconut oil or olive oil and vinegar
Okay, duh. We all know salads are healthy and swapping salad for pasta at lunch is a great choice, but tdid you ever step back and wonder what the heck you were dumping all over that bounty of greens?
If you take a hot second to glance at the ingredient list of your salad-dressing-of-choice you may be SHOCKED to see inflammatory-promoting oils as some of the first ingredients. Since obesity is a disease of inflammation, we certainly don’t want to add a whole load of canola oil, soy bean oil, vegetable oil or corn oil to our plate of salad! And don’t even get me started on any oil which has been partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated.
Instead, stick to monounsaturated fat olive oil, which actually mobilizes fat from your midsection, or distilled coconut oil which may help your body preferentially burn fat for fuel.
2. Wrap that sandwich in a collard green of honker proportions
Skip the nutrient poor, carb laden bread for a low cal, crispy, nutrient rich collard green. One of the least expensive veggies in the store, collards can easily replace wraps and bread. Simply cut out the stem and layer collards on top of each other so the hole where the stem once was is covered. Now load it up.
Collards are sturdy, so they can handle a delicate turkey and sprouts sandwich, as well as a hefty beans & cheese burrito (YUM).
I can’t mention their nutrient density without allowing them a little moment in the limelight. Collards are terrific sources of vitamin A (which helps eyesight and is a powerful antioxidant to fight aging), and as a member of the cruciferous veggie family, we know it rocks awesome cancer fighting effects from all those powerful glucosinolates.
3. Skip calorie containing bevvies
This is a hard one for me, because I totally admit to lovingggg some cream in my coffee. I can totally drink it black, but heavy cream and coffee is soooo delish.
That said, a lot of people find that drinking calories is not as satiating as consuming them in a solid form. So even though grass fed cream can be a wonderful way to add balance to a meal lacking in nutrient rich fat, a lot of time the cream is really just my little way of overindulging rather than adding balance to a meal. Its your call.
Creamer aside, calories can sneak into beverages through soda, sugar/agave/honey sweetened tea or coffee, juice (YES! even organic, cold pressed, $35 a cup juice), andddd juice (I just really do not like juice!).
When its time to really delve into perfecting nutrition for a special occasion or to fit into a teeny weeny red bikini, get calories from solid noshes instead of liquids.
My favorite trick for this is seltzer water plus tea bags. I loveeee infusing seltzer with fruity tea by steeping cold seltzer with a bag for approximately ten minutes, then sipping on an herb infused faux-soda.
4. Snack on fat
You guys probs weren’t expecting this one, but I find that snacks are farrrr too often filled with nutrient poor, carb laden food choices.
200 calories of popcorn versus raw almonds or sliced avocado or raw cheese? Um, the fat filled foods win every time. Dietary fat delays gastric emptying and will help you eat less at your next meal. Also, dietary fat does not elicit an insulin response, meaning that while your body is consuming calories from the snack, metabolically fat burning can still be taking place (depending on when and what you consumed at your last meal).
Okay, so this one isn’t really a nutrition recommendation, but one of the best ways to SCORCH fat is to SPRINT! With your doctor’s permission, choose a mode of sprinting: running, eliptical-ing, stair master, stationary bike, spin bike, whatevs.
Then, alternate between super fast, heart-speeding, sweat-inducing intervals for 20-60 seconds and rest periods. Do this for ten minutes a few times a week (for those of you who are “fat adapted” or trying to become “fat adapted” this would be a great time to do a fasted workout!).
I’m not an exercise professional, so check out Ben Greenfield’s website
for interval training tips cause he’s profesh (and kind of cute).