Eat Right…

…you can’t exercise away a bad diet.

Whether you’re looking to shed some pounds or to feel more natural energy throughout the day, your nutrition regimen plays a huge role. I’ve put together a free and easy to follow 5-Step Diet Plan  for you to take advantage of that will help you achieve a healthy diet. Work through the steps at your own pace and enjoy the results.

Again, I guarantee you cannot exercise away a bad diet!

#1: Drink Plenty of Water

Drinking water is the best thing you can do for your body and the first thing I tell my clients to do more of if they want to lose weight or improve their health.

Your body is composed of roughly 60% water. That means when we are dehydrated – and most of us spend our days constantly dehydrated to some degree – we are affecting the performance of the majority of our body. Nearly all of our systems do not function as well without proper water intake.

How much water is still in question. The simple 8, 8oz cups or 64 oz is the easiest to follow and will get you most of the way there.   Purists say to drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water (if you weigh 160lbs, drink 80oz of water each day).   They also tell you to change your intake based on how much you are sweating. Too much work for me, so I shoot for 64 oz.

Why is Drinking Water so Important?

  1. If you don’t drink water, you will die. It’s that important. Depending on our environment, we can live only a few days without water – maybe a week. We can live much longer without food. For most of us, we should prioritize the consumption of water far more than we currently do.
  2. Prevent cancer. Yes, that’s right – various research says staying hydrated can reduce risk of colon cancer by 45%5, bladder cancer by 50%6, and possibly reduce breast cancer risk as well.
  3. Be less cranky. Research says dehydration can affect your mood and make you grumpy and confused. Think clearer and be happier by drinking more water.
  4. Perform better. Proper hydration contributes to increased athletic performance. Water composes 75% of our muscle tissue. Dehydration can lead to weakness, fatigue, dizziness, and electrolyte imbalance.
  5. Lose weight. Sometimes we think we are hungry, when actually we are thirsty. Our body just starts turning on all the alarms when we ignore it. For those of you trying to drop some pounds, staying hydrated can serve as an appetite suppressant and help with weight loss.
  6. Have less joint pain. Drinking water can reduce pain in your joints by keeping the cartilage soft and hydrated. This is actually how glucosamine helps reduce joint pain, by aiding in cartilage’s absorption of water.
  7. Flush out waste and bacteria. Our digestive system needs water to function properly. Waste is flushed out in the form of urine and sweat. If we don’t drink water, we don’t flush out waste and it collects in our body causing a myriad of problems. Also combined with fiber, water can cure constipation.
  8. Prevent headaches. Sometimes headaches can be caused by dehydration, so drinking water can prevent or alleviate that nasty head pain. Next time your head hurts, try drinking water.
  9. Make your skin glow. Our skin is the largest organ in our body. Regular and plentiful water consumption can improve the color and texture of your skin by keeping it building new cells properly. Drinking water also helps the skin do it’s job of regulating the body’s temperature through sweating.2
  10. Feed your body. Water is essential for the proper circulation of nutrients in the body. Water serves at the body’s transportation system and when we are dehydrated things just can’t get around as well.

#2: Eat 4 Veggies a Day

Eating more fresh vegetables is one of the simplest choices you can make to improve your overall health. A vegetable-rich diet can help protect you from arthritis, heart disease, stroke, dementia, cancer, and can even help slow down your body’s aging process.

Tragically, very few actually get a healthy amount of veggies in their diet. As noted by Time magazine, vegetable consumption has actually declined over the past five years.

“About half of the total U.S. population eats less than 1.5 cups of vegetables a day. And a whopping 87 percent don’t reach the recommended minimum goal of 2 to 3 cups a day.”

What to expect from eating more veggies

Healthy glowing skin​ – Courtesy of their higher water and phytochemical content, vegetables help produce that healthy “glow.” Many vegetables are also known for their anti-aging benefits, helping firm your skin and combat wrinkles.

Weight management​ – Low in calories and high in fiber, eating plenty of vegetables can help you lose and manage your weight in more ways than one. Just filling up on veggies so you “crowd” out the bad stuff rivals the more complicated diets.

Improves gut health and keeps you “regular” ​- Constipation is one of the most common bowel problems, impacting nearly 1 in 5 Americans at any given time. It’s uncomfortable, and can cause bloating and painful cramps. The fiber and water in vegetables can help prevent this scenario, and promotes optimal gut health in general by nourishing beneficial gut bacteria.

Improves energy, mood, and psychological well-being​ – Vegetables help boost energy levels,
especially if you cut out sugar and processed foods at the same time. Recent research shows higher vegetable intake can also help you feel calmer and improves your mental well-being.

Reduces risk for chronic disease​ – Vegetables help reduce your risk for many chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain cancers.

#3: Make Healthy Swaps

Simply put: dieting sucks and it doesn’t work.   Yes you can lose weight but most likely you will gain it all back unless you make life long changes to your habits.   Instead of trying the latest cleanse or weight loss program, why not try just some of the things I have incorporated into my life to help me maintain my weight?

  • Eat whole fruit instead of drinking fruit juice. A glass of O.J. contains very little of the pulp or skin from an orange—and none of the fiber content. Skip the glass, and go with the whole piece of fruit to reap the full nutritional benefits of this sweet, healthy snack (and save some calories while you’re at it).
  • Choose brown rice over white. White rice is stripped of many essential nutrients (like fiber).
  • Choose whole-wheat pasta. Unlike regular pasta, whole wheat pasta has a nutty flavor that’s filled with antioxidants and fiber. Better yet, make pasta out of veggies; zucchini, squash, sweet potatoes, etc. Doing this will cut your meal calories in half.
  • Drink sparkling water instead of soda. Try a fun flavor like lemon-lime or even vanilla if you don’t like straight soda water.
  • Eat oatmeal instead of sugary cereal. Options like Cap’n Crunch and Frosted Flakes are filled with sugar, while oatmeal boasts heart-healthy benefits.
  • Use mustard instead of mayo. For tomorrow’s turkey sandwich, skip the fat-filled mayo and spread some tasty (and naturally fat-free) mustard on the bread.
  • Limit any boxed or processed food that has more than 5 ingredients.
  • Swap honey, pure maple syrup or molasses for white sugar.   While these are sweet they have more “stuff” in them for your body to use.
  • Choose salsa instead of cream-based dips. Dip chips into this fiery, flavorful alternative to cheesy spreads to get extra nutrients for fewer calories.
  • Do not buy anything fat free or low fat (note: it’s ok to choose low fat dairy products). To make up for taking out the fat manufacturers add sugar and or salt.
  • Use oil and balsamic instead of processed dressings. Ever flip that dressing bottle around and see a million ingredients listed? Think “less is more,” and lightly dress a salad with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar—no additives included! I have lots of recipes for great dressings.
  • Eat raw spinach instead of iceberg lettuce. Let’s be real, iceberg lettuce is boring. Besides, spinach is full of vitamin K, vitamin A, calcium, and iron. Plus, Popeye loves it. Can’t go wrong!
  • Use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Crave sour cream in your burrito? To get that same creamy coolness, add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt. You’ll amp up the protein and slash the fat.

#4: Give up Sugar

As some of you heard in my Sugar Blues Workshop or read in my newsletters, I feel very strongly that refined sugar is the leading cause of Americans’ obesity epidemic as well as other serious ailments like diabetes and heart disease. I know firsthand what it is like to have sugar cravings and not be able to stop eating it. I also know that when I eat too much of it I feel terrible and no matter how much I exercise I still gain weight. Through the years I have learned many tricks to avoid the white powder monster.   It has been a great way to keep control of my weight, improve my energy, hunger, sleep AND even better my mood (this one my husband likes the most).

#5: Plan for Success

With proper planning comes success in whatever you do. Apply this to your nutrition regimen and give yourself the best chance possible to succeed! You can start by simply cleaning out unhealthy, tempting foods from your refrigerator or pantry–out of sight, out of mind. Next, plan your menu for the entire week and go shopping for any supplies that you need based on your menu. Don’t forget about easy snacks and how beneficial they can be to keeping you on track! I roast up a ton of veggies on Sundays and give myself a bunch of easy sides to use throughout the week. Make a huge pot of soup while you’re at it and again you’ve got another healthy option to choose at any point in the week when the going gets tough.

Always remember to write down what works and what doesn’t and adjust your plan accordingly!

Contact Me for More Info

Take advantage of more great tips and information straight from me. Whether it’s a custom meal plan or an accountability partner that will help you to eat healthier, send me a message and let’s get started!