What beautiful weather we’ve been having here in Toronto. I spent much of my weekend outdoors basking in the sunshine: picnicking in the park with a girlfriend, playing badminton, and walking the sunny trails near my house.
Its days like these that serve as great reminders to enjoy the simple things in life. Like walking barefoot in the grass, enjoying lunch on a sunny patio, and walking aimlessly through the city streets hand-in-hand with your sweetheart taking in the sights. Embracing the day and living it fully!
It kind of feels like we went from “light-jacket” weather to bare legs and arms over night.
I was having a conversation with a client last week and she told me, “Elaine, I’m not ready for this weather yet!” After asking her what she meant by that, it turns out she didn’t feel ready to bare her skin yet, or in other words, she wasn’t prepared to put on shorts or a bathing suit anytime soon.
She felt she was carrying some extra “winter weight” around her mid-section, and that her digestion was somehow “off” making her feel sluggish and constantly bloated after eating. In other words, she wasn’t feeling as light, energetic or vibrant as she had hoped for, given the beautiful spring weather we were having.
I could totally empathize with what she was saying, mainly because I had been in her shoes countless times before. Not ready yet to put on the cute spring dress, the shorts, or the bathing suit. Feeling like I needed to lose some weight first before I could enjoy the nice weather, like I had to stay in hiding before I could reveal my body to “the world”, or have fun in the sun.
Isn’t that silly? It’s such a warped way of thinking, yet so many of us fall prey to it at one point in our lives or another.
Here’s the thing, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to lighten up and shed your excess weight for the nice weather – but don’t wait on the weight either, or let it hold you back from living and enjoying your life.
Don’t let the excess weight be the reason you skip the cottage weekend with the girls, or don’t go to the picnic gathering in the park.
In fact, getting outside in the sunshine and fresh air is mandatory if you want to shed weight and feel more energetic for the warm months ahead. It’s imperative that you move that beautiful body of yours, not to burn calories, but to oxygenate your blood and maximize energy flow.
Do what you love and feels good to you – whether it’s walking, biking, hiking, yoga on the deck, or sprints! Just commit to getting outside and moving your body each and every day, even if only for a short while.
Now if you’re looking for a kick in the butt and want to up the ante on your current daily routine and diet so you can feel lighter, more energized and vibrant for the beautiful weather, look no further.
Here are 5 Detox Tips to get you looking and feeling your best quick!
1. Juicing. With a good dose of greens, veggies, and only a little fruit if needed. Juicing provides your body with easily assimilated nutrients, enzymes, alkalinity, oxygen, and hydration. It also gives your body a much-needed rest from digestion while providing deep nourishment that’s capable of revitalizing every cell of your body. It’s best to juice on an empty stomach, so it’s ideal to have it at the start of your day before eating any solid food or later in the afternoon. For the “ins and outs” on juicing check out this blog post here.
2. “Mini-Cleanse”. Rather than doing a full on juice cleanse, you can still experience great benefits from juicing until lunch, or dinner, a few or more days per week. If juicing until dinner is too daunting, an easier way would be keeping it raw until dinner (or even longer) and including salads, smoothies, and/or raw blended soups.
3. Veggie-Centric Eating. It doesn’t make a difference if you’re a vegan or meat eater. Your meals should be built around vegetables, NOT grain, beans, nuts, animal products, or powders! All can play a part, but the focal point of your meals should be vegetables. And I’m not just talking about salads here. Cooked vegetables can help round out your dinner meals and make them really satisfying – especially if you’re working on cutting down on grain and other dense foods. Plus pairing your denser foods with vegetables will also facilitate better digestion and a quicker exit from the body, keeping things moving along as they should.
4. Food Combining. Our bodies need simple, digestible food that nourishes us then leaves us, efficiently and effortlessly. Eating foods in “quick-exit” combinations ensures that the assembly line in your intestinal tract moves quickly and efficiently without encountering any pileups along the way!
If you don’t go to the bathroom regularly (i.e. at least 1-2 times per day), you feel bloated or tired after meals, or just suffer from poor digestion in general, it makes sense to give food combining a shot. It’s about eating foods in the combinations that digest best together, and avoiding those that do not so you can free up much energy that would otherwise be going to digesting.
If the idea of food combining is new to you, I’ve outlined the main principles below, but like any approach to eating, keep in mind there are always exceptions to the rules and you have to tailor it to what feels right in YOUR body. The idea isn’t to become a “perfect food combiner”, it’s about eating in a way that feels good to you and leaves you feeling light and energized.
It’s one of those things where the proof is in the pudding. Most of my clients who follow the principles end up feel more energized after meals and notice improvements in digestion, along with weight-loss – if not immediately, at least overtime as their bowel movements start to regulate and they are able to keep up with eliminating what they are taking in.
- Fruit is best eaten alone on an empty stomach (approx. 20-30 minutes before other food)
- Starches (i.e. grain, potatoes, yams) combine with other starches and ALL vegetables (raw and cooked). Note: Avocados although technically a fruit can combine with starches. Also, beans & legumes fit best in this category too.
- Animal Protein (i..e meat, fish, cheese, eggs) combines best with all RAW vegetables and all lower-starch cooked veggies (i.e. NO sweet potatoes or winter squashes). It’s best NOT to combine Fat-Proteins (i.e. nuts & seeds) with animal proteins.
- Eat light to heavy by eating your raw food before your cooked (i.e. your salad followed by your cooked entrée).
5. Limit sugar. I know this may sound obvious, and if you’re reading this than you likely already know that you shouldn’t be eating Twinkies and Skittles. But if you’re dousing everything in honey and agave, throwing dates in your smoothies, and eating tons of fruit and still can’t seem to lose the excess weight you likely have your answer. A lot of women are hosts to yeast overgrowth, namely Candida, and don’t realize that their excess weight, skin troubles, digestive problems and chronic fatigue are its manifestations. It’s not until they start starving it off by taking away (or at least limiting) its food supply – sugar – that their symptoms start to go away.
Stick with stevia for sweetening things, and lower-sugar fruit like berries, green apples, and grapefruit. Also, limit your grain intake and opt for starchier veggies like sweet potatoes, parsnips and winter squashes to get your starch-fix since they’re more digestible and will make a quicker exit from your body.
All sugar feeds yeast, but the key is to give the yeast less food than you were giving it yesterday, so even if you keep in a little sugar for emotional reasons, you can still make great progress if you’re taking in less than you were before.
Well there you have it!
In my next blog I’ll be talking more about the tenets of detoxification, and sharing more tips about how to support your body’s ability to detoxify on a daily basis. There’s still much more to this detox story!
Also, if you’ve considered doing a detox for spring but feel you could use the extra support and personal guidance of having a detox tailored to your unique needs and body, I’ll be offering up private 1-on-1 sessions specifically for those people interested in guided cleansing. The principles I’ll be teaching you can be applied to a specific time period (i.e. 1-2 weeks) or they can be integrated into your daily life on a continual basis.
If you’ve ever wanted to work with me but wasn’t ready to commit to a longer package, here’s your chance! I’ll be offering these one-off sessions for a limited time this spring.
Stay tuned for more details coming this week!