So, not to sound all 'spicious, but why we should trust in you for our health?
Like a lot of people, I spent the majority of my life dealing with weight issues. You name the diet, I tried it, but nothing worked long term. After years of battling my body I went back to school to study nutrition. There I realized that to make lasting changes, I need to change my relationship with food, not just change the food itself. I’ve now dedicated my life to helping other people do the same thing, and figure out exactly what diet and exercise works best for their unique body. I also co-host an online cooking show.
For someone just beginning, working out can be totally overwhelming. Those machines look like torture device. Zumba sounds like something you'd use to vacuum the rug. Where do you start?
Start by trying a potpourri of potential workout plans. Check out a yoga class in your area, try some boot camp-style videos on YouTube (Amanda Russell has some great videos), or go for a super long, scenic walk in a beautiful neighborhood with your iPod loaded. Figure out what kind of movement you like. We are all built differently, and just like you have your own unique personal style when it comes to clothes, you will develop your own personal style with it comes to diet and exercise. You might find that you need something different when you are stressed vs. chilled. Or that variety is always the key! There are so many options out there from trampolines to hula-hoops, swimming to spinning. Give each a shot to see what feels best. Moving your bod should be fuuunnnn. If it isn’t—you’ll quit.
So once you know what you like, how do you make sure you actually, you know, do it...?
I recommend setting a schedule. Put your exercise agenda in your calendar. You’re not going to bail on girl’s night...so you’re not going to bail on Bikram, Barre or Spin class either, right? So set it in stone so you have no excuses. If you’re really ready to go next level look online for a race or competition in your area and start training. The motivation of knowing that you have to perform on game-day will keep you on track and definitely hold you accountable.
(Meditation can help almost anyone. Almost.)
What about getting your head in shape to go with your body?
OOoooOO this is a good one! Even though I may seem like a total city girl I’m a hippy at heart and love trying new healing modalities when I feel stuck, sore or sad. Acupuncture to me, seems like magic, but a magic to which I can totally subscribe. You can go in with the craziest of ailments and acupuncture always has a cure.
Meditation is another biggie. Just taking 5-10 minutes to quiet your mind and get centered can be life altering. If you’re not ready to do it solo, my girl Gabrielle Bernstein has some amazing guided meditations.
When all else fails, who doesn’t love a massage? Even just 10 minutes at your local nail salon can wipe away, like a week’s worth of stress. I’ll go for a massage whenever I am feeling stressed, run down or feel like I’m getting sick. It’s the best medicine. At the end of the day, it’s all about self-care. Simply stopping, and doing something for yourself is healing beyond words.
Ok now on to food. If I skip the burger and just have a McFlurry, that's ok, right because I'm saving calories?
It’s just instant gratification, and you have to think about how you’ll feel an hour from now. That McDonalds food is going to zap your energy and make you feel all bloated and crappy, right? What your body really craves are nutrients. It’s all about maximum nutrients for the least amount of calories. That’s what going to fill you up and slim you down.
I always try to work backwards. First I think, “What do I really want? What would actually make my body feel amazing?” From there, find the closest thing. Healthy is the new black, and everyone follows a leader. If you take a stand in your group of friends and say that you want to be healthy and have good options, I pinky promise the others will follow suit. And if all else fails, think about the 80/20 rule. Eat the best food possible about 80% of the time and for the other 20% enjoy life!!!
But I am totes broke. Isn't eating healthy expensive? Whole Foods does NOT have a dollar menu.My top 5 staples for healthy eating are greens, eggs, hummus, sweet potatoes and quinoa. If you can’t find quinoa you could also use brown rice, it just takes longer to cook. But both can be found in the bulk aisle of your grocery store for super cheap. You can mix and match these ingredients in so many ways! Quinoa is a great base to a meal because it’s full of protein and will keep you full…here’s how to make it. Add in a handful of greens and top it off with a dollop of hummus and/or a fried egg and OMG get ready for some healthy mouth heaven. There are so many amazing healthy options, and I'm always posting recipes on my site and blog.
What's something that most people might not know is super bad for them? What about something that's surprisingly healthy?
Surprisingly bad: Things like fruit smoothies and frozen yogurt seem healthy, but they are actually FULL of sugar, which is “health speak” for empty calories. It will set your blood sugar on a roller coaster, which means it will spike, then crash, just making you more hungry! Also, that sliced wheat bread has about a million ingredients in it and most of them are chemical preservatives.
Another big offender: diet sodas, what they lack in calories they make up for in chemicals. My #1 food tip is to always look at the ingredients and remember: if you can’t read it, don’t eat it.
Surprisingly healthy: You can actually find healthy snacks all over the place if you’re looking! If I’m in a jam, my gas station go-tos are some unsalted almonds, plain popcorn and coconut water. Some foods that have a bad rap are avocados and coconut. They may be high in fat but your body uses it as energy. They’ll make your skin glow and your hair shine.
Any other general tips for shaping up?
One of the biggest tips is: Make sure you are getting enough sleep. This one is MAJOR. When you are over tired you body will cease to produce a hormone called leptin. Its main function is being the messenger from your belly to your brain that says, “I’m full, thanks!” If you’re over tired you’re way more likely to over eat. You are also more likely to reach for those quick energy/zero nutrient foods like sugar and caffeine. So make sure you are getting your Zzzzzs.
(This is Quinn. Doesn't she just radiate health?)
Other than that, you’re heard it before, but I’ll say it again—drink water. In fact, set a timer on your phone and drink a cup every hour. Your skin will be radiant and you’ll be way less likely to reach for a crappy snack. Don’t love water? Add some lemon, lime or mint into the mix for a flavor boost.