So 3 weeks before my wedding it occurred to me I had hosted or attended parties in multiple cities every weekend the last 3 months.
All the travel, alcohol, and missed sleep was leaving me looking tired, bloated, with less than glowing skin. What were my options?- cuz I suck at diets- and I'm even worse at being told I can't have something.
I had limited time to look good in a gorgeous designer gown that was less than forgiving.
First step, get geared up psychologically so I don't set myself up for failure. A happy round bride is always better than a stressed out super model. But if I could slow my roll on the party train and make a few weeks of good choices with really good results, I was down to give myself a short term goal.
So, rather than make it a diet, I made it a game. I reframed what I was doing as feeding my cells and getting a competitive advantage so I didn't feel like I had to be perfect to win. I didn't feel deprived. I aimed to feel ahead of my day and proud of my progress.
While thinner than I like to be consistently, having that clear head, flat tummy feeling before a big event is a nice option to have at your disposal- especially when you have 3 days of partying before you even get to the main event.
Ok, so here's my super secret ninja, whittle that middle, feel proud, think clearly 2-3 week push to get noticeable results and curb the cravings. I usually share this level of ninja trick with my clients but if I can pass on how I awesome I felt and looked, it's criminal of me to withhold.
So here goes, write this down.
Breakfast isn't all it's cracked up to be. Yes you build your brain chemicals in the first few hours of the day, but it doesn't require a big heavy carby meal to get it done.
Here's how to start your day on track to get lean and feel fabulous.
1. ) WATER (with LEMON preferably) go in the belly first. Not coffee. Not redbull. Not food. Flush the system, hydrate the tunnel. Green tea is fine as it's mostly water.
2.) If you take AMINO ACIDS (and you should), those go in next with more water. Amino acids are the building block parts of protein that let your body build. (Rebuild muscle post a workout, make more happy juice brain chemicals, repair damage...
Amino Acids usually start with w/ an L. L-Tyrosine (predopamine), L-Glutamine (brain feeding), L-Theanine (calming), DL- Phenalyne (pre endorphins)... Make sure you are taking the ones meant for the morning (5htp makes you sleepy and builds serotonin and is best taken late afternoon). Check with your Eastern Medicine Dr. to see which you should take & how much or take a general amino blend that covers most.
My favorite book on amino acids is The Mood Cure by Julia Ross that explains which amino acids help certain symptoms that pop up when the brain is depleted. Recommended by my favorite East meets West Doctor Stephanie Daniel of Intuitive Womens Wellness.
30 minutes later and preferably after your morning bowel movement, feed your cells with:
3.) Breakfast = morning smoothie. (Non negotiable step).
water + Protein powder + fiber + spinach + ice/frozen berries + healthy fat (almond butter/ avocado / banana/ chia seeds)
a.WATER - one cup
b. PROTEIN POWDER -2 scoops- (fave brands: Arbonne, VegaOne, Phood, Mars/Ven) Amino Acid rich, micronutrient full protein powder provides the building blocks, makes you feel full, and gets you well on your way to essential daily protein needs
c. FIBER - 1 scoop- (flax seed or psyllium husk or Arbonne's fiber scoop)
d. Spinach / Kale - huge handful
e. Frozen berries or ICE (if avoiding sugar)
f. healthy fat - 1/2 an avocado sneaks in easily. Almond butter is awesome esp with bananas or chocolate flavored protein powder. Chia seeds are tasteless and packed with healthy fat & protein. The importance of this ingredient is to give the body substance. Something to protect the organs with, feel full, and burn through slower. It's the ingredient that insulates the brain too.
The feeling I would get after feeding my cells with a green smoothie was so good, it inspired better choices all day. The MOMENTUM EFFECT was real. As long as I started properly, the rest was frosting. It took the pressure off to be perfect because I started my day with a win. Plus, with my cells fed, I had less cravings.
Psychologically speaking, starting my day with even a bite of a candy bar would not only make me feel like I'd already failed (even though it's minimal damage), it would spark a blood sugar, cortisol, ghrelin response that would make me slightly hungrier & craving sugar all day.
4. Lunch = protein + veggies (chicken salad, tofu stir fry, tuna salad). No starchy carbs just yet.
Keep your mind sharp and plugging through the day. Reduce the need for coffee early afternoon (which can be dehydrating & inflammatory). Any starchy carbs will be at dinner.
5. Ditch the alcohol & Dessert: especially 15- 21 days before the big event!
This was tricky. i hadn't been honest about how alcohol got me through the events I wasn't actually that excited about or sugar being such an emotional crutch.
I found myself resorting to work arounds thanks to friends suggestions.
1. My one friend that sells Arbonne supplied me with a discount to get these sweet vitamin B fizz sticks that were energizing. I loved them so much I gave them in my wedding gift bags to help people get over their hangovers & get that zip in their step. I carry these everywhere now.
2.She also handed me a ziplock bagging of their chocolate flavored slim chews that don't spike blood sugar but give you the feeling of eating a treat.
3. Another friend gifted me these healthy chocolates that have DL-Phenylalanine in them- an amino acid that is the precursor to endorphines giving me a light rush when I needed the psychological break. Which reminds me I need to call her and reorder those!
4. Stevia, a plant derived zero sugar sweetener, in my tea also helped get me over the humps.
5. Full fat but low sugar almond butter was satisfying without being sugary.
6. Dinner: flexible but early. If I had fed my cells all day & gotten enough fiber & water, I found I wasn't really craving crap. Whatever I chose, it had to be moderately portioned to not overload my pre-bed belly and had to be eaten 1.5 hours before bed. No getting in the way of beauty & skinny sleep!
7, Sleep! : The #1 thing that will lean you out is sleep, and early to bed sleep. Practicing saying no or coming home early from events gave my body a chance to recalibrate, flush out the crap, get back on track, and leave me lean, sexy, and noticeably better mood.
And now, 3 weeks after being back on the sugar, alcohol, skipped smoothies, late night thai food train, my cravings are through the roof, my energy is lower, i'm noticeably dumber (seriously), and my thighs are brushing in that "I can't just blame it on my period" way. It's a minor shift but I remember how good it felt to make little good choices regularly while still living my fabulous life.
Two less vodka tonics and a little more spinach and sleep & life is just better.
But seriously, even as I write this, all i friggin want is a pumpkin spice latte which is pretty much chemicals, sugar, and pesticide laden coffee beans. FML- I really want one. 1st 3 days of rebuilding good habits are always the trickiest.
I'm probably going to have the latte, practice loving myself anyway and being flexible and forgiving while starting back on the shakes. Ready Go!
A little gift for the GetHSH community: I'm offering a 2 weeks accountability group for people that want to support each other and try out this 2 week smart eating plan. I still have discount hookups for protein powders & B vitamin fizz sticks. True Story. LMK if you want me to order for you or want local suggestions from Whole Foods. I'm doing it anyway so LMK if you want to take advantage of a wellness coach on a personal mission that will take you with. xoxo Sara
leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to participate.