‘I just want to tone up’ or ‘I’m going to detox before I go’ are some of the common phrases I hear during the weeks leading up to summer. This anxiety goes into overdrive if the trip includes men and the unspoken desire to be the girl with the best body looms. Although I have felt this sort of pressure many a time, I think this sense of obligation is uneccesary and very unhealthy. Instead of focusing on hipbones and thigh gaps, we should really be focusing on smooth, glowing skin and bloat free tummies. I’ve seen girls exist on coffee, splenda, diet coke and grapefruit, ensuring that by the time Ibiza rolls around, they’re bloated, sallow and miserable. Not sexy at all.
Whilst i’m certainly not exempt from the desire to look my best, I realised long ago that this can only be achieved by feeling your best too. Here is my five day pre holiday eating plan that totally abhors starving and aspartame. Instead I focus on giving my body an intense shot of vitamins and minerals by consuming whole foods and eliminating toxins such as sugar and alcohol. Most importantly of all, it’s easy to follow and doesn’t require a slew of expensive and obscure ingredients.
Overnight Chia pots – Chia seeds are the health food of the moment for their abundant health benefits – high levels of omega-3 and 6 as well as being a great source of protein.
In a bowl add 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, 1/2 teaspoon of cinammon, small handful of chopped almonds, berries of your choice, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla powder (optional obviously). Soak in either water or coconut water mixed with a little almond milk or rice milk over night. The chia seeds soak up liquid like crazy which gives them a rice pudding-esque texture and will fill you up until lunch.
Green Smoothie – This option is a little more hardcore and requires a few of those obscure ingredients I promised wouldn’t feature but it’s a really intense way of feeding your body the essential fats, proteins and greens it needs to be bloat free and beautiful.
Add 1 handful of kale, 1 cup coconut water, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, handful of blueberries, 1/4 avocado, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, goji berries, handful of almonds (soaked for a few hours or overnight if possible) and a dash of maple syrup. Please don’t use agave syrup – despite it marketing itself as a healthy alternative to sugar, it’s basically a HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) and can cause insulin spikes leading to sugar cravings.
I often add a scoop of James Duigan’s Body Brilliance to my morning smoothies. It’s a product I absolutely adore and cannot recommend it thoroughly enough. It contains a potent blend of antioxidants such as supergreens and green tea extract as well as a good dose of protein to help keep hunger at bay until lunch.
Grilled chicken or veggie burger wrapped in lettuce with Dijon mustard and a large salad (spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, 1/2 avocado, 1/2 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar).
1 cup of lentil vegetable soup.
1 roasted sweet potato and a salmon steak. Brush the salmon with a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and rosemary before grilling.
Lentil and quinoa salad. Mix 1/2 cup cooked lentils with 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa. Sauté 1/4 cup chopped onions, 1/4 clove of garlic with 1 tbsp of tamari or soy sauce and add to the lentil/quinoa mix. Serve with 1/4 cup of walnuts and rocket salad. Add 1/4 cup of cranberries if you wish.
You should never go hungry during these five days. Have as many raw vegetables as you like in-between meals.
If you think diet alone is going to cut it then you’re sorely mistaken. I know that so many of us don’t have the time or inclination to be pounding away at the treadmill after work but I strongly believe that exercise is one of the most important activities you can incorporate into your week. Contrary to what you might think, It is actually counter-intuitive to be jogging endless miles. If you’re cardio crazy. you end up burning muscle.
Taking a class twice a week is a great start but doing a mixture of cardio, strength and conditioning is the key to a long and lean physique. As i’ve mentioned before, the Brazil Butt Lift Workout is a good option and i’m also a huge fan of Barry’s Boot Camp and Heartcore Pilates.
SLEEP 7-8 HOURS A NIGHT
Otherwise you may not budge a pound. Sleeping less than six hours a night can lead to an elevated BMI and prevents weight loss. When you get too little sleep the hunger hormone increases. It also raises cortisol which can lead to fat building around your stomach.
FOODS TO ELIMINATE
- BAKED GOODS
- FAST FOOD
- PACKAGED FOOD
BEVERAGES TO ELIMINATE
- FIZZY DRINKS
- FRUIT JUICE
- ANYTHING CAFFEINATED
I know bikini selfies are lame but I also know that being able to see results is important. Although it’s not about what the scale says, it’s reasonable to say that you’ll probably lose around 5lbs on this cleanse. Good luck!
Photos credit – Harpers Bazaar US