Time to Get Ready for Summer

Summer is finally here.  The Fourth of July is a little over 30 days away.  It's time to buckle down get my nutrition in check and be ready to rock the summer fun.  So here is the bottom line, whether you are going on vacation, a wedding, a special event or you just want to truly look and feel your best there are a few things that I do to stay in shape.

1.  You have to track your progress.  Whether you use an application like My Fitness Pal or you use good old fashioned pen and paper you need a system for keeping track.  The 21 Day Fix comes with the nutrition guide, the portion controlled containers and the tracking sheets so that you document what you are eating.   How often do you go through a day thinking you were spot on with your nutrition and then you had an extra handful of nuts, finished your kids ice cream or a glass of sweet tea?  I mean it happens to us all, but we think we were on track! We don't think those little things add up but in reality they will break your results.  So TRACKING IT no matter what you do, find a system that works for you!

2. Cut back on carbs.   I do not eat any bread or pasta.  The only carbs I have are sweet potatoes and yams.  However, carbs are also in the form of brown rice, quinoa and steel cut oatmeal – which my family eats.  I do NOT have carbs after dinner as a snack and typically will have any carbs for breakfast and lunch only!

3.  Limit your fruits.   I stick to berries like blueberries, strawberries, raspberries because they are low on the glycemic index.  Limit your intake of bananas to one per day and if eaten, do typically have it right after a hard workout to refuel.   I only allow myself 2 fruits per day to keep the sugar intake low.  

4.  I do not eat dairy.   Dairy does not set well with me – even the tiny bit of creamer in a cup of coffee.  I do mix Shakeology (vegan) with almond milk or coconut milk though and you cannot taste the difference, in fact, my family prefers their Shakeology with almond milk over regular milk.

5.  Eat Lean Protein.  I eat chicken, ground turkey, flank steak, eggs and that is it!  Another great lean protein is fish and eggs.  Any type of meat that you eat, especially pork/bacon should be made with NO NITRATES or additives – just pork only.  Nitrates are very, very bad for you as an additive and one that even though bacon is good, I will only splurge on it when I find one that is made without Nitrates.   If you are vegan, there are other foods that you can eat that can give you the protein you need.  (I can help you with this if you need help in this area.)

6. No Additives.  Stay away from marinades with honey, maple syrup or extra salt.  All that extra salt, extra un-natural chemicals and sugar can keep you from reaching your goal, even by as little as 2 pounds.  Look for Mrs. Dash no salt added seasonings or other seasoning blends without salt added to flavor your foods. 

7. Water!   During the summer, water is now more crucial than ever.  Being dehydrated comes not only in the form of holding extra water weight, but headaches and light headedness  Aim to drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water each day!  If you have a hard time getting your water in each day then add things like organic lemon slices, organic cucumbers and even organic strawberries to your water.  It gives it some flavor and doesn't add anything artificial at all.  

8.  Push Yourself.  In your workouts bring your A game every day!  If a set seems to easy then increase those weights.  You want to be reaching failure by the end of each set.  If you aren't pushing yourself, your results are not going to follow!!!  Keep track of your weights, your reps and your progress.  A fitness journal allows you to look back on last week and identify where you can improve!  I always challenge myself to do more than the week before.  Even if it's just 1 rep more its an improvement!

9.  Visualize yourself at your goal weight!  What does your body look like?  How does your body feel? What will you be able to do once you reach your goal that you can't do now?  
Visualization is key. Trust me, there are going to be times when you want to quit, when it's hard, when temptation is everywhere!  But you hold the key to your success.  Only YOU can be strong enough to stay on track when the rest of the world is living in the unhealthy zone! Don't get sucked into what everyone else is doing.  Because everyone else's goals are not YOURS!  

9. Try eliminating gluten and dairy.  Gluten and dairy are the top two food categories that people tend to have a food intolerance too and may not even notice it.  One of the signs of a gluten intolerance is bloating after eating any gluten laden food.  And a sign of dairy intolerance can be in the form of a runny nose and even acne.  Try eliminating these foods for at least a week (it takes longer than a week for gluten to get out of your system altogether, in fact, it can even take up to 6 months).  If you are intolerance you should notice these symptoms go away.

You might think it's a little strict and YES it truly is!  But it really really works.  I have seen the results that many others have had using this program and I know I will have the same results – I am making the decision that I am going all in.  It is all about will power and self control!   Plus, having others around me that are going through the same program will help to keep accountable definitely helps!

You are more than welcome to fill out my challenge group application (just click on the picture below) and I would be glad to help hold you accountable!!

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