These days, I don’t write a lot of health or eating plans, but health and well-being are still very much a cornerstone of my every day life! My background is nutrition after all, but I also think it’s because of my Virgo nature (Virgo rising/Virgo ascendant). :wink: Protein – Again, there is no perfect protein for every person, and they vary based on type: egg white, whey, pea protein, and collagen to name a few, but whatever you choose, buy the cleanest version you can afford. I like vanilla Vital Proteins Collagen and if your stomach can handle whey protein, I’ve had great success with a product the brand Jarrow makes!
These are a few of my favorite things… (cue the Christmas song or Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings”)
I’m often asked what to eat for weight loss or digestive relief. My advice for weight loss is never a one-size-fits-all approach. We’re all individuals with different body types, blood types, ancestral diets, and heritage, and what works for one, will not always result in weight loss for another. For instance, when I competed in my first bodybuilding show, my “prep” consisted of a ketogenic diet which flies in the face of the standard competition diet, but it worked for me. While I can no longer eat straight keto due to some dietary changes I had to make to repair my gut, I still practice clean-eating and work out with my trainer a couple times per week for heavy weight lifting, in addition to what I do on my own. And, if you know anything about me at all, you know my struggle around digestion and gut health! The truth is, it’s not just one strategy that can help you lose weight or get in your healthiest state. It’s a lot of little things, done consistently over time, that give you the results you’re after. That said, I want to share some of my favorite dietary hacks that address both needs. This isn’t of course an exhaustive list; some are new to my regimen and some I’ve long been a fan of.
I usually begin the day with a green smoothie of fat, fiber, protein, greens & a prebiotic. These serve as the base. I do mix in some berries, coffee or cacao from time to time but I’m a girl after a slimmed down process (pun intended), so I usually keep it pretty simple. This smoothie will flatten your stomach, improve digestive/gut health, stabilize your blood sugar and help you naturally detox your body- not to mention give your skin a glow! Of course, you do not have to consume these in a smoothie; it’s just what works for me to get it all in. I’m not endorsed, nor do I endorse any particular brand, but my recommendation is to pick the one that tastes good, is ethically produced, and made with the highest quality ingredients. These products can be found at any health food store or can be ordered from Amazon. Read on for a breakdown of the benefits of each ingredient!
Inulin – Inulin is a soluble fiber that is naturally occurring in certain plants. Because it is indigestible by your small intestine, it arrives in the large intestine intact, enabling it to act as a prebiotic that feeds the good bacteria in your gut. This keeps your body healthy by preventing infections, strengthening your immune system, and fighting off the bad bacteria. Inulin promotes weight loss by making you feel full longer, balances blood sugar, may help IBS and bowel function, and may help prevent colon cancer. I use a certified, organic product made by the brand, “Now”.
Manuka Honey – This is not something I mix into my smoothie but regularly incorporate into my diet. This is a honey produced in New Zealand and is one of the most beneficial in the world coming in as a digestive superstar aiding those suffering with acid reflux (my hand is up), SIBO, or small intestine bacterial overgrowth, low stomach acid, and ulcers. Because it’s also an anti-microbial, there could be some benefit to those struggling with skin issues such as acne or dermatitis. Studies indicate that this honey could be beneficial in treating those with IBS and IBD. Lastly, Manuka Honey promotes good sleep and research now proves how important sleep is for weight loss. I’m obsessed with Wedderspoon’s Monofloral Raw Manuka Honey!
Raw Fiber – Dietary fiber has numerous benefits but topping the list is that it keeps you “regular”, slows sugar absorption rate into the bloodstream, helps achieve and maintain a healthy weight, lowers bad cholesterol levels and acts like those big circular scrubbers you see in a car wash for your colon! Apart from what I take in from my diet, I add in the supplement, Raw Fiber, made by Garden of Life.
Greens – We’re all familiar with greens such as spinach or kale that are popular for smoothies, but the greens I’m referring to is a particular class of energizing grasses that are chocked full of minerals, vitamins and antioxidant/anti-inflammatory plant compounds. Known on the market as “Green Superfood”, benefits include improved immunity, weight loss, increased energy, fat loss, hormonal function improvement, and nutrient absorption. Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I will say that green superfood powders will NOT be the most pleasant thing you put into your mouth! Don’t say I didn’t warn you, just sayin’…
If you dare to brave it, and believe me it’s worth it, I use the raw, organic green superfood by Garden of Life. However, if you just can’t hack it’s grassy taste, they do make a chocolate flavored version.
Fat – Ahh fat, you poor demonized little thing! We hate you one decade, love you the next. No matter where you fall on the fat spectrum, there are so many advantages and benefits to healthy fat that this post wouldn’t be complete without at least a mention. The healthy fat I’m specifically referring to is MCT oil. Made from coconut oil, this medium chain triglyceride is linked to many important benefits with the sexiest being its effect on weight loss. This is because it increases the release of a couple of hormones in the body that are responsible for feeling full, and a lower rise in glucose which also effects satiety. Because the body can use it instantly for energy, there is no need for it to store fat for later usage. It supports the gut lining as well by optimizing the growth of good bacteria. Lastly, it may reduce fat stores, increase fat burning and help control your blood sugar. A word of caution: start slowly with this supplement as it can take a little getting used to and can upset your stomach if you go in too hot (read: disaster pants). This is a fairly versatile product and can be added to a smoothie or drizzled over a big salad with grilled chicken.
So there you have it: a few of my favorite weight loss and digestive repair hacks all
These days, I don’t write a lot of health or eating plans, but health and well-being are still very much a cornerstone of my every day life! My background is nutrition after all, but I also think it’s because of my Virgo nature (Virgo rising/Virgo ascendant). :wink:
Protein – Again, there is no perfect protein for every person, and they vary based on type: egg white, whey, pea protein, and collagen to name a few, but whatever you choose, buy the cleanest version you can afford. I like vanilla Vital Proteins Collagen and if your stomach can handle whey protein, I’ve had great success with a product the brand Jarrow makes!