Eat Your Way To Your Healthiest Body
I'm no nutritionist, but I have read my fair share of health books, diet columns and food essays from the experts – all of which have taught me two things: clean eating is the best eating, and balance is key.
While many of us enjoy salads, it's only natural to crave the occasional chocolate, fruity cocktail or pizza slice. And why should it make our stomachs churn with regret? I personally don't believe in extreme weight-loss techniques, yet I feel that having a set eating routine can help guide us to a much more stable and well-rounded diet. Below I've included my personal guidelines. No I don't do them every single day and yes I've eaten pizza before, but still they are extremely important to me, and have helped obtain my healthiest body yet. Hopefully they'll do the same for you!
Hot Water With Lemon/Lime
Well, I certainly can't take credit for this one (as most nutritionists recommend it, and my mom got me hooked on it) but it definitely stuck to me once I made it a routine. Here's how it goes for me: wake up, wash face, brush teeth, drink hot water with lemon, do everything else. According to the pros, sipping on this super simple mix in the A.M. provides endless benefits for the mind and body, such as: flushes out toxins, balances the pH levels in the body, provides us with a natural dose of vitamin C, strengthens the liver, prevents bacteria... and the list goes on! If you think about it, it makes complete sense, I mean how in the world did we start thinking that treating our stomachs to a steaming hot Starbucks first thing in the morning was a good idea?
VeganSmart Protein Shake
To kick off my day with a strong energy boost, I've gotten in the habit of prepping myself healthy and hearty shake using fresh fruit, water and a single pack of VeganSmart plant-based protein powder – my personal fave is Peaches and Cream. Other times, I opt for a fresh blend of ginger and carrot, or peanut butter, almond milk and banana – but the shake aspect always stays the same. after all, we're busy girls amirite?
Coffee With Almond Milk & Endless Water
Because I am only human, at around 8:00am I am desperately in need of a cold brew – I've got no excuses, it's become an addiction – but I always spice it up with some almond milk and a sprinkle of cinnamon to keep it interesting. Then, I make sure I buy the largest, coldest water bottle possible. I refill it throughout the day and never let myself feel dehydrated, mostly because I get dizzy and it really freaks me out. What with closed office spaces and high caffeine doses, a girl can really feel the thirst! Plus, drinking plenty of water throughout the day is proven to help increase energy, improve skin complexion and promote weight-loss – and who doesn't want that?
Rainbow Salad With Grains
Lunch is probably my favorite meal of the day. Why? Because by noon I am starving and seriously excited to chop up a salad. I realize many girls say they love salad but would actually much rather be eating a stake with fries, but fortunately (and oddly) I really do love salad – which makes things much easier. Usually this baby consists of kale, chickpeas, onion, peppers, quinoa, corn, olives and greek yoghurt dressing. I avoid cheese or any heavy protein because I feel that it gives me fatigue – and if you work in NYC you understand that is the last thing you want in the middle of a busy work day. Also, if you're just not a salad person, simply find a way to incorporate veggies and grains into your daily lunch – believe me, you'll be happily surprised by the outcome.
Fruit & Nuts
Since after work I tend to stop by the gym for a quick workout, I need to get a powerful yet light snack in my system to give me energy beforehand. I've found fresh fruit and unsalted almonds to be my booster-uppers of choice; though some days when I'm feeling extra hungry, I go for hard-boiled eggs instead. Some friends of mine actually swear dark chocolate is their one-and-only pre-workout goody (and not all nutritionists disagree) so I may give that a try too.
Protein & Sautéed Veggies
For dinner I've always found it best to keep it simple. For me that means plenty of veggies and a lean protein. Usually I opt for garlic tilapia or spicy tuna – but that really depends on each gal. The important thing is to avoid too many complex carbs or dairy products right before bed time; our body already has enough work to do as it is!
Herbal Tea (*Red Wine)
Right before bed I like to make myself a hot cup of herbal (definitely not caffeinated) tea to relax and unwind. Apart from its many benefits to the body, I've also found that it eases the mind after a long day. However, after a TRULY long day, sometimes tea just doesn't cut it, so bring out the red vino and enjoy! We all deserve it.