Ah springtime…we have been patiently waiting for you. After a long hard winter, Canadians are welcoming the nicer weather with extreme open arms. If you are like many, you may have gained a little bit of weight this winter or, are simply not feeling like your old energetic self. If that is the case – trust me, you can turn this around fast and feel your very best…naturally. All you have to do is follow my 5 simple steps below and you will quickly notice the needle on the scale dropping and a little extra pep in your step!
Step 1 – Hydrate like crazy. It is next to impossible to reach a state of optimal health, lose weight and feel energetic while you are de-hydrated. I realize for my “non-water drinkers’” this may be difficult at first – but, drinking water daily soon becomes second nature. So how much is enough? For optimal digestion, improved skin and energy and for weight loss – you are looking at drinking 2 liters per day (that is 8 glasses of flat water or hot or cold herbal teas). While you may run to the bathroom quite a bit initially – that soon slows down.
Step 2 – Watch your wheat and gluten intake. I find as we get older, our ability to digest wheat and gluten drops. You can continue to enjoy some grains – but try going wheat free and gluten free for a 30 day period to see how you feel (I promise –your energy will soar!). Wheat free and gluten free grains include: brown rice, quinoa and amaranth.
Step 3 – Get as green as possible! Green foods are nature’s superfoods that are alkaline, rich in calcium and are high in anti-oxidants. I would recommend trying to eat a minimum of 2 green foods per day such as broccoli, kale, spinach, arugula and turnip greens.
Step 4– Watch the sugar monsters. Often times we crave sweets because we are stressed, eating too much sugar or carbohydrates in the first place and/or are tired. Unfortunately, too much white sugar can contribute to weight gain, mood and energy fluctuations and cravings for more. If you want something sweet, try natural sugars found in fruits such as berries, grapefruits, grapes, cherries, apples, oranges or mangos. You can even make your own homemade Popsicles as a sweet treat to curb cravings this summer. If it is a chocolate fix that you need, opt for 2 pieces of dark chocolate during your danger zones.
Step 5 – Lower your cortisol levels…naturally. Cortisol is a stress hormone secreted by chronic mild to moderate stress. Unfortunately, prolonged periods of stress trigger greater insulin and cortisol secretion which result in weight gain and suppression of immune system function. So…what can you do to keep stress in check and feel your very best? Lots! Whether you spend alone time in the morning to stretch (my favorite), work out at a gym, listen to music or shut off your electronics at night – a daily stress relieving practice will help your reach your optimal health.
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