MONDAY MOTIVATION: JUICING & EATING RAW
Forget extreme diets and calorie counting, the secret to being bikini ready is eating (or drinking) your five-a-day.
First of all, let’s get one thing straight: you can’t eat unhealthily all year round and then expect to be able to diet your way into a bikini in three to four weeks! Being fit and in shape is a commitment, eating healthy is a lifestyle choice not a last minute fix and while we all fall off the wagon from time to time, if you want to look and feel good in your clothes and your swimwear, you have to commit to eating healthy and living actively all year round. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about ways to shed those last few pounds/grams and most importantly, how to beat the bloat.
Bloating is every woman’s worst nightmare, especially in summer when you can’t hide it with frumpy jumpers; bloating is caused by the body retaining water, one of its natural defences to try and prevent dehydration, it can occur if you’re not hydrated enough, eating the wrong kinds of foods or at certain points in your monthly cycle. In order to beat the bloat you have to make sure you are hydrated enough all the time and eat plenty of fibre. In Summer, one of the best ways I’ve found to keep my body hydrated and prevent bloating is to eat as much raw foods as possible up until dinner time; so, eating lots of fruits and vegetables as apposed to just trying to drink more water in a day.
Start Your Day with a Juice
Juice diets and cleanses were all the craze last year, but I think people quickly realised that living off a diet that consists solely of fruit and vegetable juices for a week is not practical or enjoyable. However, that doesn’t mean the concept of juicing should be completely thrown out the window, you just need to rethink it in a more practical and realistic way.
Firstly, avoid buying juices and where possible try to make your own; shop bought juices often have added sugars and other preservatives to increase their shelf life. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money, just start with a little electric citrus juicer; fresh lemon and orange juice in the mornings is a great way to wake up and kick start your metabolism. If like me, you like a bit of variety and really want to get the most from your morning juice, a whole fruit juicer is the way to go; with a more powerful juicer you will be able to juice not just fruits, but roots (like fresh ginger) and vegetables too, packing so many vitamins, minerals and nutrients into just one glass of juice in the morning.
Start your day with a glass of juice, first thing after you wake up before you do, eat or drink anything else; give it time to go down, 15-20 minutes (the perfect amount of time to fit in some morning yoga) and then follow with a breakfast of fresh fruit, chia pots or even a smoothie with added flaxseed. Don’t drink juice after you’ve just eaten, it will cause your stomach juices to become to acidic and effect your digestion; this is why the best time to have juice is the morning on an empty stomach, the body will quickly absorb all the goodness out of the juice and put it to work, rehydrating your bodies cells after a good nights sleep.
- 5-6 oranges
- 1 grapefruit
- 1-2 lemons
- 1 inch fresh ginger root
- Peel the oranges, grapefruit and lemons and remove the skin from the ginger.
- Put all the ingredients through a juicer.
- Poor into an air tight container or jug, and place in the fridge to chill before serving.
Raw till 4… or whatever time you eat dinner
If you haven’t heard of a raw food diet, then you’ve been living under a rock; in the last few years veganism and different types of vegan lifestyles (of which raw till 4 is one) have been put in the spotlight and become very popular due to social media and the endorsement of celebrities. Veganism is a lifestyle, not a diet, if you chose to eat vegan it should be because you believe in the ethics behind the movement and not because it seems like a trendy band-wagon to jump on. I myself am a vegetarian, however I do try to avoid dairy products like milk, cheese and yoghurt as I’ve noticed that they cause my skin to breakout.
Two summers ago I took the Love My Body Challenge hosted by Fully Raw Kristina, where I ate raw foods only until dinner time. Even at dinner time I challenged myself to eat only plant based meals, so no dairy or fish, which considering I don’t eat a lot of anyway, wasn’t a very difficult lifestyle change to make. At the end of the two weeks, I felt more energetic than ever, and was fitter and leaner (bare in mind that I was also working out and practicing yoga everyday) than ever before.
On a regular basis I try to eat a majority of plant based meals, however I don’t consider myself a vegan and therefore still do eat eggs, cheese and fish every so often. When I am feeling bloated or trying to reboot my metabolism I go back to eating raw foods only until dinner time, and avoiding dairy and fish where possible. Raw foods only until dinner is not as complicated as it sounds either, think fruit smoothies, fruit salads, green salads, carrot and cucumber batons, any fruit or vegetable as long as it’s not heated, cooked or baked, you can even get raw snack bars like Nakd Bars, which are great if you want something to munch on while on the move. Dinner time can consist of rice, pasta, potatoes, plus loads of veg; stir-fries are great, as are loaded jacket potatoes. Once you have your cooked meal you can even follow it up with some plant based treats like matcha cupcakes or oat cookies.