Summer sports and swimsuits are two of my greatest motivations for looking and feeling my best. Whether we are looking to improve performance, boost energy or lean out, an easily attainable nutrition plan is a key component to reaching these goals. We know what we put into our body has a direct correlation with our daily output.
If sports performance is your priority, how do you fuel your body pre and post workout? If looking stellar in your swimsuit motivates you, how do you stay lean? You may be well on your way, but there are a few tricks that can help you get the results you are looking for and keep them!
Here are my go-to’s when I am trying to reach a certain goal. You can focus on just one category or go for all. Even if you just incorporate one tip, you will benefit.
- Refuel within 20 minutes of a workout. In order to rebuild the muscle that was broken down during exercise, it is critical to refuel within one hour (preferably 20-minutes of exercise). During a workout, your body accesses glycogen stores to meet the demands of exercise. A post workout shake or meal will replenish these stores, rebuild muscle to come back even stronger and keep metabolism high.
Try: 1 scoop vanilla protein powder,1/2 cup blueberries, 1 frozen banana, 2 tablespoon flaxmeal and 2 cups almond milk.
- Increase amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, which helps limit muscle breakdown, and speed muscle repair. It’s important we get enough amino acids for muscle maintenance, maintaining metabolism and stabilizing blood sugar.
Try: Grass fed meat, organic eggs and wild-caught fish.
- Fuel up with bulletproof coffee. If it is hard to have a full meal before a workout, try bulletproof coffee. The combination of coffee, coconut oil and grass fed butter will provide an excellent and efficient source of healthy fats. These fats provide energy, keep you satisfied and support hormonal balance. The cup of Joe will keep you going throughout your workout or long paddle without the crash.
Try: Black coffee mixed with 1 tablespoon grass-fed butter and 1 tablespoon coconut oil.
- Increase green tea consumption. Green tea has a high concentration of polyphenols which are powerful antioxidants. These antioxidants reduce oxidative stress, which help to slow down signs of aging, fight chronic disease and increase energy. Green tea also stabilizes blood sugar levels, helping to avoid that late afternoon crash when blood sugar is low.
Try: Un-sweetened green tea with lemon.
- Enjoy Maca daily. Maca is a root grown in Peru, but the powder and liquid form can be found in most health food stores in the states. Maca helps to balance hormones. It is an endocrine adaptogen, which means it does not actually contain hormones but has the nutrients necessary to balance hormones. Balanced hormones are essential for energy levels, athletic performance and overall mood.
Try: 1 teaspoon Maca powder in a smoothie or simply take it with water.
- Keep the yolks. Egg yolks are rich in B-vitamins, which are crucial to converting food into energy. The B-vitamins found in your morning breakfast are easily digested and will give you that sustained energy to get you through your workout or work.
- Cut Carbs. Whenever I have a photo shoot or event, I always cut carbs for a couple of weeks. Stored carbohydrates in the body retain water, which is what makes you bloated. In addition, carbohydrates (even healthy grains) produce a strong insulin spike, which results in weight gain.
Swap: Rice, potatoes and crackers for sweet potatoes, roasted veggies, spaghetti squash and mashed cauliflower
- Increase healthy fat. It has always been a misconception to stay away from fat. I used to avoid whole avocados and oil because I thought it would make me gain weight. Trans fats will definitely lead to weight gain, but there are other options that actually help burn fat stores. Healthy fats such as the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids enhance metabolic function and have a fat-burning effect. Bonus- they make your skin and hair look great!
Swap: All processed and fried food for raw nuts, avocados, wild caught fish, organic hard cheeses and grass-fed meats.
- Season with spices and Himalayan sea salt. Table salt and soy sauce make your body hold onto water, which is not ideal for bikini season. Switch to Himalayan sea salt, which is a natural diuretic. It contains 80+ minerals, which balance PH, improve circulation and assist in metabolic function. Using other spices are also great calorie-free healthy options. Turmeric and ginger contain major anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is important to reduce the inflammation in the body in order to repair damage and block the body from viruses.
Swap: Table salt, soy sauce and ketchup with Himalayan salt, turmeric, ginger and garlic.