It seems like spring is finally in full swing. The birds are working overtime, trees are in bursting with new green growth and I cannot seem to stay indoors. Finally! Finally! Finally! Yay for sunshine.
Speaking of sunshine, as of today the official start of summer will commence on June 21st. That's exactly 61 days from now. I am so stinkin' excited! Long, sun drenched days, filled with warm weather, amazing fruits and veggies, and very little clothing (I'm looking at you, bikini).
I know that for many women, the mere mention of the words 'bikini season' or 'beach ready' causes the blood to drain from their faces, or induces mild nausea. I understand. Spending months on end, snuggled up in baggy clothes while waiting out winter can take its toll and turn 'beach bodies' into 'sweater weather' bodies. Mix in the fact that most holiday indulgent feasts and celebration also occur over winter and it's no wonder that just about everyone has at least a couple pounds they would like to shed before hitting the pool or beach.
Whether you have 5 lbs of 50 lbs to lose, I beg you to avoid another spring season cliche: The Crash Diet. I don't care which one it is, they all suck. Some suck more than others, but it's largely the fact that they all share the same flawed logic. They all focus on losing a lot of weight quickly.
I hate to tell ya, my friends, but there is no such thing as rapid SUSTAINABLE weight-loss. To lose weight log term, consistency, NOT PERFECTION, is key. That's why I decided to create a simple challenge that isn't 'diet driven' nor is it a quick fix. I invite you to join me and my gal pals as we embark on my #60WholeDays challenge.
Kicking off tomorrow, for the next 60 days leading up to summer, I invite you to make the commitment to eat whole foods. That's right, no "Special Diet", just real whole foods all the time.
By focusing your meals on a diverse spread of seasonal, whole foods you will naturally increase fiber, lower fat and fuel a healthy metabolism. No starvation allowed.
I believe 100% in focusing your intention on adding positivity instead of focusing on removing negativity. Since like attracts like, I want you to join me in focusing on the good! Fill your plate with beautiful, colorful seasonal fruits and veggies. Lets eat whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. When we focus on eating these things for #60WholeDays we will naturally be eating more filling (fiber and nutrient rich) foods and without even thinking about it we will automatically be consuming less of the 'stuff' that makes us hold weight, like processed food (packaged food), junk food (chips, candy) and nutritionally devoid calorie bombs (soda).
Beginning tomorrow for #60WholeDays here's the rules:
- Eat & drink only whole foods for the next 60 days*
- Soak up some sun each day (even if its only for 10 mins)
*What counts as Whole Foods:
Everyone seems to have a slightly varying answer as to what constitutes whole foods, and basically I say it's up to you to define what it means to you. For me, I don't consider something a whole food if it has more that 3 ingredients. So for example, I would eat tempeh as a whole food since it's ingredient list is soybeans, water and brown rice.
Whole foods also apply to what I drink and I try and focus on water, water and water. This is such an amazing addition to anyones routine and I encourage you to focus on mainly drinking water, all day long, as often as you can. I also enjoy teas and coffee in moderation, I just avoid artificial or processed sweeteners and stick to a splash of plant milk for creamer (personally I enjoy black coffee). If you are going to eat sweeteners use a whole food version, including maple syrup or applesauce to sweeten up some foods like oatmeal.
So each meal looks something like:
Eat an unlimited abundance of fruits & veggies.
Fill out meals with generous amounts of beans, legumes, seeds, nuts.
Drink water, tea or coffee
Basically, try and eat a lot of foods truly in their whole food shape and form (instead of in an unrecognizable powedered or flour form. Think wheat berries instead of wheat flour). Focus on building a beautiful plate that is abundant and colorful. I especially recommend including at least one green plant in each meal and adding other colors and textures from there.
Well, this is the program that the healthiest athletes I have ever known use to fuel a lean physique without any crash diets, calorie restricting, starvation or other unhealthy practices that happen often with athletes and non-athletes alike. That's the beauty of this program. By focusing on eating healthy, whole, un-fooled-around-with foods, our bodies take care of the rest. That plate of a variety of greens, colorful veggies, a scoop of beans, along with avocado slices, is not only beautiful and delicious but it's filled with macro and micro nutrients, without us having to overthink it. So we just get to eat hearty meals and get a leaner, more toned body. It only takes consistency, NOT PERFECTION.
So a tortilla slips in there along the way? Okay. No biggie. Get right back to it at the next meal. Also, try and select a tortilla that has the shortest ingredient list, no preservatives and is as un-fooled-around-with as possible.
We are going to eat this way for 60 days to allow for a nice, consistent body transformation. No get-thin-quick tricks here. Just sound eating, and great long term results, which will hopefully continue long after the first day of summer. You did not gain all of your weight overnight, and you will not lose it all overnight either.
The second rule is sunshine! I believe that getting out in some sunshine, not only gets you a happy and healthy dose of Vitamin D, but also re-connects us with nature. I challenge you to sit outside on a work-break, take a short stroll at lunch, or ride a bike around the block. It doesn't have to be much, but get outside! Ideally a 30-45 minutes walk or bike ride is dynamite, but if all you have is 10 minutes to sit in the sun and sip some lemon water, do it. Remember to breathe deeply, enjoy the scenery and let these 10 minutes be your "Me Time". Don't compromise on skipping your outdoor stroll. It's important. Use this time to re-connect with nature, check in with yourself, re-focus on your goals (that beach vacation, maybe?) and don't forget to give yourself some well deserved credit. Did you respect your body today by eating well? Good for you! Remind yourself that you are an amazing, beautiful creature that is creating the life and body of your dreams one bite at a time. Take a deep breathe and feel proud, strong and beautiful. Remind yourself that food is powerful, and that powerful food = a peaceful mind. Get it, girl!
How to participate it the #60WholeDays Challenge?
Commit to being the best version of yourself for these next 60 days. Join our sisterhood of support and accountability by posting check-ins each day on the social media of your choice. Share pics, thoughts, progress and meals by tagging them with #60WholeDays. Thats it. Wake up each day. Eat whole foods. Check in on social media using #60WholeDays. Get in some sunshine and give yourself much deserved kudos for treating yourself so kindly!
You can also share this image on the social feed of your choice, declaring that you accept the challenge!
I will be sharing my #60WholeDays on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
You can leave questions, comment and support in the comments below or on social media. Also feel free to send me questions on social media that you need answered or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Ladies, we have 60 simple days to treat our bodies with love and the best food possible. I promise you that if you commit to these 60 days of showing your body some love, it will show you love back! Leaner, tighter and glowing! I am here to support you all the way, and we can support each other on this journey. Remember that this is about positivity, self-love and whole-food. Lets be consistent in all of these things, and the results will be contagious. Enlist some of you favorite ladies pals to join us! The more the merrier.
A note about animal products: The plan listed above is designed to work following a whole food plant based diet. If you plan on including animals and their by-products, such as dairy and cheese, on your #60WholeDays you may experience slower progress and results. Since I specialize in plant based diets, I encourage meat eaters to shift their focus at each meal to plants as the main course. Your plate should be filled with colorful plant based foods. Think of meat as the side dish, if at all, and make sure to purchase the most locally grown, organic, hormone free meat sources your can find. Yes, they are expensive which is (yet another) great reason to begin to cut back in this category. Dairy is simply a calorie bomb, and cheeses and butter are not whole and should be avoided for ideal health and digestion. If these items do occasionally find their way into your 60 day plan, make sure to seek out the least fooled- with versions you can find. But I am confident that if you focus on eating abundant whole plant foods, the cravings for animal products will pass, and you will feel the improvements in your whole body (mood, sleep, digestion, etc) within days!