by Kristin Thomas
Hiya, pretty! It’s finally that time of year – we can open up our windows, put on our floral dresses, and dance around the streets in our flip-flops. But if you’ve felt hesitation to look at yourself in the mirror lately, dreading what your lackluster winter diet did to your arms, buttocks, and stomach, I have a plan for you! Spring doesn’t have to mean exposing flabby arms, summer doesn’t have to mean covering up the cellulite on your legs, and you shouldn’t need to suck in any belly fat. There are many beautiful ways you can support your body both now and year-round to keep those lean lines and make you feel your best in your monthly fixes.
As a functional nutrition practitioner, I coach women just like your pretty self to find the best foods that can nourish the body, be good to your digestion, and keep you lean and happy all year round. I’d like to offer several of my tips to you today! Let’s dig in.
1. Color, Color, Color!
Just like your wardrobe, your plate should be filled with vibrant, colorful foods. White foods like bread, rice, and sugar offer minimal nutritional value, are often the cause of bloating and skin rashes, and just don’t serve your body well! Instead, focus on dark leafy greens like kale, spinach and collard greens with every meal. Indulge in seasonal fruits like blueberries, peaches, and strawberries and enjoy colorful cruciferous veggies like purple cabbage and broccoli or broccolini. And as much as you can, enjoy organic produce as well as organic and pasture-raised meats (so long as you’re not a vegetarian). Grab my free recipe guide to see these foods in action!
The more whole foods you can eat, the better you’ll nourish your body, and when you eat naturally, you help to balance your metabolism naturally. Not only can good food choices help you to lose weight, they can also give you brighter, more glowing skin, a clearer mind, and more energy to enjoy the beautiful summer sunlight!
2. Follow the 80% Rule
Have you ever been guilty of eating until you’re painfully full? I am, and with the massive portion sizes we’re fed today, most of us are overeating. More calories in equals more weight on the scale — especially if it’s unhealthy calories. A rule of thumb I encourage all of my clients to follow is this: Eat until you’re 80% full.
Did you know that it can take up to 20 minutes for our brain to receive a signal from our stomach that we’re full? Scarfing down meals doesn’t give your body time to send that signal, so you may not actually realize when you’re full — until it’s a bit too late. So slow down, fill your plate a little less, and enjoy every bite! That brings us to my third tip…
3. Become Mindful of your Food
Mindful eating is a beautiful concept. It means becoming more in tune with your food and nourishing your body. This not only allows you to appreciate the flavors of all the colorful foods you’ll be eating, but also to slow down and not overeat.
The first step is to become present with your meal. You can do this by putting away electronics, taking a few deep breaths before sitting down, and smelling your food. These small rituals send a big signal to your digestive system that it’s time to eat, which helps to promote healthy digestion. Then, focus on chewing more and chewing slower. This may seem like simple tips, but you’d be surprised how often we don’t do this! Many of my clients, as healthy as they are, often realize they half-chew their food and by chewing more (about 30 chews per bite of food) they were able to better digest their food. Half-chewed food is much tougher for your digestive tract to process, which can cause food to sit stagnant in your belly, causing uncomfortable pain and bloating — and who wants to feel that way during bikini season?!
When you’re done eating, express gratitude. Feel grateful to be able to put food on your plate, to eat well, prioritize your health, and feel love for your body. These positive affirmations can go a long way towards boosting your health — the mind-body connection is real, ladies!
4. Drink Lemon Water with Apple Cider Vinegar Daily
This is my all-time favorite drink and I’m so excited to share it with you! I’m a huge fan of morning rituals and this is a good one for everyone to work in. Lemons are fantastic both for digestive health and detoxification, and apple cider vinegar (ACV) is great for digestion as well as metabolism, weight loss, and much more. Together, they’re a powerful combo.
Here’s how to make this drink:
Mix 1 Tbsp of ACV with the juice of 1 fresh squeezed lemon and mix in 8 oz of filtered water. Drink this every morning before eating breakfast.
This helps to stimulate your metabolism and digestion, as well as help your body to detox the toxins from the night (when our bodies go through the biggest detox process of the day). Many of my clients end up making this a part of their daily routine long after working with me because the benefits are so great and it really puts a pep in their step!
5. Get Curious About Your Metabolism
If weight doesn’t seem to budge no matter how well you eat or exercise, your metabolism and digestion may need a boost. There could be an underlying reason why the number on the scale won’t budge. Perhaps you’re low in enzymes that are necessary to digest food. This can lead to slower transit time and food sitting around in your stomach. If you go to the bathroom less frequently than you think you should, or feel a heaviness in your tummy, it could be a transit issue.
Or, perhaps there’s an infection going on that’s causing your system to go a little haywire, causing things like bloating, holding onto weight, cravings, and so on. If this is the case for you, you may want to look into running a functional lab test that looks at your digestion and metabolism with a practitioner like myself to then find out what you can to do rebalance your body.
If you’d like to get in touch about that, you can book a free intro call with me to learn more!
6. Get Your Zzzz’s
Did you know that just a few nights of poor sleep can lead to faster aging of the skin, a decline in memory (hello, brain fog!), weight gain (eek!), and more? When we sleep, our bodies repair and rejuvenate themselves, so if we sleep less or sleep poorly, we lose the ability to do that, which can have widespread health effects.
So how can you boost sleep? First, check in with your mind. Is it racing before bed? If so, work in some relaxing nighttime activities like taking a bath, meditating, journaling, doing some yoga stretches, reading an enjoyable book, or another relaxing activity that will take your mind off of your worries. Then, check in on your environment. Do noises or lights wake you up frequently? If so, consider buying a white noise machine and a sleep mask to give your body absolute peace.
A few other rituals I like to practice are diffusing lavender essential oil near my bedside, taking magnesium before bed (this is very calming to the body) and drinking chamomile tea 1 hour before hitting the sack. Whichever tools work for you, make them a priority every night so you can improve your beauty sleep and wake up rejuvenated! Oh, and have patience — it may take a few days or a week to set into a routine and allow your body to adjust.
Live Your Best You This Spring and Summer
I am so excited for you to begin implementing these tips! They’re the ones I practice every day and encourage my clients to do as well. No matter where you are with your health today, doing one healthy thing for your body every day will do your body good. Over time, you’ll see a difference in your metabolism, weight management, appetite, mood, memory, and overall sense of wellbeing! Top that with an amazing outfit, and you’ll soon be unstoppable!
Join Alison and Kristin LIVE on Facebook on Friday, May 18th for a discussion on “New Diet, New Wardrobe: A Nutritionist and Stylist Help You Feel Your Best this Spring & Summer.” If you have questions you’d like us to cover during the Live, comment below to let us know! Head on over to our Facebook page and hit ‘Like’ so you can be notified when we go live on Friday, May 18th.
PLUS, those of you who attend live will be entered to win a FREE 30-minute session with Kristin and a Style Challenge by Get Your Pretty On!
Kristin Thomas is not only highly trained in Functional Health Practices, she has lived through chronic illness and reversed her own ulcerative colitis and other health challenges such as leaky gut, food sensitivities, hormone imbalance and a half dozen gut infections. She is a Certified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner and Holistic Health Coach with additional training in digestive health, hormone balancing, SIBO, thyroid conditions, detoxification, and stealth infectious disease. She helps clients determine what lab tests will best illuminate why they feel sick and what actions to take to feel better. She then guides them toward better health by eliminating the factors creating the loss of function, putting meaningful lifestyle interventions in place, homing in on the right diet, and working to unblock the physical and emotional factors that led to poor health. Kristin’s clients say that when they work with her, they feel truly understood, truly heard (often for the first time in their life), that she is compassionate and provides her clients with the answers they are so desperately seeking.