Cucumbers or Cupcakes?
Crash Diets... we're all guilty of it... even me...#sadface. I remember it was two months before my wedding and I dropped 15 lbs from my pre-wedding crash diet (my seamstress almost killed me)! Not going to lie, I loved how I looked... not so much how I felt though. However, just three short months after wedded bliss the lbs started coming back on, and fast. I wasn't going crazy, just eating what I normally ate pre-crash diet.
Fast forward 2 years and 2 months later to present day, and I'm working with a bride-to-be on scheduling her engagement photos. I threw out some potential options, and after we settled on April she said, "perfect, that gives me enough time to lose 20 lbs”. 20 lbs in 2 months". I couldn't help but think of my similar situation, and what worried me was that this was just the engagement session... what is was she planning on losing before the wedding???
I thought this would make a perfect blog post, about how to get healthy and fit for the big day! One issue, I'm not the best resource nor do I have the experience to write about the do's and don’ts of a healthy lifstyle. Insert my beloved friend Tanya Clark founder of Cucumbers or Cupcakes, a Holisitc Health Coaching business based in sunny south Florida! This woman is a ROCK STAR! Pilates instructor extrodanaire at Pilates of Boca, Holistic Health Coach, devoted wife, and new mother to the most adorable baby ever (isn't he the cutest???)!
Below is our little Q&A session for tips on how to kick start your healthy lifestyle!
Me: Let's get started! So, how do I get skinny?
Tanya: It's not about getting skinny, it's about creating a foundation for a healthier lifestyle, where losing weight is a by-product of the foundation. Starving yourself or crash dieting is the worst thing you could do to you body. You gain back twice the weight and twice as fast. Once you start your normal eating patterns again, your body latches on to that extra fat and calories because it thinks you're going to starve it again. The first step to creating a healthier lifestyle is clean eating.
Me: Like, washing fruits and veggies? I totally do that!
Tanya (insert cute laugh here): NO :) It means cutting out the crap (I love this because she's a no BS kinda gal). Read nutrition labels, if they have a.) words you can't define or b.) the ingredient list might as well be a novel... then it's definately crap. Buy organic and locally grown. Also, lots of fruits and veggies are a must. Insert healthy protein options that consist of lean meats, fish, poultry and eggs. Stay away from heavy wheat and sugars, and focus on healthy gluten free options.
Me: Ok, what are the no no's??
Tanya: Dairy is a huge no no. We're the only mammals that drink anything other than our mother's milk past infancy. Dairy digests differently for everyone, but a majority of people gain weight from dairy because they are intolerant and/or allergic to it and don't even know it. Dairy contains lactose which is essentially sugar (and we just learned this not part of the clean eating strategy). But if you must eat dairy, be sure it's organic grass milk or raw milk (non-pasteruraized). People assume skim milk is the healthier option, but it's not. Skim milk is stripped of nutrients.
Me: What about yogurt? I love me some Fage!
Tanya: Eat yogurt sparingly. Because of it's probiotics nutrients, I'm a fan. It's especially good for women, and helps with digestive health (keeping you on track and offers support to your immune system). Also, yogurt is lower in lactose than regular milk because it ferments. Choose greek and organic options.
Me: Ok, this is a tough question, because I think I already know the answer... what about cheese???
Tanya: Nope, no cheese.
Me: Say whaaatt??? You were like the cheese queen? (Not sure if there is such a title, but this girl would have owned it!)
Tanya: Believe me, I know! Initially it was tough, but I don't even miss it now. I feel so much better, and now I know what it would do to me if I did eat it... and it's not worth it. Sometimes I'll splurge and eat goat cheese, only because goat's milk is the closest thing to human milk, so it doesn't have the negative effects on my body that cow's milk does.
Me: So now I need to give up chocolate too?
Tanya. Not at all! There are plenty of milk-free chocolate options out there... I have some in my fridge as we speak. C'mon now... I can't give up chocolate ;)
Me: So, besides chocolate, what's your other guilty pleasure?
Tanya: Kettle corn! I like to make it from scratch!
Me: What about fitness?
Tanya: Here's my recommendation to my clients: 45 minutes of cardio, 5 days a week, and incorporate strength training. This doesn't necessarily mean lifting weights, but trying options like hot yoga (especially for arm toning) and Pilates.
Me: What's your motivation?
Tanya: Motivation varies for everyone. For me, it was feeling healthier than I ever have. Once I started to understand what I was putting into my body, I was motivated to develop a healthier lifestyle. I think that should be the number one motivator, especially for brides-to-be. Don't focus on "fitting in the dress", focus on preparing your body for your new life and what's to come after the big day... motherhood, career, and yes... even sex! Simply put it's your choice.... Cucumbers or Cupcakes???
I hope potential bride-to-be's or anyone trying to lose weight the healthy way found this helpful! I definately did, and even started my day with organic berries, organic egg whites, organic avocado, and organic Ezekiel bread. Next step: time to get rid of all the crap... pantry make-over occurring in 3, 2, 1!!
Click HERE to to follow Tanya on Instagram @cucumbersorcupckaes to find out more about living a healthy lifestyle and amazing recipes!