On the search for who makes the best paella I thought why not try to make the best paella, myself? One of my favorite recipes by one of my favorite chefs!
I hate to break up the crunches party but here's the truth. You can do a million crunches a day and still have belly fat! OMG! I know, what the hell! Have we been lied to all these years being told that ab workouts is what creates those defined six packs? Yes, ab workouts help tighten your core, but nothing will show through if you have 20lbs of fat on top of them!
We all have abs, whether or not you can see them. We all have abdominal muscles regardless of how weak or strong they are. Muscles don't just appear when you decide to start working out. We are all born with our muscles and bones already in place-so don't believe that they instantly were put into your belly!
To successfully lose belly fat the science is pretty simple. When we eat food whatever isn't fully servicing our body is excreting it through sweat or going to the bathroom (aka pee or poop). What doesn't leave our body is stored. Over time eating the wrong foods over and over again can cause more fat to be stored. We all know the best way to lose weight is through diet and exercise. If you are only doing one though, you won't fully see all results. You cannot crunch your way out of a bad diet. You cannot do hundreds of mountain climbers followed by fast food and hope your belly will slim down. It's just not how our bodies work. But you can eat your way to a better body.
What you nourish your body with is what will give you the energy to go for a run. What your nourish your body with is more important than the hours of working out. If you work out 5 or more days a week but eat absolute crap, you won't see much of a difference. If you eat a diet filled of fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, organically grown meats (if you eat that) and barely workout you will see a huge difference!
I am in no means saying working out isn't important but what you eat is definitely in first place. Think of it like this. When you have a car it needs gas to get you from point a to point b. Let's say your car needs premium gas. If over time you don't give your car premium gas and you buy regular just because its cheaper, your car isn't going to perform to the best of its abilities. In fact it might cause negative effects on your car causing it to break down. Now let's say you always give your body that premium gas and never let it get close to empty. It is always running at its best. Your body is the exact same way. Maybe you don't see immediate results of your Burger King binge but if you do that over time, your body will start to break down on you. If you are nourishing your body with whole, clean foods he/she is not going to quit on you!
In trying to lose that stubborn belly fat be more mindful of what you eat. Your belly loves fruits and vegetables and whole grains and organically grown vs fast food, cheaply made filled of GMO's and pesticides. Love yourself enough to take some baby steps to not only losing that fat but to make a healthier lifestyle choice!
I've always mentioned plant based diets as in being a vegan. For most people it is way easier said than done. They can maybe go a couple of days before they aren't getting enough protein or go out to dinner with friends and give in to a burger. It is totally normal and okay when you are trying to rewire the way you think about food and what you actually eat.
For me, I always found that while I loved sausage and fish I felt much better after a day jam packed of vegetables, legumes , fruits and whole grains. At first I was doing it for weight loss reasons, until I realized it was more than that. I was feeling better physically, my skin was glowing and my stomach felt more toned then ever before. I thought maybe I wasn't eating enough so I was starting to get the starving model look. But that wasn't it! My body was finally starting to adapt to my new ways of eating. I now follow as planned on a usual day:
Breakfast consists of either:
-Vegan chocolate protein mixed with berries and a banana
-Avocado toast with 2 whole eggs (usually if I eat out)
-Vegetable and fruit shake (literally any that I have in my house - usually a lot of spinach, zucchini and fruits)
-Salad with all vegetables, chick peas, beans, quinoa
-Brussel sprouts with grilled shrimp
-Chickpea pasta with spinach and tomatoes
-Vegetable tacos in a lettuce cup
-Mixed veggies with a fish protein
-Vegan protein shake with berries
-Spaghetti squash with vegetables
-Coconut milk yogurt with fruit
-Hummus with celery
-Vegan protein bars (RXbar)
I don't completely deprive my body of animal proteins because I haven't gotten there 100%. With my schedule sometimes it's just easier to throw shrimp on a skillet (and cheaper) then go out and buy a $13 salad. I know, excuses! But it's baby steps for me. Some other small steps you can take is changing over your favorite condiments and what you cook with like I switched to vegan ranch dressing for when I want something more creamy then just balsamic. I cook with way more spices and much less oils and marinades that are loaded with salt and sugar.
Let me know some of your healthy tips! Leave me comments below :)
I love tacos everyday, not just on Tuesday's. And for most people like me, the best part is the guacamole and sour cream piled on top. But I don't believe in giving up anything you love just to look better. So I went on a hunt to find a better way to eat my favorite foods and not have the guilt tag along.
When I'm looking for healthier options vegan is always one of the best because I know it won't include dairy and possibly any meat that is injected with GMO's or any other harmful things. The Raw Boy always has awesome recipes and his vegan tacos are one of my favvvvvv! Check it out:
For some people meditation sounds like too much effort. We make excuses like I don't have the time or I don't know how or I could never sit still for that long. The reality of it is, you can meditate anywhere and at any time for only a couple minutes to hours. Meditation isn't something that is supposed to feel like a chore, but something that helps boost your every day life.
You can meditate for a better sleep, for more energy, to clear your mind, whatever it is you're feeling their is a guided meditation out there to help you. When first starting to understand meditation I started with guided meditations to teach me the way. For me, Melissa Ambrosini has been a huge inspiration in many ways, so I enjoy her guided meditations, but there are thousands out there!
Before meditating regularly, I would use the gym as my meditation or writing. And while I still do both, sitting quietly by myself is one of my absolute favorite ways to clear my mind. There is nothing quite like sitting down and letting all of your thoughts escape you without any interruptions. Check out one of Melissa Ambrosini's guided meditation below!
I am obsessed with learning how to make my favorite foods even a slightly bit more healthy. One of my favorites is buffalo chicken, or buffalo anything! I love hot sauce but I don't always love the loads of blue cheese and calories that comes along with some recipes.
I recently purchased vegan ranch and blue cheese dressing from daiya and it has made a world of difference in my diet! I can now get in these flavors minus the dairy that my stomach doesn't love. Any change no matter how big or small makes a difference!
Check out this vegetarian option below!
On my journey to absolutely love my body I have come across a few revelations that have made me dig a bit deeper into my soul. I tried numerous times to go vegan but couldn't understand why my body wouldn't take to it. Or I should really say my mind. I watched documentaries that would scare the shit out of most people, switched most products I used to vegan based products and would actively try to do better. But then I'd have a super long day at work and come home to my mom cooking chicken cutlets. And well, I was too tired and cranky to cook my own food so I gave in. I have tons of stories just like this.
For a few months I had changed my diet over to vegetarian/pescatarian. I did it more for weight loss purposes and to see if it would make any difference. I generally eat fish more than poultry or meat so it wasn't difficult. What was difficult was to eat foods other then shrimp or plain pasta when I couldn't find meatless options. So no, that didn't work out great either.
I listened to my body. Ive always been very in tune with how I'm feeling. As a kid up until present day, I've battled having a weak stomach which meant often getting the stomach bug. My mom would joke how I could tell an hour ahead of time when I was going to get sick- and it's true! I was so in tune to my body I knew exactly what was going on in my tummy. With that being said, you would think I would listen to it with eating! I knew and know that whenever I eat a decent amount of dairy I feel sluggish, I instantly get bloated and just overall feel gross. When I have a lot of white carbs I feel very similar to dairy products. When I have a lot of sugar my skin will almost instantly break out and I start to get spots of eczema again. Not to say it's always bad foods, because any time I eat broccoli my stomach blows up like a balloon. But I also know by listening to my body, that that is how it initially reacts when I eat a lot of fiber. Doesn't mean my body can't take it, as the way it can't handle dairy!
So to go along with this theory-hear me out. I often would flip flop diets and not eat dairy for a couple weeks or carbs, or meats or just vegetables. I've tried it all and clearly nothing has stuck. Why? Because diets DON'T WORK!!! Let me repeat myself just incase you didn't catch that, DIETS DO NOT WORK!
Have you ever been told not to do something and then you instantly want to do it just because you were told you cant? Like when your mom tells you not to touch any of the buttons in the elevator and now all you want to do is push all 30 of them. Similar theory with food. When you tell yourself you absolutely cannot under any circumstances eat that slice of pizza, that slice of pizza is as valuable as a million bucks. It's all you can see and think about. And then you cave in and eat the pizza and shame yourself all night for ruining your diet. It's a vicious cycle we all get stuck in.
The truth is we don't want to be told what to eat and when we can. And when we are told what to eat or what's good and what's bad, we usually break the rules within a few days if not weeks. That's why meal plans and diets are such bullshit! I have spent so much of my own time and money purchasing other plans for myself and making plans for past clients until it hit me. Why am I making plans for people that I wouldn't even follow? Telling them which foods to eat, how many times a day and how many grams of each? No thank you.
I wasn't aware that my way of eating was starting to take a toll on my body. I would yo-yo from vegetarian to regular dieting to no sugar to taco bell binges to clean eating again. My body was happy then sad then happy then confused then pissed off. And the best part was in my head, I couldn't understand why I wasn't losing weight! Well hello dumby! You aren't being true to yourself. It's not rocket science. If I know that cheese makes me feel gross then I should stop eating it. Simple. So why do we over complicate it?
Knowing that my body reacts better to certain foods compared to others isn't a talent. Anyone can become in tune with their body, if you just listen. But ignoring your body is what most of us do. I am so aware of what my body hates yet sometimes I eat those foods anyway. Why, right? Why would I do that to myself? Well, the truth is also pretty simple. Emotions. Feelings. Life. When your emotions and feelings of what is going on in your everyday life, get in the way, it plays tricks on you. When you have a fight with your boyfriend or a bad day at work, do you come home and crave a salad or a big bowl of ice cream and a few glasses of wine? We like to tell ourselves that it's okay for whatever excuse we make, like it's just two glasses or I'm allowed because I had a bad day or fuck it I don't care. But really, you do care! Because if not later that night then the next day you'll feel the guilt kick in and want to get back on track from your little binge.
My simple solution isn't something you can change over night- BUT you can absolutely start today and carry it into your life, for the rest of your life. Listen to your body and to your emotions. When you're having a tough day, don't rush to fast food because its easy. Become in tune with how you are feeling and think of things that will truly make you happier and not just a quick fix. Cooking for yourself and your family can not only be a way to relieve stress but it is an act of self love. Nourishing your body with foods that are whole and nutritious are absolutely better then a quick meal you can pick up pre-made.
All weight loss aside, this is so much more then just losing weight. This is allowing yourself to form and cherish the most important relationship you will ever have in your life. And that is with yourself. I challenge you to start today. Start to listen to your body more. Start today and take it one day at a time. I promise your future self will thank you for it.