Sunday, February 24, 2013

flat-belly food

while there might be snow on the ground here in utah, the sun is shining and beginning to melt the chilly blanket covering my roof and future spring-time garden.  i was raised in sunny arizona and spent most of my time pretending to be a mermaid in the back yard pool, so these bones are aching for the weather to warm up.  but even with all of that excitement, there's the dreaded anxiety that surrounds swimsuit season.

though it started out as a joke, i've now begun to tell myself that swimsuit season will dread me this year as a means to change my attitude towards my body and the years of unpleasant shopping trips to find a suit that would flatter my good areas yet hide and suck-in the not so pretty jiggly bits.  i still wish my body looked better, that it matched up to the image in my head, but i'm happy with my body how it is.  so swimsuit season won't be too bad this year!

if you're looking for a jump-start to getting your body pool-ready, start incorporating some of these abs diet power foods into your daily routine.  don't throw out everything in your pantry, shelves, and refrigerator and eat only what's on this list.  shoot for adding in six items a day.  it's easier than you think.

want proof?  i'll give you one of my go-to breakfasts that is almost 100% abs diet power based!

let's start with whole grains.  i had an absolute loathe/hate relationship with them until a few years ago.  when your mom bakes whole wheat bread at home, serves it up in 10" slices with loads of peanut butter and no jelly, you begin to hate it when you see friends with cloud-like wonder bread sandwiches.  nobody wants to trade with you.  it sucked.  now, i love it.  my favorite source is orowheat double fiber english muffins.  with 8g of fiber, 0g trans fat, and 23 g of whole grains per serving, i don't even dare ruin these by smothering on butter.  they're great as they are.  but i like to improve them a bit by making my own breakfast sandwiches, using them as the base.

my favorite thing to top them with are scrambled egg whites with a little chopped up baby spinach mixed in, along with a big thick slice of juicy tomato.  forget a drive through breakfast sandwich with processed sausage and who knows what.  try this!  you'll be full  and ready to face your day with at least 30% of your daily fiber and loads of protein from the eggs.  i'll often follow this with a handfull of berries and a protein shake on my drive in to work.  that's 5 ingredients from the list and it's not even 7:30 in the morning!

i'm often asked about ways to incorporate more protein into a diet and my answer is always the same: protein shakes and eggs.

eggs are a great option as they're a portable protein source, as well as a source of vitamin a and b 12.  try them hardboiled as an energizing snack.  don't like the plain taste?  spring some old bay seasoning or just a pinch of salt!  chop them up and add them to a salad, or stir with a squirt of mustard and plain nonfat greek yogurt to make a low-fat egg salad you can stuff into a pita or a wrap.  top whole-wheat toast with a scrambled egg and 1 tablespoon salsa for a low-cal twist on huevos rancheros.

don't forget your weights and cardio to help tone that tummy so you, too, can make swimsuit season dread you this year, but make sure you're filling that soon to be toned tummy with lean proteins to maximize the number of calories you burn during digestion and to help you feel satisfied longer.

eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.

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