Preparation is everything! Especially when you’ve decided to venture a lifestyle change, like the Fat Flush Plan. There will be lots of roadblocks and hurdles, some that you know and some unforeseen. With the input of veteran Fat Flushers and seasoned Smoothie Shakedowners, we have compiled a list of the top things that will help you jump the hurdles that may pop up along the way!
Zest some lemons and save the zest (you can even freeze it if you wish), then juice the lemons into ice trays and freeze. Each cube is equal to 1/2 lemon squeezed so you can just throw a “lemon cube” in your Hot Lemon Water in the morning!
2. A watched pot never boils.
Waiting for water to boil seems to take forever! So there’s nothing worse than having to try and boil eggs in the middle of your busy week. But these oval gems are life savers when snack-time is calling your name during the day. Don’t miss out because you “didn’t have time”! Over the weekend, boil eggs for the whole week. Keep them in the fridge and ready to go!
3. Endless fountain of…cran-water!
Mixing each individual cup of cran-water can sometimes be a pain— especially when you’re on-the-go or super busy at work. Try pre-mixing your daily cran-water in a pitcher or spouted dispenser. This will help you save time AND it helps keep you on top of your daily water intake!
4. Snack station
Another good way to have snacks on hand is to buy, wash, and pre-cut veggies on the weekend. Store them in the fridge in baggies for each day of the week. This is a HUGE time-saver because the little baggies are in the fridge and ready to be grabbed as you run out the door.
5. Strength in numbers!
If you can, get some friends/co-workers/family members to get on board with you! It helps so much when you feel like you’re not alone– a good support system even makes it feel more like an adventure, a fun journey! Also be sure to visit our Facebook pages (Fat Flush or Smoothie Shakedown) and Fat Flush Community for support! Encouragement, recipe swaps, tips, trials, questions & answers…and more!
Cutting the usual suspects out of your diet can be a challenge. (For some, the most challenging part.) When you say goodbye to pre-packaged foods, sugars, and sodium it can be difficult to adjust. Unfortunately, they’re major players in food these days. But learning to eat without these health-offenders forces you to think outside the box! Take advantage of the freedom– it’s a clean slate! Try new foods, sprinkle a new spice, experiment with a new recipe!
7. Mental Prep
Commencing with your everyday life will carry everyday events– birthday parties, graduation dinners, office luncheons. First, ready yourself that these events will happen and they carry all kinds of temptations with them. Next, come up with some ways to participate without breaking your diet. Look at the menu ahead of time (if possible) where the luncheon will be, and find something you can order or tailor to meet your parameters. Have a snack baggie ready in your purse to nosh on before-hand so you’re not hungry at the party. Also, it’s a good idea to come up with some Go-To answers when someone offers you a temptation. “Would you like some cake?” can be replied with, “No, thank you. I’ve been eyeing that beautiful veggie platter! I think I’ll go get some of that!”
As you have probably heard, all of us should be eating less sugar. Here’s why: Sugar has been linked to more than sixty different ailments, including obesity.
While refined sugar consumption has declined in recent years, a new breed of sugar substitutes has emerged in artificial sweeteners such as Splenda, aspartame, and sugar alcohols, as well as high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Alarmingly, sugar’s “kissing cousins” may be even more harmful to your health than sugar itself. These factors make it more important than ever that you understand and practice sugar savvy.
Here are some tips that are fundamental sugar-busters: basic concepts to help you identify sugar in all its various forms and to teach you to limit, substitute for, or eliminate it in the foods you put in your grocery cart, the foods you have in your kitchen, and the way you prepare food. Change is hard, so most people like to ease into it. Start by remembering the concepts and using the tips that seem the simplest and most appealing to you. Once you’re comfortable with those, it’s easy to expand and do more.
1. Stop adding sugar to food.
This is the very easiest way to cut sugar! Whether it’s cereal and fruits, or drinks like herbal tea and coffee, don’t add that sweet sprinkle. Simply eliminating nutrient-empty processed sugars from your kitchen is a good way to start. This means not only table sugar, but dextrose, raw sugar, turbinado sugar, brown sugar, and powdered sugar as well.
2. Eliminate processed carbohydrates from your kitchen.
Although many people don’t realize it, refined carbohydrates such as white rice, white bread, and white pasta are quickly converted to sugars in the body and disrupt the body’s blood sugar and fat control systems. Keeping these common products out of your home is a simple yet effective way to maintain a better-balanced blood sugar level.
3. Stick with unprocessed whole foods.
That’s the only way to be sure you’re greatly reducing your sugar intake. Poultry, meat, fish, and eggs are, of course, sugar-free. Legumes, grains, nuts, vegetables, and fruits, which may have some naturally occurring sugars, are full of nutrients and fiber, two ingredients that help balance blood sugar.
4. Thin out sweeteners or sweet foods. (Including natural ones, whenever you can.)
The idea isn’t to substitute one sugar addiction for another one, but rather to gradually and permanently cut down on all forms of sugar in your diet. Dilute concentrated sweeteners such as honey with water and mix sweet foods like granola with unsweetened foods such as plain cereals and nuts to reduce the total amount of sugar consumed.
5. Just as with sugar-free foods, beware of fat-free foods.
The fat-free trend of the early 1990’s predated the low-carb craze from which we are now emerging. “Fat-free” may be in bold letters on the label, but what the manufacturers don’t tell you is that the products are sugar-rich, sometimes containing two or more times the sugar found in the regular version of that product that naturally contains a little fat. High amounts of sugar not balanced with protein and fat cause the pancreas to release insulin, the body’s main fat-storage hormone. Fat-free products may sound good on paper, but in the ultimate irony, fat-free products helped to make American fatter and can still do so if you eat them excessively.
6. The more natural the food, the better.
It’s well established now that the more processed a food is, the more it will tend to raise your blood sugar. Since balanced blood sugar levels are the goal, opt for foods as close to their natural state as possible. Choose an orange in place of orange juice, an apple over applesauce, and brown rice instead of white rice.
7. Become a food detective.
To reduce sugar, you have to know where it is first. To do that, you have to be alert, ask questions, and pay attention to the information you receive about food. Learn to recognize important clues- such as how many grams of sugar are listed on a food label, the ingredients in a food, and how sweet a food tastes to you. Once you identify those foods with a high or hidden sugar content, you know them for what they really are: nutrient robbers and troublemakers for your body.
8. Eat for taste and good nutrition.
Your tastes can change, after all, but your fundamental nutrient requirements have to be met each and every day. It’s far better to have your taste buds rebel for a short while, than to have your body break down from nutrient deficiencies. Keep this in mind wen you’re asked to change long-standing habits for new, healthier, sugar-reducing ways of eating.
9. Listen to your body.
Know that your body gives powerful signals about what’s right for you even when your taste buds don’t want to listen. For example, if you get an initial high after eating a piece of chocolate but two hours later feel lethargic, irritable, and depressed, your body is going to great lengths to tell you something. Try to pick out those foods that make you feel good over the long term- mentally, emotionally, and physically- and you’ll make great strides toward stabilizing your blood sugar.
10. Eat regular, balanced meals.
This may sound like old-fashioned advice, something your mother might have told you, but scientific research is proving its inherent wisdom. Some research indicates that the body operates more efficiently when each meal or snack that you eat contains approximately 40 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent protein, and 30 percent fat. This formula keeps your blood sugar in the optimal zone for as long as four or five hours. Balanced blood sugar levels mean better concentration, better mood, and greater energy and stamina (and therefore less need or temptation to grab something sweet for quick energy).
For the average American, throwing away your salt shaker will hardly make a dent in your sodium intake. Salt is added so routinely by food manufacturers that it’s easy to overlook and difficult to escape.
It’s not just in chips and pretzels (obvious salty foods) but is also now in soups and breads, and even in some cereals and desserts like instant pudding!
These versatile tips can be used anywhere, anytime and will help you drastically reduce your sodium intake!
1. Avoid processed foods.
Products that come in boxes, packages, and cans are designed for a long shelf life and are the top source of salt in our diets. They also tend to contain sodium additives and preservatives, sugar and hydrogenated fats, all of which have been connected to health problems.
2. Think fresh and natural.
Nature designed foods that are perfect for us— low in sodium, high in nutrients. Fresh plant foods and unprocessed animal foods fit this description…all others don’t. Keeping this in mind, choosing foods low in sodium is relatively simple: when in doubt, reach for the more natural food choice.
3. Substitute unrefined sea salt or Real Salt for common table salt in your salt shaker.
This rule brings about another issue: the kind of salt you use is just as important as the amount of salt you use. Common table salt can be harmful because it doesn’t dissolve in the body and tends to build up. Unrefined sea salt and Real Salt, however, are “good” salts the body can use easily.
4. Use only the amount of salt that is right for you.
Reaction and requirement for salt, even to the “good” kind, is an individual response. There are different factors, such as health condition, age, and diet. Add the amount of salt that is right for you! At home, have each family member salt his or her own food.
5. Eliminate, or at least reduce, the amount of salt used in cooking.
Salt added during cooking accounts for about 45% of the sodium we consume! It is not tasted as well by our taste buds as salt that is added to foods after cooking, so we tend to add more.
6. Become a consumer-savvy food detective.
Pay attention! Seek out products that are low in sodium or have no salt added. An unsalted product used in place of a regularly salted ingredient can often reduce your sodium intake by hundreds of milligrams in one meal alone!
7. Make your meals come alive with savory salt-free seasonings.
Use garlic, herbs, and spices to amp up the flavor. You may never even miss the salt!
8. Use naturally salty nutritious foods like unprocessed cheese and reduced-sodium tamari in small amounts.
When your diet is —as a whole— low in sodium, you can afford small amounts of salty natural foods in your diet for flavor. Remember to consider them condiments though— a little bit of them can go a long way.
9. Emphasize the K factor at every meal.
K is the chemical symbol for potassium, a mineral that counteracts the effects of too much sodium in the diet. It is known to protect against hypertension, strokes, and heart disease. While all natural foods contain potassium, fresh fruits and veggies contain the most.
10. Eat for taste and good nutrition.
Don’t just eat for taste alone. Keep in mind, our taste for salt has far exceeded our need. Manufacturers and restaurants frequently take advantage of the human taste for salt, making profits off the sales. It’s important to keep in mind that your taste for salt can lessen, but your fundamental requirements for nutrients have to be met each and every day.
Cumin packs a punch when it comes to both flavor and detox/weight loss benefits. Watch Ann Louise Gittleman’s vlog to learn how cumin enhances the liver’s detoxification process and get some tips on how you can make it part of your Fat Flush menu!
Discovering the best-tasting smoothies takes some trial and error. Try experimenting with various fruit combinations and amounts of cran-water, using frozen fruit instead of fresh, blending the water and fruit first before adding the remaining ingredients, and varying the amount of ice cubes you use.
The quality of your blender definitely has an impact on the level of “yummy” your smoothie hits. The blades move faster in high quality blenders, suspending the protein for a smoother texture and more incorporated fruit flavor. One blender brand we get lots of rave reviews about is the Vitamix. These heavy duty, professional blenders are met with raving reviews. You can check out the various models here or visit their official website.
Do you make a smoothie in the morning to bring to work for lunch, but by the time the clock strikes 12 the consistency isn’t what you’d like? Portable blenders, like the Magic Bullet, are great for mixing up fresh smoothies on-the-spot, no matter where you are. The blender cup even doubles as a glass! You can purchase one here.
You can make the smoothie ahead of time and stick it in the freezer until just before you’re ready to enjoy it! Letting it sit out for a few minutes will have it thawed to just the right consistency.