A few days ago I posted a selfie of my abs that I took before my photo shoot and it was INSANE the response I had. I often take a casual picture before shoots just for my own record so I know what works and what doesn’t from shoot to shoot. I almost didn’t post it because I wasn’t smiling and as you can tell, really didn’t care have my best “selfie” face on! As I stated in the post, I don’t do many selfies, although all of the feedback from the post has inspired me to do more!
I’ve literally dieted down for hundreds of competitions, TV appearances, and photo and video shoots in the past 17 years. But this one was different. I feel like I was spot on. I’m not talking about just diet and training.
This shoot was different because I found a balance that I’d never found before. I didn’t dehydrate the heck out of myself, I didn’t go nuts eating just fish and broccoli, and I didn’t live in the gym for months before the shoot. In fact, I was on vacation in Hawaii the week before the shoot, I worked out only 40 mins a day, and I loved my diet. I didn’t stress out, instead I let the perfection go and it worked out.
I will confess, on vacation, I ate very clean and only had a few glasses of wine. I ate a lot of fish and veggies which is easy to do in Hawaii, and we had a condo so I had a kitchen so I could make my own breakfast and lunch. I stuck to my smoothie routine, which was really easy and super convenient. I looked a bit odd at the pool and on the boat with my green jar (yes, I packed that ) as the rest of the folks sipped Pina Coladas, but I’m used to that!
A few other random things that I do on a daily basis is drink about a gallon of water through out the day and I put apple cider vinegar or coconut vinegar and a squeeze of lemon in it. This helps wake up the digestive system along with a few other benefits that I’ll cover in detail in another blog.
I had one “cheat meal” a week and it usually included French fries, bread, or some fancy cheese and wine. I didn’t do any steady state cardio, instead, I did all variable interval resistance training with functional movements and bodyweight cardio drills.
I truly believe my smoothie recipe was magical in pulling my mid section together. Each of these ingredients is a powerhouse and the combo of all of them is epic! Try it for a week and see if you notice an increase in your energy, decrease in your appetite, a glow in your skin, and be sure to take your measurements and weight before and after. I sipped the two smoothies throughout the morning and all afternoon. I ate a huge salad for lunch and a protein, veggie, and healthy fat for dinner. If you are new to green smoothies, you may need to make a few adjustments to it. Try less of the greenes, and add a bit more fruit if you need to. Feel free to add a bit of water too if it’s too thick for you.
A good blender is also key. I swear by my Ninja. It has crazy power and a nutrient extractor boost button with auto IQ that really makes it smooth and the texture perfect. It’s amazing! I pour it into 2 16 oz jars and I’m ready to go in 10 mins.
Kim’s Lean and Green Smoothie
Makes 2 - 16oz smoothies:
3 Cups unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk (Califia Farms is my fav. brand, but any brand will work)
2 cups spinach
1 Cup mix of fresh parsley and cilantro
½ cup of frozen cucumber slices (just fine if not frozen)
¼ or a frozen avocado
½ frozen banana
Squeeze of lemon or lime (or true citrus-crystalized, truecitrus.com)
2 tbsp of ground flaxseed
2 tbsp of Barlean’s lemon swirl
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp ginger fresh or ginger people juice (I found it at Whole Foods)
1 tsp turmeric
4 tbsp of Collagen Hydrolysate protein (Great Lakes or Vital Protein brand)
1 scoop of Vanilla Whey Protein powder () all online at ThriveMarket.com
Each serving has 300 calories, 16g carbs, 8g fiber, 20g fiber, and about 20g fat
This shake is high in B6, calcium, manganese, and vitamins A and C. It’s also high in potassium and low in sodium, which helps avoid water retention.
The fats in this smoothie are very important for energy and allows for the nutrients to better absorb. For example, coconut oil is not just great for energy, it also is essential for better utilization for turmeric’s potent antioxidant, curcumin.
Let’s go through the ingredients and you’ll see why each one is beneficial.
Spinach- packed with minerals, vitamins, fiber, anti oxidants, and it’s very mild in flavor making it my favorite for green smoothies.
Parsley- Great for digestion and high in antioxidants and vit A and C. It’s also a natural diuretic.
Cilantro- Excellent detoxifier and binds with heavy metals in the body
Cucumber- Packed with B vitamins, Antioxadants, potassium, fiber and water. They are also great for digestion, and are a natural anti inflammatory.
Avocado and Banana’s are the perfect fruits to make the smoothie creamy (yes, avocados are a fruit!)- I freeze them so the smoothie comes out extra cold. Avocados are a great source of fiber, protein and healthy fats. Banana adds to the sweetness and has extra potassium. If you are new to green smoothies, you might want to add a whole frozen banana to add extra sweetness. (if you don’t like banana’s try mango!) If you like it sweeter, this is my favorite http://www.lakanto.com
Lemon or Lime- These are low sugar fruits that alkalize the body and promote healthy digestion and healthy skin. My grandma has a lemon tree so I’m usually stocked up but if not I’ll use www.TrueCitrus.com, it’s crystalized.
Flaxseeds are idea to help keep you full and keep your digestive track healthy because of their fiber content. They are also a perfect omega 3 fat and high in antioxidants. Be sure to buy them ground or grind them before you use them or your body can’t digest them and keep them in the fridge as they go rancid fast.
Barlean’s Lemon Swirl-This is my favorite fish oil. It’s the perfect source of omega 3’s and tastes great. It’s important to have a healthy ratio of omega 3’s and 6’s. Most people get too many 6’s. A good balance reduces inflammation. This oil comes in so many great flavors!
Coconut oil has too many benefits to list! I use it in everything! Coconut is full of MCT’s, Medium Chain Fatty Acids. These fats are converted to ketone bodies and used for energy and not stored as fat in the body. (Get a Free Jar here)
Ginger- Ginger is great for boosting your immune system, it aids in digestion, and it’s an anti inflammatory.
Turmeric is another one with too many benefits to list! It contains curcumin with is powerful for everything from joint and heart health to inflammation and depression! I sneak it in everything I can!
Protein- Protein is essential in all of my smoothies. It not only stabilized the blood sugar, it provides important amino acids to support muscle and muscle is the force behind a good metabolism. I use only top quality grass fed whey and collagen hydrolysate protein.
Trust me when I tell you that this is worth putting a few extra dollars in to a quality source of protein. Cheap proteins will upset your stomach and leave you feeling bloated. If you don’t have protein powder, get some!! In the mean time, you can also use a good quality Greek Yogurt
I’ll be honest, I used to pull every drop of water out of myself and the skin would wrap tightly to my abs. I’m 43 and after having my son, my skin has lost some elasticity and it doesn’t look good if I am dehydrated. This is why you’ll see collagen protein in my smoothies. I swear by it! I have been using it for about 2 months now and the difference is night and day. My husband, Gunter noticed after 4 days of my using it. For me the mix of quality whey and collagen protein is magical. My favorite brands are Jarrow, Primal Fuel, Manttole Valley, and Reserveage, Great Lakes, and Vital Protein.
I’ll do another blog about protein this week! If you prefer plant based, Sun Warrior is my favorite.
I get all my protein at Thrive Market, it’s much cheaper then amazon and they carry all my favorite brands. If you love whole foods and hate their prices, you’ll love Thrive Market! Here’s a special link for a free jar of coconut oil when you order from Thrive ($18 value). Perfect way to kill two bird with one stone! I can’t say enough good things about Thrive Market!
This smoothie is very high in B6, calcium, manganese, and vitamins A and C. It’s also high in potassium and low in sodium, which helps avoid water retention.
The fats in this smoothie are very important for energy and allows for the nutrients to better absorb.