Golden Rules for a Slimmer Summer – The Healthy Girl

Spring has sprung and it’s the perfect time to start a healthy eating plan to get into your best shape for summer. Start now to avoid jetting off on your summer holiday wishing you had started sooner. I have noticed, from my own experiences and when working with my clients, that making small changes is far less overwhelming than going too ‘extreme’. Small changes add up over time and are more likely to lead to weight loss that’s healthy and long lasting.

Here are my golden rules for successful summer slimming based on the latest information and research on nutrition and exercise that works:

Ditch Sugar – This includes hidden sugars in starches such as bread, rice, pasta and potatoes. They cause blood sugar imbalances, creating an environment in the body for fat gain. Low sugar or low GI foods help balance blood sugar and create an environment for fat burning. Managing blood sugar levels means an end to ‘sugar-crashes’, lack of energy, brain fog and the risk of major life threatening diseases.

Swap white bread, rice, pasta and potatoes for lower GI options such as brown rice, quinoa and lentils; they’re higher in protein and taste great. Cook them with sautéed onion and garlic, turmeric and organic chicken stock. Swap white potatoes and make a mash with steamed cauliflower. Puree in a blender with butter and a splash of double cream, or coconut cream if you’re ‘dairy free’. Sweet potatoes and butternut squash are also great low GI options. Try them roasted with a drizzle of coconut oil and a sprinkling of chilli flakes.

Use Protein Power – A low GI protein breakfast will fuel you and support healthy eating for the rest of the day. You’ll avoid having to counter blood sugar peaks and crashes and you won’t feel so hungry. You will however, feel more energised and satiated. Opt for gluten-free porridge made from quinoa or buckwheat, coconut yoghurt with berries and chia seeds or eggs and wild-smoked salmon on rye toast.

Fabulous Fats – Unhealthy fats generally come in the form of margarines and are used in many processed foods such as pizzas, biscuits, fried foods, ready-made meals and fast food. They are linked with obesity and known to clog the arteries. Instead, eat healthy fats such as grass fed butter, coconut oil for cooking, olive oil to drizzle on salads, avocados, raw nuts and seeds, plus flax and chia seeds.

If you eat them, choose grass fed meats and wild fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring which are high in Omega 3 oils. These healthy fats actually help burn body fat; they stop you feeling hungry, are heart healthy and can help lower cholesterol.

Use Metabolism Boosters – There are a number of easy things to do daily to boost your metabolism, help regulate or lower blood sugar, reduce cravings and cleanse the internal organs. Sprinkle cinnamon on your food and add to smoothies, eat grapefruits and blueberries, snack on an apple and handful of raw almonds and use raw apple cider vinegar in salad dressings.

Smart Exercise – High intensity interval training (HIIT) is known to be both aerobic (heart healthy) and anaerobic (strength and lean tissue healthy), delivering the best of both worlds. Research shows switching to a form of exercise that creates intensity is key to effectively burn body fat. The easiest way to create intensity is to lift weights, even for us girls! You’ll sculpt, firm and tone your body, increase your physical and mental strength, reduce risk of osteoporosis and arthritis in later life, plus you’ll release hormones in your body that naturally burn fat. And, it’s also anti-ageing!

Alex Jones is a qualified Nutritional Therapist and NLP Practitioner. She’s also trained in Psychotherapy & Counseling and has co-owned a Boutique Personal Training studio. She’s overcome the pain and upset of Yo-Yo dieting herself and uses the same specialised approach to help her clients to do the same.

“Small changes add up over time and are more likely to lead to weight loss that’s healthy and long lasting.”  Tweet This!

Coconut & Almond Choc Chip Cookies

These healthy cookies are made from organic nuts, coconut cream and almond butter. In addition to being really tasty, they can help keep your blood sugar in check supporting your weight loss program; and they also deliver depth of nutrition in terms of calcium, antioxidants, healthy fats and protein.

You can easily switch ingredients by try different types of nuts. Maybe add some orange or lemon zest, some cacao or maca powder to give a SuperFood boost too, the possibilities are endless.

2 egg whites
1 cup of ground almonds
1 cup of desiccated coconut
1⁄2 cup of hazelnuts
1⁄2 cup of almonds
1⁄4 cup of cacao nibs
1⁄2 cup of coconut chips
1⁄4 cup of coconut oil
1⁄4 cup of coconut cream
1⁄2 teaspoon of vanilla powder or vanilla extract
1 heaped tablespoon of almond butter
3-4 drops of stevia for added sweetness, if desired.

1| Chop the hazelnuts, almonds and coconut chips.

2| Whisk the egg whites until they resemble stiff peaks.

3| Blend the ground almonds, desiccated coconut, vanilla powder and almond butter until combined. Put them in a large bowl.

4| Add the chopped nuts to the bowl and the majority of the cacao nibs. Just save a few to sprinkle on top of your cookies before baking.

5| Mix all the ingredients together.

6| Gently melt the coconut oil and coconut cream on a low heat and add to the bowl of dry ingredients.

7| Gently fold in the egg whites until all the ingredients are combined.

8| Lightly grease a flat baking tray with coconut oil and shape the mixture by hand into 1cm thick cookie shapes and place on the baking tray.

9| Sprinkle the remaining cacao nibs on the cookies.

10| Bake in the oven at 180°C for 10-12 minutes, depending if you like them slightly gooey or more crisp.

11| Remove from the oven and place on a wire cake rack to cool. These will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week.

Savour and enjoy!

Alex Jones

The Healthy Girl

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