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Are you like me?  Did you casually gain extra lbs over the winter and now the thought of wearing shorts, (forget about a swim suit) is now killing you? Are you dreading summer weekend plans?  No worries! You can lose a few pounds just as quick as you gained them. It can be as simple as making a few changes to your routine and your habits.

The good news is, changing up your routine and eating habits is not rocket science. You can stop your bad addictions to soda and junk food and become addicted to the feeling of a healthy lifestyle. Here are very simple tips that WILL make a huge impact on your mind and body.

Tip 1:   Start your day in a healthy way.  Start with a cup of coffee or green tea. Switch up your breakfast each morning with protein shakes, hard boiled eggs, plain greek yogurt with berries (flavored yogurt is loaded with sugar). Prepare your own rolled oats the night before with stevia and cinnamon.  Do NOT buy the instant packets.

Tip 2:  Pack a lunch instead of ordering take-out or going for fast food. Make dinners consisting of meat and veggies with no white starch (bread, pasta).  Save some and put it over lettuce as a salad for lunch! Do not tempt yourself by the local pizza and sub shop.

Tip 3:  Don’t give up carbs – just switch to healthier ones.  Eat healthy carbs such as sweet potatoes, rolled oats, or brown rice.  Skip white bread, rice, & pasta.  Avoid combinations of sugar and carbs in cookies, cakes and treats.

Tip 4:  Drink plenty of water. Most of the time when we think we are hungry we are actually dehydrated.  A great guide to use is take your weight (in lbs), divide it by 2.5 and drink that many ounces of water a day.  So, if you weigh 156 lbs – you’ll want to drink 62-63 ounces of water a day.  It will seem like a lot at first – but it will have an immediate impact on your body (and your health).

Tip 5:  Always have healthy snacks on hand. My go-to snacks are celery sticks dipped in 1/2 tablespoon of peanut butter or low fat dressing.  I also switch up the celery with apples, pears or a banana.

Tip 6:  Add a protein shake to your daily regimen.  These are great for energy, they fill you up and they can be used as a meal or a snack.  Everyone has weeded through the trial and error process of finding what protein works for them. I use Sun Warrior protein all natural vegan in chocolate. It is gluten, dairy and soy free. One scoop is only 100 calories and 0 grams of fat! I drink it in the morning or after a workout. I do eat meat however I do not like whey protein, it is very heavy. I will warn you vegan protein is plant protein and it does not have the most pleasant taste. I add a dash of naturally unsweetened cocoa powder to each shake.

Tip 7:  Join the gym near your work or home. Chances are, if you’re investing in a membership and eating healthy you will be more motivated to work out a few times a week. Does the gym scare you? You’re not alone!  Everyone in the gym had their “first day” there.  So, start by walking on the treadmill and increasing the incline to about 4.5 for 30 minutes. I always make sure I don’t eat right before the gym. I have a little caffeine directly before a workout and it does wonders. After a week of committing to the gym you will become addicted.

Tip 8:  Going out? Choose flavored vodka and club soda with lime/lemon instead of sugary cocktails. Choose dry red or white wine over the sweet wines and avoid the following:  Bloating heavy beers, sugary margaritas and blended milk drinks (like Mudslides).

Tip 9:  Check out some of our products at UCW Boutique.  We have the fun, but effective, Enhancement Creams – that are all natural and will tighten and tone your skin for Summer.  The other great product that EVERYONE loves, is our Shave Cream with HEMP.  I can’t even describe how amazing this product is – you have to try it once and you’ll be addicted.  All of our bloggers, Lisa, Kasha, Tiffany and I promote this product – because it’s awesome!

Finally, so you know, I am not claiming to be a fitness expert. I am just a girl who was never a gym rat or health guru but have acquired help from personal trainers from being in the modeling industry. I know what it’s like to just want to veg out. Once you create a routine for yourself you will look and feel too fab to stop.

Jacquelyn B