(above bikinis are by Have Faith Swimgerie)
Staying in shape for me has been relatively easy throughout my life. I know I’m very lucky that I don’t need to diet & that I am naturally fit. I used to be really skinny when I was younger, I was even made fun of and I got asked if I was anorexic a lot. I hated that everyone always asked me if I eat. Of course I eat!
As I got older, I grew to understand that because I was skinny & sort of pretty that I could have a shot in the modeling industry. After I graduated with a B.A. from college, I decided that I wanted to take a serious attempt at modeling. And that’s where I began.
I feel very fortunate to have the body and high metabolism that I do. Because when I want to splurge for fast food or dessert, it won’t effect the way my body looks. Although, I do care very much about my health and eating healthy. So on a regular basis, I eat healthy and a well balanced diet. I believe that it not only helps me feel good, but adds to my overall health, I want to live a long healthy life, so I make good choices. I like to look in shape, not too skinny or too thick, so there are several things that I do to stay in shape and stay fit. I am by no means a professional in fitness or health, I just wanted to share with you what I do.
(above photo: are the high-waisted bikini bottoms by Have Faith Swimgerie)
My main secrets for staying in shape are these 4 things:
1. Eat smaller portions
I can eat a lot, as I’m sure most of you can. But we all shouldn’t! I eat out a lot being on the road for work & for date nights, and restaurants always, always, always serve extra large portions. They give you so much food, and we are conditioned to feel guilty for not cleaning our plates. It is way to easy, and totally acceptable to over eat. We are so used to over eating that if we don’t over eat we don’t feel full. A normal portion size of food looks like a miniscule amount of food that won’t come close to filling you up, as compared to what we are conditioned to eat. You need to condition yourself to eat smaller portions. This will take time, but it can be done. When you are used to eating a smaller portion, it will fill you up, you will get the nutrition that you need, and you will feel satisfied instead of “stuffed.”
Honestly, I barely finish half a plate of food from a restaurant. I usually split a dish with my fiance, and I eat a smaller portion of it than he does, since he weighs more than I do.
Eating a smaller portion of food, makes it ok to also eat more frequently if you feel the need to.
Eating a smaller portion keeps my stomach from feeling bloated, and allows me to easily tighten my stomach muscles without feeling uncomfortable while I’m modeling.
2. Eat Healthy, Real Foods
Most people have no idea what is good for them to eat and what is bad. I always stick to natural foods as much as possible. I also really like natural foods that you don’t need to cook. Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook, but fruits and salads are always a healthy choice and don’t need cooking, which makes them really easy to whip up quickly and eat. I do always cut up my fruits and vegetables into smaller more enjoyable eats. Fruit salads and vegetable salads are so healthy and yet so simple.
I also love meat. I try to only cook it with olive oil or coconut oil and garlic or spices.
Quinoa is my favorite grain, the highest in protein and adds to all kinds of dishes. I make a really amazing salad with plain cooked and chopped chicken, strawberries, blueberries, avocado, raspberries, spinach, and quinoa. Just adding a minimal amount of Italian dressing from Trader Joe’s.
I love Trader Joe’s. I am lucky to have one located right across from where I live, which makes it my main grocery store and so convenient. I love it because it is smaller than a regular grocery store and they have less options, but healthier choices. I tend to buy eggs, fruits, vegetables, nuts/dried fruit, healthy dairy, and meats only. No junk food, no crap.
3. Be Routine
Routine may seem boring to you, but routine is important. This is something I learned from my fiance that has also aided both of us in healthy eating. When I first met him, I noticed and thought it was weird that he always ate different versions of the same things. He ate mostly chicken, egg whites, vegetables and fruits, and oatmeal. He was in AMAZING shape, muscles, a perfect six pack, and he’s in his late 30′s. He always made the same selections, oatmeal or egg whites, a chicken breast and fruit for breakfast. Chicken and vegetables for lunch and dinner, and sometimes an occasional steak, fish or sushi. He rarely ever ate carbohydrates or dairy, he didn’t completely avoid it, but it was never his first choice. I try to do the same thing now, it makes so much sense!
(A example of a snack: Carrot Juice and blueberries.)
Not only did he always make the same choices when ordering food, he also made the same selections at the grocery store when we would go grocery shopping together. Instead of buying just one of the item, he would put 3 or 4 of the same item into the cart. I thought it was weird, because for me, I always shopped for variety, I always shopped for new items, or things that I could experiment to cook with. I’ve learned that buying one container of raspberries for example, gets eaten after a day or 2, and then you don’t have anymore. So buying 3 cartons of raspberries allows you to eat a little everyday, and lasts for a week. It is also easy to know what to eat when you don’t have too many choices. I love keeping fresh berries & bananas, easy to make a yummy fruit salad with for a snack or to accompany a meal. Fresh vegetables that come cut up or that you cut up immediately getting home from the store, helps you to have snacks and quick veggies to grab to dip in hummus or dressing.
Here is a photo of a few things in our shopping cart, obviously we haven’t finished with our grocery shopping, but I wanted to show you a photo of the consistency/routine, and some of the things that we buy. We also added spinach, baby greens, chicken, quinoa, avocados, a mixed bag of veggies, kale, peanut butter, hummus, coconut water, carrot juice, vanilla soy milk, green tea, bananas, mangos, and a few other things. . .
I love to make Kale chips, my fiance HATES them. But I love them as a freshly prepared snack.
Things we drink: water, sparkling water, fruit water, hot green tea, iced tea, coffee, carrot juice, grapefruit juice, orange juice and coconut water. We stay away from artificial sports drinks and sodas.
Do your research and start by making a list of the healthy foods that you would like to keep you your home. Don’t keep the junk foods, or desserts in your home. Only splurge on them once is a while for a special occasion when out. And try to make your healthy food choices starting at the grocery store, and be routine about your choices. I like to start in the produce section and get a good amount of food there. Fruits, veggies, proteins, oatmeal, whole grains, and low fat dairy or soy as your main purchases.
I don’t just make healthy food choices, I also work out. My fiance works out 2 times a day, because he is an early riser. He does his cardio in the morning before he goes to work, and weight lifting in the evening. I join him in the evenings 2-3 times a week. He goes almost every day. I do his weight lifting routines with him, modifying some exercises because I can’t lift as much weight as him.
I recommend group fitness, taking classes at your local gym, or working out with a friend. It can be hard to get motivated, that’s why being routine with working out is important as well. By signing up for a class, committing to working out with a friend, or doing it the same time every day/other day, will help you stay fit. I’m lucky, and have my fiance to push me to go to the gym, especially when I’m feeling tired or unmotivated.
You should also choose a gym that is conveniently located to your work or home. I workout right at the gym across the street from where I live, so I can walk to it. You can also spend your money on a personal trainer to teach you a workout to suit your body and needs. It’s better to spend your money on a healthy fit body, than a new pair of shoes or an expensive new purse, isn’t it?
I hope these things help. They are not anything new, or innovative, but sometimes when you just make some smart choices and small changes in your life it can make a huge difference?
Photo of our His & Hers Nike ID sneakers: (ha ha)
Here is a little extra motivation/suggestions that I came across and wanted to share with you:
(Notice here at the bottom of this picture it gives you a simple way to measure a serving? 1 palm for meat, 2 palms for vegetables. )