Zain’s **No More CELLULITE** Game Plan
Not sure if its something in the air this week but I have received several messages on social media asking about tips on how to deal with cellulite.
As the warmer season approaches and we start bearing more skin, we women become super conscious about the little fat pockets that like to park right up on our thighs and hips.
Before I started living the way I live and eating the way I eat, I too dreaded the ‘cottage cheese-like’ lumpy skin around the tops of my legs but I can honestly say that now, due to my lifestyle, it is nowhere to be found.
Cellulite is simply fluid retained in fat cells that increase as weight/body fat increases and due to a lack of oxygen in the area, they get squished together creating the dimply look. Free-radicals, age, diet and lifestyle have a lot to do with it but let me tell you, clean eating is a major game changer. I had more cellulite at 25 than I have at 33 and that is a fact.
So here’s what I do to keep cellulite at bay:
Choose foods that oxygenate the blood and help release fluid retention
- beet root
- salmon and other fatty fish
- flax seeds
- dill weed
*drink at least 3 liters of water per day, every day as well as lots of herbal tea
*my PURIFY VITAMIN WATER works wonders for fluid retention so sipping on this all day will benefit you big time in the cellulite department
*coconut water works wonders
*enjoy foods packed with healthy fats and oils as they will help your body let go of the fat it is holding onto. I recommend fatty fish such as salmon or black cod as well as coconut oil, walnuts, avocado and chia seeds
*avoid highly acidic foods and stick to alkaline foods, to find out more about what this means click here.
*avoid sugar, salt, alcohol and caffeine (including chocolate, not raw cacao) as these things SUCK the oxygen right out of your blood stream.
A regular weight training and cardio program will do wonders for you. Weight training, transforms fat cells, which hold 25% water, into muscle cells which hold 75% water. The magic ingredient in water is….you got it….oxygen.
Here are some of my favourite cellulite-fighting training activities. Try to incorporate these activities into your life at 4-5 days per week.
- HIIT sprints
- full-body weight training
- functional training
- barre classes
3. Secret Tips & Tricks
Being the complete tomboy that I was growing up, I was fortunate to have a sister who was really in the know about all things beauty related. Her natural talents for creating amazing skin and body care recipes as a kid ultimately led her to becoming the founder of an incredible skincare line sold and used at some of the top spas around the world. Her stuff is the only product I will use on my skin and body and its made with organic indigenous ingredients such as kelp, clay, oils and herbs.
*That said, you should look for a product line that is all-natural, that suits your particular body. Don’t buy into all the humbo jumbo magic creams.
*My sister also swears by something called dry-brushing. For those of you unfamiliar with this, you use a dry loofah brush in a circular motion on your ‘cellulitey’ areas and this helps to break up the fat and increase circulation. To see a demonstration of how to perform dry brushing technique, click here.
Here is a little recipe for a masque that my sister would make for cellulite. This should be applied directly to your trouble areas to help oxygenate, tighten and relieve fluid retention.
AntiCellulite DIY Masque -
Combine 1 avocado, 1 beaten egg, 1 tsp of kelp powder, 10 drops of sweet orange oil, 5 drops of fennel oil, 1 tbsp coconut oil and 1 tbsp raw honey. Mix together and store in a mason jar in the fridge.
Start by dry-brushing the area then apply this masque to your trouble areas 2-3 times per week allowing the masque to sit until it dries, then wash off with cool water.
Remember, cellulite will not vanish overnight but if you remain committed to a clean diet with lots of antioxidant fighting foods, train regularly and practice dry-brushing, you will start to notice your body transform and your cellulite will become a thing of the past!
Zain’s White Chocolate Macadamia Cookie Dough Bark *featuring DavidsTea*
Who doesn’t LOVE fresh white chocolate macadamia nut cookies warm out of the oven? But then again, who wants all that fat, sugar and white flour?
What if I told you that you can fully indulge in this creamy & decadent white chocolate macadamia bark and still remain on Santa’s ‘nice’ list? Its true!
Featuring DavidsTea Cookie Dough white tea from the incredible Winter Collection this recipe makes for another PERFECT handmade Christmas gift for your loved ones with the added bonus that you can feel great about giving the gift of health!
1 Cup Coconut Butter
1/3 Cup Grated Cocoa Butter
1 Scoop SUNWARRIOR protein OR Vegan Protein Of Your Choice - Optional
20-30 Drops Vanilla Creme Liquid Stevia OR Vegan Sweetener of Your Choice (1/4 Cup maple syrup works great too)
1/3 Cup Macadamia Nuts (raw, unsalted, halved)
Sugar-Free Sprinkles - Optional
For Cookie Dough Chunks:
1/4 Cup Cookie Dough Tea (strongly brewed)
1/2 Cup Uncontaminated Oat Flour (ground oats)
1/4 Cup Gluten-Free Cornstarch
1/4 Cup Sucanat OR Stevia (blended to a fine powder)
1. Blend all ingredients for Cookie Dough Chunks and place in the freezer for an hour.
2. Place a small pan on very low heat just enough to melt the coconut butter & cacao butter together.
3. Add remaining ingredients for the bark into the butters and mix well.
4. Remove Cookie Dough from freezer (dough should be firm) and roll into little 1/2 cm balls fold into the butter mixture (you may not use all the dough).
4. Pour into a freezer safe, square dish (non-stick or bpa plastic-free works best here), sprinkle with sugar-free sprinkles cover and freeze for about 20 minutes.
5. Remove from freezer and cut or break into pieces.
Oxygen Magazine: Foods and Recipes that Boost Metabolism
We have already discussed teas that boost metabolism in previous blogs, such as oolong and matcha green tea. Now let’s examine foods (referred to as thermogenic foods) that may help boost our metabolism and calorie burning.
What is thermogenesis?
Thermogenesis refers to a process in which your body burns calories to utilize the foods you have just eaten, converting these calories to heat. So in theory, if you eat a thermogenic food, your core temperature will increase and also cause your metabolism to speed up. And as we already know, a faster metabolism translates into more calories being burned. According to the Mayo Clinic, a mere 10% of calories are burned through diet-induced thermogenesis. This means diet-induced thermogenesis only constitutes a small part of your daily energy expenditure. Do not expect a profound effect on your weight loss by consuming thermogenic foods. But then again, every little thing helps!
Foods that may enhance thermogenesis:
1. Herbs & Spices
According to a review published in the August 2006 Journal of Physiology & Behaviour by Dr. Margriet Westerterp-Plantenga and colleagues, it was established that “consuming foods with spices increases thermogenesis and may affect feelings of satiety and fat oxidation.”
a) Hot Chili Peppers (habanerno, cayenne, and jalapeno).
According to the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the heat in chili peppers is produced by the chemical capsaicin, which can generate heat (energy), increase your body temperature and boost your metabolic rate. Consuming a tablespoon of chopped chili pepper can temporarily increase your metabolism; however, frequent consumption of spicy foods may offer a more consistent thermogenic effect. Try adding red-pepper flakes to your meals. Another spicy option you can add to your dishes is salsa (but purchase low-sodium salsa). If you do not like chili peppers or salsa, then try mustard, which has many of the same properties.
b) Black Pepper:
Black pepper contains piperine, which has been shown to influence thermogenesis by stimulating the nervous system.
This thermogenic peppery spice is typically found in Hot Indian and Southeast Asian dishes. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. A study conducted by researchers at Tufts University, demonstrated curcumin’s ability to hinder the growth the fat tissue and prevent obesity.
This thermogenic spice may also help regulate blood sugar levels. In a study published in the December 2003 issue of Diabetes Care, daily consumption of 1 g of cinnamon in people with type 2 diabetes was found to reduce blood sugar, triglycerides, LDL “bad” cholesterol and total cholesterol levels. So be sure to sprinkle cinnamon onto high glycemic carbohydrates to lessen their impact on your blood sugar levels.
e) And here is a list of a few other herbs and spices that are purported to boost metabolism:
2. Apple Cider Vinegar:
The main ingredient in apple cider vinegar is acetic acid, which is responsible for its bitter taste. You may have noticed apple cider vinegar in the weight loss supplement aisle. Vinegar has been purported to enable weight loss for thousands of years. One possible theory is that it prolongs the sensation of satiety after eating. A 2009 study on mice showed that acetic acid (the main ingredient in apple cider vinegar) increases the rate of gene expression for fatty acid oxidation enzymes in the liver, which suppresses body fat accumulation. Other theories suggest that apple cider vinegar prevents weight gain by facilitating digestion, increasing the rate of gastric emptying and aiding in energy release.
Pure apple cider vinegar is highly acidic (its main ingredient is acetic acid) and can damage tooth enamel and burn the tissues in your mouth, throat and esophagus. Always dilute it with water before consuming it (2 teaspoons a day mixed in a cup of water). I enjoy consuming it as a salad dressing.
3. Ice Water:
Did you know that calorie-free ice-cold water will cause your body to burn more calories? Why? Because your metabolic rate will increase in order to warm the ice water to your body’s natural temperature. Research suggests that drinking 5-6 glasses of ice water daily can burn an extra 10 calories a day, which adds up to a pound of weight loss a year. Other weight loss benefits of frequently drinking ice water include suppressing your cravings by filling you up and helping your body rid itself of toxins.
You have likely heard of the grapefruit diet which claims that eating grapefruit helps to curb appetite, promote satiety, burn extra calories during its digestion and may even prevent you from storing fat by lowering your insulin levels. Researchers at the Nutrition Research Center performed a 12-week study on grapefruit consumption and its impact on weight loss in overweight individuals. There were 3 groups who were given either: 1/2 grapefruit, 8oz of grapefruit juice or no grapefruit with each meal. Both grapefruit groups demonstrated greater fat loss compared to the control group.
Grapefruit provides an abundant source of pectin. Pectin, which is a type of fiber, helps curb your appetite by making you feel fuller, longer.
Not only is celery high in filling fiber, but it is also low in calories and extremely portable. Celery is frequently touted as a “negative calorie food”, which would mean you would burn more calories than the celery actually contains just by chewing, swallowing, digesting and eliminating it. According to Nancy Snyderman, MD (medical editor of NBC News), the calories burned in the total digestion process of celery are negligible.
Regardless of what you believe about celery, there is no denying it is a very filling and nutrient-packed low-calorie vegetable that is wiser to eat than the physique-sabotaging foods you are trying to avoid.
6. Cruciferous vegetables:
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts and cabbage are low in calories, high in fiber and are potent cancer-fighters capable of boosting your metabolism.
According to researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, protein burns more calories during digestion compared to fat or carbohydrates. This is one reason high protein diets are helpful for fat loss. Another study by Paddon-Jones et al published in the May 2008 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that individuals whose diets contained more protein not only increased thermogenesis (ie. their metabolism), but also increased their satiety and facilitated maintenance of an overall leaner body mass.
Ensure you eat a balanced diet consisting of all 3 macronutrients (complex carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fats), but always include lean protein sources such as fish, skinless chicken breast, eggs, beans, lean beef, turkey or whey at every meal to jump-start your metabolism
8. Coconut Oil:
Coconut oil is unique in that it is a fat that is more thermogenic than protein. Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids, which have been shown to inhibit fat deposition through increased thermogenesis, according to a review by Dr. Koji Nagoa and colleagues published in the Journal of Pharmocological Research in March 2010. Unlike most edible oils, which comprise long chain fatty acids, coconut oil’s medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) are quickly absorbed and directed to the liver where they are burned for fuel, making them less likely to be converted into body fat compared to other fats. A 1986 study by Seaton et al published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicated that when MCFAs were given over a 6-day period, diet induced thermogenesis increased by 50%. The thermogenic effect of medium-chain fatty acids lasts for 24 hours, so adding a couple tablespoons of coconut oil to your daily diet will keep your metabolism constantly elevated, increase your energy, facilitate satiety, stabilize your blood sugar and help you remain leaner.
Try either adding 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to your daily diet or use coconut oil in place of your usual fattening refined vegetable oils.