FAQs with Ariana Michelle: Eating Habits

Acne Fighting Foods

My typical eating habits

Can you believe that it’s week 4 of the Love Your Body Series and Spring Break in 60 days Challenge? The new year always brings amazing challenges up and it’s no surprise that it might seem overwhelming by all of the choices out there! Here are my suggestions on what to eat, to fuel your body for an active life!

Ok ok, so why do you keep seeing this stupid hashtag #Absaremadeinthekitchen?! Well Skin is also made in the kitchen….I think that needs a hashtag! #eatcleanclearskin? Someone come up with something! Well, because it’s true! For most….*disclaimer, not all abs are created equal.* Some of us eat SOOO healthy, what gives?! Well first of all, we all hold weight in different areas and sometimes it DOES take pushing to your MAX every day to see results over time. (I struggle with my thighs and bum….Plyo Squats and Lunges and HIIT workouts are my secret!) if you’re not burning calories during the day and completing toning routines to strengthen and lengthen those muscles, chances are you won’t see much definition. I’m sorry! I know it totally sucks, but after you turn 25, sorry babes, you gotta work at it every day. It’s just part of life. Not only is it great for your heart, and diabetes prevention, it helps us feel more confident in our clothes! Is it going to be easy? No. Is it going to require hard work? Yes. Is it going to pay off if I am consistent day after day for a few months and then a year? YES! Is it fair that guys seem to lose weight faster and easier than women? Nope. But I’m not here to talk about fair, haha life isn’t about comparing yourself. This is YOUR journey. Buckle up, put your big girl pants on, and remember that you were created to be a bombshell. So we’re embracing that this month. It takes both exercise and great foods to keep a healthy weight. Abs are another level of clean eating. I’m sharing my tips that help me see definition, AND clear skin below!

*My routine changes every 60 days because our bodies need variety to maintain our goals! My personal goal is to always have abs. lol. It’s possible with clean eating and I’m proud of that!

I follow a meal structure of 5-6 small meals a day. This is typical of the Whole 30, the Paleo Diet (Crossfitters hollaa), The Tone it Up Nutrition Plan, and all of the Beachbody Meal Plans. The basic idea that you need to learn here is, eating less will not make it any easier for you to tone up! If you are looking to lose a substantial amount of weight, yes your portion sizes might need to be re-evaluated, however I have found that by eating MORE, I have been able to get closer to the lean and toned body of my dreams!

The Stipulation is that you must be eating whole, natural, raw, and fresh foods to keep you fueled and fabulous! There are so many amazing foods that can prevent acne! While I write this I’m actually snacking on a honey crisp apple and natural ground (sugar free) peanut butter from Kroger *$1.19 fresh ground lasts me a while! Read up more on my favorites here

Best-Diets-2015

Portion Size: I like to follow the portion size that Tony Horton preaches in his P90X3 plan. (Weight watchers does a similar thing) Use the size of your fist as a portion size! I know that sounds small, but it does take time to adapt your body to healthy portions. Add variety to your plate in these sizes and you will still get full, but it’s not OK to eat 5 portions of Mac and Cheese every week!

Eat enough during the day! To avoid that crazy Hanger (hungry anger) at night, please make sure you are fueling yourself during the day! When I eat all of my small meals throughout the day, not only is my body burning them and storing up those nutrients, because I worked out earlier, it’s keeping my blood sugar levels steady *very important! I am not typically drawn to junk food at night because:

A) I don’t keep anything tempting in the house, sometimes Marshmallows and Coconut Ice cream, and Kind Bars, haha #cheatclean! And B) I’m fully satisfied by all the meals I had during the day

The Great Grain Debate: Ok, there is a GREAT debate on the evil word CARBS. Some immediately think of all things that could be a starch or carbohydrate, immediately a bad food. Not true! Carbohydrates are essential to our diets because they help us maintain healthy blood sugar levels! They just take longer to break down, which is why I avoid them at night. I eat them in the morning, mid morning, or during lunch while my body is still moving and burning my stored up energy in the form of complex carbohydrates. Not ALL are created equal! It’s great to replace your standard oatmeal with something less refined like steel cut oats, and replace the pasta with quinoa, millet, brown rice. You can read up on grains here!

Cut the Crap! The easiest way to start a healthier flexible diet is to cut out *most things that come out of a package. 80% of your diet should consist of fresh veggies, fruits and meats. If you’re Vegan or Vegetarian than beans, nuts and grains are likely your best friends! Like I always say “When in doubt, throw it out!”

No Booze: I have about 0-2 drinks per week. Ok limited booze. I had a pretty substantial beer this past weekend lol I loooove Revolver Blood and Honey, or a Sam Adams. You know, Lagers or Wheat beers. HOWEVER, I have learned to know my body really well, and I do have an intolerance to gluten. Not an allergy by any means, but as a result of Accutane, my body developed an intolerance to dairy and all processed foods. Super fun! What does that mean? Let’s be honest, my tummy doesn’t like it ok? Lol my body literally hates me when I eat fried food in combo with beer *aka the best football foods ever*and ice cream-for some reason greek yogurt is ok, you just have to learn what your body responds to. For real though guys, start to replace the bad stuff with the good stuff….veggies and humus instead of friend wings and cheesy nachos. And instead of fruity cocktails, you could try vodka soda…which is extremely boring to me! Keep the drinking to a few drinks a week, and if you are preparing for an event, NO booze! I promise your face and abs will thank you for it!

Bottom line: What you put into your body, will literally come out in all types of forms on your body. For me-that’s acne. Put nutrient, colorful food in your body (Lucky Charms does not count!!) Choose more veggies over starches. Dairy makes my skin break out, and refined starches, like pasta, white bread, white potatoes, and fried anything make my skin sad. If you can find a colorful option of said starch *purple potatoes, sweet potatoes* include it in your diet! The more colors the better.

Looking for more healthy recipes? I honestly use tons of resources but I use Pinterest a lot! I refer often to the Teambeachbody.com blog as well as my Tone it Up Nutrition Plan. But I’m a creature of habit so I typically put a lot of things together and don’t follow a recipe at all times! Don’t overwhelm yourself, follow an easy plan for the first few weeks of your lifestyle change, swapping pizza for veggies, and burgers for lean meat! I probably only follow a recipe once a week haha, you don’t need complicated stuff, you just need more of the RIGHT stuff!

Example Day:

M1: Chocolate Vegan Shakeology-this is a meal addition, not a replacement! You still need more veggies throughout the day. It’s full of Superfoods *Gluten Free & *Dairy Free Please read here if you have questions about Shakeology!

M2: Fruit and nuts, or nut butter (apple, orange, berries, grapefruit, banana)

M3: Salad with everything under the sun *recipe to come!* or a wrap with extra veggies, grilled chicken, or a black bean burger. Long grain rice, sweet potatoe or quinoa option (I don’t really eat these enough actually) I eat the most veggies at lunch!

M4: Lara Bar, Kind Bar, Cliff Bar, or fruit and nuts, or veggies and hummus, I’ve found that the extra veggies in the afternoon really help me stay on track!
M5: Veggies and Lean protein. Turkey meatballs, turkey chili with tons of veggies, asparagus, brussels sprouts, loaded salad, broccoli, grilled chicken, beans, etc.

I hope that these principles helped you guys! I’m really excited to start sharing more options with you all.

xoxo, Ari

Pink Dress and Bun

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Drink up Sailor: 6 Reasons to Drink More Water!

Drink More Water

I truly, 100% believe that drinking half my weight in fl oz./water every day, is the reason that I feel and look my best. I can definitely tell when I haven’t had enough water. I can also certainly tell during my exercise or workouts that I am tired, dizzy, or nauseous. Helloooooo! You’re dehydrated! If you are going on any time of adventure, water is nothing to skimp on! So please drink up, and enjoy these benefits from Web.MD below.

1. Drinking Water Helps Maintain the Balance of Body Fluids. Your body is composed of about 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.

“Through the posterior pituitary gland, your brain communicates with your kidneys and tells it how much water to excrete as urine or hold onto for reserves,” says Guest, who is also an adjunct professor of medicine at Stanford University.

When you’re low on fluids, the brain triggers the body’s thirst mechanism. And unless you are taking medications that make you thirsty, Guest says, you should listen to those cues and get yourself a drink of water, juice, milk, coffee — anything but alcohol.

“Alcohol interferes with the brain and kidney communication and causes excess excretion of fluids which can then lead to dehydration,” he says.

2. Water Can Help Control Calories. For years, dieters have been drinking lots of water as a weight loss strategy. While water doesn’t have any magical effect on weight loss, substituting it for higher calorie beverages can certainly help.

“What works with weight loss is if you choose water or a non-caloric beverage over a caloric beverage and/or eat a diet higher in water-rich foods that are healthier, more filling, and help you trim calorie intake,” says Penn State researcher Barbara Rolls, PhD, author of The Volumetrics Weight Control Plan.

Food with high water content tends to look larger, its higher volume requires more chewing, and it is absorbed more slowly by the body, which helps you feel full. Water-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, oatmeal, and beans.

3. Water Helps Energize Muscles. Cells that don’t maintain their balance of fluids and electrolytes shrivel, which can result in muscle fatigue. “When muscle cells don’t have adequate fluids, they don’t work as well and performance can suffer,” says Guest.

Drinking enough fluids is important when exercising. Follow the American College of Sports Medicine guidelines for fluid intake before and during physical activity. These guidelines recommend that people drink about 17 ounces of fluid about two hours before exercise. During exercise, they recommend that people start drinking fluids early, and drink them at regular intervals to replace fluids lost by sweating.

4. Water Helps Keep Skin Looking Good. Your skin contains plenty of water, and functions as a protective barrier to prevent excess fluid loss. But don’t expect over-hydration to erase wrinkles or fine lines, says Atlanta dermatologist Kenneth Ellner, MD.

“Dehydration makes your skin look more dry and wrinkled, which can be improved with proper hydration,” he says. “But once you are adequately hydrated, the kidneys take over and excrete excess fluids.”

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You can also help “lock” moisture into your skin by using moisturizer, which creates a physical barrier to keep moisture in.

5. Water Helps Your Kidneys. Body fluids transport waste products in and out of cells. The main toxin in the body is blood urea nitrogen, a water-soluble waste that is able to pass through the kidneys to be excreted in the urine, explains Guest. “Your kidneys do an amazing job of cleansing and ridding your body of toxins as long as your intake of fluids is adequate,” he says.

When you’re getting enough fluids, urine flows freely, is light in color and free of odor. When your body is not getting enough fluids, urine concentration, color, and odor increases because the kidneys trap extra fluid for bodily functions.

If you chronically drink too little, you may be at higher risk for kidney stones, especially in warm climates, Guest warns.

6. Water Helps Maintain Normal Bowel Function. Adequate hydration keeps things flowing along your gastrointestinal tract and prevents constipation. When you don’t get enough fluid, the colon pulls water from stools to maintain hydration — and the result is constipation.

“Adequate fluid and fiber is the perfect combination, because the fluid pumps up the fiber and acts like a broom to keep your bowel functioning properly,” says Koelemay.

Water Bottles

How do you get more water in your day? Get a new bottle! Click the pic above to go to the VS site and snag one up! 

  1. Have a beverage with every snack and meal.
  2. Choose beverages you enjoy; you’re likely to drink more liquids if you like the way they taste.
  3. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Their high water content will add to your hydration. About 20% of our fluid intake comes from foods.
  4. Keep a bottle of water with you in your car, at your desk, or in your bag.
  5. Choose beverages that meet your individual needs. If you’re watching calories, go for non-caloric beverages or water.

Wednesday’s for your health!

Acne

 

Charlie Rose

Hi guys, I’ve been wanting to share my battle with acne with you for quite some time! And honestly, I’ve tried every trick in the book. You can read more about my journey in my page ‘My Journey’. But the things that have truly truly worked the best for me and transformed my skin in just 3 MONTHS, can be found best summed up in Lauren Conrad’s article about these nutrient dense foods! That’s right. Food! I’ve tried everything from Tea Tree Oil, Accutane, Anti-biotics, Black Soap, Whitch Hazel, this facial toner, that benzoyl peroxide. NONE of it would get rid of my cystic acne! I still break out…and you know why? When I eat junk food…it shows in the next few weeks or less. As frustrating as it is to limit yourself, it’s liberating to enrich yourself! So stop sneaking all that ‘white’ food into your diet. It’s disgusting, and it will show up in zit form. We all covet different beauty traits of course! But clear skin can truly help you put your best *face* forward, and help you gain the confidence you might be lacking. If you’ve been struggling with acne or cystic acne, read about the foods below and re-evaluate your grocery list! I can’t get enough Kale and Spinach (juiced in my Vitamix)

Acne Fighting Foods

 

  1. Foods with omega-3 fatty acids. This includes salmon, flax seeds, and walnuts. Foods with omega-3 fatty acids have been known to give skin an almost instant glow. These foods can also help reduce inflammation, so any blemishes you do have won’t be quite so red. I love making grilled salmon for dinner. Adding flaxseed to a fresh fruit smoothie is another simple way to boost your omega-3s.
  2. Antioxidant filled foods. It’s no surprise that antioxidant foods are great for your health, but they also give your skin an extra dose of goodness too. Antioxidant rich foods like cherries, berries, green tea and spinach attack free radicals in your body that cause skin damage and breakouts. Eating a handful of berries or a is a yummy way to add antioxidants into your daily food routine.
  3. Foods rich in selenium. Brazil nuts, almonds, onion, garlic, and whole grains are all sources of selenium, which is also a powerful antioxidant. These foods help preserve your skin’s elasticity and reduce inflammation. Just eating a handful of almonds a day is an easy way to up your selenium intake.
  4. Foods rich in vitamin C. Melons, oranges, tomatoes, and strawberries all boost your immune system and strengthen your cell walls. These foods will help protect your skin from acne scarring and activate healing powers to amend damaged or irritated skin.
  5. Foods rich in vitamin E. This category includes nuts, soybeans, almonds, leafy greens and eggs. Vitamin E rich foods also help protect your skin from scarring. An easy way to get your daily dose is by drizzling olive oil on a salad or using it to cook. (I always use it on my pan when cooking my Tone it Up Slim Down Scramble in the morning.)
  6. Foods in high water content. This means…drink water, water and more water! Keeping your body hydrated is one of the best things you can do for yourself. And this healthy habit translates to your skin too. In addition to drinking your 8 glasses a day (a daily requirement in my book!), eating foods with high water content like watermelon and cucumbers, and also parsley will free your system of toxins as well.
  7. Foods rich in vitamin A. Foods that give your body vitamin A are rich in beta-carotene, which enhances the benefits of selenium–that powerful antioxidant I mentioned earlier. Your skin will thank you if you include carrots, bell peppers, cantaloupes, and sweet potatoes into your daily diet.
  8. Foods high in magnesium. These foods are awesome acne fighters because magnesium helps to balance out acne-inducing hormones. Try munching on artichokes, oatmeal, brown rice, and figs to get hormonal acne under control. I’ll have to find a recipe for y’all for this one!
  9. Low sodium foods. Foods that are packed with salt not only make your body bloat up like a balloon, they also wreak havoc on your skin. To avoid pimples from flaring up, try to limit the amount of processed or prepared foods in your diet. Substituting canned or frozen vegetables with fresh ones can make a huge difference. You will also feel so much better if you eat “clean foods” that are unprocessed and have low sodium. I’m going to do a post on simple salads in a few weeks-stay tuned!
  10. White foods are the wrong foods. Foods like white bread, white rice, white refined flour, French fries, and mashed potatoes are some of the worst things to have in your diet if you want clear skin. Refined sugar is another culprit in this category because it makes your blood sugar levels spike, which then causes acne outbreaks. No thank you! Stick to whole grains and brightly colored fruits and veggies like these no-bloat foods. If anything else, just remember this: White foods are not the right foods if you want clear skin.

I’m not sure when it finally clicked for me…maybe I just needed to read this! My best friend has been telling me for years that her psoriasis clears up when she’s following an alkaline diet. But please do more research if you like, and make a new grocery list! Start introducing these foods, and turn down the daily donut. We are what we eat is very true! You will feel beautiful all over when you have clear skin on your side =)

Which acne fighting food is your favorite? Personally, I’m partial to spinach, eggs and berries.

If you have a Wednesdays For Your Health request, leave it in the comments below.

XO Ariana Michelle