The Quick and Clean Diet

Every year we vow to shed that holiday weight and pray the diet sticks. We make ourselves crazy trying, losing mental and physical energy the whole time... and by February, we give up and stuff ourselves full of Valentine's Day cupcakes. Well, maybe not ALL of us. Just us crazier ones. ;)

The Quick and Clean Diet by Dari Alexander will not only keep you from those cupcakes, but it will keep you eating right, AND you'll feel more energized than ever.

The Trick to Dieting

There are plenty of little tricks we can employ to help us in our diets. Drink more water, post pictures of your naked self on the fridge, hang a pair of skinny jeans in your room where you can see them, and on and on. But the real trick to dieting is far simpler than that. It's to feel good about yourself. But sometimes we get caught up in the numbers: calories, pounds, dress sizes, and the worst one... dates! Here's how a crazy conversations in your head might go:

"I need to lose X amount of pounds to fit in a size X skinny jean by X date by only eating X calories... or I'm a loser."

Dari Alexander has some saner advice in her new book, The Quick and Clean Diet.

Dari Alexander Quick Clean Diet

Dari Alexander Quick Clean Diet

Dari Alexander is not only a news anchor, but also a top journalist and hard working mother. Do you think she might need to look good and maintain a healthy level of energy? Oh yeah! In her new book, Ms. Alexander gives you a healthier way to achieve the fit body you’ve always envisioned.

The Three Levels of the Diet

High Motivation: This is where you get your mental momentum. High Motivation is where you quickly lose weight, limit and control your cravings, and shrink your stomach. After three days you will be well on your way to a better looking you!

Grounding: This is the next level of weight loss, according to Dari Alexander. Grounding is where you experience more weight loss while introducing yourself to whole grains, lean proteins, and good fats.

Stability: This is the most important level, in my opinion. Stability is where you evolve and develop into a healthy eating, living being.

With the Quick and Clean diet, you will still enjoy food... LOTS of it. Expect to eat lots of chicken, turkey and fish while staying away from pre-packaged, frozen, refined foods.

The Quick and Clean Diet isn't just a new fad or the latest Hollywood Diet. It's a better, cleaner way to eat, and all around healthier way to live. The book fundamentally changes the way you go about your daily life. It truly inspires a life-long healthy mindset. 

Stop hating diets and start loving this cleaner way of eating. Get your copy now:

The Quick & Clean Diet: Lose the Weight, Feel Great, and Stay Lean for Life

PS: Dari Alexander will be talking about The Quick and Clean Diet on Dr. Oz TODAY!

So, I Cried at the Gym

The words wouldn't come out.

Looking up at the ceiling, I tried to blink back the tears.

Standing right in front of me was my trainer, trying her hardest to erase all the defeating thoughts from my head. I understood what she was saying. It's all the stuff I know. But there I was, twenty five pounds overweight, wondering why I let it happen.

My hands covered my eyes and I just let it go. I sobbed out the words, "I don't know how I let myself get here. I don't know why I did that to myself."

She squeezed my arms and said, "Well, now you've got me to help you out."

I always joke around that my "furnace is broke" because I don't have a naturally high (or even moderate) metabolic rate. I'm a slow burn kinda girl, so when the fat needs to come off, I can't just change my food intake... I have to kick my ass into high gear. But I kinda lost my workout mojo over the last couple of years, so working with a trainer has been good. Whenever I feel like stopping, I hear Drea say, "Dig deep! Dig deep!" She's worked with enough people to know what's going on in our heads and what she needs to say to silence that self-defeating talk. Because working out is hard and giving up is easy.

It's so easy to make excuses. It's easy to tuck behind your friends in pictures so that you don't cringe when you're tagged on Facebook. It's easy to look around and say, Well, I'm not bigger than her. It's easier to just pop open a bag of chips and guzzle it down with a bottle of pinot grigio while watching a Real Housewives marathon. And it's a hell of a lot easier to just buy a bigger size and talk yourself into being cool with it.

But I'm not cool with it.

Last week, I was doing planks. Propped up on my elbows, I looked down towards my ankles to check my form. That's when I saw it. The extra weight hanging off of my thighs like bags of cottage cheese. I remember thinking, "I did NOT order this cheese!" After our workout, I showed Drea a picture of myself in Vegas nearly two years ago, sans cheese. At the time, I loved how I looked. In pictures, there were no bad angles. I looked and felt strong and healthy and I had swagger, bitches!!

So what happened?

It all started fairly innocently. Mr. Jones and I got back together and snuggling up to my husband under the blankets in the morning became more important than my 5:00am sunrise yoga sessions. And because we were so happy to be back together, we went out to eat. A lot. It was great "dating" him again, but when I went to put on my favorite pair of jeans and they wouldn't button, I was shocked! Apparently not THAT shocked, because instead of attacking the fat... instead of getting back out on the beach for a morning jog or back into the yoga studio for some slow burning... instead of working out,

I bought a bigger size.

I can blame it on being lulled into contentment, but really, if I'm gonna be honest, it's because I wasn't making my physical health a priority. I wasn't carving out the time to do what needed to be done. And it didn't help that I was starting to get used to the extra pounds. I mean, if my husband found me attractive, that was enough, right? And when I'd complain to friends about the weight, they would just excuse it as my "happy" pounds. It's true. I was happy, so I started to trick myself into thinking this extra weight was part of getting older and it was okay.

But there was this chick deep down inside who was getting really pissed that she was being hidden by all that extra fluff, and she kept screaming at me that I'm not that old and it's NOT okay, but I couldn't really hear her over the crunching of potato chips, so...

At that point, I needed to lose 15 pounds.

Fast forward to now.

Last week, I stepped on a scale before my work out. Nobody made me. I just wanted to know. It was kind of like pulling at a scab just to see if it would bleed. When I saw the number, the floor seemed to just fall away. I couldn't believe I really had gained all that weight. I no longer had 15 pounds to lose. I now have 25 pounds to lose!! When I walked over to meet Drea at the first machine, I asked her how accurate the scale was.

Drea: Why?

Me: Just tell me.

Drea: Mama, you have been working out and muscle weighs more...

Me: Is. It. Accurate????!!!

Drea: *blink* *blink*

Me: Shit. It is, huh?

And then she got all fired up: "Stay away from the scales, girl! NO SCALES! Just work, mama!"

She's right. If I focus on the number, I'll get depressed, say "Screw it," and give up. I know I need to get into the gym and make my furnace burn! Drea has pushed me to do my best, giving me encouragement for the improvements she has seen in the short time we've been working out. I've noticed it, too. With the accountability and encouragement of a trainer, I know I can get back to that body I had in Vegas.

I WILL get that swagger back!

~~~

Have you struggled with weight because life got in the way? What were your excuses? What has been the thing (or who has been the person) that has helped you get back on the healthier body kick?

 

The Power of Protein

YAAWWWNNNN...

I had been dragging soooo much the last few weeks. I was actually starting to think something was seriously wrong with me. I couldn't keep my eyes open, but I didn't have any time to rest. I'm BUSY!! Busier than usual. So to figure out what was wrong with me, I naturally went on line. A cursory search of my symptoms on WebMD confirmed that I was not dying, so that was nice.

What it did start to look like was that I was missing some serious protein, especially in the mornings when I most needed it.

My mornings are pretty chaotic, as most moms' are. I could get out of bed earlier, but I wait until the last possible moment, savoring the snuggly feelings of my blankets for about five "five more minutes" before I jump into my morning routine. So not only do I have a bunch of stuff to do, I give myself the absolute minimum amount of time in which to do them all.

After getting the kids up and sending someone out to walk the dog, I jump back into bed to get one last "five more minutes" before my husband makes me coffee and then I really getting into the morning routine. Since I'm the kind of mom that taught her kids to serve their own cereal, I don't have to worry about making breakfast, but I do still make their lunches. In an effort to get back into shape, I've also added going to the gym right after dropping the kids off. And because I don't always like working from my home office, I plan on going to a quiet spot somewhere to work from my laptop for a few hours. That means I have to pack my gym bag and laptop bag, too. Just after checking that the kids brushed their teeth and helping my son with his hair, we head out the door.

Nowhere in there did I say anything about breakfast, huh?

A couple of times last week, I was on the elliptical and thought I was going to D. I. E. DIE!!! I wasn't doing anything totally strenuous, but I was feeling really woozy and out of breath. I thought about it and realized -- duh, Stupid -- I hadn't eaten anything. Not even a banana. You can't work out without eating anything! So the next few days, I made sure to eat at least a banana. But I still was feeling really run down and dizzy after my workout. Not only that, but my regular rest in the afternoons was coming on earlier and stronger than usual. I couldn't even make it home one day, my eyes were so sleepy. I actually had to pull over from how tired I was.

*Side Note: If you saw a lady sleeping in her car in the parking lot of the Home Depot... yeah, that was me.

So since I HAVE to get my work done and I HAVE to lose the "happy" pounds I gained when my husband and I reconciled, it was necessary to find some solution. I needed something convenient and full of the stuff my body needs to get through my workouts and the rest of my day. I thought about drinking the shakes I was drinking before, but they were really high in sugar and carbs.

Then I got asked to try out the Premium Protein shakes and bars.

I've been drinking one shake over ice every morning for the last five days instead of my coffee, and in the afternoon, I've been treating myself to either a Yogurt Peanut Crunch, Chocolate Peanut Butter or Double Chocolate Protein bar. (BTW: The kids LOVED the bars!) Guess what? It's working. I've had enough energy to get through my time on the elliptical (without anyone worrying that I'm going to need a medic) and I've been getting through the rest of my work and my day without feeling sluggish or woozy, which is really nice because I don't like sleeping in home improvement parking lots.

It's kinda creepy.

If you want to check out the shakes, here are a couple of recipes you might want to try:

Monkey Frosty Protein Shake - Because I love Bananas. And monkeys. But I don't eat the monkeys.

Fresh Berry Boost - It's berry good. ;) Sorry... I couldn't help myself.

Cafe Vienna Shake - It's like coffee... except more proteiny.

Disclosure: This is a paid campaign. After sampling their tasty products and getting the results I wrote about, I decided to help promote Premier Protein.

Let's Get Naked!

What would you have to lose to gain the confidence to Get Naked? That's the question we were asking at SxSW in Austin last week. We weren't actually getting naked, silly! That question was the basis of a cheeky little campaign to inspire people to feel comfortable in their nakedness.

On March 13, CoolSculpting took over a small gallery in the middle of the city and created Naked Headquarters to dispatch streets teams of 40 wearing naked bodysuits and crews to set up naked scenes on busy streets throughout the festival, flinging branded bras, panties, and boxers on trees. Our team positioned naked mannequins to look as if they were just hanging out in their underwear on street corners. Totally normal, right? ;) We also enlisted the help of The Naked Cowboy to head out with our team of Nakeds, getting the word out about CoolSculpting.

CoolSculpting is a non-surgical treatment that freezes fat cells. That freezing process destroys the fat cells and the results are a reduction in fat in the treated area. It's a great way to get rid of your muffin top or love handles without needles or lasers and with little or no down time.

Who better to grab people's attention about looking and feeling good naked than The Naked Cowboy? I have to tell you... I wasn't really sure what to expect. After getting past the awkwardness of talking to a mostly nude man who is in amazing shape (so hard not to stare at his pecs), we had a great time talking about the confidence that comes from not only looking good, but feeling good, inside and out. Obviously, it takes a high level of confidence to walk around in underwear, cowboy boots, a cowboy hat, and a guitar all over Times Square or Downtown Austin. Being physically fit and lean plays a big part in his confidence level.

But before we opened up our Naked Headquarters at the gallery on Second Street, and before we even got The Naked Cowboy out on the street with our Naked street team, we had mobile billboards driving through downtown Austin promoting the Let's Get Naked campaign, as well as probably the most viewed and best placed projection billboard at SxSW. I could see it from just about every party every night. When people would ask what I was doing at SxSW this year, all I had to do was turn and point to the flashing flashers on the building and say, "That." People were stopping me, asking, "Are you with the Naked people?" Curiosities were piqued and everyone wanted to know more. Once I explained what CoolSculpting was about, folks were ready to sign up.

I talked so much, I lost my voice!

We asked people to join the conversation on Twitter at #NakedAtSxSW as well as to check out the Let's Get Naked micro-site for more information and for a chance to win a new iPad and CoolSculpting treatment. We are still currently running that campaign, so head over before you miss out!

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I've been asked if I've had the treatment yet. I haven't yet. I'm still working on losing the "happy" pounds I added after reconciling with my husband last year. I'm almost back to my pre-hubby weight. That's when I'll be going in for a treatment.

But to answer the question, "What would you have to lose to gain the confidence to go naked?" My answer is: my tummy flab. Even when I'm in my best shape, that's the area that stubbornly sticks around. I can't wait to freeze and destroy those fat cells!

What would YOU have to lose to gain the confidence to Get Naked?