Summer is finally coming to South Africa… and (after 2 winters) I’m really looking forward to it! The only thing is – since I arrived in Cape Town – I’m running from one restaurant and food market to the next one and most of this “visits” don’t include healthy food! Out of this, I decided I have to prepare myself for summer, especially because I can feel that my body is screaming for getting back to a healthy food routine (especially after a few weeks where I had to take antibiotic). Therefore, I had a look on what would be necessary regarding eating and fitness routine.
Summer Body Diet
I researched a long time to find the best die for me, because I not just want to get back in shape, I also want to find a healthy eating routine again. I’m really picky regarding food, which means it is a huge mission to satisfy me… but I managed to find the perfect eating plan for me: The elimination plan!
This dietary program is based on removing all the foods from our diet that are known to cause food allergies, food sensitivities, and cause disruptions in the digestive process. When we generate allergic responses to foods, our body is consuming energy that could be used to detox and repair functions, or simply contribute to our sense of alertness and physical strength.
This is exactly what my body needs after eating too unhealthy and being sick for a few weeks!
Fruits: Whole fruits, unsweetened, frozen or water-packed, diluted natural juices
Dairy Substitutes: Nut milks such as almond milk, rice milk, brazil nut milk, hemp seed milk
Non-Gluten Grains & Starch: Brown rice, millet, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat
Animal Protein: Cold-water sh: salmon & trout, wild game, lean lamb, duck, chicken, turkey
Vegetable Protein: Split peas, lentils, legumes, beans
Nuts and Seeds: Walnuts, sesame, pumpkin, sun ower, hazelnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews, nut and seed butters
Vegetables: Preferably fresh, raw, steamed, sauteed, juiced, roasted
Oils: Cold-pressed olive, coconut, ax, sesame, almond, sun ower, pumpkin, walnut, coconut
Drinks: Filtered water, green tea, herbal teas, seltzer or mineral water, yerba mate, coconut water
Sweeteners: Stevia, xylitol, brown rice syrup, coconut sugar
Condiments: Vinegar, all spices, sea salt, dried pepper, basil, carob, raw cacao, cinnamon, cumin, dill, garlic, ginger, mustard, oregano, parsley, rosemary, turmeric, thyme
Fruits: Oranges, orange juice, grapefruit, strawberries, grapes, banana
Dairy Substitutes: Dairy and eggs, milk, cheese, cottage cheese, cream, yogurt, butter, ice cream, non-dairy creamers
Non-Gluten Grains & Starch: Wheat, corn, barley, spelt, kamut, rye, couscous, oats
Animal Protein: Raw sh, pork, beef, veal, sausage, cold cuts, canned meats, hot dogs, shellfish
Vegetable Protein: Soybean products (soy sauce, soybean oil in processed foods, tempeh, tofu, soy milk, soy yogurt)
Nuts and Seeds: Peanuts, peanut butter, pistachios, macadamia nuts
Vegetables: Corn, creamed vegetables, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, peppers
Oils: Butter, margarine, shortening, processed oils, canola oil, salad dressings, mayonnaise, spreads
Drinks: Alcohol, coffee, caffeinated beverages, soda pop, soft drinks
Sweeteners: Refined sugar, white/brown sugars, honey, maple syrup, high fructose corn syrup, evaporated cane juice, Splenda®, Equal®, Sweet’N Low®
Condiments: Chocolate, ketchup, relish, chutney, soy sauce, barbecue sauce, teriyaki, other condiments
I underlined the ones where I think I’m going to cheat a few times… especially because I have the feeling that for example porridge is good for my body, so I definitely will continue to eat this.
1. Plan and prepare your lunch meals ahead of time.
2. Follow the Elimination Diet guidelines for everything you consume.
3. Leave a twelve-hour window between the last meal of one day and the last meal of the next. Try not to snack in between. –> which means I have to eat around 6pm from now on
4. Drink enough pure water to cause you to urinate often. If more than one hour has gone by without urinating, you are not drinking enough water.
5. Move. Walk. Take the stairs. Jump. Incorporate more movement into your day, as often and for as long as you possibly can.
6. Rest, get enough sleep, and breathe deeply all day long. –> probably the most problematic part for me
Summer Body Workouts
Developing a workout routine can be scary, but it’s really not too difficult and kind of fun once you understand the basics.
What Exercises Should I Do?
I recommend doing a full body routine that you can do two or three times a week. You want a routine that has at least one exercise for your quads (front of your legs), butt and hamstrings (back of your legs), your push muscles, your pull muscles, and your core.
- Quads – squats, lunges, one legged squats, box jumps.
- Butt and Hamstrings – hip raises, deadlifts, straight leg deadlifts, good mornings, step ups.
- Push (chest, shoulders, and triceps) – overhead press, bench press, incline dumbbell press, push ups, dips.
- Pull (back, biceps, and forearms) – chin ups, pull ups, inverse body weight rows, dumbbell rows.
- Core (abs and lower back) – planks, side planks, exercise ball crunches, mountain climbers, jumping knee tucks, hanging leg raises.
Pick one exercise from each category above for a workout, and you’ll work almost every single muscle in your body. These are just a few examples for what you can do, but you really don’t need to make things more complicated than this.
Add some variety – If you do the same routine, three days a week, for months and months both you and your muscles will get bored.
Alos, give your muscles 48-72 hours to recover between workouts. A Monday-Wednesday-Friday workout works well to ensure enough time to recover.
How Many Sets Should I Do?
Not including a warm-up set or two, I recommend doing between 3-5 sets per exercise.
Keep your total workout number of sets for all exercises is in the 15-25 set range (5 or 6 exercises of four sets is a good start). More than twenty five sets in a workout can either be overkill (doing more harm than good) or you’re not working yourself hard enough (boo inefficiency)
This means for my new healthy body routine, that I will go running frequently again which means 2-3 times running/gym per week and at least 1 time on my beloved surfboard. This means 3-4 sport sessions per week which should be enough to bring my body back to normal.
Stephanies new training routine:
Monday: After work run and gym (stomach, back)
Wednesday: After work run and gym (stomach, back)
Friday: Sweat class
In my case it makes sense to start preparing my body especially for surfing, because paddling is not one of my strengthens. This means I have to train my arms & shoulders, my back and my stomach.
Six Pack Workout: