I can’t believe Memorial Day weekend is almost here. Seems like just yesterday I was freezing my buns off, having spent my first winter on the East Coast, opening our newest storefront in the NYC-metro area. This will be my first summer on the East Coast.
After a frigid winter, I say bring on the heat, humidity, and the buzzing and biting creatures because I’m ready for bikini season. If you want to lose those last stubborn 10 pounds, it’s important to get a head start on bikini season now.
The good news is you don’t have to do high-intensity, American Ninja Warrior-type exercise to have a hot summer bod. All you need is a reboot of your digestive system. Here are my 5 top tips for improving digestion and getting lean for summer….
There’s no magic pill that’ll help you lose weight (and by weight, I mean specifically, stored body fat).
Or is there?
There’s actually a handful of supplements that I strongly feel can make a big difference in how you look and feel.
Let’s dive right in and check them out….
#1: Hydrochloric (HCL) & Pepsin
You’re doing your side-bends and sit-ups.
You’re eating salads every day, including my oh-so-easy-to-make and appropriately named, Easy Green Salad.
Almost every day you hit the gym or go for a run.
But you still can’t melt that flab around your belly. What gives?
Here’s what may be going on….
You may not have enough stomach acid.
Hydrochloric acid, or HCL as it’s called in the supplement world, along with pepsin, are your belly’s main digestive juices. They are by nature very acidic so that the food you eat can be broken down into nutrients for energy.
Because of several reasons, however, your stomach might not have enough acid to break down the food. And those reasons include: chronic stress; overuse of antibiotics; poor diet; food allergies; smoking; and bacterial infections.
Betaine HCL is a supplement that you can take to increase stomach acid production. Betaine is a nutrient that’s almost like a vitamin. A lot of HCL supplements will also contain pepsin, which is an enzyme that helps break down proteins into amino acids.
Typically, people with poor digestion also will have some issues with their skin. Taking a betaine HCL/Pepsin supplement may also help clear acne.
#2: Apple Cider Vinegar
Can your “mother” help you achieve a summer slim down?
And by “mother” I mean the cloudy film that rests on top of a bottle of raw, unfiltered, organic apple cider vinegar (ACV)….
Raw ACV bottles such as those sold by the brand, Bragg (the same company that sells liquid amino acids, a soy sauce alternative) prominently advertise “with the mother” on the product label. As well they should. That’s because the mother is tiny bits and pieces of proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria.
Like betaine HCL, ACV helps increase stomach acid production. And because of the friendly bacteria it contains, it also acts like a probiotic.
Honestly, I tried to find some research on humans that shows ACV can help with weight loss. I hit a brick wall, but I did find some research on animals (rats and mice) that support using it for the following: reducing fat storage; lowering blood sugar; improves metabolism and suppressing appetite.
The only downside to ACV is it tastes really harsh. But you can add it to a Green Drink to mask the taste.
ACV also has the same cherry-on-top upside as taking betaine HCL: it’s good for skin. In fact, many people use ACV to treat skin conditions. Drinking a little bit every day can help clear your skin from the inside-out. And because of its beneficial bacteria and enzymes, it can help cleanse your body.
#3: Bone Broth/Collagen Powder
Pretty soon, it’ll be too hot to sip bone broth.
(If you don’t know the difference between the two: Bone broth is roasted animal bones with herbs and spices; the long-simmering process of bone broth releases collagen protein from the bones.)
I admit that there’s a lot of hype surrounding bone broth and collagen protein. There are claims that it can cure just about everything.
below, watch my video showing you hoe to make bone broth
There is research, however, that shows supplementing with collagen protein can help repair your gut. Gut health is crucial for burning fat. It’s not easy to get ready for a summer slimdown if you don’t have a healthy gut.
In fact, some people have a condition that’s known in the alternative medicine field as “leaky gut.” Leaky gut is when the tiny junctions of your gut lining tear, allowing undigested food particles to enter the bloodstream. When this happens, your detoxification system slows down. Not only that, leaky gut can also cause an autoimmune disease.
If you’re lucky enough to live near a Trader Joe’s, the funky supermarket chain now sells boxes of organic chicken bone broth for a just a few bucks. Sipping on some bone broth or taking a collagen protein powder supplement every day can help repair your gut and improve your body’s detox system.
I’ve mentioned probiotics at least a couple times recently, including the best one to bring with you if you’re travelling.
I’ll just quickly rehash here why probiotics are so important for getting or staying lean. The healthier your gut microbiome (the trillions of bacteria, etc.), that is the more friendly bacteria you have in your gut, the easier it will be to digest your food. And the easier it is to digest your food, the less likely it will be that you’ll have difficulty getting rid of unwanted body fat.
There are a few problems with probiotics….
First is that many people forget to take them everyday. Set yourself a daily reminder on your smartphone to take them in the morning or before bed.
Second, some people don’t buy a strong enough probiotic. Look for a supplement that has several different strains of bacteria and has a minimum count of 10 billion colony forming units (CFU) per capsule. The reason you need a high count is that a lot of the bacteria won’t survive the harsh trip through the digestive system.
And third, not all brands of probiotics are of good quality. Do your research before you buy. (Jarrow is a reputable brand.)
#5: Green Drinks, Detox Soup, Protein Shakes
So this last tip for a summer slimdown isn’t exactly a supplement. But it’s a great way to to make sure you’re looking and feeling great when you’re finally ready to take your first dip in the ocean or pool this summer….
If you do my 21 Day Detox now, you’ll be amazed by the transformation your body will undergo. (Not to mention your skin, mood and energy levels.)
Here’s how it works: you alternate between following my Healthy Routine and doing a 3 day cleanse. During the 3 day cleanse, you get 4 servings of my Green Drink plus 2 packets of my organic vegan protein shake and 1 detox soup for dinner. And during the Healthy Routine phase, you’ll get a 16-ounce Green Drink and 1 Protein Shake packet for breakfast. Then for lunch and dinner, you’ll use my healthy eating and meal planner guides, which contains delicious recipes for soups, salads, appetizers, and entrees.
The best part is I deliver the Green Drinks, Protein Shakes and Detox Soups to your front door. (Well, not personally, but my company does.)
Doing a 21-Day Detox is the easiest, most affordable, and safest way to lose 30 pounds or more.
LEARN MORE ABOUT IT HERE: https://www.chefv.com/21-day-detox/#learnmore
You can also try a 3, 5 or 7-day Cleanse if you just want to dip your pinky toe in the shallow end.
Good luck getting ready for the summer slimdown. Even if you don’t want to spend any money on supplements, rebooting your digestive system by doing a Chef V Cleanse or Detox will get you bikini ready!
Veronica (Chef V)