Monday, May 17, 2010


On Friday I received this email from a college friend and recent client:
Hey Lauren,
I hope this note finds you well! Are the boys finished w/ school soon? We're out on June 1, and then Colin and I head to Hawaii for 2 weeks. So, I have 2 weeks before I go to the beach. I've been pretty good about keeping to the food plan (some days are better than others), but I'd love hints about what to do over the next 2 weeks to maximize beach body potential. And I'm not look for a miracle, I just don't want my mom to suggest that I look like a beached whale which she has been known to do.
Thank you so much!

My reply:
Dear M (she actually has a name longer than 1 letter but we’ll go with M),

Wow- Hawaii sounds fantastic. I’m going to ignore the “beached whale” portion of the email, with the trip 2 weeks away we don’t have time for anything even moderately deep. Make sure you’re signed up for our Monthly Morsels newsletter because on Wednesday our May “Bathing Suits Don’t Lie” newsletter will be emailed with extensive tips for pre-beach exercise and eating. In the mean time 5 pre-beach pointers:

1. Disrobe
It’s very difficult (ok traumatizing) to go from turtlenecks and boots to swim suits and sunscreen. For all intents and purposes we are all naked on the beach or if you’re like me securely beneath your cover up du jour. What to do? We say practice! My brilliant intern Lisa mentioned “I know this is pretty extreme, but in the days leading up to the beach, my roommate actually puts on her bathing suit when she gets home from work until she goes to bed. That is the time of day that she is most prone to over-eating, and she knows she will make better choices if she’s wearing the exact suit she wants to be in at the end of the week."

2. Fast
I’m not referring to juicing or completely swearing off food (we’ll get to that in Wednesday’s newsletter). I suggest you try a TV fast for the next 2 weeks. I got this idea from organizing expert Peter Walsh. In the time you would normally watch TV prepare snacks for the next day or make a shopping list. Maybe you take an evening walk with Colin or simply read a book to relax. All the time we say we don’t have to invest in our food and exercise can be recaptured from parts of the day we spend tweeting, Facebooking and watching the TV.

3. Debloat (shocked this is not a real word)
My 5 favorite dietary debloaters are asparagus, lemon, cucumber, parsley and dandelion greens. Have each of these every day the week leading up to vacation. Yes, I said every day. Have asparagus steamed, grilled or roasted with your dinner every night. Add lemon and cucumber slices to all water. Parsley can be chopped into salads or boiled for a tea. And Wednesday’s newsletter will have a dandelion/walnut salad that will be your daily lunch. Sorry if these aren’t your favorite foods. While you may not find them the most delicious, debloating is delicious.

4. Exit the Elliptical
Ever seen a friend you haven’t seen in a while and they look great, amazing, lean and just different? When you ask how they did it or what they changed did they ever say they started to use the Precor? Or that they’ve been walking? Hold your emails and comments I am not saying these forms of exercise are useless. You want to raise your good cholesterol, ease your way into exercise, destress…that’s different. You want to feel less lumpy in a swimsuit, we need more. Run, spin, use the stair climber (looks like staircase), jump rope or whatever form of exercise you hate or feel is “too hard.” Do this 6 days a week (aren’t I nice?) for 45-60 minutes. If you’re as fun as you were in college, do it in your swim suit for bonus points.

5. Eliminate
Nope, I’m not talking about pooping (althouth that does improve the way you feel in a swimsuit) again, I did that already. I am talking about what you need to eliminate from your diet in the days before the beach. After all, what would a short-term plan be without some good old sacrifice and deprivation? So…skip sweet and wheat, skip anything that comes in a package with more than 2 ingredients (eggs in a carton ok, kashi bars are not). And while you’re at it skip the 3 C’s canned (or smoked) food, carbonated beverages and cocktails. If you have a question if something is ok to eat, assume it is not.

Have a great trip and comment on the blog as you execute the 5 pre-beach pointers.

What do you do pre-beach and which one of these pointers hits home?


  1. Best. Blog. Ever. A million thank yous!

    I can't wait to make snacks in my bathing for everyone at home!

  2. This blog rocks! So I am on Dallas on business, and read this before heading out to the gym. My workout was very hard, due to changing it up. thanks for keeping me focused.

  3. Update: Came home from school and promptly went outside to walk for a while. Put on my bathing suit when I got back and chopped up veggies for tomorrow's lunch. Then I made improvised tonight's dinner -- bulgar salad w/ tomatoes, asparagus, parsley, dandelion greens, walnuts, diced chicken breast, lemon juice and a touch of olive oil. We're off to walk the dogs, but I'll change back into street-appropriate clothes. So far so good!

  4. That bulgar salad that I mentioned above has become a daily meal. I've put it in a wrap, I've added tofu, hot or cold -- I'm getting my debloat foods everyday! It was shocking yesterday when I found myself eschewing a handful of nuts for blueberries. On track and having a great week so far!

    On a different note, I've planned all of our meals in Hawaii around the farmers' market schedule. We're cooking there as much as possible, and the amazing farmers' markets are making that so easy.

  5. Wearing a bathing suit at home is BRILLIANT!