Diet and wellbeing: get bikini-ready with lemons
The great summer strip-off is approaching – eeeek! I must have tried every diet and eating plan under the sun and a few silly fad diets that have made my metabolism sluggish and slow in my 30s. Healthy eating – fresh, clean eating – and exercise is the way to go and Bournemouth is full of fitties who feel the same way.
The humble lemon is useful in so many ways. I asked Stephanie Matson from natural lemon juice brand, PLj, for some diet and wellbeing tips. And remember, fresh lemons as well as a variety of brightly coloured fruits and vegetables should be in your fridge at all times for a healthy, happy summer.
1. Start your day with lemon juice: Drinking a glass of warm lemon juice first thing in the morning can really help to kick start your metabolism and cleanse the body of toxins. This in turn, could help your body to process food and contaminants quicker, aiding weight loss and improving the appearance of skin tone. Add one 7ml serving of PLj Lemon Juice to a glass of warm water.
2. Top up your magnesium levels: If you have low levels of magnesium, your body may be producing extra cortisol, which may contribute to weight gain. Look for a ‘chelated’ magnesium supplement, which means it will be more easily absorbed into the body and could help you get that sought-after flat belly.
3. Eating healthily needn’t be dull. These diet-friendly recipes are quick and easy:
o Salads can still be tasty and filling. Make your own low-fat dressing of PLj Lemon Juice, 1 tsp. honey, ½ tsp. wholegrain mustard and some apple cider vinegar and mix through.
o Chicken breasts (skinless) and oily fish, such as mackerel, are delicious roasted in a small amount of olive oil, PLj Lemon Juice and a sprinkling of paprika. Wrapped in tin foil, a chicken breast takes about 20 minutes and a fillet of fish, about 15 minutes to bake.
4. Work out with a wall: Doing just 15 minutes of exercise per day can really help to shape your body. Buying expensive equipment or joining a gym isn’t necessary either; all you need is a wall:
o For thighs and buttocks, press your back flat against the wall, with legs hip width apart, and gently lower yourself into a squat position, tensing your legs and bottom and then straighten up. Repeat 20 times, ensuring your knees don’t go over your toes.
o For toning arms, you can do a less-aggressive version of a push-up, but against a wall. Stand about two foot away from the wall, with your feet hip-width apart and place your hands flat on the wall. Slowly bend your arms, lowering yourself towards to the wall and back to upright again.
o For tummies, assume the same position for the wall push-ups, lower yourself towards the wall and then slowly raise each leg in turn behind you, tensing your abs as you do so.
5. Scrub for glowing skin: Sloughing off dead skin cells can instantly make your skin appear healthier and glowing. You don’t need to go to a salon for expensive microdermabrasion treatments. Mix baking soda into a thick paste with some warm water and apply in a firm, circular motion all over your body; the tiny grains act as an exfoliant to help remove dead cells.
6. Choose flattering beachwear: If you’re small on top, try to find something with ruffles, or if you’re more curvaceous on the bottom, balance out your frame with a plunging neckline. Team your beachwear with a tassled mini-sarong for sway when you sashay in the sand.
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