From Detox to Cocktails

Jorge Cruise talks nourishment risks and rewards.

Torn between a spring cleanse to get a jump on your summer beach-ready body, and celebrating warmer weather with friends? Celebrity fitness expert and best-selling author Jorge Cruise answers 24Life readers’ burning questions in order to balance your goals and your life.

24Life reader: I am thinking of doing a spring detox. Any advice?

Jorge Cruise (JC): If you want to do a simple spring detox to really just flush out toxins and shed some quick pounds, I recommend going plant-based in the morning. By not having dairy in the morning, you let your body reset and eliminate toxins and waste from dairy products and processed foods you may have consumed. You may think you could eat plant-based any time of the day, but there are a number of reasons that starting your day with a successful action such as eating plant-based foods sets the stage for you to be successful all day long.

It’s scientifically shown that your willpower is strongest in the morning: Numerous studies demonstrate that determination and drive are almost always strongest in the morning hours when you are fresh. This is because willpower is like a muscle—it’s strongest when it has been given good rest and restoration. So you can start your day ahead of the game by nourishing your body with excellent sources of plant-based foods. Being plant-based in the morning is like giving yourself a daily detox. You’ll cleanse your body each morning and then continue to eat a balanced diet throughout the rest of the day. Some great plant-based breakfast ideas are oatmeal topped with berries, coconut yogurt, quinoa, plant-based protein pancakes, acai bowls, chia seed pudding and gluten-free cereals such as Cheerios.

24Life reader: What is an option for a cocktail that does not kill my fitness goals?

JC: I’m not a big drinker or a fan of alcohol, but I do tell my clients that when it comes to celebrating with a drink, you should always stick to champagne. I say champagne because it is very low in calories—only 78 calories per glass. Most people don’t know that one glass of wine is equal in calories to one piece of chocolate cake. A glass of wine can average anywhere between 300 to 400 calories whereas champagne is only 78 calories per glass, giving you the most bang for your caloric budget.

24Life reader: Is there a hard rule for fasting?

JC: I don’t believe in fasting because our bodies are designed to be nourished and fueled in order to work properly. However, I do believe in setting limits for yourself to prevent emotional eating. For example, after dinner around 7 p.m. every night, I try to avoid eating. Most people tend to sabotage their diets by emotional eating typically in the evening or late at night. If you ate a proper dinner and are just eating to “eat,” then I suggest sticking to tea, sparkling water or chewing gum.

24Life reader: How do I motivate myself to get to the gym?

JC: Motivation is the key to success. Whenever my clients struggle with getting to the gym, I always give the same advice. I tell them not to think about the workout or even the gym itself but rather focus on just getting to the gym. When you break apart all the things you have to do and focus on just one thing at a time, you reduce anxiety and stress. So my suggestion is just focus on driving to the gym and sitting in your car. Chances are if you drove all the way there and are sitting in your car, you’ll go in and work out. Don’t think about the workout, equipment or gym—just focus on getting yourself there.

Another great strategy I use with my clients is I have them identify their reasons for losing weight. What I have found is that reasons come first, goals come second. You have to be able to identify why you want to lose the weight, and it can’t be a superficial answer such as “to be healthy.” You have to dig deep within yourself and really pinpoint why you want to lose the weight. Some good examples of motivational reasons are to be around to play with your grandchildren, to feel empowered and confident in your own skin, to prevent disease and extend the longevity of your life.

Photo credit: Death to Stock