From my Get Fit Stay Healthy podcast! Get ready for the summer, break a plateau or change up your nutrition, diet and workouts with this easy to follow plan. Here is the outline from the segment, Diet and Exercise Jumpstart for June.

STEP #1: Preparation/Food. Pick 10 days that will give you the best opportunity to follow through, keeping in mind that there will probably never be 10 perfect days in a row. If you need accountability tell as many people as you can (that you trust) what you are doing. Clean out processed foods (boxed and most canned foods although I’ve used organic canned beans and lentils to save time) and sugar from your home and work. Decide on a few clean meals and snacks. Keep it simple. Combine chicken, salmon, broccoli, quinoa, lentils, sweet potato, asparagus, onions, mushrooms, kale, spinach, salads with greens, beans and legumes, etc., and use olive oil based dressings (sparingly). Rotate the same meals for lunch and dinner. Order the same if you dine out. Drink water throughout the day – about half your weight in ounces along with three cups of herbal green tea. A few cups of coffee before noon, in my opinion, are fine. Breakfast options might be oatmeal, natural peanut/almond/flax butter, Greek yogurt, eggs or a protein shake. My go-to is Shakeology with extra protein (typically from Vega or Sun Warrior because I like to add in soy-free, Vegan ingredients and I like their lines) and frozen fruit. Snacks: carrots, celery, peppers; lowfat cottage cheese, apples, dark berries and nuts. Eat lean protein at every meal including snacks if possible and space 12 hours in between your last meal of the day and first meal of the next day.

STEP #2: Sleep/Repair. Get adequate sleep.  Most studies say 7-8 hours. It’s not just about preventing tired “carb hunger,” it’s about your natural fat burning process and rejuvenation. Turn off your electronic devices no less than an hour before bed. Dark, cool room. Adequate sleep is critical.

STEP #3: Movement/exercise. Plan, schedule and aim for 10 to 60-second, high intensity interval sessions (double the interval time for proper recovery) a minimum of five times for 10 to 40-minutes total. (Note: Train safe and smart if you have injuries or other limiting conditions. INT’s for your level!) Cycling, spin, running, group fitness classes; brisk walk, power yoga, swimming, dancing, push-ups, planks, bodyweight squats, lunges, pretend jump rope; boxing and kickboxing and related all work if you can get out of breath, recover and repeat. We want your metabolism on fire. Resistance work and yoga/pilates and walking on the other days. Here’s an example: weight training for back-tri/hamstrings, core followed by a short interval or endurance set; day two is spin or cycling; day three is weights for chest/bi/quads and core (with INT or endurance option); day four is yoga; day five is kickboxing; day six is a brisk walk or light jog; day seven is a repeat of day one; day eight is spin or step; day nine is a repeat of day three and day 10 is Pilates. Take at least five-minutes a day and walk (outside) to put mental and physical distance between you and your stress-causing issues and to calmly reconnect to your body and movement. By the way, NO cell phone use unless you have a really-really-really legit reason.

STEP #4: Brain/De-stressing. Schedule at least five minutes of daily meditation or quiet time. Push out all thoughts and empty your mind. Imagine all your stress, worry and anxiety lifted and carried away. There is not a wrong way to do this. Just sit quietly with NO-DISTRACTIONS-WHAT-SO-EVER. Concentrate on a word or phrase or image. Remember that we draw to us that which we think about. Constant stress is a killer and it adds and keeps weight on, especially around your belly. De-stress!

STEP #5: Visualization-Realization Statement of Truth (VRST). This is an affirmation stating your truth and your ultimate goal. Write it down, repeat it, post it on your bathroom mirror, in your car, on the fridge; send yourself email/text messages; ask others to do the same; have someone leave you a message asking you if you’ve looked at it at least twice that day. Here are two examples: “I am making positive changes to look and feel the way I deserve and I know that I am getting stronger, healthier and leaner everyday.” Or, “I’m strong, committed and sexy from the inside and out because I’m taking care of myself and becoming the best version of me I’ve ever been.” Then, visualize yourself in an outfit, at a function, posing for a picture or engaging in an activity AS the person you want to be. Statement and picture. Very important.

STEP#6: Calendar/Journal. Outline what you need to do/what you did on each day.  Make comments or keep a separate journal. The perspective you’ll gain afterwards will be helpful in many ways especially with identifying what works and what doesn’t.

STEP#7: Calories/Questions/Parting Thoughts. Google for ideas on food and exercise. Ask me specific questions but please try to find answers on your own, first. If you want to do a 3-day power cleanse with this, ask me about getting Shakeology. Calorie counting is not necessary but feel free. When you focus on whole foods instead of processed “food-like” substances, delete sugar and plan meals around veggies and lean protein, your calories should take care of themselves. Also, cut out artificial sweeteners, soda and diet soda. Eat most of your fruits by midday. Stop eating at least two hours before bedtime. Be patient with your body and persistent with your efforts. You might not feel the positive effects in 10 days if you’ve been living on the other extreme, but trust the process. It’s worth it. Even if you move a little more, add color to your diet, experience truly quiet moments and skip your Diet Coke, I’ll be happy, and so will your body. Are you in? Tell us when you’re starting and how you will make yours work. Questions about my plan?