Is your body ready for the Summer? Get ahead of the game and start thinking about what changes need to be made in the short time between now and the beach? It gives you more time to prepare and achieve your goals. Here are Gabriela’s top tips for blissed out beach bodies. Is your body ready for the Summer? Get ahead of the game and start thinking about what changes need to be made in the short time between now and the beach? It gives you more time to prepare and achieve your goals. Here are Gabriela’s top tips for blissed out beach bodies: Shake It Up If your healthy eating resolve after the New Year has ground to a halt, why not give it a kick-start by replacing one meal a day with a healthy green smoothie or shake. Research shows that replacing one meal as part of a carefully managed diet can be more effective in improving body composition than simply reducing calories alone. By including nutritious leafy greens such as kale or spinach in your smoothie you are also adding a good dose of magnesium (to help for blood circulation, nerves and bones), calcium, stacks of vitamins A, C and K, antioxidants and iron, all of which are important for liver detoxification and digestion. Skin Saviours If months of hiding under layers of wool has left your skin flaky and dry, panic not! Skin can be smoothed into submission by some simple, regular exfoliation followed by moisturiser. Buy a dry skin brush to stimulate your lymphatic system and improve cellulite and skin tone. Vitamins C and A are important for radiant skin so add berries, citrus and the orange coloured carotene rich vegetables such as butternut squash, carrots, and sweet potatoes to your diet. Fill Up on Fruits and Veg Filling your diet with fresh, nutritious, and low-calorie foods is the best way to begin transforming your body. As delicious fruit and vegetables come into season, focus your efforts on trying to eat at least 5 portions per day. When the afternoon rolls around and you need a snack, reach for an apple or some baby carrots instead of a cookie! Don’t think of it as having to avoid the treat, think of it as having to fill your daily fruit and vegetable quota. Remember whole fruit contains more vitamins, minerals and fibre than fruit juice so limit yourself to just one glass of fresh juice per day or dilute it with sparkling water. Do a Spring Cleanse People like to use this time of year to clean their homes in order to make space for new things to come. Just like your home, your body needs a cleanse to help detoxification, regain energy, clearer skin and improved digestion. Start each day with hot water and lemon, eliminate all processed foods and refined sugars and include antioxidant rich herbs and spices such as turmeric, dandelion and ginger. Wheatgrass also aids in blood purification, liver detoxification, and colon cleansing and can be a useful addition to smoothies and juices. Body Toning While good nutrition can dramatically improve your health and wellbeing, it’s even better when combined with regular exercise. Start doing toning exercises now and you’ll feel more confident by the time you’re beachside. Advocates swear by dynamic pilates to improve posture, flatten stomachs, and banish bingo wings. If classes aren’t for you, a personal fitness programme can be a time-efficient way of training to boost fitness, strength and stamina and improve shape and definition in time for summer. Grace Medical Centre in Belgravia offer personal training and nutritional therapy consultations all under one roof. Skin and Hair Just like skin, the condition of your hair is an outward sign of inside health. If your hair has taken a battering by the harsh winter winds and relentless central heating, invest in a deep conditioning treatment to use once a week. Incorporate essential fatty acids – those famous omega-3’s in your diet; they can also improve your nails, hair and skin. Dietary sources include salmon, mackerel and fresh tuna but for those who don’t eat fish, try walnuts, flaxseeds or invest in a good quality supplement. If you’re heading for some sunshine, look for titanium dioxide and zinc oxide based mineral sunscreens, which do not penetrate the skin and make sure the label mentions ‘broad spectrum’ UVA and UVB protection against the sun’s most damaging rays. Stay Hydrated Keep water on hand… and drink more of it! Try to cut back on caffeinated and carbonated drinks. Put a slice of lemon in your water or make fresh lemonade – the lemon acts as a diuretic to rid the body of waste and stimulates the liver. The high alkaline content of lemons may also energise and help clear your mind. Aim for at least 1.5 litres of filtered water per day and remember that hunger is often mistaken for thirst. Fresh is Best Ask yourself if the food you are buying or eating is natural and whole. Processed and packaged foods, apart from a few exceptions, tend to be higher in sugar, saturated fat and salt; three things we could all eat less of. So choose as much unprocessed, fresh food as you can and keep the manufactured goods to a minimum. Gabriela and team Visit GPnutrition for more news and features or connect with us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter.