Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Go Lean Clean

Published:Monday | November 16, 2015 | 11:00 AMKrysta Anderson
Rachel shows off her 'lean clean' body.

Wanna be a lean, clean fitness queen? Then Lean Clean Club may very well be the right movement for you! Flair recently caught up with Lean Clean director, Rachel Christian, to find out more about what her fitness group is all about.

Lean Clean, she said, originated among her sister Nicole Campbell, herself, friend Yolande Cespedes, and others. "We are all wives and mothers, who collectively have eight children and are employed on a full time basis, with Nicole and Yolande owning and managing their own businesses," she told us.

They had been struggling with their own weights for some time and had tried multiple approaches and fads with only short term success. Having tried it "all", Christian noted, they finally decided that they needed a lifestyle change, realising that is likely the only real way to achieve permanent results.

"Now, we enjoy working out, looking great, and most of all, feeling great! Together, consistent workouts along with clean, prepped meals made our lifestyle change fun and exciting, and for the first time we have achieved lasting results."

As they improved on their physical health, not only did their weight management ability improve, so did their overall happiness and clarity. Once they realised how effective it was and how much it benefited their lives, they decided to spread the good cheer and share their developed expertise in a Lean Clean 90 Day challenge.

This challenge, Christian says, is a rigid one, which motivates challengers to get physically active while strictly prohibiting themselves from 'banned' foods, which are not in alignment with weight loss, "We had set goals for the challengers, and one by one, they all won! Once they realised they could do it, most of them stuck with it, which was our intention in the first place," she added.

 

LIFESTYLE CHANGE

 

During the challenge, Christian decided to take things a step further and enroll in a health coaching course. This led to a slight shift in their rigid philosophy and a deeper understanding of the benefits associated with a lifestyle change. "We believe in the philosophy that physical health is dependent on four interconnected entities - diet, physical activity, relationships and career," she asserted.

Don't get them wrong, they do not believe in deprivation, and so they advocate "crowding out" and deconstructing cravings. As opposed to restricting foods and food groups, they in turn encourage adding foods. In recognising that much of people's social interactions and cultural approach to entertainment incorporates foods, they wanted to acknowledge one of the realities of life: sometimes bad food happens to good people. So, in order to minimise the impact of those "bad food choices", they encourage more fruits, vegetables and whole foods.

"We encourage less meat, milk, sugar, and 'chemicalised' artificial junk food. We also recommend less coffee and alcohol. We always emphasise that less doesn't mean none, it just means less," Christian articulated.

Weight loss and maintenance are not solely about diet and exercise; it is also about happiness, "The right foods and the right activity enhance physical health and lead to clarity and improved mental health. Also, diet, physical activity, relationships and career must be balanced in order to achieve physical health thus creating a lifetime of happiness. The point is for you to be the best you: healthy, lean and clean, inside and out."

The biggest excuse with food preparation is "I don't have the time", but she says, "If its worth it, you will make the time." One hour every two or three days is small in comparison to the payoff. Included in their many benefits, Lean Clean Club offers meal prep workshops to members (and/or the persons who cook for them) where they are taught how to prepare clean and healthy meals by a professional chef who is also certified in nutrition.

 

POSITIVE IMPACT

 

So, you might be wondering, how has this lifestyle change impacted Christian's life? Well, for starters, she releases much more endorphins, and these happy chemicals keep her fuelled with positively and going with a sense of purpose throughout the day. She feels like she can conquer the world after a workout, especially if it was difficult. She feels more energetic, more alert, more focused and the result boosted my confidence in all areas of her life.

Here are 10 pointers she highlighted that helped her on her weight loss and maintenance journey:

• I have a cardio watch so that I can count my calories to push myself.

• I workout with the best trainer in the word, Dwight at Spartan, who showed me the proper exercises, weights and form for my body. Trainers can be expensive so an alternative is to hire one for at least a month to learn exactly what you need to do. Form is key with weight training

- I run outside - I would walk three minutes and jog one, until three minutes walking turned into two and then one minute jogging jumped to two then three. You have to play little games with your mind, it makes it interesting. Do things that take your mind off of getting through the whole thing, while getting through bit by bit.

- I started entering 5k runs. I would walk the entire 5k at first. I timed myself and worked on reducing my time each walk.

- I crowd out 'bad food' with good food, so I replace rice with sweet potato, I replace chips and snacks with fruit or yogurt or almonds.

- I am portion conscious: I don't mek hungry ketch mi careless on the road. I always have an apple or some almonds in my bag, office draw or glove compartment.

- If I am at a restaurant I scan the menu for the best choices, nothing fried or stewed with gravy or sauces, but rather grilled or baked.

- I bought a nutri bullet, then a juicer and started to juice my vegetables green juice recipes.

- I planned my food, not easy for me because my husband is the cook not me. I plan my meals two to three days in advance, prep them, refrigerate them and pack them each morning - five meals a day - three meals and two snacks. It was a struggle at first but after three weeks, it became a habit and now it is like second nature.

- I use things like simple things like boiled egg whites, egg white vegetable omelettes (I don't use cheese), oatmeal, almond milk, meats like chicken, fish (sardine, tuna, salmon), vegetable soup, salads, sweet potatoes, green juice, fruits, vegetables. I play around with my salads adding avocado, pecans, a drizzle of crumbled cheese, jalapenos. You have to get creative.

Lean Clean Club is a chance for self-motivated individuals to achieve a new lifestyle leading to optimal physical health and weight control. They provide sample eating guides - shake recipes, do's and don'ts of clean eating, meal recipes, weight/measurement log, pantry basics, portion control sessions, sample meal plans, weight loss guide, and measurement guide. Additionally, the club offers reduced gym rates at Spartan Health Club, personal trainer recommendations and discounts, workshop on how to read food labels, weight and measurement tracking, access to all Lean Clean activities, discounted Lean Clean essentials and group coaching, and motivation through our Lean Clean Community, as well as a group chat with like minded individuals wanting to achieve the same goals. This community of individuals keep each other motivated and energised!

To sign up, visit their Instagram page @leancleanjamaica fill out their registration form and join the movement today.

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com