If you guys have read Helen’s other guest posts for The Skinny Confidential, then you know how we met. But of course, if you haven’t, I need to recap for ya:
I met Helen through the beauty of social media & fell in love with her through her Blender Bombs. If you guys haven’t had them, let me tell you, they’re the most efficient way to make a smoothie. They’re full of all sorts of goodness & a great thing to throw in a blender when you don’t have time to add 6 million things into your concoction.
Blender Bombs are Omega-3 Rich Smoothie Boosters designed to make your smoothie the ultimate meal replacement! “Blend ’em” in your smoothie,”Break ’em” over your bowl, or “Bite ’em” for a snack. Hushup X Hustle built & approved.
& they’re sooooo good. I’m a huge fan of the Acai.
Anyway, when we were in Charleston to interview Patricia from Southern Charm, we ran into Helen at a tiny hotel called Zero George Street Hotel. We sipped on skinny margs & talked about Naomie Olindo from Southern Charm & how she completely transformed her body through Blender Bombs & intermittent fasting. Helen told me that she also changed her life through intermittent fasting after she gained the ‘freshman 20.’ So I figured I HAD TO ask her to come on TSC to talk SPECIFICALLY about how her & Naomie tightened up.
Fast forward a few months, & here you are reading Helen’s 5th ( !!! ) guest post for TSC. Her posts have been SO SO SO SO well-received. She provides so much value & you guys love them.
Again, if you missed her other posts, here they are ( in order ):
♡ Naomie’s body transformation – ( you know….Naomie Olindo from Southern Charm ! )
Anyway, let’s welcome Helen back to The Skinny Confidential to really dissect what the 80/20 lifestyle is.
Ever wondered what a balanced, yet plant-forward, yet not TOO strict lifestyle looks like?
Meet your new BFF: The 80×20 Lifestyle.
These days, you can’t drive more than a few miles without spotting those infamous golden arches.
Fast food spots are on nearly every corner — from burgers & fries to tacos & ice cream, the temptations are E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E! Like any red-blooded human, I was constantly tempted by these places a few years ago, & the persistent lurking of greasy preservatives caused me to “fall off the wagon” every few days. Finding the balance between eating well & indulging was harder than finding the perfect shade of blush ( because, let’s face it — that shit is hard ).
Then, something amazing happened: I found it. The perfect balance! I realized that if I made a concentrated effort to keep 80% of my meals made up of whole, plant-based foods, then I could “indulge” with my remaining 20% & feel way less guilty for it. In a nutshell ( pun intended ), this means that 80% of the time I avoid processed, refined foods including oils, meats, cheese, eggs, dairy, unrefined grains, processed sugars, sodas, & alcohol. But the other 20% of the time, I let myself live a little & indulge in all of the above ( not all at once, of course ).
I take my 80×20 lifestyle day-by-day. For some people, meal planning is freeing. For me, meal planning means stress & slipping into my bad habit of obsessively thinking about food. One of the reasons I created the Blender Bombs brand is because it lays the perfect foundation for an 80×20 lifestyle. I know that every day my first meal is going to be a smoothie packed with whole food, plant-based ingredients that will keep me full. It’s easy, it creates a pattern, & it takes the guesswork out of one of my meals. Check out this Smoothie Recipe PDF to get inspired!
How many meals should you eat in a day?
That totally depends on each person. It depends on your individual metabolism, weight, height, activity level, health, etc. I only workout about 5-10 minutes a day usually ( but I walk A LOT ) so I like to eat about 2.5 meals a day. When I’m more active, I eat more. You have to play around & see what ya like!
For dinner, I decide day-by-day what I’m going to eat. There are a handful of restaurants in Charleston that serve some of my go-to 80% meals, but I always feel best when I cook at home because I know every single ingredient I am eating! Check out this Recipe PDF that is full of healthy 80% meal ideas! I also keep standby groceries that are whole food, plant-based on hand. This is major key. When I have healthy, fresh groceries in the house rather than junk food I am less likely to give into temptations!
Here are some examples of 80% meals and drinks:
♡ Big leafy green salads with low/no oil dressings
HXH TIP: whenever I eat out & want to keep that meal in my 80%, I always bring my own dressing or just use olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt & pepper.
♡ Veggie pizza made on a plant-based crust
♡ “Alfredo” pasta made with lentil + chickpea pasta & vegan cheese sauce
♡ Black coffee
♡ Coffee with nut milk
♡ Hot tea
HXH TIP: Make sure there are no “natural flavors” in your tea ingredients.
♡ 100% Pure sparkling water
♡ Fruit infused water ( sparkling or still ). Think lemon, lime, cucumber, mint, raspberry, etc. A good brand of canned sparkling water infused with fruit juice is Spindrift. For Lauryn’s favorite water medleys, stalk this post.
HXH TIP: Make sure there are no “natural flavors” in the ingredients.
♡ Any type of fresh pressed vegetable juice
HXH TIP: It’s best to drink within 30 minutes of juicing.
As much as I would love for all my meals to be 100% whole food, plant-based, I know that would be unreasonable for my lifestyle. I like the thrill of knowing that I can enjoy some homemade dessert but not feel guilty after. Or that I can take a bite of everyone’s plate when out to dinner with friends. It’s life!!
When I originally tried to be 100% whole foods, plant-based, all I could think about was food & what I wasn’t ‘allowed’ to eat. The best part about implementing an 80×20 lifestyle is that it is a LIFESTYLE not a fad diet. Following 80×20 ( or as some people may do a 70×30 or 90×10 ) lifestyle keeps the ‘guilt’ meals limited, & keeps the earth-grown, fiber-filled, healthy meals filling up your body.
Here’s the 80×20 plan, simplified:
1.) 1 x Blender Bomb Smoothie a day as a meal replacement, Monday through Friday.
2.) Follow the 80×20 whole foods, plant-based diet.
3.) Practice Intermittent Fasting 3-5 days a week, if & only if it works for your body & your doctor approves.
4.) Move your body in a way that you enjoy for at least 30 minutes a day, 4-5 days a week.
5.) If you have a job that requires sitting all day, try to get up & move for 2 minutes every 30 minutes.
6.) Try to sleep at least 7-8 hours as many nights of the week as you can.
7.) Surround yourself with people who are positive, healthy, loving, kind & encouraging.
8.) Do at least 10 minutes of quiet time each day. This could be meditation, walking outside, journaling, praying, gratitude practices, or just reflecting on your day for 10 minutes as you’re on the sofa.
HXH tip: I use the insight timer app for guided meditations & LOVE it.
Before starting the 80×20 lifestyle, there is one thing you should know. Every person is different, & comparison is the thief of joy. What works for one person might not work for you. It all depends on your individual weight, height, metabolism, activity level, hormones, genetics, stress level, sleep pattern, happiness, etc.
But there is one universal truth: most people function best when around 80% or more of their diet is comprised of whole, plant-based foods ( & BB smoothies of course ). 80×20 is the lifestyle that gives you the tools to figure out what routines work best for you. It’s worked for me & thousands of other people who have committed to this balanced lifestyle.
+ scope the benefits of adding celery to your diet.
++ all natural candies you need in your pantry.