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3 Steps to Red Carpet Ready

I can’t recall ever missing the Oscars. Even if I haven’t seen all of the films, I always tune in. And of course, the red carpet is the best part. But it can’t be easy on the celebs, who are being watched and critiqued by millions around the globe. I’ve worked with models, actors and other performers who’ve had to get in spectacular shape asap for an event. Some drop pounds fast in not so healthy ways (starvation, diet pills, etc.), but when I’m asked to help a client slim down swiftly, my goal is to help them take the most nourishing and natural path possible. Here’s one three-step strategy some of my clients have used: 


STEP ONE: abandon the additives. At least one week before the event, banish as many foods as possible that come in a box, bag, bottle or jar. For the packaged foods you must buy, choose products that contain single ingredients, such as frozen green beans with nothing added and plain brown rice, rather than seasoned versions. Whole, unprocessed (or minimally processed) foods means maximize nutrition per bite without the extra sodium, preservatives and other additives that don’t belong in a “clean” body.


STEP TWO: embrace the agua. At least one week ahead, switch to water only (for those who can’t live without their morning cup of coffee, I advise sticking to one cup then switching to water) and aim for 8-10 cups of H2O a day. I tell my clients to think of their day in 4 blocks: wake-up time to lunch, lunch to mid afternoon, mid afternoon to dinner and dinner to bedtime. Down 2-3 cups during each block, along with lemon, lime or fresh mint for extra flavor. Staying well hydrated and drinking “on schedule” revs up metabolism, aids digestion (to prevent constipation and bloating), and keeps skin looking its best. 


STEP THREE: build each meal around fruits and veggies. For five days before the event, I recommend eating small meals every three hours or so. Make two of them fruit-based and the others veggie. Start with one cup (size of a baseball) of produce (the trifecta if possible: organic, in-season and local), along with either a lean protein or plant-based fat  - both help regulate hunger and blood sugar -  and be sure to include three servings of whole grains each day (within the meals before you’ll be the most active). Here’s an example:


Meal 1 (8 am)

1 medium pear, sliced

2 Tbsp chopped walnuts

Half cup cooked oats

2 cups water with lemon


Meal 2 (11 am)

1 cup grapes

1 mini babybel cheese or 1 serving extra firm tofu, sliced into cubes

2 cups water with lime


Meal 3 (2 pm)

1 cup red and green peppers sliced into strips

Half cup edamame hummus

Half cup cooked wild rice

2 cups water with lemon


Meal 4 (5 pm)

1 cup steamed green beans

Quarter cup sliced almonds

Half cup cooked quinoa

2 cups water with lemon


Meal 5 (8 pm)

1 cup grilled or roasted cherry tomatoes

3 oz grilled shrimp or tofu

2 cups water with lemon


I never recommend following a “detox” like this for more than 5 days. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that the above meals are a departure from my usual healthy eating recommendations. That’s because it’s a short-term slim down plan designed to maximize energy and nutrition but still deliver results (e.g. feeling confident and healthy in a slinky dress). It does meet my Detox Do’s and Don’ts (it’s just above 1,000 calories) but full disclosure – most of what my clients lose following this or any other “detox” is not body fat. That said, a short-term streamlined eating strategy that follows the rules should result in feeling lighter and leaner. Just don’t follow a plan like this for more than about 5 days - long term, eating this way won’t provide the full spectrum of nutrients a healthy body needs, especially for someone who’s active.


Have you ever tried a detox or special diet before a must-look-great event? If so, tell me about your experience!


P.S. I was so thrilled at the absence of emaciated celebrities at the Academy Awards. Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Charlize Theron, Rachel McAdams, Elizabeth Banks and Sandra Bullock all looked so healthy. And wow, Kathryn Bigelow, the first woman best director, is 58 years old! She looks amazing!


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