I've discovered the ultimate hack for getting through the dreaded months of February and March when it's freezing, the holidays are over, and everyone gets grumpy for weeks on end: book a vacation. I always book a vaca somewhere sunny for the first week of April, and looking forward to it gets me through the last slump of winter. This year, I went to Miami, and I couldn't have been more excited to lie on the beach, get a great tan, and drink my weight in margaritas. I bought myself a bright red bikini for Christmas to get excited for the trip, but when I tried it on I noticed that my usual size was a little smaller than usual. I wanted to feel my absolute best on the beach, not be insecure or wearing a cover-up the whole time.
I absolutely hate diets, but I can admit that my eating had clearly gotten unhealthy recently (a lot of french fries and holiday cookies). I did some research to see if there were any options for cutting the sugar-based carbs and limiting calories while actually getting the nutrition and satisfaction I needed. In other words, NOT a diet. After scrolling through a few online health forums, I discovered Splendid Spoon, a subscription service that makes ready-to-eat smoothies and soups that are all plant based, low sugar, and high in nutrients. I looked at their website, and their food definitely didn't look like a diet; they were focused on healthy eating and nutrient packed superfoods that give you the energy to be your best. A lot of people online said that they lost several pounds after replacing their breakfast with a smoothie and their lunch with one of the savory soup options. Plus, because the smoothies and soups are low sodium, people also lost a lot of stomach bloat. It sounded like exactly what I needed to get red bikini ready.
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I chose a plan that sent me smoothies and soups, and decided to replace my breakfast with a smoothie and bring a soup with me to the office for lunch. The soups were easy to keep in the freezer and then heat up at work in the microwave, but they weren't like other frozen meals I had tried. The ingredients were fresh, and flash frozen to lock in maximum nutrition. Plus they came in absolutely delicious flavors with international influence that I just couldn't get in a can at the grocery store, like Cauliflower Tikka, Lentil and Kale, and Carrot Lentil Curry.
My favorite ended up being the Red Beet Buddha Bowl, packed with really healthy ingredients like kale, beets, and sweet potatoes. You can pick which options and meal combinations you want to receive in your box, and for week two I chose to get three of my new favorite bowl. The smoothies were also really tasty. They tasted different from the sugar-filled smoothies I was used to getting at Jamba Juice; they were lighter, but somehow kept me full for longer. I'd grab one of my favorites (the Raspberry Cacao or the Blackberry Basil) from the fridge in the mornings and drink them on my ride to work.
After 6 weeks of using Splendid Spoon for breakfast and lunch, and eating whatever I normally would at dinner (seriously, I still went to bi-weekly happy hour and ate chicken wings; I was not a saint) it was time to try on my bikini again and step on the scale. I honestly couldn't believe that I had lost four pounds and my stomach looked so much flatter! The meals for my plan were only $9 each, which saved me money from my usual $12 paninis or salads. I went to Miami in April and had an absolute blast. I've never felt more confident in my life, and took so many Instagram pictures that they should make me an influencer. Eating Splendid Spoon before my vacation helped me be the best version of myself without having to feel like I was restricting myself on a diet. Instead, it was all about self-love and feeding my body the nutrients it needed to function at its best.