Barry’s Coach and #WarriorWoman, Erica Stenz, led our Barry’s & Summer Slay class on Thursday, June 10th with a total body workout followed by a Summer Slay workshop. She shares her thoughts below on how to Summer Slay, with a workshop on staying motivated, following healthy habits, and being body confident. 

This was the final event in our virtual Barry’s series, stay tuned for the next Barry’s series which may be virtual or in-person.

Erica Stenz, Instructor at Barry’s NorCal/ SF and #WarriorWomen Founder and Speaker

Summer Slay: Stay Motivated with These Healthy Habits

With Summer Slay Theme, I’d like to touch on the following points:

  1. How to stay motivated
  2. Getting summer ready with healthy habits
  3. Taking your healthy habits with you on vacation
  4. Being your best you and body confident

How to Stay Motivated

I’ve been nutrition-coaching for twelve years, and it’s really my passion. I created a nutrition program called Warrior Women, we’ve sold 3,000 copies on amazon. For you guys, I’ve created a digital version which I will share with all of you. The first step is to start your meal plan. Personally, I’ve experimented with keto, pescatarian, vegan, vegetarian - all sorts of different things to see what was best for my body. So this is where you would see what is best for you and create a plan with it. 

The second step is accountability. This is where you plan your three meals plus a protein snack for the following day. I tell my clients to put these meals into their spreadsheet the night before and then I check it ahead of time. Then it’s up to them to hold themselves accountable to their meal plan. The biggest question clients often have is “What do I eat?”. For this, I keep a folder that is like a go-to grocery list which is keto-approved. It’s full of veggies, proteins, and even protein powder recommendations. 

The final step is a monthly self-evaluation, along with weekly check-ins to keep track of progress. This is where we talk about your overall happiness, your daily energy, your stress levels, self-confidence, and support levels. And what I love to see these numbers increasing so that by the end of the month you feel clinically competent and are making progress towards your goals. 

Getting Summer Ready with Healthy Habits

Of course, goals look very different from person to person. For guys, I would start them with high protein, high carb, and low fat. Whereas for women, I would usually start the opposite way if the goal is to lean out. In those cases, I would suggest going keto and actually getting into ketosis. And this is where it’s important to talk about meal pairing. 

When you will end up gaining weight is if your body is not in homeostasis and your blood sugar levels are not regulated. You’ll see a lot of healthier vegans eating a high protein diet which helps them stay lean because protein keeps you satiated for much longer periods of time than carbs, for instance. The same is true for those following a keto diet - high protein, low carb. When we eat carbs, our blood sugar spikes and then dips below normal. During this stage you become hungry all over again, and even a bit lethargic. If you eat a banana or some rice, for instance, it will probably be digested in your system for two to four hours, whereas meat could take up to nine hours for your body to digest, which is a much longer process. Having a more consistent protein intake and an overall high-protein diet will keep your blood sugar levels stable rather than up and down. 

Another mistake people sometimes make is pairing carbs with fat. Sometimes, when you’re really hungry it is your body’s instinct to crave the easiest source of energy to digest, this could look like a slice of bread with almond butter, for example. It’s human instinct to crave the quickest source of energy. But the problem here is that you will be giving your body two readily available sources of energy. In this case, your body will likely use the carbs as energy, since it is the quickest to digest, and store the fat, which can lead to weight gain over time. 

Taking Your Healthy Habits With You on Vacation

When you have a vacation coming up, it’s important to realize that you have less control over what is being put in the food you eat. If you are able to plan your meals out in advance, then definitely use the spreadsheet. A lot of times when you travel, you may want to splurge and even have some drinks. It’s not to say that you shouldn’t or that you’re not allowed to have fun while on vacation, but it’s good to take these things into account when planning meals. If you’re planning a trip to Napa and you know you’ll be having some wine, then consider that to be your carbs and stay away from any other unhealthy things, while maintaining a very high protein diet. 

Being Your Best You and Body Confident 

There’s no one right way to being healthy. Every one is different and the best thing you can do is listen to your body. Getting enough sleep is so important, especially for women, since we tend to carry more fat around our organs and stomachs. When you don’t sleep enough, your cortisol levels are up, which can lead to weight gain and overall daily stress which will inhibit your quality of life. It’s also important to take your daily supplements and drink tons and tons of water. Tracking what you eat is also really helpful because it helps you to learn what your trigger is for days that you fall off track. Also, while weighing yourself is helpful in terms of data, don’t get hooked on it. For body confidence, the most important thing is to accept your body and nurture it always.