The 14-Day Food Detox

Reduce bloating, boost energy and banish starvation cleanses forever with this two-week plan that leverages real food as your internal detergent.

Cleanses sound appealing, we’ll give you that. But while the thought of rapid weight loss and ridding your body of circulating toxins seems magical and healing, fact is you may be doing more harm than good. Here’s why.

Society has done a great job of convincing us that we are walking toxic dumps — our systems replete with scary elements from non-organic foods, environmental pollution, artificial additives and sundry chemical compounds. These undesirable toxins wreak havoc on our health, bodyweight and energy levels, and the only definitive solution for expelling them is a cleanse. Right? Meh – not so much. 

To date, there is no scientific research that supports the efficacy of a purging cleanse, and moreover there’s no data that reveals that these supposed lawless “toxins” even exist. True, a cleanse may help some people feel better initially — especially if their diet was filled with processed, high-calorie foods — and some people may experience a rapid drop in scale weight, but both these benefits are temporary.

Most cleanses or detox diets essentially starve your body of the essential nutrients and calories it needs, eliminating nearly all food groups and relegating you to handfuls of supplements, oddball drinks, laxative teas or even enemas. But no matter who you are, after a few days of severe calorie restriction, your energy will tank and fatigue will set in.

As for the weight loss, sorry to say it’s all water: When you eliminate carbs from your diet, your body releases the intercellular water that is used to metabolize those calories, hence you drop a few pounds. However, continued calorie restriction means eventual catabolism — in which your body uses your muscles for fuel — so while you might finish a cleanse weighing less, you’re probably still carrying around the same amount of body fat but now have less muscle, causing a drop in metabolism.

Au Naturel

Fortunately, these kinds of cleanses are an unnecessary experience because you were born with two corporeal cleansing tools — your liver and your kidneys. Your liver converts toxins like alcohol, heavy metals and medications into harmless substances. Those substances then travel to your kidneys, which filter your blood, remove wastes and expel them as urine. Frequent urination means you’re effectively detoxing yourself on the reg — no nasty beverages required.

That being said, you can help your organs function at their best, and a number of foods, herbs and spices have been shown to assist your liver and kidneys in doing their jobs. This two-week meal plan is replete with these foodstuffs, and these purifying recipes will make you feel lighter, healthier and more energetic than ever.

Turmeric Chicken Farro Soup

Makes 8 servings (1 serving = 1.5 cups)

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium white onion, diced
4 large carrots, peeled and cubed
4 large celery stalks, diced
4 cups cooked chicken breast, chopped or shredded
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1½ cups kale, roughly chopped
¼ cup fresh parsley
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 cup dry farro
½ tsp ground black pepper, or to taste
1 tsp salt, or to taste

Directions

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrots and celery and season with salt and pepper. Saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, except farro, and bring to a boil. Rinse farro, then add to soup and return to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until farro is tender, about 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper (to taste) and serve.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): calories 356, fat 8 g, protein

42 g, sodium 176 mg, carbs 27 g, fiber 6 g, sugar 3 g

Grapefruit Turmeric Smoothie

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients

1 grapefruit, peeled and seeded
½ tsp turmeric
½ cup frozen mango
1 (5.6 ounce) container plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 tsp honey
½ cup nonfat milk of choice, more if needed

Directions

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Nutrition Facts: calories 310, fat 1 g, protein 25 g, sodium 118 mg, carbs 54 g, fiber 5 g, sugar 42 g

Grilled Artichokes

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients

2 large artichokes
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Trim ends off artichokes and then slice in half lengthwise. Fill a large bowl with cold water and add lemon juice. Place artichokes in water to prevent browning. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and preheat the grill. Add artichokes to boiling water and cook 15 minutes. Drain and set aside. Brush artichokes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper (to taste). Place artichokes facedown on grill and cook until lightly charred, 5 to 10 minutes.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): calories 141, fat 7 g, protein 5 g, sodium 447 mg, carbs 18 g, fiber 9 g, sugar 2 g

Crunchy Kale Detox Salad

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients

4 cups kale, chopped
2 cups broccoli, chopped
2 medium celery stalks, diced
1 cup red cabbage, shredded
1 cup carrots, shredded
¼ cup sliced almonds
1 cup cauliflower, chopped
½ avocado, diced
½ apple, cored and diced
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp ground black pepper

Directions

Toss all ingredients in a bowl and enjoy.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): calories 420, fat 27 g, protein 14 g, sodium 767 mg, carbs 42 g, fiber 16 g, sugar 16 g

Pineapple-Cranberry Hibiscus Detox Smoothie

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients

¾ cup water
1 bag Lipton berry hibiscus tea
½ cup frozen cranberries
½ cup frozen pineapple chunks
1 (5.6 oz ) container plain nonfat Greek yogurt
handful ice

Directions

Steep tea 3 minutes in boiling water. Allow tea to cool to room temperature. Add tea and all remaining ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.

Nutrition Facts: calories 158, fat 1 g, protein 17 g, sodium 59 mg, carbs 23 g, fiber 3 g, sugar 15 g

Superstar Sustenance

Help your system function at its best by including these food items in your daily regimen.

Apples | Pectin, a soluble fiber found in apple peels, indirectly promotes positive kidney health by helping control blood sugar; high blood sugar can have damaging effects on the kidneys. Whole, raw organic apples with untainted peels are your best bet.

Artichokes | Two flavonoids found in artichokes are liver superstars: Cynarin stimulates bile production, aiding in the digestion of fats and absorption of vitamins and minerals, while silymarin protects the liver from free-radical damage.

Avocado | Not only do the healthy fats in avocados help increase bile production and improve waste removal, but their high levels of potassium also helps combat fatty liver disease and allows your kidneys to maintain your electrolyte and acid-base balance.

Cranberry Juice | Cranberries contain proanthocyanidins, powerful antioxidants preventing bacteria from attaching to your digestive tract, protecting your kidneys from infection. Eight ounces of juice daily is all you need to reap the benefits.

Cruciferous Veggies | Cruciferous vegetables contain glucosinolates, compounds that enhance the body’s ability to neutralize carcinogens, helping prevent cancer. Eat plenty of broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage or Brussels sprouts to combat the big C.

Grapefruit | Naringin, a powerful flavonoid in grapefruit, may help control inflammation in the body, and a study published in the journal Life Sciences found that naringin helps regulate alcohol metabolism to assist with liver health. It is also high in pectin, a fiber which sort of “sticks” to toxins in the blood and eliminates them through urine.

Hibiscus | A study published in the journal Food & Function found that subjects treated with hibiscus extract for 12 weeks had reduced body fat, lower bodyweight, reduced body mass index and improved liver steatosis (accumulation of fatty tissue in the liver).

Kale | Kale is packed with glucosinolates, which aid in your body’s natural detox processes. A recent study published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research also found that isothiocyanates help increase urinary excretion of metabolites of the toxic chemicals found in tobacco – great news for smokers or those subjected to secondhand smoke.

Nuts | Nuts contain HDL cholesterol, which your liver uses to remove the bad cholesterol (LDL) from your system and reduce inflammation. Bonus: A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who eat nuts regularly tend to have lower bodyweight and lower risk of obesity.

Parsley | Studies show that parsley may help reduce the formation of kidney stones by decreasing the amount of calcium in urine, increasing urinary pH and reducing urinary protein excretion. Sprinkle parsley overtop any protein, grain or veggie.

Turmeric | The antioxidant capabilities of turmeric help the liver process metabolic wastes and protects it from toxins. It helps promote digestion, relieving gas by acting as an antispasmodic and reducing inflammation in the digestive tract. The curcumin in turmeric also stimulates the gallbladder to make bile, in turn improving liver function.

Water | Your kidneys are reliant on water to eliminate wastes, so drink plenty of water every day. Keep an eye on your urine color throughout the day to gauge your intake: Colorless to light yellow means you’re doing a great job; darker yellow means you need to step it up.

Toxic Foods

While most foods reported to be toxic generally lack the scientific research to back those claims, there are harmful substances lurking in your fridge and pantry. Here are some of the top contenders.

Added Sugar | Not only are added sugars empty calories, but they also contribute to obesity, Type 2 diabetes, cancer and even heart disease. Aim for foods with single-digit sugars on food labels and no added sugar in the ingredient list.

Mercury | Mercury is a naturally occurring metal. However, large fish can absorb it into their bodies where it converts to methylmercury, a highly toxic substance. Avoid fish that are high in mercury content like tuna, mackerel, shark, swordfish and tilefish.

Refined Oils | Oils made from corn, sunflowers, safflowers, soybeans and cottonseed are high in omega-6 fatty acids, and while you do need some omega-6s in your diet, too many can cause inflammation and increase your risk of cancer and heart disease.

Trans Fats | These man-made fats have been shown to increase the risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease and high blood pressure by increasing bad cholesterol (LDL) and reducing good cholesterol (HDL). The good news is that the Food and Drug Administration no longer includes trans fats as a food “generally recognized as safe” and food manufacturers have pretty much phased them out. 

Alcohol | When you drink alcohol, your liver stops everything it’s doing to process it, including fat metabolism. Alcohol also causes dehydration, putting a strain on your kidneys and limiting your ability to eliminate toxins. 

The 14-Day Food Detox Meal Plan: Week 1
The 14-Day Food Detox Meal Plan: Week 2

Why Shorter Workouts Actually Yield Better Results

High-intensity interval training and efficient circuit strategies allow you to reach your goals in less time.

We live in a time of multitasking, micromanaging, screen jumping and spreading ourselves thin — leaving many of us overworked and overstressed. I don’t care how perfect your nutrition is or how many workouts you’re fitting in each week, if your stress levels are through the roof, you will not see results. 

Exercise imposes additional stress on our bodies. So what’s stopping us from creating fitness routines that are effective in achieving results without overexertion? If I said you could waste less time at the gym and see major improvements in body composition, as well as the number between your two big toes, would you be interested?

Well, you can.

Blogger Genevieve Gyulevary mid-burpee.

Shorter Workouts Keep Your Interest

High-intensity interval training has a tremendous impact on your aerobic capacity with a very small price tag in terms of time requirement. Also, workout routines are far more effective when your interest remains piqued. Staying focused and excited about completing a certain amount of rounds, reps, etc., will have you coming back for more over time. Constantly varied movement is discussed widely in the realm of CrossFit. One major factor behind the success of this ever-growing sport is the compelling aspect of community in order to pique and keep your interest.

You Can Exercise Anywhere

You don’t need to be a member of a CrossFit gym to cash in on the aesthetics and time gains associated with this fitness style. Make a list of 12 to 15 movements you feel really comfortable with. Mix and match them in a circuit-style workout with opposing muscle groups. Maintain a time cap of 12 to 25 minutes. Keep the intensity high without sacrificing form. Wherever you’re working out now, you have the capacity to add this short yet effective workout to your routine.

Research Shows …

Research has examined the effects of high-intensity interval training on body composition and physical performance. HIIT provides an efficient alternative to traditional endurance-based conditioning such as biking, running or using the elliptical machine.

One study examined the effects of HIIT on body composition and biomechanical parameters. The program was carried out for three sessions per week over the course of eight weeks. Both height and body mass were relatively similar at the beginning of the eight weeks, with the most significant results being a decrease in body mass and improvements in aerobic and anaerobic performance. This study provides evidence that this form of training may be more effective than traditional circuit training in improving cardio and metabolic profiles.

Burn More Fat, Build Lean Muscle, Increase Performance

A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that the heart muscle will actually enlarge during HIIT-style workouts, so the muscle can become bigger and stronger in order to adapt. During each exercise session, your heart is building stamina. Because it needs less time to rest, its ability to use oxygen more efficiently increases. You’re able to maintain an elevated heart rate over a longer period.

HIIT also triggers post-exercise oxygen consumption, a period of time after exercise when your body needs more energy in addition to oxygen. Therefore, fat stores are broken down by the body, become oxidized and are then used by the body immediately as energy — essentially making your body a fat-burning machine.

Finally, if you’re not sold yet on HIIT-style workouts, they produce muscle-building hormones such as insulin-like growth factor-1, which allows the body to build lean mass more effectively. The more lean mass we have, the more calories we burn at rest.

4 Moves to Sexy Shoulders

Don’t shrug off these stubborn muscles — tone your delts with this foolproof sequence.

Whether you’re rocking trendy cold-shoulder blouses, have your sights set on upcoming summer tank tops or simply want the strength to lift more, doing focused moves to sculpt sexy shoulders is key.

“Working your shoulders is essential to creating a V-shaped torso that will give you the appearance of having a smaller waist,” says Jennifer Cohen, celebrity trainer for Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera and best-selling author of No Gym Required (Key Porter Books, 2009) and Strong Is the New Skinny (Harmony), 2014).However, working out your shoulders will also help relieve pressure from your neck and back while helping with your overall posture. For instance, if you sit at a desk all day, chances are you’re hunched over in a chair, which is a killer for your back and neck. Working your shoulders helps reduce the pain that comes with this.”

Cohen has put together her four favorite moves, designed to tone your shoulders without bulking you up. If you want to kick things up a notch and make it more challenging, add more weights or read the pro trip included with each move below.

1. Single-Arm Lateral Raise. Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, hold a light dumbbell in your right hand down at your side. Your palm should be facing in toward your body, and your shoulders should be back and your chest raised. From here, raise your right arm out to your side in a straight line until it is parallel with the ground. Hold for a count and release back down to your side. Repeat for 15 reps on your right side, then work your left side.

  • Pro Tip: You can add strap-on arm weights to your biceps for added resistance.
View the 3 images of this gallery on the original article

2. Pike to Push-Up. Start with your body in a push-up position, with your fingers on each hand facing each other to form a diamond. From here, bend at the waist, pushing your hips up into a pike position and coming up onto your toes. Once you’re in pike position, bend your elbows to lower your head down toward your hands. Press back up. Do 15 reps.

  • Pro Tip: Place your feet against a wall so your entire bodyweight is being used when doing these push-ups.

3. Upright Row Into V. Stand with your feet in a wide stance. Hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of your body. From this position, pull your weights up to your chest so your arms form a V-like shape. Lower your weights back down and repeat for 20 reps. Keep your shoulders back, your chest raised and your abs engaged. This move works the front of the shoulders, particularly the anterior deltoids.

  • Pro Tip: Want to engage your abs with this move? Try doing this while kneeling.   
View the 3 images of this gallery on the original article

4. Arnold Press. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, holding two medium dumbbells. Bring the dumbbells in front of your face with your arms bent and your palms facing you. From here, bring both elbows out to the side while rotating your palms so they face outward. At this point, your arms should be at a 90-degree angle on the outside of your ears. Next, press both arms straight up above your head until your arms are straight but not locked out. Release your arms back to the first position and repeat for 12 to 15 more reps.

  • Pro Tip: At the end of the move, you can do small pulses up and down (moving about an inch or two) in the center of your body to work your biceps.

5 Nutrient-Dense Foods You’re Missing Out On

Honor National Nutrition Month by adding these macronutrients and micronutrients into your favorite dishes.

Are you getting tired of eating the same ol’ nutrient powerhouses every day? Could your favorite meals use a little nutrient boost? Are you searching for fresh ideas to help give your kitchen a spring-clean makeover? Then start by celebrating National Nutrition Month with Alexandra Catalano, a holistic nutritionist and creator of the popular lifestyle brand Eat Cute. She’s sharing five ingredients that might not be on your radar currently but pack an important punch when it comes to nutrition.

1. Avocado Oil

Avocado oil is a beautiful, high-quality fat packed with a bevy of health benefits such as lowering blood pressure, improving nutrient absorption, and nourishing your skin and hair,” Catalano says. “It’s high in monounsaturated oleic acid, which is why it is so perfect for helping reduce bad cholesterol.” Because it has a medium smoke point, which makes it ideal for using on lower-heat cooking or on uncooked foods — try using avocado oil in salad recipes instead of your go-to olive oil. When purchasing avocado oil, look for labels that state it’s organic, unrefined, cold-pressed and extra-virgin.

2. Hempseeds

Hempseeds or hemp hearts are the seeds of a hemp plant — their nutty flavor profile not only tastes delicious but also serves as a wonderful source of fiber, fat and protein. “Hempseeds are rich in fiber and can keep you feeling fuller longer and aid in digestive health,” says Catalano, noting that 1 ounce of hempseeds contains 9.2 grams of protein. “I love adding hemp seeds to my morning smoothies or enjoying hemp milk in my coffee or in baking.” She recommends buying organic and storing them in your fridge in an airtight jar or container because they are sensitive to heat and light. 

3. Spirulina

It’s no wonder spirulina is one of Catalano’s favorite superfoods — this blue-green algae contains protein and is packed with antioxidants. “Some major benefits include helping fight off candida because of its anti-microbial properties, boosting energy and pulling heavy metals out of the body,” she says. Try adding spirulina to smoothies or homemade protein bites, or simply add a small spoonful to water or juice. (The sweetness from the latter will help offset its earthy taste.) Choose brands that are organic and non-GMO, and Catalano recommend steering clear of spirulina coming from India and China because of their higher amounts of heavy metals. Store open containers in the fridge, and consume within a few months of opening.

4. Jackfruit

Not familiar with jackfruit? You may have seen it at the grocery store and wondered what the heck it was — it’s one of the largest fruits in the world, reaching up to 100 pounds. “Jackfruit is becoming incredibly popular as a meat substitute, is packed with antioxidants and is rich in magnesium,” says Catalano, describing the highly versatile fruit as having a banana-like flavor with a meat-like texture. “Jackfruit is also wonderful for improving digestion because its seeds are rich in fiber.” If you choose canned jackfruit over fresh, avoid products that contain additives like sugar, soy or chemicals. What makes jackfruit ideal for cooking is its ability to take on whatever flavoring you season it with — Catalano likes jackfruit grilled with sugar-free barbecue sauce and veggies, but you also can use it in soups, baked goods, chips and jams.

5. Camu Camu

Found in the rainforests of the Amazon in Peru and Brazil, camu camu is made from the berries grown on this shrub. “It’s the perfect superfood to enjoy year-round because of its incredible vitamin C content,” Catalano says. “This powerful berry is also rich in manganese and carotenoids that help fight off disease, and it’s wonderful for boosting the immune system and helping block free radicals.” You can find camu camu in powder form at your local health food store, and simply add it to beverages. Since its taste is very tart, it also pairs well with desserts, such as homemade coconut ice cream. Look for camu camu that is organic, non-GMO and is free of synthetic additives like soy, corn and chemicals.

Amber Dodzweit Riposta: A Love Letter to My Sister

Helping her older sister Autumn lose 100 pounds jump-started Amber’s career as a trainer and coach.

My sister always had it together. In my eyes, Autumn had all the answers and — at 11 years my senior — she was the one I always ran to when I broke up with a boyfriend, started my period or didn’t know what to do about a situation in school. 

Autumn taught me to always put lotion on after the shower and how to wear mascara, and she was there to walk me through memorizing my first Bible verse at 12. I still recite it daily: “Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” If that’s not the perfect quote for what we constantly face in life and in training, I don’t know what is!

Autumn (left) and Amber.

As Autumn and I got older, I grew out of that little girl who used to eat cookies on her couch crying about boys and became a woman focused on relentless training to be the best in sports. I was athletic, muscular and driven. She was curvy, easygoing and focused on becoming a mom to a big family. In passing, she used to say things like, “Whatever, you got all the good genes, all I got is boobs and a sense of humor.” It was hard knowing that my big sister might resent me for our body-type differences. I’m sure it was hard for her to see her kid sister grow up, too.

Frustration From Afar

When I moved away to Los Angeles to escape the small town we were raised in, I started noticing that the weight she had gained from creating a beautiful family of five kids wasn’t going away. In pictures, she started carrying a look of defeat, and it weighed on me knowing the implications of obesity on her health — but even more, this was the happiest woman on earth looking sad. I remember running on the treadmill each morning thinking of her, praying actually: “God, please let Autumn find help. I know it probably won’t be me who helps her, but if you could just bring change somehow, I want to see her healthy.” I kept up this routine for about a year.

An Answer to Her Prayers

One sunny Los Angeles day, while on my treadmill, a text came in from my sister: “Help me, I’m fat.” I couldn’t believe my eyes. This was my chance to finally repay all the help she had given me and to make a real difference in her life. But her request came with a few stipulations:

  1. I can’t afford to go to a gym.
  2. I have five savages (what we have lovingly named her kids), so workouts need to be short.
  3. I only have a couple of pairs of dumbbells.
  4. You have to tell me exactly what to do because I’m clueless.
Autumn and her family.

Lending a Helping Hand

So I created a program specifically for Autumn. It was an at-home training program that I later named the “4-Week Foundation.” She didn’t have equipment, so I had her climb the stairs in her home, lift her youngest son and complete bodyweight exercises to build strength. The goal was to burn fat and get her life back under control.

She needed to lose 100 pounds — and I needed this plan to work. Autumn called me shortly after starting the routine and told me about her training session that day. She had done sprint intervals outside, in upstate New York, with several feet of snow on the ground. “I just collapsed and bawled because it was so hard and I’m so big. How did I let this happen?” she wondered.

That was her breaking point and the last time she would ever feel that way again. A year later, not only did she lose the weight, but she also came to LA and we ran my favorite canyon together. It’s a run I’ll never forget, because where there was once resentment for being the “skinny sister,” there had been such an immense healing, her confidence soared and all that was left between us was an unbreakable bond as sisters.

Autumn’s transformation.

A Career Was Born

I knew I was onto something, so I took that training program and turned it into a business. The thought of other women being out there like Autumn with no gym, no hope and no guidance was just too much for me not to do something. I knew nothing about being an entrepreneur, but I knew a lot about how to love, support and encourage people to become better.

Today, I own and run a business called Built for Her, an online women’s athletic training club that connects women from all over the world through at-home athletic training downloads. I provide a range of programs for women of all fitness levels focused on bringing them closer to a life they love through gaining control over their health. I feel so full of purpose knowing that other women are finding freedom through my creations and that even without sending me a “help” text message, I’m their sister, too — picking them up out of the snow when they’ve fallen and letting them know they have what it takes.

The chance now to be a coach is such a huge gift. No magazine cover or personal accomplishment could ever compare to the feeling of helping someone else achieve their “impossible.” So thanks to my entire team for their trust and to my sister for being the start of it all.

Love,

Coach Amber

Now in its fifth year, The Oxygen Challenge has helped thousands of participants all over the world transform their bodies and their lives. This summer, we are bringing you two of the most badass coaches of all time: lifetime athlete and CrossFit Games champion Camille Leblanc-Bazinet and All-American track competitor and body-positive trainer Amber Dodzweit Riposta.

So what are you waiting for? Start transforming your life and body now with this 90-day training and nutrition program designed exclusively for Oxygen — it’s guaranteed to awaken your inner athlete, buoy your spirit and empower your life! Join the Challenge today.

Camille Leblanc-Bazinet’s Favorite Smoothie Recipe

This berry-filled recipe — perfect morning, noon or night — is packed with antioxidants, protein and micronutrients

I try to keep my macros at 30 percent protein, 30 percent fat and 40 percent carbs because it helps keep my blood sugar level — and that’s why I developed this vanilla raspberry smoothie. The raspberries are high in vitamin C, the acai berry powder is a superfood that is high in antioxidants and fiber, the spinach is jampacked with iron and calcium, and the almonds are rich in healthy fats, protein, magnesium and vitamin E. I whip up this smoothie anytime I need a satisfying and delicious snack.

Vanilla Raspberry Smoothie

1 scoop low-carb vanilla protein powder

1 cup frozen raspberries (The trick is to unfreeze them 80 percent of the way.)

1 tbsp acai berry powder

handful of spinach

10 almonds

water (to reach desired consistency)

Now in its fifth year, The Oxygen Challenge has helped thousands of participants all over the world transform their bodies and their lives. This summer, we are bringing you two of the most badass coaches of all time: lifetime athlete and CrossFit Games champion Camille Leblanc-Bazinet and All-American track competitor and body-positive trainer Amber Dodzweit Riposta.

So what are you waiting for? Start transforming your life and body now with this 90-day training and nutrition program designed exclusively for Oxygen — it’s guaranteed to awaken your inner athlete, buoy your spirit and empower your life! Join the Challenge today.

Why Consistency Is Better Than Perfection

When it comes to reaching her goals, Camille Leblanc-Bazinet knows that habits are formed through repetition.

Have you ever heard the saying, “Consistent action creates consistent results?” In my experience, truer words have never been spoken. When you do something consistently, you begin to create new neural pathways in your brain — and over time, your brain begins to change its structure and these habits become second nature. You are literally rewiring your brain every time you repeat an activity, until your brain begins to recognize this pattern and accept it. 

Think about the first time you ever tried to speak another language. My native language is French, so this is something I relate to. It can be very challenging to learn new words, memorize the grammar rules and understand the accent someone else is using. But over time, with many hours of studying and practice, your vocabulary grows and your ability to have a conversation improves. You are able to progress because you’ve committed time and consistency to your practice — and you’ve built new neural pathways in your brain, and eventually it has committed them to memory. By remaining dedicated to your goal, the task that was once so hard to accomplish becomes your new normal. You simply wouldn’t find this same success if you only spoke the new language a few times a year and never practiced in between.

Now let’s apply this concept to fitness and eating right: When you’re training your body in the gym or striving to make healthy food choices, you’re also training your brain to accept these new behaviors. The more regularly you work out and eat right, the greater your brain’s ability to latch on to these new behaviors and turn them into a lifelong habit. Soon, meal prepping becomes a Sunday night ritual and going to the gym at 5:30 a.m. becomes something you look forward to.

I believe that most people fail not because of lack of talent or access to the right tools but because they lack the discipline to show up every day. So you get people who get very excited about a project, work really hard for two weeks, and then they put the project aside and don’t make any progress. But for those who keep going and stay the course, they’re bound to succeed because they are putting in consistent work to make it happen.

Perfection: The Enemy of Consistency

So how does consistency relate to perfection? Nobody is perfect. Consistency in the long run is much more important than being 100 percent perfect for one month and then falling off the wagon. Also, perfection is unrealistic. If you set yourself up to expect perfection, you’ll be disappointed when you make a mistake, and this could cause you to give up entirely.

There’s a misconception that in order to be healthy, you have to be perfect. People assume that because I’m a professional athlete, I never eat cupcakes or pizza, and that’s simply not true. I’d go crazy. There’s no way I’d be able to be as focused as I am if I can’t let go once in a while and treat myself. The key word is “treat” — if you cheat every day, then it’s not a treat but a habit. And that’s what we want to avoid. After you have your treat, you can enjoy the satisfaction, understand that it’s not the end of the world, and then get right back on track with your next meal.

One of the easiest ways to build consistency is to prepare in advance. I like making a list before going to bed of all the things I’ll do the next morning to stay focused on my commitment because it helps me stick to my routine and schedule.

So give up the notion that perfection is the only way to succeed, and instead focus on showing up each day, giving it maximum effort and consistently working toward your goal.

Now in its fifth year, The Oxygen Challenge has helped thousands of participants all over the world transform their bodies and their lives. This summer, we are bringing you two of the most badass coaches of all time: lifetime athlete and CrossFit Games champion Camille Leblanc-Bazinet and All-American track competitor and body-positive trainer Amber Dodzweit Riposta.

So what are you waiting for? Start transforming your life and body now with this 90-day training and nutrition program designed exclusively for Oxygen — it’s guaranteed to awaken your inner athlete, buoy your spirit and empower your life! Join the Challenge today.

Amber Dodzweit Riposta’s Favorite Smoothie Recipe

This tropical recipe will brighten your day and give you a nutritional boost.

This recipe is one of my all-time favorites, thanks to its refreshing ingredients and vacation-like vibe. The pineapple is rich in vitamin C to boost your immune system, the avocado gives you a dose of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, the coconut milk provides calcium and vitamin D to support your bones, and the protein feeds your muscles. Blend the ingredients up and you’ll immediately be transported to the beach. Enjoy!

Piña Colada Smoothie

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

6 oz coconut milk (fat-free postworkout; full fat at night)

½ cup frozen pineapple chunks

¼ avocado (optional)

ice

Nutrition Facts: calories 241, protein 27 g, carbs 15 g, fats 9 g

Now in its fifth year, The Oxygen Challenge has helped thousands of participants all over the world transform their bodies and their lives. This summer, we are bringing you two of the most badass coaches of all time: lifetime athlete and CrossFit Games champion Camille Leblanc-Bazinet and All-American track competitor and body-positive trainer Amber Dodzweit Riposta.

So what are you waiting for? Start transforming your life and body now with this 90-day training and nutrition program designed exclusively for Oxygen — it’s guaranteed to awaken your inner athlete, buoy your spirit and empower your life! Join the Challenge today.

Coach Amber’s OC5 Playlist

From throwbacks to current hits, Amber Dodzweit Riposta shares the tunes that kick her workouts up a notch.

As Bob Marley said, “One good thing about music — when it hits you, you feel no pain.” And that’s great news because some of our Oxygen Challenge 5 workouts may test your physical and mental limits. So download these 18 songs that are sure to see you through even the toughest session, and as you begin to move to the music, you’ll be surprised at how quickly it goes!

Now in its fifth year, The Oxygen Challenge has helped thousands of participants all over the world transform their bodies and their lives. This summer, we are bringing you two of the most badass coaches of all time: lifetime athlete and CrossFit Games champion Camille Leblanc-Bazinet and All-American track competitor and body-positive trainer Amber Dodzweit Riposta. 

So what are you waiting for? Start transforming your life and body now with this 90-day training and nutrition program designed exclusively for Oxygen — it’s guaranteed to awaken your inner athlete, buoy your spirit and empower your life! Join the Challenge today.

Coach Camille’s OC5 Playlist

Camille Leblanc-Bazinet is drawn to “girly” music with positive vibes! Check out her selection of booty-shakin’ workout tunes.

When I’m working out, I’m all about the beat — I like music with a good rhythm but nothing too aggressive. I like to stay positive when I train and focus on having fun. This is my current favorite playlist, and I think you’ll love it, too. There’s no better feeling than shutting your brain off and getting the work done!

Now in its fifth year, The Oxygen Challenge has helped thousands of participants all over the world transform their bodies and their lives. This summer, we are bringing you two of the most badass coaches of all time: lifetime athlete and CrossFit Games champion Camille Leblanc-Bazinet and All-American track competitor and body-positive trainer Amber Dodzweit Riposta.

So what are you waiting for? Start transforming your life and body now with this 90-day training and nutrition program designed exclusively for Oxygen — it’s guaranteed to awaken your inner athlete, buoy your spirit and empower your life! Join the Challenge today.