As a business owner and mom of three active boys—ages 8, 6 and 2—Casey Soer barely has time to focus on herself. Like so many busy parents, her life is filled with happy chaos: drops-offs and pick-ups, play dates, doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping, cooking and of course, managing Spynga—her original baby—which includes running a successful studio while simultaneously gutting out and building a shiny new space (to be revealed in just a few weeks!).
Though her youngest is now 2 years old, Casey never lost her baby weight until making it a priority—no easy task for someone juggling a demanding work and family life. For help with losing weight and feeling her best, she turned to naturopathic doctor Michelle Basu Roy at CrossFit Metric. “I wanted to find a plan that was easy and minimal and that I could wrap my head around,” says Casey, who’s often at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to being well fed. Since November 2016, she has lost 23 pounds in a way that’s both inspiring and attainable to anyone hoping to look and feel their best. Here are Casey’s top tips for healthy weight loss.
Try an estrogen cleanse
Casey has always been a fan of soy, which she consumed for years as a main protein source. Michelle suggested she eliminate soy because it contains estrogen and is difficult to break down in the body (for Casey, that meant retaining fat in certain areas). This proved to be one of Casey’s biggest challenges in the first few weeks—going from eating tons of tofu, as well as snacking on edamame and daily soy-milk lattes, to giving it up completely. The benefits, however, have been well worth the sacrifice. For some people, the culprit may be dairy or gluten or any number of foods; don’t be afraid to experiment by eliminating certain foods that may cause allergies or digestive issues, then reintroducing them one at a time. To help with digestion, Casey also takes two dietary supplements daily: Betaine HCI and pepsin and Bio-Gest (she likes Thorne Research brand).
Include protein with every meal
Casey upped her protein intake, replacing tofu with options like chicken, fish, grass-fed beef and eggs. She aims for around 20 to 25 grams of protein per serving (the equivalent of 3 oz. of roast turkey or chicken breast). Fave snacks include protein powder and chia seeds soaked in almond milk, and hard-boiled eggs—an ideal grab ’n’ go option for those jam-packed days.
Make friends with fat
Casey introduced a range of healthy fats into her diet, including avocado and nuts sprinkled on a salad. She also added grass-fed butter and coconut oil to her morning coffee, which she says kept her satiated. Remember: eschewing fat is old-school thinking. It may sound counterproductive, but you need to eat fat to lose fat. Fat provides energy, maintains cell membranes and helps the body absorb and process nutrients, among other things.
Prior to her weight-loss journey, Casey consumed less than 500ml of water each day (that’s around two cups). She has since upped that amount to 1.5 litres. To meet her daily quotient, Casey sips on cinnamon rooibos chai tea from David’s Tea (added bonus: cinnamon balances blood-sugar levels). It also helps that she found a wide-mouthed Aquaovo glass water bottle at Ecoexistence that she carries with her everywhere.
Casey credits yoga and mindfulness with helping her lose weight. She added an extra yoga class to her weekly regime and meditates almost daily with the help of Muse—a guided meditation app and headband that uses brain-sensing technology to measure brainwaves (it tells you whether your mind is active or calm). “It’s hard to focus on yourself and I wasn’t really doing that. Meditation helps,” says Casey, who chose a three-minute meditation program because of her busy schedule. “Sometimes it’s hard for people to wrap their head around mindfulness because it’s not tangible, you can only go by how you feel. With Muse, you can actually see what your brain is doing.”
Focus on strength
Casey also added in two strength-training sessions a week (in addition to yoga and spin), which has been a game-changer in terms of how she feels. “It’s something I had never done consistently—ever,” admits Casey, who now makes it part of her routine and who has reaped the benefits tenfold.
Written by Shawna Cohen