Health Challenge

Spring to Summer Fitness Challenge! Part 1

Hello, world!

Woo hoo, it is time to start the Spring to Summer Fitness Challenge! I’m super excited for this, and I hope you guys are too! I apologize for the delayed start on this- I’ve had some technical problems unfortunately, but we are finally up and running!

As I mentioned in my previous post, (read it here!) this challenge is meant for those who don’t exercise and want to start, or haven’t done so in awhile and need to ease back into it! It’s meant to make the transition from a sedentary lifestyle to fitness as smooth as possible. Making life long changes is a marathon, not a sprint! That’s why we will be starting small, and working our way up through the next 3 months!

So for Part 1, I have created a calendar with a small daily workout (approximately 10 minutes), and a weekly food challenge since nutrition and fitness go hand in hand! I recommend either waking up just 15 minutes earlier in the morning to kick start your day, or do it in the evening before dinner time! Either way, you want to make sure you eat afterwards to replenish your fuel.

As you progress through the month, I would love to hear from you all on your progress! Use #happybodyblog so I can see how you’re feeling and doing, or comment below!

Click the image below to see the calendar, or download the pdf to print out!

Calendar: Spring to Summer Fitness Challenge Part 1

Spring to Summer Fitness Challenge Part 1

*One note: for the bicep curls, use a full water bottle, large candle, bag or purse, or anything with just a little bit of weight! Or light dumbbells (around 5 lbs), if you happen to have some πŸ˜‰

Remember to breathe, try your best, and HAVE FUN! If you have any questions at all, comment below!

Peace and love!

Health Challenge

Spring to Summer Fitness Challenge!

Hello, world!

With Spring Break and Summer and other swimsuit-needs fast approaching, I came up with a brilliant idea! It’s this time of year that many wish to becoming “swimsuit ready”, and contemplate going to the gym, eating healthy, etc, but often don’t know where to start, or start out at an extreme and burn out really quickly. Even a lot of programs that are “for beginners” are still a little too challenging and daunting for some. This is where my idea for the Spring to Summer Fitness Challenge began!

In order to increase your likelihood for succeeding, whether it be a nutrition or fitness plan, you need to start small and work your way up. Making a whole bunch of changes all at one time can lead to burnout rather than long term change. It’s like learning a new language- you can’t just jump into Advanced French if you don’t even know how to say “hello”; you’ll get overwhelmed! You start at French 101. The same concept applies here!

With that, I’ve devised a 3 part plan that is aimed towards people who do not exercise regularly as the ultimate gateway into fitness and long term change! It is designed for those who may have a hard time getting started on a fitness routine, or are so incredibly busy that there is no time to even think about working out. So if you’re a hardcore fitness fanatic who runs 5 miles every morning just as a warmup, this may not be geared for you, however it can be a great addition to what you already do! This is also wonderful for those who used to work out all the time, but may have fallen off track for awhile (like me, I was sick off and on for a bit) and need to ease back into it.

Are you ready? I know you are! Here’s how the challenge will work:

  • Part 1: March 1-31, quick daily workout (approx. 15 minutes), and a weekly food challenge
  • Part 2: April 1-30, up the intensity/length of the workouts from part 1, plus the weekly food challenge!
  • Part 3: May 1-31, higher intensity/length from part 2, plus the weekly food challenge!

On the day before, I will post the workout calendar and weekly food challenge here to my website so you all can be ready for day 1 to start! So to make sure you don’t miss out, follow my blog so you’ll receive email updates!

With that, I challenge you to 1) follow my blog so you’ll be notified by email when I post those calendars 2) invite a friend to do the challenge with you 3) HAVE FUN! This will be your opening journey towards life long change!

Keep your eyes peeled on February 28 for the Part 1 Calendar!

Peace and love!

Health Challenge

No Dairy February Challenge!

Hello, world!

It’s a new month, and a new year thanks to the Chinese zodiac (year of the horse!), which means it’s the perfect time to make some changes! Guess what that means… it’s Health Challenge time! I’m pretty excited about this one- No Dairy February! You heard me right, no dairy.

What does dairy entail? Well that’s a fabulous question! Dairy means pretty much anything that is made from cow’s milk, including milk, butter, buttermilk, evaporated milk, skim milk, margarine, cream, cream cheese, cheese, sour cream, whey, lactose, casein, and so on. I think you get the picture- dairy is a big category, and perhaps bigger than you thought! For example, did you know McDonald’s french fries contain milk? Or even many taco seasoning packets? It’s absolutely crazy some of the things that contain milk!

Now if you’ve read my blog before, you know that I like to research and explain things! Why am I declaring February as anti-dairy month? Many reasons. Of course, there is a good and bad side to everything. Milk is an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D, which are the building blocks of your bones and teeth. Think of vitamin D as an escort- it helps the calcium get absorbed so that it may strengthen your bones like bricks for a house. Milk also provides potassium, an electrolyte. However, milk is relatively high in calories (over 130 calories for 1 glass of 2% milk!), contains unhealthy fats, and is specifically formulated for cows. Think about it- have you ever seen a baby kangaroo get milk from a koala? Each animal makes its own unique milk to help it grow, so why do we drink a cow’s milk?

So why not partake in a health experiment? See what going dairy-free can do for you- you’ll drink less calories if you replace that milk in your cereal for light soy or almond milk, and consume fewer calories and fat if you say hold to the cheese and sour cream on your burrito. Cutting out dairy could give you more energy and make your body goals easier to attain! It’s not nearly as hard as you think- the major grocery stores and health markets (such as Publix and Whole Foods) all carry dairy alternatives! Here is a list of my favorites:

  • Soy/almond milk: Silk
  • Butter: Smartbalance Light or Organic
  • Cheese: Daiya
  • Sour Cream: Tofutti Sour Supreme
  • Cream Cheese: Tofutti
  • Icecream: So Delicious or Tofutti
  • Creamer: Silk
  • Chocolate: Enjoy Life
  • Frozen meals: Amy’s

Also, So Delicious has an AWESOME free online cookbook filled with dairy free recipes of your favorites! You can check it out here: http://www.sodeliciousdairyfree.com/files/2013_CookBook_Email.pdf

Since I am allergic to milk, clearly No Dairy February is a given for me, so I will partake in a separate challenge, which you all will try later! I will not eat processed foods! My favorite little guilty snack of tortilla chips will have to be replaced by fruits and vegetables, and my morning cereal will be replaced by steel cut oats! Like I said, you all will get to try this one later! πŸ˜‰

Are you going to make the pledge towards No Dairy February? Comment below any thoughts, successes, recipes, or ideas you may have!

Peace and love!

Health Challenge

June Nutrition Challenge!

Hello world!

After a long long time of avoiding it, I am finally going to follow a clean eating plan! No more waffles, ice cream sandwiches, and sopapilla cheesecake (don’t look it up, because you’ll immediately want to make one, hehe!) for me! I’ve made quite a few changes already based on what the nutritionist told me (check out my earlier post about it here!), such as eliminating gluten, taking borage and krill oil supplements, and getting off of birth control. Did you know that birth control irritates and makes eczema incredibly worse? Of course I didn’t realize this until my entire torso, arms, face, scalp, and legs were afflicted! But that’s a rant for a whole different blog post. ^^

So what is this June Nutrition Challenge? Well, the nutritionist gave me some specific guidelines for an elimination diet to help my eczema, but I’m the type of person that needs to plan it out in order to successfully accomplish things. The great part is that my favorite Pilates girl, Cassey from Blogilates, created a 90 day health plan that happens to follow the elimination diet (you can find her plan here)! Since I’m going to Japan at the end of June, I’ll be doing this for 30 days rather than 90, but I’ll still reap the benefits. The body reacts quickly when you give it the right blend of nutrients! I’ve made a couple changes to the Blogilates health plan to match it to my allergies (for example, she calls for egg whites and cottage cheese, and I’m allergic to dairy!). Here is my June health plan:

Healthy Eating Plan

I’m actually pretty excited! I’ll be eating frequently everyday to keep my metabolism going (it’s better to eat more smaller meals than 3 large ones!), and I’ve already been weening myself off of sugars so this transition shouldn’t be as difficult (hopefully). I have all of the groceries I need for the first week, so I have no excuse not to stay on track! If you’re not so great at sticking to a plan, buying everything you in need in advance will definitely help.

I’m ready to take the next step towards healthy living! Are you? I challenge my readers to take the plunge and start a healthy eating plan, whether it’s just cutting out fast food or desserts, going gluten-free, or even going vegan for the month of June! These may be small steps, especially compared to the crazy clean eating plan above, but we must take these small steps and work up towards the healthy body we want! I’ve already taken the smaller steps of cutting out gluten and reducing my sugar intake so that it makes this diet change not as intimidating! We all know that going cold turkey and making multiple huge changes often leads to failure. Health is patience, so if we must take baby steps, it’s ok! As long as you’re moving forward πŸ™‚

So my June Nutrition Challenge for you is to take that first step! Let me know what your nutrition change will be, and let’s support each other in our goals!

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Peace and love!