New Year’s Resolutions Check-In

It is 22 days now into the new year and they say it only takes 21 days to form a habit, right? So let’s see how I’ve done so far sticking to these resolutions.

1. Lose body fat by consistently working out with no longer than 4 days between a workout.

checkmarkI have been working out consistently which I am proud of! I think the longest I’ve gone between a workout has only been 3 days. Score!
2. Follow the Nutritarian Women’s Health Study diet

red-xI have been successful adding additional nutrients to my diet like mushrooms and turmeric but I still have processed foods at work. Mostly it’s a handful of wheat thins or peanut butter pretzel bites. However, we are making hummus today and I bought some carrots to go with it as a snack to take to work. I’m also trying to figure out how to get all of my oatmeal fixin’s to work so I can make it there. Most mornings I just grab a banana and then snack at work because I’m always rushing out the door.  The issue is my work only has a mini fridge and it’s usually full of red bull and la croix that my coworkers drink so there’s not much room for storage. I can make it with water instead of almond milk but I love maple syrup in it and that has to be refrigerated. I’m looking in to trying agave syrup. If that doesn’t need refrigeration, I’ll use that. And then I can bring a baggie of fresh fruit with me to top the oatmeal with. Problem solved!

3. Stretch daily for at least 1 minutes.

red-xI have been doing really well to stretch every day. There have only been maybe 2 days that I stretched maybe only 5 minutes, but I still stretched! I can already tell I’ve gained some flexibility. I better be able to the splits by the end of this year!

4. Run 6 consecutive miles

red-xI actually haven’t been running as much as I would like. I think I’m only at 1.5 miles when I should be at 2 based on my gradual increase trajectory. The problem is I’ve only been running once a week instead of 2-3 times like I committed to. After Body Pump I tend to just stretch and head home when I should stick around to go running. This is the week it’s going to happen!

5. Minimize 10 items a month

checkmarkI did it! Check out this post for how I eliminated more than 10 items from my medicine cabinet. My next victim is the bathroom vanity. It feels so good to let go of items that I don’t need/use that clutter up my surroundings.

Wow, not as well as I thought. But I have a game plan for how I’m going to achieve the goals I haven’t been succeeding at.

every new day is a chance to change your life

How are you doing on your new year’s resolutions?

xoxoRachel

New Year, Better You

2017 new year, better you

I can’t believe it’s almost 2017! What are you doing to ring in the new year? We have some wonderful friends coming in to town to help us celebrate! We plan to go to a local Bar & Grill that has a great elevated patio that looks down upon downtown Denver so we can enjoy the fireworks without all the frenzy (we’re old like that, okay?).

Among the celebrations I have been thinking of my new year’s resolutions. Do you make yearly resolutions? In that past I have, but they end up being vague and not very structured. They are usually something along the lines of “lose weight” or “get organize” without any solid plan of the how to accomplish them. And you might guess how that fared for me—yeah, it didn’t.

So this year I’m taking action and getting specific with the goal and how to achieve it. Yeah, 2017, I ain’t messin’ around this time!

2017 New Year’s Resolutions

Instead of “lose weight” here are my specific health goals for the new year:

1. Reduce my body fat by 3%

I plan to achieve this by consistently working out–never having more than 4 consecutive days between a workout. 3% seemed like a reasonable amount of fat to lose in one year (hopefully it’s more but I want it to be challenging and achievable). And I feel like body fat is a good way to measure my physical achievements rather than weight since muscle weighs more than fat and can be misleading on the scale.

2. Follow the Nutritarian Women’s Health Study diet

I plan to assess my diet and make the improvements where needed to reduce my intake of processed foods and replace them with a whole food alternative. If you haven’t signed up for the study yet, want more information on it, or want a free book click this link! I will be posting how I am making these changes and what I am doing to make them sustainable for long term success.

3. Stretch daily for AT LEAST 10 minutes

stretching

Everyone can find the time to do 10 minutes of something and this goal has been something I’ve been meaning to do for a while. I want to regain my flexibility and strength. I hope to get in my 10+ minutes of stretching after my workouts but on rest days I will most likely stretch right before bed–it’s a nice nighttime relaxer!

4. Run six consecutive miles

running

I haven’t ran this far in…like ever. I’ve hiked/walked this far before but never ran. Now that I have joined a gym (woot woot) I plan to run on the treadmill 2-3 times a week and up my mileage slowly. Yesterday I ran one mile at a 6MPH pace or a 10-minute mile and it was challenging. (Can I still use the “altitude” excuse after living here 1.5 years?) Each time I run I want to add on an additional 0.25-0.5 mile. That puts me on track to running 6 miles at the very latest in 20 weeks or mid-May. Challenge accepted!

My health goals are much more extensive than the rest of my goals. I am very passionate about my health and want to be an example for others on this lifestyle. Plus, if you don’t take care of yourself it is harder to achieve in other areas of life.

So the rest of my resolutions are actually very simple.

5. Minimize

Less is More

Yep, that’s it! I feel bogged down by all of the extra things and objects taking up space in my home. I am a borderline hoarder. Okay, not that extreme, but I struggle with letting things go. I make excuses for keeping things I don’t need and don’t use anymore but *might* in the future. But that future rarely comes and all of this clutter raises my stress levels. To start minimizing I have committed to getting rid of 10 things every month! I plan to take you all on the ride with me with monthly updates to keep me accountable and to show you what sort of things have been cluttering up my life that could be cluttering up yours as well.

So that’s it for my resolutions! Hopefully these inspire you to make your own new year resolutions BUT I do have a recommendation for those of you who are wanting to “eat better” but need a bit of motivation or accountability.

My Challenge to You

Every year, a non-profit organization sponsors an online event called Veganuary. It’s all about challenging people to go vegan for the month of January. They provide a free cookbook, plus a bunch of recipes directly on their website and a guide for eating out. They’ve thought of everything to help you be successful and if that’s not enough feel free to email me at healthmylifestyle@gmail.com with any questions. “Vegan do it!” (Their quote, not mine. But I love a good pun.)

And for additional convincing–> 12 Reasons Why Going Vegan Should Be Your New Year’s Resolution

Hope you all have a Happy New Year! xoxo

New Year, New Goals

I’ve been on a little unintentional blog hiatus lately. I didn’t mean to get so behind, but life happens. With the semester over, I’m proud to say I managed a 4.0 GPA for my first semester of grad school! Definitely proud of that, but it came at a price: a sore throat and a cough during finals week.  I’ve pretty much recovered except for a residual cough.

I also survived the holidays. Ok, just one holiday (my crazy new year’s eve plans are yet to come). Unfortunately, my cravings got the best of me. I ate cookies, fudge, pie, oh my! I have no documentation to embarrass myself with (trust me, if you saw my dessert plates, yes plural, you would shake your head in shame).

However, with the new year comes new goals. I want to refocus. My goal currently was to reach 120 by the new year. Well with only a few days left, I don’t think that will happen. I’m at 123.7 lbs. I haven’t been sticking to any diet, counting calories, or exercising regularly. Whoops. But that’s all about to change.

With this new year I plan to take on new challenges. Particularly, a vegan challenge. Ok, I know I’ve been testing out so many different diets, different exercises, and I haven’t been good at really committing to them. But I’m hoping for a better outcome this time, mainly because I’m going to PLAN EVERYTHING. Everything I eat, drink, and do. The ‘do’ part is the exercising. I found a blog that really got me motivated. Robin, from Robin’s Sweet Confessions, has a 30 day Paleo Challenge which has a plan for each day describing what and how much to eat and drink. It even provides the youtube video workouts that you do each day. I got so pumped up about it that I even did the first couple of days. I didn’t buy everything on the first week grocery list luckily, because I’m going in a different route now as I mentioned. Instead of Paleo, I’m going Vegan for thirty days. That means no meat, or products made with animal by-products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, or any processed foods that contain these. So if it has eggs, or whey, I won’t eat it. I am still going to eat honey though.

One road block I see in the near future is my trip to the Northwest United States. Daniel and I will be gone for about two weeks. We’ll head to Kansas City for New Years Eve and then fly out to Seattle on the 2nd to see one of my best friends that I haven’t seen in three years and probably won’t see for another three (she’s moving to Japan with her husband who is in the the Navy). After visiting her, we’ll head down to Portland to visit Daniel’s sister. I’m so excited for the trip! However, I’m worried about when I’ll workout and if I’ll be able to stick to my new diet. I plan to fit in a workout whenever possible and just try to stick to veganism as much as I can. If I end up just being vegetarian, that’s ok too. I just want to attempt a mostly vegan diet.

Why, you may ask, is my new obsession with going vegan? Watch Vegucated on Netflix! It’s an excellent documentary! Also,  if you’ve kept up with me since August, you now about my aversion to animal cruelty. So, in an attempt to save a few animals’ lives and not support large agriculture tyrants like Tyson, I’m attempting to be vegan for thirty days.

If you still don’t understand what I mean by all the cruelty animals experience, watch this Video of what happens to the animals we eat posted by Pissed Consumer. It was posted on Facebook so you may need to be logged in to view it. I couldn’t even watch the whole thing. It’s horrendous.

So, pretty soon, I’ll be posting my own version of a 30 day challenge. I still plan to follow the exercises that Robin has provided on her site, but I’ll add in some strength training, and of course my own meal plan. I can’t wait to share it!

If you don’t want to go vegan but would still like to try the challenge, feel free to follow Robin’s challenge in the link above. She had great results from it and some good food plans! Here’s some delicious stuff I ate for the first couple of days!

Grilled chicken with fresh spinach and sautéed onion and green peppersgrilled chicken with sauteed onions and green peppers

Quiches made with eggs, broccoli, asparagus, red pepper, and spinach (so good for breakfast)

vegetable egg quiche

Spinach salad with grilled chicken, strawberries, blueberries, feta, dried cranberries, and sunflower seeds

Spinach salad with strawberries, blueberries, and feta

Mediterranean vegetable bake with eggplant, onion, zucchini, yellow squash, Roma tomatoes, and basil

mediterranean vegetable bake

I’ll still be able to enjoy the vegetable bake, but the chicken and feta will have to go. It’s going to be tough! I’m not sure when the official start date will be though the past couple of days I’ve avoided meat and dairy. It may not officially start until I return from my trip or I may just jump the gun and start it even if I can’t fit in all of my exercises or eat exactly what’s in the meal plan while traveling. You’ll find out soon!

What are your new challenges or resolutions for the new year?