Jenna: Summer Fitness Goals

I’ve really been looking forward to spending more time on my bike this summer. Sometimes the heat makes it impossible, so when I saw the temps were staying in the 70s-80s this week, I was determined to head out Saturday morning. I completed a big 8 mile circle and made sure to see both rivers before settling in this hammock for a bit.

hammock

I planned to run errands, and decided to just get those done while I was out on the bike. Since I headed out so early, I had time to eat lunch and then head out for an afternoon run. I really just love summer.

ijustneedsummer

 

I will say, I think my knees may not be able to handle running anymore.  I made it three miles, but both knees were NOT happy about it. I had some pretty serious tightness and pain that afternoon and the next day. I’m not sure what to do about this. I really enjoy running, but not at the expense of my joints. Oh, age. Not cool.

I need to reassess my fitness goals. With nothing specific to train for, it’s been hard to push myself. Granted, I’ve still been getting 4-5 intense workouts in a week, but this has me maintaining. If running is off the table, what’s going to be next? I’ll have to think on this.

 

Jenna: Greek Quinoa Pasta Salad

My schedule is a little crazy over the next few weeks. All good things, but I have felt the pressure to utilize my time wisely so I can get everything done and not feel rushed. Instead of lounging around, as soon as I got home from work Friday I started cleaning. I scrubbed the apartment head to toe, and then headed out to the grocery store.

Getting these few things done on Friday felt great and freed up some of my weekend. I decided to make a Greek pasta salad because I accidentally bought a bunch of quinoa pasta in my last grocery delivery thinking that it was just quinoa.

I cooked the pasta according to the directions. While it was cooling, I added 3/4 of a chopped cucumber, 1/2 a diced red pepper, 1/2 cup of chopped cherry tomatoes, and enough onion to give it some flavor without over powering it. I also added a 1/2 cup of feta cheese. There were LOTS of veggies compared to pasta, which is just how I like it. I also whipped up a dressing:
Take about 1/8 cup of lemon juice and whisk in 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard. Add a 1/2-1 tsp of chopped garlic. Then, slowly add 1/4 a cup of olive oil. Add the oil slowly and whisk it so everything marries together. Pour over the veggie and pasta mixture.

 

This salad is super refreshing. I ate about 1/2 cup as a side with dinner. Saturday,  I added a baked salmon fillet and some massaged kale. It may just feed me the first few days of this week.

kaleandsalmon

Jenna: Favorite Juices

I really started enjoying fresh juice around this time last year. There is an amazing place a few blocks away called Sip n Glo. It’s a treat, because fresh juice isn’t cheap, but I love getting the nutrients quickly.  Tastes great too.

This week at work has been really intense. I’ve been running around a lot without much time to sit down and eat. These are the weeks I am especially thankful for Shakeology and the juice place in the market next door. Here’s a picture of one of their menus:

juice

Especially with the summer being so hot, I can swap one of these for my afternoon coffee and still get the energy rush. I may not have time for a salad, but I know I’m getting my vitamins. Monday, I had Kale and Banana. Here are a few of my other favorites:

Coconut, Orange, Pineapple.

Ginger, Carrot, Kale, and Lemon.

Kale, Apple, Cucumber, Lemon. –this is usually my go to.

Pineapple, Banana, Kale.

Do you have favorite juice combos?  Please share!

 

Rose: Free Clean Eating Group

Participating in a clean eating group is the reason why I’ve become so invested in my own health. While I’d always been one on a diet (think: South Beach, Weight Watchers, etc.) back in the day, those crazy plans soon became unattainable for my life as an adult. Plus following those diets caused a lot of suffering — acid reflux disease, indigestion, bloating and chronic stomach aches.

About a year ago (when I quit soda), I joined a clean eating group with my coach Kam. The group focused on stripping processed foods from our diets. We began to focus our efforts on “clean foods,” those untouched by chemicals and preservatives. The focus was on eating from the earth, and the holistic hippie in me loved the approach.

clean eating

I was amazed as I watched myself transform. I lost weight but more importantly, I regained my health again. By stripping away those diet foods and chemically-laden treats, my body began functioning a whole lot better. I felt increased energy and could push harder in my workouts. And probably the best benefit of them all: my stomach aches went away.

Don’t get me wrong. I still get stomach aches — but only when I’m eating the wrong things. By focusing on clean foods, I learned my problem areas. Milk and cheese – and dairy in general – is a problem for me. I can’t digest lactose well, so now I stay away from those food groups (while getting my calcium elsewhere). Foods that are extremely high in fat (even healthy foods), cause intense stomach pains for me. So now I limit my intake while getting the appropriate amount daily.

I learned a lot about myself during that challenge group. I was dedicated daily and loved checking in with my group. We connected through a private Facebook page where we could share our triumphs and struggles. We’d post questions, recaps of our days and engage in daily motivational posts. Knowing that others were on the same journey with me kept me pushing forward. Those men and women soon became some of my best friends.

I want others to experience this same kind of accountability, which is why I became a health coach. I regularly run challenge groups related to fitness workouts or eating plans I’m following. But I can tell that some people are still afraid to commit. Whether it’s a lack of time, money or just dedication, some people are on the fence, when they should really be seeking to move forward and really make a change.

That’s why I’m going to run a FREE Clean Eating group challenge for 7 days beginning August 4. This group is for new challengers only. While I love my seasoned vets, they are on a different journey. This group (which will be limited to around 10 people), will focus on the basic principles of clean eating.

FREE 7-DAY CLEAN EATING GROUP

What You Will Learn:

  • What foods to eat
  • What foods to avoid
  • How to incorporate this into your daily life

Requirements

  • Daily motivation

Interested in joining? Please leave a comment below, and we’ll connect. While this group will be run on Facebook, I’m also willing to guide challengers through email or text messages.

Looking forward to getting started!

Rose: One-Year Soda Free

A year ago, I kicked diet soda to the curb. Granted, I wasn’t a regular consumer. I didn’t drink soda at home. I wasn’t hitting up the vending machine every afternoon. I restricted my consumption to outings only. But still, snagging a diet Pepsi was one of my favorite things to do, especially when my friends wanted to hit up the bar, and I didn’t want to drink. One way for me to avoid the beer and wine was to order a delicious, ice-cold diet pepsi. I thought nothing of it really and viewed it as a “treat.”

Now granted, I knew soda wasn’t “good” for you. I justified this behavior in a lot of ways. “I never drink soda.” “This is a treat.” “It’s better than wine.” Yes, some of those are true … But in the end, diet soda and soda in general is poison to the body. It’s barely considered a food item given how it’s chocked full of chemicals. To me, I was thinking, “Well, this is zero calories. Therefore, it’s good for me.” But I was so wrong.

Image: Diet sodas

I didn’t really have a grasp on how unhealthy soda was until I joined a clean eating challenge led by my coach Kam. She organized a 60-day group in which we’d cut out all processed foods from our diet. Using the Eat Clean Diet by Tosca Reno, Kam showed us how to break bad habits and stop reaching for these perfectly packaged convenience foods.

Needless to say, soda had to go. And now, it’s been one year since I’ve had it, and I have to say, I don’t really miss it. It just dawned on me the other day how long it’s been since I’ve had soda. I’ve certainly had opportunities to partake. There was one moment a few months back where I had a diet coke in hand because no water was available. “Wait, I don’t drink soda anymore,” I told myself and put back the can. Not drinking soda actually became a really easy thing for me to do. Now, it’s almost a challenge. How long can I go without having any?

Here’s what I’ve noticed about myself since I quit soda:

  • I no longer overeat at restaurants. Part of this comes from following the 21-Day Fix. And the other part comes from not drinking soda. It’s been proven that soda encourages people to consume more. Without these cravings, I am satiated with less.
  • I’m not nearly as bloated. When I’d drink sodas, I would feel my belly just instantly distend. While I still get bloated from time to time, I really don’t have that gassy, uncomfortable feeling anymore.
  • My skin is a lot clearer. I also credit this to Shakeology, which I’ve been drinking every day for 1.5 years. Because I’ve eliminated soda and greasy foods from my diet, I have fewer breakouts by far.
  • I rarely feel drained. Soda gives you an initial rush that eventually wears off. This can lead to a “drained feeling.” This is something I really don’t experience anymore, especially since I started eating clean.
  • My sugar cravings have subsided. I rarely feel the need for something sweet. If I do, I just have an apple with some organic peanut butter. Problem solved.

Do you drink soda? Is this something you could limit or remove from your diet? If you’re ready to kick soda to the curb, leave a message in the comments. We can work through it together. In the end, your body will thank you!