Rose: Back to Basics Challenge

Next month, many of us are going “back to school.” Even if you aren’t a formal student, September is always a good time to restart. Fall is settling in, and summer vacations have ended. Work ramps up (at least for me!), and it starts to get cooler. This is why it’s important to set a plan, an intention, early on — before fall slips away.

We’ll be doing all of that and more in my September challenge!

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There are a couple of ways to restart, and I’m here to help you figure out what works best for you.

Option 1: Complete, along with a supportive group, the 3-Day Refresh. We hope to do this the week after Labor Day to rid ourselves of toxins and bring the body back to equilibrium.

Option 2: Complete, along with a supportive group, a month of clean eating (we can discuss this in depth if you are new to this concept). We’ll be using the 21 Day Fix as a guide, but this can be adapted based on your needs. You can check in via FB, or, if you’re taking a break from social media, we can check in via email, text or phone calls.

Option 3: Both of these together, which is what I’ll be doing.

In addition to honing in on nutrition, I’m asking each challenger to have a fitness plan. This can be an at-home DVD workout, a calendar you create with me or a gym regime. Your goal is 6 days a week, 30 minutes a day along with a combination of strength and cardio.

Questions? Comments? Are you ready to the take the plunge? If so, comment below, and we can set up a personal consultation.

Rose: Honest Review of Shakeology Boost “Focused Energy”

While I was at the Team Beachbody Summit, they introduced a new Shakeology add-on called “Shakeology Boosts.” There are three types: Focused Energy, Power Greens and Digestive Health. I decided to give the “Focused Energy” a try, especially on days where I’m not feeling rested.

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What I like about the Focused Energy are the ingredients. I spent some time looking up each ingredient and found that many include natural form of caffeine. In fact, much more caffeine than a cup of coffee. One of the main ingredients is Guarana, which has been seen to increase mental alertness, fight fatigue and help increase concentration.

On a particularly restless night, I added one scoop of this to my regular morning Shakeology. The taste is a little chalky but resembles chocolate, so it wasn’t hard for me to drink. I did notice that I immediately felt a surge of energy that carried me through my entire morning. For how poor my sleep was, I got quite a bit done at work that morning. I was alert, rested and energized. And I never felt jittery.

However, I did have some intestinal discomfort that’s worth mentioning. All of my life, I’ve struggled with stomach issues. I actually had to switch to Chocolate Vegan because whey protein does not agree with me (and it’s an ingredient in the regular formula). Unfortunately, the Focused Energy Boost gave me slight issues — but only for a few days. Once I started drinking it more regularly, those issues went away (after about 3-4 days of consuming with Shakeology). And, not to be TMI, but the first time I tried this product, I had to use the bathroom — like RIGHT AWAY. That’s not a problem; it’s just something you should be aware of.

My next experiment will be trying the Boost WITHOUT Shakeology. Given my sensitive stomach, it may be easier for me digestively to have this with just plain water. I will keep you posted on how that goes!

Overall, I liked the Focused Energy Boost, and I will continue to purchase and use it daily. I also think this is a great option for those who don’t get enough sleep, are trying to quit coffee and want a natural form of caffeine. This Boost provides all three at a pretty affordable price.

If you have questions, feel free to include them below. I’m happy to answer! :)

Rose: Non-Traditional Wedding Flowers

Our wedding is now 166 days away. That’s only five-and-a-half months until the big day. For the most part, the planning process has been enjoyable. There’ve been a few bumps and twists, but that’s to be expected. And while the details used to scare me, I’m now starting to embrace them.

It helps when you work with pleasant vendors. One thing I’ve learned from wedding planning is that timing is everything. When someone responds to me quickly and with enthusiasm, I am far more likely to make a purchase from them. This is what happened with The Paper Girl on Etsy.

We decided early on that we didn’t want traditional, live flowers at our wedding. They cost a fortune and only to die in the end. A little internet searching let me to Lindy’s shop. At this point, I decided I wanted to pursue paper flowers to go with our literary-themed wedding.

From the start, Lindy has been a joy to work with. She responds to my messages with genuine interest and has worked tirelessly to produce the best possible flowers for our wedding. Just this week, she sent me a few samples in the mail. She’s dipped the ends in color, which will beautifully tie everything together.

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I can’t wait to see all of the flowers at once. I’ve ordered all bouquets, boutonnieres, corsage and table flowers from Lindy. That’s a lot of flowers, and it will certainly keep her busy over the coming months! I’m overjoyed that she’s taking part in our special day and thank her immensely!

Rose: Quick Mini Pizzas

In June, I followed the Fit Girls Guide eating plan. The plan was mostly a refresher for me — I’ve been eating clean for years — but I did really enjoy the recipes they included. This plan is designed for women who are on-the-go and don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen. A lot of the recipes involve simple ingredients and are quite easy to make.

Throughout my month of following the Fit Girls Guide, the mini pizzas were my favorite. They require only about 5-10 minutes of prep time followed by 5-10 minutes in the oven.
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The “crust” is a whole wheat pita or whole wheat tortilla topped with your choice sauce (hopefully homemade), veggies, protein and cheese. My pizzas usually clock in around 500 calories each, are super filling and also 21-Day Fix approved (if you follow that plan).

I’ve been experimenting with different pies, especially on busy nights. Should I have more time, I’d like to try making my own crust. This would healthify the recipe even further and cut down on added sodium from the store-bought pitas.

I would highly recommend these little pizzas — or even the Fit Girls Guide — to anyone with a busy schedule. You can stay healthy and full with very minimal effort.

Do you make pizzas at home? What’s your secret?

Rose: Restarting

The summer has gotten away from me. It always has a way of doing that. Work is busier than I expected, there are more travel plans. Before I know it, July is over. It’s hard to believe that August will be upon us in just one short week.

Throughout my healthy living journey, I’ve always found summers to be the most difficult. I travel the most during these months, and my eating is not always consistent. Eating healthy was not at the forefront of my mind during our recent trip. While I started everyday with Shakeology, I didn’t eat as well as I could have.

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I could beat myself up over this, and in the past I would. But I’ve moved beyond that way of thinking. It’s not healthy for me. While I don’t like having “cheat meals” or “falling off the wagon,” I know it has a way of happening. I tire of that lifestyle after a few days and snap myself right back into clean eating anyway.

So I am “restarting” in a way. I’d like to really hone in on my nutrition over the next 6 months before the wedding. While I already feel confident and beautiful in my dress, I want to shine on my wedding day. I want to be the proof of hard work! I want to have nice arm muscles, too :)

I know nutrition is the key to this. That’s why I’m starting the 21-Day Fix again and completing the 21 Day Fix Extreme workouts. This way of eating works for me. I like the visualization of the container system, and I know I’m getting in all of my macronutrients this way. It’s easy — as long as you plan. And the workouts are a killer, too.

I wanted to write a short post about this restart to remind you that this is natural. Sometimes we lack consistency. But the key is getting back into the routine. A restart. A fresh outlook. Sometimes a vacation will give you the motivation you need. I’m thankful to get back on track!