I wasn't really sure what I wanted to share on the blog today. I knew it should be something Easter-related and I thought about finding a yummy, healthy Easter recipe to share, but then, I decided that focusing on JUST food seemed too small...I needed to go bigger. So I enlisted the help of my good friend, Google, and started searching around online for healthy Easter ideas. I found so many great ones, and I decided that for my post today, I would share my favorites with you!!
I'll go ahead and start with food...cause I love food and I found a couple of articles with LOTS of healthy holiday food ideas.
We received this success story from one of our Spring participants. Julianne worked so hard and we loved hearing that she was so close to reaching her goal, but more importantly, she felt great and was ready to take on a challenge like Trek.
School is OUT and summer has officially begun! While I'm really enjoying not having a schedule and letting my kids stay up and sleep in a little later each day, I'm NOT loving how often they want to SNACK. Good grief! My youngest boy is a constant grazer and if I don't have something readily available that is healthy, he's just as happy to pull out the chips, squeeze cheese or popsicles (I will admit that I don't feed my kids ONLY healthy foods - especially if their father has recently been sent to the store for a few "essential" groceries). That being said, I do try to keep healthy snacks in the rotation and easy to access at all times. I was a little caught off guard last week though as I guess I just didn't realize how much the kids really ate during the day. This sent me scrambling to Pinterest for some healthy, EASY snacks that I could prepare ahead of time because although they LOVE my Energy Bites, I just can't keep them happy with those all summer long. I've found a LOT of really yummy options and wanted to share 2 of them with you today! Both of these recipes were inspired by recipes found on ChocolateCoveredKatie's website. If you love sweets and haven't checked out her recipes, I would HIGHLY recommend it. She's got soooo many delicious-looking, healthy desserts that I can't wait to try!
Okay guys...and gals...what's with the sweets? We have noticed that since Easter, the sweets have been a problem for A LOT of you. We get it...we REALLY get it. They're so delicious and it seems wasteful to throw them out and maybe your co-workers are doing their best to test your resolve by bringing tasty goodies to work every.single.day. It is hard...we'll give you that. But, think back to why you decided to join this challenge. Maybe someone forced you to do it, but most likely, you were looking for a change...a reason to live better. I know you haven't given up on that goal, but you may have momentarily forgot? So, I want you to try something different this week. It's REALLY simple, but it could make a big difference. I want you to change your vocabulary. The next time you are tempted by a mouth-watering indulgence, instead of saying, "I can't have that" or "I shouldn't have that," say, "I don't want to eat that." In four studies published in the August 2012 Journal of Consumer Research, researchers found that the effect of changing your wording when you refuse temptation can make a HUGE differnce in your ability to stick to your decision to walk away. They found that saying, "I can't" leads to a feeling of being deprived or having to go without something you really desire and only works 10% of the time, but saying, "I don't" leaves you feeling empowered and in control of the situation and is effective 80% of the time. That's quite a difference! The other benefit to changing your wording is, it leaves little room for argument. If someone offers you their homemade brownies and you say, "I can't eat those," they will probably attempt to convince you that you CAN eat them and that you DESERVE it just this once. If, however, you say, "I don't eat those" or "I don't want to eat those," there is very little left to say. So, if you're struggling with sweets, give this tip a try. You CAN do this. You are STRONGER than your cravings and YOU are in control of your choices. Let's finish this challenge STRONG by walking away from the extra portions of sweets!
Now, on to what you're really here for...Week 5 Results!!
It just seemed appropriate, with tomorrow being Valentine's Day, that today's post feature a recipe that is a bit indulgent and most importantly, chocolate!! If you're looking for something that feels decadent but is healthier than the store bought treats you usually splurge on, give this crock=pot fudge recipe a try. Whether you're getting all dolled up and sharing this treat with your sweetheart or snuggling on the couch in your sweats watching Mr. Peabody and Sherman on Netflix while sharing with four crazy kids like me (my hubby will be working on Valentine's Day), you will not be disappointed (at least not by the fudge...you may be disappointed that it gets ground into your carpet or smeared on your couch cushions, but the fudge will deliver)!! I found the original recipe at SkinnyMs.com and tweaked it just a little (I basically left out the sugar since I didn't have any and I felt like the chocolate chips contained plenty on their own - to be honest, I didn't miss it much at all - and shockingly, neither did my kids).
We just posted the FINAL RESULTS for the Holiday challenge and are thrilled to announce that as a group, you lost 306 pounds and 214 inches over the past 8 weeks! That is incredible and we are so proud of the results of your hard work. This is NOT something that can be accomplished by Dianne and I. We merely provide the platform, but YOU do all the WORK. So, kudos to those of you who sincerely made an effort to earn your daily habits points and saw results...and now the REALLY hard work begins.
I am a PANSY when it comes to planks...and I REALLY wish I were exaggerating. I am literally intimidated by them and always cringe when I see them listed as part of a workout I'm trying. Why are they so incredibly hard? And why does it feel like time practically stands still the second I push "start" at the beginning of a 1 minute plank?? I'm aware that it's not "normal" to fear and loathe all things related to planking, but they hurt! And I don't particularly care to hurt...can you relate?
All this being said, I decided that with the end of a challenge fast approaching, I needed to combat my propensity to slack off during the break by not only facing my PLANK fear, but destroying it! I am starting a 30 Day Plank Challenge and would LOVE to have you join (and encourage) me. I'm going to need all the help I can get...AND to make it just a little bit more "FUN," I thought I'd throw in a 30 Day Squat Challenge as well. I mean, if you're going to go to the effort to put your workout clothes on, you might as well get sweaty, right? I guess you could probably plank in any clothes, but during a challenge break, I'm always on the lookout for a reason to put on my workout clothes and get to the gym. Hopefully, this will be just the inspiration I (and you) need. You know you don't want to undo all the hard work you've just put into these last 8 weeks, so print out the calendar and let's do this together!!!
When I first decided to start exercising, one of the reasons I wanted to get fit was…I wanted to be able to eat anything (and everything) I wanted. Sounds like a really effective weight loss plan doesn't it? I mean, once you are exercising regularly, you can eat cake every day, right? (And monster cookies...and LemonHeads...and Raspberry Fritters and...well, you see where I'm headed here). Needless to say, that has not worked out so well for me. Apparently, that's not really how this whole "get fit" thing works. Sadly, it has become quite clear to me that the saying..."YOU CAN'T OUT EXERCISE A BAD DIET" really is a true statement. This is disheartening to me because it is easier to find the determination to make myself exercise 45 minutes a day than to force myself to eat well 24 hours a day (okay, more like 16-17 hours if I'm getting a decent amount of sleep).
So, let's think about this logically...I could easily figure out how to consume 800-1500 calories in 15 minutes or less by getting a large popcorn with butter and a gigantic Coke at the movies...or by picking up fast food at Wendy's at the end of a long and frustrating day instead of taking the time to prepare a home-cooked meal...or by relaxing with a good book and a couple of KitKat's, Butterfingers and the above mentioned (and all-time favorite of mine) LemonHeads!! There is, however, NO WAY I could burn the same amount of calories in 15 minutes or less. That would take me 1 or 2 hours.