It is said ‘We are what we Eat’. So with the intention of correcting some deep rooted food habits and to examine the possibility of eating healthy on a consistent basis with less or no junk food, I recently went on a ‘No Junk Food’ Challenge for 21 days.

Contents

Junk Food:

The definition of ‘Junk Food’ in this case included :

1)No Carbonated Drinks
2)No Ice cream
3)No Chocolates
4)No Deep fried foods
5)No processed cheese
6)No desserts with refined sugar/processed flour

No Junk Food

Food Challenges:

I stopped drinking Aerated drinks since my school days, so it was not a problem. Ice cream, chocolates and Cheese were occasional delicacies, so excluding that from my diet for a period of 3 weeks would not be a big issue either. My only sacrifices for this set was ‘Naturals Ice Cream’ and my favorite Pasta joint. Deep Fried Foods was my biggest challenge as I had special liking for them. I interpreted point 6 in the strictest possible way thereby excluding White Bread (as it contains Maida), and Sugar of any sorts.

Challenge Accepted: Modus Operandi

The three methods planned were

(1) Eliminate : Aerated Drinks, Chocolates, Pastries, Pasta

(2) Replace: Sugar with honey/Jaggery, Ice Cream with Flavored Yogurt, Deep Fried Snacks with Baked or Shallow Fried Snacks, Processed Cheese with Paneer/Cottage Cheese, White Bread with Brown Bread

(3) Reduce: This was a placeholder to allow for unintentional wrong choices made and to be more conscious of them in future.

Junk Food vs Healthy Food

My Wins: Big and Small

(1) As my intention was to find sustainable habits, and not kill myself for 3 weeks and go back to old ways I tried my best to keep my food choices enjoyable while within my broad set categories.

(2) All Meals cooked at home (by me and Hari) I was able to adhere to my set restrictions without an exception. As we are completely involved in the process of making food, right from choosing the ingredients to the process of cooking, we had more time to deliberate upon our choices and made healthy choices.

(3) My public commitment of posting about how the challenge went during the day gave me the required motivation during initial days. Post that it was not a major driving factor and I had even stopped posting although I continued with my challenge. Ultimately, the change was for me and not for boasting in social media.

(4) We loved our tea with honey and never went back, as a result honey is fast depleting in our home with Sugar hardly being used. For those drinking milk. dates syrup is a pretty good alternative. Most Malt drinks taste fine with no added sugar.

(5) Other small changes included, coffee with no sugar, more green tea, boiled pulses (sundal), wheat puffs, roasted chickpeas(channa) and peanuts for snacks.

Setbacks: Intentional and Unintentional

It was still an extended monsoon during this time when we were out almost every weekend. This led to us not being completely in control of the entire food making cycle.

(1) During the initial days, I was still making some wrong choices and realizing it late after I had ordered or eaten the food like when I ordered the Masala Papad assuming it would be roasted but turned out to be fried.

(2) As it was monsoon we were travelling a lot and there were places with no too many food choices and all of them had atleast one of the things I must not be consuming. In one of our drives, we had stopped by a small village and the only food choices were Misal Pav (White Bread, Poori Bhaji (Deep Fried) or Vada Pav (Both White Bread and Deep Fried). Since I had no intention of going hungry in order to try and follow the diet, I had picked one of the available options.

(3) There was also Ganesh Chaturthi during this time which means modaks (kozukattai) and Vada’s. Since a home cooked delicacy of this sort was a total luxury which if I forsake may have to wait another year, I put it my reduce bucket and had limited numbers.

(4) We were in Mahalabeswar and Hari, my husband lured with the local specialty of Strawberry and Cream. Rather than miss such a local delicacy, I gave my diet a miss.

What I did well?

Expected Failure:

I did not beat myself up when I failed for I know despite my best intentions, I will fail. However I did not use the failure as an excuse to further deviate from the plan during the day or drop the diet plan altogether.

Diet vs Happiness:

I did not let my diet take a toll on my vacation or festival celebrations. This I think is a very important part. I went by a simple framework of ‘Will I regret having it or not having it?’ Whenever the thought out answer not the impulsive response was the latter I listened to it.

Cooked Meals:

The process of cooking your own meals at home, is the best way to be able to stick to any dietary choice. If you plan to go Vegan, Veg or make any change to your diet, start by cooking more meals at home.

Plan your Shopping:

We always tend to buy more junk food when hungry. So never go shopping when you are hungry and leave out from your shopping list all the things you plan not to eat. In fact don’t even step into the aisles that contain these items. This is one of the basic steps you must take before you go on any diet.

What I could have done better?

I have no regrets about my transgressions in Mahabaleswar or for the Ganesh Chaturthi. However, I definitely could have planned for my meals when I was on the move better. I had not delved on any if then else, scenario in order to plan better. If I had to do it again, I would carry with me some fresh and dry foods, I could eat if I had to choose between unhealthy alternatives on the road.

Conclusion

Overall, the experiment enabled me to replace some of my unhealthy eating habits with healthier and equally tasty alternatives. For others I learnt which I missed the most and which I did not notice was missing which also helped me reduce the unhealthy food choices. My fried bhajji temptation was totally gone at the end of the three weeks, while pasta food joint continues to enjoy my support. I have not been especially aware of any major mood swings or cravings during this period although it was one of my intentions of going on this diet. This I believe is more due to my lack of awareness rather than lack of connect between food and mood. Since we are what we eat, lets try to be more wholesome and less junk.

Suggested Read: From Junk Food to Joy Food and Will Power Instinct

Take the ‘No Junk Food’ challenge

  • Jennifer Goble
  • PUBLISHED: January 7, 2015 at 1:14 am | UPDATED: May 16, 2019 at 7:24 am
  • Categories: News

Jennifer GobleMental Health Matters

Many things come to our computers that are amusing, informative, or useless.

Most of mine are deleted without reading, some are read before deleting, and a few are useful and saved.

Such is the case with “The No Junk Food Challenge” that arrived after Christmas. It looked like this:

THE RULES

NO CHOCOLATE

NO CANDY

NO BISCUITS OR COOKIES

NO CAKE, DONUTS, OR MUFFINS

NO PASTRIES

NO WHITE BREAD

NO CHIPS

NO FAST FOOD

NO SODA

NO ICE CREAM

TRY THE NO JUNK FOOD CHALLENGE FOR 21 DAYS

Since I was feeling like an over

stuffed walrus, I thought, “I’m in!”

Mental health is possible with poor physical health; evidenced by chronically ill individuals who continue to see the best of life.

But, there is a significant correlation between our physical and mental health. We are a waistline growing nation and choosing to eat food on the above junk food list is one of the primary culprits.

We can all cut these foods out of our diet for 21 days. We can do it! The reward could be that we dislike ourselves less – feel better – lose a few pounds – improve both our physical and mental health.

Fat, sugar, and salt make food taste good, which is WHY fast food activates our taste buds and WHY we crave it.

It is similar to an addiction; eating a little triggers one to want more and more.

Emergency rooms are inundated with large waistlines. From the very rich to the very poor, people can be overweight because of their junk food choices.

Junk food is easier, overly available, and often less expensive. It is a personal, family, community, and national problem.

Yes, we can make a difference. Good health begins with the person in the mirror.

We have 100% control of what we choose to eat. That, my friends, is the good news!

The ‘No Junk Food Challenge’ is simple and doesn’t take a lot of thought; if something is on the list, don’t eat it. I’m in, and you can be too.

At the end of 21 days, ask yourself if you feel healthier. If the answer is, “Yes,” go another 21 days. Imagine the personal and collective benefit!

Until the next time: Live while you live!

(Jennifer Goble, Ph.D. is a Licensed Professional Counselor. Check out her book, My Clients…My Teachers and her weekly blog at www.jennifergoble.com.)

Clean-Eating Challenge

Clean eating is all about whole foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats and proteins. At the same time, this challenge encourages you to cut down on packaged and processed foods and limit added sugar and sodium. Consider this 30-day challenge your inspiration to clean up your diet. We’ve put together our best clean-eating tips and recipes so you can eat delicious, whole foods all month long.

Clean Eating Basics

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7 Tips for Clean Eating

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Clean Eating Foods List

DIY Clean Eats

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5 Tips for Making Clean Eating Snacks

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5 Tips for Making Clean Eating Breakfasts

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6 Ways to Pack a Clean Eating Lunch

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5 Tasty Tricks to Make Clean-Eating Desserts Without Added Sugar

Foods to Feel Good About

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Homemade Recipes for a Clean Diet

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Packaged Foods You Can Feel Good About Eating

Clean-Eating Meal Plans

Veggie-Packed Clean Eating Meal Plan

14-Day Clean-Eating Meal Plan

Clean & Simple 7-Day Meal Plan

Clean-Eating Kick Start Meal Plan

Recipes for a Healthier You

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Quinoa Avocado Salad

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Zucchini Lasagna Rolls

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Rainbow Frittata

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No-Cook Black Bean Salad

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Salmon Poke

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Classic House Salad with Chicken

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Pressure Cooker Hummus

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Crunchy Chicken Mango Salad

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Mexican Cauliflower Rice

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Tofu Kebabs with Zucchini Egglplant

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Chicken & Sweet Potato Grill Packets with Peppers & Onions

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Salmon & Asparagus with Lemon-Garlic Butter Sauce

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Lemon-Pepper Linguine with Squash

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Avocado Egg Salad Sandwiches

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Eggplant Gyros

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Green Veggie Bowl with Chicken & Lemon-Tahini Dressing

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Greek Kale Salad with Quinoa & Chicken

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Tomato-Basil Zoodle Salad

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Chicken Burrito Bowls with Sweet Potato Rice

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Guacamole Chopped Salad

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Eggs in Tomato Sauce with Chickpeas & Spinach

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Meal-Prep Cilantro Lime Chicken Bowls

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Egg & Avocado Pancake Breakfast Wraps

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No-Noodle Eggplant Lasagna

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Roasted Veggie Brown Rice Buddha Bowl

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Carrot-Peanut Noodle Salad

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Roasted Salmon Rice Bowl with Beets & Brussels

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Eggplant Lasagna Rolls

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Spaghetti Squash Shrimp Scampi

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Vegan White Bean Chili

The Whole30® ProgramPlan for Whole30 Success

Since April 2009, millions of people have successfully completed the Whole30® program with stunning, life-changing results. This is a summary of the official rules of the Whole30, plus some extra motivation from Melissa.

For in-depth information about planning and preparing for the program, a comprehensive FAQ, and more than 100 totally compliant recipes, refer to our New York Times bestselling book, The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom.

The Whole30 Program Rules

Yes: Eat real food.

Eat meat, seafood, and eggs; vegetables and fruit; natural fats; and herbs, spices, and seasonings. Eat foods with a simple or recognizable list of ingredients, or no ingredients at all because they’re whole and unprocessed.

No: Avoid for 30 days.

  • Do not consume added sugar, real or artificial. This includes (but is not limited to) maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, date syrup, monk fruit extract, stevia, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, and xylitol. If there is added sugar in the ingredient list, it’s out.
  • Do not consume alcohol, in any form, not even for cooking. (And ideally, no tobacco products of any sort, either.)
  • Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, sprouted grains, and all gluten-free pseudo-cereals like quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn, and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch, and so on. Again, read your labels.
  • Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy: soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and soy lecithin.
  • Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat, or sheep’s milk products like milk, cream, cheese, kefir, yogurt, sour cream, ice cream, or frozen yogurt.
  • Do not consume carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label, it’s out for the Whole30.
  • Do not consume baked goods, junk foods, or treats with “approved” ingredients.* Recreating or buying sweets, treats, and foods-with-no-brakes (even if the ingredients are technically compliant) is missing the point of the Whole30, and won’t lead to habit change. These are the same foods that got you into health-and-craving trouble in the first place—and a pancake is still a pancake, even if it’s made with coconut flour.
  • Do not step on the scale or take any body measurements for 30 days. The Whole30 is about so much more than weight loss, and to focus only on body composition means you’ll overlook all of the other dramatic, lifelong benefits this plan has to offer. So no weighing yourself, analyzing body fat, or breaking out the tape measure during the 30-day elimination period. (You may take photos and/or measurements on Days 0 and 31, however.)

*Some specific foods that fall under this rule include: pancakes, crepes, waffles, bread, tortillas, biscuits, muffins, cupcakes, cookies, brownies, alternative flour pizza crust or pastas, granola, cereal, or ice cream. No commercially-prepared chips (potato, tortilla, plantain, etc.) or French fries either. While this list of off-limit foods applies to everyone (even those who “don’t have a problem” with pancakes), you may decide to exclude additional foods that you already know make you feel out of control, like RXBARs or almond butter. (See page 95 in The Whole30 for guidance.)

The Fine Print

These foods are exceptions to the rule, and are allowed during your Whole30.

  • Ghee or clarified butter. These are the only source of dairy allowed during your Whole30. Plain old butter is NOT allowed, as you may be sensitive to the milk proteins found in non-clarified butter.
  • Fruit juice. Some products or recipes will include fruit juice as a stand-alone ingredient or natural sweetener, which is fine for the purposes of the Whole30. (We have to draw the line somewhere.)
  • Certain legumes. Green beans, sugar snap peas, and snow peas are allowed. While they’re technically a legume, these are far more “pod” than “bean,” and green plant matter is generally good for you.
  • Vinegar and botanical extracts. Most vinegar (including white, red wine, balsamic, apple cider, and rice) and alcohol-based botanical extracts (like vanilla, lemon, or lavender) are allowed during your Whole30 program. (Just not malt-based vinegar or extracts, which will be clearly labeled as such, as they contain gluten.)
  • Coconut aminos. All brands of coconut aminos (a brewed and naturally fermented soy sauce substitute) are acceptable, even if you see the words “coconut nectar” or “coconut syrup” in their ingredient list.
  • Salt. Did you know that all iodized table salt contains sugar? Sugar (often in the form of dextrose) is chemically essential to keep the potassium iodide from oxidizing and being lost. Because all restaurants and pre-packaged foods contain salt, salt is an exception to our “no added sugar” rule.

Give Us Thirty Days

Your only job during the Whole30 is to focus on making good food choices. You don’t need to weigh or measure, count calories, restrict calories, or purchase everything organic or grass-fed. Your only job is to stick to the Whole30 rules for 30 straight days… no cheats, no slips, no “special occasions.”

This isn’t a hazing or a boot camp; the requirement for 100% compliance is grounded in science. We call the Whole30 a “reset,” but at its heart, the Whole30 is an elimination diet. Elimination protocols have been around since the 1920’s, and many doctors say they are still the gold standard in identifying food sensitivities—but only if you do them by the books. In order to accurately test how your body responds in the absence of these potentially problematic foods, you have to completely eliminate them. One bite of pizza, one spoonful of ice cream, one sip of beer within the 30-day period and you’ve broken the “reset”—and have to start over again on Day 1.

You must commit to the full program, exactly as written, 100% for the full 30 days. Anything less and you won’t experience the full benefits the program has to offer. Anything less and you are selling yourself—and your life-changing results—short.

It’s only 30 days.

It’s For Your Own Good

Here comes the tough love. This is for those of you who are considering taking on this life-changing month, but aren’t sure you can actually stick to it for 30 straight days. This is for the people who have tried this before, but who “slipped” or “fell off the wagon” or “just HAD to eat (fill in food here) because of this (fill in event here).” This is for anyone who needs just a tiny kick to the butt to finally say “YES, I want this.” This is for you, from me, with love.

  • This is not hard. Fighting cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Losing a parent is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You have done harder things than this. It’s only thirty days, and it’s for the most important health cause on earth—the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime. Hear me now: The Whole30 is exactly as hard as you decide it’s going to be, so repeat after me: “This is not hard.”
  • Don’t even consider the possibility of a “slip.” Unless you physically tripped and your face landed in a pizza, there is no “slip.” It is always a choice to eat something unhealthy, and if you open the door now to “I’m Whole30, except…” you will bail on the program, and you cannot afford to bail on yourself again. Commit to the program 100% for the full 30 days. Don’t give yourself an excuse to fail before you’ve even started.
  • You never, ever, ever have to eat anything you don’t want to eat. You’re all big boys and girls. You’re all adults. Stand up for yourself. Learn to say, “no, thank you” and hold the line without defending, explaining, or excusing your decision. Just because it’s your sister’s birthday, best friend’s wedding, or office party does not mean you have to eat or drink anything. It is always a choice, and I hope we all stopped succumbing to peer pressure in seventh grade.
  • This does require effort. Grocery shopping, meal planning, dining out, explaining the program to friends and family, and dealing with stress will all prove challenging at some point during your program. We’ve given you a huge number of tools, advice, and resources here, but you also have to take responsibility for your own program. Improved health, habits, and relationship with food don’t happen automatically just because you’re now taking a pass on bread. This will be work, but it will be worth it.
  • You can do this. You’ve come this far—don’t back out now. You want to change your life. You’re ready to change your life. And I believe in you, even if you’re not quite ready to believe in yourself. So stop thinking about it, and start doing it. Right now, this very minute, commit to the Whole30, and tell someone you’re doing it.

In Conclusion…

I want you to have this experience. I want you to join our community, complete the program, and see amazing results in every area of your life. Even if you aren’t convinced this will actually change your life, just give us 30 short days. You are that important, and we believe in the power of the Whole30 that much. I promise, we’ll be with you every step of the way.

Welcome to the Whole30.

Get your Whole30 Starter Kit

Sign up for Whole30 email, and we’ll send you the Whole30 Starter Kit: a printable version of the Whole30 program rules, the Meal Planning template, and 15 recipes from Melissa’s cookbooks. (Your email is safe with us. Promise.)

30 Day Ultimate Skincare Challenge

30 day ultimate skincare challenge. It’s April and that means that spring really is just around the corner, even if the weather is still all over the place. What better time to start simplifying your beauty routine and adding in better habits to give you a beautiful and glowing complexion. Click on the links in the tips to find out more!

30 DAY ULTIMATE SKINCARE CHALLENGE

DAY 1. Inventory. Take stock of all your products and toss anything that you don’t use or is past the expiry date. This is especially important for items like sunscreen which you will be applying every day. Replace what’s needed.

DAY 2. Start the day fresh by gently washing your face and applying a serum. DO I REALLY NEED TO USE A SERUM

DAY 3. The day starts with your usual morning routine, but tonight spend a few minutes relaxing with a deep cleansing mask. Your skin will look fresh for the weekend and it’s a nice, mid-week, pick me up. BEST FACE MASK FOR YOUR SKIN TYPE

DAY 4. Don’t leave those dirty makeup brushes for the weekend, get to cleaning them today. HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST MAKEUP BRUSHES

DAY 5. You want to look best for the weekend, so start the day with some light exfoliation and a nourishing face cream. IMPORTANCE OF EXFOLIATING

DAY 6. It’s smoothie day! Go shopping for the week and stock up on your greens and berries because you will be starting every day with a nutrient dense, anti-oxidant rich skin healthy smoothie. WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A SMOOTHIE

DAY 7. A post weekend moisturizing mask is in order. It will hydrate post-weekend skin and give you a beautiful complexion for the week ahead.

DAY 8. Don’t leave the house without applying a light sunscreen with at least 30 SPF, even if it’s not sunny out. IS SPF 15 ENOUGH

DAY 9. It’s avocado day! Make sure that you are incorporating heart healthy, monounsaturated fatty acids, like those found in avocados into your diet. Loaded with Vitamins and nutrients, avocados can help lower your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. When you are healthy, that reflects in your complexion.

DAY 10. Beauty sleep is key, so make sure that you are getting enough and make going to bed early a priority today. Give your skin a chance to restore its natural balance while you rest.

DAY 11. Don’t forget those oversized sunglasses. They will protect the delicate skin around your eyes and help keep you from squinting, which means less wrinkles over time. BEST SUNGLASSES FOR YOUR FACE SHAPE

DAY 12. Keep under-eye puffiness at bay by applying cooled cucumber slices to your eyes for a few minutes before bed.

DAY 13. Pull out that water bottle and aim to refill it twice during the day. To make it more interesting, add some lemon slices, cucumber slices or even a few mint leaves to your water. WHY NOT DRINKING ENOUGH WATER CAN MAKE YOU FAT

DAY 14. Spend some time outdoors today. Let the warm spring air waft over you and let your body absorb some much needed Vitamin D (don’t completely skip out on sunscreen though).

DAY 15. Say no to processed foods and foods that are high in sugar and salt. These foods will only succeed in wreaking havoc on your body, so toss them and opt for fresh foods instead.

DAY 16. Wash those pillow cases. You wash your face every night, so do yourself a favour and make sure that your aren’t then sleeping on not-so-clean pillows. While you are at it, replace your cotton ones with satin ones as they will be gentler on your skin.

DAY 17. Take a yoga class to de-stress. We all have too much stress in our lives, so put away the technology and take a yoga class to strengthen your mind-body connection. HOW TO RELIEVE STRESS IN 15 MINUTES

DAY 18. In order not dry out your skin, make sure that you are using lukewarm water and then follow it up with a toner. HOW TO PROPERLY WASH YOUR FACE

DAY 19. Take some time to understand the ingredients in your cosmetics to make sure that you aren’t inadvertently putting any irritants on your skin. HOW DO I KNOW IF MY SKINCARE IS WORKING

DAY 20. Using your toothbrush, gently exfoliate the delicate skin on your lips so that they look their best.

DAY 21. Sit back and relax with a cup of green tea, pomegranate, acai or blueberries juice. Think of it as beautifying your skin from the inside. HOW TO PREVENT WRINKLES

DAY 22. Take a cardio class or go for a run. When your heart rate goes up, your blood circulates at a greater rate and your cells are supplied with nutrients while your body is busy flushing out toxins. Not only that but you’ll have a healthy glow for the rest of the day.

DAY 23. With our busy lives, it’s understandable that we might not always be getting enough Vitamins. Check in with your doctor or a nutritionist to see what you might be lacking. YOUR BEST SKIN IN 2016

DAY 24. Have some skincare issues you are trying to resolve? Why not try an organic facial oil and create a personalized super blend. HOW TO USE FACIAL OIL

DAY 25. It’s time to look at the hair products you are using because they just might be causing some breakouts. Read the ingredient lists and keep oils away from your face. HOW TO PREVENT BREAKOUTS

DAY 26. Although, as much as we might want to, we can’t completely get rid of our pores, there’s a lot you can do to minimize their appearance. From honey-lemon masks to parsley, to baking soda and clay, it’s time for a brighter complexion. HOW TO CLEAN YOUR PORES

DAY 27. Skin feeling a little dry? Why not create your very own face mask with natural ingredients like oats and honey that you might already have at home. DIY FACE MASKS FOR DRY SKIN

DAY 28. Your hands go a long way to revealing your age. In your quest for radiant younger looker skin don’t forget a good hand cream with SPF.

DAY 29. Whether you prefer coconut oil or chamomile tea, it’s time to minimize those dark under-eye circles. Spend a few minutes pampering yourself tonight. HOW TO GET RID OF DARK CIRCLES

DAY 30. Balance your complexion. Tone more mature skin and give normal skin a wonderful glow with the intoxicating scent of roses. BEAUTY BENEFITS OF ROSES

As with a diet or anything in life, it’s not about making huge, all or nothing changes, but about implementing small and doable habits that will last you a lifetime.

For more don’t forget to follow me on INSTAGRAM and BLOGLOVIN

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS ARTICLE PLEASE SHARE IT AND SIGN UP FOR REGULAR UPDATES

images courtesy of DollarPhotoClub

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caroline

Caroline has worked with international designers in fashion retail and completed professional makeup courses when working in the beauty industry. Her love of writing, photography and film inspired her to work at the Canadian Film Center and then to earn a BFA in Screenwriting. In addition to her blog, Style On The Side, you can see her work in Huffington Post Canada and other international websites.

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The 30 Day Glowing Skin Challenge

Are you ready for Radiant Looking Skin?
Join us for a 30 Day Glowing Skin Challenge. Your 30 day challenge starts now. Sign up below.

Then we have a 30 day challenge for you.

It’s easy! Have an organic apple every day for 30 days and watch your complexion change and your skin start glowing.

Knowing this may sound silly or even odd, I am challenging you to try it. I personally have noticed a huge difference in my skins completion, elasticity and even my fine lines since I have started eating one apple a day. Seeing the rejuvenation of my skin, I wanted to share the benefits with you and thought we could add some fun with a 30 day challenge.

It does make sense after all, many skincare products are made with apple fruit extracts because of their powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, including Bloomiss’ own Blooming Revitalizing AHA Moisturizer.

Here are a few ways the forbidden fruit is so good for your skin.

  • Packed full of Vitamin C, helping you build collagen, which aids in restoring elasticity, keeping your skin looking healthy, while smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Rich in Antioxidants that will fend off cell and tissue damage protecting us from many aliments and diseases. Make sure you are eating the skin when you are eating the apple as a lot of the good nutrients are sitting in the skin – that’s why it’s crucial to choose organic.
  • Brightens dull aging skin with malic acid (AHA) that naturally exfoliates yours skin by breaking down proteins that hold your skin together, while getting rid of the dead skin cells that are giving you a lackluster appearance to your skin.
  • Reduces inflammation and the size of pores helping clear up acne.
  • Apples will hydrate the skin helping to smooth out wrinkles and fine lines keeping your skin nourished.
  • A natural astringent an apple will calm down redness and puffiness in the skin.

With all these benefits and many more, this is why we use apple extracts in our Blooming Revitalizing Moisturizer and suggest to use it every morning to brighten, tighten and moisturize your skin.

Here’s how to join the 30 apple challenge.

1. Buy 7-10 organic apples. I personally love the Organic Lil Snappers bags of apples – you have a variety of kinds you can choose from in a 3 lb bag, approximately 10-12 apples. They do say kid size fruit but I think that size is just perfect.

2. We recommend for the 30 days, take the best care you can of your skin. Make sure you are cleaning, exfoliating and moisturizing your skin every day with natural skin care products that are free from chemicals, parabens and toxins.

3. Water, drink water, you knew this one was coming! 🙂 That’s right 8-10 glasses of good quality alkaline water if you can. Flush out all the toxins from your body daily helping to keep your skin hydrated.

4. Stay motivated with tips and tricks in our apple challenge by joining our email list and facebook page. We will be giving you ways to use apples to create a face mask, a scrub and more. Along with recipes of some delicious healthy ways to eat apples so the challenge doesn’t get boring!

Blooming AHA Moisturizer

If you want to try our daily AHA Moisturizer as part of the challenge we are giving you a special price of 50% off with the promo code: APPLE.

Join here: I am joining the apple challenge! The challenge is going to start! Looking forward to you all participating and joining us on facebook.

We really put our skin through the ringer over the years. We know that everything from stress to makeup and sun exposure cause wear and tear, but the good news is you can actually reverse or slow a lot of that damage. Start by taking this simple skin care challenge to get things on track again.

Image: Gabriela Arellano/SheKnows

Day 1

Here’s the deal: You don’t need to wash your face in the morning. In most cases, it’s not doing any serious damage, but by overwashing, you’re also stripping your skin of the good oils it worked hard to produce in recovery overnight. Take care of the skin on the rest of your body each morning by lathering up with a moisturizing body wash while you’re in the shower — but skip your face. Instead, just splash your face with some cold water and moisturize, and take note of how your skin reacts throughout the week.

End your day with a good face cleanse, but don’t stop at your skin. Take some time to trash expired skin care and makeup products and clean any makeup brushes or sponges if it’s been a while. Check out this guide to when every type of makeup expires to get you started.

More: How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes in Less Than Five Minutes

Day 2

This one is a no-brainer. Drink more water. Hydration is essential to making sure your organs function properly, skin included. The jury is still out on whether water has a direct impact the appearance of your skin, but it certainly promotes healthier skin (healthier everything, really). Next, pencil in a full-body exfoliation session for nighttime to say goodbye to dead skin cells and get a fresher look from head-to-toe.

Day 3

Sugar is delicious, yes. Good for your skin, though? Definitely not. Well, let me back up. It’s a great exfoliator used topically, but when you eat too much sugar (guilty), it can break down elasticity and prevent collagen from doing its job. If you’re feeling up to the task, kick off a sugar detox (beware, it’s in everything). Or, simply initiate no sugar days throughout your week. Everything but naturally occurring sugar from fruits gets the boot.

End your day by starting to focus on sleep quality. Poor sleep quality can hinder the production of collagen and hyaluronic acid, speed up aging and cause inflammation. So start a sleep ritual about an hour before bedtime and do it nightly. It could be anything — meditating, reading, stretching and even little touches like misting your pillow with lavender spray and turning on ambient noises. Pick things that tell your body it’s time to wind the eff down (and yes, that means no more phone or computer).

More: The Five Steps of Sugar Rehab

Day 4

Bacteria is the number one cause of acne, so it’s time to do a major cleanup of all the things that touch your skin. Wake up and throw your sheets in the washing machine and toss them in the dryer before you leave for the day. Buy some cellphone wipes. Get a new loofah (or stop using one altogether because they’re actually pretty gross). Think of anything else that your skin comes in contact with, and put it on your “clean me ASAP” list.

Now, you may not like this next part, but it’s time to take note of how many glasses of vino (and other booze) you drink weekly. I get it; a couple of glasses of wine or a beer at happy hour is pretty much like going to yoga after a long day at work. However, too much booze can dehydrate your skin and cause inflammation. Initiate a month without booze, or add a no-booze policy to your no-sugar days.

Day 5

The New York Times reported on a study that found exercising regularly gave people ages 40 and up the skin quality they had in their 20s and 30s. That’s as close to magic as you’ll ever get. Now, you don’t have to run a marathon or anything. Start small. If you don’t exercise at all, pick a couple of days a week to start your day with a jog or stop at the gym on your way home. If you do exercise but want to step it up, try something new like a Barre class or a new yoga studio.

Then end your night by relaxing with a face mask. Choose one that caters to your skin type or a common skin issue you face.

Day 6

Now, for the V-word: vitamins. There are so many that help your skin in one way or another, so talk to your doctor about which ones may help you. Vitamin A can help stop premature signs of aging. Vitamin C can help regulate collagen. Zinc is anti-inflammatory. Vitamin B helps reduce redness. You catch my drift.

While vitamins can be a great addition to your routine, most doctors and nutritionists will also tell you it’s always better to get nutrients straight from food. So start a rule at dinner to eat one type of leafy green every night. According to , spinach is a good source of vitamin A and iron. Arugula contains sulfur, which helps with collagen. The infamous Kale (yes, I capitalized it) is a good source of vitamins A and C.

Day 7

We shouldn’t have to tell you this one, but we’re going to anyway. Always wear sunscreen. Wear it on rainy days. Wear it on cloudy days. Wear it when you go to work. Wear it often. There are tons of great brands making daily-use SPFs that don’t make you smell like you’re going to the beach, so find one you like and use it often.

Now, if you started this challenge on a Monday, today is Sunday. There’s no better way to reward yourself and kick off many more weeks of better skin habits than to get a massage. Go drop in somewhere for some R&R — bonus points for setting up recurring appointments. Massages have endless health benefits, like improving chronic pain and lowering blood pressure, but they also increase blood flow, which is great for your skin.

This post was sponsored by Dial Body Wash.

30-DAY SUMMER BODY CHALLENGE – OFFICIAL RULES

Rules & Regulations

Your digital registration form in the 2019 XSport Fitness 30-Day Summer Body Challenge (“Challenge”) submitted to XSport Personal Training, LLC. (“Sponsor” or “XSport Personal Training”) and all information, photographs and materials submitted for the purpose of this challenge become the sole and exclusive property of XSport Fitness (defined below). You must be a member in good standing of an XSport Fitness facility continuously throughout the duration of the Challenge and at the time of award, fill out and submit digital registration form, provide before and after photographs and meet all other Challenge requirements within the challenge 30-day period to participate and be eligible to win including without limitation training individually with an XSport personal trainer a minimum of 4 times pursuant to an XSport individual personal training contract, check-in to an XSport Fitness location a minimum of 16 times and purchasing (by you at XSport Fitness, between your start date and end date (Start date must be between May 15, 2019 and May31, 2019 and end date must be between June 14, 2019 and June 30, 2019) and using any 1 nutritional supplements (minimum 30-day supply) sold at XSport Fitness (“30-Day Challenge Supplements”), during the Challenge period as provided in these Rules and Regulations. Competitors must also provide their weigh in and weigh out weights with photographs including their digital scale clearly displaying the weigh in and weigh out weights at the same time as the before and after photographs. The same scale must be used for both weigh in and weigh out. The scale must be digital and located on the same hard, level flooring type. EACH CHALLENGE COMPETITOR (“COMPETITOR” OR “PARTICIPANT”) ACKNOWLEDGES THAT PARTICIPATION IN EXERCISE, NUTRITION AND/ OR SUPPLEMENT ACTIVITIES AND PROGRAMS (SUCH AS WILL BE INVOLVED IN THE XSPORT 30-DAY SUMMER BODY CHALLENGE) INVOLVES RISK OF LOSS, INJURY AND MEDICAL DISORDERS AND BY ENTERING AGREES TO ASSUME ALL SUCH RISK OF INJURY, DISORDER OR LOSS OF ANY KIND ARISING FROM PARTICIPATION IN OR OTHERWISE RELATING TO THE XSPORT 30-DAY SUMMER BODY CHALLENGE. Consult with your physician or health care provider before starting any new exercise or supplementation or other nutrition program such as the XSport 30-Day Summer Body Challenge, particularly, but without limitation, if you suffer from any medical condition or use prescription or over-the-counter medications, if you are not experienced with strength or cardio training, or if you are changing your exercise or supplement program, consult with a physician. BY ENTRY AND/OR PARTICIPATION IN THE XSPORT 30-DAY SUMMERBODY CHALLENGE, EACH CHALLENGE PARTICIPANT IN THE XSPORT 30-DAY SUMMER BODY CHALLENGE, ON BEHALF OF PARTICIPANT AND OF PARTICIPANT’S HEIRS, EXECUTORS, REPRESENTATIVES, ASSIGNS, ADMINISTRATORS AND NEXT OF KIN, RELEASES SPONSOR, CAPITAL FITNESS, INC., XSPORT NUTRITION, INC., XSPORT TAN, INC., XSPORT TAN IL, LLC., XSPORT TAN – MERRIFIELD, LLC AND XSPORT TAN – ROOSEVELT, LLC AND THEIR AFFILIATED AND OTHER RELATED COMPANIES (ALL SUCH ENTITIES REFERRED TO AS ”XSPORT FITNESS”), AND THEIR RESPECTIVE SHAREHOLDERS, MEMBERS, DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, MANAGERS AND EMPLOYEES (XSPORT FITNESS TOGETHER WITH SUCH OTHER DESCRIBED PARTIES REFERRED TO AS “RELEASED PARTIES”) FROM ALL RISK, LOSS, INJURY, DAMAGE, CLAIMS, LIABILITIES OR HARM, WHETHER TO PERSON, PROPERTY, REPUTATION, OR OTHER THING, TANGIBLE OR OTHERWISE, (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION PERSONAL INJURY AND DEATH) THAT MAY ARISE FROM PARTICIPATION IN OR OTHERWISE RELATE TO THE XSPORT 30-DAY SUMMER BODY CHALLENGE INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, THE NEGLIGENT OR OTHER ACTS OR OMISSIONS OF ANY OF THE RELEASED PARTIES OR THE DELIVERY, MISDELIVERY, ACCEPTANCE, POSSESSION, USE OR MISUSE OF A PRIZE. By your entry and/or participation in the XSPORT 30-DAY SUMMER BODY CHALLENGE, you represent that you signed a currently existing XSport Fitness/Capital Fitness, Inc. membership agreement effective throughout your participation (“Membership Agreement”) and that you are a member throughout your participation. Notwithstanding anything in these Rules and Regulations (“Rules”) or the digital registration form, you reaffirm the provisions of, your agreements in and your understanding of the warnings in the Membership Agreement. Challenge Participants must notify Sponsor of any change of address or phone number at www.xsportfitness.com/myxsport. Participants who cannot be reached within 10 (ten) days at the address or phone number in their submitted registration may be disqualified in Sponsor’s sole discretion. Participant understands and acknowledges that, as individuals differ; physical results of participation in the Challenge will differ from individual to individual even when using the same program. Submission of your registration in the XSport Fitness 30-Day Summer Body Challenge constitutes your irrevocable and unrestricted consent and permission for XSport Fitness, and any of its affiliated companies, to use your name, photographs of you and your typed statement (in whole or in part and which may be paraphrased by XSport Fitness) for promotional and/or advertising purposes to promote Sponsor, Capital Fitness, Inc., XSport Fitness Inc., XSport Nutrition Inc., XSport Tan, Inc., XSport Tan IL, LLC., XSport Tan – Merrifield, LLC and XSport Tan – Roosevelt, LLC, their respective business, any XSport 30-Day Summer Body Challenge or other contest or for any other purpose, in any media and any manner whatsoever, without limitation or restriction, and such consent is deemed given by your entry, submission of registration and/or participation in the XSport 30-Day Summer Body Challenge. Submission of your registration shall be deemed your acceptance of these Rules (as may be amended from time to time by Sponsor in its discretion) and your voluntary transfer to XSport Fitness of all right, title and interest in, including without limitation copyright of, photographs of you and your typed statement. The Sponsor has the right to interpret these Rules and resolve any disputes, conflicting claims or ambiguities concerning the Rules or any other aspect of the Challenge. The Sponsor may waive any of these Rules, and may authorize the substitution of supplement products, in its sole discretion. By submitting a digital registration form, participating in the Challenge or accepting a prize, each Participant, and award recipient agrees (i) to be bound by the decisions of Sponsor, (ii) that the Sponsor has the right, in its sole discretion, to interpret these rules, resolve any disputes, conflicting claims or ambiguities concerning the rules or the Challenge, disqualify any participant, finalist or award recipient and may refuse to award any prize to a person who is ineligible or has violated any Rule, gained unfair advantage in participating in the Challenge, or obtained winner status using fraudulent means and (iii) that all decisions concerning the Challenge made by Sponsor are final and binding on participants, finalists and award recipients.

DURATION, TIMELINESS, DEADLINES AND XSPORT PERSONAL TRAINING AND SUPPLEMENT PURCHASE AND USE

• The XSport Fitness 30-Day Summer Challenge will begin on date of registration as determined by member, May 15, 2019 through May 31, 2019 and continue for the following 30 days, ending between June 14, 2019 and June30, 2019 as determined by start date (“Challenge period”).
• Participants need to complete, and submit to Sponsor, between May 15, 2019 and May 31, 2019 their digital entry registration form at www.xsportfitness.com/myxsport to begin the XSport 30-Day Summer Body Challenge. As part of registration, the participant must upload a before photograph that clearly shows the date of a newspaper dated with the same date as the date of registration OR the date of the digital registration screen (via phone, tablet, computer monitor or print out with the same date as the date of registration. Photograph must clearly show competitor’s hand holding or touching the newspaper or computer, phone, tablet or print out featuring the registration page. Your before and after photographs must clearly show your body, including your face; and knee to above head is the minimum required. Photograph size must be a minimum of 100KB and a maximum of 2MB in size. Photographs must contain you and only you. To best feature your transformation, it is recommended that “before” and “after” photographs should be similarly posed and that you wear form-fitting clothing, and that style and fit of clothing worn in “before” and “after” photographs is similar so that the nature and extent of your physical transformation is evident. Neither before nor after photos may contain any wording (other than XSport Fitness), any forms of communications or any graphics. Bathing suits are acceptable. Judges must have the ability to assess, from the photos, changes in body composition. You are required to own the rights to the photographs provided and to have full authority to grant and to dispose of such rights at all times, including at the time of submission and at the time any prize may be awarded. Photographs must be original and not altered in any way. Modifications, nudity or any photographs deemed inappropriate for publication to the general public, including family audiences of all ages, at Sponsor’s sole discretion, will lead to disqualification. All photographs become the sole property of XSport Fitness immediately upon submission and may be used for any purpose, including without limitation public display.
• Competitors must also provide their weigh in and weigh out weights with photographs including their digital scale clearly displaying the weigh in and weigh out weights at the same time as the before and after photographs. The scale must be digital and located on the same hard, level flooring type. The same clothing must be worn for the weigh in weight photograph and the “before” photograph and the same clothing must be worn for the weigh out weight photograph and the “after” photograph. The newspaper or computer, phone, tablet or print out of the digital screen showing date must also be clearly displayed in the weigh in weight and weigh out weight photographs.
• Participant must (i) train individually with an XSport personal trainer a minimum of 4 individual sessions during the Challenge period pursuant to an individual personal training contract executed by Participant (“personal training contract“), (ii) check in to an XSport Fitness location a minimum of 16 times and (iii) purchase and use 30-Day Challenge Supplements during the Challenge period. 30-Day Challenge Supplement sales receipts from XSport Fitness corresponding to at least one 30-day supply of 30-Day Challenge Supplement products, defined as supplements available for purchase at XSport Fitness, purchased by you at XSport Fitness and dated within the participant’s 30-Day Challenge period. The receipt for the purchase must be uploaded during their 30-Day Challenge period to their 30-Day Challenge Registration page.
• Upon completing the Challenge the participant must complete and submit the digital exit form at www.XSportFitness.com/MyXSport by the final day of their challenge period including without limitation (1) uploading after photographs that clearly shows the date of a newspaper or computer, phone, tablet or print out of the digital screen dated the same date as the date as the upload, (2) type a short statement (50-word max.) explaining how XSport helped them achieve their Summer Body and (3), uploading a weigh out photograph clearly showing the weigh out weight on a digital scale, the face of the competitor and the date of the newspaper or computer, phone, tablet or print out of the digital screen with the same date as the upload. The same scale must be used for both weigh in and weigh out. The scale must be digital and located on the same hard, level flooring type.

HOW YOU WILL BE JUDGED

Free Month of XSport Spa Self Spa Recovery Services membership, $99 retail value.

  • Each challenge participant who completes all of 30-Day Summer Body Challenge requirements as outlined below within their designated 30-day period will receive a free month of XSport Spa Recovery Services. Requirements include:
    • Digital Registration to enter the XSport Fitness 30-Day Challenge Summer Body Participants need to complete, and submit to Sponsor, between May 15, 2019 and May 31, 2019 their digital entry registration form at www.xsportfitness.com/myxsport to begin the XSport 30-Day Summer Body Challenge. As part of entry registration form, the participant must upload a before photograph that clearly shows a newspaper or computer, phone, tablet or print out of the digital screen dated the same date as the date as the upload dated with the same date as the date of registration.
    • Competitors must also provide their weigh in and weigh out weights with photographs including their digital scale clearly displaying the weigh in and weigh out weights at the same time as the before and after photographs. The scale must be digital and located on the same hard, level flooring type. The same clothing must be worn for the weigh in weight photograph and the “before” photograph and the same clothing must be worn for the weigh out weight photograph and the “after” photograph. The newspaper or computer, phone, tablet or print out of the digital screen showing date must also be clearly displayed in the weigh in weight and weigh-out weigh photographs.
  • Redemption of at least 4 Personal Training Sessions

Participant must train individually with an XSport personal trainer a minimum of 6 individual sessions during the Challenge period pursuant to an individual personal training contract executed by Participant (“personal training contract“).

  • Membership check in

Participant must check in to an XSport Fitness location a minimum of 16 times during the challenge period

  • Supplement purchase

Participant must use 30-Day Challenge Supplements during the Challenge period. 30-Day Challenge Supplement sales receipts from XSport Fitness corresponding to at least a 30-day supply of one 30-Day Challenge Supplement products, defined as supplements available for purchase at XSport Fitness, purchased by you at XSport Fitness and dated within the participant’s 30-Day Challenge period. The receipt for the purchase must be uploaded during their 30-Day Challenge period to their 30-Day Challenge Registration page at www.xsportfitness.com/myxsport.

    • Upon completing the Challenge, the participant must complete the digital exit form at www.XSportFitness.com/MyXSport by the final day of their challenge period including uploading an after photograph that clearly shows a newspaper dated the same date as the date of exit form completion and types a short statement explaining how XSport helped them achieve their Summer Body. Each participant shall enter one, and only one, statement. The statement must be in English and not exceed 50 words. Statements must be original, not in the public domain, factually accurate, and must not infringe or violate any law or the legal or equitable right of any person or entity, nor contain material that infringes or violates any personal property rights of others or that constitutes defamation, invasion of privacy, or is otherwise unlawful. Sponsor has the right to disqualify any statement entry deemed inappropriate for publication, at its discretion. Statements will be judged on the criteria set forth above and, upon submission, become the sole property of XSport Fitness.

    • Meet all other applicable requirements set forth in these rules.

XSport Fitness will have one male and one female grand prizewinner for each of the weight loss and muscle building in each male and female category

  • Judging of the Grand Final Winners will be judged by % of weight loss as compared to starting weight. In the event that there is a fraction of a number, the number will be rounded up or down to the nearest whole number.
    • Physical Results (% of weight loss as compared to starting weight)
    • In the event that there is a fraction of a whole number on % of weight loss compared to starting weight, the number will be rounded up or down to the nearest whole number with measurements .5 or over being rounded up and less than .5 being rounded down.
    • Example (Beginning Statistics):
    • Contestant Weight: 150 Pounds
    • Example (Ending Statistics):
    • Contestant Weight: 135 Pounds
    • Example Points Calculation:
    • 15 pounds of weight loss
    • 15 pounds of weight loss / 150 pounds starting weight
    • 10% weight loss
    • In the event of a tie after the Physical Results, participants will be judged by a panel of Sponsor representatives on the of visible physical changes ascertained by the “Before” and “After” photos and off of the typed statement.
      The physical changes will be judged by a panel of Sponsor representatives utilizing the Challenge photos that have been taken and submitted in accordance with these rules and regulations. The total number of points possible for the judging of the visible physical changes is 18 points.
      The criteria for the photo judging are as follows: (18 points/90%)
      • Adipose tissue loss from the person from all regions of the body, face and extremities as perceived in the photos. (14 points)
        • Face – 2 points
        • Cheeks – 1 point
        • Neck/jowls – 1 point
      • Arms – 2 points
        • Front/Biceps area – 2 point
        • Back/Triceps area – 1 point
      • Legs – 2 points
        • Outer thigh/buttock area – 1 point
        • Front thigh/Quadriceps – 2 point
      • Midsection – 6 points
        • Chest/Torso – 2
        • Abdominal/belly – 2 points
        • Obliques/abdominal sides – 2 points
      • Balanced weight loss for both upper and lower body and left and right sides of the body (4 points)
        • Upper vs. mid-section vs. lower body balance – 3 points
        • Symmetry of right and left sides – 1 point

      The criteria for the statement judging are as follows: (2 points/10%)

      • How XSport Fitness (products, services, staff, etc.) assisted in participant achieving summer body – 1 point
      • Creativity & clarity – 1 point

Two (2) Grand prizewinners will each win $1,000.
• In the event of a first place tie after the combined physical results and typed statement results, those participants will be judged by the panel of Sponsor representatives on the before and after photos, the criterion for which judging is greatest visible generalized change, overall weight loss from, and muscle development of, the individual in the opinion of the judges based on the before and after photos.
• Each participant shall enter one, and only one, typed statement at the time of completing the 30-day challenge. The statement must not exceed 50 words. Statements must be original, not in the public domain, factually accurate, and must not infringe or violate any law or the legal or equitable right of any person or entity, nor contain material that infringes or violates any personal property rights of others or that constitutes defamation, invasion of privacy, or is otherwise unlawful. Sponsor has the right to disqualify any statement entry deemed inappropriate for publication to the general public, including family audiences of all ages, at its sole discretion. Statements will be judged on the criteria set forth above and, upon submission, become the sole property of XSport Fitness. Winners will be announced and prizes will be issued by May 31, 2019.

ADDITIONAL DETAILS ON ELIGIBILITY, TERMS AND CONDITIONS AND OTHERWISE

• Each Participant must be a gym member in good standing at an XSport Fitness facility continuously from the start of the Challenge through the dates of selection in to order participate and to be eligible to win at any level and must be at least 18 years of age before starting the Challenge.
• Participant must (i) train individually with an XSport personal trainer a minimum of 4 individual sessions during the Challenge period pursuant to an individual personal training contract executed by Participant (“personal training contract“), (ii) check in to an XSport Fitness location a minimum of 16 times and (iii) purchase and use 30-Day Challenge Supplements during the Challenge period. 30-Day Challenge Supplement sales receipts from XSport Fitness corresponding to at least a 30-day supply of two different 30-Day Challenge Supplement products, defined as supplements available for purchase at XSport Fitness, purchased by you at XSport Fitness and dated within the participant’s 30-Day Challenge period. The receipt for the purchase must be uploaded during their 30-Day Challenge period to their 30-Day Challenge Registration page.
• Upon completing the Challenge the participant must complete the digital exit form at www.XSportFitness.com/MyXSport by the final day of their challenge period including (i) uploading an after photograph that clearly shows a newspaper dated the same date as the date of exit form completion and (ii) providing the short statement (50-word max.) about how XSport helped them conquer their resolutions and as otherwise required in these Rules.
• In order to receive a prize, Participant must be a gym member in good standing of an XSport Fitness Facility at the time such prize is presented.
• No more than one XSport Spa Recovery Service membership will be awarded per successful challenge competitor. No more 2 $1,000 prizes will be issued.
• Current and former employees of any XSport Fitness entity, along with their spouses and immediate family members and their spouses, persons living in the same household (whether or not related) of any such employees, previous XSport 30-Day Challenge Grand prize recipients, and persons who have undergone weight loss surgery within the period beginning 1 year prior to registration and ending the day after challenge completion may participate but are not eligible to win and will not be counted for purposes of determining categories. The term “immediate family member” means spouses, grandparents, parents, siblings, children, and grandchildren.

MISCELLANEOUS

• All winners will be responsible for all applicable taxes; prizes are not transferable. The Sponsor may substitute prizes. The Sponsor disclaims any responsibility to notify participants of any aspect related to the conduct of the Challenge. Participants will be coming from numerous or all XSport Fitness facilities throughout the country. The likelihood of winning a prize will depend upon the number of participants and improvement of other participants (and, in case of ties, and grand prize, quality of other statement and/or transformations shown in the photos) as judged by the criteria stated above. Competition is subject to all applicable laws and regulations and is void where prohibited or restricted by law. If requested by Sponsor, within 10 days of the date specified in the notification from Sponsor, finalists must submit proof of eligibility and sign and deliver to Sponsor an affidavit of originality, eligibility and compliance with Rules and Sponsor’s release form, the failure of which will result in disqualification and the prize being awarded to an alternate. Finalists must provide a street address where Sponsor can mail the finalists an affidavit of eligibility, and if applicable, a tax form. All issues and questions concerning the constitution, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Rules, or the rights and obligations of the Participant and the Sponsor in connection with this Challenge, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of Illinois without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of the State of Illinois, or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of Illinois. All entries, submissions and registrations (including without limitation photos, and statements) upon submission become (and, in the case of photos, are) the property of the Sponsor, will not be returned and may be altered and used in any way and for any purpose by Sponsor and its affiliates in their sole discretion.

BACK TO 30-DAY CHALLENGE INFO

It’s a new month and time for a a new challenge! With the holidays straight ahead, it’s a good time to make a transition to a menu related challenge. You don’t have to be perfect and you can choose the level and how strict you’d like to be. For those of you who love the fitness challenges, worry not! We are revisiting the 30 Day Core Challenge — because it is my favorite. Both events will be on FaceBook and you can do one or both. Also to support you this holiday season — a NEW WEIGHT LOSS CHALLENGE! It starts Wednesday, October 29th and ends the week of Thanksgiving. Register now and join us for tips, tricks, treats and advice to navigate the holidays with successes this year (plus you get a chance to win some cash!) Now, let’s get on with the details of the new challenge…

The 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge!

If you’re feeling puffed up and slowed down, chances are your eating habits may need a tune up. By taking the 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge, you can clean up your diet, perk up your lifestyle, increase your energy, shed some pounds and essentially, show your inner glow.

What is Clean Eating?

At the core of clean eating is a commitment to eating food in its most natural state. If your ancestors wouldn’t recognize it as food, then it’s off the table when you’re “eating clean.” If it comes in a box, baggie or frozen, it’s probably not going to pass the “clean eating” test. The most important thing to keep in mind, is that the concept of eating clean is not a diet at all, it’s simply a way of life. When you make a decision to eliminate processed and refined products for a significant amount of time, it’s pretty hard to go back.

What can you eat on the 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge?

The best part about Clean Eating is that you can eat as much food as you want. It just has to be whole, natural, real food. This is not a calorically restricted way of eating, which keeps it simpler and truly more satisfying. This is also why eating clean can easily become a lifestyle, not just a 30 Day Challenge.

What foods or food groups must be avoided when eating clean?

Well, this is a debatable topic, some Clean Eating programs will have you eliminate a lot of food groups and have you pretty much eating lean meats and veggies. This is just about your standard Paleo Diet. And while there are most certainly advantages to the cleanest of eating, it can be a bit too restrictive for some lifestyles. So the 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge from the 30-Day Challenge Series has assigned three levels to Clean Eating and the choice is yours to make. Level one is the least restrictive by suggesting you eliminate only processed foods, refined grains, added sugar, and hydrogenated oils. Level two eliminates dairy and level three eliminates gluten, caffeine and alcohol as well.

The fine print for the 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge:

  1. You decide what level of the challenge is right for you based on your lifestyle. We all come into these challenges with different starting grounds and the only thing we have in common, is that we are all stronger and healthier when we finish!
  2. This challenge will require you to get comfortable in your kitchen, as fast food is off limits. You can still eat out, but aim for farm-to-table restaurants that use local, fresh ingredients and order according to the level of challenge you have selected.
  3. Because this is not a calorically restricted challenge, you should be able to exercise as normal. If you’ve selected level three and are eliminating all grains, your diet will naturally be lower in carbohydrates. Be sure to have starchy vegetables or fruits before your workouts so that you’ll have energy to power your exercise.
  4. At the beginning of the month you will record weight, basic measurements and energy level. At the end of the month, you will do the same thing to measure your progress.
  5. Some days will be harder than others, especially towards the beginning of the challenge. Try to push through cravings, but not hunger. When you are hungry, you should eat more “clean food.
  6. And as with any and all 30-Day Challenges, be sure to check with your doctor before you start any new diet or exercise regimen.
  7. Using your tracker, check off the days as you complete the challenge and making note of your compliance, cravings, energy and exercise. Throughout the challenge you’ll begin to see patterns as all these areas are related. As you record, consider this:
  • Compliance: How well did you follow the rules of your level of challenge? Rate this on a scale of 1-10. Consider a one being you didn’t even try and 10 means you were perfect.
  • Cravings: Make a note of what you were craving and how bad. If there were no notable cravings, note that as none.
  • Energy Levels: Rate this on a scale of 1-10. Consider one to be it was nearly impossible to get out of bed and a series of naps was required and 10 means you could hardly sit still, you’re overwhelmed with energy and enthusiasm.
  • Exercise: Make a note of your exercise for the day.

So how do you get started on the 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge?

  1. Like the Teresa Marie Wellness on FaceBook now.
  2. Find the event and click “going.” Invite your friends and check in daily to share your successes, your challenges and exchange recipe ideas.
  3. Get access to all the trackers by joining the community here. If you have already signed up, then at the end of every month, you automatically receive a newsletter with all the links to the trackers. If it’s MIA, check your spam, especially if you have Gmail.
  4. If you’d like more ideas for menu planning, check out the my RD Approved Menu Plans for Paleo, Gluten Free, Vegetarian and Holistic. Each plan has 28 days of ideas for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinners and comes with a complete shopping list and a few recipe ideas.
  5. Join the weight loss challenge that starts Wednesday, October 29th for a chance to lose 4% of your weight and win some cash this holiday season!

Workout at home, suited for anybody at any time. The 30 Day Workout Challenge, designed by a professional fitness coach, is scientifically proven to help improve fitness and health. Stick with the program, and you will see amazing results.
By fully considering workouts rules, 30 Day Workout Challenge increases exercise intensity step by step, so you can easily stick daily workouts. 30 Day Workout Challenge will greatly help you keep fitness and lose weight effectively.
Features
– Sync data to Apple Health
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Fall is the perfect time to tackle a 30 Day Workout Plan and Healthy Eating Challenge to feel great, get in shape, and boost your confidence before the holidays. This flexible exercise routine and clean eating meal plan is the ultimate fitness inspiration that you’ve been looking for. Let’s get Fit for Fall!

I don’t know about you, but I feel like the summer is such a hard time to maintain any sort of routine. While I appreciate a less demanding schedule (and no early morning rushed school drop-offs), it also feels like I’m not nearly as productive as I could be.

With my older two boys headed back in school last week, I figured it was the perfect time to share this fitness challenge that I’ve been working on for a loooooong time. It’s the perfect combination of structure and flexibility so that it will appeal to just about everyone.

I feel very strongly about supporting other women, investing in ourselves and our own wellbeing (even when we’re overwhelmed by responsibilities for others), and practicing self love. I hope that you’ll join me on this little adventure!

There are two components to this Challenge, so let’s start with a quick overview.

If you choose to join the challenge, you can jump into:

  • The 30-Day Workout Plan (below); and/or
  • The Healthy Eating Challenge (with a flexible meal plan that I will discuss below).

Okay, so first: The 30-Day Workout Plan.

I based these routines on my experience with personal trainer Mark Arrington and the collaborations that we have worked on together for this blog. In my opinion, the most important aspect of any fitness routine is finding something that YOU LOVE. If you dread doing it, it will never become a habit, right? I’m much more motivated to wake up early to exercise when I’m genuinely excited about what I’m about to do! That’s why I’ve tried to build plenty of flexibility into this program.

If you’re a fan of long walks with a friend, that counts as your cardio! If you love to zone out on the elliptical and listen to podcasts, that counts as your cardio! Do you like to strength train on the circuit machines at the gym for an hour? Awesome — there’s your strength training! If you feel like you’ve been doing these things but haven’t seen any progress or changes over a long time, then maybe try to mix it up and add some intervals or hills into your routine. Change your speed, change your walking route, or just try something new. If you’re not happy with where you are, then do something to make it better!

And if you have no idea where to start, then I have provided a variety of new and different workout options in this Workout Plan. These give you a balanced routine and they keep your mind and your muscles challenged — no boring exercises here! Plus, they fit into YOUR busy life. You don’t need a gym membership or any fancy equipment to participate in this Challenge and get healthy. Just some support, motivation, and a PLAN!

If you’re working out efficiently, you shouldn’t need to spend hours every day at the gym in order to get fit. These routines are a mix of strength and cardio to help build muscle, burn fat, and maximize your calorie burn in a short amount of time.

Please note: I am not a doctor or a fitness professional, so please check with your own personal physician before starting any exercise routine. And always, always modify the workouts to suit your level and listen to your body. These are not individualized workouts for each reader — merely my own suggestions. Most importantly, do what you enjoy, have fun, stick with it, and work hard!

TO DOWNLOAD A PRINTABLE PDF COPY OF THESE WEEKLY WORKOUT PLANS TO TRACK YOUR PROGRESS AS YOU GO, JUST CLICK HERE.

FIT FOR FALL: 30-Day Workout Plan

WEEK 1:

☐ Day 1: Time-Saving Total Body Strength Workout OR Killer Shoulders, Tri’s, Butt and Thighs Workout

☐ Day 2: 30-Minute Fat-Blasting Treadmill Walking Workout OR 30 minutes of your favorite cardio (walking, running, elliptical, swimming, biking, etc.)

☐ Day 3: Recovery Stretch, Walk, or Yoga such as this 12-Minute Yoga Workout to Calm Stress and Anxiety

☐ Day 4: 10-5-10-5 Fat-Burning At-Home Workout OR 20-Minute Bodyweight Circuit Workout

☐ Day 5: The Living Room Workout

☐ Day 6: 45-60 minutes of steady cardio (walking, running, hiking, elliptical, biking, swimming, etc.)

☐ Day 7: Recovery Stretch, Walk, or Yoga, such as this 10-Minute Evening Yoga for Beginners

WEEK 2:

☐ Day 8: Total Body Strength and Cardio Workout (for the gym) OR Total Body At-Home Strength Workout

☐ Day 9: Energizing 30-Minute Indoor Cardio Workout OR 30 minutes of your favorite cardio

☐ Day 10: Recovery Stretch, Walk, or Yoga such as this Quick Morning Yoga Routine

☐ Day 11: The Do-Anywhere 20-Minute Workout (no equipment necessary)

☐ Day 12: Intense At-Home Circuit Workout

☐ Day 13: 45-60 minutes of steady cardio (walking, running, hiking, elliptical, biking, swimming, etc.)

☐ Day 14: Recovery Stretch, Walk, or Yoga such as this Morning Yoga for Beginners

WEEK 3:

☐ Day 15: Low Impact Resistance Band Workout OR Busy Mom’s 10-Minute Total Body Workout (repeat 2 or 3 circuits for a 20- or 30-minute workout)

☐ Day 16: 20-Minute Fat-Burning Cardio Circuit Workout OR 30 minutes of your favorite cardio

☐ Day 17: Recovery Stretch, Walk, or Yoga such as this 20-Minute Home Yoga Workout for Beginners

☐ Day 18: 15-Minute Jump Rope Workout

☐ Day 19: 30-Rep Home Workout

☐ Day 20: 45-60 minutes of steady cardio (walking, running, hiking, elliptical, biking, swimming, etc.)

☐ Day 21: Recovery Stretch, Walk, or Yoga such as this Flexibility and Range of Motion Beginner Yoga Workout

WEEK 4:

☐ Day 22: Playground Workout OR Equipment-Free 30-Minute Total Body Workout

☐ Day 23: At-Home 30-Minute Cardio Workout OR 30 minutes of your favorite cardio

☐ Day 24: Recovery Stretch, Walk, or Yoga such as this Yoga for Beginners Class

☐ Day 25: 10-20-30 At-Home Workout

☐ Day 26: 30-Minute Total Body Workout Plan (for the gym) OR 20-Minute Living Room Workout

☐ Day 27: 45-60 minutes of steady cardio (walking, running, hiking, elliptical, biking, swimming, etc.)

☐ Day 28: Recovery Stretch, Walk, or Yoga such as this Gentle Yoga Flow

WEEK 5:

☐ Day 29: At-Home Bodyweight Workout or 30-Minute Cardio Sculpt Workout Video

☐ Day 30: At-Home Intense Cardio Workout OR 30 minutes of your favorite cardio

☐ Day 31: CELEBRATE!!! CONGRATS!!! Now treat yourself to a special reward…and then get right back at it for another month!

**Remember, you can print a copy of these workouts to track your progress as you go by clicking HERE.

And now, the Second Part of this Challenge: The Healthy Eating Plan.

You can do a zillion sit-ups or run ten marathons, but you will never reach your true potential or feel your best if you don’t fuel your body properly. That means eating wholesome, real food as much as possible in the right portions. I know…easier said than done, right?!

But listen up: a Healthy Eating Plan does NOT mean depriving yourself of everything that you love. I won’t tell you to give up chocolate, wine, or chips and salsa for 30 days. Why? Because if you’re going to make healthy eating a sustainable lifestyle, then it needs to be realistic. And who wants to give up all of the good stuff? Definitely not me.

BUT, I will suggest that you pick your favorite treats and figure out how to work them into your healthy diet in moderate amounts. Whether it’s a glass of wine a couple of times per week, a little bit of dark chocolate after dinner each night, or a weekly ice cream date with your kids, the key is prioritizing and deciding what’s important to YOU. Don’t give up everything that brings you pleasure in life (NO WAY!!!), just feed your body nutritious meals and snacks most of the time and enjoy your indulgences as well. Think about the treats and decide whether or not they’re “worth it.”

So what does that look like in practice? Lucky for you, I have spent months putting together a comprehensive cookbook full of the nutritious and DELICIOUS recipes that my family and I love. These are the meals that we make regularly for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They’re quick and easy, they’re kid-friendly, and they’re made with ingredients that you can easily find at any grocery store. They’re all in Fast, Fit and Fresh: Healthy & Family-Friendly Recipes for Busy Lives.

I planned the release of my first eCookbook to coincide with this program for a very important reason — I am incredibly proud of the recipes in this book and I think that it’s the perfect resource for someone who is looking for a simplified approach to incorporating more whole foods in her diet without sacrificing taste!

This guide includes:

  • Recipes for 10 new breakfasts, 10 new lunches, and 10 new dinners that are some of our family’s go-to quick-prep meals for a healthy lifestyle (including vegetarian options, seafood options, and slow cooker meals);
  • Nutritional information for each recipe;
  • Instructions on how to prep ahead and freeze many of the recipes to make busy mornings and weeknights easier;

  • Serving suggestions with appropriate pairings for each dish;
  • Recipes that only use pantry staples and easy-to-find ingredients;
  • Healthy no-prep snack suggestions (because who has time to whip up a batch of homemade bars when you’re making carpool runs?!);
  • My Weekly Meal Plan template and my Grocery List template, along with tips to make shopping for your food quicker, easier, and cheaper!

Some examples of the recipes that you will find in this book include:

Almond Joy Overnight Oats

Baked Blueberry Pancakes (the easiest way to serve pancakes to a crowd…or to enjoy them all week long!)

Easy French Dip Sandwiches

Oven-Roasted Barbecue Shrimp

Sticky Peanut Skillet Chicken

GET INSTANT ACCESS TO ALL THESE RECIPES AND MANY, MANY MORE NOW!

I’m so excited that you can purchase your copy of the Fast, Fresh & Fit! eCookbook today! It truly is the ULTIMATE guide for healthy eating and the perfect companion for the workouts in this Challenge!

Please let me know if you decide to join this challenge! I’d love to offer support, feedback, or accountability if you’re interested!

30-Day Real Food & Fitness Challenge

My sister recently approached me wanting help getting back in shape after having a baby. As I was planning her nutrition and exercise plan, I thought–why don’t I do it too? Seeing as how we are both super competitive, I felt being an accountability partner to her would keep us both on track with our daily food and exercise. This dietitian isn’t immune to certain high sugar and high fat foods like delicious chocolate chip homemade cookies (okay, I made them, and I ate the uncooked dough), or skipping a workout here and there. The point is, we all can improve our diet and get in more physical activity for our health; we might even learn something new about our bodies in the process (no I won’t show you a video like in junior high).

A real food and fitness 30-day challenge may be the best thing you have done for your health in a long time. There are lots of great whole food challenges out there, but I wanted one specific to my personal food issues and the struggles I commonly see with my clients. So, if you have you been looking for a way to take control of your diet and get in a fitness routine, you should take the challenge. Commit to 30 day’s of change–no cheating–and see how different you can feel in one month, because you will feel different. For extra support and accountability, find a friend or spouse and commit together; I promise you can be successful.

My 30-Day Real Food and Fitness Challenge:

Part 1: Food

Don’t eat: processed food. To simplify, a processed food is any food that’s no longer in it’s natural state–think boxed cake mixes, frozen meals, boxed meals, fast food, lunch meat, granola bars, most condiments, cereal, white rice, white flour, refined sugar, juice, tortillas, chips, crackers, etc.

Do eat: fresh vegetables and fruits. There are no good or bad fruits or vegetables in this challenge; if you like to eat it, and if it grew from the ground–go for it. Canned vegetables, canned fruits (in own juice), plain tomato sauce, beans, tuna, and other whole canned foods are all okay. Use your common sense–if you think a food could be an overly processed food, then it probably is. Don’t be afraid to branch out and try new foods this month!

Don’t eat: processed meat. Lunch meat, bacon, sausage, and hot dogs are all filled with unhealthy preservatives like nitrates and refined salt, even if they say “all natural” they still probably have a concentrated/processed celery juice as a “natural” preservative, which is also high in nitrites and nitrates.

Do eat: fresh meat and plant-based proteins. Go fresh and eat lean turkey, chicken, beef, eggs, salmon, tuna, tilapia, and shrimp for your protein. Eat more vegetarian protein sources like lentils, beans, or quinoa.

  • Roast your own turkey or chicken for your lunch instead of lunch meat–cheaper and healthier.
  • Hard-boil 1/2 dozen eggs for an easy breakfast protein, or pair one egg with a piece of fruit for an afternoon or post-workout snack.
  • Cook 2-3 lbs of chicken at once in the crockpot, and then portion the chicken into 3-4 oz servings for you lunch, or quick protein for dinner. Nobody wants to clean raw meat off a cutting board every night.
  • Not a huge fan of fish? Try a mild fish like tilapia, or grill fresh salmon, which is significantly less fishy tasting than the canned version.
  • Skip the meat all together for a few meals a week and use a vegetarian protein option like lentils, beans, or brown rice in a stir-fry with lots of veggies.

Don’t eat: added sugar–real or fake. If what you’re eating doesn’t look like a piece of fresh or dried fruit yet still tastes sweet, then you’re probably eating added sugar. For this challenge all added sugar is out. I normally use small amounts of raw honey, maple syrup, or blackstrap molasses to sweeten some recipes, but not for this challenge. No coconut sugar, brown rice syrup, agave, evaporated cane juice, Sugar in the Raw, stevia, Splenda, or other artificial sweetneers–you can do it. Wondering about your morning coffee? Trust me, if you need that morning coffee, you’ll drink it without sugar. If you’re looking for an alternative sugar source for your long runs, then dried fruit is a great real food alternative to energy gels and chews.

Do eat: fruit. The point of forgoing added sugars is to readjust your taste buds to what sweet really is–fruit. Fruit is sweet, and cookies are incredibly sweet; you’ll have a new appreciation for what sweet really is at the end of the 30 days.

  • Blend fruit in a smoothie with almond milk for breakfast.
  • Pick your favorite fruit to eat as your after dinner “dessert.”
  • Have a small piece of fruit, like a plum or a few strawberries with some nuts for a snack.
  • Freeze peeled bananas, then blend with 1 tablespoon no sugar added peanut butter or almond butter for a healthy dairy-free banana ice cream.

Don’t eat: dairy. I know I’m not lactose intolerant, and every day I typically use Greek yogurt and skim milk in my smoothie, half & half in my coffee, and string cheese as a snack. I do have a lot of clients who are lactose intolerant though, and even if you don’t think you are, you could still be slightly sensitive to dairy. So no dairy for this challenge: milk, half & half, ice cream, butter, yogurt, cheese, and kefir. If you are unsure if a food has dairy in it, it probably means it’s a processed food anyway–problem solved.

Do eat: unsweetened alternatives. I’m making an exception for unsweetened non-dairy milk alternatives like soy, almond, flax, oat, or coconut milk. They do have more than 1-2 ingredients because of the added vitamins and some have thickeners, but there needs to be a healthy dairy alternative for my morning smoothies and coffee (my challenge, my rules)!

  • I am including single ingredient vegan protein powders like hemp, pea, or brown rice with no added flavors or sweeteners in the “to be included” list. However, whey protein is a dairy food, and the whey concentrate does contain small amounts of lactose and should be avoided. Whey protein isolate is virtually lactose free, so would technically fit the bill, but I’d personally still avoid all whey protein for this challenge. I like a scoop of hemp protein in my morning smoothie!
  • Use canned organic coconut milk or almond milk in your morning coffee. If you’re like me and enjoy the thickness of half & half, coconut milk is naturally thick and creamy.
  • Almond milk + protein, soy milk, and oat milk are the few non-dairy milks that contain any substantial protein content, which will keep you full longer and help decrease any blood sugar spike in a meal like a fruit smoothie.

Don’t eat: gluten-containing foods. Most people do not have celiac disease or a non-celiac gluten sensitivity and therefore don’t need to purposefully avoid gluten-containing products: wheat, barley, and rye. If you find yourself constantly tired, have headaches, or just feel foggy all the time, then you may be one of those people sensitive to gluten and not realize it. Even if you aren’t sensitive to gluten, people in general eat way too many wheat-based grains: breads, tortillas, pizza, muffins, cookies, and giant bowls of pasta. Everyone could benefit from putting down the bagels and muffins for a month–so we all are for the challenge. If you are dealing with intestinal issues it could be a good idea to get certified gluten free oats too, as oats are commonly processed with wheat products. Avoiding gluten also doesn’t mean you get to go buy gluten-free crackers and pretzels, because those are processed foods. Here’s an extensive list of gluten-containing foods to help you familiarize yourself with foods that may contain wheat, barley, or rye derivatives. Packaged foods are required to have wheat listed on the label, but it can’t hurt to double check the ingredients list.

Do eat: other grains & legumes.

  • All fresh fruit, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, meat (not breaded), and eggs are naturally gluten free. So avoiding gluten isn’t a giant leap if you are eating lots of real food like the challenge states.
  • There are so many great wheat alternative grain options out there: quinoa, brown rice, amaranth, or millet, just to name a few. Even with gluten-free grains you should watch your portions. Stick to 1/2-1 cup cooked brown rice or other grains for most meals (I stick to 1/2 cup per meal). You don’t want to fill up on grains–focus more on vegetables.
  • Ditch the bread at lunch and branch out with a fun salad, or have chicken or tuna salad in 1/2 a pepper or on cucumber or zucchini slices.
  • Make a large batch of brown rice or quinoa and take 1/2 cup of the cooked grain with a lean protein and veggies for lunch.
  • Use spaghetti squash instead of traditional whole wheat pasta. Spaghetti squash naturally shreds into a convenient noodle shape.
  • Eat a small handful of nuts instead of chips with your lunch. Yes, nuts are higher in calories, but you’ll eat less later in the day, because healthy fats keep you full longer than carb-filled chips or crackers.

Don’t drink: alcohol. Wine and beer do have health benefits in the appropriate portions, but they also are easy to overdo and can affect your sleep and sports performance when overdone. So for 30 days, we will be putting the wine glasses and beer mugs down.

Do drink: water. And lots of it.

  • Add slices of orange, lemon, lime, strawberries, or cucumber to flavor your water naturally.

Part 2: Exercise

Your health is more than just the food you eat. Getting in a good sweat session is what tones your body and builds endurance. Have you been slacking with exercise? Whatever your reason for not getting in at least 30 minutes a day 5-6 days a week of some activity, change it this month. My personal goal is to lift weights three days a week for 45 minutes, and run 4 days a week for a total of 20 miles; it’s specific and not beyond my reach. Give yourself a fitness challenge. It should be something doable, yet empowering. I guarantee you can do anything if you make the time for it.

Part 3: Weight

Don’t weigh yourself for one month–seriously. This is a health challenge, not a weight loss challenge. Pay attention to your energy level, and how your clothes fit. You may be surprised at the changes that occur when you aren’t over-analyzing an arbitrary number.

Will it be hard to eat right and exercise for 30 days? Most definitely. Can you do it? Without a doubt. Challenge accepted!

Clean eating 30 days

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