Shred10 Day #4 – I’ve Made It This Far

I’ve made it to Day #4. By Thursday I am usually running out of healthy snacks and feeling deprived by the afternoon, but I’ve been full and satisfied this week. I switched up when I drink my shakes for this round of the Shred10 and I think that’s made a ton of difference in keeping me full in the afternoon. I usually drink both shakes in the morning or have 1 in the morning and 1 in the afternoon, but this week I haven’t started my shakes until the afternoon. This does usually leave me finishing up after 6pm, but I’d prefer missing that guideline than eating something unhealthy because I’m starving.

Breakfast

I enjoyed 2 scrambled eggs with a slice of bacon from the office cafeteria this morning for breakfast. Quick and easy protein!

Lunch

As you know from Day #2, I have a real weakness for Chinese food. The special in the cafeteria was sweet n sour chicken with rice and a bottle of water.

Snack

I had prepped my 2 shakes again at home before leaving for work. Craving some chocolate mid-afternoon, the Chocolate Complete shake just hit the spot. Unsweetened almond milk, chia seeds, and Chocolate Complete, shaken until smooth. Perfect treat!

Chocolate Complete with chia seeds and unsweetened almond milk

Dinner

I made a simple dinner of salmon and arborio rice. Looks pretty plain, but pretty tasty. After dinner, I finished my shake that I hadn’t finished in the afternoon.

Sleep / Movement

Blogging has been keeping me up late at night, so I missed my sleep goal today, but I’m working on the blog earlier today, so hopefully I can catch up tomorrow. I also met my step goal! I use my Garmin’s autoadjusting goal, so when I meet my goal, my step goal for the next day goes up, and when I miss the goal, it goes down.

Water

I did a little better with my water today, but still short of my goal. 

Conclusion

I definitely attribute my blog to helping me be more accountable during this Shred10. I’m not perfect, but I feel the shred is a great tool to make you more aware of your food choices. There is always room for improvement, but without tracking my choices, I know that I wouldn’t be doing as well as I am.

Shred10 Tracker - Day #4

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Shred10 Day #3 – Recap

It’s Day #3 of Shred10. This is usually the day when most people start feeling the detox and may actually feel a little sick. I’ve felt pretty good so far, and have actually been feel full on less food than usual. Here’s the recap of the Shred10 guidelines I am following.Shred10 guidelines

 Breakfast

This morning, I blended together unsweetened almond milk, strawberries, blackberries, and chia seeds with some ice for a refreshing smoothie.

Lunch

I had to take my son to the dentist this morning, so we stopped at Qdoba on the way home. I ordered the burrito bowl with brown rice, black beans, adobo chicken, salsa verde, and lettuce. It had been a long time since I was last at Qdoba, and they’ve added quite a few options to their menu. Many of which are quite healthy.

Snack/Dinner

Working from home today, my son wanted to make a smoothie with all the fruit we had on hand. So we blended unsweetened almond milk with Dutch Chocolate Juice Plus+ Complete, strawberries, chia seeds, blackberries, blueberries, and a whole banana.

My son didn’t drink much of his smoothie, so I saved his for later and drank it after our Family Fitness Night.

Family Fitness Night

I’m president of my church’s Ladies Club and we hosted a Family Fitness Night tonight at a local park. I led the kids in a warm up, helped demonstrate the obstacle course, and ran a game of nutrition red light green light. Instead of yelling red light or green light, I would shout out a healthy green light food or an unhealthy red light food. The kids had a fun time learning about new vegetables.

We also led the kids through a yoga story through the jungle and handed out jump ropes, bananas and apples.

 Water

Even less water today. Something I need to focus on for sure.

Water tracker - Day #3

Sleep/Movement

I met the 7 hour sleep goal again, but fell way short of my step goal. Working from home really takes me off my feet as I work at a large campus that requires a bit of walking to get to/from parking and around for meetings.

Conclusion

Nutritionally, I did pretty good today. Ate healthy meals, with lots of fruit. It’s tough to finish all meals before 6pm with a busy family and working full-time, but the key is to try and eat early enough that your body has time to start digestion. My focus tomorrow is WATER!

Day #3 Ttracker

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Shred10 Day #2

Thanks for following along with me to Day #2 of the 10 day Shred10. Let’s review the guidelines I’m following.

Shred10 guidelines

Breakfast

I finished off the Mango-chia overnight oatmeal that I had started on Day #1. Still delicious on Day #2. I’ll be trying out different variations of this recipe including strawberries and whatever fruit I can find fresh.

I also took my Juice Plus+ trio capsules, Juice Plus+ omega, and Doterra probiotic and TriEase.

Exercise

I made it to the gym today! My first time in weeks. I attended a 30 minute Strength class at my office gym. It included 3 groups of 4 exercises that we completed twice for 45 seconds per exercise. Having not been to class in awhile, I chose a lighter weight (8 pounds). The exercises ranged from bicep curls with an overhead press and tricep dip to various ab work like planks. Definitely a great work out!

Lunch

My weakness at work is when the Lulu Dim Sum truck comes to campus. I love their General Tso Chicken! I splurged, after just working out, and ordered the General Tso, but with green beans instead of rice. Even though I’m not perfect with the Shred10, I love how it makes me aware of my food choices. I chose a vegetable instead of a starch. I then spent my lunch hour googling the ingredients in General Tso, what is gluten free, and what is considered processed food.  The traditional General Tso sauce recipe includes sugar and soy sauce (which may or may not be gluten free). But I did learn that the chicken is battered in cornstarch, which is gluten free.

Snack/Dinner

I had several meetings this afternoon, leaving me to start my double shake at 4pm. I took a break when I got home from work and didn’t finish it off until 9pm. So, I missed that 6pm cutoff, but just didn’t feel hungry. Again, I had made my shake in the morning with just Dutch Chocolate Juice Plus+ Complete, unsweetened almond milk, and chia seeds. I throw everything in my shaker bottle, shake, and refrigerate until I’m ready to drink.

Sleep/Movement

I met the 7 hours of sleep goal, and fell a little short of my step goal, but I did get in that exercise as mentioned earlier.

Water

Fell much shorter on my water goal today. I do pretty well at work, but seem to stop drinking water when I get home. I have the same water bottle at work and home, so need to work on keeping it within arms reach, especially as I’m sitting at the computer working on my blog and social media posts.

Conclusion

Today was much tougher than Day #1. Having the accountability of this blog did make me choose a healthier option at lunch than I would have otherwise, but nearly every aspect will use some special attention tomorrow, especially as I am working from home and won’t get the movement around the office.

Shred10 Day #2 Tracker

Missed Day #1? Catch it here.

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Shred10 Day #1 – How Did I Do?

Guidelines

Over the next 10 days, I’ll be following the guidelines of the Shred10 program and sharing my journey here. What aspect of the program would be most difficult for you? For me, exercise will be a challenge since my husband is out of town and I have 2 small children. I also struggle to drink enough water, so I’ll be focusing on that aspect as well.

Shred10 guidelines

Breakfast

I prepared the Mango-chia overnight oatmeal from Sun Basket Sunday evening in preparation for Shred10 starting on Monday. The recipe used almond milk and gluten free oats, making it fit the Shred10 guidelines, and honey is any acceptable sweetener too. The recipe made 2 servings (picture shown is 2 servings – filling 1 pint sized mason jar).

 

I also started my day with the Juice Plus+ trio and Omega blend. I love how easy it is to get 30 fruits and vegetables, and start my day off nutritionally sound.

I also take the Doterra probiotic and TriEase, as seasonal allergens are on high right now in St Louis.

Lunch

I’m lucky to have access to an amazing cafeteria at work, with lots of healthy options. Today, I went with the salad bar and choose mixed greens with mushrooms, egg, broccoli, grilled chicken, and sunflower seeds.

It was hard for me to stay away from the cheese and roll, but I did it!

 Cafeteria salad

Snack/Dinner

I started drinking my 2 shakes around 3pm and continued working on them until the 6pm cutoff, counting as a snack and my dinner. I made my shakes at home before work and left in the fridge during the day. My favorite preparation is to shake the Juice Plus+ Complete powder with unsweetened almond milk and chia seeds. The chia seeds take on some of the milk and make the shake more like a milk shake. Delicious!

Water

I drank 60 oz, just short of my 70 oz goal. I like the Hydra Coach app to track my water. It breaks down your goal during the day, so you can see if you’re on track and will give you notifications if you’re falling behind.

Sleep / Movement

I use my Garmin Vivoactive to track my sleep and steps. I did very good on sleep, going to bed early Sunday night. But fell short of my step goal and didn’t do any organized fitness activity.

Conclusion

Day #1 went pretty well, just need to find a way to add more movement during the day.

Shred10 Tracker - Day 1

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Taste of the Shred – A Shred10 Potluck

Thursday evening, my friend Sherry hosted a Taste of the Shred event, to highlight food that is approved during Shred10 (see my post here for more information on the Shred10 program). She asked each guest to bring a dish that fulfilled the Shred10 guidelines of no dairy, no gluten, no added sugars, no caffeine, no processed foods, and no alcohol. We had a large spread of fresh fruits, vegetables, and prepared dishes.

As people gathered, we snacked on hummus with gluten-free crackers and asparagus, and grapes. Sherry had prepared a beautiful lemon-lime infused water, along with a decaf peppermint tea.lemon-lime infused water

Many children were in attendance as well, and they enjoyed snacking on the Juice Plus+ gummy chewables.Juice Plus+ gummies

One of my favorite dishes was a mixed greens salad with a variety of toppings to choose from, including peas, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, white beans, tomatoes, walnuts and radishes. Sherry also made a home made dressing of vinegar, olive oil and honey. Most store bought dressings have added sugars, which we are avoiding during the Shred10. If you haven’t tried making your own dressing yet, it’s very easy. Sherry learned her recipe directly from the White House chef and it is delicious.

Other popular dishes were a butternut squash dish baked with onions and tomatoes, a Mexican fruit salad (recipe here) and Chocolate Complete Energy Balls.

Chocolate Complete Energy Balls
Juice Plus+ Chocolate Complete can be purchased here.

After enjoying dinner, we all went around the table introducing ourselves and sharing our health goals. Many people were looking for improved health and more energy. It was a great variety of guests and an event that we plan to host monthly during the week prior to each new Shred10.

Stay tuned for my posts sharing my journey on this month’s shred.

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Healthy Living Revolution & Shred10

Healthy Living Revolution

Is your health exactly where you want it to be? What if you could learn about tools to take your health back? That’s why I’m so excited to have found the Healthy Living Revolution and the tools it provides for 10 day jumpstarts and overall nutrition guidance.

Healthy used to be SIMPLE! It wasn’t the latest superfood or the new diet craze.

Healthy was fresh vegetables from grandma’s garden.  Kids played outside until it was dark. You drank water straight from a hose. We had energy all day long and 70% of us weren’t on medications.  Healthy was a lifestyle that we lived and we can again.

This Healthy Living Revolution is about taking our health back, our families’ health back, our schools health back, our country’s health back.

Toxic Chemicals

Part of the reason we need to #takehealthyback isn’t something that we can easily control.  In our world today we are exposed to toxic chemicals that are putting our health at risk.  Many of the health challenges and diseases that we are facing can be linked to these toxins.

Toxic chemicals putting your health at risk

Silent Spring researchers found that BPA and other toxins could be reduced significantly after just 3 days by eating whole foods!   Fruits and vegetables are powerful not just because they detox us but because they contain ANTIOXIDANTS.  Antioxidants reduce oxidative stress which causes aging and disease.  They also contain thousands of phytonutrients – plant nutrients!  These phytonutrients prevent cancer and other diseases.  The second image shows a list of 400 ingredients in an apple but scientists believe there are probably 10,000 or more ingredients yet to be discovered. All of these ingredients create synergy which means they work together to prevent disease.  An isolated supplement or multivitamin has maybe 20 ingredients.  We need ALL of those thousands of ingredients in fruits and vegetables every day.  WE DON’T HAVE A VITAMIN DEFICIENCY WE HAVE A FRUIT AND VEGETABLE DEFICIENCY.  I loved learning this!!!!

And not only are we eating fewer fruits and vegetables, but the mass produced produce that many of us find in the grocery store is packing less nutritional punch than just 2 generations ago. According to Tim Lang, a professor at the Centre for Food Policy in London, you would have to eat 8 oranges to get the same amount of vitamin A your grandparents got from a single orange. And you would need to EAT FIVE to get the same level of iron.

Today's produce produces less nutritional punch

The Answer!

Can you imagine FLOODING YOUR BODY with 45 whole foods daily?  We found a way to do this. It’s called Juice Plus+!  Juice Plus+ is 30 raw, vine-ripened fruits, veggies and berries in capsules or chewables.  It’s juicing made easy! The Juice Plus+ Complete is a powdered shake mix that can be blended with plant milk or even water.  It’s  low fat, low sugar, low glycemic, gluten free, vegan and 100% NON-GMO plants.  It has 13 grams of Protein, 8 grams of fiber and wonderful ingredients.  And the JP Complete is delicious!

45 Super Foods Plant Power

Cleansing

This image shows us why counting calories and even exercising without proper nutrition can do more harm than good. Look at the top portion. When you diet and exercise without proper nutrition, it causes stress to your body. You burn fat but toxins are exposed that have no way to get out of your system because there is lack of good nutrition to help cleanse the toxins while losing that fat. This will make you feel worse because it creates a rebound effect. In an effort to self-protect, your body will increase fat production to protect your vital organs. You can see why dieting is a vicious cycle! Now look at the bottom portion. FLOODING YOUR BODY with fruits and veggies every day will help your liver convert these toxins into something that can be carried out of the body.

detox

Blood Sugar

Did you know that willpower is a function of blood sugar?  Think about a time when you skipped a meal or you were too busy that you just forgot to eat.  We all have those days, right?  And then you want to eat anything in site 🙂  Here is why.

Will power is a function of blood sugar. Normally our blood sugar will fluctuate after every meal when we eat one without crunchy raw veggies which is represented by the light blue graph below. Crackers, bread, soda, box cereals, soup, baked goods, alcohol, dessert and candy; all these will suddenly raise our blood sugar and then there is a drastic dip that follows. Or we may skip a meal and our blood sugar drops and we then have no self-control. This also happens first thing in the morning when we wake up on an empty stomach and even though we might not feel hungry our blood sugar is very low and we are convinced we need caffeine to wake up.

JP+ Complete Shakes are an awesome solution to this problem!  The fiber content creates a low glycemic load, which means sugar enters the blood slowly… like what happens when you munch on fiber rich broccoli.  It stabilizes the blood sugar and makes it easier to avoid bad habits and food addictions that we reach for when our blood sugar drops.  Many people who start on the JP complete also notice they are craving more good food and less junk.  It’s literally liquid WILLPOWER 🙂

How often do you normally eat?

Shred10

A great way to jumpstart your health and implement the concepts we’ve just covered is the Shred10 program!

We have a free Shred10 Guidebook available that includes Q&A from experts, Recipes, Shred friendly options for meal planning, nutrition shake recipes and more! We also have a Facebook group that includes a dedicated group of individuals all doing the Shred together at the same time to help keep each other accountable and committed. The next Shred is starting Monday, June 5 with new Shred groups forming the first Monday of every month.

The Shred10 is not a fad diet, it is a jumpstart into lifelong health.

Shred10 guidelines

Shred10 Results

Healthy Living Community

The final way to be part of the Healthy Living Revolution is to be part of our Healthy Living Community.   Our hope is that your experience in our community is filled with positive engagement, encouragement and on-going education.

Our Healthy Living Community Offers:

  1. Private Facebook Group with Monthly Inspirations to keep your healthy lifestyle fresh, fun and inspiring. Join here today – One Simple Change
  2. A free cookbook that you can download!
  3. Children’s program
  4. LIVE Events, which will be in person and online to reach everyone, no matter where they are.
  5. Continuing education from a variety of healthcare and fitness professionals.

Healthy Living Community

If I gave you $2.38 to buy produce at the grocery store how much do you think you could buy?  Maybe one organic orange and one apple?

That’s what I love about JP+!  I know some of you would like to get started so here is the pricing!  And one great thing I haven’t mentioned yet, children are FREE! Ask me for more information.
Shred10 options

Next Steps

  1. Watch the Shred10 Introduction video
    • This video briefly explains what Shred10 is (<3 minutes)
  2. Order your Juice Plus+ products
  3. Watch the Shred10 Informational video
    • 23 minute video that explains in depth what will occur during the Shred
  4. Request to be added to the Facebook event
No additional cost for the Shred10 program!
P.S. Make sure to subscribe to my blog to follow along as I document my June Shred10 experience. Email sign-up is in the right side bar or follow me on Facebook.

 

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May – What’s In Season?

Whether shopping at the grocery store or farmer’s market, it pays to shop what’s in season. You’ll get the most bang for your buck and nutritional value when the produce you seek was just harvested out of the field.

Here’s what’s in season during May in the United States.

Plus,

Arugula
Brussel sprouts
Lettuce
Peaches
Spinach

What is your favorite dish to make with what’s in season this month?

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20 Tips for Choosing Healthy Fats in Your Diet

Avocado

For the past few decades, we’ve heard all about the virtues of a low-fat diet and the dangers of dietary fat and cholesterol. But with the number of overweight and obese people climbing every day and statin drugs for lowering cholesterol the most commonly prescribed medications in the world, researchers have recently reviewed the low fat trend. Emerging research has shown that there is such a thing as healthy fats which can increase your good cholesterol (HDL cholesterol-think H for healthy) and decrease your bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol-think L for lousy).

But with so many so-called healthy oils and butter substitutes on the market, how do decide what’s best to buy? Here are 20 tips for choosing healthy fats in your diet:

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Meal Delivery Services – Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, Sun Basket

Meal delivery services have become popular for combining convenience with fresh food. Our family has used 3 different meal delivery services and have enjoyed trying new foods and eating a variety of cuisines.  The meals come in various stages of preparedness, usually just requiring some dicing and then cooking.  The average estimated time to prepare is 25-35 minutes. This post will outline our experience with each company.  For each company, we enrolled in 3 meals a week for 2 individuals.

Hello Fresh

Hello Fresh allows you to sign up for 3, 4, or 5 recipes for two people each week, or 3 recipes for four people. If purchasing less than 5 recipes per week, you choose your meals from the 5 total for the week. There is also a Veggie Plan with 3 vegetarian meals per week. Hello Fresh shipped their meals with all ingredients for 1 meal boxed together. This made it very easy to pull those ingredients when ready to prep the meal. The meal selection was good, but we no longer use Hello Fresh as the quality of their ingredients became worse and worse. We would receive rotten vegetables and meat that was brown. When contacting customer service, they would always place a credit on our account for a portion of the meal cost to replace the bad ingredient.

Save $40 off your first box – www.hellofresh.com/?c=LVVQLV. Pricing starts at $8.74 a meal.

Blue Apron

Blue Apron was the second company that we tried and one that we still use regularly. They provide a selection of 6 meals to choose from each week, but the selection of certain meals will eliminate other options. The meals are very easy to prepare with only some minimal prep, such as dicing potatoes, grating cheese, removing stems from kale, or pressing garlic.  The ingredients for all three meals are lumped together in the delivery box, not separated by meal. Although, the ingredients are individually wrapped and labeled with the exception of garlic, lemons and limes. Pricing starts at $8.74 a meal.

Comment with your email for a chance to win a free delivery.

Blue Apron also provides how-to videos on their site, plus options to order corresponding wines and cooking tools.

Sun Basket

We have only been using Sun Basket for a short time, but they are a great new entrant to the field. Each week you get to choose from 11 different recipes, with no restrictions. You can even select to receive multiple of the same recipe. This would be a great option for a dinner party or when having company. When selecting your meals, each recipe indicates if it is paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, or vegan. There is even a breakfast option. Like Hello Fresh, the ingredients for each recipe are packaged together in paper bags. Pricing starts at $9.99 a meal. Receive 3 free meals – https://sunbasket.com/3free/Rachel379552.

Inside view of new delivery
Sun Basket – Shipments are insulated to keep the ingredients fresh. The 3 meals are individually packaged, with the exception of large ingredients. Meat is packed separately below a cardboard divider.
Individual recipe
Sun Basket – The ingredients for each recipe are individually packaged.
Recipe Card
Sun Basket – Each recipe comes on its own recipe card, with full instructions.
Ingredients
Sun Basket – All ingredients are individually packed, labeled and ready to go.
Finished Product
Sun Basket – The finished product

Disclaimer: I was not paid to review any of these companies nor did I receive free product, but these are all referral links which will credit me if you choose to sign up. 

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Salad in a Jar – Learn to Make Your Own

Salad in a Jar

One of my favorite ways of building community and supporting a culture of healthy eating is to host Salad in a Jar parties. On a monthly basis, I invite families to my home, ask them each to bring a salad topping to share, and we prep up to a week’s worth of salad. I provide kale (straight from my Tower Garden), spinach, and mixed greens. It’s always fun to see what people will bring to share, everything from carrots, beans (black, garbanzo), onion, and peppers to chicken and various cheeses and seeds. It’s typically the ladies prepping salads in the dining room, with the men and kids playing outside, but the kids love to pick out ingredients for their own salads too! When they get to prep it, they are much more likely to eat it.

Salad in a Jar Prep

Prepping a Salad in a Jar

Jar Size – I prefer using pint size mason jars. You can stuff a lot of ingredients and greens in a pint size jar, but the downside is that you must empty into a bowl to eat. Quart size jars are good if you are prepping a salad for your entire family or want to shake it up and eat it straight out of the jar.

  1. Dressing – You can always add dressing when serving, but sometimes it is convenient to have it all in one. So dressing is the first ingredient in your jar. It takes just a thin layer to cover your entire salad.
  2. Wet Ingredients – These are ingredients that are already wet and can withstand soaking in dressing until served. Examples: Tomato
  3. Hearty Moisture-Resistant Veggies – The next layer should be hearty veggies that create a thick layer between your wet ingredients and greens. You want to keep your greens as dry as possible until you are ready to serve. Examples: Carrot, Onion, Zucchini
  4. Soft Veggies Examples: Avocado, Bell Pepper, Corn
  5. Protein Examples: Chicken, Egg, Tuna, Beans, Salami
  6. Greens – This is the main event. I recommend leaving half of your jar empty to fill with greens and you can really stuff them in. Examples: Spinach, Romaine, Kale, Mixed Greens
  7. Cheese, Nuts, Grains – Just like your greens, you want to keep your cheeses, nuts and grains dry until serving. Examples: Walnuts, Quinoa, Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Almonds

Of course, every layer is optional and you can mix and match as much as you want.  If the greens stay dry, the salads will keep for up to a week.

Salad in a Jar ExamplesSalad in a Jar Examples

What are your favorite salad ingredients?

 

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