The 40 Day Challenge Begins Tomorrow… Keeping it REAL

If you missed my last post you should read it first for a little background information. (Fed up? Do It Anyway!)

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Well, are you ready? Today I’d like to offer a few tips and a little support to those of you who humble me by following this blog. It’s inspiring and I thank you.  As each one of us is unique and lives in a variety of circumstances, the plan you choose must be your own. What works best for me may not be what’s best for you. What is important is being realistic about your health and wellness goals and creating a plan you can stick to.

MEALS: Eat more of the good stuff, less of the bad, and get moving!

1. Whatever plan you choose, know it well

Past experience has taught me that anytime I implement change in my life, reading, preparing and planning for it ahead of time has gone a long way to building success.

2. Meal plan as much as possible

Make a grocery list. I intend to start on September 3rd and that means the pantry and fridge will be well stocked and ready. I shop for produce on a regular basis, every 2-3 days, so I build that into the plan. Deciding on main meals and snacks, making a grocery list and grocery shopping prior to my start date is a step in the right direction.

3. Prep as much as you can ahead of time

Doing whatever you have to, to prep your food ahead of time saves time and sets you up for success at the get go. For example, I cut up cucumbers, celery and carrots and store them in water in the fridge for easy snacking. You can use the vegetable water afterward in a vast number of ways as well. I also like to cook a week’s worth of oatmeal as I have it every morning. I add cinnamon and ground flax seed after it’s cooked then store it in the fridge. Each morning I don’t even have to think about it. I just microwave a portion for about a minute, top it off with berries or unsweetened applesauce, almond milk or yogurt and I’m good to go.

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4. Be aware of portion size

Portion control is also important but I find having a big breakfast is what works best for me. My bowl of oatmeal is about the size of my hand cupped along with the equivalent of about 3 egg whites in a ramekin microwaved one minute. That’s a 2 minute breakfast that keeps my metabolism running all day, making my snacks and lunch smaller, lighter and leaner. (I buy egg whites in the carton). I also use smaller dinner plates for main meals.

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EXERCISE: Do It Anyway!

My WEEK ONE morning exercise routines:

Power Walk: 5-6K (Tues. Thurs. Sat. Sun) 50-60 minutes

Weight training: 5lb weights, 9 routines, 8-10 reps each, one set each (Wed, Fri) 20 minutes (I do a 10 minute warm up first, then stretch following each of the routines). As I said in my last post, light and slow to start.

Brain Exercise: I love the app, Fit Brains (fitbrains.com). It costs about $12 per year. The sessions take 5 to 15 minutes, depending on how many you choose to do in one session.

Meditation: Not always easy to work in but allows time for that very important inner work. (10 to 30 minutes daily). There are many, many choices online.

                                                 Tips for success

*I like to use the app, Map My Walk to chart my progress. There are many other apps that do the same. It’s fun to review afterward and you can add your friends and support one another. You can find similar apps to track your daily intake of foods/calories as well.

*I also invested in a wonderful health and wellness Audio Program. I enjoy being engaged in programs of interest as well as my favourite tunes. You could even learn another language while you do your workout. What a great way to multitask as you tackle both physical and brain activities in one workout!

Please know that this 40 day challenge isn’t just about weight loss. It’s about keeping it real and includes health and wellness tips from meditation and brain exercises, to building lean muscle and improving cardiovascular health, to eating real food and most importantly, making a plan YOU can stick to while keeping it REAL.

R eal food is key (stay clear of anything processed)

E at with awareness (take your time and enjoy what you eat)

A ttitude counts (think: Health is Wealth)

L ife, it’s yours to live to the fullest (feeling better means living better)

So, keep it REAL!

Warm Regards,

Marla

Next Post (Week Two): Why Weigh Yourself? My favourite recipes of the week…. and more

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