Category Archives: Healthy Living

Fitness Check In

Good morning, how’s your day going so far? Did you have a nice weekend. Mine was pretty low-key. I loved seeing all the clicks, tweets, and comments on my Noteworthy post last week. I worked pretty hard on creating a nice list to share so I’m glad you all enjoyed it!

If you remember last week I said I was working on getting regular with fitness. I set a tentative schedule but I wasn’t pushing myself. I’m somewhat pleased with what I did and somewhat disappointed that I didn’t do more.

I’m trying not to force myself to run just because it is on my schedule. I need to honor my body and listen to my knee. I had scheduled 3 runs for the week, but only did 2. I’m thinking that maybe my knee is just a 2-run a week kind of lady.

I did go to yoga on Monday, which was really nice. I bought a 5 class card thinking I’d try to go at least once a week.

So here was last week’s plan:
Sunday: 1.5 mile run CHECK!
Monday: yoga CHECK!
Tuesday: rest and physical therapy exercises (I’m getting my hair colored for the first time in a few years at a salon. I’m ridiculously excited to not do it myself) no check
Wednesday: 1.5 run CHECK! kind of… I shortened it to 1 mile for time and worked on speed.
Thursday: strength and pt exercises no check
Friday: 1.75 mile run no check
Saturday: strength no check

Looking at the plan and what I got done made me realize that I skipped out on the easiest thing to fit in: strength. I have weights and things in the basement and could have easily gotten that done.

This week’s plan:
Sunday: rest
Monday: 1.5- 1.75 mile run
Tuesday: yoga
Wednesday: strength
Thursday: strength and walk
Friday: rest
Weekend: I’ll be in Brooklyn so we’ll be doing a lot of walking and we’re hoping to get a run in in Central Park

What’s on your plan this week? What is something you skip out on and then realize it would have been really easily to get done?


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Fitness Wax and Wane

When it comes to working out I think it’s only normal to wax and wane. Whatever the reasons may be, there are times when we just can’t or don’t have the desire to workout and times when we crave our daily sweat. I definitely wane more than wax, but I am proud that over the past year I have always managed to get back on the workout train.

I was really bad this summer. I don’t know about you, but I never feel like working out in the summer. I’d rather spend my time outdoors than in a gym, but it is way too hot for me to run around outside and get sweaty. So I just sit in a nice chair, with a cold glass of ice water, and a book and lounge. That wouldn’t be so bad if my eating towards the end of the summer was way less than desirable.

The other week I ran to the mall to return some stuff to Loft and I wandered down to Forever 21. I really don’t know why I go on there. I was hoping they’d have some cheap graphic t’s, but seriously their stuff is not made for my body and it only lasts a few washes anyway. Despite not knowing why I bother, I’m glad I went because it actually inspired me to get moving again. In the past trying on clothes that didn’t fit would send me into a spiral of feeling sorry for myself. But now, since I know I am at a good size for my body, it just motivates me to keep going. I tried on this top and it fit everywhere except the sleeves. And it’s not that they were just a little tight. It was like the rest of the shirt was built for a normal sized person and the sleeves were built for someone who doesn’t eat. They look all nice and loose on the model, but not so much. Anyway, after laughing at myself for a while and realizing that I was glad it didn’t fit because it would have shrunk and been unwearable after a few washes, I left with a strong resolve to start working out again. I remembered how hard I worked last year to lose 8 pounds in September and how excited I was when I saw my arms shrinking and I was able to fit into normal button down shirts from my favorite stores. And then I remembered how I binged on way too many oreos earlier in the day and said enough.

I wish I could say I went home that night and busted out 30 burpees. But that would be a lie. The next day I babysat after work and I was scrolling through instagram and reminded of The Everygirl’s 30 day Self-Improvement and Growth challenge. I knew I wanted health to be challenge and on my drive home I rolled the windows down and kept thinking it was such a beautiful night and almost perfect weather for a run. So I decided I was running when I got home at 9:30 no matter what. When I was a few minutes away I started telling myself all the reasons I shouldn’t run: it was late and I was tired, the run might wake me up and I wouldn’t be able to sleep, it was beautiful but it was still kind of humid, I was hungry. So when I got home I walked right into my room, changed my clothes, and went right back outside.

It was such a beautiful run and so so hard. I had my last day of physical therapy for my knee the day before and I was told I should be back to 5k status in about 2 months with consistent running and slowly building up my mileage. So I set out to do a 1.5 mile run and I did it. Every time I gave myself an excuse not to run on my drive home I reminded myself I’d feel so good if I did it, I wouldn’t be sorry, and it would set me up right for the weekend.

And it did set me up right. Saturday I was late to my boyfriend’s because I decided to do a 21-Day Fix upper body workout after sitting on the couch thinking about it for an hour. And on Sunday I went for another really tough (humidity still high!) 1.5 mile run when I got home. My legs were super super tight so I looked up the schedule at my favorite yoga studio and made a date with myself for Monday evening at 7.

I also weighed myself on Friday before I went for the run and was so disappointed in the weight I had gained. On Saturday and Sunday when I didn’t want to run or I wanted to eat crap, I reminded myself of that number and it worked. I don’t have a gym membership anymore and I’ve decided to stop torturing myself by trying to plan morning workouts and then not doing them. I’m just not a morning person. I’m following the blank workout schedule, which is where you don’t plan your workouts but you fill in the days after you do them. It’s a bit more satisfying to write down what you did instead of looking at what you didn’t do. I do have loose plans in my mind for my workouts which include at least 3 runs and 2 strength a week. This week’s tentative plan


Sunday: 1.5 mile run  CHECK!
Monday: yoga CHECK!
Tuesday: rest and physical therapy exercises (I’m getting my hair colored for the first time in a few years at a salon. I’m ridiculously excited to not do it myself)
Wednesday: 1.5 run
Thursday: strength and pt exercises
Friday: 1.75 mile run
Saturday: strength

P.S. I joined the Virtual Pug Run to raise money for the Northern Illinois Pug Shelter. Shannyn from Frugal Beautiful is the organizer and if she reaches her goal her fiance will run a marathon in a ridiculous pug onesie (it’s worth the click over to her site just for you to see this onesie). You get an awesome pug medal for joining too, but I think the real prize is the onesie. She is a few runners short of her goal so please go join. The beauty of a virtual run is you do it when you want, where you want, how you want. I am working towards 3 miles in 8 weeks so my virtual run are my combined training miles. I signed up for the 5k and I’m almost done :-) I did 1.5 Friday and Sunday so I just need .2 miles to be finished. I hope you’ll join us!

I used to share my fitness plans and what I did here on the blog and I think I’ll get back to it. It definitely helps keep me accountable and reminds me to come up with a plan. I don’t know if it will be weekly, but it will happen every once in a while.

What’s your plan for the week? Are you joining in #teg30daychallenge?

Shakeology 3-Day Cleanse

I thought it would be fun for me and for you if I kept a diary of my Shakeology 3-Day Cleanse.  Originally I was just going to do the typical update at the end of the cleanse, but since it’s 10AM on Day 1 and I’m already hungry and questioning my sanity, I decided a diary would be best. I’m numbering and labeling the entries as they are in the cleanse packet. Random time entries will be added if I feel a little crazy ;-) If you want to just skip the diary like entries and read my overall thoughts on the Shakeology 3-Day Cleanse, skip to the bottom.

(disclaimer: I am NOT a Beachbody coach and I really don’t care if you buy this or not… I wanted to record this for myself and for anyone thinking of doing it.  I’m not going to link to any coach because I’m sure we all know one. However, if you don’t or would like my coach’s information please let me know.)

Monday Day 1

1. Upon Waking: well, I’m hungry like I normally am when I wake up. And of course I woke up late like I normally do. Jump in shower, run around like crazy person, remember I have to drink 8-10oz of water. Thankfully I filled up a water bottle and left it right next to my bed so I wouldn’t forget. Chug bottle. I weighed myself at work because, long story, that’s where my scale was. I kind of think the number is inflated a little, but I’m going with it. I’ve thought a lot about posting my actual weight here and the truth is I’m not comfortable with that and really, the number shouldn’t matter. But I know people are interested in knowing how much weight you can lose on this so I’ll be putting an X in place of the middle number. Starting weight: 1X1.6

2. Breakfast: planned on half a banana blended with greenberry Shakeology (my first time trying this flavor) and water/ice. Put everything in my Bella blender (one of those personal sized blender cup things) and just like I thought, the water leaked. Now I’m rushing to clean up so my Mom doesn’t kill me. I probably didn’t do a good enough job. So now I’m late, rushed, frustrated, and starting a cleanse. Good attitude to begin with. The combo is kind of gross but I power through. It helps to drink it through a straw and shove the straw as far back in your mouth as you can. Dirty minds can giggle here.

Optional: Morning Tea: I’m not much of a tea drinker and not feeling it. I am having coffee on the cleanse. I’m not addicted and can go without, I just like it as part of my morning routine. I didn’t add as much sugar and cream as I normally would and I’m only having a few sips. It’s 10AM when I start thinking about having tea because I am hungry. Fill up water glass instead and wait until 11 when I’ll have the Fiber Sweep. (I keep a Copco water cup at work and drink a lot throughout the day. The cup is 24 oz and I normally fill it 4-5 times throughout the day so I’m not worried about getting in my water for the cleanse!)

3. Mid-Morning Fiber Sweep: well, definitely not as bad as I was anticipating. Btw, I’m hungry. I’ve done the Advocare cleanse quite a few times and the fiber drinks are enough to make you want to quit. They are naaaasty. The Shakeology fiber sweep drink had a slight citrus flavor, but not overwhelming. And it wasn’t as grainy as the Advocare drink is. I got it down no problem. Did I mention I’m hungry?

11:40: this is my third time peeing in 2.5 hours and I have a headache. I really want some Peanut Butter.

4. Lunch: Don’t get jealous, but my lunch was 1 c of sliced cucumbers (grown in my garden so at least that’s cool), 3 cherry tomatoes, and 2 tbsp hummus. I have to say 2 tbsp hummus was more than I thought it would be. For lunch you are supposed to have 1 veggie serving and 1 healthy fat. I cheated a little because 1c cucumbers is 1 serving but I really wanted tomatoes so I threw in 3 small ones. I’m really trying to slowly eat my lunch so I’m not done in 2 minutes and can savor it slowly. hahahaha. Actually, you eat a surprising amount in the afternoon. You have 1 serving fruit (peach), vanilla fresh blended in 10 oz water (disgusting; you can blend your fruit in your shake but I thought having mine separate would be like a dessert… plus I don’t have a blender at work so I’m using a blender bottle) and the stuff I mentioned before. Then you have an afternoon snack at least an hour later. I’ve had my shake and cucumber/tomato/hummus and I’m feeling pretty full so I’m going to wait a bit to have my peach.

5. Afternoon Snack: I made my lunch last an hour and really I was quite full.  That nasty Vanilla Fresh drink really fills you up.  I had my afternoon snack at 3:15 and I learned I don’t like to eat that much raw red pepper at once so I switched to cherry tomatoes after a few bites. I had that with half an avocado. Probably more avocado than I was supposed to eat but I really didn’t feel like measuring it. Slight headache and I don’t feel very satisfied after my snack. I want a Triscuit.

6. Dinner: I left the food I bought for dinner at work so that was a real bummer. By the time I got to my kitchen at 6:30 I was ravenous and shaking. I had planned to save the Vanilla Fresh for later in the evening to curb my bedtime hunger, but I chugged that shit down right away. Then I scrounged for something that could fit into one of the prescribed dinner recipes. There were lots of thoughts about how I would just not finish the cleanse and promising myself to just eat better. Then I reminded myself I had only 2 days left and told myself to get over it. I went to bed early so I wouldn’t be tempted to snack but at 10pm I couldn’t take it anymore and I cheated with 5 strawberries. And they were the best damn strawberries of my life.

Tuesday Day 2

1. Upon Waking: Surprisingly I didn’t wake up starving like I normally do. Musta been those strawberries ;-) Not waking up starving has given me the strength to continue eating next to nothing rabbit food. I chugged my water again. I brought my scale home so I could weigh in here and I am apparently down 4 pounds and I haven’t even pooped yet. Day 2 weight: 1Y7 (changing that X to a Y to indicate a new number)

2. Breakfast: Had another nasty Shakeology with water and half a banana. I seriously don’t know how people love this shit so much. I’m also cheating again with strawberries. I have physical therapy at 11:45 which means I can’t eat lunch at my normal 12 and probably won’t be able to until 1. So I’m having a few strawberries around 11:30 to help.

3. Mid-Morning: This Fiber Sweep really isn’t bad. I prefer it to Advocare and it is by far the best tasting drink out of the whole cleanse. Btw, TMI coming: I pooped this morning before the fiber sweep and let me tell you, it was a good poop.

4. Lunch: I finally got to eat lunch around 1 and I am happy to say I wasn’t famished, but I was definitely hungry. I had 6 spears of asparagus just quickly nuked in the microwave with a teeeeeeny bit of water. It’s my favorite way to quickly steam fresh veggies. With that I also cheated. Okay, before you judge I’m going to tell you how I cheated and why. I had 1 tbsp peanut butter as opposed to 1 tsp almond butter because pb is what I had and who the hell can be satisfied with only 1 tsp of anything!? I also had a whole banana instead of half because it was small and I do not enjoy starving. Why I cheated? I’ll go more into it in my thoughts at the bottom of this really long post but I feel it is important to listen to your body and my body was saying the food wasn’t enough. I didn’t go overboard, as you can see, and I’m sure the sugar in the pb wasn’t a good idea. But I felt good after, not stuffed full, not starving, I felt just right.

5. Afternoon Snack: I am writing this at 4pm and I still haven’t had my snack. So my lunch decisions were good. Booyah! I leave work at 5:30 so I am going to try and have my snack as late as possible so I can push dinner back as late as possible. (I ate it at about 4:45)

6. Dinner: I wasn’t as ravenous as I was yesterday, but I was definitely hungry. I had the broccoli, cauliflower, carrots combo dinner and it wasn’t bad. I managed to wait to have the Vanilla Fresh drink until around 8pm and I still needed to have a few strawberries before bed so I wasn’t trying to eat the mattress in the middle of the night. I have a confession: I had 4 tator tots and I don’t feel guilty. So there! My Dad had made burgers and tots and he didn’t know I was on this cleanse so he so nicely put one aside for me on a plate. And the smell was too strong and I caved.

Wednesday Day 3

1. Upon Waking: I actually woke up at 5:45 wide awake (a result from going to bed so early to keep me from eating and because this cleanse leaves me exhausted) but I forced myself to go back to sleep because I didn’t want to mess up my eating schedule and end up binging at the end of the night. I drank the water and weighed myself. 1Y6 (-1 from Day 2 and -5 overall).

2. Breakfast: I did chocolate Shakeology instead of the greenberry with just water and it wasn’t too bad. I still don’t see how people love this stuff. I ate my banana when I got to work. It’s now 11:13 and I’m hungry.

3. Mid-Morning: Unfortunately I forgot the Fiber Sweep at home and instead grabbed two of the Vanilla Fresh packets. I think the fiber drink might have helped keep me satisfied until lunch. I’ll just drink the fiber as soon as I get home.

4. Lunch: Today I had what I had for dinner last night. I wanted to switch it up so I made enough to have for lunch today. I’m also having an apple, cinnamon, and pb. The fruit and fat portions of my lunch have become like a dessert to me and I’d like to continue thinking of them that way. I ate at 12:15 and I was pretty darn hungry.

5. Afternoon Snack: I was actually pretty hungry for my snack today and I had it around 4. I had to force myself to wait until 4. I’m starting to crave McDonalds.

6. Dinner: I stopped at Barnes and Noble on my way home and I was a bit worried how that was going to affect my eating. I roasted asparagus for dinner and when I put the 8 spears on my plate I laughed at how pathetic it was. I had the vanilla shake and cheated again with a few strawberries before bed. I would say in terms of my hunger, this was the easiest day.

Thursday Day 4 Weigh In: 1Y5.6 Overall weightloss is 6 pounds

Overall Thoughts

I have to admit that my overall thoughts changed a lot from day 1 to now. On day 1 I wanted to shoot myself and anyone in sight. I was crabby, hungry, cloudy, and had a headache. I guess that’s to be expected considering I had a giant piece of lasagna and garlic bread the night before. If you want to reduce those feelings, prepare for the cleanse by eating healthier for about a week before. By the last day completing the cleanse became less about the possible rewards, and more about just completing something.

On the first day I definitely thought that this was going to help, that I was going to continue craving all my foods, and that I’d just gain everything back right away. While all of that really does remain to be seen, you can see in my diary entries that I went from including a craving in every entry to not even mentioning them. Sure, I still dream of donuts but I feel fine without it.

While I do believe this cleanse has taught me a few things, I don’t believe it is the best option for everyone. First, there isn’t a graduated plan. By that I mean it is a one size fits all plan and that’s just not the case. Someone who is bigger and used to eating a lot more is really going to struggle on the rabbit food and portions and is more likely to find failure than success. One of the things I like about the 21-Day Fix program is that you find the proper amount you should be eating based on your weight and other factors. I know there is a big difference between a 3-day and 21-day program and that really anyone should be able to do just 3 days of a restricted diet, but reality says otherwise. This is not for the faint of heart.

I also found that I had to really work to make the plan work for me, and that’s fine. I have the knowledge and wherewithal to do that. But someone who struggles with such decisions and is possibly suffering from an eating disorder will not be able to do this. For example, you’ll see on Day 2 I added fruit as a mid-morning snack because my lunch schedule was changing that day. It’s a simple change but it goes off plan. I could have easily gone way off plan by choosing a different snack or suffered the consequences of not adding that snack. I knew that was the best decision for me and I wish the plan had suggestions on what to do if you need to go off plan a bit.

Another time I found myself having to go off plan was at night. Yes, I’m certain I could have survived without my nighttime strawberries, but would I have been able to sleep? And would not being able to sleep lead to me going way off plan and binging? I felt adding the nighttime snack was the best decision to ensure my success. Again, strawberries isn’t way off plan but I have the capability to make a good decision.

What I did like about the program is that it is really easy to follow. I find the Advocare cleanse severely lacking in direction and support. They send you the kit and you have to search for what to eat. Even as a distributor of the product I don’t receive much support on what to eat and what to tell clients. The Shakeology 3-Day Cleanse sends you everything in a really easy to use box with an informational packet. I really can’t stress enough how easy they make it.

It has taught me that I don’t need to eat as much to feel satisfied and that an apple or banana with peanut butter (another off-plan choice) and cinnamon is a great dessert. It taught me a lot about my own eating needs. The plan has you eating a little bit in the morning and night and a lot for lunch/afternoon snack. I’ve learned that I need bigger breakfasts and dinners with smaller lunches. It’s also reiterated to me that I do best when I have a small snack in between each meal so I was really missing my mid-morning snack.

The Shakeology 3-Day Cleanse has encouraged me to continue my better eating. On Day 1 this is a list of foods I wanted to celebrate the end of the cleanse with on Thursday: triscuits (I really don’t know where that craving came from), a homemade egg mcmuffin, bagel and cream cheese, donut, and lasagna. Let’s just call that a bit of a carb obsessions. Yes, I still want to celebrate with all those foods but the cleanse has really driven home that eating all of that in one day will leave me feeling like a bloated mess. And being a bloated mess is why I went on the cleanse in the first place.

So for a condensed version of my overall thoughts: yes, you can complete this cleanse as written. You will absolutely 100% struggle that first day but I promise you each day gets easier and easier. Plus it’s only 3 days so suck it up (that’s what I kept telling myself). You might have to adjust things to make the cleanse better work for you but I believe if you stick to choices that’s on the list already and maybe just make one or two small changes, you will still see success. Shakeology is still gross but bearable for 3 days. And the fiber drink from the Shakeology 3-Day Cleanse is much much much better than the fiber drinks for Advocare.

Would I do it again?

Probably, but only if I see myself maintaining my weight loss after this first cleanse.

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