January, a Month for Motivation

I have been completely off the radar and out of touch on here, and for that I apologize to you, my readers.  As I am sure many of you know, the holidays have a way of getting away from us (and redesigning a website took some time, but I hope you all like it!).  James, Jamesie and I spent our Christmas and New Years up in Boston, which was so special and nice to have time with family.  Honestly since returning home I have spent all of my time unpacking, doing laundry, cooking and cleaning the kitchen (oh and taking care of an increasingly more mischievous toddler).  So without boring you any further, here it is -- my very long overdue blog post. Enjoy!

As the Christmas season comes to a close and the vibrant energy of the new year takes hold, I am focused more than ever on my nutrition and fitness.  Many of you know that I am getting married in about a year and a half (!!!!), so naturally I am trying to get into the best shape of my life.  I'm disciplined with what I eat and I do regular cardio and weight training sessions, so I've been doing pretty well so far.  I am also strict about drinking at least 1 gallon of water a day (usually more).  I've been pretty serious with my program for about three weeks (with some holiday splurging thrown in there) and I've already lost about 7lb and gained some significant definition in my arms, stomach and legs.

I have come to understand better than ever that what we eat effects our mood, our energy level, our skin, our hair, our nails.  What we eat visibly effects our bodies and our whole selves.  To combat bad eating habits I have been taking what I eat, and thinking about what that food is doing for me; how is that specific food going to improve my overall health, if at all?  Trust me, it's made me think twice about what I put into my body.

With the start of the new year, and all of the motivation January magically brings, I have decided to partake in Dr. Mark Hyman's 10 Day Detox Challenge.  I normally avoid inflammatory foods such as heavy carbs and processed sugar, but this past Wednesday I gave up all processed sugars (this includes all sweets, bread, pasta, potatoes etc -- but not including natural sugar like fruit), caffeine (RIP tea), alcohol, and processed foods.  This was the "prep" phase for the detox challenge.  Basically I ate a lot of protein shakes and salads with lean meats like chicken and fish.

I am now on Day 2 of the 10 Day Detox Challenge and I'm feeling really good.  I've had a craving here and there for a massive piece of chocolate cake, but I'm committed and honestly the results I'm seeing and feeling are a whole lot more satisfying than all of that sugar.  Dr. Mark Hyman works with people who are struggling to lose weight, diabetes and people with chronic disease (among a long list of other impressive credentials).  He sees food as a medicine, and sugar, including foods that turn to sugar in our bodies, as addictive and harmful.  His newest book -- Eat Fat, Get Thin -- is about the harmful nature of low-fat diets, and the importance of having omega-3 fats in our diets.  Dr. Hyman claims that those omega-3 fats, such as salmon and avocados, actually help us lose weight.  To learn more about Dr. Hyman and his philosophy click here.  I highly recommend you check out Dr. Hyman's website and read his work.  He has helped me understand a lot about food and how it effects every aspect of our health.

Many of you might be thinking "I live a very different lifestyle than her" (i.e. you have a social life) or "I'm not engaged, this isn't for me."  Well... I may live a different life than many of my millennial readers, and I am indeed engaged, but those are not reasons I chose to get healthy.  Being a mother and a future-wife does not make it easier to eat clean and workout -- my time is extremely limited, and any time that I want to do anything for myself, I have to consider what my son will be doing and who will be with him.  Being healthy and active is a choice, regardless of your stage in live or your relationship status.  It's a choice that I hope you all choose today, because (I'm speaking to my 20-somethings here) right now is the best time to challenge your physique and master your diet.  You will never be this physically able again in your whole life.  How you eat now establishes the eating habits you will have for the rest of your life.  Why don't you set the best foundation possible?  It will only improve your life and happiness and future. 

The idea of this cleanse is to reset your diet -- cure yourself of sugar cravings, and overall move you towards a being a healthier, happier person.  I challenge each of you to use your new years resolutions to better yourself -- in the gym or in the kitchen, at work or at home.  January is after all, a month for motivation. 

I will update periodically on my honest opinions of this program, my fitness regime and my favorite nutritional recipes.  Feel free to join in, follow along, and ask questions!  I welcome any requests in fitness and nutrition -- just drop me a comment or an email.