Monday, November 19, 2012

25 Days Of A Slimmer Christmas Challenge!

The idea behind this is to get you more aware of what you are eating and how much you are being physically active. I know some people don't want to deprive themselves of a certain food but the idea behind this is figure out some alternatives so that you have variety in your diet. Give it a shot you never know what you might discover. So I figured what better time to really focus on staying on track than at the holidays?

Each day you will have something new that you need to follow whether it be a food restriction, adding more exercise, making healthy substitutions etc. 

I thought of this because I need a jump start to get me back on track and get me through the upcoming holiday season. Then I thought why not include my friends and family and make it a fun challenge with prizes and all! 

So here are the guidelines:
 Challenge will begin at 12am on December 1st and end at 11:59pm on December 25th (Christmas day).

 There will be three prizes awarded:
1st – Most points earned
2nd – Most weight lost
3rd – Most creative

I am not telling you which prizes are for what that you'll just have to wait to find out. 

Here are the three prizes: 
- $50 Spa Gift Card
- Rest and Relaxation Gift Basket 
(made especially to the winners likes) 
-A one year subscription to The Food Network Magazine. 

So hope those are incentive enough for you!

For the entire challenge you must complete these two things - this is the base and it grows from here.
  • Must do at least 30 minutes of physical activity 4 times a week (physical activity could be anything. If you are currently not physically active start small)
  • Make a restriction to one unhealthy food that you really like or find that you have been over indulging in daily. Meaning you cut back on the amount or you cut it out of your diet completely for the 25 days.

Here are the daily requirements some of them continue from that day until the challenge ends so please read carefully:

December 1st – Drink 6-8 glasses of water for the remainder of the challenge
December 2nd – Eat a healthy breakfast
December 3rd – Vegetarian day! Every meal must be vegetarian (get creative trying new proteins)
December 4th – No fast food for the remainder of the challenge
December 5th – Eat only 100% whole wheat (ie. Pasta, bread, rice, crackers, etc)
December 6th – No snacking on things like chips, Doritos, pretzels, etc.
December 7th – Take a walk either after lunch or after dinner.
December 8th – Plan and prepare all your meals for the following day
December 9th – Add 15 minutes to your physical activity
December 10th - No candy for the remainder of the challenge
December 11th – Eat 5 servings of fruits or vegetables
December 12th – No peanut butter for the remainder of the challenge
December 13th - Limit your caffeine intake
December 14th - No Chocolate for the remainder of the challenge
December 15th – Eat fruit with breakfast as well as 1 snack
December 16th – Get a friend or family member to exercise with you that is not part of the challenge
December 17th – No ice cream for the remainder of the challenge
December 18th – Replace your dessert with a piece of fruit or yogurt
December 19th – Complete one random act of kindness (The more creative the better)
December 20th – No take out for the remainder of the challenge
December 21st – 1 alcoholic beverage allowed (If you do not drink alcohol then limit another beverage that you might be over indulging in this time of year)
December 22nd – Try a new exercise/class or do something that isn't part of your general routine.
December 23rd – Eat fish (If you are vegetarian or vegan: Try a new protein or one you don’t eat as often)
December 24th – Try a new vegetable
December 25th – Use weights or resistance in your physical activity

Here is how you will earn points throughout the challenge:

-If you complete each of the individual daily requirements you will earn 1 point for each one you do .
-For all the cumulative requirements you will earn an additional point for each day that you continue to follow that requirement.
-If you complete the required 4 times a week of at least 30 minutes of physical activity you will receive 1 point for each week. (week will be from Saturday to Friday).
-Since the 25th is on a Tuesday you will receive 1 point for every day you are physically active for at least 30 minutes from December 22nd – 25th.
-You will earn 2 points per week for your personal restriction. (Same rule applies for this as for exercise) 1 point for each day you do this from December 22nd - 25th.
-You will also earn 1 point for each additional day that you add in at least 30 minutes of physical activity above the required 4 times a week. 

Here is how to make sure I know about creativity:

I will be providing you with a log. When you complete each day be sure to add as much detail as possible about what you ate, what your physical activity was, something that helped you accomplish that days tasks. The more you give me and the more creative you are the better!

For weight loss:

This will be on your honor. If you would like to be in this part of the challenge be sure when you email me that you include your starting weight and then at the end you will resubmit with your ending weight.

Now let the fun begin!!

If you would like to participate please email with your name (include twitter and blog if applicable) as well as what unhealthy food you are making restrictions too and what the restrictions are. If you would like be part of the weight loss challenge please include your starting weight.
 I need to receive your email by November 30th at 10pm or you will not be eligible for the prizes.

Once I receive your email I will be emailing you a confirmation that I received your entry and I will also attach an excel log for the challenge. If you do not receive a confirmation email within 24 hours then please resend your email.
Please use the log each day as you will need to send it back to me when the challenge is over to be eligible for the prizes. Remember, be as creative as you can. See if you can come up with new workouts, try new recipes, etc.

End of challenge:
Between December 26th until December 30th please submit your log. Also include notes of things you liked, didn't like etc. If you are part of the weight loss challenge also include your ending weight. I will send out a reminder to submit your log so you don’t miss out as this is a very busy time of year!

I will announce the winners the beginning of January.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Happy Challenge!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

October Foodie Penpal Reveal!

The Lean Green Bean

Well it's that time again to reveal what I got from my Foodie Penpal this month! I am sorry this is a bit late but things have been crazy and to be honest lately the idea of sitting in front of a computer to write something hasn't been appealing at all. But I knew I had to because this months foodie penpal package was AMAZING!! My foodie penpal this month was Ashley from Vermont and she put together a great package of Vermont goodies!

I have to start with the first thing I opened right up!
These forbidden love triple chocolate chip are to die for! They were soft, chewy and just plain yummy!! I am really glad that I can't get these here because I would be eating them constantly!

One of the other really cute things that Ashley included was her & her families favorite buttermilk pancake mix as well as some really Vermont maple syrup!

It could not have been more perfect because a few week before my husband and I had been at the Eastern States Expostion Big E and as we were going through the Vermont house he said that he had never had really Vermont maple syrup before. And since Ashley sent us some he got to try it cause let's face it real maple syrup is not something you can explain you have experience it!

I decided I was going to use the pancake mix to make chocolate chip banana pancakes. Adding a slight drizzle of the maple syrup was just amazing! It was a delicious breakfast.
I has mentioned to Ashley that although I have a HUGE sweet tooth I am also trying to keep my diet on the healthier side. I know chocolate chip banana pancakes are not even close to healthy but hey you have to splurge a little now and then. Any way she really listened and she sent me this.
Which is great because not only is it milk chocolate but it is organic and only 100 calories! So it satisfied my sweet tooth but didn't pack on the pounds.

I also like to have little sweet things that I can take with me as a snack and Ashley sent me these.
Despite the fact that these contain nuts which are something I usually really don't like they were actually pretty good. I especially enjoyed the caramel one. The granola one was interesting it was tasty just more a textural thing for me.

And like any good meal or in this case foodie penpal package you have to cleanse your palette as well as refresh your breath so these were just the right touch.
They might be all natural but they are tasty and refreshing indeed. All in all this was an amazing foodie penpal package. Thank you so much Ashley and of course to Lindsay over at the Lean Green Bean for putting this program together for all of us!

Now, after reading that don’t you want a penpal of your own?! Here are the details!

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal! 
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. 
-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. 

If you’re interested in participating for September, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.

You must submit your information by November 4th as pairings will be emailed on November 5th!
*If you’re from somewhere besides the US, Canada or Europe and want to participate, send me an email and I’ll see if we get enough interest this month!