May the force be with Yogis– Personal Challenge Week 2

I should probably stop listening to Taylor Swift–go ahead and laugh…but the girl is starting to take up more head space than I have. Concentrating on a report for work, while humming “The Best Day”  and then getting annoyed when I can’t remember all of the words (rather than focusing on the report) is eventually going to get me into trouble. 😀  I kid, I kid…but seriously, I enjoy Taylor Swift–especially the ‘Fearless’ album. But anyway, back to the actual reason for this blog post.

I started a personal challenge last week, and after the craziness that was week 1, it’s time to move on to the second week!

There are a few things I want to change on the original challenge, as well as add 3 new items.

PERSONAL CHALLENGE #1 (Original)

1. Eat Completely Raw for 6 weeks. (Tuesday, April 23rd – Monday, June 3rd)

2. No “cheats” for 6 weeks  *I had a cheat on the weekend, it was a strawberry popsicle made with fresh strawberries and agave. I am not happy with my lack of will power but it wasn’t a TERRIBLE cheat. So I’m extending the NO Cheat week til June 10.

3. Lift Heavy 4 days per week

4. Focus on Abs and Inner Thighs

5. Become Stronger with Headstands

6. Eat more greens

7. Complete a Sun salutation 5 days/week I am changing this to 3 days per week because on top of the heavy lifting, hiit, and focus on my abs/thighs I  also practice yoga and it’s becoming difficult to also fit in an additional 5 days of sun saluations on top of the yoga sessions each week.

8. 100 squats a day  *I have a knee injury and my left knee has been giving me grief the past 2 weeks, I had to skip a few squat sessions simply because I didn’t want to be limping the next day. Instead I spent a little quality time with my foam roller. As much as I want to improve and stick to the plan, I don’t want to injure myself, so as long as my knee is okay, I’ll continue the squat challenge, but may miss a day or 2 here or there if the knee is acting up.

My add ons for this week are:

1. Work up to a 5 minute plank. (My core aches just THINKING ABOUT THIS!). I don’t plan to even attempt 5 minutes this week, but I think I can hold for 2.5-3 minutes now if I REALLY dig deep (thanks for the expression Shaun T–for anyone who has tried Insanity you know what i’m talking about), but it will take some serious work for the next 5 weeks if I want to last 300 seconds. I can do it tho…it just takes good old fashioned sweat and hard work and sweat…oh wait, I already said that.

2. ATTEMPT (and I did say ATTEMPT) the #Maytheforcebewithyogis instagram challenge. Each day a new pose is posted, most are a little advanced for me but I am not afraid to fall so here goes! If you’re interested in this challenge follow one of the 4 girls leading it on Instagram @gypsetgoddess, @masumi_g, @laurasykora, or @beachyogagirl . Oh and why you’re at it, follow ME on instagram @regarae.

3. Get out of my winter rut and get outside to enjoy nature more (great for physical activity and mental clarity). I love taking walks and going for bike rides. It’s possible that I’m still in “Winter” mode where I stay inside because it’s too cold to go out and do much, because every evening even when it’s nice out, I find myself snuggled up on the sofa. Tho last week, i was so sore from the lifting that it was more fetal position than snuggling.

Now that they’re written out, my “add-ons” seem quite simple, but I know they will be a challenge. Especially sticking with the yoga challenge if I find it hard to hold any of the poses, but this entire challenge is about getting stronger, getting out of my comfort zone to allow me to grow, and of course  breaking down barriers put up by fear so i’m ready to give this my best shot.

Have a great evening, and a wonderful Tuesday! Stay strong everyone!!

10 Things I learned during my 2 week juice detox

As promised, here is a list of some of the things I discovered during my 12 day juice “Spring Clean”. Enjoy.

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1. You REALLY don’t know what to expect until you’re living it.In the days leading up to my juice fast, I researched recipes, side effects, things other people had experienced etc. in hopes of preparing myself for what was to come. Turns out…You can’t really predict how it will work for you.

2. Don’t expect that your experiences and results are going to be the same as someone else. I kept assuming that I would have the exact same results are several of the blog posts I read prior to starting the juice feast–turns out, many of my experiences were the opposite.

3. Even if i was full and satiated from drinking all the juice I wanted, I still missed the act of “chewing”. Seeing someone chew food, even food I wasn’t craving or didn’t want, made me want food again. Such a simple concept but i’ve been chewing my food since before I can remember.

Oh Dear God! So many people eatingggg……

4. The only REAL way the detox is going to work is if you’re doing it FOR YOURSELF. When I first started, it was to help my mom, but if that was the only reason I was able to continue (especially since my mom quit early) is because I started to feel better and see results and wanted to see how much better I could feel by the end.

5. Beets turn everything red/purple. I won’t go into detail, but let’s just say if it goes IN the colour of a beet, it comes OUT the colour of a beet.

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6. There is NOTHING I can’t do if i want it bad enough. For instance, I made cookies, for a work function, in the middle of doing this detox and although I was tempted I didn’t have even 1.

7. Whoever said cravings only last 10 minutes was lying–sort of. In their defence this was day 3-4 when my cravings were the worst. I have a bit of a sweet tooth, and most of my juices during the day were highly veggie based but at night to ensure I didn’t crack, I would make a juice with more fruit than veggie juice for that “oh my god I need sugar, and I may have some sorbet” moment. Actually, the cravings eventually do stop, but some days I would have to get creative with ways to distract myself.

8. Do not break your juice fast–especially if it’s been 2 weeks, with super spicy garlicky tomato soup no matter how sick you are. I wrote in an earlier post that I broke the detox 2 days early because i was sick. The soup is my go to comfort food, but unfortunately it did NOT sit well on my stomach.

9. Detox symptoms suck, but what comes next is MORE THAN WORTH IT. Honestly, that statement pretty much sums it up. I was tired, had some breakouts, cramps, body aches, constipation, and even some sores in my mouth a few days in to the detox but by the end my body felt truly alive. My skin became so clear that I preferred to go without foundation/powder, my concentration at work was heightened, and I slept better than I have in months.

10. Have fun with it. As long as you’re doing this for your health, listening to your body, and enjoying life there is no right or wrong way to do it. Don’t be so focused on rules that you forget to enjoy the very thing you’re trying to accomplish. Sometimes your juice will taste like mud, other days you accidentally spill it all over your socks, but it’s part of the journey so breathe, smile, and remember your body is healing and loving every minute of this adventure.

**This detox was a new challenge for me. I had moments that I didn’t like so much (insane cravings, headaches, and breakouts) but I also have so many more moments that made me realize how clean, fresh, and revitalized a body can feel when properly cared for. I will definitely do juice cleanses periodically to give my body a break from the day to day digestion duties, cleanse my mind (and colon for that matter), and just RESET myself. I probably won’t do 14 day detoxes, but I see 3-7 day cleanses in my future periodically.

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Don’t put in 1/2 the effort, unless you’re okay with 1/2 the results… (Personal Challenge)

Happy Earth Day! I spent some time in the dark today (actually it was bright until later in the evening so I just kept my curtains open), used only as much water as was absolutely necessary, ate all local produce, and would have biked home from work if I wasn’t sick…what did you do today? Of course it is important to be kind to the Earth every day, but why not do a little something special today? 🙂

So I recently had an “Ah HA!” moment. You know, that moment when something super obvious that had been previously alluding me just suddenly seemed so much more clear. Basically, I have come to realize that that I don’t necessarily work hard enough for the results i’m seeking. I eat okay some of the time, strength train but never really push my limits, and only really push myself when I feel like it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I think there is anything wrong with the way I look or even the amount of effort I put in–not really BUT I have a particular look that I’m going for and if I am ever going to get the muscle definition and ABS that I dream of, I am going to have to eat cleaner, lift heavier, and overall work harder.

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Will you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was recently chatting with Laura from Fit, Green, and Gorgeous (she’s amazing by the way, go check her out) about this very notion. Since discovering her instagram and blog I have come to realize that there really isn’t some crazy science to getting the results you seek, just good old fashioned hard work, clean eating, and dedication.  Sure, we all KNOW this to be true, but applying that concept can be tricky. It’s easy to assume someone was just born with that body, or has some special trick they do, when really it’s always just the same concept time after time.  However, actually watching someone grow, change, and make progress right in front of your eyes is a different story. It’s not that I want to have her body, or to be exactly like her, not at all…it’s that she motivates me to go after what it is that I want. 

I want to discover MY perfect balance, and it’s not going to happen over night  but i’m willing to put in the work. I created a personal challenge of things I want to achieve in the next little while. My first challenge is only 6 weeks long, but I will add to it weekly (little things like drink more water, do more pushups, etc) and I’ll continue with these challenges to ensure I don’t become complacent as I strive for improvement.

Before I get to the challenge, I’d like to say that my weakness is definitely food. I eat clean most of the time, but it’s those times I don’t eat clean that is a problem.

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I have a problem with controlling myself and have been known to polish off a tray of cookies or 1/2 dozen cupcakes just because they were there. I am not saying that I will never again have a cupcake, but I definitely need to learn how to control myself. Okay, so moving on to the Challenge…

PERSONAL CHALLENGE #1

1. Eat Completely Raw for 6 weeks. (Tuesday, April 23rd – Monday, June 3rd)

2. No “cheats” for 6 weeks (1 exception. My wedding anniversary falls in the middle of this and I will allow myself a glass of wine)

3. Lift Heavy 4 days per week

4. Focus on Abs and Inner Thighs

5. Become Stronger with Headstands

6. Eat more greens

7. Complete a Sun salutation 5 days/week

8. 100 squats a day

worth it

 

Before I go–life isn’t only about sweating a ton, or eating multiple heads of lettuce, it’s about being happy, loving yourself and spreading that positive energy to others. You know those times when you’re having a bad day and someone says something nice or does something nice (even the smallest of actions) and it just brightens your entire day? Well BE that person. Take time to smile, to compliment, to spread positive energy. 

For the next 6 weeks, every day I am going to think of different things that I am truly grateful for and just take a moment to appreciate it’s force in my life–try it with me, I have a feeling we all have much to be thankful for. 

*PEACE*

*Cough Cough…my lungs hurt* (Final Day of the Spring Clean Detox)

Finally, the end to my 14 day juice detox has arrived…but what’s this? I didn’t make it…? Seriously?!?!

Unfortunately, I have been fighting a cold and the juice, as amazing as it is, wasn’t quite enough for me. I was absolutely miserable on Friday and decided to make myself some roasted garlic tomato soup to soothe my mind and body. At first, I was incredibly disappointed that i’d made it 12 days, but could not go the final 2, but then realized–I have nothing to be ashamed of, I did my best and would have finished had I not become ill. (I probably could have forced myself to do the final 2 days, but honestly, this spring clean detox was supposed to be about recharging my body and getting in tune with myself–and cleansing…and I didn’t feel I was getting any of those benefits while lying in bed miserable).

If you remember, the detox was supposed to end on Day 10, but I added the additional 4 days at the request of someone who follows my blog. I struggled with exactly how to tell her that I wouldn’t finish the last 2 days, and finally drafted a quick message to let her know that I wasn’t well and thought it best to stop early. Her response surprised me. I expected that she would understand, and was ready to be there as much as possible to lend moral advice… however, it turns out, she got sick as well and had already eaten some plain toast to settle her stomach. Both of us had been around sick people lately and had hoped that we would be able to get by without being affected, but unfortunately this was not the case. *booo*  I was not as sick as she, and although my lungs and throat ache, I am not completely confined to my bed. (Feel better soon LK *hugs*)

Tomato-soup

We decided that a little warm soup was just what the doctor ordered. I had a rather large portion of soup because I hadn’t eaten any food in days and it didn’t sit well with me, and I knew it wouldn’t but somehow the idea of homemade soup made me feel better. I am still not 100% but I am definitely improving…  I am going to freeze the soup, or else feed it to my husband with a toasted baguette.

I will do a write up this week about my experiences doing a 12 day juice detox, what I learned, what i’d do differently, what I liked and didn’t like, etc. So stay tuned!

Now that the spring cleaning is through, it’s back a raw lifestyle for a while, and actually rather than doing “predominately raw” I am going fully raw for a while to determine if this is what’s right for me or not. I will also be posting a Challenge this week with a few things i’d like to try over the coming weeks. These include food challenges, workout changes,  maybe even set some new goals (physical and emotional) that i’d like to strive for.

strawberries

 

Have a wonderful week everyone! Get plenty of sleep, drink lots of water, smile constantly, and hug as many people as often as you can!

*Peace*

Can I please get that with a side of mint? (Day 9, 10, 11)

Sometimes I accidentally get obsessed with a colour. And I say accidentally, because it really isn’t some intentional ‘i’m going to buy everything in purple this season’ decision. I’ll just notice that a particular colour is all the rage that season, think to myself that I could use a little “colour in my life” and the next thing you know I own 5 bottles of yellow nail polish, yellow shoes, and i’m trying to convince AB that yellow duct tape really is a practical idea.

Last year it was coral…this year it seems to be mint green. I haven’t done much shopping recently, but the few items I have purchased have been the same colour. Oops. (Well minus the pink and orange jeans I bought, but for the record I only bought orange because they didn’t have the green in my size). O_0

It became apparent to me that I have a slight obsession when I uploaded this photo onto my computer. This was not on purpose I promise.

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I have to say, this little organic gala apple really pops against the mint, so I guess it’s not a bad thing. 🙂

Does anyone else have this problem? Do you also get infatuated with a colour and slowly have it take over your life? Or is that just me.

I just realized I sort of do the same thing with fruits and veggies. I mean, sure I eat seasonally so if tomatoes are in season it only makes sense that i’d have them more than usual, but I will definitely have a fruit realize i’ve been missing it and then eat it non stop for several weeks before moving on to another. Is that weird? I have my staples of bananas and grapes (tho the past 2 1/2 months grapes have been super gross here) but before I started the detox I was obsessed with oranges and honeydew and ate it every day… (Oh god, think about the colour of honeydew…it’s official, i’m crazy).

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Speaking of fruit, as great as the juice detox is, I cannot wait to Slice up 5 bananas and just revel in their sweet perfection. I plan to be fully raw for 2 weeks after the detox ends to allow my body to slowly adjust after not eating for 2 weeks, then after that I may allow myself a cooked treat–i’m looking at you baked sweet potato. I only have 3 days left, and rather than wishing them to end in a hurry– tho I’m not perfect, so i’m sure Sunday afternoon i’ll be having some internal crisis where I want the weekend to end *blasphemy* yet obviously do NOT want it to come to an end–the plan is to take each day as it comes with it’s ups and downs and continue learning from this experience. Until then, be strong with me.

Good Night.

I had a dream…no really, I did, and it was about mangoes. (Day 6,7,8)

9 days ago I sat anxiously on my bed, drafting a blog post regarding a 10 day detox that I was going to attempt. I was hoping that I could survive the 10 days without gnawing at my own arm, but expecting that I’d call it quits by day 3. Yet here I am, 8 days in, and still going strong. The hardest part is over, and I am taking each day as it comes and feeling stronger than ever.

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The initial reason for me doing this detox was because of my mother, but I realized 3 days into it when the cravings were at their peak that I wanted this for me. Mom was unable to do the entire 7 days as she had hoped, but managed to go 3 days before giving in to temptation. At first I was sad to see her end the cleanse early because I was worried she’d begin eating poorly if she felt guilty for quitting. However, the cleanse left her feeling so refreshed and revitalized that she has been eating incredibly clean since stopping to continue feeling renewed. She said that she can’t imagine eating an entirely raw diet, but she can understand if I feel this light and fresh all the time why I do it.  Knowing my mom finally sees the direct connection (if only a little) between eating a certain way and FEELING a certain way, made this entire experience worthwhile.

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“Pick me up” Juice

2 organic carrots

1 organic beet

1 organic apple (gala)

This juice has become my mid morning staple. Just when I think I can’t make it through another meeting, or I’d rather not review any more files I have some of this and I perk right up. It’s sweet juice and I love it for that very reason; I don’t always  want my juice to taste like Kale. (Shhhh…I wouldn’t want to hurt Kale’s feelings). Sometimes I throw in ginger to the mix, it adds a playful punch.

One final announcement, rather than finishing the detox on Wednesday like I had initially planned, I will now be going until Sunday. I know what you’re thinking, and no, not because I love it THAT much. Although, I am not starving or having any terrible cravings, I cannot wait for solid food–can anyone say bananas and mangos!?!? I literally dream about them every night.

A young woman who reads my blog started the detox on the same day as me, and is doing it for 14 days and has asked that I continue the 4 extra days with her. At first I said that I couldn’t, but then I realized that I definitely COULD but was being selfish and just wanted food (which will still be there on Monday). We have been emailing back and forth and last night I made the decision to continue the extra days with her. I feel I have earned a GIANT bowl of raw zucchini pasta and as many bananas as I want when this is done, but for now if the 4 extra days means helping someone at the beginning of their healthy living journey, then this goes beyond a few additional days of juice and I couldn’t possibly refuse. That being said, Sunday is DEFINITELY the last day, the dreams about succulent fruit are beginning to seem so real, I can’t be sure I wont’ wake up chewing on my pillow.

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Karaoke in a snow storm (…and day 5 of Spring Clean detox)

 

Today we received quite the storm here in Ottawa– complete with freezing rain, snow, and of course treacherous ice patches lying in wait for that unsuspecting passerby. I was in a rush to get to work, ran out the door to catch the bus and before I knew it was slipping on the ice. I probably could have steadied myself if I dropped my lunch bag, but it was carrying several mason jars full of juice (which to a person on a juice detox is precious cargo) so I decided to protect my juice and take the fall. OUCH!  Spring, please hurry, I cannot take many more of these icy days.

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I’ve made it to the end of Day 5 and I feel good. Tonight was a birthday dinner for one of my girlfriends, and I knew everyone would be ordering amazing meals so I considered not going, but I wanted to see her and to socialize so I made a promise to myself that if I could survive the evening without breaking the detox that I could buy new yoga pants. (Hurray for simply bribery).  I had a large container of juice prior to dinner to ensure I wouldn’t be hungry, but everyone around me was enjoying cocktails, wine, pasta, pizza, mac and cheese, etc. and the smells were intoxicating. I ordered water with lemon and lime and expected that I would be drooling all over myself but surprisingly, it was not as difficult as I had imagined. (If you remember from a previous post, my initial plan for tonight was to order a simple salad, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that if I broke the detox for 1 thing I’d start breaking it for others as well and I really want to make it the entire 10 days). So I went, I didn’t eat, and I conquered!

After dinner, we went to Karaoke, and I have been humming “Stop right now” by Spice Girls ever since. Somehow you forget about the ice, slush, and cold weather when you’re listening to your girlfriends sing, slightly off key, songs of your youth.

Tomorrow I plan to do some early morning spinning, followed by an afternoon yoga class (or 2). I also have a 15% off coupon for Sephora, so it would be a waste not to at least go take a look around right? That’s what I thought! And of course i’ll be juicing…I’m craving carrot apple juice, so definitely some of that! 🙂

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