I have a love-hate relationship with fitness. I know it should be more about love, but sometimes I hate it because of the time and discipline it requires. About 2 months ago my mother ordered Pastor Rick Warren and Doctors Daniel Amen, and Mark Hyman called The Daniel Plan which is a New York Times Best Seller. Long story short it is based on the book of Daniel in the bible (Get more info here). The plan is different from the fast or diet because it focuses on a lifestyle change with the 5 Fs Faith, Food, Fitness, Focus, Friends. The plan is designed for you to do it with another person or group of people for support. I wasn’t really interested in following the plan, but my mother asked me to do it with her, so I did. So we set a date to start and began preparing. We also took a toxicity test and I realized that food was making me extremely toxic. I did not realize how something I love so much could make me feel so horrible. Over the last few years I would experience crazy headaches that lasted about 30 seconds but the pain was ridiculous. I went to the doctor and they said I was healthy, they don’t know what it could be. In January the headaches started happening more frequently and I started checking ingredients and looking at side effects for food allergies and all. My last headaches was the last straw.

thedanielplan

On January 27, 2014 we started our 10-day detox (not required, but recommended) before we started the Daniel Plan which would mean clean eating for a total of 40 days. During this 10-day detox I had to eliminate dairy, breads, pasta, caffeine, sugar, fast food, and everything else that I used to survive on. The first 2-3 days were the most difficult, but then it became second nature. I never realized how flavorful and sweet foods were without all of the “stuff” we put in it.  I mainly eat lots of veggies, protein, sprouts, nuts, and whole grains. I eat lots of quinoa, avocado, kale, broccoli, spinach, almonds, celery, carrots,  pumpkin seeds, blueberries, strawberries, bell peppers, chicken, shrimp, lamb, wild salmon, lean beef, beans,  hearty white fish like swordfish, fresh herbs, sweet potatoes, apples, tomatoes, lots of garlic red potatoes, onions, and citrus. I have yet to have any pasta (I purchased gluten-free pasta though). I use almond butter (try some with an apple OMG!), raw honey, and stevia extract as my sugar substitute. I bought a juicer so I have fresh juice probably once a week. I mainly drink herbal tea without sugar and maybe some stevia, water, or infused water. I’m having fun making different meals! The options are limitless.

thedetox

This process was difficult when it came to meal prep. I had to make sure I had breakfast, lunch, dinner, and 2 snacks for everyday of the week. My eating habits on the weekend were terrible and I has a huge snacker. I love chips and cookies. Working with high school students I tend to pick up their bad habits. I had to make sure I could fight the temptation with plenty of healthy snacks.

Not my photo, I just thought it looked cool.

Not my photo, I just thought it looked cool.

So for 21 Days I’ve been eating clean. This would actually be 23 days of clean eating, but I had two cheat days (my best friend’s birthday and Valentine’s Day). Here are the changes that I noticed since I started:

  1. More energy- I have so much more energy! I would come home from work and just be tired, now I have the energy to cook, workout, and complete assignments for work and school.
  2. Clearer Skin- I never had “bad skin” but the winter has taken my skin in a different direction. My skin is so much brighter. My mother’s dark circles started to get lighter
  3. Lost weight! I lost about 5lbs after the detox. 
  4. Inches off of my waist!- I’m now on the last hole of one of my belts and the second to last on another.
  5. I feel lighter! Food weighs you down. Now that I’m eating clean I feel the total difference.
  6. My mood has changed. I didn’t realize how moody I was until now. I am so much happier! I never considered myself to be unhappy or miserable, but I don’t stress about a lot of things anymore.
  7. Clarity- my mind is a lot more clearer. I feel like I can hear God’s voice more. I’m more focused than ever before.

One thing that I learned throughout this process was how important it is to be disciplined. God gave me the word discipline to be my focus for 2014. I know that he has great things in store for me this year, but they will not be handed to me. I know that I need to be disciplined to achieve my goals.

thedanielplancookbook

I have discovered great recipes, ordered the Daniel Plan Cookbook, and I actually enjoy meal prep. I need to stock my house with more snack options to feel complete lol. I’m working on transforming my kitchen into a Daniel Plan Kitchen complete with all of the appliances and necessary foods and spices to continue going strong. My last day on the plan is March 7th, but this is definitely a lifestyle change. Now I just have to be consistent with my workouts (I’m getting ready to join a gym) and then I’ll be on my way to a healthier lifestyle. My brother is starting to eat clean and my god mother purchased the book as well. I can’t wait for the rest of my family to join in.

One site that I go to frequently for food inspiration is Lexi’s Clean Kitchen. She is AMAZING! I made some lemon poppy seed pancakes one day and they were awesome. Check out her site.

Stay tuned for more updates and maybe even some recipes!

About a month ago, well May 13th to be exact I emailed my friend from high school Cimone telling her I was about to unfollow her on Instagram because of her updates. I wasn’t serious about unfollowing her, but she had become an Herbalife coach and of course she had to promote her business. Watching her progress with Herbalife made me inquire about the benefits for my fitness goals and lifestyle. She gave me the rundown and answered all of my questions, I mean all and there were a lot.

So here is the abbreviated version of the 52,000 emails between us. I basically told her the goals that I wanted to achieve and how, if at all, herbalife can help me. She gave me an option of three plans based on my lifestyle and goals. I chose the first option which consisted of a cleanse, tea, and other tablets. I was only required to work out 2-3 times per week (minimum) and basically “eat clean,” which I have been doing anyway. I sent in my payment and then the magical box appeared lol.

herbalife2

Ok here’s the part you are here for is it the real deal?

Yes it is! It is as simple as that. I have been on this plan for two week and I have lost 4 lbs and have seen a significant change in certain parts of my body such as my stomach (yes it is going down!) and back. I know that I have a small frame, but my back fat was pretty gross for my size and shape. I looked in my fully body mirror yesterday and was like whoa…where did I go?

Not only have I seen a change in my body I also feel amazing. I told her I needed to increase my energy levels, especially with me going back to school this summer. I can HONESTLY say that I have more energy and I feel lighter. I sent Cimone a text this past weekend telling her how much lighter I feel. I used to feel really heavy, but that is not the case now and i don’t feel like I am carrying extra weight. I but admit that it has been difficult keeping up with the eating schedule, exercise, and water intake, especially on weekends, but in order to see results you have to stick with the plan. I’m still working out the kinks like consistently working out and keeping up with my meal plan on the weekend.

Recap

1. I feel lighter

2. I have more energy

3. I have seen REAL results in just 2 weeks (weight loss)

So for the people that have inquired if Herbalife really works, I can honestly say it does. Some people have inquired about my exact plan and the pricing, but your coach customizes a plan specifically for you based on your lifestyle and goals so each plan may differ. I can’t wait to see my results after a month. I’ll post pics then. If you want more information or if you want to see real deal results follow Cimone on Instagram: Monie_Gee

Disclaimer: This product was purchased with my own money. The reviews in this post are strictly based on my own experience. I have not been influenced by anyone or anything. 

With only a few more weeks left of April I have to find new ways to stay motivated on this healthy lifestyle journey. Last week I attended a spa week (there’s still time to book your appointments click here ) and I received a Spa Water book, which sparked this challenge. This book contains tons of recipes of various types infused water recipes for healthy eating and drinking. My coworker also randomly gave me an infused water recipe and so I took that as a sign.

So what is infused water exactly?

Fruit infused water is exactly what it states. It is water mixed with fruits and herbs with amazing health benefits, including getting rid of belly fat.

Pictures62

The most popular fruit infused water is lemon water and some of the benefits of drinking lemon water include:

  1. Boosts your immune system
  2. Decreases wrinkles and blemishes
  3. Flushes unwanted materials out of your system
  4. Relieves respiratory problems

Health Benefits of drinking Fruit and Herb Infused Water

  • Weight Loss
  • Younger and Healthier Looking Skin
  • More Energy
  • Better Taste/Flavors
  • More Nutrients, Vitamins, and Antioxidants
  • Improves Digestion
  • Improves Immune System
  • Improves your Mood

So for this challenge I will be replacing my usual fruit juices with fruit infused water. My goal is to drink at least 32 oz. per day for the next 14-days.

The ingredients and materials for the next 14-days.

1. Spa Water by Pam Wenzel (for inspiration)
2. Pitcher
3. Mason Jars
4. Fruit and Vegetable brush (for the non organic products)
5. Lemons
6. Limes
7. Peaches
8. Mint
9. Cucumber
10. Grapefruit
11. Basil
12. Berries (strawberry, raspberry and blueberry)
13. Peaches
14. Kiwi
15. Ginger

I will use 6-10 recipes over the course of the two-weeks. I will not try a new recipe each day because of my schedule and prepping for the week is easier than a new prep each day. I will be using the Spa Water book for inspiration but I will mainly “freestyle” my recipes. I will also be noting the effects of drinking fruit infused water as well. So stay tuned for the updates and if you are going to participate leave a comment below!

I will be using the hashtag #HGBInfusedH2O on all social media posts. So tag your pictures and recipes!

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook to stay up to date with the recipes. I will begin the challenge Sunday April 21, 2013 and the challenge will end May 5, 2013.

spaweek

It is time to usher in the spring with some pampering! We have to rejuvenate from the long and harsh winter and what better way to do that than at a spa! Well you are just in luck. Spa week begins tomorrow April 15th and it is not to late to book a $50 treatment. So go unwind and get pampered.

spaweek3

Click here to find spas in your area with $50 treatments and book today!

Hello my fitness loves! I hope you all are having a splendid week so far. For today’s fitness post I wanted to focus on the 90/10 rule. For those of you who do not know, the 90/10 rule simply states that weight loss is 90% nutrition and 10% exercise. When I learned this a few years ago I was in complete shock. I knew that I couldn’t “pig out” and expect to be in shape, but I would think that exercise would be only 10%. You can do all of the crunches, planks, and sit-ups in the world, but if you are not eating a balanced diet, then you won’t see results.

Pictures59

When it comes to nutrition you should consult with a health professional to find a plan that best suits your lifestyle. I don’t have a set nutrition plan but this is what works for me.

  • Breakfast (Monday-Thursday) oatmeal and a boiled egg or a green smoothie
  • Morning Snack- Greek Yogurt and/or piece of fruit
  • Lunch (high in protein and lots of greens,multi-grain/fiber)
  • Afternoon Snack- fruit and/or nuts (almonds, pistachios, peanuts, or trail mix)
  • Dinner (high in Protein, greens, multi-grain/fiber)
  • Snack- fruit and/or nuts or a protein shake (after my evening workout)

Some people have eliminated carbs out of their lives completely, but I love bread too much to do that. I just minimize the amount I eat. I only eat whole wheat pasta, unless I’m at a restaurant. I may have pasta 3-5 times per month. My carbs mainly come from fruit. I am now in love with quinoa, but I’m starting to like couscous. If I eat rice, it’s brown rice. I’m looking to try zucchini “pasta” and spaghetti squash. For my greens I either have kale, spinach, asparagus, brussel sprouts, broccoli, or string beans. I try to spice everything up a little bit whenever I cook so I don’t get bored. I also eat lots of salads with baby spinach, arugula, mesclun, or romaine lettuce. I rarely eat fried foods any more. Everything is either baked or grilled.

I give myself two cheat days per week, which are usually Friday and Saturday, or Saturday and Sunday. I try to have 3-5 times per week. It is very time consuming! I have eliminated soda from my life, well 95%. Since I started this jersey, I haven’t had the urge to drink soda. I did a few times when I was stressed lol (don’t judge me). If I drink juice it is 100% juice and must have less than 25 grams of sugar. I mainly drink iced green tea. It helps with stress and belly fat as well. I drink a lot more water than before, I’m about 16 oz shy of the required 64 oz. I also try not to eat a heavy meal after 7:30pm. I try not to eat anything heavy 2-3 hours before going to bed. I will have a light snack though.

This is what I’m doing so far and I have a lot more energy as well and I don’t feel heavy.

So what do you do to make sure you are eating right? I need more options!