Fitness

 

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12 WEEK CLEAN EATING
                                       JOURNEY
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     They say that it takes 22 days to create a habit but how long does it take to BREAK a habit? For the last year I have been going back and forth with eating healthy and unhealthy. I have tried it all from fruit/veggie detox to being a vegetarian for a few weeks. I would always start off strong but after a few weeks of healthy eating I would tell myself I deserve a treat and well.............(you get the point). I could never figure out why I could not stay focused. I continually made excuses for my bad eating habits and the not so smart purchases were being made at the supermarket. I would make excuses for myself like  "The kids need these cookies for their lunch" or "One sugary drink won't hurt". The problem with those theories are that I always end up eating the cookies and one sugary drink quickly turn into 3 or 4. I'm not sure of where this 12 week clean eating journey will take me but I am hoping that it will help me create better eating habits for me and my family.
 
     I chose to do a 12 week journey because I realized that making so many changes at once only made me crave the unhealthy foods more. I am hoping that by making a few small changes each week, I will create better habits and stick to them. Every Monday I will post the steps I will take that week to create better eating habits on this journey. I will be sharing any delicious healthy recipes I discover along the way.  Updates will be posted on how I did on the previous week. Please join me on becoming healthier. This journey will start Monday June 2, 2014 and will end on August 25, 2014.
 
DISCLAIMER: I am not a fitness expert. This is my personal journey to having a healthier lifestyle. I do not claim to know everything about fitness and health. Please consult your doctor before starting any fitness/exercise plan.
 
 
Week 1
  • CLEANING OUT MY CABINETS: The first step to a healthy eating habit is to fill your cabinets with healthy foods. I will not be replacing any sugary snacks. I am not telling you to throw anything away. Lets face it, food is expensive! I intend to use all food items in my cabinets, however once it is gone I will replace it with healthier snack alternatives.
 

 
  • WATER: I will drink eight 8 ounce glasses of water. The easiest way to do this is to drink a glass first thing in the morning, a glass before and after each meal and a glass before you go to bed. I am hoping that it will keep me hydrated and help to curve my cravings for ice tea and Wendy's strawberry lemonade. djm ! If I do have a craving for a sweet drink I will try Mios or herbal tea with honey. I am going to try to do without the Mios and tea though :)



    • PACKING MY LUNCH: To avoid making impulse purchases at the vending machines at work, I will be packing my lunch.
     


    If you are taking this journey with me thank you and good luck. Please subscribe to be updated each week on this clean eating journey. If you have any tips or great recipes please feel free to comment below.
     
     

     

    Did I Cheat?


          My Fruit and Vegetable Detox Update
         
                                   

            On December 1, 2013 I decided to kick start my December fitness challenge off right by doing a Fruits and Vegetables Detox. My body truly needed this break. I was feeling tired, bloated, and fatigued. This left me unmotivated and unproductive. This was not an easy journey and I didn't want my subscribers to think I went through this journey smoothly. I decided to do an update and answer the question I'm sure many of you wanted to know, DID I CHEAT? The answer is YES, however I never allowed that to completely stop my journey. I simply noted my mistake and continued my journey. My body was telling me it needed this break and I was determined to listen to it. But child, let me tell ya, the first two days were torture. I'm gonna take you through my journey and tell you the good, the bad and the UGLY....lol!

         Day 1 my morning started off great. I had been grocery shopping the day before, so I was fully prepared for this journey. Full of motivation and determination, I started my journey with a green smoothie. I used a 32 ounce mason jar to pour and drink my smoothie. This allowed me to drink a little at a time and store the remainder in a air tight jar for later. Although I loved the taste, I was not fond of the texture. I chose not to juice my fruits and vegetables because I wanted to feel full and I did not think the juice alone would stop my hunger pains. For lunch I chose to have a large fruit salad that was absolutely Delicious. So far so Good. Okay here comes the ugly part. My motivation was on a all time high. I had been snacking on fruits and vegetables all day and had become confident that I would sail through this journey without a hitch, WRONG! As I sat in my room reading a book, my nose was filled with the wonderful smell of fry chicken and it was coming from MY kitchen. Oh my how I tried to ignore this amazing smell but I was slowly being defeated by it. This was my first cheat :(. I had cheated on my detox the very first day with two delicious fried chicken wings and the guilt overwhelmed me. Was I really this undisciplined? I couldn't be. I made myself a spinach salad with strawberries, cucumbers, and walnuts and began to reevaluate my strategy. As I moved forward with my goal I needed to make a few small changes to insure the remainder of my journey would be successful. One of those changes was to drink more than my 8 glasses of water a day. This one change helpe me fill full most of the day. The next change was to eat Oatmeal with honey and fresh fruit in the morning. Although Oatmeal is not a fruit or vegetable, it is a healthy breakfast that will keep me full for a good part of the day. My last change was to find great veggie recipes. I found recipes that require little to no OVOO and that needed to be steamed or sauteed. By making my meals delicious, I was no longer bothered by the food my family cooked. 

         Days 2-3 I remained focused on my goals despite the hunger pains. Although I did feel full, I did not feel satisified. No matter how much I ate or how focused I tried to be, food was all I could think about. I thought about cheating a few times but I quickly dismissed those thoughts when I started to feel and see the rewards of my detox. In three days the bloating was gone. I began to feel more energized and my motivation to exercise had returned. This gave me the boost I needed to continue for the next two days. I was now anxious to see my final results. 

         Day 4-5 was the easiest. Since I was coming to the end of my journey, I no longer felt the hunger pains or temptation to eat those foods I once craved. The few blemishes on my skin had cleared up completely and my skin had a beautiful even tone. I no longer had a muffin top and I was able to fit jeans one size smaller than my normal size. I guess that was the benefit of losing the bloat in my belly. I felt great but most of all I felt accomplished. I was able to give up all the foods I love (bread, sugar, meat, dairy, pasta and rice) for 5 days. Yes, I made a few mistakes but I got back on track and moved forward. I benefited so much from this detox that I decided that I will do it one day a week from this point on. Do you want to try this detox? Check out the links below for recipes on detox smoothies, juices and vegan meals. Also check out some tips on how to get started by clicking this link Fruits and Vegetable Detox. Comment and let me know your thoughts. Remember you are human so you may make mistakes. Simply note your mistakes and move forward. 




               Fruit and Vegetable Detox


                           
        My December fitness challenge officially starts tomorrow and what better way to kick it off then to detox for the first 5 days. Although I eat fairly healthy, I do have my little slip ups. Shhhhhhhh! That’s between you and  I lol. Eating processed foods, refined sugar, meat and dairy can be hard and stressful on the body. Our kidneys and liver have to work extra hard to get rid of the toxins we expose them to on a daily bases. Fruits and vegetables keep you healthy and aid in the detoxification process, which rids the body of toxins and impurities. A fruit and vegetable detox is also a great way to cleanse and rejuvenate the body.
                    Have you been feeling, tired, groggy, irritable, or having trouble losing weight? Are you not having a bowel movement atleast twice a day? Are you feeling bloated, have dark urine or just need a boost of energy? If you answered yes to any of these, then this detox may be for you!
                   
                     During the fruit and vegetable detox, you are not allowed meat, bread, dairy, pasta, sugar or processed foods. You are only allowed FRUITS, VEGETABLES and WATER. This may sound impossible but it really isn’t. This gives you the chance to explore many new fruits and vegetables. You can steam, sautéed, juice, smoothie or eat them raw. The key is to eat every 2-3 hours so that you’re always full. The best part is you can eat as much as you want.  If you crave something sweet to drink, make natural fruit juice and a delicious fruit smoothie. I recommend you do this detox for 3 to 7 days. Please consult your Doctor if you intend to do this more than 7 days, are diabetic, pregnant or have any serious illness.
                  
                     There are great benefits from doing a fruit and vegetable detox. You will see a difference in your skin, hair and nails. You will began to feel more energized and less tired. You will shed pounds and be less bloated, but most of all you will have given your body a well deserved break! I plan to  do my detox for 5 days and if I'm not feeling to hungry maybe 7 days. I will be using a combination of green juices, fruit smoothies and veggie and fruit salads. I will also keep a journal on my detox journey and update you guys on exactly what I ate and whether I made it through the 5 days without cheating. Yes, I plan on tell you the truth and nothing but the truth good or bad. Join me on my fitness journey :)
       


                                       WATER vs SODA 





        Many people do not truly understand the importance of drinking water. Even more people don't realize just how much damage sodas do to their bodies. Did you know that 2/3 of your body consists of water and is the main component of the body? Water helps our organs to absorb nutrients better. It regulates out body temperature and detoxifies. Water moisturizes the air in our lungs and our joints. When you don't drink enough water it can cause you to feel fatigued, be dehydrated, get migraines, have kidney problems, muscle cramps and constipation. It can also cause dry skin and hair. A few signs that you need more water are DARK URINE, DRY SKIN, THIRST, HUNGER AND FATIGUE. You should drink atleast 8-10 GLASSES of water a day. A great way to make sure you drink atleast 8 glasses of water is to drink a glass in the morning, a glass before and after each meal and a glass before you go to bed. 
         Some people drink soft drinks more than they drink water. Some people don't drink water at all. Sure. soft drinks may taste better than water but they do not provide your body with any nutrients. Although soft drinks do contain water, they also contain toxins that do serious damage to your body. Sodas have a large amount of sugar, calories and additives that hold no nutritional value. Drinking sodas can cause obesity, tooth decay and heart disease. Because of the sugar in sodas your thirst will not be quenched, therefore causing you to drink more soda and consume more sugar and calories. Some of the harmful ingredients in sodas are PHOSPHORIC ACID, ASPARTAME, SUGAR, and CAFFEINE.  
    For more information on how these ingredients affect your body visit http://www.oleda.com/oleda_tips/tips.asp?dept=48 If you are not convinced that soda is bad for your body please read 20 Practical uses for coke.


    20 Practical Uses For Coke

    Coke acts as an acidic cleaner. The amount of acid in soda is enough to wear away at the enamel of your teeth, making them more susceptible to decay. In tests done on the acidity levels of soda, certain ones were found to have PH levels as low as 2.5. To put that into perspective, consider that battery acid has a pH of 1 and pure water has a pH of 7.
    To prove Coke does not belong in the human body, here are 20 practical ways you can use Coke as a domestic cleaner:
    1. Removes grease stains from clothing and fabric
    2. Removes rust; methods include using fabric dipped in Coke, a sponge or even aluminum foil. Also loosens rusty bolts
    3. Removes blood stains from clothing and fabric.
    4. Cleans oil stains from a garage floor; let the stain soak, hose off.
    5. Kills slugs and snails; the acids kills them.
    6. Cleans burnt pans; let the pan soak in the Coke, then rinse.
    7. Descales a kettle (same method as with burnt pans)
    8. Cleans car battery terminals by pouring a small amount of Coke over each one.
    9. Cleans your engine; Coke distributors have been using this technique for decades.
    10. Makes pennies shine; soaking old pennies in Coke will remove the tarnish.
    11. Cleans tile grout; pour onto kitchen floor, leave for a few minutes, wipe up.
    12. Dissolves a tooth; Use a sealed container…takes a while but it does work.
    13. Removes gum from hair; dip into a small bowl of Coke, leave a few minutes. Gum will wipe off.
    14. Removes stains from vitreous china.
    15. Got a dirty pool? Adding two 2-liter bottles of Coke clears up rust.
    16. You can remove (or fade) dye from hair by pouring diet Coke over it.
    17. Remove marker stains from carpet. Applying Coke, scrubbing and then clean with soapy water will remove marker stains.
    18. Cleans a toilet; pour around bowl, leave for a while, flush clean.
    19. Coke and aluminum foil will bring Chrome to a high shine.
    20. Strips paint off metal furniture. Soak a towel in Coke and lay it on the paint surface.
    Now can you imagine what is does to your stomach lining? 
    Who needs the ‘household and cleaning’ section at the hardware store when we have Coke.





    Disclaimer: The following information on Coke was gather from the below website. I reposted the 20 practical uses of coke onto my website to share with my readers. I am in no way claiming to be the originator of this information. 





                    DECEMBER FITNESS CHALLENGE

                                     EATING CLEAN

                          

    What is eating clean? You can not complete any fitness goal without first changing your eating habits. This has been proven to be the hardest challenge in getting fit for many people. In todays world where processed food and sugary treats are easily available and less expensive than our healthier alternatives, many people find it hard to break old habits. The great news is that it's not impossible to do and once it becomes habit it becomes easier to live a healthy lifestyle. You must remember that it is a LIFESTYLE, not a DIET! I'm going to share some tips to help you on this journey to a healthier LIFESTYLE.

    DO'S and DONT's

    DON'T: Eat three large meals per day. Eating large meals 5-6 hours apart will slow your metabolism down leaving you feeling tired and unmotivated. It will also cause you to snack on unhealthy treats to curve your hunger.

    DO: Eat 5-6 Meals per day. This includes Breakfast, lunch, dinner and three snacks. Try to eat every 2-3 hours to keep your metabolism up. This will help you have more energy to workout. It will also prevent your body from going into starvation mode, which usually cause you to eat a larger serving during your next meal. The key is to not feel hungry.

    DON'T: Be fooled by labels that say WHEAT! wheat does not equal whole wheat or whole grain and does not have the same nutritional value.

    DO: Choose whole grains and complex carbohydrates to give you more energy. They will also make you feel fuller longer. Look for breads, pasta, and rice that are not just brown, but also made with 100% whole grain.

    DON'T: Purchase processed foods. Processed foods contain starch, preservatives, sodium, sugar, artificial color and artificial flavors amongst other things that are not good for our bodies. Processed foods also contain cheap and unhealthy oils and most of the vitamins and minerals that fresh foods contain are lessened.

    DO: Purchase fresh foods. Eating fresh foods (especially organic) will allow you to reap the full benefits of the vitamins and minerals they contain. Fresh foods also taste better. I recommend going to your local farmers market to ensure that you are getting the freshest fruits, veggies and fish.

    DON'T: Eat snacks packed with refined sugar, unhealthy oils or fats. Eating these foods will surely pack on the pounds and have you on a sugar high that will come crashing down in about an hour. This will cause you to constantly crave for more sugar!

    DO: Eat as many fruits and vegetables as you want. the natural sugar in fruit will eventually help curve your craving for those unhealthy snacks that are packed with refined sugar.

    DON'T: drink sugary drinks such as sodas, concentrated juices, or even those vitamin waters that are also packed with a ton of sugar.

    DO: Drink plenty of water, green tea and herbal teas. Use honey or raw sugar if you prefer your drink a little sweet.

    DON'T: Eat fatty meats. Also do not eat a large amount of meat. Portion control is key. A serving is usually the size of your palm.

    DO: Eat lean meat like skinless chicken breast that is full of protein and fresh wild salmon that is also high in protein, omega 3, amino acid minerals, vitamins A,D,B6 and B12

    DON'T: Skip any meals, especially breakfast. Breakfast is the most and important meal of the day. Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can actually make controlling your weight more difficult. People who skip breakfast tend to eat more than usual at the next meal or nibble on high calorie snacks to ease their hunger pains.

    Now that we've gotten some do's and don'ts out of the way let's get start with December fitness challenge. We all know that we will stuff our face on thanksgiving and the next three days after on grandma's cooking. Afterwards we will go through our guilty feelings and want to get back on track. So lets bring the new year in right with a healthy LIFESTYLE change:

    EAT FRESH FOOD
    NO PROCESSED FOOD
    ELIMINATE REFINED SUGAR
    EAT 5-6 SMALL MEALS A DAY
    COMBINE PROTEINS WITH HEALTHY CARBS
    CONTROL YOUR PORTIONS (A portion is usually the size of your fist)
    COOK YOUR OWN MEALS
    DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
    CHOOSE WHOLE GRAINS

    WHOSE UP FOR THE CHALLENGE?!!

    For more on clean eating watch the video below :)



         

                                 

     8 Great ways to get fit and have fun

         Getting fit can often feel like a chore. If you're not a fitness fanatic staying in shape can a be extremely hard, often because it's more strenuous than fun. When I started my fitness journey I wanted to make sure I began a regimen that I can stick to. In order to do this I had to make it fun. I decided to compile a list of things that I enjoyed as a kid but will help me burn calories as an adult. 

    SWIMMING: Did you know you can burn up to 400 calories per hour swimming moderately and up to 600 calories swimming vigorously? This is a great way to burn calories without the strain of weights or high paced aerobic workouts.

    BIKE RIDING: Who didn't love bike riding as a kid? We rode our bikes up and down the street not even realizing the benefits of it. The toning of our thighs and glutes, not to mention burning up to 500 calories per hour riding moderate.

    HULA HOOP: Who would've thought that moving in a circular movement over and over would do wonders for our waistline? The hula hoop was one of my favorite toys as a little girl and is still a favorite of mine as an adult. You can either purchase a regular hula hoop or a weighted hula hoop to start working on that waist.

    SKATING: Every weekend I would lace up my skates and sway to the beat of the music at our local skating rink. Although it did not do my feet much justice, it definitely did wonders for my calve muscles not to mention my thighs. Grab your head phones, lace up your skates and have a blast burning off those calories.

    SPEED WALKING: Often times we are so out of shape that a light jog seems impossible. Don't allow that to stop you from getting fit. Start often with a slow walk and pick up the speed. Grab your headphones with a playlist of your favorite tunes and speed walk those pounds away.

    OBSTACLE COURSE: Gather some friends together and make a obstacle course. Challenge and push each other to the limit. Who can run the fastest, jump the highest, run up the stairs fastest, do more crunches etc. Just be sure to make it fun and exciting. Support each other through each course and watch the pounds began to drop.

    TRAMPOLINE: Jump jump jump up up and away. A perfect way to work your entire body. Jumping on a trampoline boost your heart rate into fat burning mode while working the muscles of your lower body. It can also improve flexibility. Jumping on a trampoline can burn as many as 500 calories per hour.

    DANCING: Beyonce, Ciara, Janet, and J-lo all entertainers who have strong dance backgrounds. They also are very fit women and I'm positive that those dance routines and rehearsals have a lot to do with it. Put your favorite songs on and have fun pretending to be some of your favorite celebrities. You also can try Zumba or Rockin body which are great dance work outs.

    DISCLAIMER: No exercise regimen will work without a healthy diet. Be sure to eat plenty or fruits, vegetables, whole grains, meats high in protein, fresh meat and fish. Limit your sugar and salt intake. Also drink plenty of water. You must take care of the inside as well as the outside.


    October Fitness Challenge


         Getting fit for many is usually a bit of a challenge. We usually start off with a lot of energy, hope, and determination but quickly burn out from drastically changing our lifestyle. When I decided to eat clean and become more active I learned that more is not always better (at least not in the beginning). On Sept 1, 2013 I decided to make a lifestyle change that fit MY LIFE and MY SCHEDULE. Remember everything is not for everyone. I had not eaten pork or beef for years so that part of my journey was easy. Now comes the hard part. ELIMINATING some things that I love *sighs. For 30 days I decided to cut out all artificial sweeteners, sugar, (most breads), white starches (rice, pasta, and potatoes) and all soft drinks. I replace these things with lots of fruits and veggies, whole grains, proteins, apple cinnamon water and my favorite smoothies (made from fresh fruits and veggies). I also decided to detox using a colon cleanser. This help to eliminate all the junk that was already in my body. To help me stay active I decided to do 20-30 minutes activity each day. Some of my favorite activities are skating, bike riding and jogging. I eventually included the Insanity program into my routine every other day. I am now going to give you some tips that will help you change and continue a NO EXCUSE fitness journey.

                                          OCTOBER 30 DAY CHALLENGE

    Step one: Detox your body- Whether you purchase a colon cleanser or use detox smoothies, cleansing your system will help you feel more energized not to mention help you have healthy nails, hair and skin.


    Step two: Eat clean- Some people try to cut everything out all at once which will usually lead to them going back to bad habits. I personally cut a few things out at a time. I first cut pork and beef from my diet. Next I cut out soft drinks. Eventually I cut out starch, breads, and sugar. By doing it in steps, I gave my mind and body a chance to adjust to the changes I was putting them through.


    Step three: Get active- Many people use the excuse that they don't have enough time. Well, if you have 10 minutes you have more than enough time. One of the things I love about the Insanity program is you do as many as you can in 60 seconds! Choose 10 exercises like jumping jacks, sit ups, push ups, lifts, squats etc. Do each exercise for 60 seconds. You just did a great workout in 10 minutes. Make workouts fun! Bring out the kid in you. Have you ever thought about bike riding, skate boarding, skating, hula hooping or swimming. Get a group of friends together and build an obstacle course. Challenge each other! A gym is not necessary to stay fit. 



    Great Tip: Keep a journal of all exercise and meals. Keeping this journal will help you stay focus. If you have a bad day a journal can definitely help you get back on track. It's also a great way to celebrate your fitness journey. Seeing what I accomplish every 30 days always make me smile.

    I would love to see some before and after pics of you guys. Send them to Audreyhughesfotos@gmail.com

    For Super colon cleasner Super colon cleanser

    For recipes on great detox smoothies go to Whole Living Detox Smoothies
    For apple cinnamon water recipe go to  Raw for beauty

    For A-Z benefits of fruits and vegetables go to Benefits of fruits and vegetables

    Here are some great you tube videos to help get you active. 

    CARDIO
    AB WORKOUT

    BUTT AND THIGHS