October 2017 Challenge: Go Hard or Go Home!

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For the last year and a half, we’ve been working hard EVERY SINGLE DAY. We’ve done strength work 5 days a week, and we run a lot. We take Sunday’s as a “rest” day but we know that we must stay active on Sunday to ward away that tight and soreness that creeps in after our long runs.

This month, we are changing things up a bit. We will still be active every day, but 3 days a week, we will go hard then 2 days we will get in a quick workout that will keep us moving but will give our body a chance to rest and recover from those hard days.

What does this mean? GO HARD OR GO HOME!

3 days a week, you will push yourself HARD so the next day you will NEED that rest day! Our calendar is set up with  Monday, Wednesday, Friday as our “HARD” workout days and Tuesday and Thursday as our “Quick Workout” days. This can be changed up so you can move things around if needed but it is important to remember to get those rest days in between!

Our “quick workouts will change as we go and you may see some crossover if we really like a workout but otherwise our days will vary to keep us from getting bored. The exercises can be done at home, at the gym or anywhere else you are (you might need to take weights if traveling on some days).

Here’s how it’s set up: Calendar is below

  • Monday: Legs & Core
  • Tuesday: Quick Workout
  • Wednesday: Legs & Arms
  • Thursday: Quick Workout
  • Friday: Arms & Core
  • Saturday: Long Run
  • Sunday: Active Recovery / Yoga

30 Day Clean Eating Challenge

It’s a new month and time for a a new challenge! We’re not doing our typical “30 Day Challenge Calendar” but I would like to work on healthy, clean eating to go along with our new plan for October. With the holidays straight ahead, it’s a good time to make a transition to a menu related challenge. You don’t have to be perfect and you can choose the level and how strict you’d like to be.

If you’re feeling puffed up and slowed down, chances are your eating habits may need a tune up. By taking the 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge, you can clean up your diet, perk up your lifestyle, increase your energy, shed some pounds and essentially, show your inner glow.

What is Clean Eating?

At the core of clean eating is a commitment to eating food in its most natural state. If your ancestors wouldn’t recognize it as food, then it’s off the table when you’re “eating clean.” If it comes in a box, baggie or frozen, it’s probably not going to pass the “clean eating” test. The most important thing to keep in mind, is that the concept of eating clean is not a diet at all, it’s simply a way of life. When you make a decision to eliminate processed and refined products for a significant amount of time, it’s pretty hard to go back.

What can you eat on the 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge?

The best part about Clean Eating is that you can eat as much food as you want.  It just has to be whole, natural, real food. This is not a calorically restricted way of eating, which keeps it simpler and truly more satisfying. This is also why eating clean can easily become a lifestyle, not just a 30 Day Challenge.

What foods or food groups must be avoided when eating clean?

Well, this is a debatable topic, some Clean Eating programs will have you eliminate a lot of food groups and have you pretty much eating lean meats and veggies. This is just about your standard Paleo Diet. And while there are most certainly advantages to the cleanest of eating, it can be a bit too restrictive for some lifestyles. So the 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge from the 30-Day Challenge Series has assigned three levels to Clean Eating and the choice is yours to make.  Level one is the least restrictive by suggesting you eliminate only processed foods, refined grains, added sugar, and hydrogenated oils. Level two eliminates dairy and level three eliminates gluten, caffeine and alcohol as well.

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The fine print for the 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge:

  1. You decide what level of the challenge is right for you based on your lifestyle. We all come into these challenges with different starting grounds and the only thing we have in common, is that we are all stronger and healthier when we finish!
  2. This challenge will require you to get comfortable in your kitchen, as fast food is off limits. You can still eat out, but aim for farm-to-table restaurants that use local, fresh ingredients and order according to the level of challenge you have selected.
  3. Because this is not a calorically restricted challenge, you should be able to exercise as normal. If you’ve selected level three and are eliminating all grains, your diet will naturally be lower in carbohydrates. Be sure to have starchy vegetables or fruits before your workouts so that you’ll have energy to power your exercise.
  4. At the beginning of the month you will record weight, basic measurements and energy level. At the end of the month, you will do the same thing to measure your progress.
  5. Some days will be harder than others, especially towards the beginning of the challenge. Try to push through cravings, but not hunger. When you are hungry, you should eat more “clean food.

If you’d like ideas for menu planning, check out the “my RD Approved Menu Plans” for Paleo, Gluten Free, Vegetarian and Holistic. Each plan has 28 days of ideas for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinners and comes with a complete shopping list and a few recipe ideas. This does not mean you are going paleo, gluten free, or vegetarian. This is just a few places to find ideas and recipes to eat clean!

I like the idea of doing our best to eat clean, but not restricting our calories, because we ARE going to be working out. Couple “rules” below. Read through these and makes notes of what you will struggle with so you are being honest with yourself from the beginning and can be aware when you are making certain choices.

  1. No fast food – this doesn’t mean you can’t eat out. Just means no drive through for burgers. This one will be hard for me because I will admit, I crave Mexican and Taco Bell is a stones throw from my house. But if I know you all are doing it with me, I know I can do it for one month!
  2. Eat naked. Foods that don’t come in packages, like fresh fruits and vegetables; meat and fish you can get from the butcher or seafood counter; and grains, nuts, and spices you can buy in bulk, are clean. No pre-packaged foods – No Cheez Its for me. What is your hardest thing to avoid grabbing at home?
  3. Eat real. Real food is clean food. If you can imagine it growing out of the ground or being raised on a farm, it’s real—and real good.
  4. Give up the white stuff. If you really want to eat clean, avoid sugar in its various forms and disguises. If you want to sweeten, opt for unprocessed types like raw honey or pure maple syrup, both of which go straight from hive or tree, respectively, to your mouth.
  5. Enjoy every bite. Clean eating is about enjoying delicious, real food—each and every bite. If it doesn’t taste good, don’t eat it.

This will be hard for a lot of us (me included) but we can do this. We might not be perfect, but making a few big changes in our diet this month can help us shed some pounds AND feel lighter on our feet.

Who’s in? What level are you willing to commit to? Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3?

October 2017 Challenge Calendar: 

Some of the days might seem “random” with the number of repetitions for the exercises but they are thought out and will challenge us in certain areas. Our legs can work harder than our arms, so some of those numbers are higher. Some of the days will take longer than other, but remember the following day is a quick 5-10 “just get moving” workout so you can figure out the best way to work it into your schedule.

As always, I would love to hear your feedback on how we can make this month and every month more effective so don’t hesitate to reach out to me with ideas! Let’s do this! Our October 2017 Challenge Calendar is below. Don’t worry…I will add “how to” videos as we go! 🙂

Let’s do this Crew! Time for another fantastic month of working our, supporting, motivating and encouraging each other, and what we love most…running!

October 2017 Challenge Calendar - Final