Monday, January 26, 2015

Monday Motivators: Whole Life Challenge, Week 1

[Earning the exercise points is the least of my worries. 
Day 9 of the challenge was my 3rd half marathon of the 
2014-15 race season]

We're already into the third day of week 2.  I'm glad I decided to upgrade my status to the Performance level of the Whole Life Challenge because the middle level wasn't enough of a change from my previous day-to-day. The point of the game is to adjust your habits in a way that will allow new, lasting lifestyle behaviors, and I wanted something that would keep me on my toes. 

Over the next 7 weeks, I'll be sharing different aspects of this challenge and the changes-both big and small-that I'm making as a result. All of which hold the promise of motivating me each Monday morning. 

The first week, it was mostly changes in the nutrition category that took me through the ups--new recipes & strategic workouts--and also some wine temptations at a reunion happy hour. 

All in all, I am starting to feel the mental shift. Even the slightest changes have made me feel successful and motivated me to keep trying to better myself.  Best of all, I'm participating with my husband, so the team work and accountability have twice the meaning. 

[Now that my husband's joined the game, the produce in our house has doubled...yay!]

[A salad every day doesn't mean you're in the clear. Homemade dressing is now a must to avoid sugars & unwanted chemicals. *Read the ingredients of these recipes carefully; they're not all WLC approved.]

[My nightly glass of wine (or two) is now herbal tea with fresh fruit.]

[3rd attempt at sweet potato chips. Still no luck. I'll get there...we need something to dip into the fresh, homemade salsa.]

[Luckily for my husband, our chili recipe is almost completely WLC compliant...I just had to make another batch without corn. Yellow bell peppers are a nice substitute--and a trick to the eye--for the duration of the challenge. Tates just as good!] 

[Adding peanuts to the diet in place of crackers and pretzels was fun for awhile, but I quickly decided the idea needed some spicing up.]

[Which is exactly what I did. In the sauce pan, I added olive oil and cooked the peanuts until golden brown. After about 10 minutes, I added garlic powder, pepper, cumin, & cayanne.]

[Once I got a bit obsessed with the idea of enhancing peanuts, I must admit I went a bit nutty myself. Above, I followed the recipe more closely, but to keep my WLC points--and save a few calories--I used egg whites instead of butter to coat the nuts before baking and did not include any cane sugars.  Here, I used them as a crunchy topping to a completely natural, sugar-free apple & pear sauce (recipe later). Perfect for dessert or breakfast. Spices for these sweet spiced nuts include nutmeg, ground cloves, all spice, cinnamon, salt and a dash of stevia (allowed!)]

Day 7. I had been earning ALL  of my points, EVERY day...until my dear friend, who I hadn't seen in months, called me up and invited me to a happy hour at a wine bar. Instant 4 point deduction. Woops. 
Gotta say, the pinot noir and company was well worth the sacrifice! Temporarily off the wagon. Saturday, I was back in business.

Now that the food routine is back on WLC auto pilot, I want to conquer the stretching part of this new lifestyle. Other than two minutes here and there in between sets, I'd like to actually carve out 10 solid minutes each night before bed, where I follow a calming stretching routine.

1 comment:

  1. All of this looks amazing! Those nuts sound delish and I'm already thikning of going to the store to pick up supplies this evening! Well done. Keep doing what you're doing :)
    You should get a mandolin to slice those sweet potatoes thinner to be more like chips. That might help :)

    Thanks for the inspiration!