Challenge Monday

Fitness Challenge

I challenge you to complete my Cheerleading Arms workout everyday this week

Why Why Why

  • This is a low impact workout that you can do sitting down
  • Everyone can participate and receive a serious burn
  • This workout is cheerleading and Pilates inspired
  • This routine is quick and effective so you should be able told do this one everyday this week

Materials

  • Timer

Directions

Complete each exercise for 30 seconds
 

Arm circles front (small)
Arm circles back (small)
Arm circles front (large)
Arm circles back (large)
Ts
Goal Posts Up Downs
Diagonal Arms Switching sides each time

My Take

 I’m all about toned arms, I’ve spent years doing thousands of push-ups and I’m finally pushed out. Since I’m doing everything in my power to get my summer body right, I tried adding push-ups into my routine again, but to no avail. I just don’t like them anymore. That’s where this workout comes into play. it only takes 3:30 minutes and my arms are on fire when it’s done. You might not work up a sweat but you will defiantly feel the burn.

Nutrition Challenge

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I challenge you to eat a sexy salad 5 days this week

Why Why Why

  • Eating salads at least 5 days a week, is the best healthy eating habits you can adopt
  • Salads are a convenient way to work in your daily serving of fruit and vegetables
  • Salads are a colorful, fun to eat and easy to customize to your personal taste

Materials

  • Sexy salad recipes
  • I’ll be featuring a few later on this week

Directions

Eat a salad at least 5 days this week, preferably during dinner
Make sure they are sexy salad
Example
Sexy steak salad
Sexy cob salad
Sexy bean salad
Lol feels funny writing that

My Take

I used to hate salads, after years of conditioning I’m finally a fan. I eat more rabbit food than the average human being and I love it. Salads are crunchy, satisfying and filling, if you get, or make, the right one. Which is the point of this weeks challenge.

Self Improvement Challenge

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I challenge you to Write a haiku everyday this week

Why Why Why

  • Write one haiku a day everyday this week
  • Haiku writing can improve your writing skills by forcing you to express yourself in fewer, more descriptive words
  • It’s silly and fun and should add a much-needed mental game/break in hour day

Materials

  • Your favorite writing utensil
  • Paper or phone app

Directions

  • A haiku is a structured Japanese minimalist poetry,  3 lines long, 5-7-5 syllables
  • Do not stress over these daily haikus keep it fun and loose, try not to take yourself or your non-existing poetry career seriously

My Take

I absolutely love poetry. I wish I had the talent to be a poet but i just don’t have the writing chops. This weeks challenge is going to be fun.
 XOXO,
Mary

Challenge Monday

Fitness Challenge

I challenge you to complete my Drop It Low workout at least 5 days this week

Why Why Why

  • Squats and lunges challenge your lower body, endurance and your core
  • Both exercises, squat and lunges, lift and shape your booty while slimming your thighs
  • Squat and lunges are two of the most effective exercises you can do

Materials

  • Just yourself

Directions

Drop It Low

Beginners – 10 reps each exercise, for lunges 10 reps each leg, 5 sets

Intermediate – 18 reps each exercise, for lunges 18 reps each leg 5 sets

Advanced – 25 reps each exercise, for lunges 25 reps each leg 5 sets

Be mindful of your knees

if you have any knee issues keep squats and lunges shallow 
if you experience any knee pain do not do this routine 

My Take

I don’t like to show off my body on this blog, but I have a serious bubble butt. The size is genetics but the shape my squat regiment. I’ve had random teenagers, older women, and couples stop me in the street to compliment my backside. Summer is almost here and you want to fill out those shorts, bikini’s, and sun-dresses. If you complete this workout at least 5 times a week you will see a difference by the end of the week.

Nutrition Challenge

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I challenge you to add certain foods and drinks to your diet that have been scientifically proven to prevent and fight cancer

Why Why Why

  • Cancer sucks
  • Eating certain foods can decrease your chances of getting cancer why would you not do it

Materials

  • Cheat sheets coming next week
  • Here are a few foods on the anti-cancer diet
Garlic
Acia
Green tea
Broccoli
Leafy greens
Kale
Turmeric
Spinach
Nuts & Seeds
Berries
Lemons
Limes
Apple
Grapes
Berries
Whole Grains
Tomatoes
Dark Chocolate
Fish
Eggs
Organic lean meat
Olive oil

Directions

  • Incorporate these foods into your diet everyday this week

My Take

I’ve been aware of cancer and the dramatic effect it can have on lives from an early age. Adding certain foods to your diet curb your chances of contracting this deadly disease, need I say more? I think not.

Self Improvement Challenge

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I challenge you to give compliments that have nothing to do with appearance at least 5 times a day everyday this weeks

Why why Why

  • As humans we are fixated on the outward appearance
  • Acknowledging what’s on the inside challenges you to look deeper and have a better appreciation for that person
  • Most compliments are focused on appearance
  • Giving and receiving compliments can improve self-esteem in yourself and others

Materials

  • A thoughtful mind

Directions

  • Give at least 5 non-appearance compliments everyday this week
  • You can give these compliments to the same person or even to yourself
My Take
Most of the compliments I receive is all about my appearance. As much as I appreciate the kind words it sadden me that people don’t look any deeper. I’m excited about this challenge, can’t wait to get started.
XOXO,
MARY

Challenge Monday

Fitness Challenge

I challenge you to complete my Obliques on Fire everyday this week

Why Why Why

  • Oblique muscles (side abdominals) allow you to bend and twist torso
  • Strong obliques support the lower back and can eliminate back pain
  • Strengthening obliques can improve posture and slim your waist

Materials

  • Just yourself

Directions

Oblique Killers

2 rounds – beginner
3 rounds – intermediate
5 rounds – advanced

Squats with leg lifts – 10 reps each leg
Standing side crunches – 10 reps each leg
Twist and reach – 10 reps each leg
Side plank raises – 10 reps each side
Slow crunch circles – 10 reps

My Take

I’m obsessed with keeping my stomach as flat as possible, that means working my entire core, not just my lower or upper abdominals. My obliques develop quick and is one of my favorite muscles to exercise. This routine isn’t as taxing as last week but it still gets the job done.

Nutrition Challenge

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Why Why Why

  • Olive oil and coconut oil are the  healthiest vegetable oils
  • Adding olive, coconut, or sesame seed oil to your beauty regiment can provide positive benefits to your skin, hair, and nails
  • Olive and Coconut oil can help prevent breast cancer, aid in weight loss, boosts metabolism, aids digestion, can prevent gallstones, reduce heart problems, reduces bad cholesterol levels and much much more

Materials

  • Purchase extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, flaxseed oil

Direction

  • Consume 1 to 2 tbsp healthy oils everyday this week
  • Replace butter intake with healthy vegetable, coconut, and seed oils
  • Put it on bread, in salad dressing, fish, sauté vegetables, add to pasta
  • FDA recommends replacing saturated fats, such as butter, with olive oil

My Take

I never indulged in heart healthy oils like olive oil until I met my boyfriend over 5 years ago. Not only is it tasty but healthy oils have numerous benefits from cancer prevention to hydrating skin. I can’t wait to put together this weeks handy fact sheet on this subject.

Self Improvement

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I challenge you to

spend some time alone everyday this week

Challenge Synopsis

  • Benefits of being alone
  • Solitude allows you to unwind and reboot your brain
  • Improves concentration
  • Increase productivity
  • gives you an opportunity to discover yourself and find your own voice
  • Can enhance the quality of your relationship with others
  • Allow you to disconnect

Materials

  • Just yourself

Directions

  • Turn off all electronic devices, phone, iPad, computer, tv… (optional)
  • Spend 5 minutes ALONE, reading, thinking, meditating, really doing anything you would like

My Take

I’ve always liked spending time by myself, it’s easier than being around people. When I’m by myself I don’t have to explain my actions to anyone, I don’t have to worry about my appearance or control my bodily functions. I can let one rip and no one is the wiser. Turning off my phone and disconnecting from the world will help me to reconnect with myself. Doing this once a day for just 5 minutes a day everyday this week will be a challenge for me, I can’t wait to see what happens.

xoxo,

Mary

 

Challenge Monday

Fitness Challenge

Super Planks

Why Why Why

  • These reved up planks provide a full body workout with one exercise
  • Planks are serious core strengtheners, targeting your entire core in one simple sustained movement, or should I say non-movement
  • Planks can tone your mid-section, reduce back pain, increase flexibility, improve balance as well as improve your balance and posture
  • These Super-planks provide a full body workout with one exercise

Materials

Just yourself

Directions

My Take

I found this exercise a few weeks ago and I’m in love with it. I’ve added 25 reps to my regular workout and I’m panting and sweating by rep 10, I have to make myself finish each set. You will hate me and love me for this one, remember summer is coming sooner rather than later and bikinis don’t lie.

Nutrition Challenge

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Why Why Why

  • Benefits of eating apple:
    • Healthier teeth
    • Avoid Alzheimers
    • Protects against Parkinson’s disease
    • Helps reduce your risk of developing pancreatic cancer
    • Decrease risk of diabetes
    • Reduces cholesterol
    • Prevents gallstones
    • Helps with diarrhea and constipation
    • Can help with weight loss
    • Boost immune system
    • Prevents cataracts
    • Natural detoxifier

Materials

Apples, Apples and more apples

Direction

Eat at least one apple a day everyday this week

My Take

I enjoy a sweet, juicy, crisp apple multiple times a day. I haven’t always enjoyed apples, there was a time in my life that I actually hated them and eating them were out of the question. I’m so happy that time of my life is over and I hope all of you decide to jump on the apple train with me this week.

Self-Improvement Challenge

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Why Why Why

  • There are numerous benefits associated with house plants
    • Plants produce oxygen and provide a Zen feelings with an environment
    • Reduce stress
    • Fight colds
    • Remove airborne contaminants
    • Improve mood
    • Improve mental health
    • Decrease blood pressure
    • Prevent allergies

Materials

  • a house plant
  • you can purchase them everywhere now-a-days, grocery stores, whole foods, trader joes, ikea (my favorite place to buy my plants), Home Depot, Target and online
  • Opt for leafy green plants, avoid flowers

Directions

  • You have 7 days to buy a hose plant, name it and water it
  • If you don’t have time to water checkout these cool inventions

My Take

I’m all about my house plants. I name them, talk to them, love them and communicate with them, they are my besties. I know that may sound strange to all of you but my plants have become my friends. This challenge sounds a little strange but believe me house plants can lift your spirits, improve your health and give you something to look for daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. As long as you don’t kill them.
Peace & Love,
Mary

Challenge Monday Nola Style

Fitness Challenge

Jacks and squats

Why Why Why

  • Jumping Jacks & Squats work your entire body, raise your heart rate and challenge your endurance
  • This workout is quick and dirty just like I like it

Materials

  • Just yourself

Directions

Take as many breaks as needed
5 Jumping Jacks
5 Squats
10 Jumping Jacks
10 Squats
15 Jumping Jacks
15 Squats
20 Jumping Jacks
20 Squats
25 Jumping Jacks
25 Squats

My Take

I’m in New Orleans the home of rich sauces, poboys, legal drinking in the street and a serious no sleep zone. I’ve been going to Bikram yoga almost everyday and trying to stay on track but sometimes that seems impossible. This routine gets your heart rate pumping fast and is over before you know it.

Nutrition Challenge

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Why Why Why

  • Green tea has numerous benefits, too many to list here, so here are a few that stand out to me
    • Excellent source of antioxidants
    • Burns fat and enables you to exercise longer
    • Prolongs your life
    • Lowers stress and anxiety level
    • Boosts brain power
    • Reduces blood pressure
    • Prevents tooth decay and cures bad breath
    • Boosts your immunity against illnesses
    • Rehydrates the body better than water

Materials

  • Green tea

Directions

  • Drink at least two cups of green tea everyday this week

My Take

Everyone knows the green tea trick right? Drink a few cups of green tea everyday reduce belly fat, feel fuller longer and lose weight, if only it were that simple. It seems easy enough and I even know a few people who have successfully lost a few pounds but I am not one of those people. This week I’m hoping to join the green tea movement. I’ll be sucking down at least 2 cups probably 4 cups and we shall see what the results are.

Self Improvement Challenge

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Why Why Why

  • Breathing Practices are powerful and life changing
    • Decrease anxiety and depression
    • Increase happiness and optimism
    • Improve sleep
    • Strengthen our ability to regulate emotions
    • Improve trauma symptoms
    • Reduce impulsivity cravings and addictions
    • How does something as simple as breath have such a positive effect on you?
    • Breath is linked to our autonomic nervous system
    • Daily breathing practice activates the nervous system which is connect to resting and digestion and overall well-being

Materials

  • Just Yourself

Directions

Right before you drift off to sleep take 100… yes I said 100 deep breaths, slow and steady. You might not make it to 100, you might drift off to sleep before you hit 20 but try your best to take 100 deep breaths

My Take

I featured a breathing self-improvement challenge a few weeks ago and got a lot of great feedback. Here we go again, breathing techniques are some of my favorite challenges to feature. They are simple, you don’t need any special equipment to breath and there are many benefits from it. If you skipped my last breathing challenge jump on this one and tell me what you think. I’ve been focusing on taking 100 deep breaths before bed, sometimes I make it to 100 and some times I find myself drifting around 30. I noticed I’m a lot more relaxed, my mind isn’t flying around thinking about 1000 things, instead I get to concentrate on air entering and escaping my lungs. Try it out and let me know what you think.
Peace & Love,
Mary

Challenge Monday

Fitness Challenge

I challenge you to complete my ab challenge part 2 workout everyday this week

Why Why Why

  • This is part two of my tried and true abdominal challenge
  • Its harder than part 1

Materials

  • Just yourself

Directions

Complete 25 reps of each exercise
Hip Butt Ups
Heels to heaven
Roll Up Vs
Leg Climbers
Kayakers

My Take

My abs are sore from this workout which is a good thing. I can’t wait to see my results. I usually do a 30 day challenge with Part 1 & 2, completing these exercises everyday for 30 days. I’m going to officially start counting after my trip to New Orleans, I have a feeling I might miss a couple of workouts on the road.

Nutrition Challenge

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Why Why Why

  • Nuts are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and a rich source of potassium
  • Poly-phenolic flavonoids in nuts protect from heart disease
  • Nuts help prevent coronary artery disease
  • Nuts are a good source of protein and a filling snack
  • Can improve skin complexion, hair and nails

Materials

  • Nuts Nuts Nuts
  • Start with Almonds, peanuts, cashews, pistachios, walnuts and pecans

Directions

  • Eat a handful of nuts everyday this week
  • Opt for raw or roasted
  • Avoid salted, sugared, or processed

My Take

I wish I could say I’m crazy about nuts but I’m just not. I love them when I eat them but I have to force myself to pull them out of the cabinet and start munching. This week I’m going to prep my nuts by portioning them out and placing them somewhere I can see them daily. Wish me luck!

Self-Improvement Challenge

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Why Why Why

  • Numerous studies have proven that people who practice high levels of eye contact with other are perceived as being:
    • More dominant and powerful
    • More warm and personable
    • More attractive and likable
    • More qualified, skilled, competent and valuable
    • More trustworthy, honest and sincere
    • More confident and emotionally stable

Materials

  • Just yourself

Directions

  • Force yourself to make and keep eye contact with everyone you encounter over the next 7 days
  • It might be challenging but stick with it and it will get easier later on in the week

My Take

I love my boyfriends best friend, he’s an absolute sweet heart. He recently got engaged and I couldn’t be happier for him. I’m always interested in learning what men are attracted to, so I asked him what made him choose this woman, how did he know she was the one, what about her was different from all the other girls in the world. He had a sweet and simple answer: Her Eyes. He can’t get enough of her eyes, they are expressive, kind, sweet, energetic and passionate. Ever since then I’ve been obsessed with eyes, I wonder what people see when they look deep into mine.
Peace & Love,
Mary

Challenge Monday

It’s Challenge Monday

Fitness challenge

Jump like a frog 

Challenge Synopsis
I challenge you to do frog jumps everyday this week

Why Why Why

  • Frog jumps are similar to squat jumps, but they help you keep proper form 
  • By bending down and touching the floor in front of you (frog position) you are completing a deep squat 
  • Squats target your entire lower body
  • Squat jumps challenges your cardio endurance 
  • Frog jumps takes squats and squat jumps to another level targeting lower body, cardio endurance and stamina 

Materials
Will Power
Strength 
Disciple
Strong mind
Exercise mat 

Directions

Complete 4 sets 12 reps of everyday this week


Frog Jumps

Start feet a little wider than shoulder width apart 
Bend down finger tips touching the ground between your feet
Bend down a little more gently pushing off your finger tips jump straight up in the air, arms extend straight up
As you land go right back to starting position and jump again 
Jumps should be quick
Check form after every jump 

My Take
I’m not a big fan of squat jumps, but frog jumps aren’t so bad. Try them out they are actually a lot of fun. 

Nutrition Challenge 

Challenge Synopsis
I challenge you to lower your sodium intake this week

Why Why Why

  • 1 tsp of salt has 2,325 mg of sodium 
  • Dietary guidelines for Americans recommend less than 2300mg a day 
  • The average sodium consumption in the US is estimated at 3500mg a day, which is well above the recommended guidelines
  • Sodium is essential for normal function of our cells tissue thoughtout the body
  • Excessive sodium contributes to high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease which is the number 1 killer in the US
  • It accounts for more than 800,000 deaths a year and $273 billion in health care in 2010

My Take
I grew up on a southern diet and salt is a big part of that. It’s been a challenge learning to cook with less salt, but I’ve learned a few tricks that I can’t wait to share with all of you. 

Self Improvement Challenge


Challenge Synopsis 
I challenge you to practice positive affirmations this week

Why Why Why

  • Positive affirmations helped me change my life and loose weight years ago 
  • Positive affirmations are good for the brain and can boost self esteem
  • Talking to yourself in the mirror seems weird but is life changing once you actually take yourself seriously 

Materials
A mirror
An open heart 
An open mind 

Directions

  • Every day this week look in the mirror and say:
  • I am grateful for ________ (fill in the blank with what you are grateful for that day) 
  • Some examples: My strength, My family, My healthy, My significant other, My life, My positive attitude 

My Take 
I started reciting positive affirmations, just like this one, years ago. They helped me get through the toughest time of my life. I got naked stood in front of the mirror and repeated: I am beautiful… 
I am beautiful… I AM BEAUTIFUL.
I didn’t believe the words that were coming out of my mouth. Then one day I actually started believing it. Please don’t treat this challenge  as a joke. Positive affirmations changed my life and they can do the same for you. 

Peace & Love,

Mary

Challenge Mondays

Happy Monday 


It’s Challenge Monday ya’ll let’s go!!!

Fitness Challenge
You get to enjoy my favorite arm exercise 😉 😉

Challenge Synopsis 
I challenge you to work those arms with Plank Up-Downs everyday this week 

Why Why Why

  • Planks are recognized as the perfect core exercise, this exercise makes you move between a basic plank and an elbow plank
  • This exercise tones the upper body works the core, and challenges your cardio endurance
  • Body weight exercises can improve joint function, increase muscle tone  and no equipment is needed

Materials

  • Will Power
  • Strength 
  • Disciple
  • Strong mind
  • Exercise mat 

Directions

Complete 4 sets 12 reps 

*make sure to do these on a exercise mat to protect your elbows 


Plank Up Downs 

Start in plank position 

Arms and feet hip width apart 

Supporting all of your body’s weight on your hands

Carefully lift left hand bending elbow at a 90 degree angle resting all body weight on your forearm

Carefully lift right hand bending elbow at a 90 degree angle resting all bodyweight on your forearms

Carefully lift left arm and straighten elbow, resting all bodyweight on left hand

Carefully lift left arm and straighten elbow, resting all body weight on right hand

That’s one rep

My Take
I desire nice arms. I’ve been an arm
lover since Angela Basset in ‘What’s Love Got to Do With It?’ I can tell if I’m losing or gaining weight by the muscle tone in my arms. Every tear-jerking rep of Plank Up-Downs helps me maintain my sexy arms. Now get on the floor and start working on your summer arms now!

Nutrition Challenge

Try different cuisines this week


Challenge Synopsis

  • I know it sounds strange but I really want everyone to EAT out of there comfort zone over the next 7 days
  • Try Mexican, Greek, Indian, Thai, Burmese, Japanese, Korean German……

Why Why Why

  • Eating new foods spices up your life and can be a healthy change 
  • You never know what you like until you try it
  • Changing your routine is healthy for your brain and your appetite 

Materials

  • A few great recipes
  • An Open mind
  • A few extra bucks

Directions

  • Go out there and eat out of your comfort zone
  • I’ll be featuring healthy exotic recipes this week

My take
I used to weigh over 300 pound and gained most of that weight by eating famliar foods. Since my family is from the South I regularly snacked on fried chicken, liver and onions, smothered pork chops, mac and cheese, freshly made cakes and pies, etc., etc. You name it, I devoured it as long as it was southern comfort food. When I decided it was time to lose weight I realized I had to totally revamp my eating habits. I had to get out of my eating comfort zone and try new cuisines. When I tried different cuisines I couldn’t believe the flavors I had been missing out on. From fresh and filling Greek food to spicy Indian curries and healthy Vietnamese food I was hooked and I haven’t looked back. This week I’ll be sharing a few of my favorite exotic health recipes… can’t wait for you guys to try my spanakopita!

Life Improvement Challenge 
Write a forgiveness letter

Challenge Synopsis
I challenge you to write a letter to someone that did you wrong and give it to them

Why Why Why

  • Humans have the tendency to hold on to pain, especially if the pain comes from someone we love or have a close relationship with 
  • When you write your forgiveness letter and deliver it, the experience and the person no longer has power or influence over you 
  • It’s done! Finished! History!

Material

  • Clean sheet of paper
  • Pen or pencil
  • No phones or computers for this task, it’s important that you actually out pen to paper
  • An open heart

Directions

  • Think of someone who has recently, or not so recently wronged you
  • Take out a clean sheet of paper 
  • Describe the situation in full detail and explain how you felt at the time and still feel now that time has passed 
  • Make sure to include your true feelings, don’t hold back
  • Be honest 
  • Don’t worry about punctuation, diction or spelling 
  • Try to pour all of your frustrations out     into your letter
  • Now this is the hard part actually forgive the person!
  • That’s right I said forgive 
  • When your letter is finished re read it
  • The letter should help you come to terms with the root of the issue at hand
  • If you feel so compelled give or send the letter 

My Take
When I get mad at someone, like really really mad I usually clam up and say nothing. That is unless I’m mad at my man or my family. With them I usually pour my heart out right away so we can move on. But with friends I tend to clam up and slowly push them out of my life. I’m trying to change all that. I’ve written many forgiveness letters, I’ve even given a few. These letters usually respark the friendship or open up the lines of communication again. I hope this challenge saves a few friendships. At the very least it will save you from all the hardships that come along with holding grudges. 

That’s all today folks!
Peace & Love,
Mary  

It’s Challenge Tuesday

I had a relaxing and eventful Labor Day Weekend. Can’t wait to tackle this weeks challenges

Fitness Challenge

Rev up your warm up


Challenge Synopsis

  • I challenge you to try my favorite warm up exercises 

Why Why Why

Performing warm-up exercises before working-out can: 

  • Reduce the risk of injury
  • Help promote sweating
  • Reduce onset muscle soreness
  • Sends a signal to the body that says it’s time to exercise
  • Prepares your body for your workout 

Materials

  • Willpower
  • Water
  • A little extra time
  • A light kettle bell or dumbbell
  • Disciple
  • Strong body
  • Strong mind

Directions

Complete 2 sets of 10 reps, each exercise


Start with feet hip width apart, standing straight up

Place hands in ground in front of your feet

Walk hands out until you are in plank position, hips down, head aligned

Complete a push up

Walk hands up until your hips are directly under your feet

Stand up straight

Complete a squat

Let’s one rep


Starting in plank position

Move left leg between your hands or as close as you can

Keeping core engaged lift both hands reaching them to the sky

Place both hands back to ground

Move left foot back into plank position

Move right leg between your hands or as close as you can

Keeping your core engaged lift both hands reaching them to the sky

Place both hands back to ground

Move right foot back into plank position

That’s one rep


My Take

This is part of my everyday warm up. Each exercise is designed to work almost all muscles in your body while challenging your cardio endurance. I hate both of these exercises, that usually means they are effective. Take this week to rev up your warm up.

Nutrition Challenge


Challenge Synopsis

  • You should be eating salads 5-6 times a week, if not get to it
  • Salad dressing can be full of unwanted and unneeded calories
  • Making your own salad dressing is fun and cuts the calorie count

Why Why Why

  • Store brought, pre-made or powder mix salad dressings are usually high in fat and calories, they also contain food colorants, unnatural flavorings and added preservatives to extend shelf life
  • When you make your own Salad Dressing you control the freshness, quality and any artificial additives
Materials
All homemade Salad dressings should have a base, an acid, and a flavoring agent

  • Base, make sure to use high quality products
    • Extra Virgin Olive oil
    • Flax seed oil
    • Hemp oil
    • Avocado oil
    • Sesame oil

  • Acidic juice or vinegar
    • Apple Cider Vinegar
    • Fresh Lemon Juice
    • Balsamic Vinegar
    • Rice Vinegar 
    • Orange Juice

  • Flavor enhancers
    • Garlic & Shallot
    • Chia Seeds
    • Ground Flax Seeds
    • Mustard
    • Srircaha
    • Honey
    • Tahini
    • Jam
    • Fresh herbs
    • Ginger
    • Soy sauce

Directions
Combine 1/2 cup oil with 1/4 cup acidic juice or vinegar, sprinkle in a flavor enhancer and pour it over your salad… devour

My Take

I eat at least 1 salad a day, sometimes 2. Making my own salad dressing gives me control over my calorie intake. This weeks challenge should spark your creative side and tickle your taste buds.

Self Improvement Challenge

Create an Inspiration Board

Challenge Synopsis

Inspiration boards (aka mood board, vision boards or idea boards) are a collage of images that should spark your imagination and keep you motivated

Why Why Why

  • Inspirational Boards can have many purposes
    • Inspiration to start a new project
    • Figuring out what you really want out of life
    • Help visualizing your goals
    • Can help you with your love life, career, spirituality, and physical health
  • Inspiration boards are a compilation of inspiration elements that help spark ideas and keep you engaged and motivated

Materials

  • Cork board
  • Magnetic board
  • Cardboard
  • Old magazines
  • Clip art
  • Stock photos
  • Pencils
  • Pens
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • An inspiration board app

Directions

  • Decide what you want your board to represent
    • Weight loss
    • Job/Career
    • Love
    • Life goals
    • Pick your board
  • Find pictures and that reflect your goals and aspirations
    • Post, stick, or paste your pictures on a board
  • This is the most important part:
    • Place your finished board where you can see it everyday

My Take

I haven’t made an inspiration board since I was in high school. I’m looking forward to making a few different boards to keep me on my toes. I’ll be sharing my progress with all of you this week. We are evolving together

That’s all today folks,
Peace & Love
Mary

References:

Challenge Monday

It’s Challenge Monday 


I’m finally back on the West Coast! 

Fitness Challenge 

I challenge you to complete burpees 5-6 days this week

Fitness Synopsis

  • Burpees challenge your entire body
  • I hate and love them at the same time

Why Why Why

  • Burpees are one of the most efficient, effective, functional, body weight exercises out there
  • This exercise works almost every muscle in your body: arms, chest, quads, glutes, and hamstrings
  • You burn more calories in less time compared to other body weight exercises
  • Burpees boost your cardio endurance and strengthen your entire body

Material

  • Willpower
  • Water
  • A little extra time
  • Disciple
  • Strong body
  • Strong mind

Directions

Complete 20 Burpees everyday this week
Video 1 
Squat Thurst
If you are new to burpees start with squat thrust

Place hands on floor in front of you

Jump feet back into push up position 
Jump feet back up close to your hands
Stand up straight
That’s one rep 


Video 2
Burpees with push up and squat 

Video 3 
Basic Burpees
Stand straight up

Place your hands on the floor directly in front of you and lower into a squat position

Jump your feet back into a push up position and drop your chest to the floor

Bring your chest up and return your feet back to squat position 

Jump in the air as high as you can

That’s one rep 

Video 4

Wide Leg Burpees

Video 5
Burpees with Tuck Jumps

My Take
I hate and love burpees at the same time. You can not deny how effective this exercise is. I used to avoid all workouts that include burpees, now I add them to pretty much every workout routine I complete. I use them as a warm up, or in the middle of my workout to get my heart rate up. If you haven’t tried burpees you might hate me now, but you will love me later. 

Nutrition Challenge

Challenge Synopsis

  • Incorporate beets into your daily eating habits
  • I challenge you to eat more beets this week

Why Why Why

  • Beets were used by the ancient Romans as a natural aphrodisiac – they contain high amounts of boron, boron is related to the production of human sex hormones 
  • Beets are high in: Potassium, Magnesium, Fiber, Phosphorus, Iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Beta Carotene, Beta Cyanite, Frolic Acid
  • Beets are natural body cleanser, they detox the liver and purifies the blood
  • Beets can prevent many forms of cancer
  • Beets contain tryptophan which relaxes the mind while creating a sense of well being

Materials
Beets baby just beets

Directions
Eat – Juice – Consuming more beets everyday this week

My Take
I’m one of those weird peeps that loves beets. If beets are on the menu I’m going to order them. When I was on my way down, (losing weight) I juiced beets 3-5 times a week. Yep they turned my pee pink, I actually like that side effect. Beets aren’t tasty to everyone, but they are great for you. Sometimes we have to make ourselves enjoy something just because it’s good for you. By the way alcohol doesn’t taste that great either, yet we manage to drink it somehow. 

Self Improvement Challenge

I challenge you to practice forgiveness everyday this week

Challenge Synopsis

  • Practice forgiveness in your everyday life
  • Forgive someone that you have a grudge with

Why Why Why

  • Forgiveness is one of the most powerful things you can do for yourself 
  • It takes true strength to forgive someone that has wronged you
  • Forgiveness isn’t for the other person, it’s for yourself
  • Holding a grudge fills you with bitterness, anger, disappointment, and hurt
  • By forgiving you release yourself from the burden of negative emotions

Materials

  • An open mind
  • An open heart
  • Humility 
  • A kind heart

Directions
Take this week to forgive people that have wronged 

My Take
I do not hold grudges, not because I’m perfect, but because I know I’m imperfect. I never mean to hurt anyone with my actions, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. If someone I love feels as if I have wronged them I’m the first to apologize. When I feel that someone has wronged me, I am very quick to forgive. This week I’m going to work on forgiving one of my boyfriend’s friends. We had a disagreement about a year ago and I’ve been avoiding him since the incident. I think it’s time for me to put our differences behind us. I hope this week’s challenge inspires us to forgive.

Peace & Love,
Mary

References:
www.mindbodygreen.com
www.purposefairy.com
www.huffingtonpost.com