A few “during” photos, and journal entries. Week 1 to Week 4.

Remember how I don’t really like “before” and “after” photos? Mostly just calling them before and after. I do think it’s important to monitor your progress not only the scale but by how your clothes fit, and the visual progress you see.

My husband and I took some during photos before we started being more consistent with exercise, and tweaking our diet with less carbs and very limited sugar. And here’s the thing-I wasn’t perfect this month, but I still saw progress. I lost about 6 lbs, my jeans are looser, I feel stronger, and I can tell I am overall slightly leaner. These are not huge, dramatic changes, but they are a start on my ongoing journey. My goals continue to become stronger, and improve cardiac fitness. Also, while the first “during” shots are me when I am not at my fittest, I am grateful for my body then, and now, and I will be 1 year from now. Don’t hate on your body-it’s the only one you have 🙂

Week 1—–>Week 4

(don’t mind the socks and sandals haha. I didn’t know my husband would take a full body shot)

Check out my journal entries below as well. This is the most important part of health to me–how I feel.

ExerciseDiary1-4-02ExerciseDiary1-4-01

Sharing all this publically isn’t the easiest thing, but I hope it can help someone feel that they can make small changes that add up to improved health. I have definitely been inspired by others, and appreciate when people share their journey.

Vegan Menu Plan

F8944DE4-80A9-47CD-AD17-A7FC44166185

Going from paleo last week right in to vegan is an adjustment. But we think it’s important to try different food lifestyles, to get a good idea of what you like and don’t like; what works and doesn’t work for you.

Most people are familiar with the vegan rules of eating-no animal products. No dairy, meat, or eggs, and some vegans avoid honey, silk, products with beeswax, etc.

So there is the list of “no”, but a great list of “yes” too- yes vegetables, yes fruits, yes grains and legumes, beans and herbs, nuts and seeds. So many yummy “yes” foods 🙂

If you want to try it out, check out our week of Vegan Menu plans and shopping list here.

Our Pinterest page has a board with all the recipes we use, divided by week.

We are excited to delve into vegan eating, and hope we can learn some new principles that we adapt into our eating lifestyles. Dive in and join us! Try it out for a week and see what you feel and think.

{Past food weeks include Mediterranean and Paleo.}

Simple Paleo

Of all the different lifestyle “diets” that I have tried Paleo has been one of my favorite. Paleo is short for Paleolithic and is, simply put, the idea of eating in a similar manner to the diet of cavemen based on what would have been available to them.

Do’s of the Paleo Diet:

I think it is best to focus on what you CAN eat first. 🙂

  • Big focus on protein  (beef, chicken, fish, etc.)
  • Fruits and veggies (lean towards 75% veg 25% fruit)
  • Nuts, seeds, good fat (i.e. avocado, coconut)

Don’ts of the Paleo Diet:

  • Dairy
  • Grains
  • Legumes, beans
  • Coffee, alcohol, refined sugars

Now if any of the don’ts seem like deal breakers to you, don’t give up! If you have to have a cup of coffee in the morning to function make a small adjustment and allow yourself the exception. The main idea behind Paleo is finding balance and you can’t do that if you are thinking about the things you CAN’T have all the time.

As before Rachael and I have created a Pinterest board with all the recipes for this week and you can access the shopping list from the same google doc.

I am really excited to dive deeper into this week and be a little more mindful in my eating -let’s see if those cavemen had it figured out. 🙂

P.S. if you are an app person “nomnompaleo” is a great place to get some inspiration!

Mediterranean Diet Menu Plan

Ready to try out the Mediterranean Diet, but don’t know where to start? Here’s where. Right here.

We have made a week of very simple menu plans, to help you get a feel for this kind of eating and diet, to see if it would work for you.

All of the recipes we are using are on our Pinterest Page. Make sure to follow us there, and see the “Menu Plans” board. Take note–any substitutions we make to recipes (for ease, or diet related), are in the captions, so make sure to read there.

We also have a really handy menu plan for each day, and a shopping list. Feel free to save a copy and adjust servings as needed for your family. The week of food is meant for 2 people, with some recipes for 4, so you can have leftovers for lunches. Make sure to toggle over to Sheet 2 of the excel sheet, to see the shopping list.

For some good information on what to look for on this diet, here are some guidelines:

Basics of Mediterranean diet

  • Lots of plant based foods-vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and legumes
  • Focusing on fats from olive oil, canola oil, avocado, nuts, etc. Less animal source fats like butter (less saturated and trans fats).
  • Increase spices and herbs, to decrease salt
  • Red meat no more than a few times per month
  • Fish and poultry several times a week
  • Low fat dairy
  • Limit processed sugar
  • Plenty of exercise
  • Optional: Red Wine. If you don’t drink alcohol, you can get the same effects from an unsweetened fruit juice like grape juice, pomegranate juice, or cranberry juice.

Med Diet