6 Day “Work Off The Turkey” Challenge!

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The holidays are literally the worst time to stay on track. Even though I love fitness, I’m also very into baking. And when I bake, I taste. And then I love my creations so much that I eat them at the celebrations too 😉

Most people overindulge at Thanksgiving, and then it’s kind of like “well, the train has already left the station!”, so we keep overindulging straight into the new year. Who can resist Turkey Day leftovers? Then there’s the office party, the open houses, the family gatherings… bad choices to be made everywhere!

And then January 1st we’re all like “ok, I’m going to change now!”.

Let’s do it differently this year.

Let’s enjoy Thanksgiving, then get ourselves back on track ASAP. Some discipline now will avoid regret later!

Beginning Monday December 1st I am hosting a 6 Day “Work Off The Turkey” Challenge. Only 6 days? Yes. I find December is too overwhelming for people to make a long term health commitment, but we can all handle 6 days.

So what does this entail?

-A 6 day commitment to jumpstarting weight loss, improving energy and getting back on track.

-An easy to follow meal plan.

-A 6 day supply of Shakeology, my go-to nutrient dense health shake.

-Personal coaching and support from me 🙂

If you’d like to get in on this challenge, comment below for details. I have limited spots available!

I’m ready, are you??

Monday (and March) Motivation

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If you live in the Northeast, you’re probably sick of the cold, snowy weather like I am. It’s March 3rd and we’re snowed in…enough already!

Many people started out the new year with proclamations that this would be the year they’d get fit! 2 months and countless snow storms later, that motivation has dwindled (much like every student and teacher’s hopes of ending school by mid-June!)

So what can you do to get the fitness mojo going again? Here are a few tips:

1- Don’t wait for a new week, a new month or a new year to start over. Every single day is a chance for a fresh start! Take hold of that opportunity and go for it!

2- Schedule your workouts. Too many people put others’ needs first and leave their own health and fitness until last on the to-do list. Block out that 30-60 minutes daily for YOU and don’t stand yourself up! Planning ahead is key! Find the time of day that works best for you. (And YES, there are super effective workout programs out there that are 30 minutes or less!)

3- Speaking of planning ahead… prep food in advance so you don’t reach for junk. Did you get out of the office later than usual? If your fridge is stocked with grilled chicken and salad or your freezer is filled with healthy homemade meals ready for the microwave, dinner will be a snap! (And it won’t involve a drive-thru.)

4- Surround yourself with motivating, like minded people. Even if your family and friends haven’t quite hitched their wagon to your fitness train, you can find all the support you need online. Make some friends on My Fitness Pal, join a Facebook group devoted to fitness, or follow health blogs here on WordPress. Be active and engage! You could end up inspiring someone else.

5- Finally… just don’t give up on yourself. You certainly wouldn’t give up on your child, sibling, spouse or friend, so why are we so quick to quit on ourselves? We all have what it takes, we’ve just got to keep on moving!

Hopefully this snow and the winter blahs go away soon. My gym was closed today due to the weather, and I was in a super couch potato state after watching 3 movies. But I was inspired by my fitness motivation group on Facebook, willed myself to get moving and completely nailed my T25 Upper Focus workout. Boom!

Tomorrow, let’s do it again!

GET IT DONE: IN  25 MINUTES A DAY!

Shakeology- The Real Deal or All Hype?

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Today I present to you… my unbiased Shakeology review and story.

What do I mean by “unbiased”? I mean, I’m not a Beachbody Coach. I’m not trying to set you up with a Beachbody Coach. I don’t in any way profit from Shakeology.

When I was debating buying Shakeology, I had a hard time finding opinions, reviews and personal stories online that were not posted by a Coach. I really wanted to read about experiences that did not include the message “Click Here to Order Now!” at the end. Hopefully this post can save some of you from having to wade through advertisement after advertisement to get the real scoop.

After hearing about Shakeology from an instructor at my gym and reading up on the pros (increased energy, reduced cravings) and cons (the cost!), I finally decided to give it a try.

My goal with Shakeology was not to lose weight. Instead, I was looking for a nutrition packed breakfast that would hopefully agree with my iffy stomach (due to ulcerative colitis). In April 2013 I purchased Chocolate Shakeology. I drank it every day for breakfast, thoroughly enjoying the sweet chocolaty taste. It was fantastic blended with just almond milk and ice. I then waited for some earth shattering Shakeology health miracle to happen.

It didn’t.

The next month, I received my shipment of Greenberry. I had read countless awful reviews about the taste, but to me it was delicious with my standard blend of almond milk and ice. (I will warn you though, don’t smell the powder to get an indication of taste. You probably won’t want to drink it!)

Again, I drank it every day and waited for Shakeology to cure all that ailed me.

It didn’t.

My stomach was still a wreck.

When the new Vanilla Shakeology arrived at my door, I couldn’t wait to taste this awesome new flavor that all the coaches were swearing tasted just like a milkshake. Sorry to burst any bubbles, but it really didn’t taste at all like a delicious, creamy vanilla milkshake to me. It was just “ok” in my opinion. After a few days I got sick of it and switched back to drinking the Chocolate and Greenberry that I still had on hand. I ended up giving the Vanilla to a coworker. Just not my thing!

Oh, and did I mention I still wasn’t seeing all the awesome benefits of Shakeology that every other Shake-O enthusiast seemed to be enjoying?

Then I looked at my debit card statements for the past few months and said “OMG I can’t believe I’ve been spending THIS MUCH MONEY on Shakeology!”

I’d had enough and decided that I would cancel my home direct order. But wait… I hadn’t yet tried the Vegan flavors.

So I decided- one more month and then I’m done.

In August I tried Vegan Chocolate for the first time. The flavor was a lot different from the Regular Chocolate. More of a bitter cocoa flavor. To me, it was exceptional. I loved it more than the sweeter Regular Chocolate. Each day I blended it up with ice and almond milk and took my breakfast in a to-go cup. Once again, I waited for the Shakeology miracle to happen…

And after a few weeks, it did.

I was no longer waking up with stomach pain or bloating. My ulcerative colitis induced joint pain was subsiding. I was having fewer and fewer days where I couldn’t workout due to pain.

Then, in an (unapproved-by-my-doctor-so-don’t-try-this-at-home) experiment, I stopped taking my most loathed and most side effect ridden colitis medication. And… I still felt amazing.

Did I cancel my home direct order? Absolutely not. I continued the following month with Vegan Tropical Strawberry, which has come to be my favorite of the 5 available flavors. I’ve dropped the almond milk, and now blend with water, ice and a banana. Some people complain of the “chalky” texture of the Tropical Strawberry, but it doesn’t really bother me. If you blend it long enough, the texture gets creamier. Also, a banana, milk or milk substitute helps the texture too.

It’s been 5+ months of daily Shakeology, and I can honestly say I feel better than I have in years. I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist, so I can’t make claims that Shakeology did X, Y or Z for my health. I also can’t explain why the Regular makes some people feel like a million bucks, but my body preferred the Vegan. And I’m not going to lie and say that I don’t feel a little crushed each time my debit card gets hit for $129 (plus a $2 shipping fee starting this month).

But, I love it. I feel great. The benefits I’m feeling are surely outweighing the cost. It’s so good to feel in control of your health, even if it costs a few more dollars than you care to spend. For me, Shakeology turned out to be the Real Deal.

And, I haven’t gone back on that awful medication. (Bonus!)

What supplements or shakes have made you feel fantastic? I always love to hear about products that others swear by!

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*Update: As of February 2014, I did sign up to be a Team Beachbody Coach. However, the above review was written BEFORE I had even contemplated becoming a Coach. The main reason I joined Beachbody is because Shakeology has improved my health so much. And if I can be honest, the Coach Discount on my monthly Shakeology order is very much appreciated. I still stand by the review I wrote in my non-Coach days, and I continue to drink Shakeology on a daily basis to maintain my health and wellness. Questions? Email me at fitnfabnj@yahoo.com 

-Nicole 3/3/14