The Green Smoothie Challenge: I’m All In.

So, over the past month and a half I’ve been making a decent effort to “get into shape”. I generally go to the gym 4 times a week and I eat alright. So far my legs have definitely slimmed down but not significantly, I also haven’t dropped a single pound. Which is frustrating. I know people say that muscle weighs more than fat ect. But common body, not even one pound?!

I think the issue is my eating habits. Don’t get me wrong I love me some veggies but I also love pasta and bread and cheese and sugar. In addition, the veggies I eat are always cooked, I can’t remember the last time I ate raw veggies. So this morning I had an epiphany: that’s what needs to change. I need more raw and more green. Realistically overhauling my diet at this time of year is virtually impossible. So I’m not going to do that. I’m not cutting out life’s pleasures at christmas time. Instead I am going to add raw and green to my diet by taking the Green Smoothie Challenge!

Here is how it works. Drink 1 green smoothie every day. It is that easy.

Nothing else has to change. Drink your smoothie and eat normally. If there are cookies at the staff christmas party, have a cookie. If mom makes pasta for dinner, eat the pasta. The idea here is not to cut anything out but to add goodness. Green smoothies are packed with vitamins, water and all things wonderful. So by adding a green smoothie to your daily routine you are just adding extra goodness.

My plan is to have a green smoothie everyday for breakfast. Since I am always super rushed in the morning it is easier for me to commit to this if I prepare ahead of time. So today I spent half an hour blending for the week. All the smoothies were then poured into Mason Jars and placed in the freezer. The night before I’ll move one to the fridge and it will be all ready to drink when I wake up!

So what exactly is a green smoothie? Essentially it is a blended mixture that is one part green, one part liquid, and one part fruit. Check out this fantastic how to guide from simplegreensmoothies.com.

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The green smoothie that I made for myself today and for the rest of this week is a tropical flavour inspired smoothie:

2 Cups Spinach

2 Cups water

1 Cup Mango

1 Cup Pineapple

2 Bananas

IMG_0066.JPGFor the smoothest consistency blend your water and spinach first and then add your fruits. If you are nervous about drinking spinach, don’t be. The flavour from the fruits completely counter act the taste of the spinach and the colour of these things are stunning.

I am so excited to start and share this journey. Check back for more updates on my Green Smoothie Challenge.

Share in the comments. Are you interested in taking part in the Green Smoothie Challenge?! What is your favourite green smoothie combination?

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The Motivation Secret

Are you the type of person who says “I really want to get fit” and then opens a bag of chips? Are you the type of person who goes for a run three days in a row and then takes three weeks off? Are you the type of person who gets a gym membership but only goes there to use the massage chairs?…

Because I am used to be. Getting into fitness and sticking with it is one hell of an uphill battle but I have found the secret to keeping up the motivation and today I feel like sharing.

First, a short history of my weight and workout woes.

  • When I was in high school I did a lot of extra curricular activities. Dance = 5 hours a week, choir = 8 hours a week, vocal lessons = 2 hours a week, skiing lessons = 3 hours a week, ect. You get the picture, I was really active and I didn’t sleep much, thus I was exceptionally thin and I didn’t even try. #highschool

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  • When I entered university I discovered alcohol in a big way, party life was the life for me. I also discovered that I can’t really cook anything other than pasta. mmm carbs.  I was no longer thin but I definitely was not fat either. Essentially the sugar content in the booze and all those carbs helped me to become a woman with real curves and I was more than okay with that. #boobs
  • In third year I was cast as the lead in a musical production of Legally Blonde. So I had to get whipped into shape. I ran a lot. Like a lot, a lot. And it payed off. Seriously, look at my legs… #ellewoods

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  • But once the show was over I quickly reverted back to my binge drinking and pasta eating ways. This time it hit me hard. I gained a lot of weight. I also started dating my super handsome, professionally trained chef, Italian boyfriend. Which meant a lot of delicious gourmet food made with lots of carbs and butter. mmmmm butter. #butter

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  • This is a recent picture of Lucas, our friend Taylor and I. Lucas (right, in the dark gray suit) is the cute cook boyfriend that I told you about earlier. And here is the thing, I am not fat by any means but for the first time in my whole life I was uncomfortable in my own skin. Clothes on, isn’t so bad. I can dress myself well. I love baggy sweaters! But I did not feel like I looked good naked. Before you can ask, the answer is no, I will not share a picture of that. This is a PG rated blog. Commmmon. But seriously, I’m not looking for compliments here. These are real feelings, people!
  • End of the story, in September I realized that I can’t keep hating what I see every time I look in the mirror. So I bit the bullet and got a gym membership at GoodLife Fitness.

Okay, that wasn’t exactly what one might call a short history, but hey, now you know some back story. Anywhoo, on to the part that you have been waiting for… The Motivation Secret! 

Don’t get bored. 

It is that simple. When I was running every day for the my part in Legally Blonde I listened to an audio recording of the show on my iPod while I ran. This actually allowed me to trick myself into believing that I liked running. HA! I hate running. I find it incredibly monotonous. But when I was using my brain to listen my lines I was able to run/walk/jog 4 miles easily.

For some people music is enough to push them through a work out. If that is the case for you then create a good playlist and get your butt moving. There is a great website called jogtunes. You can select the amount of beats per minute (ie. your speed) and your favourite music genre and it will generate a list for you. This is helpful because then your pace can remain constant even when the song changes.

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Personally, music doesn’t keep me entertained enough when I am at the gym. So how to I avoid gym boredom? I do everything. Literally everything. Every time I go (which is approx 4 to 5 times a week) I try something new; classes, weight machines, treadmill, bike, free weight pinterest workouts, ect. I love doing classes because there are so many options. So far I have tried bodypump (it is a weight class), bodystep (leg focused cardio), bodycombat (arm focused cardio), newbody (dance cardio), bodyflow (yoga/ti chi/pilates), and hot yoga.

Obviously there is repetition from  week to week but I find that even doing something different from one day to the next keeps things interesting enough that I want to keep going back. Also, rumor has it always sticking to the same workout doesn’t work in the long run. Eventually your body gets used to the motions and it stops being challenged. So switching up your workout will mean you are constantly challenging your whole body.

So what is your trick to staying motivated at the gym?