February Food Challenge 2015

February Challenge:  

#12HourFast from Supper to Breakfast

First, your job is to continue to implement the January #peeclear challenge into your life.  Just because it’s a new month does not mean you throw away everything you have learned in Jaunary.  Remember water is the foundation to a clean eating lifestyle.

In February, we are adding another lean eating lifestyle habit that directly targets fat loss!  12 hours between your LAST meal of the day and your FIRST…why?  Because at roughly the 9 hour mark, when you are hopefully fast asleep, your body will start tapping into it’s fat stores for fuel.

There will be many days you will find this challenge easy because you will usually be fast asleep at this magical 9 hour mark…like the days you eat an early supper or you get to sleep in because it’s your morning off.

Be aware, accept, and embrace that not every day will be the same, though.  Some days your child’s evening events will have you eat later or you might need to work late.  Green light to eat dinner at 8pm and not skip an important meal!!  Don’t “save” your calories!  You will inevitably pay the next day with an insatiable appetite or crazy cravings.

One the evenings you end up eating “late” you will simply eat breakfast later than usual.  This carries it’s own set of considerations, of course, as some meals are easier to transport to work than others.  It’s okay to hit bumps on the road and learn to make adjustments the next go around.  Let go of the “all or nothing” mentality of the past.  The real challenge is to learn how these loose protocols fit into your reality and your RESULTS!

FURTHERMORE, for those who oftentimes feel the urge to eat right before bed, this challenge will encourage you to evaluate WHY since your next meal should come 12 hours later to tap into fat stores.  Remember, it’s not that eating at night is BAD necessarily but you do have to acknowledge the “why” of the hunger.

a.  Are you hungry?  Did you eat enough for dinner or did you try to under eat to “save” calories?

b.  Are you bored?  How do you replace boredom eating w/ another habit?

c.  Could your hormones be playing tricks on you?  Lack of sleep, menses, and/or too much stress all amount to a hormonal tornado!  Could you be overtraining, under sleeping, overworking?

d.  Can you “ride out” the craving?  Cravings hit a psychological peek at the 20 minutes mark.  Your urge will go down…if you can step out of intense urge for just a little while.

Choose REFLECTION over SELF LOATHING to seek answers as to WHY you feel out of control with bedtime eating.  Telling yourself you are fat and undisciplined doesn’t HELP you understand the cause.  Dig deep so you can take action!

Are you setting realistic expectations of yourself?

You are AIMING for a 12 hour fast.  Does this mean you are an undisciplined failure if you only get 11 hours in?!?  Of course not!!  You still got 2 hours of tapping into reserves!  Great job!

If 12 hours is good, does that mean 14 hours is better?  For OUR purposes, my answer is “no.”  Some people feel great after a 14-16 hour fast, but these are few and far between.  Intermittent fasting is trendy but that doesn’t translate into healthy.

What if I workout early in the morning?  

Well, this means you have extra detective work to do.

1.  Does your workout suffer with an empty stomach?

a.  No?  Then workout fasted.  You will need food shortly afterwards, though.  Do not allow yourself to get shaky or nauseated.  Your sugar levels are too low if this happens and that’s not sign of success.

b.  Yes?  Then try…

1. adding BCAA powder (Branched Chain Amino Acids) to your workout water.  This is a zero calorie way to fuel your workout.  Your body can turn BCAA into glucose quickly so you don’t “tap out” during a tough workout.  I do this often.  My favorite is Tri-Pep.

2.  If you prefer food then begin w/ a small amount of food and add as needed.  You are in control of what food you choose.  Some people do very well with a few spoonfuls of greek yogurt.  Others can’t take dairy.  Some people need a bit of fruit and others a bit of fruit w/ a small amount of fat like peanut butter.  You want to find the formula where your workout doesn’t suffer but you don’t feel weighed down by a heavy meal either.  You are ingesting the minimum amount of food needed to SUPPLEMENT the fuel you want to be using for your workout, i.e. your fat stores!

 As with our last challenge, your goal is to IMPLEMENT AND TWEAK so that you find that sweet spot where these habits begin to feel easy but also get you results!!


Body pics…so what?!?!

Once upon a not so distant past, THIS type of post/picture paralyzed me with fear.

You see, I’m an introvert by nature and have always preferred to not only be quiet but also not to be noticed.  My “teaching/coaching personality” is energetic and passionate, but, outside of my studio, I’m not only reserved, but downright bashful.   My voice quivers during public speeches and I easily blush if you draw any kind of attention my way.  The term wall flower definitely applies to me at parties.

So here I stand, shirt off, belly exposed, originally to use these pictures to show a before and after shot of me after my new spray tan from Blush.  They are coming to Sweat in February and offering all of you a great discount so I figured it would be nice for folks to see what a fast spray tan can do.  You will see the Blush details on social media later, but this blog isn’t about spray tanning it’s about BEING UNAPOLOGETIC and at peace with my imperfections to the point where body image fear is, for the most part, out the window.

I have, like anyone else, a vision of “where I’d like to be” and I’m not saying I’ve thrown in the towel by any means.  I enjoy working towards goals and achieving progress or even experiencing failure in my journey.  However, the never ending 6 pack pics on social media seem to suggest that we cannot be at ease with ourselves until we’ve carved out each and every muscle on our bodies.

What a sad, sad message!

So…here is my 0-pack, served up to you with and without a spray tan, a sincere smile, and a comfortable and healthy sense of body image!  Here’s to strength, health, progress, and balance triumphing over perfection!


Should 100oz be your #newnormal?

Lifestyle is the way we live when we are on auto-mode.  It’s what we do without hardly thinking.  It’s easy.  It’s our normal.

In contrast, our monthly challenges are made to present you with the opportunity to focus on making positive lifestyle changes in one specific area that will equate to a healthier and leaner you.  It challenges you to step out of your comfort zone.

However, at some point, we not only expect you but WANT YOU to be in charge of the January #peeclear water challenge for yourself to ensure your true success.

By now, you should have discovered if 100 oz is too much or too little for your body.  You should be becoming aware at what points of your day water seems to have the biggest and most positive impact.  Does water early in the day or at lunch provide you with energy and reduce your appetite?  Are you noticing that water during the week is easy but when you are out of normal routine during the weekends that you struggle.  We hope you are also finding different ways you enjoy water- room temperature, icy cold, hot tea, adding fruit, maybe you find it beneficial to do the non-kosher thing and add a bit of flavoring to encourage yourself to stay hydrated.  If these types of questions and thoughts are entering your mind, congratulations, this very thing is what people call your “journey” or “your process.”

In essence this reflection gets you out of the “robotic diet mode” where you mindlessly follow a plan simply because it’s called a plan without any sense to your own needs and preferences.  If fueling your life with water is truly to become your NEW NORMAL then you absolutely must begin to empower yourself with the understanding that doing the healthy thing must also have a high level of benefit AND satisfaction at the same time.  Without those two things, this challenge will likely end for you shortly after the end of the month b/c it’s not sustainable.


1.  your amount of water so that you feel amazing, not so that you fulfill an arbitrary number.

2.  how your water tastes to ensure satisfaction and in turn sustainability.  Perfection is not sustainable!


January #peeclear Water Challenge

Books and articles all confirm that in terms of lifestyle changes when you are faced with two competing theories on how to tackle the fat loss solution, the simpler one is better.

Therefore, if you have the option of starting off January counting calories, carbs, fats, and proteins alongside overhauling your grocery list and pantry or simply getting your hydration right first, which is the most logical route to take?

It’s obvious, of course, yet we get duped into 30 day detoxes because they are wrapped in a “super sexy, hard core” badge of honor.  If you stick with whatever 21 day diet or 14 day detox you bought then I’m certain you will lose some weight but I also can look at the studies and see that you have a 95% chance of GAINING all your weight back and 66% of those will GAIN BACK MORE than before!!

Those numbers should immediately prompt you to find a different way.

At Sweat, we encourage you to take on ONE LIFESTYLE CHANGE per month.  The goal is to fully incorporate a change into our lives, schedules, and budgets before stacking on anything new.

We are asking everyone to commit to #peeclear and get 3L or 100 oz of water/day.  If you find that 100 oz is too much and it makes you feel over hydrated, by all means, reduce.  This is YOUR BODY and we want you to find the right amount for you!  If you find that you need more water, chug away!!!!  THIS IS YOUR JOURNEY and part of these challenges are all about being given the GREEN LIGHT to tweak a plan or goal so that it becomes custom tailored for your metabolism.


1.  Why water?

a.  It’s SIMPLE – Remember, when faced with two competing theories always pick the simplest.  This is budget friendly, measurable, and has an immediate impact on how your body functions!

b.  Better workouts- if your muscles are thirsty, they can’t push you through that extra mile uphill or those leg finishers at the end of Vain.

c. Efficiency- Water helps transport nutrients from your foods to your cells, regulates your hormones, aids in digestion, and kidney function.  In essence water makes your body one heck of an efficient machine.  

2.  Does tea, coffee, vitamin water…count?  Coffee does not count at all.  Although one cup of coffee will not dehydrate you either.  However, we ask that your liquids be clear.  We do not take a HARD LINE stance on anything because if you embrace the process of lifestyle change you know that people need a middle ground sometimes.  If you need to add some Crystal Light every once in a while to drink water with your lunch, then do it.  Is it the perfect choice, no.  BUT WHO CARES!  THIS IS YOUR JOURNEY.

How many times have you seen one of these or some variation of it:

Oftentimes, people DEFINE SUCCESS by how well they stuck to a plan.  However, lasting success will require you to PERSONALIZE, TWEAK, and BECOME COMFORTABLE with a “less than perfect” work around sometimes.  Do not make your journey about white knuckling your way through any plan!!  Research does NOT BACK UP this approach.

Begin 2015 building towards permanent lifestyle change.  Grab your water bottle and begin with hydration.  We hope that by the end of this month you find that drinking water is no longer a challenge but your NEW NORMAL!!