Posts Tagged ‘challenge’

Hell Week Challenge: Moving Forward, Lessons and Recap

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUSY MOM TIPS, EVERYTHING ELSE, FOR MOMS, HEALTH, Health and Fitness

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Erik Bertrand Larssen for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

I hope you’ve been with me for the last week as I took the Hell Week Challenge based on the book Hell Week Challenge: Seven Days to Be Your Best Self by Erik Bertrand Larssen.

If you want to get caught up with how the week has been, I wrote 7 posts, with this post being the 7th. If you haven’t already, take a little time to read the other posts as well: Hell Week Challenge: What It Is and Why You Should Do It,
Hell Week Challenge Prep,
Hell Week Day 1: Habits,
Hell Week Day 2: Get In the Mode,
Hell Week Day 3: Planning,
Hell Week Days 4 & 5: Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone and Rest.

I hope you will strongly considered doing your own Hell Week Challenge. Just order a copy of the book from Amazon and you can get started!

Hell Week Day 4 and 5: Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone and Rest

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUSY MOM TIPS, EVERYTHING ELSE, FOR MOMS, HEALTH, Health and Fitness

Photo Jun 23, 11 31 15 AM

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Erik Bertrand Larssen for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

I am entering into the second half of my Hell Week challenge based on the book, Hell Week: 7 Days to Be Your Best Self by Erik Bertrand Larssen that can be bought on Amazon. I think everyone needs to take this challenge and I have been writing about it all week. I introduced the book and the challenge, I wrote about how I prepped for Hell Week and I have given a play by play for each day here: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3. Each day has presented a new focus and a new way to stretch myself and Day 4 was no different.

Day 4 started exactly like its name. I woke up to no Internet. No internet means no productivity and working. It seems like every little thing that could go wrong to sabotage my Hell Week Challenge this week went wrong, from food poisoning to a rained out volleyball and consequent late night of playing and having to go to sleep late. Now with the internet out, I can’t get everything I planned on doing done. It’s making me laugh right now as I write about it. You wanted me to step out of my comfort zone? I think the universe kind of took care of that by throwing everything it could at me this week to PREVENT me to getting things done. If there was any doubt in my mind on whether I would repeat the Hell Week, it’s no longer there.

I am repeating the damn challenge as soon as I am back from my Minnesota trip for 4th of July.

On Thursday I was supposed to pull an all-nighter. As I wrote earlier that wasn’t feasible at the moment because I have to take care of Lexi, drive her an hour to camp and an hour back and play volleyball Friday evening (when I would have been up for over 24 hours). However I really want to do it (I love all-nighters). So I am going to do it Saturday night and I am pretty excited.

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I dropped Lexi off at school on Thursday morning and went straight to the gym, pushing as hard as I could, working out. Then I spend the day at a local organic restaurant working (doing specifically something I had planned for hell week).

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Then we spent a nice calm evening playing and went to bed at the right time. Very simple good day.

Day 5, Friday, was meant to be a rest day after the all nighter, but since I didn’t do the all nighter, I treated it like any other day. Once again I had Lexi on Friday so my work time was limited. I had to work out of a cafe so that I had access to the Internet, got a decent amount of work done.

I find it extremely challenging to be hyperfocused when I know I only have a few hours of work, before having to return to mommy mode. And it’s even more challenging to be hyper focused IN MOMMY mode. Being a mommy and being a super productive worker are on completely opposite spectrums of mental function.  Not doing intellectual or intensely physical activities (like playing kid games) is energy draining for me (I am sure many mommies can relate that a day of playing Legos and talking about characters can be mind numbing), so I sort of turn off and that makes me tired. I need to find a way to get into hyperfocused mode when I am a mom, not just during work. I can tell that it is going to take more than a week to find that strength and get into the zone, but this is a good start and a good motivator for me.

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So when I picked Lexi up, I forced myself to come up with a new activity rather than just go with what we know.

On the way home, we made a detour to a local PetSmart to go see pets. Lexi is at the stage where he is in love with little animals and has been asking for a little kitty as well as obsessively petting our cats at home, so this was a great trip. She squealed and awwwww’ed and was just absolutely enthralled by the little kittens and fish and mice and hamsters she saw at the store. This was a good spur of the moment trip. On the way home, instead of listening to music or playing the old and tired iSpy game, we played the game of calling out letters and coming up with words that start with that letter, as well as describing of things and trying to guess what we are trying to describe. She did surprisingly well at both of those games and got exponentially better the more we played ( we have a 40 min to an hour drive home from her camp). I felt better about actually engaging into things actively rather than passively, but I still think there is room for improvement, that I can push myself further to be better in mommy mode.

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Friday is my volleyball day, and I was set at being focused and pushing myself further than usual. As a result, I won every single game of the evening except for the last one ( we usually play about 8 games back to back in the course of the evening). Another proof that I don’t give it my all consistently and when I do, I can see the results.

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At 9:15pm I rushed home, took a quick shower to wash off all the sticky wet sand and was in bed by 10:30pm.
Overall, I think I had a successful day in terms of the #hellweekchallenge, but I can’t help it but feel that I could push even more, do even better. I feel like this could become my every day mode, a better improved. But I want to really feel the pain doing the challenge. I guess the simple fact that I did not need to change my eating or exercising habits automatically makes it much easier, but I want to really feel challenged and persevere.

Today is Saturday, the all-nighter, I am very excited to see how it will go. I will need lots of coffee.

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Hell Week Challenge Day 3: Planning

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUSY MOM TIPS, FOR MOMS, HEALTH, Health and Fitness

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This post brought to you by Erik Bertrand Larssen. The content and opinions expressed below are that of The Art of Making a Baby.

This week, I am taking the Hell Week Challenge based on the book Hell Week: Seven Days To Be Your Best Self by Erik Bertrand Larssen that can be bought on Amazon . If you haven’t already, go back and catch up with my other posts. I explained what the challenge is about and why you should do it. I walked through my preparation for the Hell Week Challenge and I showed you how Day 1 and Day 2 went for me. I’ve completed Day 3 and here is what happened.

Ok, maybe this isn’t exactly hellish but life makes it hard to stay on top of things.

Hell Week Day 2: Get in the Mode

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUSY MOM TIPS, FOR MOMS, GET FIT, HEALTH, Health and Fitness

Photo Jun 21, 3 47 49 PM

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Erik Bertrand Larssen. All opinions are 100% mine.

I hope you have been following along with me for my Hell Week Challenge based on the book Hell Week: Seven Days to Your Best Self by Erik Bertrand Larssen. I introduced you to what Hell Week is all about, I talked about how I prepared for this challenge and I share how Day 1 went for me. If you want to get ready for your own Hell Week Challenge, order a copy of the book from Amazon. Use the hashtags #hellweekchallenge and #hellweektaomab to share your experience. I would love to follow along with you.

Hell Week Day 2

Wow this was rough! Not because it’s Hell Week, but because I was feeling sick. It started last night after I played 2 hours of volleyball. I just felt nauseous, so I left early (normally we play for 3 hours), I barely made it home and went straight to bed with Lexi, by 10 pm as I am supposed to. I couldn’t have stayed up if I wanted to.

Hell Week Day 1: Habits

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUSY MOM TIPS, EVERYTHING ELSE, FOR MOMS, GET FIT, HEALTH, Health and Fitness

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Erik Bertrand Larssen for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

If you have been reading my latest posts, you know I am participating in the Hell Week Challenge based off the book “Hell Week: 7 Days to Be Your Best Self” by Erik Bertrand Larssen. I explained what Hell Week is all about and shared about my experience preparing to take the Hell Week Challenge. If you want to join me or start your own Hell Week Challenge next week, grab a copy of this super helpful book from Amazon.

 

If you are completing the challenge with me, be sure to use #HellWeekChallenge and #HellWeekTAOMAB so I can follow along with you!

Hell Week Challenge Prep

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUSY MOM TIPS, EVERYTHING ELSE, FOR MOMS, HEALTH, Health and Fitness

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Erik Bertrand Larssen for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

This week I am taking the HELL WEEK challenge from the book Hell Week: Seven Days to Be Your Best Self Now by Erik Bertrand Larssen that can be purchased on Amazon if you’d like to participate with me. I introduced the book, why I am taking the challenge and what I hope to achieve through the challenge in THIS POST. I hope some of you are going to join me in the challenge and have ordered your own copy of the book. You can grab it on Amazon if you have not already.

Before HELL WEEK can start, there are some preparations you have to do. This is laid out in the book and I want to share how I prepared for my HELL WEEK challenge that starts on Monday. I am so excited!

GET FIT GET HEALTHY CHALLENGE WEEK 17

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in GET FIT, HEALTH, VIDEO

RULES:

1. If you haven’t yet, join the challenge here: GET FIT and GET HEALTHY
2. Every Saturday come back to The Art of Making a Baby and ShutterMama to read the tips on how to be fitter, healthier and more confident.
3. Weekly write a post about your progress, following the questionnaire below, take a self-portrait (optional) and link up with us.
4. Don’t forget to grab the GET FIT challenge button on the sidebar and display it proudly on your blog or GET FIT post.
5. Link your post with
Selfie Saturdays if you took your week’s self-portrait.

My entry for week 15

1. Height: 5’11, weight: 136 lb

2. Your fitness challenge(s) for this week: Special exercises designed for pregnancy to increase flexibility (daily) + Kegels (twice daily). An hour of walking/running + 20 situps every hour of the day

3. Your health challenge(s) for this week: Continue eating whole grains, veggies and fruits only with a few servings of kefir and sardines daily (sardines are low in dioxins and mercury)

4. How well did it go:

Fitness: I wasn’t able to work out the whole week for for very good reasons. So i don’t feel too bad about it.
Water: Drinking 64 oz a day
Food: Still not eating any sweets for some reason. Even my granola cereal without any added sugar tastes too sweet. I have been going crazy when it comes to potato chips (kettle cooked salt and pepper only) and roasted potatoes. I’ve been good about not allowing too much of them. Also I’ve been entering all the food I eat into a tracking website and making sure that all my vitamins, minerals, omega 3s and protein were at 100% or above. And I can proudly say I’ve exceeded 100% on most nutrients (except for zinc) and protein.
5. Failures and slip-ups: I’d say kettle cooked potato chips. I tend to eat about a serving or two of them a day, which is fine since I don’t eat ANY sweets at all. Otherwise, no complaints.

7. Advice to fellow GET FIT members: Honestly, I think I’ve given everything I have for now.

8. Self Portrait: This week’s challenge was a STOP MOTION VIDEO and I had so much fun making it!






RAW OR COOKED? – GET FIT GET HEALTHY GET CONFIDENT WEEK 16

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Cooking, EVERYTHING ELSE, GET FIT, HEALTH, PHOTO

RULES:

1. If you haven’t yet, join the challenge here: GET FIT and GET HEALTHY
2. Every Saturday come back to The Art of Making a Baby and ShutterMama to read the tips on how to be fitter, healthier and more confident.
3. Weekly write a post about your progress, following the questionnaire below, take a self-portrait (optional) and link up with us.
4. Don’t forget to grab the GET FIT challenge button on the sidebar and display it proudly on your blog or GET FIT post.
5. Link your post with
Selfie Saturdays if you took your week’s self-portrait.

RAW OR COOKED?

I’d like to share something I recently found out about nutrients of certain vegetables. I was always under the impression that if you cook vegetables, you basically effectively eliminating all the good nutrients and vitamins from them, so it’s best to eat msot vegetables raw or lightly sauteed. However, it turns out it’s not true for all the vegetables, actually quite the opposite for some of them.

Check out the nutrition breakdown:

Broccoli and spinach , if eaten raw your body will absorb less than 5% of the nutrition for which you are eating them . With the exception of lettuce all the green leafy veggies must be heated. This is the only way to release the vitamin E and the Iron for your body to get at it . If eaten raw your body will get neither of those and only a small portion of the flavonoids . The calcium can be retrieved without heating .
Tomatoes if eaten raw your body can only acquire the vitamin C . The main nutrition you eat a tomato for is the lycopene! This is the enzyme in the tomato that gives it the red color.”

So green leafy vegetables? HEAT! Kale, spinach, collard greens. have an amazing spicy kale stew recipe that I really need to share with you guys.

 My entry for week 15

1. Height: 5’11″, weight: 136 lb

2. Your fitness challenge(s) for this week: Special exercises designed for pregnancy to increase flexibility (daily) + Kegels (twice daily). An hour of walking/running + 20 situps every hour of the day 

3. Your health challenge(s) for this week: Continue eating whole grains, veggies and fruits only with a few servings of kefir and sardines daily (sardines are low in dioxins and mercury)

4. How well did it go:

  • Fitness: Did really good. I am feeling good and motivated, taking my time to do exercises rather than rush through them
  • Water: Drinking 64 oz a day
  • Food: I have this strange sweets aversion this week. I didn’t have ANYTHING sweet AT ALL. Eating really well otherwise: lots of beans, salads and vegetables with fruits.
     

5. Failures and slip-ups: Nothing really. I am very happy with this week6. Weekly challenge wisdom: Sometimes we get caught up and want to do things other than working out, but I found if you let yourself know that this hour is for exercising and that’s how it’s going to be, you take your time and actually enjoy it, rather than rush through it to be done for the day.

7. Advice to fellow GET FIT members
: Is your partner helping you and supporting you in your quest to be healthier and fitter? If not, you need to get him to be on the same page with you. it’s so much more fun to eat well and exercise when you don’t have to accomodate someone else in their eating or couch habits.

8. Self Portrait: This week Selfie challenge was  Collaborations. We were to hook up with one of our bloggy friends and do a photo together, even though we might be 3000 miles away from each other. Here’s what Teagan and I came up with. I think the tagline is really fitting :)


 





GET FIT and HEALTHY WEEK 14

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in EVERYTHING ELSE, GET FIT

RULES:

1. If you haven’t yet, join the challenge here: GET FIT and GET HEALTHY
2. Every Saturday come back to The Art of Making a Babyand ShutterMama to read the tips on how to be fitter, healthier and more confident.
3. Weekly write a post about your progress, following the questionnaire below, take a self-portrait (optional) and link up with us.
4. Don’t forget to grab the GET FIT challenge button on the sidebar and display it proudly on your blog or GET FIT post.
5. Link your post with
Selfie Saturdays if you took your week’s self-portrait.

OMEGA-3S (fatty acids, DHA, EPA)

This week I paid more attention to my Omega-3 intake. It’s relatively hard to get enough Omega-3s in your diet especially if you are vegetarian and don’t eat fish.

The Daily RV for Omega-3s is about 2.5 grams and it needs to have a proportion of  no more than 1:3 with the Omega-6s ( which are abundant in American diets, due to processed food). Omega-3s reduce inflammation, Omega-6s promotes inflammation. So it’s very important to have a good balance between them ( 1:3), and consider that msot America diets have a 1:24 balance instead.

Omega-3s are crucial for brain development and growth ( our brain is made up of those fatty acids exclusively). It promotes good cardiovascular health and reduces inflammation. It is CRUCIAL during pregnancy, as children of pregnant women who didn’t get enough Omega-3s have a high risk of developing eye and nerve problems as well as brain development issues.

The problem is the body cannot make those fatty acids, we HAVE TO get them from foods alone. And very few foods contain enough DHA and EPA to make a difference.

I get half of my Omega-3 intake in my morning cereal and another half but having an ounce or two of walnuts. Walnuts and fatty fish ( sardines,salmon) are probably your best sources of Omega-3s. Aim for a 1/4 of a cup of walnuts or tale a fish oil supplement.

To read about ALL the benefits of Omega-3 supplementation, go here

 

 My entry for week 13

1. Height: 5’11″, weight: 134 lb

2. Your fitness challenge(s) for this week: 30 minutes of pilates every other day + 30 minutes of cardio ( rollerblading, running, swimming or treadmill) every other day+20 sit-ups every hour for 8 hours on cardio days. Special exercises designed for pregnancy to increase flexibility (daily) + Kegels (twice daily). A total of about an hour or more of physical activity a day.

3. Your health challenge(s) for this week: Continue eating whole grains, veggies and fruits only with a few servings of kefir,eggs or sardines daily (sardines are low in dioxins and mercury)

4. How well did it go:

  • Fitness:I was pretty lazy this week and while I hit all my exercise goals, I felt I did them half-heartedly. 
  • Water: I’m back to my KleenKanteen bottle and being hydrated.  When I don’t drink enough, I start getting sooo thirsty, almost like a withdrawal.
  • Food: Food intake was perfect. Nothing to complain about.

5. Failures and slip-ups: I totally forgot about Kegels this week. I maybe did them for two or three days, but that sucks. I need to resume 100 Kegels a day.

6. Weekly challenge wisdom: I’m really proud of myself and those people who stuck with this challenge. It’s tough and it’s so easy to quit because I have no motivation, no weight to lose, but somehow I’ve been going. I feel guilty when I skip a day’s work out or eat more than I should ( never happens, but I can imagine I’d feel guilty). I love having this as a routine, as a part of my life.

7. Advice to fellow GET FIT members
: Healthy weight, good nutrition and overall health is a lifestyle choice, not a temporary state. If you just want to lose a few pounds and go back to how you were eating before, then you might as well not try. It’s about being a healthy person, which means daily effort, make it a lifestyle, and your weight will come down as a result of that. It should not be about dieting, it should be about becoming a better person.

8. Self Portrait: FAMILY PORTRAIT (for more family portraits I took for this challenge, go to Selfie Saturdays)

LINK UP HERE

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GET FIT WEEK 13

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in EVERYTHING ELSE, GET FIT

RULES:

1. If you haven’t yet, join the challenge here: GET FIT and GET HEALTHY
2. Every Saturday come back to The Art of Making a Babyand ShutterMama to read the tips on how to be fitter, healthier and more confident.
3. Weekly write a post about your progress, following the questionnaire below, take a self-portrait (optional) and link up with us.
4. Don’t forget to grab the GET FIT challenge button on the sidebar and display it proudly on your blog or GET FIT post.
5. Link your post with
Selfie Saturdays if you took your week’s self-portrait.

 My entry for week 13

1. Height: 5’11”, weight: 136 lb

2. Your fitness challenge(s) for this week: 30 minutes of pilates every other day + 30 minutes of cardio ( rollerblading, running, swimming or treadmill) every other day+20 sit-ups every hour for 8 hours on cardio days. Special exercises designed for pregnancy to increase flexibility (daily) + Kegels (twice daily). A total of about an hour or more of physical activity a day.

3. Your health challenge(s) for this week: Continue eating whole grains, veggies and fruits only with a few servings of kefir,eggs or sardines daily (sardines are low in dioxins and mercury)

4. How well did it go:

  • Fitness: I was happy with my fitness this week, did pretty good and even worked out when I thought i couldn’t.
  • Water: I’m back to my KleenKanteen bottle and being hydrated.
  • Food: Food intake was perfect. Nothing to complain about.
     

5. Failures and slip-ups: I usually work out with my husband ( i get bored working out alone), and this week he was so busy he barely got out to work out towards the end of the week. I had to muster up the energy to do that without him which was hard. But i don’t feel I did as good as I could have, because I didn’t have the help.

6. Weekly challenge wisdom: I’m wisdom-ed out, to be honest! This has become a habit for me which is great. So there’s nothing new that I learned this week.

7. Advice to fellow GET FIT members
: A few of you seemed to have fallen off the wagon. Whatever excuses you’re telling yourselves, they’re worth nothing. If you’re working out on your own – great! But if you’re not, then find the strength to start it again. Every little bit helps!

8. Self Portrait: JUMP

 

LINK UP HERE

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