i’ve got about three and a half weeks until a girl’s beach vacation to nicaragua, so i want to really try to stay on track this month and feel good in a swimsuit on my trip. it’s a good goal for me! this weekend will mark my 6 weeks on the challenge. a lot of people have asked how long we are going to run this column, and the answer is, we aren’t really sure. we feel really motivated by your feedback and comments and love the interactive quality to this new column, so we are just going to take it week by week. if you all still like seeing it, we will try to just keep writing it and coming up with new content based on living a healthier lifestyle. and remember, i’m new to this journey too, so i’m not claiming to be an expert here, just someone who wants to feel better about their body and health!

and don’t forget to add to the hashtag on , as we often feature our faves like above! now, see how this past week went for us…


joanie: i’ve been focusing on shorter, more intense workouts. i realize if i give myself a limited amount of time to workout that i’m more likely to push myself harder since i know i need to get a lot of bang for my buck (time). when i have a wide open window of when i can workout i just keep putting it off and end up skipping. so i’ve been giving myself a 35 minute time frame and trying to do high intensity intervals. running as fast as i can for 90 seconds, walking for 30, running up hill for 1 minute, jogging for 45 seconds, basically focusing on getting my heart rate up really high, letting it come back down and doing it again.

bri: last weekend i went to vegas with my family and was determined not to lose the momentum i had with working out. before i left, i made sure to do three workout days in a row, so that i could have a day of rest once we arrived. on saturday, i dragged my sister and dad to the hotel gym (which i never thought i would say!) and we all ran on the treadmill for 30 minutes, and then did some weights and leg exercises. it was fun to work out all together and was a first for us! the other two days i just made sure i was really active. we walked a few miles a day, when i was in the pool i was looking kinda crazy by doing some of , and i also did 150 crunches and leg lifts in the room (it doesn’t take that long and made me feel better to be doing something)

i’m always really motivated to get back on my normal schedule after traveling. i made sure to sign up for a few classes for the week in advance and work my social schedule around them. i’m still doing , yoga, , and at-home workouts. i also went to a meditation workshop on sunday night, which focuses on your breathing. it was so relaxing and felt very much like self love. to take some time to clear your mind and just be still feels very important. at first, my body and mind resist, but if you breath long enough you can fully let the anxiety move through you. during my breathing my mind wanders to healthier places…feeling proud of myself, feeling love for myself, wanting to help others and give back. it’s a good thing.

my sister told me about and that she’s been really enjoying it. so i just signed up for my free 30 day trial, and joanie and i ran a 30 minute boxing class in my living room on our lunch break. maybe i’m just used to the stimulation of the 20 person classes, but i was pretty bored and could barely finish it. (eek, sorry daily burn) but i will give it a couple more tries and maybe it will stick. it would be nice to have some videos i like on days that i can’t make it to a class. do you have any favorites?

and no, that’s not a real move we’re doing above. who knows. haha

(photos , , )



joanie: it was my husband’s birthday this past week which is basically like my birthday because i joined him on all of the celebratory eating and drinking expeditions around town. special occasions seem to be a downfall of many people’s healthy eating habits. you’re on a roll and then it’s your birthday, or friends come visit from out of town and want to eat at all of your favorite restaurants. i find that mentally preparing for the situation beforehand is crucial, understand that you’re going to be around a lot of amazing food and that you don’t need to eat all of it. share plates, make dinner for your friends at home, if you know you’re going to go out for a big dinner eat light during the day, etc. it’s important to me that i feel like i’m able to experience these special times in life but it’s also important that i’m good to myself by not overdoing it. everything is much more fun when you’re not stuffed and ready to take a nap after a big dinner!

bri: i gave myself one cheat day on my family vacation ( had the best food and delicious cocktails, and i couldn’t really turn down a refreshing pool drink in the 113 degree weather). i ate light the rest of the time…salads with light dressing, sole fish, and healthy snacks. i did my best with just a few slip-ups. but hey, it’s hard when your family is ordering mac & cheese next to you!

when i signed up for the  trial the other day, i discovered they also had nutrition help included which is pretty cool. they give me simple meal plans which seem fairly easy to follow considering i like all of the items…

since i have been working out 4-5 days a week, i’m trying to incorporate eating MORE. i gotta say, this eating thing is tricky and i still haven’t caught on exactly. it’s hard when there are always so many conflicting opinions out there…”eat egg whites.” “you have to eat the yolks!” “cut the carbs.” “your body needs carbs if you want to lose weight.” i wish i could wrap my head around it a little more…but i’m learning. any advice you guys have, i would love! my physical therapist told me to eat pasta or brown rice right after my workout, and healthy fats and veggies before i work out.

Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 4.12.30 PM

and we will see if i can stick to it…but i am going to have alcohol only 1-2 times a week max. i find that if i know something is coming up (ahem, 4th of july bbqs) then i can plan my week when i can drink. it might sounds crazy to some that it’s so hard for me to cut out, but wine is my vice.

(photo and )


joanie: i went through four or five days last week where i was super tired and really just needed to take a break and let myself rest. i couldn’t really explain my fatigue, i was sleeping enough, drinking water, eating right but i think sometimes you just go through those weeks where you need some serious self-love. i find that i often feel bad about being tired, what am i doing wrong? how can i fix it? but i really just tried to focus on being okay with my lack of energy and lighting a candle, reading a book and sleeping an extra hour, and it worked – i feel back to normal this week! what are some of your favorite ways to relax and show yourself some love? we’re always looking for new ideas!

bri: let’s just say, someone complimented my butt yesterday, so that’s gotta be worth something, right?! i’m excited to work out now. they always say in class that you should associate that burning feeling when a certain move is difficult with pleasure. start to switch your mindset to loving the feeling instead of fighting it. i’m getting the hang of that. how’s your week been? have you fallen off the wagon or stayed strong?

see more of our healthy posts here!


Add your own

    Varsha says:

    Yay! my pasta pic made it into your post today! Thanks Bri:) I love this series of posts. It has motivated me to eat healthy and work out too. For me floor exercises (using my own body weight) are more effective than cardio. In terms of loosing weight that is. But i guess cardio is important to increase stamina!

    Samantha says:

    hi! i’ve been loving this weekly column! i’ve been eating healthy and working out for the last year and have lost a bunch of weight and feel sooooo much stronger mentally and physically which is the best payoff! I do have a tip for special occasions as well that someone told me – try to think of the occasion as being about the people you’re with, and not the food you’re eating. you’ll probably look back and remember that funny story someone told, or what someone did that was ridiculous, rather than that bowl of guacamole you ate, right? it totally works! xo Sam

    I have never heard that you should associate the burning feeling when a certain move is difficult with pleasure but I am 100% going to try it. That is often when I want to give up and go home and give myself an A for initial effort. Ha

    I also find that I tell myself 10 more minutes, and then i watch the clock close in on 10 and tell myself 10 more, YOU CAN DO IT. I also yelp and squeeze and verbally encourage myself and others. I probably look crazy but exerting that positivity feels like it’s working!

    Morgan says:

    I am loving this column too! Super inspiring!

    Sara says:

    The food thing is tricky, everyone has a different opinion. But everyone is different, what may be bad for someone can be really good for you. Is some people choose to eat egg whites only, that’s fine, but I enjoy whole eggs and 95% of the nutritional value is in the yolks!
    I read this book last week and information it gives about just generally living a healthy life is great. It doesn’t tell you “do that, don’t do that”, but it gives you the infomation you need to find out for yourself what exactly your body needs! 😉

    Hannah says:

    I love these posts – it’s so great to read about fitness ideas and tips from people that aren’t experts and are just trying to have a healthier lifestyle. I’ve been working on losing weight for my wedding (1.5 stone lost since September hooray!!) I used slimming world, calorie counting, cutting out sugar etc and got into HIIT workouts and running home from work. I’ve still got a bit more to lose but I’m so proud of where I’ve reached so far! Can’t wait to read your next update xx

    Lynn says:

    You just reminded me a couple of years ago I was going to a nutritionist and sticking to my daily calorie limits … while drinking. I wasn’t losing that much weight. He speculated that if I took a break from drinking I would lose more (even sticking to the same calories). He suggested this in late June and I was like “BUT THERE’S 4TH OF JULY!!!” and I immediately realized what a freak I sounded like. Well I did it and I lost 5 pounds in those 2 weeks. (something about alcohol being a toxin so your liver processes it before food so the food turns to fat. but i could be remembering wrong)

    Jackie says:

    Hey Bri!

    This column is the best! I hope you guys keep it around for awhile, it’s super encouraging to me! I’m still trying to figure out the whole food thing too, it can be a pretty big headache. I’m trying to educate myself more on what is best to eat when you’re trying to gain muscle and lose fat, but the more I look into it, the more confusing it gets! So for now, I’m taking a protein supplement and trying to stay away from anything processed, lower my fruit intake and eat more protein and veggies. I’m just monitoring my carbs right now, since you need them for energy to maintain good workouts. It’s definitely a journey trying to figure all of it out!

    Svetlana says:

    the last piece of advice about learning to love that burning feeling – couldn’t agree more. I have started enjoying my morning workouts to the point where I have to get out of shower and do my workout first, even if initially I didn’t plan to do it that day 🙂

    Allison says:

    I’m really enjoying this column. We’re similar ages, have similar careers, and apparently both have anxiety. I recently downloaded the Headspace meditation app which I really love. I felt so much calmer after doing it daily for a week. I would check it out if you haven’t tried it. You can do the take 10 program for free to see if you like it.

    On the video workout tip I’ve been doing Tone it up workouts, Tae Bo (classic), Pilloxing, jillian Michaels, Bob Harper, Zumba, and Insanity. I have a ton of dvds. Based on what you do already you’d probably like Tone it Up or Pilloxing. Insanity really is ridiculously hard, but I always feel like it goes by super fast because you’re just trying to live until the next segment. Seriously though, he had to tell one of the fitness people doing the workout to go sit down and take a break a one point. I honestly forget to look at the video timer, and when I do I’m almost done. So if you’re up for sweating your life away then give it a try. I always feel like a boss when I’m done. I’m laying in a puddle of my own sweat on the floor of course, but it’s a boss bish puddle.

    lora says:

    Im looking forward to this post every Wednesday. Keep doing it!

    Kit says:

    The advice about proper diet (no carbs! more healthy fats! eat for your blood type! eat like we did as cavemen! two words: bone broth! no sugar ever ever ever!) totally confuses me, too, and I always wonder how these diets can apply to everyone given that our bodies and lifestyles are so different. Even with my own friends, what works for one of us doesn’t work for another. But I read this article recently about finding the right nutrition plan specifically for you, and it was really helpful:

    I especially liked the idea of testing different breakfasts over the course of week to see which type works best for you. Turns out my body likes high carb breakfasts the best.

    Paige says:

    Keep it up! I will say that it’s taken my whole adult life to learn that fitness is a totally different separate thing from weight loss (and I was an athlete my whole life!). I haven’t played soccer since college which was 6 years ago I’ve had to re-learn how to eat…I used to be able to stuff my face without a 2nd thought, but now not so much. We should be considerate about what we put in your body for heath reasons, but with that said, weight loss is largely about quantity (portion control). Fitness is more about health and wellness. The two are great combined, but if your main goal is weight loss, I’d focus on food for those results, and focus on fitness for strength and mental health 🙂

    Elizabeth says:

    Thank you for continuing to write this post! It has been so honest and inspirational! I can’t wait to read it each week and always check your blog for the latest update. I just started on a healthy lifestyle journey after spending the past year in a bad relationship and an even worse relationship with food & drinking. I finally just woke up one day and said I am not going to live this way anymore. I cut out dairy, gluten, and meat because honesty I don’t feel well when I eat those items. I also cut out all alcohol during the week. I know exactly what you mean about wine! I really do think that alcohol is the downfall because its empty calories and always leads to overeating when your inhibitions go down! I am also training for a half marathon and felt like a loser when people asked how much weight I have been losing while training and the fact that I hadn’t lost any! My theory is that its now or never- no more excuses! Eating with no care in the world feels great momentarily but waking up feeling energized and fitting in my clothes feels a hell of a lot better!

    shawnee says:

    I like following the new health column!! I just started the Fast Metabolism Diet. It has amazing reviews and so far, so good.. I feel like it’s something you might like, Bri! I’m not a big fan of diets but this one (it’s sort of a diet? moreso a push back into a healthier lifestyle) seems different in a good way. xo

    shawnee says:

    Oh – also I love Ayurveda. After taking a type test there are suggestions for food / daily routines / home decor and so on.. I’ve found that most everything is spot on!! The tests show where the imbalances are and how to balance them out. Very interesting! Another amazing, ancient lifestyle idea 🙂

    j. smith says:

    I love this column! Bri, you mentioned you weren’t really having fun with the daily burn videos. I highly recommend blogilates. It’s Cassey Ho’s YouTube channel. She uploads really fun and challenging videos every Monday. She also does super great monthly challenges, and provides a work-out plan for each month. It details which video workouts you should do each day for your daily workout. I’m so glad you are feeling better about your body and about YOU 🙂

    EmmaLee says:

    I love REAL FOOD. If I were going to have a..lets say..breakfast burrito and wanted more avocado I might use more egg whites than whole eggs. If i wanted the whole eggs, I might skimp on the ‘cado and add some more bell pepper, etc. HOT SAUCE.
    I notice that when it comes to eating before and after a workout “rules”, it’s trial and error with what works best for my body/energy. I love PB and an apple before working out or toast with avocado. Afterwards, my body loves PROTEIN. bring on the greek yogurt (fage FTW). Carbs & fat/protein before, Protein after.
    and carbs.
    always carbs.

    Sarah says:

    Really enjoying these posts–keep ’em coming!

    Breck says:

    I love this column! It’s really nice to hear someone say (see someone write?) some of the random/crazy-ish thoughts I have about food/working out–it makes me feel less weird and alone!

    Suggestion for at-home workout videos: I highly recommend FocusT25 from Beach Body (the people who created P90X and Insanity). FocusT25 is lead by Shaun T. (Insanity guy), but it’s only supposed to be 25 minutes/day, 5 days/week, for 50 days. I don’t really stick to the schedule but rather incorporate it a couple days/week with other workouts. It is great because it’s pretty tough but only 25 minutes, so it’s easy for me to force myself to start it and get through it. They also have someone doing modified moves in every video, which is really nice in case you’re injured or have bad knees. Also, Shaun T. is certainly not bad to look at ;).

    Kim Boswell says:

    The main thing you want to do is cut out processed carbs. This is simple but noticing “white foods” – aside from cauliflower (which has great amounts of sulfurs and vit k), any white food is bad for you: bread, crackers, pasta, cake, donuts, etc. Most colorless food is processed (unless flavor blasted – gross!), weird huh.
    However your body NEEDS natural carbs. There are plenty of natural carbs: sweet potatoes (bake, top with salt, greek yogurt- which also has a great number of carbs-and green onion), certain fruits have higher carbs but watch for sugar overloads, and veggies have lower doses. You need carbs, especially when you are working out, for cell development/health and of course energy. Next you want protein. If you eat meat I suggest switching your protein selections to seafood. The omegas and protein levels in seafood are great. Try to look for sustainably caught seafood of course! Next you want fiber and fats. Load up on veggies for fiber whenever you can. Whole, organic raw is best. They are a must. Next get lots of good fats – raw olive oils, avocado and walnuts are great sources!! Add them to salads – its so easy!

    sarina says:


    10min bootcamp (weights required):



    Great legs, arms and ab workout (despite the name there is little cardio and little pilates):

    Jillian MIchaels has good online 30min workouts too!

    Tess says:

    Buzzfeed has a few great 20-30 minute workouts for those days you can’t make it to the gym! xx

    michal says:

    Keep doing it! This is motivation and it helps us all come together and live healthier happier lives!!

    little_deer says:

    I love this series. I appreciate the openess and honesty. I get pretty confused about what constitutes a healthy diet. There are compelling arguments for myriad ways of eating!

    soraya kabbaj says:

    I typically do daily burn workouts and have recently started the Blackfire series. I love that all the workouts are about 30 minutes, so I have no excuse not to work out. They are all fast paced and a real challenge! I alos love their Vinyasa yoga series, the twist flow is so hard!

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