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April's "Fork in the Road" Challenge ...

Monday, April 04, 2011

On April 10th, I will be three months into my “Six Months and Sixteen Days ~ Lose Weight and Get Fit” Challenge. This macro-challenge is running from January 10 – July 28th, and encompasses my entire plan to completely clean up my diet, drop 30 pounds and get fit in time for an incredibly special day on July 29th, and onto the rest of my life!!

I am very encouraged by the progress so far. My diet continues to evolve into something a lot closer to nature! I am eating almost entirely from whole food selections, have cut out all sugar, white anything, refined anything, butter and hidden sodium. I have been pretty successful at keeping sodium under 1000mg per day and am striving for no less than 30g fiber per day as part of my clean, whole food nutrition. The name of my game is Nutrient-Dense vs. Calorie Count – no useless calories!!

My palate is changing! Last month, I started “faking it” with a greater variety of vegetables and am now incorporating a lot of vegetables into my diet, even at breakfast *GASP* !! I was not raised eating a variety of veggies and have never been a fan (ssshhhh), so I have struck out on my own, continuing to increase the variety. I much prefer my vegetables closer to the vine/ground. No thank you, to the mushiness! That’s lead to one mishap, and an almost wrecked evening in the near future, just yesterday! The mishap was an allergic reaction to one raw vegetable that resulted in intense itching. The wrecked evening? I almost made myself seriously sick for 4-5 hours. I was going to try some raw garbanzo beans in my salad, after a horrible experience with canned adzuki beans (YUCK! Mushy beans that smelled like I opened a can of dog food! Gross!). Since I like adzuki sprouts I thought, “Hey! I’ll just sprout the garbanzo beans and will have another veggie in my repertoire!” Luckily, I decided to google sprouting garbanzo beans because it brought me to a forum where I learned that kidney beans and garbanzo beans are actually TOXIC in their raw or sprouted state! Oh, I’d live (to rue the day…). But for 4-5 hours, it would feel like gut-wrenching, flu-like living! Phytochemicals are good! Preparing plant-based food to get the most phytochemicals out of them, without doing yourself in – Priceless.

So back to April! I have created a micro-challenge for the month of April with two prongs: a fitness & get answers prong and a “Vegetables of the Alphabet” prong!! So I am going to call this my “April Fork in the Road” Challenge.

Prong One: Fitness & Get Answers –
I have been the owner of a Brookstone iGallop since 2008. This exercise contraption purports to simulate horseback riding, at four different speeds. The idea is that when you “ride” the iHorse, you engage all your core muscles to keep your balance. The faster you “ride”, the more your core works. I have not used the iGallop consistently at all, so I don’t really know if it truly will provide any measurable results. I’ve had three abdominal surgeries, two horizontal incisions (thank you, sons) and the big vertical incision, with laparoscopic surgery thrown in too. Translation: My abs need all the help they can get, the muscles have been incised a few times! So this prong isn’t about ditching all other exercise, but is exactly this: Ride my iHorse every day for the 30 days of April, and comparing beginning and ending measurements for natural waist, maddening bulge below the waist, additional pouch below that (GAH!) and hips. Challenge began April 1st. Today is day four for me and the iHorse!

Prong Two: “Vegetables of the Alphabet” –
I want to expand my ever-growing selection of vegetables so my challenge is to eat a vegetable that begins with each letter in the alphabet (“X” will be used to have an Xtra serving of a favorite!) during the month of April. That’s at least 26 different vegetables I’ll be having at least once this month! I will be holding a few Status Feed shout-outs throughout the month, asking for your suggestions for an Alphabet Letter Vegetable of the day and the way you prepare it. Should be a lot of fun, and very educational.
That’s the plan! “April’s Fork in the Road Challenge”!! Open food tracking, feel free to look!

Vegetables at breakfast: 1 egg, 1 egg white, ¼ c. green and ¼ c. red bell pepper diced, ONE CUP of spinach and 2 T. chia seeds scramble (sorry about the bite... ;)

Vegetables at lunch: 3 oz. diced chicken, 1 serving quinoa, ½ c. carrot, ½ c. red cabbage, ½ c. broccoli slaw, 2.5 oz organic Crunchy Sprouts (lentils, green peas, adzuki beans!)

Vegetables for snack: Toasted Garbanzo beans!! (Soak overnight, rinse, dry, spray with PAM, sprinkle with mixture of 3 T. Truvia and 2 t. cinnamon – 450 for 20 mins)

I will provide a follow-up to this micro-challenge on April 30th.
Thank you so much for reading!!

Be good!! emoticon

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Nice challenge, my friend. Keep up the awesome work! That igallop is the weirdest thing I've ever seen. I need to see a video of you on it! Can't figure out how it works! Cool, though.

    I never knew that about the raw beans. The thing's we're learning, right?
    3113 days ago
    That is so awesome and such a great example that we should try to expand our palates into adulthood because our tastes can change. I like to try one new thing (at least) every grocery trip and there are things I just never would've thought I'd like that I do. So keep on going!

    I hear ya on the ab device. They always sound like a good idea at the time don't they? We spent $600 last year on a Core-Tex like they use on the Biggest Loser for core work and it's been used 5x and now we need the space so we're going to try to sell it for $200 and recoup at least 1/3. Sigh. We're not ones to go for gadgets but he'd just come off of paddleboarding and we thought it would build up our core and we just don't use it. Boo!
    3116 days ago
    First of all, thank god for google!
    Second, Love the Ihorse. I have seen these before but never knew what they were called or what they were purported to do. Now I am waiting for the end of april to know if they work well or not, it looks kind of fun, Go Melly!
    You are doing great, I love that you keep adding challenges into your challenge!
    Don't wait til the end of
    April, let us know how its going at least halfway mark.
    Keep Smiling. emoticon
    cindy emoticon
    3117 days ago
    Ride, Melly! Ride! I love the photos. I love roasted chickpeas and haven't tried the "sweet" route with them, just the savory. (I've also burned a few batches. Ugh.) I agree that incorporating veggies at every meal is a great strategy. If you get into the habit now then it will be ingrained in the future. Woo! Hoo! Water, whole foods and exercise - the keys to a healthy life. You've got it all! Congrats on your continued success. You are almost halfway through your challenge but just inches away from your goal. That rocks! Keep up the great work and know I am cheering you on!
    3117 days ago
    You sound like your enjoying your own challenge! More power to you!
    3117 days ago
    Good Luck with your Challenge. emoticon
    3117 days ago
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