Maintain, Don’t Gain: Week 2

How was fitness week? I’ll say, the thought of embarrassing myself by NOT completing the challenge kept me on track (at least in terms of exercise). 3 fitness classes, 2 walks around the lake (~3 miles) and a 3.2 mile run this week. HOWEVER, I kind of ate my face off for no good reason. I wish I could blame it on holiday stress, but really, I don’t have any excuse! Hormones? Boredom? Who knows?

Luckily, this week’s focus is on making sure we get good nutrition & maybe skip that extra cookie because….

This week’s challenge: be sure to get EIGHT servings of fruit or veggies every day!

Maintain Don't Gain Challenge Week 2

Can you eat 8 servings of fruit and veggies EVERY. SINGLE. DAY?

One serving size is defined as: fruit (1 med pc or ½ c cut), veggies (½ c cut), leafy greens (1 c ~ 4 leaves), cooked leafy greens (½ c), dried fruit (¼ c), dry beans or peas (½ c cooked).

I know, you’re gonna say, “GIRRRRL? Am I just going to cram my face with celery all day? That’s no fun!” Not at all, my friend! It’s actually not so crazy, and it’s not DENYING you anything either. If you want cake, eat cake. Just know that you are still staring down the barrel of 3 more servings of goodness and might want to reach for an apple instead.

A reason for this week’s challenge is it’s so easy to eat crap, which leaves you at a deficit for vital nutrients. And guess what happens when you’re stressed out, eating junk, and trudging through the cold? You get SICK! Ever gone through the holidays with a cold or flu? Now THAT is no fun.

I admit, I did not buy into this challenge the first time we did it, but over the years I found myself craving fresh fruit at the end of the week, instead of grabbing a slice of coffee cake. And not to sound like some hippie-dippy, wheatgrass-snorting veg-head, but your body really does feel so much better when it gets what it needs.

So, if you haven’t already, Print out your pdf and write down what you’re going to eat for the week.

And, if you need ideas of how work THAT MANY fruit and vegetables into your diet, here’s a sample day:
BREAKFAST: egg white scramble with spinach and fresh pico de gallo and an orange (3 servings right there!)
SNACK: bell pepper slices with hummus (1 serving)
LUNCH: mixed green salad with chicken and an apple (2-3 servings)
SNACK: celery slices with peanut butter (1 serving)
DINNER: Side salad with whatever you’re eating. Plus maybe some roasted broccoli on the side?
DESSERT: Go for it, if you have room! Maybe some Greek yogurt with fresh berries? Or ice cream if you’re really dying for it. I won’t tell.

SEE? Wasn’t that easy? (I mean, if you have time to make that breakfast, of course).

What is your favorite go-to fresh snack?

Feel free to comment here, tweet, or pin your progress!


Please note: I am not a health professional. I am not a trainer or dietician. I am a fitness enthusiast. If you embark on a new fitness or diet regimen, please consult your doctor and pay attention to your body and health. This is a social challenge to encourage health and fitness through the holidays. Your choice to participate is not the responsibility of Committed LLC. 

Maintain, Don’t Gain: Week 1

Hopefully you’ve recuperated from too much stuffing, daily turkey/cranberry sandwiches, and Black Friday shopping.

Time to think about your health for a moment.

Work out during the holidays

First healthy habit in the Maintain, Don’t Gain Holiday Challenge: Get Exercise!

The challenge this week: be sure to get five 30-minute sessions of sustained activity.

This can be walking, running (inside or outside), dancing, heavy-duty house work, snow shoveling, anything that gets your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes. Take a break from Cyber Monday and plan out your workouts. I mean NOW! Do it now! Can you take a longer lunch to get a good walk in? Can you take an early yoga class? Print out your pdf and write down what days you’re going to get exercise, and what exercise you’ll be doing. Oh, and don’t forget to weigh in today too!

What activities are you going to do this week to stay healthy?

Feel free to comment here, tweet, or pin your progress!


Please note: I am not a health professional. I am not a trainer or dietician. I am a fitness enthusiast. If you embark on a new fitness or diet regimen, please consult your doctor and pay attention to your body and health. This is a social challenge to encourage health and fitness through the holidays. Your choice to participate is not the responsibility of Committed LLC. 

Maintain, Don’t Gain Holiday Challenge 2013

I’m noticing a bunch of traffic to last year’s challenge, which mean’s it’s that time again!

Yes, it’s the Maintain, Don’t Gain Holiday Challenge, 2013 Edition!
Beginning December 2nd, I’m giving you weekly challenges to conquer the holiday temptations and to maintain your health and weight through the season. Final weigh-in is on JANUARY 6, 2014.

Melting Snowmen Cookies

You might feel like this after a hectic holiday season. Melting Snowmen Cookies via

Every year, I gained weight during the holidays. Some years, it was ridiculous (yes, 14 pounds in 12 days. I did that.) I became so sick of it because DAMNIT, I worked so hard all year long, then totally blew it in the span of a few weeks. My friend and I started a challenge about 5 years ago: to maintain our weight throughout the holiday season. I think trying to LOSE weight over the holidays is unrealistic, so this challenge is designed to force you to embrace a healthy habit every week despite being surrounded by indulgences. Every year I’ve done it, I’ve actually lost weight between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. It’s pretty simple, but not necessarily easy.

You can do this alone, or with friends, family, and coworkers. We’re getting a later start this year, but I’m carrying the challenge through the week after New Year’s to give you a chance to keep those good habits beyond the holidays! Continue reading

Flame Weeding: Organic Weed Killing for Badasses

The ongoing saga of our yard is this: it’s big, it’s overgrown, and it’s overwhelming.

We paid mucho dinero to have the yard weeded and trimmed back, and true to form, six weeks later, that work was completely undone. It’s not that the area is that large, it’s just a lot of varied spaces, a challenge to access, and rife with invasive, aggressive species. Since I didn’t want to pay basically RENT to have someone do this job every month, I turned to the internet for ideas.

Committed garden stairs

Watch it bring you to your knees, knees.

Luckily, my friends are smart. They referred me to Seattle Tilth. They offer a great service: garden consultations to identify plants, generate a plan, and help figure out organic solutions to turn your garden into something sustainable. To me, “Sustainable” doesn’t just mean organic, it means something that I can actually take care of with reasonable effort.

Many of the ideas she gave me were great, especially flame weeding. It’s exactly how it sounds: kill weeds with FIRE! Yeah! Continue reading

Fitness is a Family Affair

We had ants in our pants this weekend. Kiddo was running wild, definitely restless, and DEFINITELY not up for sitting in the bike trailer for an hour while mommy and daddy went for a joyride to get some exercise.

So. We did a family workout instead.

I’ll admit it, that even though I often feel like being lazy, I LOVE exercising.

I made a plan, based on the tiny park layout. There was a bench, and some cement ball sculpturey things, and a small lawn to work with. We brought one set of 10-lb weights, my phone with an interval timer app, an exercise mat, water, and towels (and some snacks for the kiddo).

HIIT workout plan

Failure to plan is planning to fail…or somesuch.

~Please note: I am not a trainer or a medical practitioner. Always check with your doctor before trying a new fitness regimen and never work beyond your ability. Do your research for proper form and technique. This routine is for people who are fitness-savvy.~

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My Milkshake Brings all the Boys to the Yard

“Just get the perfect blend
Plus what you have within
Then next his eyes will squint…”

Read more: Kelis – Milkshake Lyrics | MetroLyrics

If those boys were interested in healthy living, and liked chocolate, they’d totally come to my yard for these smoothies.

I saw a Dr. Oz once where he added avocado to his breakfast smoothie. Gross? Good? I had to try it. I have to say, pretty good. What’s great about it is that it adds a nice creamy texture. Cutting back on how much you add helps tame the avocadoey flavor (if that’s not your gig).

AND THEN. I started following Liz Dialto for fitness tips. She had a great tip: use coconut water and almond milk in smoothies instead of milk or yogurt. WHAT? I’m not a huge fan of the taste of either, but let me say, together they are okey-dokey.

Anyway, I have to share this because it’s fucking delicious. And around, 200 calories.

Smoothie ingredients

Bring in avocado and ice, and you’ve got a party in your mouth.

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Maintain, Don’t Gain Holiday Challenge 2012

In case you haven’t noticed, the holidays are HERE. So are the cookies, candy, cheeses, gingerbread lattes, overflowing buffets, and festive cocktails. I struggle with overindulgence during the holidays and have found it necessary to set boundaries and rules for myself to stay healthy. You may have heard that the average American gains 4-12 pounds in the 6 weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

Holiday food

It’s easy to see why we pack on the pounds!

Full disclosure: one year, I gained fourteen pounds in twelve days. THAT’S ONE-FOUR. As in, I averaged an intake in excess of 3500 calories above my normal intake Every. Single. Day. Enter the Maintain, Don’t Gain Holiday Challenge.

You can do this with friends, coworkers, family, or just yourself. It’s simple, but not necessarily easy.


Maintain Don't Gain Full Version

Click to access the full pdf version


Maintain Don't Gain Holiday Weight Challenge

Click to access the simple pdf version


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