Biggest Loser Challenge in Sunny Santa Barbara

Biggest Loser Challenge Santa Barbara
Free workout, learn about easy ways to eat clean, sample delicious vegan protein shakes, and shop for a new exercise wardrobe! Saturday FUN!

Entering the 4th and final week of the detox challenge!

DETOXTomorrow marks the final week of the detox and I cannot be happier with the results so far! I haven’t lost a lot of weight (4lb – but I only wanted to lose 5 – so I’m on track!) but my body fat has gone down by over 4%! By far the most impressive result for me has been discovering the tremendous will power that I have been able to will myself to have. Which tells me, it was always there – just buried so deep that it had to be excavated by digging through layers and layers of mindless eating. And since I will be 41 in a week – it stands to reason that there were many many years worth of layers to be dug through. Discipline doesn’t stop at just the eating thought – for a long while now, I have wanted to wake up at 5am daily – so I can have that extra time to myself to read, meditate, workout or just BE before the rest of my family and household needed to be woken up. But I couldn’t do it – I always snoozed from 5 – 5:30 – I had nailed down getting up at 5:30am instead of 6am during last year’s 30 day challenge! So this time I was determined…and while I am not at 5am yet – I am easily getting up at 5:15 – so that is a step in the right direction for me. Those 15 minutes made it so that I could enjoy an extra 15 minutes of quiet time, meditation time or running time. I know that in a few more days/weeks I will have no time taking another 15 minutes for myself and reaching my two year goal of getting up at 5am daily.

Sunrise from my backyard
Sunrise from my backyard

There is truly something magical about being up that early. Winter sunrises (and sunsets) are quite spectacular and the ones I get to experience right outside my backyard are no exception. This makes it all worthwhile. Additionally there is something special about the energy just before sunrise.

Another goal for myself that I have really wanted to implement and haven’t been able to, is exercising 5 days in a row consistently. See, for years, I had trained myself and my mind to think that my running days are Tue-Thur-Sat. Tuesday and Thursday were short runs, and Saturday was my long run day — and for years, I never worked out more than that. With my kids getting older and sleeping through the night – I no longer had the excuse that my kids need me first thing in the morning. My husband is more than capable of taking care of the kids first thing in the morning should they wake, and more often than not, I am back from my run before anyone wakes up! So there was no reason NOT to exercise more anymore. Brain training is a powerful thing – it was really hard to break that habit. And I am HAPPY TO REPORT that I did! This week – I worked out 5 consecutive days in a row – for the first time in over 8 years I did that! I ran on the days I run, and I did the bike trainer on the other days and I felt AMAZING! The breakthrough was huge, the fact that I am now rewiring my brain to believe that I have to work out daily except for Sunday is an amazing feeling, because this is a habit that I will keep for life! 

This has been such a successful program for the people that joined us and did it as a Facebook community boot camp of almost 400 people! Our next boot camp starts on February 3, 2014! It’s not too late to jump on board, get Fit for February on the heels of Super Bowl Sunday! Won’t you join us? If you’re in the Santa Barbara area, come out to Lole Atelier (714 State Street) on February 1 at 10am – come get a free workout courtesy IM=X Pilates Studio and learn more about this program. Sample the products that make the basis of this incredible life changing program and enjoy the camaraderie of like minded people! IF you’d like more information about the event on February 1 in beautiful Santa Barbara, use this form to let me know that! 

Days 3, 4 and 5 – there are no shortcuts

RisottoSo ends the first five days of my cleanse. I fared well. I had a couple slips– a bite of bread when we went to Daphne’s Grill for dinner tonight, the most delectable chocolate ball by Lindt… Hazelnut truffle! but other than that I did rather well. I treated myself to a gluten free lemon scented risotto with seared scallops and green beans At the Blue Stove in the Thousand Oaks Nordstrom- possibly my favorite restaurant in the Conejo Valley.

All week I managed to create some rather delicious gluten free dishes for my family, thanks to the amazing support of the Facebook group thats supporting this program. Yesterday I ran out of time to cook, and resorted to an old standard– linguini with vodka cream sauce…something that needs 5 ingredients and can be cooked in 20min. But luckily I had quinoa, sautéed spinach and mushrooms and pan-seared chicken breast finished in the oven- but of course like any cook, I had to taste the food I cooked and holy cow it was delicious! But my meal was awesome too.

Seared Ahi Tuna salad
Seared Ahi Tuna salad

Today my friend Deanne took me to lunch to celebrate my transition from W2 to 1099! I had the most delicious seared Ahi tuna salad with mixed greens, daikon sprouts, carrots and tomatoes. I made sure to eat all the tuna first and sure enough it was so filling that I couldn’t finish the salad. A-ha! My stomach is shrinking already. A week or two ago, I’d have no trouble eating the whole thing. The cleanse is working, my stomach is shrinking.

Today an interesting thing happened — I was on my way to meet with a friend in Malibu at the Starbucks in my old stomping grounds– I got my MBA at Pepperdine 13 years ago. There’s a traffic light by the school entrance where you can take a short cut to the mart by turning left but you can’t do that till after 9am. It was 8:56am, and the memory of the ticket I got for not paying attention to the time as a sleep deprived MBA student is still fresh Even 13 years later. So I crossed the light, and for not taking that shortcut I was rewarded with the beautiful vision of 6-7 deer grazing on the grass at Alumni Park. I was in the wrong lane to pull over, nevertheless I said a silent prayer of gratitude at the vision that started my morning well– my reward today for not taking a shortcut. The entire day went amazingly well. I spent time with good friends, then with my little girl alone, then with both my kids at Daphne’s. We laughed a lot today! Now I’m snuggled near my husband with the fireplace candles, watching a movie with half an eye as I write this. Life is Perfect!

Tonight i send to you my wish — I wish for you the complete peace I felt today. I wish for you the chance to stop and smell the roses or see the deer as the case may be!

Sending you you all love and light from a heart filled with love

Niki

Day 2

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I thought I would have cravings, and I thought I’d be hungry. I experienced neither today. I even felt inspired to go for a 2mile run! I’m training for that Hollywood Half Marathon on 4/5 so definitely need to get my mileage going.

5:30am – 5oz warm water with a squirt of lemon juice

7:30am – Arbonne protein powder blended with spinach, broccoli, celery, strawberries, blueberries, flaxseed, almond milk and almond butter.

11:30am – boiled egg

1:30pm – post run/lunch smoothie more of what I made for breakfast! I added in some peppermint extract for a yummy minty flavor!

4:30pm – handful almonds (I get the 50% salt ones from Trader Joes)

6:30pm – Hungarian goulash made with grass fed beef (I omit the sour cream) over quinoa with the side salad pictured here. That’s quinoa, chick peas, onion, cucumber, tomato, mint leaves, sea salt, evoo, lemon juice and avocado. My 6yo loved it too!!

7:30pm- no twizzler bite today- rather some Indian fennel candy that served my sweet tooth and also as a digestive aid.

Needless to say I’ve been drinking water enough to run to the bathroom every hour!

I’m feeling rather good about myself– I’ve started on my vitamins again– something I’d stopped taking over the break. From the discipline of minding my nutrition stems so much good stuff, I’m on top of my professional game, I feel more in control as a mom, as a wife and even as a woman. Yes it’s only day 2– but if I can keep this up- and truly embrace this lifestyle for — well, life— I can see how my family will benefit. After all you know what they say– Happy Wife, Happy Life!

Good night all!

Day 1 of 28 day detox challenge!

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Well, it’s the start of the year, and of course the number one biggest resolution is always to lose weight. Last year, I did this program for the first time in February following my 40th birthday and promptly lost the final 8lb of baby weight (from 2 years ago) that I couldn’t shake. Most importantly the energy that I gained and the mental shift that I encountered were absolutely amazing and unexpected. Since then, I have been able to keep the weight to a pretty constant 130lb – but this last month – yes…the holidays came a-knocking! And I put on the holiday 5! So when my Executive National Vice President said that she was going to host a 28-day challenge, complete with support group on Facebook, menus, recipes, shopping lists and accountability – I knew I had to jump on this. So here I go again! And this time with even more transparency!

I decided to do this again because:

  • My metabolism is sluggish – when I’m freezing in my own house with two layers of clothes and socks – and my kids are running around in short sleeves, I know something’s up!
  • I’m finding I need more sugar and salt in my food, so my taste buds are off!
  • I’m just tired more than I need to be
  • My clothes aren’t fitting as well as they should
  • I’m not sleeping as soundly as I usually do
  • Couldn’t resist the twizzlers, the chocolates and even the wine lying around the house – usually I have more control

YES, it’s time to take on the detox challenge!

Start weight 135.1lb – 17% body fat

NO GLUTEN

NO DAIRY

NO SOY

NO CAFFEINE

NO ALCOHOL

NO SUGAR

Two shakes a day (takes the guess work out of breakfast and lunch) and a healthy meal for dinner!

Breakfast – Arbonne chocolate protein powder blended with almond milk, almond butter, baby spinach, broccoli, celery, strawberries, blueberries, a sliver of jalapeno and a tsp of flaxseed. YUM!

10am snack – handful of almonds

1pm – 2 boiled eggs (cage free, free range organic eggs)

2:30pm – Salad with grilled (tasted more like boiled) chicken, tomatoes, guacamole, jicama, with cilantro lime dressing

5:30pm – 1 bite of my daughter’s twizzler (which she got for really good violin practice today!)

6pm – Ground turkey tacos salad

It’s 8pm and I will finish the evening with a cup of Arbonne’s delicious detox tea.

I’ll be weighing in once a week – but will keep you posted on cravings – not too shabby for day 1 – yes i slipped on the twizzler a bit…but this is after having no control over sugar/salt cravings for the past 5 weeks.

Let me know if you’re interested in joining? You’ve got nothing to lose but weight if you need to – and EVERYTHING to gain – especially a LOT of energy!

Day 6: 30 days to fit

Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity. (John F. Kennedy)

Another night of 3am wake up to the 2 year old wanting to sleep in ‘mama bed.’ Had to sleep in his bed with him with his arm flayed across my face!

10:00am- Arbonne vanilla smoothie with carrots, celery, green beans, berries, ginger, kiwi and kale. Décaf coffee with 3/4tsp turbinado and splash of soy creamer.

1:30pm- three tablespoons basmati rice with chicken curry and black-eyed peas. (Lobia) Indian style. Not supposed to have rice but mom made fresh lobia and I can’t resist.

3:45pm- 1/2cup snap pea crisps

5:30pm- husband asks me if I want a beer– we have Abbey Leffe, Sam Smith Nut brown ale, Ninkasi’s oatmeal stout all lined up in the garage fridge — and I say NO!! as much as I love beer- I’m saving my one allowed (my compromise) alcoholic beverage for the beach party we are going to tomorrow!) I’m so proud of me! I have to tell you- Leffe is my all time favorite beer- followed by a good chocolate or oatmeal stout.

6:30pm- charbroiled hot wings courtesy my amazing scientist husband the self-taught chef! He makes two different sauces- one with a franks red hot base and another with an Asian wing sauce made from scratch. Home made coleslaw and French fries rounded out the meal– I think I had all of 7 fries (again– not allowed but my weekend compromise!)

30oz water and I’m feeling really good about myself today. I’m a day away from a week and I can’t wait to step on the scale Monday morning!

Day 5: 30 days to fit

As I see it, every day you do one of two things: build health or produce disease in yourself. (Adelle Davis)

Had a rough night with my toddler wanting to crawl into my bed and that’s a big no-no in our house- rather I crawled into his twin bed for a few hours from 2-5am– then groggily stumbled back into bed only to wake up waaaay later than usual!

9:30am- Arbonne vanilla protein smoothie with carrots, celery, green beans, kale, strawberries, blueberries, ginger, lime, and orange juice

1245pm- Arbonne vanilla protein smoothie with carrots, celery, green beans, kale, strawberries, blueberries, ginger, lime, a pinch of cayenne pepper (be sure its a little pinch!–hiccup) and orange juice

4:00pm – Arbonne detox tea slushie made with two strawberries, kiwi, carrots blended with ice! Yummy perfect summer drink on a hot day! I also enjoyed a few spoons of ‘khatta mittha’ which is an east Indian tea-time snack which has chickpea flour, nuts and a bunch of other things.

6:30pm – dinner at Camarillo Supermarket which is owned by a Lebanese couple and they have the BEST middle eastern food– here you can get Gormeh Sabzi, khoobideh etc. the family enjoyed rice and lavash too but I stuck to just the chicken kebabs and salad! I did have two teaspoons of the delicious Persian rice though– couldn’t resist! And didn’t want to deal with cravings later- so figured 2t can’t hurt!

8:45pm – 2 dark chocolate almonds with sea salt and turbinado.

Been really bad about water today– aside from what’s in the tea- I think I only had about 16oz! Hmmmm

The weekend is here– this should be interesting! It’s the time when I feel like allowing myself to slack off! I might be using you for greater accountability this weekend! Stay tuned!

Day 4: 30 days to fit

They claim red meat is bad for you. But I never saw a sick-looking tiger. ~Chi Chi Rodriguez

7:30am – Arbonne vegan vanilla protein shake with almond milk, almonds, celery, carrots, strawberries, ginger and blueberries

8:00am – décaf coffee with 1/2tsp turbinado sugar and a splash of soy creamer

12:30pm – Asian chicken salad

3:45pm- 1 small peach

7:30pm – homemade chicken curry

9:00pm – 2 dark chocolate covered almonds with sea salt and turbinado

Only 20oz of water today- a super busy day training a new recruit! Yes I know– not enough especially with this weather being as hot as it is!

I REALLY wanted an icy cold Belgian ale this evening but only the fact that I had to report to you made me resist!

Thank you for reaching out to me with your comments both via email and here – it helps me stay on track and I love sharing my journey with you!

Day 3: 30 days to fit

Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon. ~Doug Larson

7:30am- Arbonne vanilla protein smoothie with celery, kale, carrots, almond butter, almond milk, ginger, strawberries, blueberries, and a shot of décaf espresso.

9:30am- small snack size pink lady apple

11:30am- 1 kiwi

1:00pm- poached chicken Asian salad with sesame ginger dressing

3:30pm- trail mix of almonds, cashew and just 4-7 dried cranberries

6:30pm- yesterday’s 1/2 pork chop with maple peppercorn sauce and kale sautéed with garlic and red wine vinegar

8:00pm- Arbonne’s detox tea with one blended strawberry for sweetness.

My trick is to brush teeth right away so that I can’t eat anything more thereafter before bed! Another key is to be in bed no later than 10:30pm so that you don’t get super hungry!

I was more hungry than usual today! It’s typical though– day 3 is hump day! By Friday it should become easy! Also I’m missing my Arbonne vegan chocolate protein powder (no whey, soy, dairy or gluten) which is my absolute favorite!! It’s on back order at the moment and I feel like in having withdrawals from it! I’ve had that as my breakfast for over two years and it is DIVINE!!! I’m going to incorporate the Arbonne chocolate nutrition bars because they really work well as a 3pm snack– and tide me over well for dinner.

And oh– at least 40-50oz of water as well!! Need to keep hydrated especially as temps are rising into the 80s-100s!!

Day 2: 30 days to fit

7:30am – vanilla protein smoothie with celery, kale, carrots, kiwi, blueberries, strawberries, ginger, lime, raw hemp seeds

Decaf coffee with 1/2 tsp turbinado sugar and a splash of soy creamer

10:30am- 3 Arbonne mango pineapple chews

12:30pm- ahi tuna salad with wasabi vinaigrette dressing

3:45pm- 1 Arbonne mango pineapple chew

6:45pm- 1/2 pork chop (bought from whole foods for assured quality) served with maple black pepper sauce and a side of sautéed kale with garlic and a splash of red wine vinegar

8:30pm– Arbonne detox tea brewed hot but poured over ice to cool then blended with 1 strawberry, chunk of ginger root and ice cubes for a yummy detox tea slushy!