Whole Life Challenge: Day 1

Today was my first day of the Whole Life Challenge – my attempt at balance in life.

whole-life-challenge

A lot of people are joining me:

If you’re not on the list and you should be, let me know.

Check out how they did! It’s not too late to join now… you can start at any time.  And you don’t have to do the same challenges that I’m doing – it’s very customizable.  You should just challenge yourself to bring balance to all aspects of your life, or challenge yourself to do something that you’ve wanted to do for a while.  For example, Alisa is going to drink a huge glass of water each morning – that’s great!  I’m going to try to do that too.

Onto the recap

  1. Yoga – today I did Sarah Ivanhoe’s Yoga on the Edge – Sunset through OnDemand’s Exercise TV.  It was about 20-25 minutes long.  It’s a relaxing video, so don’t expect a workout – but it was a nice stretch after my walk.
  2. Walking – I walked 4.1 miles today while chatting with my parents and doing 2 crossword puzzles.  It ended up being about 70 minutes (!) because I lost track of time while chatting.
  3. New Meal – today I added sliced rotisserie chicken from Costco to my salad!  Does that count?  I say yes.
  4. Organic – I bought 3 packages of organic baby spinach at Costco today.  I still have a bit of normal spinach to use up, but that should be done by tomorrow…
  5. Green oat bran – check!  I had two bowls today.  The first was with a big spoon of pb&co’s mighty maple, and the second was with a big spoon of Whole Food’s freshly ground almond butter.  Both delicious.

I think the first day was a success.  How did you do?

(P.S.  Don’t forget about the Blogger Secret Ingredient, kabocha!  Check this post to see if I have your entry yet.)

Sprouting!

I have a new project – sprouting!  My new blogger friend Cindy inspired me.  You can check out one of her sprouting posts here.  What’s sprouting?  It’s soaking, then rinsing beans and letting them… well, sprout.  You can do it with any kind of bean (I think).  Some common beans to sprout are mung beans, but you can also sprout alfalfa and barley.  I think you can sprout quinoa too, which is going to be next for me.

I decided to do lentils and adzuki beans just because those are what I had on hand.  Instructions

Materials needed.

01-sprouts

  • beans (I used 1/3 cup of each; they expand a lot so you don’t need much)
  • a big plastic cup for each type of sprout
  • old pantyhose (cheesecloth is ideal, but I didn’t have any) – cut into squares that will fit over the cups
  • rubber bands
  • plates

Steps.

  1. Pour the dry beans into the cup (don’t mix them; have a separate cup for each type).  Rinse the beans and then soak them in water for a few hours; up to overnight.  Then drain them.
  2. Stretch the square of pantyhose over the top of the cup and attach it with the rubber band.  Pour water through the pantyhose, swirl it around, and then drain it (keep the pantyhose on the cup).
  3. 02-sprouts

  4. Turn the cups upside down and let them sit on plates.  Rinse and swirl and drain the beans 2-3 times a day.
  5. 03-sprouts

  6. After a few days you have homemade sprouts (that scant 1/3 cup of lentils filled up the whole plastic cup)!
  7. 04-sprouts

So cool.  I’m still waiting on the adzukis (I think I’m on day 4 now?).  The lentils only took 1-2 days though.  And I hear mung beans are very quick as well.

I added the lentils to a salad and they were delicious.  I plan on doing a stir-fry with them too.  There are so many ways to use sprouts, and they are so delicious when you make your own.  Any recipe suggestions?

Do you sprout?  Post about it and let me know; I’ll link back to you!

(P.S.  Don’t forget about the Blogger Secret Ingredient, kabocha!  Check this post to see if I have your entry yet.)

(P.P.S.  The Whole Life Challenge Starts today!  I’ll post an update later with all the participants and the results of my first official day on the challenge.)

Challenge example…

I wasn’t technically starting my Whole Life Challenge today, but I wanted to do an update of what a day in the challenge might look like…  But first, a recipe!

Simple Egg Salad

05-egg-salad

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs, hardboiled
  • 2 teaspoons soft silken tofu (or yogurt/mayo)
  • cumin & chili powder
  • dash of salt, to taste

Directions

  1. Hardboil the eggs.  Discard one yolk (optional).  Chop up the egg whites finely, setting the remaining yolk aside.
  2. Mush together the yolk, the tofu, and spices.  Add the chopped egg whites.  Mix.  Yum!

I also have a fun treadmill workout for you.  It’s called the 5-4-3-2-1 workout and I found it at InTheGym.net.  Tanya has a ton of other great workout ideas, so check it out.  Here is what I did:

Part 1: (all 0% incline) – 22 minutes.

  • 2 minute warmup, 4.0 mph
  • 5 minutes 6.2 mph
  • 1 minute 4.0 mph
  • 4 minutes 6.5 mph
  • 1 minute 4.0 mph
  • 3 minutes 7.0 mph
  • 1 minute 4.0 mph
  • 2 minutes 7.5 mph
  • 1 minute 4.0 mph
  • 1 minute 8.0 mph
  • 1 minute 4.0 mph

Part 2: repeat part 1 (minus the warmup)! – 20 minutes.

Part 3: (different from InTheGym’s workout) walking at 4.0 mph, then 3.5 mph, then 3.0 mph.  Then stop 😀 – 15 minutes.

And now for the update

whole-life-challenge

  1. Yoga – I did yoga stretching for about 10 minutes after my treadmill workout.  Not ideal (I wanted to do a podcast or video), but it fits!
  2. Walking – part of my treadmill workout was walking.  Check!
  3. New meal (this doesn’t have to be daily, just weekly) – I made egg salad and put it on top of my salad for lunch.  Delish.  Recipe above.
  4. Organic – using up the non-organic veggies that I still have.  This might take a few days.
  5. Green oat bran – with banana soy pudding (from Whole Foods), dark chocolate dreams peanut butter, and lots of spinach.

It was a good day, even though the challenge hasn’t technically started.  Good luck on the first day *TOMORROW* if you’re joining me.  And don’t forget that this weekend is Memorial Day weekend – I can’t wait to spend time with my sweetie and just relax.

BSI Update & A Whole Life Challenge

Keep the BSI entries coming in!  I have some great ones so far… (if you’ve entered and you’re not on the list please let me know!)

You have until Sunday night to submit!  Then I’ll pick a winner and announce who’s going to be hosting next week.

There have been a few challenges recently (Shelby, Coco, and probably more) that I really liked.  I’m going to propose my own challenge.  If you want to join me, pick at least one of the following tasks and keep me updated with your progress!  Ways to do this:

I’ll post summaries of your updates periodically (depending on how much of a response I get I might post this every day or every other day).  I’m calling this the Whole Life Challenge, because I think it’s important to have balance in our WHOLE life – not just bits and pieces!  This means nourishing our body, nourishing our mind, and nourishing our soul.  Feel free to use this icon or make your own…

whole-life-challenge

The Whole Life Challenge starts tomorrow, Friday May 22nd, 2009!  Let’s try to do it for two weeks.  If we like it, we can continue on through the end of June.  Feel free to join at any time.  Here are the options (remember, you only have to pick one for each day, but you can do more):

  1. Yoga every day (at least 10 minutes)
  2. Walking every day (at least 10 minutes)
  3. New meals each week (at least 1 *new* recipe each week – can be for lunch or dinner; this can be a recipe that you make, or a meal that you eat out that you’ve never had before; preferably more than 1 each week!)
  4. Eating a big enough dinner so that I don’t need to snack before bedtime (aiiii, this is the hardest one!)
  5. Going organic for greens…
  6. So that I can eat a nourishing bowl of green oats each day! (any variation of “green” is good here – green smoothie, green oat bran, green oatmeal, green anything!)
  7. Pick your own!  Just let me know what you want to try to do for 2 weeks.  I’ll post about it and link back to you if you have a blog.

I’m going to try to do all of them.  Are you with me?  Try to do one each day!

Maggie Gets Her Groove Back

Her yoga groove that is!

biggest-loser-yoga

Yesterday I did Bob Harper’s Biggest Loser Yoga from OnDemand Exercise TV.  It was only about 20-25 minutes, and very simple, but it was just what I needed.  I did it after I did the shred (level 1), so since I was already sweaty my heart rate stayed up.  It was fun.  Bob started with a warmup (lots of arm movement), then moved into the workout (just a few vinyasa with brief holds), and then the cooldown (stretching, savasana).  He talked throughout savasana, trying to convince you to just lay there and let your thoughts go.  For someone new to yoga, this would be helpful… for me, it was a little annoying.  But I probably did stay in savasana for longer that I normally would, just because he kept telling me to stay there!

Aside from the Biggest Loser Yoga, I’ve been doing yoga stretching after my cardio workouts.  I usually do a down dog, a few Sun A’s, and frog pose on each side.  I have actually been doing this since before I posted about my apparent loss of yoga love, but I wasn’t counting it as yoga… but you know what, it is!

long-lean-tank

I’ve also been shopping.  I found these awesome long & lean tank tops at Target – I have so much trouble finding tank tops that are long enough, so if you’re tall (or even if you’re not) you should check them out.  I think they’re $7.99.  I got this purple one and it’s very comfy.  They’re junior sizes, so they run small.

Speaking of cool buys, our cousins brought us back some green tea from Japan!  Miwa visited her family a few weeks ago so when we saw them last Sunday she gave us this…

14-green-tea

I put the loose leaf tea into the tea bag, then I put it in this pitcher (from the Korean market, Han Kook) and pour hot water over it.  Sometimes I add a lemon, and sometimes I don’t.  I usually just let it sit out for a while to steep and then I drink from the pitcher all day long.

13-green-tea

Green tea has so many benefits – it has antioxidants, it can prevent cancer, it can raise metabolism, it can reduce the risk of heart disease, and it can even prevent tooth decay!  Very cool.

What is your favorite kind of tea to drink?  I like green tea a lot, but I also like flavored teas.  Lupicia has flavors like lychee, sugar cookie, chocolate, and many more.

(P.S.  Don’t forget about the Blogger Secret Ingredient – kabocha!)