Week 2: Progress of Health Challenge

I thought I would write about my progress after finishing Week #2 in this 30-day self-imposed health challenge. 

This challenge is a combination of physical exercise and healthy eating. The physical exercise comes in the form of daily 15-minute HIIT, highly efficient workouts that really push your body. The healthy eating comes with the assistance of daily meal plans - recipes that help you focus on eating whole foods, thus maximizing the efforts you put in to reshaping and restrengthening your body. One can’t work without the other, which means that you have to be fairly disciplined in following through the plan. It also means that social engagements - or what you consume at social engagements - are quite limited. Nonetheless, here’s a summary of how I feel after fifteen days:


Whereas I could barely do a push up (seriously) without shaking, yesterday, I did a miraculous 144 pushups. I’m even typing that number in disbelief, and had I not actually done it I would have called bullshit. I think the last time I did over 50 pushups was 5 years ago in a bootcamp that I was reluctantly dragged to, and hated every minute of it. I don’t hate this. In fact, I actually like it - kind of.


I’m still not sleeping great - still wake up fairly early and can’t fall back asleep, especially once I have things on my mind. Although when I do sleep it is more sound - at least that is what my boyfriend tells me. 


I’m discovering that I can’t have more than one full glass of wine anymore. It’s really weird as that has never happened to me before. Perhaps it’s all the whole foods I’m eating, but my body just doesn’t want an additional glass after the first one. It’s almost like my mind has taken control and said, “nope, you’re good.” Prior to this, I’d almost always have another glass - maybe it was habitual more than anything.


I’m still the same size but I notice my arms are getting a bit more defined. If anything, after yesterday’s power session of push-ups, they’re only going to get leaner. Now if I can only start doing that to my legs!


I’m feeling great, although this morning when I woke up I felt a bit restless with the idea that it’s already April and I still have so much to accomplish this year. Ugh, sometimes I strongly dislike being so Type A. Part of my 2017 is learning to let things go and not be so hard on myself. 


Since I am Type A, I have a natural discipline that’s drilled into me but because I’m so busy I need a lot of help knowing what to do. Having the exercises set out as well as meal plans defined really helps to keep me on track. So far, so good.


Now, my only issue is that I was a bit of a dunce and scheduled my eyebrow microblading session smack dab in the middle of my 30-month health challenge. The problem is that you cannot allow your brows to sweat for at least a week following the session to ensure ink retention. This means no gym, steam room, sauna, etc. So for Week 3, I can only eat well but not do the exercises as they’re pretty intense. I plan to swap out the exercises with yoga sessions instead this coming week - and see how I fare. If anything, I’ll extend the challenge by a week! 


I’ve shared pictures and Instagram stories of these muffins a fair bit over the past couple of weeks. They’re probably one of my favourite go-to snacks! Made of 100% black beans and protein powder, I guarantee you cannot tell they’re not full of chocolate and fat! I’ve had a number of people DM me asking for the recipe, so here it is!

Yields: 12 muffins

1-15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
5 eggs
1 T vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
4 T coconut oil
1⁄2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup chocolate protein powder
2 T cacao powder

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a muffin tin with cooking oil.

2. Place everything into a blender or food processor and run until smooth. Scrape down the sides as necessary.

3. Pour into the muffin tins evenly (batter will be thin).

4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

6. Let cool 5 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack.