March: Online Overhaul

For March I am going to try to redesign both and, as well as update my profile on all of my social media accounts. Just one of those things that has needed to been done for a while that I keep putting off, so I thought I would make a challenge out of it. I also thing that one of the reasons I haven’t been posting as much as I used to is that the site has become a little dated and I just don’t care to look at it as much. Hopefully a redesign will get back on the blogging bandwagon a little more frequently.

Update: 4/6

Well it took a late night on the 31st and a few fixes after the fact, but I updated both and this month. I also went through and updated my linkedIn/twitter/facebook info. The new redesign of this site is the first completely from scratch design I have created as a WordPress template. It was an interesting experience, definitely a different environment.  It was also a good php refresher, it had been a longer time than I had realized since I had done any actual coding outside of work.

February: No Lunch Out

Well it has been a while! I wasn’t sure if I was going to continue doing the monthly challenges this year, so this will be the first one this year, but hopefully I will be able to do one every month for the rest of the year. I decided to start off with something a little easier, just to get back into the swing of things. this month I am not going to buy out lunch or snacks at all during the week. I’ve gotten into the habit, like most people do, of eating out at least once a week. On top of that, a few times a week I head over to Z’s – a convenience store across the street – for a pop or a snack.  While it’s not usually a problem, all the little things add up, so I am going to take a month and go without completely   Not the most challenging thing in the world, but her we all need a little momentum right?

Update 3/3:

This went really well, I didn’t buy out lunch or get a snack all month. I’m actually really glad I did this as it reminded me that I enjoy these monthly challenges and it was a good way to dive back in, look for more coming soon!

Weight Loss Take Two

Once again running behind, so here is the challenge and the update all in one, aren’t you lucky?

May: Weight Loss Take Two

So the wedding is coming up pretty fast, and like every other groom, I’m trying to lose some weight before the big day.  You might remember that losing 37 lbs was one of my new years resolutions, and it has been going all right, I’ve lost 15 about so for just through the normal eat less, workout more strategy.  I would however, like to get it moving a little faster so I am going to redo my very first challenge, which was to lose 15 pounds in month.  Last time I came in really close, and I think this time i can actually do it.  I will be doing the slow carb diet from the four hour body.  It’s not the funnest diet, but it is effective and the overall health of it is not as bad as many of the other diet plans I have seem.

May Update:

So the total weight lost during May was 15.5 pounds, which I am very happy about.  I have to admit it always bothered me that the first time I tried this whole “monthly challenge” thing I didn’t quite make it, so this is a nice little vindication for me. The diet went well, it wasn’t all that fun but having the “cheat day” makes it bearable.  I’ll probably do it for a week more or so and then start slowly introducing more food.  I did miss the green smoothies from last month!

Update: Brain Health Challenge

Well this is a little late, I’ve been just a little bit busy what with my upcoming wedding and all, but I am finally getting these updates written.  March was actually an really fun and interesting month.  The challenge went really well, we (Melonie and I) had a hard time getting the fish in, but managed to do it.  I tried sushi and it actually wasn’t terrible, something I had been putting off for years. I also was pretty successful at making grilled salmon, which, given I had eaten it only once, I was pretty happy about.  There are two things that we are going to stick with I think, green smoothies and eating almonds as snacks. We got some really good recipes from my coworkers for green smoothies and they really are good.  It’s funny because once you start having them there is a noticeable difference if you stop.  I also really like having a handful or almonds or walnuts as a snack, it’s filling and pretty healthy.  Overall march went really well, and it was fun doing a challenge with Melonie.

Brain Health Challenge!

A few days ago I watched this video from TedX Iowa City.  It’s a bit long, and the speaker isn’t the most charismatic, but it is still really interesting. In a nutshell it’s about a doctor who got MS, and began researching brain healthy diets.  Changing her diet not only slowed, but also began reversing some of her symptoms.

I have heard most of these things before. Who doesn’t know it’s good to eat vegetables right? What really got to me was the fact that it was actually giving this lady the ability to walk again. That’s pretty crazy. Since I was looking for a challenge, I thought March would be a good month to try and do some of this.

So, enter the Brain Health Challenge.  (I have decided to start naming my challenges so they seem more dramatic).  Basically, I will eat a diet more focused on continued brain health. While I won’t be going to quite as extremes of the video, using it and some other research as a guideline, I will:

  • Eat fish twice a week (Side challenge: I’ve never cooked fish, and eaten it maybe 10x in my entire life, so this could be interesting)
  • Eat greens (spinach, kale, etc) minimum once a day.
  • Eat good fat, vitamin E (nuts, avocado, etc) minimum once a day
  • Eat berries 3x a week
  • Get 30min of exercise every day

I think this should be a good month, Melonie is going to join me this month and after two months off, I am looking forward to it.


Bonus Reading: