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Ten Things I Learned: #1 Setting Goals for Success and Failure

Setting Goals

I’m Competitive

I’m competitive, very competitive. Some of you reading this, if you know me, chuckled a little and thought that was probably an understatement. I like to win. And because of that tend to only do things I’m good at. This is something I’m working on.  But, truth be told, I tend to find I really like to do things that involve competing in some form. Board games, cards, fantasy football, and driving carpool all provide opportunities to win. Yes, you can win at carpool and the drive there. What’s the big deal if everyone else in the “game” doesn’t even know that it’s a game?

Setting Goals

Anyway, back to the Crazy Idea. Last year as I was thinking up this crazy idea I knew that in order to stay motivated I would need to set some goals, some crazy goals. Goals like losing 70 pounds and running a marathon. Goals that would push me hard and be difficult to reach.

As the year progressed I realized that I hadn’t done the best job of setting goals, they weren’t S.M.A.R.T. goals. Sure they were specific, measurable, actionable and time-bound, but they weren’t realistic. I wasn’t a runner and when I tried to run, my knees wanted nothing to do with it. So I had to re-evaluate a bit and decide that a marathon or even a half-marathon just want going to happen. We changed my training up to focus more on strength training rather than on reaching running goals. This in turn affected my weight loss as I added muscle and lost fat. So in the end, I didn’t reach my goal of a marathon or of losing 70 pounds (though I believe I did come close to that in fat loss, but the muscle gain off-set the total weight loss). [Read more...]

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Ten Things I Learned: #3 Even the Lone Ranger Had Tonto

Even The Lone Ranger Had Tonto

 

We live in a world where making it “on your own” is rewarded, even glorified. But when it comes to making huge life changes, going it alone is hard, if not near impossible. Everyone needs support, shoot, even the Lone Ranger had Tonto.

Looking back over the past year, I can’t even begin to imagine how I would have done it alone. If I was left to face it all by myself, I’m not sure I would have stuck with it to be honest.

Family Support

Without the support of Julie and the kids I would have been nearly impossible to complete the Whole 30 or stick with a Paleo diet. They not only did it with me, but were encouraging along the way. Sure, they weren’t always excited about our limited food choices, but they never lost sight of the big picture and didn’t complain much. If you’re going to make a drastic diet change like I did, you’ve got to get those closest to you behind the vision. [Read more...]

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Ten Things I Learned – #5 The Secret To Losing Weight

One of the things I learned during this Crazy Idea is that there is a secret to losing weight. I know for many of you this is going to come as a huge shock, so brace yourselves.

The Secret to Losing Weight

The secret to losing weight

The secret to losing weight is eating better and exercising. That’s it. Shocking, I know.

As I’ve changed my diet and I eat less junk I feel better and have more energy. When I feel better and have more energy I feel like exercising more. When I exercise more I burn more calories than I eat and I lose weight.

Pretty simple – yet not so easy to do. It involves changing habits, it involves emotional connections with food and it involves getting off the couch and moving.

But if you really want to lose weight there are no more excuses. Go eat a salad and take a walk for starters.

 

 

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Kicking Off 2013 – Whole 30 Style

Today we’re taking a break from the “10 Things I Learned” series to give you an update on how 2012 ended and how we are moving forward in 2013.

In 2012 we have had some highs…

Jeff & Julie Highs

And we have had some lows…

Jeff and Julie Lows

The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas was a roller coaster where our nutrition and work out schedule was concerned.

[Read more...]

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Ten Things I Learned: #7 Eating Healthy Is Expensive But Worth It

I really can’t believe it has been almost a year since our family joined in on Jeff’s Crazy Idea. Some days the kids would say it seems like 20 years. Some days, not long at all.

I have learned some things that I had no idea about twelve months ago.

Like bacon and guacamole taste fantastic together. Who knew? Seriously, did you?

Guac and Bacon

But the one thing I am asked about constantly is “Doesn’t it cost a ton of money to eat well?”  The excuse I gave, and hear often when we talk about our lifestyle change is is this one:

“Our family simply can’t afford to eat that way.”

[Read more...]

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Ten Things I Learned: #9 Healthy Becomes A Habit

Healthy Becomes A Habit

Healthy Habits

I had never thought about health as a habit. Smoking was a habit, biting your nails was a habit, but health? Than shortly after we ended the Whole 30 (and I figured out you can do anything for 30 days), I discovered that eating healthy had become a habit. It wasn’t something I obsessed thought about, it was just something we did. It had become our lifestyle, not something we went out of our way to do.

Developing Healthy Eating Habits

Experts say it takes anywhere from 30-60 days to develop a new habit. For it to be ingrained in your routine and become part of your lifestyle. We found that for us it was about 45-50 days of eating healthy. After that, we didn’t think about it as much. It wasn’t weird to go shopping and skip over all the junk. The cravings were gone, and it was the rare exception when we ate something that wasn’t Paleo. This was a huge change from the deep-fried, fast food, high carb diet we were used to. [Read more...]

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Three Things Throw Down to a Healthier You in 30 Days

Getting Healthier

We are doing it friends. Every day the Abel family is getting healthier. Thanks to Ed at Ed’s Gym, we are ten months into Jeff’s Crazy Idea, and our family seems to really have turned a corner in making some major life changes. Are we always perfect? No. But we are’t the same people that began this journey in January.

Three Things Throw Down

The Three Things Throw Down

So to share the health love with everyone, this week on Facebook I threw down a challenge to all of my friends. I’m calling out folks to 30 days of eliminating three things. What are they? I’m so glad you asked! Here are the three things that are crap (yes, I said crap) and they’re killing us as a nation. [Read more...]

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Farmer’s Market Virgins

Friends, we are turning into hippies. Bonified Colorado Hippies. All of this eating healthy, organic food has left me wondering sometimes who the heck we have turned into since January. Jeff wasn’t the only one who has gone crazy. It has now crept into our whole family.

Just to prove it to you, our daughter turned down a box a Milk Duds at youth group last week. This shows you how far the insanity reaches. Our once little sugar addict, turned down candy. FROM CHURCH.

This month we took it to a whole new level. We went to the local farmer’s market. Don’t laugh. This is a world we had no clue about until recently. And boy were we missing out!

[Read more...]

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20 Lunch Box Ideas for Paleo Kids

A couple  weeks ago I posted about how our family was preparing for back to school paleo style. Many of you messaged me about specific ideas for your kid’s lunches. Like I mentioned in the earlier post, eating paleo is weird. It is not mainstream. Convience and processed foods have taken over the school lunch, I know because I was guilty of this for years. You can check out what this looked like where I talked about how last school year how lunch changed in our family when Jeff got all crazy.

So in an effort to help some moms and dads out there looking for healthier options for your kiddo’s lunch here are 20 lunch box ideas for Paleo kids. [Read more...]

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Red Cabbage Chicken Salad Recipe

Since Jeff started this crazy idea you have been telling us you love it when I post recipes. So here is a great paleo red cabbage chicken salad recipe that is really filling, and when paired with some fresh fruit makes a great lunch or dinner.

Grandma is a big cabbage fan and she loved this. It is healthy, easy and yummy goodness. The food processor is your friend for this dish! When I prepared this I made a little extra because the leftovers are an easy lunch for the next day.

Here’s what goes in it:

  • 1 head of red cabbage cut for salad
  • 1 diced pink lady apple
  • 1 handful of organic raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tablespoon of oregano
  • 1 cup of chopped grilled chicken (for convenience I used Kirkland’s Grilled Chicken Breast Strips from Costco)
  • 4 table spoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 table spoons of balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

You can serve this right after you make it or refrigerate it until chilled.