Week One Update: Healthy Living Challenge

Instead of entirely transforming the blog into a food journal/fitness quest, I thought I'd do a weekly post documenting my progress. As difficult as it is proving to be, I'm not going to lie to you about how I'm doing.

I'm definitely not perfect at making good choices yet, and I find myself thinking "abstaining from wine is just not a realistic sustainable lifestyle choice for me", a lot. Like a lot a lot.

I am still drinking at least 1 cup (some days two) of coffee each morning, but I'm putting only a smidge of cream in it (Erin says cream is better than milk btw) and no sugar. I've never liked sugar in my coffee.


The family is trying new foods, but I'm focusing more on myself for this first chapter and encouraging but not forcing them to eat what I eat.

After all...

...as they say.

Brad is thrilled to follow my lead, but does his own thing outside of the house. That's cool with me. He's interested. And in the past, I've gone way overboard and tried to get everyone going equally hardcore. I've learned that doesn't work. Just because I'm ready to make a change doesn't mean everyone else is.


Day One:

Breakfast: Beets and Berry Smoothie with Vega Protein

Snack: Celery sticks with Sunflower Seed Butter

Lunch: Taboulleh and turkey meatballs.

Snack: Apple followed by banana

Dinner: 3 eggs omlette wrapped in collard greens with whatever veggies I could find. Side of quinoa (lightly fried in coconut oil...so good).

Snack: Leftover overnight buckwheat parfait.

Fitness: One hour cardio dance at Heritage Fitness (ridiculous and super fun)


Day Two:

Breakfast: Kale, apple, carrot, vega protein smoothie

Snack: Tablespoon sunflower seed butter

Lunch: Taboulleh with half a chicken breast

Snack: Protein bar (Erin's) and Chia water

Dinner: Salmon on mixed greens. Red wine vinegar + grapeseed oil + dash of maple syrup for dressing.

Fitness: Work Your Butt Off Fitness Camp with Erin (kids did Mighty Fit Kids at the same time!)


Day Three: a challenge

Breakfast: Overnight Oats

Snack: -

Lunch: Italian restaurant with a friend. Mixed green salad with grilled chicken, goat cheese, walnuts (candied) and balsamic on the side. Griffin had a pizza (fresh tomato sauce and mozza only) and I mindlessly ate a slice. Hated myself momentarily for being a robot.

Snack: Protein Bar (Erin's)

Dinner: Work event with Brad. Buffet style. Yikes. Filled half plate with mixed green salad (tiny bit of balsamic drizzled), grilled vegetables (I think they had olive oil on them), and chicken breast. The chicken did have some sort of balsamic style sauce, but I picked the driest looking pieces. There was chocolate cake for dessert. I had fruit instead.

Drinks: Lots of water throughout the evening BUT did have a vodka soda and a glass of red. Felt like a failure, then remembered that normally I would have had at least 3 glasses of wine. Small victories.

Snack: Oops. Had a hot pretzel with mustard at a German bar. Should have gone home. But it was their signature menu item. Would have been rude not to try...right?


Day Four: A new dawn. A new day

Breakfast: Overnight oats.

Snack: Peppermint tea (not a snack btw)

Lunch: Vega Protein smoothie with kale, cucumber, celery, apple and berries. 1/4c almond milk and water.

Snack: Protein Bar

Snack: Banana

Snack: Tbsp sunflower seed butter (feeling snacky)

Dinner: Homemade Turkey Burger (w/ flat bread whole wheat bun, pickle, salsa and cheddar cheese), Salad w. balsamic dressing

Snack: Wine. Three glasses. Side of guilt.


Day Five: A new dawn. A new day part two.

Breakfast: Kale, cucumber, celery, berries, vega/greens smoothie

Snack: Apple

Lunch: Last of the taboulleh.

Was at work all day and neglected to bring more snacks. Feeling peckish.

Dinner: Roast beef, grilled veggies, cottage cheese. Also had 3 triscuits with cheese. Also a glass of wine. Ugh. I'm weak!!

Fitness: Walked to work.


Day Six: Monday!

Breakfast: Kale, cucumber, celery, berries, vega/greens smoothie

Snack: Protein Bar, cucumber slices

Lunch: Fresh tomato indian soup.

Snack: Raspberry tea (again, not a snack)

Fitness: One hour of insanely sweaty cardio at the gym.

Ps. Scale this morning tells me I've gained 5 pounds. That bitch.


Day Seven

Breakfast: Overnight Oats

Snack: Banana

Lunch: Kale, cucumber, berries smoothie (w. protein)

Snack: Almonds. Probably too many.

Dinner: Legumes & Veg stir fry with beef made by Brad. 1/4 c rice. After I ate it sonofabitch told me it was Minute Rice. "But it's basmati" he cried. Not sure he understands what I'm trying to achieve here...

Fitness: One hour callanetics class at the gym.


After my first week I have to say I feel pretty empowered to have survived.

I have lots of energy and already feel stronger from daily activity. It's not so hard really. Just a matter of making it part of my day.

I think working out in the morning has helped.

I'm a list girl, and ticking fitness of my list early helps me prioritize it. At least I don't have as much time to de-prioritize it anyway.


This week's goals will be to focus on drinking more water (not doing so hot with that), and managing to maintain a healthy eating approach while on a business/social trip to Toronto.


I have decided that I will walk to and from the One of a Kind show from Melissa's apartment in Kensington Market, and will also walk to my meeting on Tuesday. That should be about 15km for two of the days.

Erin also provided me with the following tips:

- Start your long days with protein and veg
- Bring high quality protein snacks to have in the hotel and your purse (ie. raw nut and seed mixture and Vega One protein shake packages you add to water... it will help with your water intake)
- Eat every 2-3 hours (NEVER get to the point of hunger and base on protein and veg)
- DRINK WATER, herbal or tea and decaf (organic please) beverages ... keep water in your purse!
- Don't go to a restaurant starving and try to look at the menu ahead of time, so that you can plan what you will eat BEFORE you order
- Have fun :)


I think I can do it.


Emily Arbour
Emily Arbour


1 Comment


November 30, 2014

You’re doing grate, Em. You roll with the punches and realize you are human. Which is your saving grace! BUT remember that you are someone who values uniqueness: when you fall off the wagon (ie. Wine is not a “snack”… neither is “a side of guilt”) be unique and don’t give-up.
Screw “guilt” and bring on the good habits! It’s about focusing on the right choices and letting go of the bad ones.

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