My 14-Day Wellness Jumpstart Plan

August 15th, 2014 at 6:06 am
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 Food & Fitness Fridays at Daily Bites

Thanks for your kind responses to my post earlier this week when I opened up about my current health struggles. As promised, today we are kicking off Food & Fitness Fridays, the series where I’ll be sharing my weekly updates with you…including the good, the bad, and the ugly!

Today is all about goals and outlining my plan for the next two weeks. Starting out on long journeys can be so overwhelming, especially for someone like me who likes to see the beginning, middle, and end before taking the first step. But I think I can manage taking this in two week chunks.

I’ve never purposefully attempted to “lose weight” before. I’ve lost weight as a side effect of changing my routine here and there in the past, but to be honest, most of my weight experience has been with trying to gain it. I worked for years at trying to add some padding, because I was underweight due to my food allergies and gut damage. Once my hormones finally started kicking in, the weight came on much easier and I just sort of magically filled out.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m so grateful for the weight gain! It was much needed and I know I’ll be healthier in the long run for it. The problem is, I spent so much time panicking at the mere thought of losing weight during those underweight years that my whole psychology around weight loss is a little screwed up. It’s taken me months of preparing my mind for this, that it’s okay if I lose weight. That I have enough on me and it won’t ruin my health if I drop a few pounds.

Some people freak out about gaining weight, some people freak out about losing it. We’ve all got our stories!

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The Goals

I’m going to break the typical health goal mentality here by not setting goals with strict timelines and lots of specifics. Most fitness professionals recommend setting goals that are time-sensitive and very specific (for example, “I will lose 5 pounds by my birthday,” not, “I want to lose weight”). But given that I’m a big advocate for listening to my body and letting things work at their own pace, I’m going with a more generalized approach for starters. I also know that when I fall short of a goal, I tend to beat myself up about it…so I’m just going to avoid that possibility altogether. :)

In general, I would like to…

  • Do something active every day, preferably in the morning before breakfast.
  • Practice yoga at least twice a week.
  • Keep my meals in the “lean and clean” zone. (Lots of vegetables, lean proteins, and clean healthy fats.)
  • Avoid sweets…even the healthy ones, which are pretty much the only ones I eat anyways.
  • Drink 10 cups of water per day.
  • Memorize one passage of Scripture every week. (Because spiritual fitness is just as important as physical!)

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These small goals will stack up like a ladder leading me to reach my BIGGER goals, which are…

  • Feeling confident and comfortable in my body. While there’s definitely an emotional element to this, let’s face it: Girls get a lot of confidence from liking the way they look! There’s nothing wrong with caring about your looks and desiring a healthy relationship with your body image.
  • Feeling strong and lean. (And just so you know, I’m not talking about female body builder lean here. I mean toned, not ripped or toothpick thin.)
  • Increased flexibility. (Hello, yoga.)
  • Flatter belly. (Hello, water and green vegetables.)

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So that’s the big picture, but what about the next two weeks? How am I going to bring this all together?

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Wellness Jumpstart Plan

It starts with I’m calling a 14-Day Wellness Jumpstart Plan, and I’m sharing the details below so that you can join me if you’d like!

This is a basic, no-frills plan that is designed to be a little intense to jumpstart our metabolisms and give us the kick that we need to get going. Let’s break it down into food, exercise, and mind/body.

Food

  • Morning smoothie with low-glycemic fruit (avocados, cucumbers, berries, etc.), greens, any nuts or seeds desired, almond or hemp milk, any spices or herbs desired
  • 4 oz protein twice per day (lunch and dinner)
  • Unlimited non-starchy vegetables at every meal and/or snack
  • Afternoon snack of unlimited non-starchy veggies with source of healthy fat (avocado, almonds, tahini, etc.)
  • Include healthy fats at every meal/snack. (Options: avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, nut milk, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, etc.)
  • Eliminate starchy vegetables (sweet potatoes, potatoes, etc.), grains, dairy (even ghee), sweeteners (including stevia), fruits other than berries (cucumbers, tomatoes, avocados, and lemons/limes are OK), and beans and legumes
  • Eliminate eggs. I have an on/off sensitivity to these, so they are out for me. If you aren’t sensitive, they’re a good protein source so feel free to keep them in.
  • Eliminate “trigger” foods. These are foods that—even though they might be healthy—are ones we can’t stop eating once we start. For me, it’s almond butter and cacao nibs. So long, sweet pals! See you in two weeks.

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Exercise

  • AM before breakfast: Get in at least 45 minutes of exercise. Anything goes. Just MOVE. (I’ll be journaling my activity and sharing it with you in next week’s post.)
  • Afternoon or evening: Get in a walk, yoga session, or some other form of gentle movement.
  • If feeling tired, achy, sore, or worn out after multiple days of intense exercise in a row, go easy and just walk or stretch, but still do something.

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Mind/Body

  • Take a relaxing bath 2-3 times per week, totaling 4-6 baths over the course of the 14 days. (If baths don’t relax you, choose something else that does! The goal is to calm down and turn off our stress responses regularly.)
  • Choose a spiritual activity to engage in daily. For me, this will be Bible reading and Scripture memorization (and a whole lot of prayer!). It could also be keeping a prayer or gratitude journal, or doing a daily devotional. This will help us stay motivated and rooted on a deeper level.

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FAQ’s

Will I be weighing myself?
Yes. I’m not obsessive when it comes to the scale, but I will be using it as a tool for measuring my progress. This is controversial. Some people love it, some people hate it. I’m in the “use it with discretion” camp, so I’ll pull it out now and then to check out what’s going on.

Do I have a goal weight?
Yes, but I’m not sharing it publicly. :) The reason is simply because I’m going more on how I feel than on the number itself. If I weigh more than the “magic number” but feel confident and healthy, I’ll be perfectly okay with staying there. Also, like I said, I’ve never intentionally dropped weight before so I’m not sure how fast or slow it will happen.

Will I count calories?
Not one. It’s a waste of time and energy. We’re way better off eating a variety of colorful, nutrient-dense food in moderated portions and at regular intervals. Focus on nutrients, not numbers!

What about my back?
Since I had a back injury last year, I’m extra careful about how I exercise now. That means no prolonged cardio or super intense workouts on a daily basis. Also, no kettlebell workouts. When I do a blend of walking, yoga, and some short moderately intense workouts here and there, my back is happy.

Do I run?
I used to, and once in a while I’ll still drop in some hill runs. But the real answer is no. I tried to get back into it earlier this summer and my back gave me an angry reply, so running is off the table for now. Which doesn’t really crush me since I never loved it that much anyways.

Won’t the limited diet be boring?
Probably on some days it will. But it’s two weeks! And then I can figure out where I want to go next and start changing things up a little if I feel like it. Sometimes you have to narrow your “food field” in order to expand it later.

Will I be taking progress photos?
Yes. I’ll be keeping them to myself for now, but eventually I may share them…depending on how much my courage grows. :)

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So there you have it! The very first Food & Fitness Friday is underway. I actually started my wellness jumpstart yesterday, so I’m already on Day 2. You can expect a full update next week with how things go for me.

If you’re joining in on the wellness jumpstart fun, let me know. Either leave a comment below or send an email to hallie@dailybitesblog.com. With a supportive community here to uplift and encourage, we can all succeed, no matter our goals.

 

 

Comments

  1. Giving you two thumbs up and high fives! I am looking at my eating and fitness plan to see what I want to do.

    • I love the 2 week approach! I have really been off course lately and it shows not only in weight but my attitude. I am joining you; numbers have strength and energy!!!

  2. I really like what you are doing, I would love to join you on your journey, but to be honest even though you posted what to eat and what not too, I have a very hard time knowing how to use them in a recipe let alone being creative in how to incorporate them into meals.

  3. Sounds like a great plan! I will have to tweak it some for me – I am suspicious of a tree nut allergy, and I need to eliminate Fodmaps, which are in some very healthy foods. But 14 days of sticking to my goals will be great!

  4. I am joining in on the wellness jumpstart fun! Your plan is well thought out, encouraging, and inspiring :). I hope for the next couple of weeks it goes well for you and I look forward to reading about your progress.

    My goals surround maintaining my current weight (which I feel the healthiest at), gaining more lean muscle and toning and therefore getting back into a regular exercise routine, balancing my eating habits better and being VERY balancing with sweeteners/sugars, higher-glycemic fruits, beans and legumes, and grains/starchy vegetables so that my blood sugar stays steady. If I eat too much of any of those foods I find my digestion is not at its best. I like how you plan out foods and exercise though and I plan on following something similar :). I also want to engage in a spiritual activity every day and manage my stress WAY better – aka. with baths (which I adore) and finally, finally after saying so forever, actually getting into doing yoga. Also, I need to drink far more water every day. I’m hoping these routines and changes will help ease the symptoms of my bigger health issue and lead me towards the road to recovery.

    Thank you again for sharing your goals, plans and progress as you journey back towards optimal health! They are always insightful and helpful.

  5. Wow-this is impressive Hallie! Looking forward to seeing all of your progress – I know you will do great! :)

  6. I really enjoy your blogs. Thanks for being so open and for sharing your journey.

    I’m in! And you tell me it’s free to join?

    I am looking forward to 2 weeks of healthy eating and living for body, mind and spirit.

    I wonder though why you are exercising BEFORE breakfast?

    Looking forward to hearing of your progress and getting some new recipes.

    Thanks
    Mary

    • Mary: Exercising before breakfast is a great way to boost metabolism for the day and get started on a healthy track first thing in the morning. Plus, for me personally, if I don’t workout right away in the day, I tend to find an excuse to skip it later. :)

  7. Hi Hallie,
    Why eliminate stevia? I thought it didn’t raise the blood sugar or have any calories.

    • Cindi: You’re correct, stevia doesn’t elevate blood sugar levels. But because it tastes sweet, it still programs our tastebuds to want and perhaps even crave sweet foods. I’m choosing to eliminate it so that I can retrain my palate and turn off the cravings. It’s amazing how sweet other foods (like carrots and bell peppers) begin to taste when all other sweeteners are out of the picture! :)

  8. Hi Hallie,
    I Love it. You outlined it perfecty for me. I can do this! It’s time for me to start taking better care of myself. I have not been committed to my body, mind or spirit and it shows. It helps not feeling like you are alone. I’m in.
    Today is Day 1

    Thanks,

    Annie Mietz ( Carol Thompson’s daughter)

    • Annie: YAY! I’m so excited you’re joining in. Stay the course and be strong. You can totally do this and your body will LOVE you for it. :)

  9. Sounds like a nice beginning! Since I’m already in the middle of my journey, I’ll just be on the sidelines here, cheering you on! :-)

    I do agree with you about the sweet thing. Sweets/sugar can pretty much dominate my cravings and caused me much weight gain (and probably harm). But once I can get away from it for a few days or a week or so, the cravings pretty much disappear for me. Not sure if that’s true for others, but it works for me. So I haven’t had a vending machine candy bar in like nine months now! I am at a point where I can enjoy a small piece of birthday cake or something once in a while and it doesn’t mess with my head. For a treat, I buy nice chocolate and only allow myself a square or two per day, if that. Believe me, that is a HUGE drop in sugar intake for me and I feel much better without it.

  10. Elizabeth King said on August 19, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Hi Hallie,
    I am glad you are doing Fitness Fridays. Your plan for the day sound good. I am working towards that. I have started walking & am going to do Yoga & some weights 3 times a week. I am also working at increasing my water intake. I still have a problem with ice cream & chocolate so will try to eliminate them for the next 2 weeks.

  11. Hi Hallie,
    Wow perfect timing. Just what I need to motivate me. I love following your blog, which, by the way, I follow all the way from Australia.

    Your stay at your parents farm sounds wonderful.  I grew up on a farm and I miss the time where you can just lose yourself in deep thought and fresh air.

    I’ve been clean eating for some time now and have lost 30kg (66lbs) and kept it off for 5 years easily but a year ago I had my thyroid out. It was working perfectly unfortunately and I’m still getting the medication levels sorted. Over the last few months I have noticed a few kilos creep back on. My jeans were getting uncomfortable so I jumped on the scales.

    So this is what I need to do.Day 1 here I come.
    regular exercise, not hit n miss… even if its only a walk.
    yoga for destress at home and pilates class x 2 weekly.
    smoothies for brekky
    check protein sizing
    eliminate those pesky potatoes
    make ‘me time’ me time!
    and breathe.

    Thanks for sharing Hallie.  Looking forward to hearing about your progress.
            Love, love , love it.

      *´¨)  ¸.·´♫¸.·*´¨) ¸.·♫*¨)  (¸.·´ (¸♫.·´*JOYCE*♪♥♫♥♫♥

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