Good Morning and Happy Friday!!
I took my Series 6 test last night and PASSED!!!! I really thought I failed… I barely breathed the 5 minutes leading up to getting my score. My face was hot and I was so stressed out, I was just certain I had failed. Then I saw a whopping PASS grade and freaked out! I’m so thankful that test is behind me so now I can celebrate this weekend and then next week start studying for the test that comes immediately after, the 63! yay!
I’ll be heading to Florida with Nick to help his brother move, so we’ll be enjoying Florida weather and Disney World, much like we did for the Fourth of July! I love road trips with Nick, so I can’t wait to get out of work tomorrow and get started! What a celebration it will be!
HEALTH STARTS HERE GRADUATION
I’ve been looking forward to this post all week. Monday night was absolutely wonderful and I’m so thankful for the Health Starts Here Challenge and what it has done for me in just a month! We arrived on Monday night for a graduation dinner. Mary Lindsey cooked Pad Thai, Pineapple Lettuce Wraps, and Hummingbird Cake. Nick was probably really annoyed with my texts because all I wanted to do was tell him how AMAZING this meal was and I couldn’t wait to make it for him so he could try it.
The Pad Thai was absolutely amazing! There were so many extra additives on the side so you could create your own flavor. I loved the red pepper flakes and fresh squeezed time on mine! I enjoyed 2 servings! Mary Lindsey was so sweet because she almost put shrimp in it, but remembered that I’m a vegetarian and opted not too! I’m so thankful she did (although I probably would have tried it anyways) because it was delicious and I’m definitely making this soon!
The Pineapple Lettuce Wraps were so refreshing! I added some nuts to mine and the flavor was outstanding! This was practically gone when I went for seconds so I didn’t worry about it. I can’t wait to make this dish too. It’s so simple and perfect for this Southern heat.
The picture of this Hummingbird Cake does not do it justice! I’m pretty sure I’ve found my favorite dessert! We had a Vanilla Cashew Icing to put on top and I most definitely served myself up two servings of this. The texture was awesome, the flavor was awesome, it was all awesome! There was even some left over when I was getting ready to leave and Mary Lindsey let me take it home. I’m not too ashamed to say that it was my breakfast because it still fell within the Health Starts Here parameters. Again… cannot wait to make my own!
That was one of the best meals I’ve had in a long time and it gave me so much hope for our community and healthy eating. Healthy eating does not have to be dull and flavorless… it does not have to be salad and cardboard… it can be delicious Pad Thai that feels like it should be unhealthy, but truly isn’t, it can be flavorful lettuce wraps that create a unique spin on a regular salad, and it can be a decadent dessert that doesn’t lack in sweetness but doesn’t expand your waist line either! Although I’m still learning and I haven’t been as creative in the kitchen as I would like, this meal gave me hope that we’re heading in the right direction and we have the necessary resources to enjoy what we eat and enjoy how what we eat makes us feel.
While we finished up dinner, we shared some of the things that we learned throughout the challenge or the improvements we saw in our own body. I shared about my mental clarity and how my work life in July and my work life in August were completely opposite in my opinion! That brought up a good point about healthy eating not only affecting how we look physically or how we feel physically, but it’s also tied to our mental health. Another lady mentioned how she dropped 12 pounds and reduced her bad cholesterol by something crazy like 50 points! She was planning on doing another 28 days to keep up the good streak! Another girl shared about the influence she had on co-workers and she noticed that one of her co-workers usually eats cookies & sweets, but she brought celery sticks and carrots one day instead based on seeing her eat healthy throughout the work week. So many success stories!
Another thing I gained throughout the challenge were new friendships! I adored getting to know Mary Lindsey throughout the whole process and that’s no surprise because I have constantly raved about her from the beginning. I also found someone who wants to run together and do a 5k training together. She also encouraged me to join her for a Wednesday morning run with free coffee afterwards. Everyone I met throughout the challenge was so sweet, so inviting and I really hope I get to stay in touch with them in some way!
The next Healthy Eating Challenge will be around February and I’m already excited about doing it again! Maybe next time I can stay 100% committed for the 28 days! Hopefully our participation won’t drop near the end and people will stay encouraged to not give up even if they have a bad day (or weekend, like myself!) The great thing is, it’s only for 28 days and Whole Foods provides you with the support you need and knowledge to succeed without feeling like you’re missing out on nutrients. I’m proud of myself for sticking with it and participating in everything they offered. It was definitely a challenge, but it was entirely worth it!
I hope you’ll consider the Health Starts Here Challenge at your local Whole Foods so you can see the amazing benefits of a plant-strong diet without the added oils, sugars, and dairy! What I love about being an advocate for a healthy lifestyle that involves healthy eating and exercise is that it’s not some miracle pill or quick fix wrap, it’s not just a temporary fix… it’s THE fix! If you’re taking care of your body, then your body will take care of you!
Hope y’all have a great Labor Day Weekend, I probably won’t be back to the blog until Tuesday with all of my traveling and I’m in need of a new light weight laptop. I’m tired of lugging mine around, so it’s not going with me this time! Everyone be safe!