eat clean challenge

Eat Clean Challenge: Approved and Unapproved Foods

eat clean challenge

Brandon and I decided to start an eat clean challenge.

The hubs and I decided to start an “eat clean” challenge this week. I am running it in combination with my online boot camp program which runs for another 5 weeks. The goal is not to lose weight, but to tighten up our eating and become less dependent on sugar. I am also hoping to redistribute my weight a bit  — basically, I want to be able to see my abs for bikini season.

On Sunday, we created a list of “approved” and “unapproved” food items. We also went grocery shopping and did some food prep including my favorite egg casserole. You can find the recipe on this post from my pregnancy with Cole.

Here is my list of food items for the week. I will also include a sample meal plan at the end. Please note — this is not a diet plan for you to follow. It is simply a listing of what foods I am focusing on this week. I do not count calories. I eat when I am hungry and to satisfaction. I am not working to drop pounds, (I don’t even own a scale) but rather removing nutrient void foods from my diet.

Approved foods:

  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Steak
  • Chicken
  • Tuna
  • Spinach
  • Green beans
  • Green pepper
  • Cucumber
  • Onion
  • Lettuce
  • Oats
  • Sweet potato
  • Almonds
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sugar free hard candy and popsicles
  • All-natural peanut butter

Unapproved foods:

  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Butter
  • Sugar and treats
  • Carbs (except complex carbs from approved foods list)
  • Fruit
  • And anything NOT on the approved foods list
eat clean challenge

Sunday food prep with Baby Cole.

Here is an example of what my food log looked like yesterday:

Tuesday Food Log: 

Breakfast:

  • Egg casserole
  • Black coffee
  • Water

* I did have half an avocado as well 

Mid­-morning snack:

  • 10 almonds
  • Water
eat clean challenge

Yum! I am loving the egg casserole for breakfast.

Lunch:

  • Chicken breast
  • Sweet potato
  • Water

Mid-­afternoon snack:

  • 10 almonds
  • Peanut Butter with celery
  • 2 sugar-free popsicles
  • Water

Dinner:

  • Steak
  • Broccoli
  • Water

Evening snack:

  • Smoothie: 1 cup spinach, 1.5 cups of mixed berries, ½ water, 1/2 banana
  • Water

* I added the smoothie because I am finishing off my berries (even though fruit is on the “unapproved” list for the week. Here is a great article referencing the importance of not eating too much fruit. Eat high carb fruits in moderation (ie: bananas). 

eat clean challenge

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Backyard Boot Camp: DRENCHED Ab Shred

Looking to work up a nice sweat and strengthen your abs at the same time? Try this Backyard Boot Camp: Drenched Ab Shred. I filmed this circuit just for YOU. I was sweating buckets while filming … maybe because I was in FL filming, or maybe because it’s TOUGH! Try it 5 times for more fun and toning. So sorry about the nasty locust sound in the background. Gotta love FL!

Tone and strengthen your abs with this Backyard Boot Camp in the comfort and convenience of your own home. This circuit is perfect to do while watching TV. Be sure to maintain a neutral spine for the plank position. Keep your butt down and your abs and back nice and straight.

Backyard Boot Camp

Pin this Backyard Boot Camp: Drenched Arm Shred to your Pinterest fitness board and try it 5 times!

Exercise Video — Backyard Boot Camp: Ab Shred

What do all women want, but very few get? Nice abs!! But why? Is it possible to get nice abs after pregnancy? Yes. It takes hard work and commitment, but nice abs after pregnancy is possible for you. Remember, abs are made in the gym and in the kitchen. So eat clean, workout, and add these ab moves into your exercise routine.

Get your abs back after pregnancy by trying the following moves:

  • Warm up your abs by doing regular crunches. Keep your belly button in toward your spine.
  • Scissor crunches: Put your hands under your butt. Raise your shoulders off the ground, and raise your legs above the ground 6 inches — cross them in front of you.
  • Lay back with your arms extended above your head and your toes pointed and legs straight. Use your ab muscles to pull yourself up and touch your toes. Lower slowly down. Then raise your legs perpendicular with the ground and touch your toes.
  • Bicycles: twist your torso and touch your elbows to your knees. Move your legs in a bicycle motion.
  • Flutter kicks: sit up and balance on your butt. Flutter your legs straight out in front of you to stimulate your lower abs.
  • Sit up and keep your heels slightly off the ground. Twist your torso and touch your elbows on the ground to stimulate your transverse obliques.

You can get your pre-baby abs back after pregnancy! Best wishes.

Pin this Backyard Boot Camp to your Pinterest fitness board and do it consistently to develop nice abs!

6 Pack Abs After Pregnancy

Is it possible to get 6 pack abs after pregnancy? Absolutely yes! But, as with anything else, it will take hard work and commitment. The good news is, you already have 6 pack abs after pregnancy. The bad news is, they are covered in fat. 6 pack abs are something that all women want, but few achieve. and unfortunately, you cannot get a 6 pack by doing millions of crunches alone. But here are some steps that will help you toward nice abs after pregnancy.

  • Get 6 pack abs after pregnancy by burning mid-section fat.  Add strength and resistance training to your daily post-pregnancy workout routine. If you need to lose a few more pounds of “baby weight,” I would recommend that you do 60 to 90 minutes of cardio 5 times per week and at least 2 days of strength training. Unfortunately, it is not possible to “spot train”, but if you want a 6 pack, you will need to be around 15% BMI anyway, so get to burning those fat calories! You will burn 50 calories while stationary per day for every pound of lean muscle that you have. If you typically only do running for your cardio, add some resistance training on the elliptical or stepper. Be sure to keep your abs nice and tight the entire time you are on the machine.
  • Get 6 pack abs after pregnancy by adding interval training into your daily post pregnancy workout. Adding plyometrics and/or sprint drills to your daily workout routine will effectively burn fat calories! I typically do sprint drills at least 2 times per week (short and long sprint with back pedals and shuffles). I also do plyos almost every time I workout for at least 5 minutes. Visit my exercise video page if you need some ideas on good plyo circuits.
  • Get 6 pack abs after pregnancy by doing pilates and other ab exercises. It is important to keep your belly button in toward your spine when you are performing ab exercises after pregnancy. Do not push your abs/stomach out when you are doing the movement. Work on all areas of your abs — including your transverse obliques. It is also important to strengthen your lower back and hamstrings to stay balanced.
  • Get 6 pack abs after pregnancy by eating clean. Nice abs are made in the gym and in the kitchen! You can workout all day, but if you are not eating the right foods, you are working out to achieve a 6 pack in vain. Log your food on caloriecount.com to see if you are getting the right amount of nutrients. Stay away from white carbs and empty calories. Instead, eat whole grains, fruits, veggies, lean protein, and good fats. If it comes from the ground or has a mother — it’s fair game.
  • Try this post pregnancy ab circuit.

Before I got pregnant with Emma, I did not have a 6 pack. There were times that I had good definition in my abs, but I usually ruined it with eating too much ice cream. 🙂 However, I was satisfied with how my abs looked. After I delivered, my stomach still looked pretty flabby for the first week. 10 days after I delivered, my abs looked fine under clothes, but it took me a couple months to get my abs to a place that I felt comfortable with in a bikini. A couple months can seem like a long time if you are used to having a 6 pack. But if you are in that spot right now, don’t quit! Commit to eating well and doing the right kind of workouts, and be patient! In honestly, even now, I do not have a “6 pack” (can’t stay away from that ice cream — I need closure to my day :), but I am happy with how I look, and my core feels very strong. I hope you find the same satisfaction! But remember to keep things in perspective. Best wishes!

How long will it take for my body to bounce back after pregnancy?

While I was pregnant, I worried a lot about how quickly my body would bounce back to normal after I delivered. There is a lot of negativity surrounding postpartum body image. Most women/fellow moms that I interacted with told me that, “your body will never be the same after pregnancy.” I was always disappointed to hear their remarks, and of course, hoping to prove them wrong.

Body after pregnancy

My baby bump the week before I delivered

I asked my doctor how long it would take my body to look normal after delivery. He said, “Well, it takes 9 months for your body to make a baby, and it takes 9 months to a year for it to b0unce back to normal.” 9 months to a year?!? Wow, now that is frustrating to hear. But luckily, my experience was very different than the fellow moms or my doctor told me it would be.

See below for my Fit Pregnancy (and post-delievery recovery DVD). I did these moves consistently through pregnancy and after delivery, and bounced back very quickly.

Pregnacy Exercises: Fit Pregnancy Total Body Workout DVD

Introducing my Pregnancy Exercises: Fit Pregnancy Total Body Workout DVD. If you are looking for a prenatal workout to do through all three trimesters of pregnancy, during your pre-pregnancy fitness plan, and for post-delivery recovery, look no further.

For a very limited time, I am accepting pre-orders for the Pregnancy Exercises: Fit Pregnancy Total Body Workout DVD with an added incentive of no shipping and handling fees!

Now, before I continue writing, I do want to point out that my absolute biggest priority when training my gym clients is to help then develop a healthy lifestyle and healthy body image. Size, shape and weight is NOT the most important issue. Living a healthy lifestyle and being healthy on the inside is vital. However, with that being said, there is not anything wrong with wanting to look great too. Just remember to maintain the right motivations. Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.

After I delivered my daughter, I had a lingering “bump” like everyone else does. Every day it got a lot less noticeable, and a week after I delivered, I felt like I looked pretty decent. I even went out in my bikini at a week postpartum. Looking back, I might have jumped the gun, but hey, it was August and I wanted a tan.

pre pregnancy body after delivery

Less than 24 hours after I delivered. I still had a lingering bump.

Three days after delivery I went to a meeting at work. I wore a skirt to try and cover up my lingering bump, and covered it pretty well. Two weeks after delivery I went back to training clients in the gym. My clients were impressed with how fast my stomach had shrunk, but I definitely still had a small pooch, and some of the women even patted it.

In all honestly, it probably took me 4 months to really look back to normal. But I had to bite the bullet and be very intentional about working out my abs. Now, 6.5 months after delivery, I actually think my abs are stronger and look better than before pregnancy! We have gone on a few mini vacations and swam in the pool with Emma. She loves to swim, and I am confident taking her to the pool in my bikini! We have a vacation to the beach in a few weeks, and I can’t wait to show off my abs.

Swimming with Emma 6.5 months after delivery!

So, don’t be discouraged when you hear that “your body will never be the same” or it will take a full year to get your figure back. Eat healthy, be intentional about exercise, and you can bounce back quickly too!!! Best wishes.