I’m excited to share the results of our 2012 Challenge and some thoughts from the participants! Last year, a group of our participants started out on a yearlong challenge. They received 20 emails every month about a certain wellness topic, from healthy food choices to mindful eating to physical activities. Each email contained a related “challenge” for them to complete – for example, if we were talking about running, the challenge might be to do a 1 mile time trial. If we were talking about the health benefits of sweet potatoes, the participants might have to include a sweet potato in a meal that day.
And now, after a total of 240 challenges throughout last year, we are pleased to announce the winners!
1st Place - $250 Cash Prize
Lisa was a star in the 2012 Challenge, typically completing 15 or more of the 20 challenges each month – and completing all of them in some months! Lisa’s strength was putting in consistent effort and determination throughout the entire program. She never let a large amount of time go by without completing the challenges, and even wrote them down in a notebook so she remembered which she still had to complete while on-the-go! Her effort and work obviously paid off by earning her the most points and our 1st place prize!
Lisa's thoughts: “I can honestly say, I am going to miss the challenges. I love to learn about healthy lifestyles and work hard to implement them when I can. I am even more aware of how healthy practices and exercising goes hand and hand. I really want to become healthy in a whole manner. The challenges have kept me on my toes in a fun way--I am competitive but I also like to try new foods, enjoyed the recipes, loved being challenged by the quizzes and more!”
2nd place - $150 Cash Prize
Nicole is naturally interested in nutrition and fitness from her background and jobs, so I knew she would do great in the challenge. Nicole’s strength was completing a variety of types of challenges. Whether it was trying a new food, a new exercise, or taking a quiz about her health, Nicole was always up for participating. This earned her the 2nd place prize in our challenge!
Nicole's thoughts: “I thought the program was awesome and really informative. I learned a lot about new foods and exercises and about myself along the way. It was flexible and fun and no pressure and I really enjoyed it.”
3rd place - $75 Cash Price
Amy’s strength was participating in challenges that were most important or applicable for her - and doing so regularly throughout the program. Even if a week or two went by when Amy didn’t get a chance to complete one, she didn’t beat herself up or quit – instead, she’d just jump back in. That skill helped her to earn the 3rd highest number of points in our challenge!
Amy's thoughts: “I found the challenge to be very unique. It was an interesting way to entice us to try new foods, activities, etc. Some I might never have tried otherwise. Early on one of the challenges to was to try grapefruit. I gave it a whirl and discovered I really like grapefruit. I eat it from time to time to mix up my fruit options. I also liked learning about the nutritional value and ways to help implement the food or activity. I'm glad I participated.”
We are SO proud of our winners, and everyone else who participated! Congratulations!
Have you eaten Brussels sprouts recently? Some of our 2012 Challenge
participants have! Earlier this week, they conquered a challenge to cook & eat some of these nutritious miniature cabbages. Brussels sprouts contain only 28 calories per half cup while still providing 2 grams of fiber, 81% of your daily Vitamin C needs, and 137% of your daily Vitamin K needs.
Check out some of these great photos from their nutritious conquest. John Mancini, president of AIIM International
, and otherwise known as my Uncle Brav, whipped up these delicious looking brussels sprouts!
Joseph Szafranski, a Buffalo cop who trains for Ride for Cancer 2020
(his cycling mission to raise money for a camp for children with cancer) added a side of brussels sprouts to his plate, meeting the recommendation to make half our plates full of fruits or veggies.
And Amy Collier, a friend who is tackling our 2012 challenges like a champ, cooked up this recipe which she shared with us. I think the combination of flavors in this recipe sounds great, so I look forward to trying it myself!
"Brussels Sprouts with Chickpeas and Grapes”
From "Power Foods Cookbook" from WeightWatchers PointsPlus.
1 pound brussels sprouts (trimmed and halved)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 cups halved seedless red grapes
1/2 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon dry sherry or white grape juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1.) Place brussels sprouts in steamer basket and set in large skillet over 1 inch of boiling water. Cover tightly and steam until tender, about 10 minutes.
2.) Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallot, garlic, and thyme and cook, stirring constantly, until shallot is softened, about 2 minutes. Add grapes and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 3 minutes.
3.) Add brussels sprouts, chickpeas, sherry and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until chickpeas are heated through, 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle with lemon zest.
**Haven't joined our 2012 Challenge yet?? Join today!
Happy New Year everyone! If you are sitting down today striving to make New Year’s Resolutions, I want you to try to set SMART goals this year. What are SMART goals? Check it out: S
pecific – A specific goal tends to be much easier to stick to than a general goal. Rather than saying “I want to exercise more this year,” you could say “I will go to the gym and do 60 minutes on the elliptical on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays in January.” M
easurable – When you set a goal, you want to have some way to measure your success. How will you know if you’ve achieved your goal? Will it be a number of pounds lost? Number of servings of veggies eaten each day? Minutes working out each week? A
ttainable – As you list your goals, think about the qualities, skills, and knowledge you need to achieve them. It may help if you list these out. The more you develop your plan of action, the more attainable your goal will seem and the more likely you are to be successful in achieving it. R
ealistic – A goal you choose should be something that is feasible for you to accomplish this year. You have to be mentally and physically able to do whatever you set your goal to be. You must also be willing to work towards it. There is no magic pill to make us lose weight, tone up, or prevent chronic diseases – it takes effort, but it can be fun (need proof? Check out our 2012 Challenge
imely – Set a time frame for your goal. Saying “I want to lose weight this year” is a very long time frame and non-specific. “I want to lose 4 pounds by February 15th by reducing takeout and cooking more low calorie meals” gives you a concrete date and plan for your goal. At each time point, you can evaluate how far you’ve come (i.e. the measurable part) and note that you’ve completed your goal, or you can modify it if needed.
What are your goals for this year? Feel free to share in the comments!
Have you made a New Year's Resolution yet? What are you hoping for? Losing weight, eating better, and exercising more often top our lists.
Every year, many of us go about setting these resolutions but fail to stick to them. In fact, after 6 months, only about 50% of people who made a resolution are still sticking to it. Fast forward to 1 year, and that number declines to less than 10%. So should we even bother to try to make changes?
Of course! But we need to do it the right way.
Enter the 20-12 Challenge
at Inspired Wellness Solutions. Rather than setting vague, overarching goals, our challenge program will provide you with small, feasible nutrition & fitness challenges to tackle during the next year. In fact, you’ll be provided with 20 challenges each of the 12 months of 2012! That's 240 specific challenges that will help you make 2012 your healthiest year yet.
What's a "challenge"? It could be a variety of tasks, each one of which is provided in an email with quality nutrition and fitness background information and tips. An email might discuss the health benefits of whole grains rather than refined grains, and ask you to try cooking a dish with brown rice that week. Or an email might discuss the benefits of running, and ask you to run 1 mile that day.
Each challenge you complete earns you points - and the 3 participants with the most points at the end of the year will win cash prizes! 1st place will receive $250
, 2nd place will receive $150
, and 3rd place will receive $75
. This is in addition to your chance at winning other monthly raffle giveaways, exclusive to challenge participants!
Check out the new 2012 challenge page
for more details and instructions on signing up. Only $8/month to participate, or $75 when you pre-pay for the entire year!
This is a great, affordable program that gets you nutrition and fitness information from a Registered Dietitian at a very low cost - not to mention the chance to win cash prizes at the end of the year!