Sparkly & Slimming….a Weight Loss Blog

Samantha's journey to slim down, while remaining sparkly!

2013 Elf 4 Health Challenge & a New Diet Twist….

on November 25, 2013

Last year I had SO much fun participating in the Elf 4 Health challenge hosted by The Lean Green Bean and Nutrionella that I just had to sign up again this year.  All the challenge details (and the sign up!) can be found here: Elf4Health. Basically you complete one healthy challenge each day (be in physical, emotional, self etc.) and chat with an elf buddy randomly assigned to you about your challenge and staying on track during the holidays.

This years challenges are realllly going to take me out of my comfort zone (burpees!? wall sits? meditation? – eeeep!).  I’m nervously excited. Is that a thing? Nervously excited? LOL – well it is now! Behold – the challenges!

I just completed our pantry purge last weekend and I don’t want to brag, but it looks fantastic and is MUCH easier to find things! For Dec 7th I’ll be tackling the spice cabinet – which is a hot mess. I am pretty positive we have at least 4 poultry seasonings and probably another 4 cloves – two things I never think we have and always buy. Haha.


Foolishly I forgot to look at this week’s challenges and I already have lunch packed for Monday- Wednesday (chicken pot pie soup FOR THE WIN)….sooo I’ll be meatless for every other meal – and on Friday. 🙂

I got my first email from my elf – she’s really sweet and I’m excited to motivate each other for the week! Shout out to Natalie!


Oh, I forgot to mention my new diet. Dietary restriction? Meh – the new way I’m eating! I’ve had a problem for a while with retaining water (especially in my feet and legs). A few weeks ago I weighed in at 7am and again at 10pm – I had gained 12 pounds. Yes, I’m dead serious. I scheduled time to see my doctor – but she’s so busy she couldn’t see me until the first week of December. I chatted with my Mom and she mentioned salt – and tracking my sodium intake. Two weeks ago on Saturday and Sunday I tracked everything I ate in LoseIt – -then calculated the sodium – I was at 3500 mg / 4600 mg respectively. I picked up “The Salt Solution” from Amazon and learned I was eating nearly triple the sodium I should aim for (1500mg). Eeep! So, I took action last week (even during the two days I had the flu!) and following the following guidelines:

*No more canned/premade soups – (my favorite is the Autumn Squash soup at Panera and it has a whopping 1400mg per CUP! Yeah no!).

*Swap out morning drink for grapefruit juice (a natural diuretic which helps with fluid retention)**

*Trade chicken broth for the low sodium variety (a difference of 500 mg per cup!)

*Up my fiber (helps with food digestion – and feeling full)

*Amp up the spices (in lieu of salt try to include things like sage, rosemary, chives etc.) – I also need to check out Mrs. Dash (which is sodium free).

*Drink more water! (but I seriously always need the reminder).

These are the food guidelines I am following to see what kind of sodium content foods have compared to each other.

One week in and I’m significantly better – my feet and legs aren’t swollen, I feel 1000X better energy wise AND I’m only 1-2 pounds heavier by 10pm after a day on my feet. Awesome!  Thanks Mom – just goes to show your Mom really does have all the answers! 😉

**Sidenote: by far this is my favorite grapefruit juice EVER:

Ingredients: grapefruit + water. The end! I also love their Simply Orange with Mango – delicious. 🙂

Happy short-work-week everyone!!


5 responses to “2013 Elf 4 Health Challenge & a New Diet Twist….

  1. Curt says:

    Angie has been making soup from scratch which is surprisingly easy, tastes good and has waaaaaay less sodium than premade or soup starters. I have high blood pressure so we’ve been watching our sodium for awhile.
    I make bread sometimes and the recipe calls for 1.5 teaspoons of salt. I’ve made it with as little as .5 teaspoons and still had good flavor, almost everything you make you can cut out 1/3 of the salt and still have it taste just as good. Which begs the question, why is there so much salt in everything?

    Did you know McDonalds salts their burger patties?

    • It really does beg the question – why so much salt?!?! I am not surprised to hear about McDonalds (they are such a filthy company for so many reasons) but I am surprised when things like coffee creamer have salt – Whisky Tango Foxtrot?!

  2. stewlaur says:

    I am glad cutting back salt helped. When I had that problem I had a bad parathyroid, so maybe keep that appointment with your doctor and have her do a blood test to look at your calcium levels. That will alert you to a problem with your parathyroid. good luck!

  3. ninamholland says:

    I think I either read this or saw this in a documentary, but salt acts like a preservative and that’s why processed foods are loaded with it…and for taste, obviously! But yeah, I’m pretty sure there are days that I eat too much of it because I can feel my hands swell. It’s not noticeable, but I can feel it. In other words, I feel your pain!

    Also, good luck with the Elf 4 Health Challenge. It looks like a fun way to switch things up.

    Happy (early) Thanksgiving!

  4. This one is good. great posting! I do really think that we need to always keep promoting health

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: