April Power May Bloom

I recently read this article about the fact that Mars is traveling in retrograde to Libra and “during the week of April 20, Mars will form a stressful 90-degree angle called a square to both Jupiter and Pluto. This precise mathematical pattern is one of the most rare, and most difficult of all. It is called a Grand Square or a Grand Cross. Symbolically, such a pattern suggests that we’re boxed in, feeling all sorts of frustration and pressure without any way out. It’s like being trapped in a gas chamber or burning building. It hurts like hell.”

Click for photo credit

Click for photo credit

I have been trying to get motivated to get myself in gear to work out and get in shape again and to eat better. Part of the problem is that I am not in terrible shape, just getting a little soft, and I don’t really eat unhealthy. So why is this a problem, you ask? Because being in okay shape with an okay diet means that you can constantly justify NOT doing what you know you should be doing. You can make excuses and be okay with “good enough” a lot of the time.

My friend Nancy, of My Year of Sweat, is a perpetual motivator and I will often read her posts and feel like I should be doing something totally bad-ass too because she challenges herself and I admire that quality.  But then I fizzle. Then she posted her recap of March and I told her that I had big plans for April but would not write about it until I had accomplished all I wanted. She said that she is going to start posting her challenges at the beginning of month to hold her accountable. I immediately knew I should do the same so I would not hide behind the possibility that I might lose interest half-way in.

This need for motivation has been building inside of me and I knew eventually I would give in and get myself going. Then I read the article about Mars and I took from it that it is time to get focused, to let the “cosmic contractions of April be the catalyst leading to the birth of something remarkable in (my) world.”

On the heels of reading that article, I did a kick ass yoga fitness workout that finally turned on my engines. I left feeling motivated and empowered. It was the final straw I needed to begin something new to bring good health and physical fitness to my body. And while Mars is traveling in retrograde, April is the perfect time to get it done!

It may come as no surprise to many of you that I am planning to attend Yoga Teacher Training in the fall. It is not set in stone yet but is something I have been thinking about for a while now. And while I don’t have any intentions of actually teaching (ha!), I feel that I need to get my body in great working order before I embark on that journey.

So, here are my April goals:

  • Do fitness yoga once per week
  • Run on treadmill once per week
  • Attend a “regular” yoga class once per week
  • Do home yoga/meditation once or twice per week at home (depending on how early the kiddos wake up)
  • Complete the “30-Day Green Smoothie Challenge”
  • Do either a 1 day or 3 day cleanse
  • Pay closer attention to what I eat, i.e. processed foods/sugars/fats
  • Drink more water and cut out my weekly mid-day mini-soda

Here is how I am doing so far:

It is only week 2 but I love the variety in my exercise plan. In the past I always ran when I felt like I needed to exercise but I didn’t love it and it quickly would become a chore. But, now that I only plan to run once per week, I enjoy it much more and learned that a good playlist while running is far better than watching the television.

I really enjoy the morning smoothies as they force me to have breakfast when often I would fuel myself with only coffee until I was starving and devoured fried eggs and a bagel.

I plan to do a 1 day or 3 day cleanse while my husband is away for work mid-April. I’ll let you know how that goes and what I do.

I am doing well being more mindful of my food choices. With little ones, it is easy to eat the last of something on their plate, to grab quick things on the go or to eat out with them for special treats or playdates. Today instead of eating this, my son’s leftover pizza from Subway:

ryder pizza

I took the time to make this, leftover Parmesan Crusted Tilapia with Quinoa, Avocado & Mango with a Balsamic Drizzle:

healthy lunch

It was delicious. When I am out with my son and we eat at Chick-Fil-A for a playdate, I am making healthier choices instead of their delicious waffle fries. And when he naps, instead of going for the Mr. Goodbar (which is totally therapeutic), I am eating raw almonds instead. I like them, so it doesn’t feel like I’m depriving myself.

Here are the smoothies I have made so far. The site for the challenge has so many great recipes that I look forward to trying.

Day 1: “Scrounge the fridge”:

  • A few splashes OJ
  • Spinach
  • 1 mango
  • Coconut yogurt

I signed up for this challenge on a whim and didn’t have all the proper ingredients so this is what I came up with and it was good although a bit too sweet.

Day 2: “Avocado, Apples & Kale”

  • ½ avocado
  • Apple, cored and chopped
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 2 cups kale

green smoothie

This was good; the apple added a nice sweetness to the avocado.

Day 3:“Cilantro Mango Detox”

  • 1 cup spinach
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 1 mango
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup pineapple
  • ½ avocado

Apparently cilantro is a great detoxifier. Toxins bind to and get flushed out with it. This fact works out great for me because I love cilantro as much as coconuts, avocados and mango.

When I woke this morning before I had my 3rd smoothie, I could already feel the cleansing effects of the past two dasy. Um, well, yeah, so I pooped like 6 times before 8am. Sorry, TMI, I know. But since I don’t own a scale and don’t plan to take measurements for this month, I am just going to track how I feel each day. So, today, I feel uh…clean. 😉

Day 4: “Beginner’s Luck”

  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup mango
  • ½ cup frozen pineapple
  • 1 banana

This was really good, a perfect green smoothie for a beginner. It is nice, sweet and smooth.

Day 5: “Almond Butter & Jelly Green Smoothie”

  • 1 cup spinach or kale
  • 1 cup almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1 cup grapes
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tbsp almond butter

I’m using almond butter with coconut, I just couldn’t resist it when I saw it in the store;  you may remember how much  I adore coconuts.

Next on my list to try are the Avo-Banana Kale & Free Radical Fighting Super smoothies. I’m having fun trying all these new recipes!

There is my April plan. Here is to April’s power bringing May’s bloom!

32 thoughts on “April Power May Bloom

  1. Kerry, your plan sounds totally awesome — addressing both the fitness side and the nutrition side. And kudos to you for declaring your challenge – that takes guts! My April challenge declaration post should hit tomorrow. (Just had to get my garlic feet story out first, while it was fresh.) 🙂

    Looking forward to hearing how you knocked each one of these challenges down at the end of the month!

    • Thanks Nancy! I owe a lot of the declaration to you! I love doing my fitness yoga on Mondays because it is like it jump starts my motivation for the week. Today’s class was awesome and I think I did a smidge better than last week.

      • Fantastic! My post with April challenge declarations hits soon. I’d be more excited if I was feeling 100%, but this cold is knocking me out. It’ll set me back a bunch on my running plan. 😦

      • Yeah, I just heard from another blogger on twitter that the magic formula is: vaporub in feet, then wet socks, then dry socks over top. It draws the heat down to your feet and clears the chest. I’m trying it at bedtime. 🙂

  2. Great job Kerry! And wow, you took on a lot for one month! When I was running I had a smoothie a day and always tossed in a big handful of spinach, and loved it! I did just buy a yoga DVD, I’m not going to attend a class, but am excited to break out my yoga mat and mix up my exercises!
    Kudos to you for declaring your goals! Very proud of you! 🙂

    • Thanks Kate. It really does seem to help to declare your goals to the world. nice job on the yoga, I’m curious how you end up liking it once you do it more regularly. I am really loving the smoothies too,there are so many great recipes on that web site.
      It does seem like a lot for one month but there are all pretty easy to incorporate and I was already doing the yoga and at-home yoga/meditation anyway, just wanted to make myself stick with it.

  3. I love that you are embracing what is supposed to be a difficult/challenging time and using/converting these energies in a positive way. It’s really very wise of you. Also, hilarious on the TMI… but hey, get them impurities out, Girl! LOL o_O

  4. Wow! Lots of exciting stuff here! You have inspired me to branch out with my smoothies – I tend to do fruit/veg/water only. Lots of healthy changes and SO exciting about yoga teacher training!! Really great exercise commitments too. I love reading about challenges – I think they are great for teaching us about what we can achieve if we set our minds to it. X

    • Dedication is a powerful tool. I am seeing it spread to other areas of my life this week too. That hot fitness yoga class in on Mondays and it really sets me up for a motivated week. Today I made some break-throughs with the novel I am working on, it was really fun.

    • Oh, and you should check out that 30 day challenge web site, they have tons of great recipes. Today’s was almost like a milkshake it was so tasty. Incorporate almonds, almond milk, almond butter, coconut water, coconuts, avocado…all kinds of stuff help the flavor and to bulk it up with protein.

  5. Good for you! I’m trying to clean up my diet as well. I eat healthfully most of the time, but I want to pay more attention to nutrition. Good ideas here.

    • Good! you should try the smoothies. They are such an easy way to get lots of good nutrients and the recipes on the challenge site are delicious so far. My day 5 on this post is the one I did today and it was like a milkshake, so good.

  6. Pingback: correcting my bad form in time for April goal setting | my year[s] of sweat!

  7. I will try the Avocado, Apples & Kale. I hope I can find kale here. If not, what will be a great substitute? And my husband asked me if I wanted to enroll in yoga at the fitness center near our house. I am hoping to be registered this month. I just need to make sure our schedules are all ironed out because my son already started with his swimming lessons. 😀 I’m going yoga mat shopping!

  8. Boy oh boy, Kerry, you’re on a roll. Here’s hoping for an “om” mind and a chiseled bod. Peace, John P.S. What about kale and coconut oil? 😮

  9. You are actually in beautiful shape! But this helped me stay on track and be nice to myself.
    Visualization… Kooky but it works. Write it down I want defined this that. Refer to it often but include Function goals 2 pull-ups for example. Those will get you there. Also telling myself I was awesome, hot , ripped even when I wasn’t every step of the way, versus picking myself apart- every step of the way.
    And reminding myself when I was really discouraged, you are just not there yet, but I’m on my way !

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  11. You might want to check out http://www.myyogaonline.com I love using it for my home practice. The area I live in makes it inconvenient in too expensive to attend a regular class, but with the online videos I can do a yoga practice anytime I’d like and a very little cost 🙂

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  14. Pingback: monthly challenges recap: April edition | my year[s] of sweat!

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