2016…a year of change, adventures, and new beginnings. Speaking of beginnings I wanted to do something a little more satisfying than your normal New Year resolution. My boyfriend Ben and I came up with 12, one month challenges for 2016. They are items we want to incorporate more into our daily lives anyway and thought keeping them for a max of 31 days was a lot easier than 365 days. We hope to continue most if not all of them after each month is over, we’ll see how that goes. Below are my monthly challenges. You can check out Ben’s if you’d like.


JAN | Gluten free | I know there is a whole GF craze but I did an experiment a few years ago and I think I’ll self diagnose myself as gluten intolerant. I apologize if the following is TMI. My whole life I’ve had really really really really really bad gas. Like, if you could bottle it up I’m sure it would be worse than mustard gas. I was living with my Mom and Stepdad at the time and I noticed I hadn’t been stinky. I thought about what I had and hadn’t been eating and realized I hadn’t had gluten in about a week. So I ate some for the next week and I stunk!!!!! So then I stopped again and wasn’t stinky. It was like a switch. So Jan 2013 I decided to go gluten free for the month. It was relatively easy and a lot less gas passing which made me and everyone else around me very happy. I vowed to never have gluten again. Needless to say I’m human (surpriseeeeee) and I went back to my old eating ways and just dealt with the stench. When we were coming up with challenges I knew I wanted to go gluten free once again…the results were the same – less passing gas and when I did little to no smell YAY.

It is now Feb and I have had a little amount of gluten (It’s hard to resist sometimes). I’m not vowing I’ll stop, but I’m doing my best and hoping to fully take it out.

FEB | Juice/Smoothie a day | Well I love juices and smoothies. I know I could always use more greens and fruits/veggies in my daily diet, so I figured this would help. We have been using 365 Vegan Smoothies by Kathy Patalsky (check out her blog Healthy. Happy. Life ) and each smoothie has been delicious, I highly recommend her book! I’ll definitely post some of my favourite recipes.

MAR | Yoga 3-4x a week | I fell in love with Bikram yoga in 2010 while I was living in Australia. Even though I only went 3x it was enough to get me hooked. I moved back to Canada and there was one studio that offered it. It was also on the other side of town and with no car a little hard to get to. I ended up going about a dozen or so times and I was still hooked. When Ben and I moved to Whistler there wasn’t one studio that offered Bikram. But I found a studio I enjoyed and decided it would be better then nothing. It has been really helpful for me in dealing with the loss of my Mom. It is calming, nourishing, and healing. The breathing exercises alone have come in handy so many times. I already try to go as much as I can, but it wouldn’t be a challenge if I didn’t try to do anymore.

APR | Swim every work day | I love swimming. I’ve loved it since I was a tot and eventually joined a swim team as a teen. To me being under water is relaxing and calming. I always say I want to swim more, but then never follow through with it. So to swim every work day will be a challenge as some days I just can’t wait till I’m off and go home, but this month I’ll be sticking around to swim at least 30 minutes or more each day I work.

MAY | No sugar or oil | I enjoy reading books about health and diet, especially anything to do with a Whole Food Plant Based Diet – WFPBD. My recent reading was Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr. Basically he stated no oil is heart healthy. Which struck a cord with me as there are countless articles about “heart healthy” oil. Oil is pure fat and after reading his book it is something I definitely want to try and reduce. As far as sugar I am talking about refined sugar. I will not reduce my fruit intake in fact I probably will increase it. I will use maple syrup (my Stepdad is amazing and makes his own so that is what I use. Pure. Homemade. Straight from the tree.), dates or fruit if I need to sweeten something.

JUN | Walk Everyday | They say to do 20-30 minutes of exercise everyday. So a walk a day can’t hurt. It will be summer and warm and beautiful. I’m looking forward to it.

JUL | No Tech | By tech I mean no screens. No TV, computer/laptop, or cellphone. In a time where all the social media is supposed to bring people closer and connect more it is tearing people apart. I don’t see anyone sit and read a newspaper anymore or chat with friends without looking at their phone every 4 minutes. Kindle and iPad are taking place of newspapers, books and magazines. I understand the convenience of it, but it is becoming too much. So I am hoping I will begin to appreciate the simple pleasures of life and connect more with those in my life without a screen in between us.

AUG | Something Green a day | Greens are good for you as I’ve stated in Feb. I still probably don’t get enough of them, so I will incorporate them daily. Anything from Kale to spinach to broccoli to avocado to kiwi to green beans to peas to cucumber to green onion to green chocolate chip cookies  peppers.

SEP | Whole Foods Only | In May I mentioned a Whole Foods Plant Based Diet. It basically means consuming Whole Foods. Nothing processed or packaged – Nuts / Seeds / Beans / Legumes are an exception. You can read more about it here. As I already eat a diet mostly of this it will make me more cautious when I’m out.

OCT | Journal Everyday | In grade 9 I started journaling. It was a way for me to empty my thoughts and feelings without anyone judging me for them. It was extremely helpful at times as I am someone who keeps everything bottled up. I journaled almost everyday till graduation. After I graduated I moved away and got busier and didn’t do it as frequently. As the years went on I would go months without journaling. I want to get back into it, so I’m hoping this helps me make the time for it even after the month is over.

NOV | Salad Everyday | I like to think I have a healthy diet, but to be honest I don’t have very many salads (although I do get plenty of veggies). I’m not that creative and I get bored easily. So I’m hoping to find some good recipes and try out some delicious salads. I’m sure some days will be lettuce, cucumber and tomato and other days more extravagant, but I’m hoping to get creative and start to enjoy them more.

DEC | Mono Meal Brekky | Mono = one. I’ve heard it is easier on the digestive system to breakdown one food at a time than 5 or 6 we often have during a meal. So to give my digestive system a little love I’ll be having one thing i.e. just bananas, or just watermelon, or just apples etc. at breakfast. I’m curious to see if I notice any changes in how I’ll feel or how it affects porcelain throne time.




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