Memorial Day Challenge: Week 2 Brings a Full Stomach and Sore Triceps
In one corner, diet; in the other, fitness. Throughout the month of May, follow along as InStyle's creative director Rina Stone and senior style editor Ali Pew put the two summer-ready strategies to the test. Stone is focusing on nutrition, while Pew is clocking in major sweat sessions. Check back each week for an update on their progress.
What I Ate
Who knew that breakfast could be such an exciting adventure? Some of the week's highlights from the Sakara Life Organic Meal Delivery program included a cinnamon-y sweet potato parfait covered with seeds, raw cacao nibs, and fresh blueberries, and a “strawberry shortcake” that was basically two hearty buckwheat pancakes with rose coconut cream (pictured, above). Both lunch and dinner were filled with large, crunchy, veggie-packed salads with super-rich and robust dressings. One day I feasted on a pistachio falafel; another buckwheat soba noodles. There were always plenty of legumes. A standout was a sweet pea soup with carrot tea sandwich on chia seed bread.
What I Thought
I have to say, I loved it. Everything was super fresh and packed with lots of flavors and textures. I didn’t feel as though I was being punished, like you sometimes do on these types of diets. It definitely felt more like a treat -- except for the night water. You really need to chug this one (since it’s only 8 oz it’s pretty easy). The beauty water, however, is a delight with its slight rose infusion. The meals are surprisingly filling considering all of the water-packed veggies. Though my 4 p.m. and post-dinner sweet craving still hit me -- I almost saved a container of cherry compote from breakfast to have later -- but by Day 3, the cravings were less aggressive. I also really enjoyed the detox teas in between meals. They definitely have a diuretic effect forcing me to constantly be near a ladies' room though!
How I Felt
By Day 2 I definitely felt less bloated. I was shocked to find a burst of energy as well. And since I believe in miracles, I swear my skin was glowing after Day 1. A wary colleague confirmed it!
What I Did
Week 1 on Kayla Istines's schedule included three days of Kayla's workouts and three days of LISS (low-intensity steady state) cardio. Kayla's resistance training included circuits of burpees, triceps, step-ups, lunges, push-ups, ab exercise variations, and plenty more. For the three days of LISS, I did low-intensity workouts like walking and running on the treadmill on an incline, riding the stationary bike, or using the elliptical.
How I Liked It
I liked that all the moves were simple and I felt capable jumping right in. (Literally, thanks to burpees and squat jumps!) A lot of the exercises I had done in previous workout classes, which made them easy to catch on to. One major plus: I was able to do it at a hotel, my home, and my local gym, so no excuses for skipping a workout!
How I Feel
So far, so good. I had enough energy to do every workout and function as normal throughout the day. In fact, I think I may of had more energy than normal. Finishing Week 1 made me feel super-accomplished. I am fully committed now, mentally. I felt really good throughout the past week, with more energy, especially in the morning. I also slept really well, which is such a nice feeling. I did feel sore in my triceps but that just means it's working, right? My high and low points? The high was on my first day, where I felt super-energized and excited about getting started. I was able to do the entire 30 minutes with ease! The low? The straight-leg ab workout, basically a full sit-up with your legs straight -- so hard! Note to self: keep working on those abs!