Memorial Day Challenge: Week 2 Brings a Full Stomach and Sore Triceps

Pancakes lead
Photo: Courtesy

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.

Rina Stone

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!

Workout embed

Ali Pew

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!

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