Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Adrenal Fatigue Solution Book Review

My story...

Imagine if you will a 36 year old meeting with her OB/GYN to discuss some personal problems - depression, breaking into tears easily, easy to anger, super easy weight gain, no energy, no sex drive, sleeping all weekend and still tired on Monday, no desire to do much of anything and afraid that the next TV commercial will be the one with the big eyed, beautiful pets who need a loving adoptive home right away or they will meet their demise (you know the one) and it will send you into a fit of tears.  My work was suffering because I was attacking people for no reason ( verbally).  My husband was walking on eggshells around me because he didn't know what would set me off.  And to put a cherry on top of all that I had recently been told I now had another food sensitivity to gluten (the first was dairy).

Two years prior to this I took a new job in the company and began traveling every other week, working on mergers (stress),  trying to manage a now "part- time" relationship with my spouse because of the traveling (stress) my two oldest step children had enlisted in the Army National Guard and were being shipped to Iraq (major stress), and the ever struggle with money(stress, stress, stress).

The OB/GYN joked that now would be the time to have a child as it could reverse these symptoms of pre-menopause.  Uh, hello... that is not the reason to have a child. At my begging he ordered hormone tests which he didn't think I needed.  The tests resulted that I had a pretty good progesterone deficiency.  So he started me on a prescription, and right away I felt better, at least my mood was better.  He tested my thyroid again (the lovely TSH test) of course it said everything was normal because it usually did or was close enough to normal.  When I asked if my depression medicine should be changed I was referred back to my primary care physician, who increased my anti-depressant.

After a few months the OB/GYN tested my progesterone level again.  My progesterone was too high now.  Because of the side effects of too high progesterone he took me off of it and he was to find me a compounding pharmacy who could make me a pill that would be the right dosage.  3 weeks went by.  My mood became unbearable.  I called the Dr's office twice a week.  I wasn't allowed to talk to the Dr. There were no updates on the compounding pharmacy.  As time went on I quickly became extremely worse so my husband called the Dr's office, he couldn't speak to the Dr either.  Now it's been three weeks without any progesterone.  I know the signs of depression, I conquered them since the age of 14.  It was the Monday before Thanksgiving, I was on my way to work and I was crying my eyes out.  This time there had been no trigger other than I felt so bad I didn't want to live.  I called the OB/GYN office again and told them that I felt suicidal, they said to contact my primary Dr.  That hurt my heart so much that they didn't have time to help me that I started thinking I wasn't worth helping.  Then I called my mom and thru tears and sobs I explained to her that I was on my way to work because I had a meeting I simply couldn't miss (stupid, stupid, stupid) but when that was over I was probably going to check myself into the hospital for my depression.  She begged me to come back home (we live very close to each other) but I insisted I had to attend this call.  

After completing this so called important meeting a thought came to me, I'll go see my Chiropractor.  This woman has the most amazing energy.  She's warm and caring and full of positive vibes.  I knew she would help me because when I saw her last I told her about the Dr. removing the progesterone prescription and she thought that was odd to go cold turkey like that with hormones.  My goal was to consult her on my overall mood and behaviour and if she agreed then I would check myself into the hospital.  She took me in with no appointment, she let my cry, she held me, she dimmed the lights and put a warm blanket on me.  She did everything she could in her power which helped get me through the next few weeks, but the greatest thing she did for me was get me to the right Dr.  She saved my life.

You see, the Chiropractor thought it was Adrenal Fatigue, the new Dr. knew it was Adrenal Fatigue but the OB/GYN couldn't be bothered.

The diagnosis of Adrenal Fatigue most definitely saved my life.  However there is no prescription that fixes your Adrenal Fatigue.  You see, it's a lifestyle change that heals you, with the help of some herbs and supplements.  

This is why I feel it is my duty to share with you a new eBook that I just read:  The Adrenal Fatigue Solution by Fawne Hansen and Dr. Eric Wood.

This comprehensive book takes you from the beginning, learning about your adrenals and their ever so important job in our bodies, to available testing options, the importance of diet, re-balancing your life, and helpful supplements.

This is the second book I've read on Adrenal Fatigue and it's hard to tell you just how helpful this book is for me.  Notice I say that it (is helpful) because this is a marathon not a sprint.  It probably took you years to get this current state your in and it's going to take time for your body to heal but it can be done.  With books like The Adrenal Fatigue Solution you learn how to identify the stresses of your life and what a toll stress and poor diet takes on your body.  When my MD told me it could take 2 years for me to heal I thought that was a lifetime away.  And it did take me a long time to heal.  In fact I would say that I'm still not completely healed but I am so much better.  

You see, I probably would've gotten better results if I had completely understood the impact stress has on your body.  I did EVERYTHING suggested by my Dr, all of what is suggested in the book, but I did not find a way to manage my stress.  In fact, it took another major health crisis earlier this year to help me understand just how wicked stress can be.  This book does a fantastic job of outlining how stress can literally kill you. 

My recommendations are to focus a lot of effort on the chapters of,  Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, What Causes Adrenal Fatigue, The Diet and  Restoring Balance to Your Life.  These chapters contain so much valuable information that it won't hurt to read them again or even better have your significant other read them as well.  Every chapter is truly valuable but these four will help you understand exactly how your body works, what the triggers are, how food heals and how to relax.   The rest of the book will turn you into a knowledgeable patient and a key player in your healing.  

I personally believe that it is imperative for you to find an M.D. who will work with you thru this time in your life.  They can order much needed tests to aid in your diagnosis and prescribe a prescription if it is truly needed.  What you will find is that most of these Dr's who understand Adrenal Fatigue avoid prescription drugs and focus on healing the whole body, not covering up the symptoms.

You'll notice that the list of symptoms are long for adrenal fatigue, the beneficial supplements are many BUT there is help.   We don't have to suffer, and we are not alone.  

Click this link to get your copy of the book, The Adrenal Fatigue Solution .

To aid in your healing journey you can also follow Fawne at the following media outlets.

My dear friends, I beg of you to make yourself a priority, get the help you need, and start healing.  This is a beautiful life we've been given now go and get healthy so you can enjoy it.

In Healing,

PS.  I am receiving no financial or other means of compensation for my review of this book.  I only share what I believe is valuable and helpful to my readers.  Please use your own discretion and make your own opinion.  

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Dairy Free Pumpkin Spice Bulletproof Latte

This weeks post is a tribute to one of my more popular recipes - Pumpkin Spice Bulletproof Latte.   I've enhanced this recipe with the addition of Brown Butter Ghee.  Oh my!  Where has this stuff been all my life.  Now that it is officially fall there will be lots of this Pumpkin Spice Coffee in my house.  This recipe is dairy free, gluten free, paleo and primal.

Fall is officially here y'all so why not start adding a little pumpkin to your coffee. This Pumpkin Spice Bulletproof Coffee came from a desire to add better carbohydrates to my diet (Since going the Paleo route) and because I love the coffee that can be purchased at Starbucks but what nutritional value could that possibly have? I must confess I love Pumpkin in anything (at least as far as I know now)

Bulletproof coffee is not my concept or idea.  This credit must go to Dave Asprey and this is a link  to his recipe and his story of how this deliciousness came to be.  I have been absolutely amazed at how great I feel drinking this coffee with either Grass Fed Butter (which is really just whipped cream folks) or some high quality coconut oil like Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil.

Here is my take on this yummy fall goodness.  Enjoy.

Dairy Free Pumpkin Spice "Bulletproof" Latte

6 - 8 oz of fresh brewed coffee
2 T of Pumpkin Puree
2 T Coconut Cream
1 t Pumpkin Pie Spice
2 T Maple Syrup
1 1/2 T Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil
1 T Tin Star Foods Brown Butter Ghee
dash of Cinnamon for the top of the drink

Place all of the ingredients in either a blender or you could use an immersion blender like I do.  If using an immersion blender you will need to place the ingredients in a glass twice as tall as needed.  This extra space will be needed for the whipping and frothing.  Blend all of the ingredients until well combined, approx 1 minute.  If using the immersion blender make sure to push it up and down the full length of the glass and at the end let it blend close to the top of the mixture to help create a nice froth.

What takes this recipe to a whole new level is the addition of the Brown Butter Ghee.  You have to try this stuff.  It is absolutely amazing and I'm using it in all of my baked goods these days.  It adds such a depth of flavor to the drink that you cannot get with plain ghee or coconut milk.

**This recipe would also be delicious with some whipped Coconut Cream added to the top.** 

Pour your combined mixture into your favorite glass.  Add a dash of cinnamon to the top and enjoy! 

 I had to take a sip!
SheShe's Gluten Free

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Cauliflower Pizza Crust - Gluten Free and Paleo

Oh Mah Lawrd!!!  I am a happy gal.  I've been playing with this cauliflower pizza crust recipe for a little bit and I'm calling it DONE.  This cauliflower pizza crust is gluten free, paleo, primal but not AIP (sorry AIP folks, I cannot figure out how to make things work without eggs).  The crust for these directions is super thin so if you want a thicker crust you'll need to adjust your cooking times.
This crust is also dairy free for all of my dairy free peeps out there.  Of course we added cheese as a topping but it's not the driving force that makes the crust hold together.  Another win.

"Ricing" the cauliflower.  This is still too big, so processing some more. 

Why am I adding cauliflower to my pizza crust?  Not something the ordinary person would do but it's all the rage these days.  My goal is to get more vegetables into our diet and not add a bunch funky ingredients.  Living in the Midwest and 25 miles from the nearest basic grocery store items like yucca flour, hazelnut flour, etc aren't available here.   So my recipe includes items that can be purchased at a store in a town of 4,500 people.  

Cooked cauliflower with lots of yummy brown bits.  Be sure to scrape that pan. 

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

16 oz Frozen Cauliflower
11/2 t garlic powder
1 t Italian seasoning
1/2 cup Tapioca Flour
1/4 c Coconut Flour
3 eggs - large size
1 T butter or Ghee

**Additional butter and garlic powder needed - follow the directions.

Squeezing the liquid out of the cooked cauliflower.  This is a must.

  • Preheat your over to 400 degrees and place your pizza stone in the oven so both can pre-heat.
  • Slightly thaw your cauliflower and place half of the bag into your food processor.  Pulse the cauliflower until it appears to be about the size of a grain of rice.  
  • After the first half of cauliflower is processed down to a smaller size dump the contents into a hot (ungreased) skillet.  
  • Pour the last half of the cauliflower into the food processor as you did above.  After it is processed add it to the hot skillet.
  • Cook the "riced" cauliflower for approximately 10 minutes, stirring every minute or so.  
    •  (Cooking the cauliflower not only removes the "raw" taste but also makes it easier to combine with other ingredients and also easier to remove excess moisture)
  • Stop cooking the cauliflower when it is soft and has lots of browned cauliflower pieces.
  • Put the cauliflower into a strainer that has been lined with a tea towel or flour sack towel.
  • Once the cauliflower is cool enough to handle you will want to gather the sides of the towel together and twist the towel to ring out as much excess moisture as possible.  When you think you've removed all the moisture keep going and going.  It will take some patience to remove all the excess moisture.  (If you do not do this well your crust will be very wet and have a poor texture.)
  • Place the cauliflower into a mixing bowl and add the garlic powder (not salt), Italian seasoning, Tapioca flour, and Coconut flour.  Use a fork to combine all the ingredients.
  • Break the eggs into a small bowl and gently whisk them before adding them to the dry ingredients.  Mix the eggs until they are completely combined.  This mixture should now be able to form a ball.  It will be sticky and it will stay together. 

My mixture is more yellow due to my raising my own chickens and their glorious golden yolks. 

  •  Remove your pizza stone from the oven and add your oil of choice to coat the bottom of the stone.
  • (pre-heating the stone is vital in getting a perfectly cooked crust)
  • Dump the crust mixture onto your greased, hot pizza stone.
  • Using a piece of parchment paper that is bigger than the size of your stone begin pressing the dough out to the edges of the stone.  Be careful not to burn yourself.  
  • Place the pizza dough into the oven and bake for 12 minutes.
    • ** After 12 minutes of baking remove the crust.  Take a stick of butter or ghee, and spread a light layer all over the top of the hot crust, then sprinkle the top with additional garlic powder.
  • Bake for another two minutes.

Look at that crust, edges slightly brown and really thin.

  • After 14 minutes of baking time remove the crust and add your choice of sauce and toppings. 
  • Bake for another 8 - 10 minutes.
  • Remove the pizza from the oven and top with your choice of cheese.  
  • You can place the pizza back in the oven to melt the cheese for 2 min if desired, or simply let it melt on the hot pizza.

The finished product ready to devour.  

TaDa!  Boy that sounds like a lot but it's really not once you do it once.  My next attempt is to cook up some "riced" cauliflower in pre-packed portions so I can skip that part and see how it behaves.  


-- Frozen cauliflower - Why? because it's cost effective and it's easier to maintain a precise measurement than buy using fresh.  Fresh can be used but you'll have to measure out 16 oz of cauliflower.
-- Place your cooked and sliced pizza out a cooling rack.  This helps keep the crust from getting mushy.

I hope that you enjoy this recipe my friends as much as I've enjoyed putting it together for you.

Enjoy Friends.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Five Steps to Stay Gluten Free at a Cookout

Over the past weekend I was glutened at a cookout.  It's been three days and I'm still paying for it. The sad thing is I knew all the steps to take to avoid being glutened and I didn't heed any of my own advice.  Then I decided, maybe there are others who haven't laid out a plan to keep from being glutened at a cookout or party.  Here are the steps I should've taken to avoid becoming ill. 

Step 1.  Call the host.  
     If you feel comfortable enough with the person hosting the event call them and explain what gluten is in for various types of food.  This is a fantastic way to spread the gluten free message and help people understand the lifestyle.  Questions to ask them would be as follows:
  •      What will the main course be and how will it be prepared? 
  •      Will the food be marinated?  So many people don't have any idea that there is gluten in soy sauce.
  •      Will the main course be deep fried?  Items that are deep fried are sometimes fried with other foods that are not gluten free.  
  •      Will the main course be covered in batter?  99% of batter will be gluten laden. 
Step 2.  Offer to bring a side dish that is gluten free.
     When you provide a gluten free side dish you know for a fact that you will have a food that you can eat safely.  Again this gives you another opportunity to explain to others about the gluten free lifestyle.
    If the host insists you don't need to bring something bring a dish anyway.  Their best intentions might not be enough to keep you from ingesting gluten. 

Step 3.  Eat something before you go.
     Hunger is the first step to temptation.  If you are overly hungry then you will start to rationalize with your hungry self and convince yourself that the consequences won't be that bad.  This is especially hard if you see one of your favorite gluten filled foods from your past that you always indulged in.  So to avoid these known temptations eat a bit of something before you go so you aren't starving when you are ready to eat.

Step 4.  Keep a gluten free snack handy.
     Don't ever be empty handed.  If you cannot eat something light before you leave for a cookout then make sure you have something close by in case you cannot eat much of what is being prepared.  Mixed nuts are a great snack to keep handy, gluten free bars, dried fruit, or something homemade from home.  

Step 5.  Don't eat the gluten containing food to be kind to the host.
     Being kind to the host is not being kind to yourself.  Depending on your level of gluten sensitivity being kind by eating the hosts food can truly derail your healing and overall well being. Be kind to yourself first, you are completely worth it.

As you can see it's truly easy to remain gluten free while attending a cookout.  A tiny bit of planning can save you days of heartache tummy aches.

What do you do to help remain gluten free while attending cookouts?  Add your comments below.



Thursday, August 13, 2015

Peachy Pork Chop Salad

   This time of year local peaches are everywhere and I have to say we have some amazing peaches just a county away.  Folks setup road side stands to sell these peaches and they always sell out, they truly are that good.  I always buy a peck of peaches and wanted to be sure to use them all and not let any go to waste.  We had sliced peaches with pancakes. peaches in some gelatin, peaches in our smoothies and then we decided to try to make use peaches in our salad.

This salad and dressing are processed sugar free and full of great fat with yummy avocado oil. Of course you get some sugar from the peaches and the banana but that is natural sugar.  Yeah, yeah sugar is sugar, I agree, however if I'm going to eat sugar then I'd prefer it come from the fruit than sugar beets if I have a choice.

What I love about this salad is that you can use left over pork chops from a previous dinner and not have to heat up your kitchen during the sultry days of summer.  More love for this salad is that it's completely gluten free and primal/paleo.  I made this salad to mix things up while on the 21 Day Superhero Challenge by Emily Schromm, learn more about that here. 

4 Grilled or Baked Pork Chops (seasoned with salt and pepper)
Salad greens of choice - we love Romaine mixed with Spinach
4-5 peaches peeled and sliced
1/2 Banana
1 Large Carrot shaved 
3 T Avocado Oil
2 T Balsamic Vinegar
Salt & Pepper
Roasted Sliced Almonds - optional 
Serves 4 

Peachy Salad Dressing
Add one cup of sliced peaches to your Nutribullet  (affiliate link) or blender of choice, also add the Banana, Avocado Oil, and Balsamic Vinegar to the blender.  Blend the ingredients until all the fruit is completely incorporated and no lumps are visible. Add the salt and pepper to your liking.

Salad Assembly
Slice the cooked pork chops either into strips or cubes
Add two cups of clean prepared salad per each plate
Top with sliced peaches, Pork, and carrot shavings
Drizzle with Peachy Salad Dressing 
optional - sprinkle with almonds
Serve and Enjoy!!!

*Kitchen Tip:  Want to add some sweetness to a dish but don't want to send your blood sugar to the moon?  Use green tipped bananas in your recipe.  A green tipped banana is not as sweet as a ripe banana but still gives you that sweet taste you desire and doesn't affect your blood sugar as bad as normal white table sugar.*

Hope you enjoy this summertime dish and love this use of fresh peaches.  Keep eating real food.
Till next week....


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Friday, August 7, 2015

How to manage macro's on MyFitnessPal's app (Free Version)

Hey Folks, welcome back for another week at SheShe's Gluten Free.  This week I wanted to share with everyone how to manage your "Macros" using your My Fitness Pal app (free version) on your smart phone.  There is a whole community out there participating in the 21-Day Superhero Challenge and part of the challenge is to manage your diet and become a fat burner instead of a sugar burner. Once you've downloaded the free version of the My Fitness Pal app to your phone you'll be ready to go.  So below are the tips to manage your macro's (macronurtients) as you desire.  I'm not saying this is a one size fits all approach to managing your diet but it is really helpful.

Open your app "My Fitness Pal" on your smart phone.
First the app will open to your home screen, Once here click on the 3 dots in the lower right hand corner
Second click on the Goals option.

Once the Goals page is open your next selection is to open the Calorie & Macronutrient Goals option.

Now the Calories & Macros screen is open, click on any of the blue options of Carbohydrates - Protein  or Fat.  They all open the same edit screen.  Your Calorie goal can be entered here as well.

On the screen below select how you want to measure your Macros, either a percentage or by grams.  This example uses percentages. By tapping the screen with your finger under each macro you can scroll up or down to select the percentage for each macronutrient you desire, noting all three must add up to 100%.  When you are happy with your selections click the check mark in the upper right hand corner of the screen.

Now your macros are set and once you start entering your meals into the My Fitness Pal app it will calculate the macros for each meal entered and will total them for the entire day assuming you entered food for the whole day.  

To view the macros you have consumed for a day again you will click on the 3 dots in the bottom right hand corner and then you will click on the Nutrition option.

In this menu option you can view your macro consumption as a pie chart, the individual nutrients consumed or the caloric equivalent of your daily consumption.  

How about that?  Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.  Well sort of but at least it's not as hard as you thought it might be and best of all this is the free version.  

What else would you like a tutorial on?  I love putting this stuff together and up for the challenge.  Good luck to all the macro trackers out there.  Especially the awesome 21 Day Superhero Challenge Community.  

Till next week,

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

What's happening in my world...

I've been struggling since last week on what to write for this weeks post.  I finally decided to show you a little bit of the "behind the scenes" of my real life.  Fasten your seat belts, it will be exciting.  (Joke)  I've been hesitant to share too much, mostly because I'm a huge introvert, but I just had the urge to talk some more about my chickens and now I have a platform for it.  (if you aren't chuckling then you need to be).

So if you've read my About page you'll know that I live in the middle of nowhere, and I love it here.  Because we live pretty remote I get to spend a lot of time with this guy.  He's also know as "the hubby" "the hubs" and "the hubster" and my best friend.  He means the world to me and has made so many of my dreams come true.  At this time we've been married 19 years and I am truly grateful for him.

 The next tidbit about me is that I love smoothies.  I have several recipes for them here and here and here.  I  usually have a smoothie every work day of the week.   Smoothies are great for me because I'm terrible at getting out of bed on time.  This is a big problem for me.  I love to sleep.  I've always been a good sleeper, at least until I turned 36 then it all went down hill from there and I've been working hard to get that quality back in my life.  Also I drive about 45 minutes to the office one way so I have plenty of time to enjoy some portable food.  My drive time has turned into my learning time, I'm either listening to podcasts or books and I took something that I despised and turned it into a positive.  Plus everyday is a new smoothie concoction.  Some are better than others but it's a great way for me to get some much needed veggies into my diet.

  Another thing that is keeping me busy is the finishing of our house.  We started building our house in 2006, moved in 2007 but it wasn't finished.  The awesome thing about this is that we've taken our time in selecting the items that get added to the house.  There are very few changes that we would make because of this benefit.  The bad thing about taking so long to finish is that everyone makes fun of us for living in an un-finished house.  Well guess what, jokes on you because I'm happy as a clam over here in the middle of nowhere.  Plus now I know how to lay tile, grout, stain woodwork, distress wood, build a raised bed, how to use a nail gun, etc, etc,

Next on the agenda at our house is the garden.  Here in the middle of Illinois we've had more rain than we've seen in years.  Therefore, the garden is overgrown with weeds.  In the above pictures you'll where I've been weed eating the garden just to find the plants.  You'll also see the yellowing leaves of the broccoli because of the copious amounts of rain we've received.  Also above is a loverly picture of myself showing how cute I am after a couple hours of weed eating and picking green beans.  You gotta do what you gotta do.  

One of new all time favorite additions to our little farm is our 17 hens and 2 roosters.  We raised chickens when I was a child and we also butchered them so I'm no "romantic" when it comes to these birds.  They are here for a purpose to provide amazingly good quality eggs and eventually meat to our family.  However, I never dreamed how much joy they would bring to my life.  Watching them brings so much joy to my day.  Plus my husband calls them my posse because when I'm outside they follow me everywhere.  Hey, everybody needs groupies.

In case chickens weren't enough we also have 4 beagles that protect us, the chickens and the garden.  I've only shown two here because I'm missing some pictures of the girls.  Beagles are by far my favorite dog.  They are so easy to train, they love kids, and they are just so darn lovable.  Plus their super cute.  I love the picture above of Remi's ears flapping in the breeze.  Those ears are adorable.

 This week I started Emily Schromm's 21-Day Superhero Challenge for the second time.  Here I am donning my perfect score t-shirt from the May challenge.  I'm a sucker for a t-shirt.  Emily has put together a great on line challenge that gives you not only exercises but food recommendations, a Facebook community, daily video encouragement and a daily check in to keep you accountable.
I loved her last challenge so much that I dedicated last weeks post to it and you can access that here.
Another great thing about Emily's workouts are the modifications for beginners or those of us recovering from a multitude of auto-immune craziness.  I can do her workouts and not feel miserable afterwords and still get some amazing movement completed.

Here's me at my workplace trying to see if I'd like to have a standing desk.  Yes I'm using reams of paper under my monitors and yes that is an old box from a printer precariously holding my keyboard and mouse.  Hey, it worked.  It was actually pretty comfortable.  I'm still trying to figure out how to make it work and cheap but I'm in no hurry.
And lastly some gorgeous zinnias cut from my garden.  Normally every year we plant a thick row of zinnias as the first row of the garden.  We did that this year but very few actually grew.  The rain has been hard on everything.  So this year I won't have huge vases of them like I usually do but I'm still enjoying each one that I can. 

So that's a little about my life.  It sure sounds like a lot when you write it all out but I still have time to read, sit on the porch and watch my chickens, pet the dogs, and cook meals for the hubs.  Overall it's a pretty good life that I've been given.  It's not without it's down times but even those times eventually turn into something good.  It's really all about perspective.

Have a great week my friends and if your looking for any particular recipe converted to a gluten free or paleo recipe I'd love to figure that out for you so leave me a comment below and I'll do my best.
Till next time,

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Review: 21-Day Superhero Challenge

Are you like me and don't really care to go to the gym?  You know you need to workout but you think everyone is staring at you?  Or do you just prefer to work out in the privacy of your own home and you own a few barbells or kettle bells.  Do you need a way to keep yourself motivated and accountable? Then I recommend that you try Emily Schromm's 21-Day Superhero Challenge.  After completing the May challenge I knew I had to share this with everyone that I could because I found it so helpful and encouraging.  

I used to be an extremely active person until I had an adrenal fatigue crisis about three years ago.  I'm still recovering but I'm much better than I was.  During the crisis I couldn't take a walk without feeling like someone had beat me up the next day.  Therefore I quit exercising all together because of the added stress it put on my body.  

Fast forward three years and I'm wanting to get even healthier and possibly lose some weight since I've gained an extra 20+ pounds with all of the adrenal issues.  I'm not a New Years Resolution kind of woman so I don't even go there.  But this past April 16, 2015 I listened to the Balanced Bites podcast where Diane Sanfilippo interviews Emily Schromm. Balance Bites Podcast featuring Emily Schromm

Emily is a former reality TV show personality who learned how to love herself by way of the gym and through proper nutrition.  Her lifestyle change was so impactful she knew it was calling her to to help other people unleash their inner superhero.  She stared her own business, Unleashed Fitness in Denver, Co in 2012.  She is a certified in NASM (personal training certification) and a certified Cross fit coach.  She also is finishing her NTP program, running the 21-Day Superhero Challenge and filming for Women's Health Next Fitness Star DVD's.  This gal has it going on!

So let's get to the point of this post, the 21-Day Superhero Challenge.

Emily has put together an amazing program that lasts (as you guessed) 21 days.  You sign up on line at her website: Unleashed Fitness
and you select the type of plan you want to be a part of.  When i took the challenge in May there was only the Basic Plan and I loved it.  With her Basic challenge you get:

- 21 daily videos with an exercise and/or nutritional information
- 3 weeks of Meal Plans and Grocery List (super wonderful)
- The "Life After the Challenge" Guide
- Daily Accountability where you need to log points for day
- Access to a Huge Community Forum with like minded people
- And Prizes are awarded to those who achieve perfect scores.

The biggest perks for me in this challenge was the Daily Accountability Points.  I'm a tiny bit competitive so that really fueled me to stay on task and I love getting things for free.  Here's a couple of the items on the daily checklist: Did you refrain from alcohol today?, Did you take a fish oil supplement today? Did you complete the workout today? just to name a few.  That's not hard, is it?  But just having that little reminder that I needed to log on each day to get my points was wonderful for me, and on the weekends I was able to complete that from my iphone.  

Emily also sends you a daily email with a short video.  I believe that her longest video in the last challenge was 9 minutes, maybe 10.  So skip stalking people of Facebook for 10 minutes a day and watch a video that shows you how to complete the exercises of the day and get motivated by the sweetest, most talented trainer on the web today.  Also, for those of you like me who have fallen out of the workout world, she shows you how to do the exercises in beginner, moderate and advanced forms so know one is excluded.  I'll admit that several of my exercises were done in the beginner form but at least I was moving.  And last but not least you don't need anything but a couple of dumbbells or kettle bells, that's it, no special equipment.

And for those of you who struggle to know what to eat, Emily has it all figured out.  You get a weekly meal plan along with a shopping list.  She takes the time to make this easy for you so there are very few excuses left.  Once you take a look at the meal plans you get a really good idea of what's expected of you.  There's no meal package to buy but instead a focus on REAL FOOD and cooking at home as much as possible.  

What are the benefits to this challenge:
#1 The cost in minimal if you go with the Basic Plan
#2 You are being held accountable for your actions (assuming you can be honest)
#3 You don't have to think about what is next as Emily delivers it all to you daily
#4 You will have more energy, it will take a few days but you the extra energy will come.
#5 Your sleep will be better.  My sleep hasn't been that good in a long time.  I was amazed.
#6 You will feel better about yourself.
#7 You'll probably lose a few pounds, that wasn't my overall goal so I didn't track it carefully.  My goal is just to increase my overall health.
#8 She has the best hashtag #beyourownsuperhero

If you haven't guessed it I am signing up for the next challenge that begins on July 27th and I'm looking forward to it.  This time around Emily has added even more goodies: there is a Basic Plan, the Next Level plan, the You + Four plan, and an Intro Pack.  

The struggle for good health is a real one and when you fail to plan you plan to fail.  

Have you joined an on line workout challenge and enjoyed it?  Please share your experience in the comments below.

I hope you enjoy this review and find it helpful.