Meet Lauren Flora, Remote HWC Participant!
Lives in Roanoke, Va
Married to Adam for 6 yrs
Two kiddos, ages 5 and 3
Professor of Audiology, Radford University
Lauren and her husband, Adam, (my awesome sister-in-law and brother!) are two of several remote participants in the AOCF Habit-Forming Wellness Nutrition Challenge. Last night, I had the chance to catch up with Lauren via FaceTime to see how things were going as we hit the halfway point! Below is a summary of our discussion! (Note: Lauren’s responses are paraphrased and have been reviewed by her before publication.)
Have you done a challenge like this before?
Yes. After our daughter (second child) was born in October (2014) my husband and I decided to do a Whole30/Paleo challenge that January. I wanted to lose baby weight, but I was also concerned about my milk production going down, so I researched how to tweak the diet as a new mom. I was really impressed with the results! Now, we do “maintenance Paleo” each year after the New Year and right before bathing suit season.
How has this challenge been different?
Changing our diet has been easy; it gives us a new challenge! Adam (husband) and I consider it a challenge each week to find good recipes that we want to try. We both like food with a lot of flavor, so looking up new recipes to fit our tastes is like a game for us.
We do all of our meal prep on Sunday and typically shop beforehand. We do a lot of meal prep together, and we are big fans of the crockpot!
I typically look at recipes each night and I’ll send Adam a bunch of links Friday or Saturday, so he can weigh in on them. I find a lot of stuff on Pinterest, which can be a little annoying and overwhelming at time, but Pinterest and Paleo Leap are my go tos. I’m also beginning to get familiar with certain bloggers who post paleo-friendly recipes (ex: physical kitchness and Jay’s Baking Me Crazy)
Next week our challenge is to find former blue apron recipes we like and turn them into “challenge approved” recipes. Like we see where we could switch up a rice cake with a lettuce wrap for a Korean BBQ dish.
The hardest parts so far have been breakfast. We both tend to skip breakfast, so adding it in and getting green veggies in with it has been tough. I started making smoothies and blending spinach in, we also make egg muffins. My kids LOVE egg muffins; even the ones with spinach! Now, we don’t tell them its spinach in there, haha but they eat them up. They get upset if they don’t get an egg muffin in the morning!
The other hard things are getting in four meals a day and working out.
*SIDE NOTE: Lauren and Adam were tasked with adding 20 – 30 min of exercise in on the week our gym participants were told to add a “post WOD shake.”
I have a hard schedule with teaching class, clinic hours, taking the kids to swim lessons, and just having some “family time” at home at the end of the day. The workouts are tough; we have equipment at the house, but it’s difficult when I am home alone with the kids. They’re young, and ever present, so it then becomes more of them wanting to “workout” and do what I’m doing without waiting patiently for me to finish my reps, so I’m not really exercising but rather watching them play with my exercise stuff. Everything else though has been awesome, and we’ve been holding to the challenge pretty well!
How is it doing the challenge with husband and kiddos?
It is super helpful to have Adam doing it too.And the kids are into some of it too! We just made a ton of meatballs for the Super Bowl, and they ate them! They love egg muffins and ask for one every morning. Ultimately, they are trying some of the food, but they are still at an age where if my oldest doesn’t like it then the younger won’t like it either, haha. The other week we made this lime chicken with guacamole; we didn’t give them the guac on top, but they loved the chicken! The are also eating seafood: shrimp and some fish. Both kids even ate and liked canned smoked herring, and were totally fine with it!
*I asked how it was having “kid food/snacks” in the house…
Honestly, it’s not a problem. For us, September – December is birthday and holiday season, so we’re burned out on that stuff (the candy, cakes, cookies, etc), and I am always ready for a change in January.
So, how are you feeling?
I feel good! I don’t know how to explain it, but my gut feels better. I don’t have that “grossness” that I feel from October to December. It’s tough to explain, but it’s a feeling of being full, even if you haven’t eaten anything. And then you just feel gross after you eat, etc. But since starting the challenge, that has gone away, and I have noticed that the bloat has gone down too. I feel lighter on the inside, even if it doesn’t show on the scale yet, and I feel better in general.
How do you feel about the next four weeks?
Optimistic! I know the diet isn’t changing and some of the eliminations weren’t too difficult because I wanted to eliminate that stuff. I’ll say I’m “cautiously optimistic” about the additions. It is just tough to make them work with my schedule and current lifestyle. Trying to figure out our schedule has been really hard; I want to make them work, but it has been tough. We run around with the kids all day and it is just proving to be hard to find that time for our own exercise, etc. Time has really been a challenge.
Any other busy, working moms out there have some thoughts on time and scheduling? This is definitely a pain point for lots of our busy parents!
Something else – Lauren is going above and beyond with the “wellness” aspect!
So, I have joined a book group at work comprised of other women that is reading The How of Happiness. The book discusses habits that we can starting forming to maintain lasting, sustainable happiness. It includes little self-reflection exercises and activities. I’m embracing this [HWC] challenge by bringing in other things with it, like this book club, so I can find ways to add in new habits that aren’t necessarily food and exercise strictly, but positive emotional habits as well. It’s a 10-week book club, so it works out really well with this challenge because I feel the longer timeframe for the challenge will enable me to establish and maintain better habits.
I LOVE this idea! Ladies – stay tuned, I will be reaching out to see if any of us would like to give The How of Happiness a try too!
To Lauren: thank you for sharing your experience thus far and being honest with the good and the bad!
Participants! Remember to share your own highs and lows in our HWC FB group; remember, we’re all in this together and here to offer each other tips, support, and laughs!
Are you ready to begin your own Habit-Forming Wellness Challenge? We are ready to help, and will be with you every step of the way! Contact us for your FREE consultation and let’s BEGIN.