Join me in the Fall Into Fitness Two-Week Challenge to get you back on track! Perfect for beginners, this includes both a clean eating family-friendly meal plan for the week, as well as workout suggestions to get you up and moving. Form healthy habits and have fun as we do this together!
Hi, friends! Welcome back! This is the second in a two-part series, so if you’re joining me for the first time you can jump in right now, or you can check out Week 1’s Meal Plans and Workouts HERE.
I have included a suggested workout schedule for the week, as well as plenty of healthy recipes. The idea is to get up, get moving, and get your diet back on track. You don’t need to count calories, and you don’t need to exercise for hours each day. Aim for 20-30 minutes of exercise 6 days per week, along with a clean diet that is free from as many processed foods as possible (lots of lean protein, fruits, veggies, and complex carbs!). If you keep these two goals in mind, I promise: you will feel so much better after just two weeks that you’ll be itching to keep it going!
FALL INTO FITNESS: WEEK 2 WORKOUT SUGGESTIONS
(you can download a printable PDF copy of the workouts HERE)
WORKOUT 1: CARDIO
Get up and get moving for about 30 minutes! You can choose to walk, jog, or use your favorite cardio equipment at the gym (StairMaster, Elliptical Machine, etc.); OR choose between this Do-Anywhere 20-Minute Workout (no equipment necessary!) or this 20-Minute No-Excuses Workout
WORKOUT 2: STRENGTH TRAINING
Try this Total Body Strength Training Workout for Beginners OR this Total-Body Circuit Workout (no equipment necessary)
WORKOUT 3: CARDIO
See Day 1 – try something new, or repeat your favorite exercise!
WORKOUT 4: STRENGTH TRAINING
See Day 2 – try something new, or repeat your favorite workout!
WORKOUT 5: CARDIO
See Day 1 – try something new, or repeat your favorite exercise!
WORKOUT 6: YOGA/STRETCHING
Stretch those muscles for about 20 minutes, take a deep breath, and spend some time relaxing! You can try this Free 20-Minute Yoga Workout for Complete Beginners (video); this 20-Minute Power Yoga for Beginners (video); this Long and Lean Full-Body Yoga Flow (no video necessary); OR pick up a copy of one of my recent favorites: this AM/PM Yoga for Beginners DVD (ß affiliate link)
Pressed for Time? Something is always better than nothing! If you only have a few minutes, try to squeeze in one of these 4-Minute Tabata Workouts…there’s one for every day of the week!
Okay, so now that you’ve got your exercise routine planned for the week, let’s take a look at your meals. These are only suggestions! Feel free to enjoy your favorite healthy meals and adapt these ideas as necessary. Remember: keep portion sizes in check, eat three meals per day, and enjoy reasonable snacks in between meals whenever you feel hungry. You should be eating every 3 hours (or so) to stay energized and to avoid overeating at your next meal. Keep that metabolism humming by fueling it with plenty of nutritious options! And please understand that this is NOT about perfection! If you overeat at one meal, or if you indulge a bit too much on Friday pizza night, that’s okay. We’re working towards overall progress, so get back on track at your next meal and aim for better decisions going forward. You can do this!!
FALL INTO FITNESS: WEEK 2 MEAL SUGGESTIONS
(you can download a printable PDF copy of these Meal Suggestions HERE)
1. Wholegrain Toast with Peanut Butter or Almond Butter and Banana Slices on Top
2. 1 cup Greek Yogurt with ¼ cup granola (or other cereal of choice), 1 tablespoon chopped nuts, and 1 diced pear (or other fruit)
3. Blueberry Muffin Overnight Oats from Eat Yourself Skinny
5. Healthy Pumpkin Muffins from Bren Did (a great freezer-friendly make-ahead option) served with a glass of milk, Greek yogurt, or cottage cheese; as well as a piece of fruit
7. Glazed Honey Bun Breakfast Cookies (another make-ahead option and freezer-friendly); serve with plain Greek yogurt + honey and cinnamon (or your choice of yogurt) and a piece of fruit
8. Quick Breakfast Burrito: 1 egg + 2 egg whites scrambled and stuffed inside 1 wholegrain tortilla with salsa and 2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese; serve with a piece of fruit
1. Quick Roasted Chicken Sandwich: Grab two slices of wholegrain bread; spread with mustard, light mayonnaise, and/or hummus; stuff with sliced cooked chicken breast (use rotisserie, grilled, or roasted – whatever is easiest); top with lettuce, tomato, pickles, and any other veggies that you have on hand (try sliced cucumbers, black olives, sliced bell pepper); Serve with a sliced apple or pear
2. Healthy Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps from The Happy Gal (this is a great make-ahead option that you can prepare on the weekend); serve with a piece of fruit and/or raw veggies dipped in 2 tablespoons hummus
3. The Best Roasted Butternut Squash Soup: serve with a wholegrain roll and top with plain Greek yogurt for added protein
4. Tuna Salad English Muffin: mix ½ cup canned tuna in water (drained) with 2 tablespoons hummus; spread on wholegrain English muffin; serve with your favorite fruit on the side
5. Healthy Sweet Potato Wrap from Show Me the Yummy
6. Butternut Squash Salad with Candied Nuts (add leftover cooked chicken or other meat of your choice for additional protein!)
7. Thai Peanut Chicken Salad (another make-ahead option): this is great stuffed inside a wholegrain tortilla or served on top of brown rice, quinoa, or a bed of lettuce
Running Late? Grab a stick or 2 of reduced-fat cheese; 1 serving wholegrain crackers (I like Mary’s Gone Crackers brand; Wasa Crispbread; and Blue Diamond NutThins); enjoy with an apple and carrots or red bell pepper strips dipped in 2 tablespoons of hummus
Any of the BREAKFAST OPTIONS (above) will also work well as a mid-day meal, or use up some leftovers from the DINNER OPTIONS (below)!
2. Healthy Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken (shown here served over salad, but this is also great served over brown rice or quinoa with a side of steamed broccoli!)
3. Cajun Jambalaya from Clean Eating
4. Minestrone Soup (one of my all-time favorites!): serve with a wholegrain roll
5. BBQ Chicken Flatbread Pizza from Dashing Dish
7. Healthy Kung Pao Chicken from Fit Foodie Finds
8. Healthy Chicken and Broccoli Tetrazzini from Bless This Mess
9. 10-Minute Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas from Dashing Dish
Family Pizza Night? We like to order carry-out pizza as a treat on a Friday evening. Enjoy a slice or two of thin-crust pizza that is loaded with veggies! Keep the serving size moderate and add a salad on the side.
1. Half Peanut Butter & Honey Sandwich: Use one slice of hearty wholegrain bread and spread with 1 tablespoon of nut butter and a drizzle of honey, a teaspoon of all-fruit jam, or sliced banana (this is one of my favorite snacks to take on-the-go!)
2. Paleo Pumpkin Bars from Hummusapien
3. ¾ cup shelled edamame
4. Chocolate Lovers Protein Granola from Dashing Dish
5. Gingersnap Cookie Protein Shake (also a great breakfast option if you bulk it up with a side of fruit and/or a piece of toast)
6. Lemon Blueberry Energy Bites from Pancake Warriors
7. Double-Chocolate Fudge Protein Bars from Running With Spoons
8. Fruit n’ Yogurt: Your favorite flavor of yogurt (opt for one that’s low in sugar) topped with fresh berries
9. Slow Cooker Oatmeal Raisin Baked Apples (I love to serve these with a dollop of vanilla Greek yogurt)
10. Cheese and Crackers OR Nut Butter Crackers: 1 serving of wholegrain crackers with 1 ounce of your favorite low-fat or full-fat cheese or spread with 1 tablespoon nut butter of choice
11. Raw veggies dipped in hummus or a Greek yogurt-based dip is always a good option!
12. A handful of your favorite nuts
So what do you think?! Are you in? Have you finished your first week? If so, how did it go?
If you’re just starting out, I would suggest that you pick a day to begin your Challenge and prepare yourself in advance. Select a few new recipes to try, go to the grocery store to make sure that you have all of your ingredients on hand for the week, and schedule your workouts into your calendar. I love to plan social dates with my girlfriends to walk or exercise whenever possible, so that’s another great way to squeeze it in while still having fun. Enjoy, work hard, and FEEL BETTER this season!!
I can’t wait to hear how it goes!!