Monday, 4 February 2013

30 Day Challenge Results and Testimonials


Participants replaced certain foods with healthier options and committed to sticking to it for 30 Days being accountable to one another and to me in various forms. Some were on Facebook and others on, those who were not on social media kept in contact with me via email and by reading my blogs. We have reached the end of our challenge and participants have self- evaluated how they did. I posted suggested recipes and participants tried them and sent me back their photos. Here is one of the Quinoa Vegetable soup recipe made by Crystal of Regina, SK.

You would think that now that the nutritional challenge is over that I would be sitting here with a cup of coffee while I write this blog. I am not, is the challenge over? Yes. Can I have coffee if I want to? Yes. Do I want one right now? No. Will I ever have coffee again? Yes, but it will be a treat all on it's own, not a 'Stumble out of bed and grab a coffee before I am even awake' scenario. The habit is broken. Benefits to this are two fold, yes that habit of just grabbing a coffee or 9 is broken,but also as discussed before if you have been following my blogs at all, coffee interferes with your hormones and your absorption of nutrients. That is why you shouldn't have coffee with your meals, particularly if you have low Iron. (Hang on  a second while pause to sip of my green tea which is full of antioxidants and other good things) SIDE NOTE: If you are someone with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune condition, PLEASE CLICK HERE AND READ THIS NOW!
I want you to know that I do each and every challenge along with participants and we are in it together. I replaced Sugar, dairy, wheat, alcohol and soft drinks.Two cups of coffee a day went down from about 10 cups. After a week I replaced coffee with Green tea, Rooibos Tea, Yerba Mate Tea and Peppermint tea. This Challenge was good to help me to break habits that had formed over the holidays and I was glad to be accountable to the rest of the ladies to keep me focused. I lost 5 pounds in total and many inches.


  1. Kristin - Detroit, U.S.A. She is going to curb: White processed carbs - white sugar/white flour. - She had to drop out due to a serious sinus infection and health issues. While she was in it though, she was upbeat and enthusiastic.
  2. Sheila - Cape Town, South Africa. She is going to fight the urge to eat: Hard Cow's Milk cheeses. At the end of 30 Days she wrote, "I lost 1.3kgs - 2.86 pounds in the month. I didn't measure anything - but my day-to-day Jeans keep falling down. I'll have a go with my skinny jeans tomorrow." She also wrote,"thanks for the accountability and the encouragement - it's definitely kept me on track - and tracking is showing me that I'm fully aware of when I'm pushing the limits, but also making sure that I eat enough on days when otherwise I wouldn't. Those are probably days when I drink excessive quantities of water. I'm going to focus on reducing carbs and increasing Protein, next month... There were a few bumps along the way with celebrations and occasions, but no train smashes, and I never got to use my Get out of Jail card. I look forward to the next challenge,Thank you so much for the accountability - long may it last..."
  3. Crystal from Regina, SK, Canada and she is going to start with curbing the coffee habit. She is aiming to stay down to 1 caffeinated cup of tea a day. She wrote, "We did it! Happy dance! I did really well on the white carbs overall and didn't give in other than when the situation sort of dictated it. Soda-way down consistently. Working hard to keep it that way so I don't necessarily have to give it up totally. However, if I have to give it up I will. Coffee - other than my one slip up early on, I stayed off of it and kept my caffeine tea to 2 cups or less all the time except a couple, and it was never more than 3. Feeling great! Weight stayed the same but my tummy is definitely flatter, a lot flatter. And bad time to be weighing in for me so maybe my weight is down a couple of pounds. Measurements made me happy. Weight - no change; Arm - up 1/4 inch; Waist - down 1.5 inch;Leg - down 3/8 inch"
  4.  Elisabeth from San Carlos, Mexico says she is going to cut out white carbs (potatoes and rice) and coffee. After a week she cut out dairy too. And then she added in the rest of the list too. She has seen tremendous results and is now transitioning to lifestyle eating. One thing to note is that Elisabeth increased her vegetable consumption and kept her protein sources consistent. She wrote,"I would think the biggest thing that hinders people with a challenge is their MIND. If your mind isn't in the right place to do this, it is very hard to stick with it. It becomes too easy make excuses when you don't have focus and it becomes a slippery slope. I know that I needed this challenge to get me focused and the accountability kept me there. Thank you for all your hard work in organising this and for all your encouragement along the way!" On the weigh in and measure day she was the participant that had lost the most weight. Not only did she do the right things, she had a positive attitudede. She wrote,"I lost 8.7 pounds and 5-1/4 inches overall.
    It has been a great challenge, thanks again for leading it. Being accountable put my mind in focus and it takes that to make it work. 'If your mind isn't in it, it isn't going to happen' I think that applies to everything we do in life."
  5. Anna from Australia is going to be starting with white carbs. She had some major health issues part way through the challenge and had to stop, she gave her feedback nontheless:  "I didn't complete the challenge but I was happy with myself that I did cut down considerably on the white flour and sugar and have lost about 700 gr, so I am happy as I had a lot of antibiotics and that somehow makes me eat. I did follow your blogs and everyone's progress. Congratulations Mel you are a born leader. Congratulations to everyone who participated as well."
  6. Karie-Ann from Elmira, Canada wants to give up alcohol, pop and coffee. She wrote."I am feeling pretty good Mel!!! I didn't get around to the exercise part, but I will stay on with the no coffee, at least not as much as I did before!"
  7. Bonnie from Toronto, Canada is going to to cut out alcohol and dairy. Low and behold, without realising it, she has since added coffee to her list almost by accident. Bonnie was so eager to do things right and she has a hunger to learn more. She wrote, "This was a wonderful exercise for me to go through - I learnt a lot about the healthier choices out there and I also learnt a lot about myself along the way. I would love to add an exercise element to my new diet so if you are thinking of doing another exercise challenge please let me know!"
  8.  Betty from Vancouver Island is going to start with sugar, white carbs and alcohol. She reported, "Thanks again for putting this challenge together for us. It was an interesting time and it really did make me feel different about how I am going to do things moving forward…I lost about 4-6 pounds (my scale isn’t the best) and about 3 or 4 inches in total. The most noticeable was my upper arm which is great. Love that."
  9. Gail in Ottawa, CA - her challenge is as follows: first sugar (then wheat, then dairy) Gail is not new to the idea of cutting sugar and is on a journey to freedom from sugar.
  10. Cheryl, Toronto, CA - Alcohol and to cut down on coffee and minimize sugar. "My loss was about 4.5 pounds and a few inches if you ‘add them all up’"
  11. Mallory from Toronto is replacing White Carbs, with a view to cutting back on sugar. She wrote,"[It] feels good to consciously choose a whole grain instead of a starchy carb, even though I was mostly doing it anyways!! didn't really weigh in, but i feel better mentally for sure!"
  12. Sue from Nottingham UK is replacing sugar. 
  13. Nina in Oregon: Joining the goal by ditching sugar and flour - the white stuff. At the end of the challenge she reported,"So, here's the verdict of the challenge...No sugar/white flour.
    -6.8 Lbs, -4.25 inch. A much flatter stomach. I do not think the white stuff are my friends! It was a pleasure being in the challenge with you all. Thank you for being there as it really helped me stay on track. A special Thanks to Mel who made it happen!"
  14. Glenda from Toronto, Ontario, Canada is replacing wheat. She wrote, "What I learnt from eliminating wheat: I was in Cuba for a good portion of my 30 day challenge where large quantities of delicious food was readily available. I ate HUGE amounts of vegetables and fruits, fish, meat, and nuts and some cheese. I stayed away from all baked goods, breads, and breaded food. I continued to exercise daily. When I returned to Canada and stepped on the scale I was surprised to see that I hadn't gained any weight despite the massive amounts of food I ate. Now that I am back in Canada, I do eat grains, but not wheat."
  15. Jan from Pennsdale, PA is going to replace white carbs. Jan was new to this sort of thing and she is commended for having the courage to start the challenge.
 I asked participants what they thought would be the biggest hindrance to success was, and let me tell you what I have found. FEAR is what is the biggest obstacle, fear of failure and lack of believe in yourself will cripple you. For most of us on the challenge the first weeks were not easy, but we pushed through knowing we could do this and that it would be worth it in the end. Some were pleasantly surprised that it turned out to be a lot easier than they expected once they set their mind to it. THAT IS KEY: They set their mind to it. That is as simple as it is! 

I am going to make a few changes for the next challenge in the rules, one of them will be that if you "drop out" you will have to report to me and let me know and also explain why. This challenge has been most successful to those who have been accountable to me, to the group and to themselves. If you are battling, we want to be there to help you and encourage you. The next challenge starts on March 1st and I will have more details later. It is going to be fun and if you stick with it, you will get results! 
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Melony Teague a freelance writer and columnist who lives in Canada with her husband and two young children.
Founder of "Secrets of Body Transformation from the Inside Out" 
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