Welcome to Eat. Live. Be. for a Better 2011

by Cate on January 3, 2011

ELB logo - largeAnd so it begins.

A month or two ago, Sarah and I were chatting about weight loss, and before you know it, a friendly competition was born.  It turns out we both want to lose 40 pounds, so the race to the finish is on.  As I get closer, it might turn out that 40 isn’t the magic number.  Maybe 37 is.  Or 32 is.  I’ll know when I get there.  By how it feels.  By how I feel.  And the closer I get, I can tell you, the more amazing it feels.

Once we decided to take the leap and have our own friendly competition, we reached out to a number of other bloggers (both food bloggers and non-food bloggers, alike) and amassed quite a fun group of ready and willing participants joining in on this new adventure.

But it’s not all about weight loss. Some are trying to exercise more (or more regularly).  Some are working on just less fast food or more healthy dinners for their kids.  Some are kicking the sugar habit.  Or the Diet Coke cans.  All our goals are slightly different, but we’re coming together to create and foster a support network. As you tackle anything in life, having a solid support network is often the difference between success and failure.

Every Monday, we will all be posting on a specific topic, and the last Monday of the month we will be sharing a progress report on how we’ve been doing.  This week, to kick us off right, our collective topic is sharing our goals.  Next week we will cover how to find support to help you meet your goals.  If you have a blog and would like to join in and post on the topic, please share your links below in the comments section.  The more the merrier!

Also, if you haven’t already, do check out the Eat. Live. Be. for a Better 2011 facebook page and “like” it.  We’ll be sharing tips and ideas, blog posts, giveaways and more along the way, and would love for you to join in on our fun.

Now how will I accomplish my goal of losing the “final forty?”  I’m going to continue doing much of the same that I did in 2010.  After all, it worked. To the tune of 56 pounds.  Can’t argue with those numbers, nor how it’s made me feel, inside and out.

  • I will continue “clean eating.”  The way my body feels when I treat it right is night and day different than when I don’t.  And now that I know, quite well, what that feels like, anything else would be doing my body and me a complete disservice.
  • I will continue to work out regularly.  I take several Zumba classes a week, and augment them with Pilates, walking and the stationary bicycle, and will continue to do so.
  • I will focus on water, water, water.  Admittedly I am terrible about it, and usually drop off at around 4 glasses a day.  I have nearly given up Diet Coke.  I no longer stock it in the house (and that’s where I drank the most of it), and only have it if we’re out somewhere, cutting my Diet Coke consumption to about 15-20% of what it originally was.  A dear pain-in-the-ass friend says that doesn’t count as giving up Diet Coke, so to shut him up, I’m going to try, again, to give it up completely.  Given I don’t drink coffee or tea, it’s my only source of caffeine.  Something that makes it all that much harder for this single Mama to give up.

Tomorrow, I’ll share one of my 2010 goals: met.  And the rest of the week, I’ll be sharing tips on achieving your goals, clean eating and more.  Consider this week on Sweetnicks to be the ultimate jump-start to getting us all going.

Now, enough about me.  Below is the list of other fine bloggers who are joining in for Eat. Live. Be. for a Better 2011.  Go check them out, read their posts and cheer them (and me!) on.  There are actually a few more coming, so stay tuned!

JennaJenna Hatfield, @FireMom, is a freelance writer/editor and newspaper photographer. She will turn 30 this year and wants to start this decade off on a healthy foot. She has 20 pounds to lose, but is mostly concerned with food choices, exercise and being generally “well.” She blogs at Stop, Drop & Blog.

KristenKristen Doyle is a freelance writer and the author behind the award winning blog, Dine & Dish. Nestled in Kansas City with 4 kids and her husband, Kristen’s writing career has spanned writing for both traditional media outlets such as newspapers and magazines as well as online resources including blogs and websites. Specializing in social media, culinary and women’s interest writing, Kristen’s ultimate goal is to bring families back to the table at dinner with recipes that both tempt the tastebuds and spark wonderful conversation.

JenJen and her husband Matt are lifelong residents of New Jersey who are just settling into their “empty nest” with two daughters away at college. Jen is passionate about fresh, local foods and travels the state in search of the best to share with her family, friends, and readers of her blog, NJ Epicurean. She is determined to prove that NJ is not a culinary wasteland devoid of culture and to foster an appreciation of the great “Garden State.”

CaseyCasey from The Starnes Family is at-home mom of 3 that loves cooking, relocating, travel, photography, writing, reading, motherhood, the Catholic church, Widespread Panic, farmers’ markets, winter sports, the beach, lima beans and LSU. She was raised in Texas, educated in Louisiana, married in San Francisco, back to Texas, relocated to Colorado, then to the Midwest, now in San Diego.

Sarah CaronSarah W. Caron is a writer, editor and journalist whose work has appeared in dozens of print and online publications. In addition to her blogs, Sarah’s Cucina Bella and Sassy Closet, she is a regular contributor to numerous websites including iVillage.com, SheKnows.com and Tablespoon.com. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, two kids and two beagles.

JoanneJoanne Bruno is a second year MD/Ph.D student in the Weill Cornell/Rockefeller/Sloan-Kettering Tri-Institutional program. Her food blog, Eats Well With Others, provides insight into the often ridiculous and always delicious thoughts, ramblings, experiences, and food that she encounters along the way to getting two degrees.  After sustaining a running related injury and gaining twenty too many pounds in 2010, she is ready to get her rock star body back in 2011!

ClaireClaire is halfway through my residency in pediatrics.  She LOVES her job, but sometimes, it just doesn’t leave much time for cooking.  Add to that the fact that she’s cooking just for herself, and you can imagine that her actual cooking is few and far between.  Oh, yes, she finds time to bake…that is stress relief for her… and her colleagues love her for it!  However, she really does like to cook and, thinks that she would enjoy a little more variety than roasted veggies, salad and eggs!  So her goal during this “challenge” is to bring fresh cooking back to her schedule.  Claire can be found on her blog, Cooking is Medicine.

AllisonAllison is an analyst by day working and living in Newport Beach, California.  Her home is filled with her vegetable-hating husband, her carb-loving 4-year-old son Carter and her adventurous throw-your-whole-body-into-eating 1-year-old daughter Campbell.  They make her laugh, love and strive to be better. She is passionate about learning, reading, baking, cooking, entertaining and having lots of fun along the way.  Follow Allison’s journey on her blog, Sweet Flours.

Project 365
January 3, 2011, Photo #3

I heart theseI discovered these last week, and since I’m always on the look-out for a reasonably guilt-free snack item in the granola realm, I bought a box to try out. So.very.good. If you like peanut butter, get these. You won’t be disappointed.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah Caron January 3, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Those Nature Valley Granola Squares are one of my favorite snacks. They are really so, so good.

And, I am so excited to kick this off. We’ve been planning and thinking and organizing for so long. It’s awesome to see the community come together so fast and furious, supporting each other.

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Merry120 January 3, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Good luck on your goal, Cate! I can’t wait to hear all about it. I think you look great & I’m not sure where you’re hiding 40 more pounds but that’s between you & your scale!

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claire January 3, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Great, great, great! I think I need to follow suit in the water goal. Some days I don’t drink any from all the running around the hospital. Bad thing! I’m about to fill up some bottles to take with me to work tomorrow!

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FireMom January 3, 2011 at 11:37 pm

So excited about all of this!

By the way, the only time we EVER have any kind of pop/soda in the house is for a special event. And I ALMOST never steal a glass of it anymore. I almost never have pop while eating outside the home. It’s taken me TWO YEARS with these goals to get to this point. I did jump off the wagon with it late in 2010, but I’m firmly back on. I’m still short a glass of water this evening though. Heh.

Looking forward to all of this.

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Chris January 4, 2011 at 12:03 am

I am totally excited about this thing….I am with you on the Diet Coke. It has been two months since I have had one and I miss it!!! But, I can do it. Water…replacing it with water…:)

Look forward to the working through this journey with you and the others. Happy New Year!

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Allison January 4, 2011 at 12:27 am

Thank you for organizing and good luck on achieving your goals. It is so much fun to tackle this with the support of others. Your battle with diet coke sounds like mine with diet pepsi. I did the same and only allowed myself it outside the home but, not sure how a 32oz big gulp makes sense. ugggg why is it so good! Looking forward to an exciting and successful 2011!

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Gail January 4, 2011 at 1:20 am

Hi Cate, What a great way to start the New Year. I look forward to keeping up the regular exercise I started 3-4 months ago. I’ve been able to cut back on my bp meds–great motivation. About the soda: I am in the midst of Mark Bittman’s new Food Matters cookbook where he tells us that it takes 2500 calories of energy to make that diet soda and get it into our hands. I read that just when I began to toy with the idea of giving up that one Diet Pepsi a day. That did it for me.

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Joanne January 4, 2011 at 7:17 am

And so it begins is SO right! I could not be more excited to be embarking on this with everyone. Thanks for organizing this Cate!

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Kristen January 4, 2011 at 9:52 am

This is going to be great!

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Ramona January 4, 2011 at 10:56 am

Those snacks look like a great product.

Good luck!

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Debbie January 4, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Best of luck with this!! I think it’s great. I’ve replaced drinking soda with plain seltzer years ago and love it!!!!

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scribbler January 5, 2011 at 9:25 pm

I’m so excited about this that it motivated me to finally start blogging. It’s such a wonderful idea and I can’t wait to keep track with everyone else. :)

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ally January 17, 2011 at 12:07 am

Yummy, I love those granola thins… I love the chocolate ones. Sometimes I even melt a few small marshmellows over it to create a smore!

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