Elf for Health Recap!

I have to start this off with a bit of a confession. Last year I was a bit intimidated when I was looking into the Elf4Health challenge. I was a little worried that I would be the only one in the group who was still on my journey to health and wellness. Well, turns out I had NOTHING to be worried about. I entered the challenge and was introduced to some of the most amazing people EVER! It was silly for me to think that no one else had different goals for getting healthy! I am so thankful that I took the step to be part of the challenge, and to open my eyes to how we are ALL on our own journey, and there really isn’t an end, just reaching one goal after the other!

So here is my recap from the Elf4Health challenge part 1.

I would first like to thank Lindsay from Lean Green Bean, and Elle from Nutrition Ella for all the HARD work they did last year and this year! They worked so hard to get up all the challenges, get amazing sponsors, match all us elves up, and I am sure other work that I have no clue about! All that whole keeping up with their very busy lives.


My first wonderful Elf was Danielle over at Green is the New Black! She was so fun to get to know, and she was very supportive each day! I would suggest that you check out her blog and send some love!

Week 1:

Day 1: Meatless Monday- I am not a huge fan of meat, and normally only eat chicken, turkey and fish. This challenge got me to pull out some of my creative juices and make all my meals and snacks with out meat! It ended up being a lot of fun šŸ™‚
IMG_9390 IMG_9395Ā  IMG_0190IMG_9394

Day 2: Unsubscribe- With my husband dealing with some health issues and being in the hospital, my email had gotten out of control! Through a few suggestions from other elves, I tried a program called ‘Unroll Me.’ It helped me to get rid of many of the subscriptions from a few of my email accounts! It also gets all the subscriptions that I want to keep into one nice email every day!

IMG_0191 IMG_0193

Day 3: New Workout- Today was a busy day with 10 hours of work, and then my husband was FINALLY released from the hospital. So my workout of the day was helping get my husband out of the hospital and settled in. Then helping him on and off all night long.

Day 4: Make a phone call- On Thanksgiving day I tried to call several friends and family members. Due to the holiday no one answered their phones, so I made more calls over the next few days and I was able to reach a few people and had some delightful conversations. It was especially nice to chat with people and NOT be in the hospital.

Day 5: Track Water- This is usually not something super challenging for me. I pretty much only drink water and tea. However, in the winter I tend to need a little more reminding since it is not super hot and if I forget my cup I really need more of a reminder. Keeping track with an app really does help me! So on this day I managed to get in 20 cups! Yay šŸ™‚

IMG_0194 IMG_2917

Day 6: Treat yourself- This is often hard for me to do. I will occasionally get a pedicure once in a while. This weekend I wasn’t able to get out, so I took a chance to relax with a hot bath and a yummy cup of chocolate chai.


Day 7: 100 Burpees- I was REALLY nervous about doing these burpees. Before this challenge, I had only done burpees 2 times, and only 10 each time. So yeah, 100 seemed REALLY intimidating…I decided to break them into sets of 20! My husband was my cheerleader, and kept telling me these looked really hard! Oh yes, they were hard, but I did it!!


Week 2

Day 1: Hand-Written note- This was a fun challenge for me. I took some time to work on my homemade holiday cards, and also some wedding and thank-you cards!


Day 2: Eat the Rainbow- Love me some color! I make an effort each day to get color into my meals, and I love when I can also create healthy and colorful meals for the twins I nanny! I think we did pretty well šŸ™‚


Day 3: Make-up Free- I am pretty much make-up free every day. I only wear it a few times a month, and even then it is really minimal.


Day 4: Workout buddy- My workout buddies today were the twins I nanny for and also my body pump/combat classes. It is great to always have others to workout with šŸ™‚


Day 5: Operation Beautiful- I was so inspired by all the amazing ways the other elves spread the love with this challenge. I had a lot of fun making up some notecards and post-it notes with messages of love and beauty! I had a wedding that evening and managed to place a few of my notes around the bathroom of the wedding and reception sites! I felt a little bit like a secret agent.

IMG_9378 IMG_9379

Day 6: Fridge and Pantry Clean Out- The fridge was so full from Thanksgiving and for so many people bringing us food while the hubs was in the hospital. It felt great to finally get it cleaned out and ready for some new heathy food!


Day 7: Gratitude List ā€“ I have started a jar with the hubs and we have written down all the things we are thankful for. When things are tough we can pull out the notes to remind us of all the wonderful reasons we are thankful!

For the second 2 weeks of the Elf4Health I was paired up with Lauren! Right away I knew she would be a great source of encouragement and inspiration!! I am so glad I was right about that!

Week 3

Day 1: Circuit Workout- I am not always super great at circuit workouts, but some amazing elves put together so many fun workouts, and I will for sure be using them in times when I am traveling or not able to make it to the gym. I ended up doing my body combat class and it is the closest workout I do to a circuit. Hi-ya!

Day 2: Pay it Forward- I LOVE being able to do this! I wanted to do something a little different this time and an opportunity presented itself right on time. My pay it forward was paying for a friend’s race registration. It felt SO great to help someone in a way that they would really appreciate! She even wrote me a super sweet note that made me cry a little.

Day 3: Healthy Snack ā€“ I pretty much always have someone to share my snack with every day. The twins LOVE to eat anything that I (or their parents) are eating. So it was no exception that we shared my snack this day!

Day 4: You-time – Lately this has been REALLY challenging for me with all that has been going on with my husbands health, but I managed to take a little nap while the twins took a nap!

Day 5: Fastest Mile – I tried an experiment with my running. Well more like walk/jogging. I do most of my running pushing 2 yr old twins. So I did 2.5 miles with the twins to see what my fastest mile was pushing them, and then during their nap I did 2 more miles. The outdoor run was pretty slow at with 15:25 being my fastest mile. When I was inside I managed a 11:05 mile! I was pretty happy with that. I need to now get myself outside with no babies to push to see where I am for training purposes.

(I even won the challenge this day which I was SO not expecting at all! Thank you Elle and Lindsay!)


Day 6: Closet Clean-out ā€“ A few weeks ago I went through my closet and cleaned a lot of it out. For this challenge I went though my dresser and I also worked on my office that was a huge disaster.

Day 7: Plan Your Meals ā€“ I usually plan my meals out each week and then get the needed supplies at the store. Lately it has been so crazy with all the hospital stuff that I have gotten off track. I used my plain old note app on my phone to make up a list. Goes to show that no matter how simple or complex the application is, simply planning the meals is the way to go!

Week 4

Day 1: Meditate ā€“ This has been a real challenge for me lately. Well this year really. It has been so up and down with SO many different friends, family members and my husband, for all different reasons. So to make myself sit and actually pause and NOT think about all that is going on, even for 5 minutes is a miracle!

Day 2: Wall Sit ā€“ This is an exercise that I have not done for a long time! I was determined to try and and to make it for more than a minute! I did it 2 times. Once before I went on a run then again after a 4 mile run. I did it longer after the run. Maybe cause my legs were warmed up and not as sore yet. One of the elves posted how she practices while she brushes her teeth! I have also started doing this and I have already seen an improvement with my times šŸ™‚

Day 3: Share Your Expertise ā€“ Today we had the chance to host a guest blogger and also be a guest blogger on our guest’s blog! It was really fun to be a part of this challenge, and to see all the different types of expertise that is out there with all the elves! If you want to see my post about DYI holiday cards, you can check it out here šŸ™‚ If you scroll down to the last post, you can see the expertise that Debbie shared!


Day 4: 3 Food Groups ā€“ This was fun to add more food groups to each meal. As I did this challenge I realized I am already pretty solid about eating a variety of food groups throughout each meal each day! I even had the twins participate with this challenge.

Day 5: Self-Love X 6

6 Things I love about myself

  1. My eyes
  2. My Smile
  3. My muscles
  4. My giving heart
  5. My compassion
  6. My creativity

Day 6: New Fitness Goal ā€“ For 2014, I have several fitness goals in mind, but my BIG ons is that I am going to run 33 races for my 33rd year of life! I was totally inspired by my elf Lauren. She did 30 races for her 30th birthday this year! I am really excited about it, and I can’t wait for some of the really neat races coming up!

Day 7: Make a Donation ā€“ There are always SO many amazing organizations and groups to donate to. You can donate time, resources, money, your knowledge, etc. Since I was so inspired by my elf’s reason to race, and that she was raising money for the United Way for the Boston relief.
If you are still looking for a last minute place to make a donation for 2013, please consider helping Lauren to reach her goal!!!

Than you and I hope you enjoyed this recap of Elf4Health! I can not wait for next year šŸ™‚

9 thoughts on “Elf for Health Recap!

  1. Jessi Boehme

    Thanks for sharing your post in the link up! I have loved reading through everyone’s experiences with the various challenges! Hope you have a beautiful start to the new year (-:

  2. Danielle (@GreenisblackRD)

    Great post Esther! I so enjoyed getting to know you as we’ll and thank you for mentioning me!! Thank you for all of your support!! Wishing you all the best in the new year!! Can’t wait to hear about your 33 races, you go girl!!

  3. Pingback: Happy New Year! | chocolate runner girl

  4. Pingback: Long overdue… | chocolate runner girl

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s