A Gorgeous for Good 30 Day Challenge … Challenge Accepted!
A few months ago I was bridesmaid for one of my best friends. Leading up to her wedding, I agreed to take on Sophie Ulanio’s Gorgeous For Good 30 Day Challenge. The challenge was to help get us gorgeous and glowing from the inside out for her big day! Listen, when one of your bestie’s asks for your help in getting her ready for one of the biggest… and possibly one of the most important days of her life … you say yes! To anything!!!
Let me breakdown some background …
It’s fair to say that the beauty business is booming—as is the anti-aging industry. Each year, Americans spend more than $30 billion on cosmetics, and, globally, we spend about $260 billion on services and products to enhance our youth. Accompanying the decisions we make around our beauty comes the ever important question of whether to go fake or natural. Do we resort to the latest commercial chemical or surgical quick fix or go completely organic but possibly get less stunning results? And I say POSSIBLY …
Clean beauty guru and New York Times best-selling author of Gorgeously Green, Sophie Uliano offers a solution to this latest beauty dilemma and says you don’t have to choose, and when you look at her, you can tell she has more than a few good secrets.
Unlike other books, Gorgeous for Good takes the middle ground between natural and fake. Rather than focusing on these extremes, Sophie looks at what truly healthy options actually work—and it isn’t necessarily what people might think. In addition, she lays out a beauty perspective that focuses on helping readers create their own unique beauty—inside and out. With her exceptional combination of passionate research and everywoman commonsense, she puts forth a revolutionary, holistic program that covers everything from nutrition to self-care to spiritual connection and includes:
- Well-researched, myth-busting information about commercial and natural beauty products
- Simple guidelines for buying the best skin care products, and easy recipes for cost-saving beauty products to make at home
- Healthy, budget-friendly recipes for food to kick start the new you
- Exciting ways to get spiritually connected
In her girl-next-door voice, Sophie brings all of this together in an innovative 30-day Gorgeous for Good program, offering readers tools for a body-and-soul beauty regimen that will help them stay gorgeous—not for six months or a year—but for good!
I am definitely NOT a sceptic when it comes to healthy living. I am open to anything that allows me to feel and look the best that I can. I do understand that everyone is wired differently and humans are not a one size fits all. What works for one – won’t necessarily work for the other but I LOVED the way Sophie’s program made me feel.
Not only that but Sophie is an incredible human being. If you are lucky enough to meet her you will notice that she is vibrant and full of energy. Sophie is quite literally, gorgeous from the inside out and she practices what she preaches. Every tiny ounce of her body lives and breathes her philosophies. Her contagious personality and positivity is the perfect pin up for her program and when you meet with and speak to this woman you know she is the real deal, so I had no problem trusting in the challenge and the experience. I knew I was in the best hands.
For 30 consecutive days I followed Sophie’s guidelines and program and here’s what I took away …
Food for Thought
I eat pretty healthy most of the time but sophie’s guides recommended that I cut out all refined sugars, caffeine, alcohol, dairy, gluten & meat! Say what? You heard me right.
So what could I eat? So much! You just have to be open and creative and seriously … preparation is the key to success. If I didn’t prep, I did find it was a lot harder to find food that would fit within the guides. I have a super busy schedule and I am ALWAYS on the go so for me it was important that I packed foods to snack on throughout the day so that I was never caught in a HAnger jam.
I ate fresh fruits and vegetables in abundance!!! I piled my plate with salads and veggies. I snacked on spicy chickpeas and homemade dips and wait for it … coconut bacon! Oh yep, you heard me right. I sipped on smoothies and juices and herbal teas. Sweet tooth cravings were kept at bay with not so naughty desserts and I whipped up real food recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner that could of easily passed as “traditional” family meals!
How did it make me feel?
Initially it was hard – I am not going to lie. The hardest thing for me was to give up my caffeine fix. I am a coffee addict and I am happy to own it and not ashamed to admit, I love a good brewed bean so giving it up was super hard! The other things were easy…
No word of a lie, I had more energy. I was worried that I was going to be severely tired but it was the exact opposite. The foods I was eating didn’t leave me feeling lethargic, overfed and bloated. I would finish a meal, feel satisfied and be ready to get up and go! Often I find after I eat I’m usually stuck in a food coma – obviously I had been making some poor choices.
I lost body fat … not weight. My weight remained the same on the scales but my body shape physically shifted… I looked smaller in the waistline, shoulders, arms and face and the texture of my skin improved – my eczema totally disappeared.
Benefits Not Just for Your Bod
How you look and feel isn’t just about what you throw into your belly and what you slap on your skin. It is also about looking after your mind and body and what I loved about Sophie’s book is that it helped you create a morning and evening routine or ritual that is just for you and this is one of the things I actually loved most about the program.
I already practiced a lot of Sophie’s guides in my everyday life but Sophie refined, honed in on and allowed me to eliminate toxic choices I was making and allow me to re-educate myself and re-program myself to make wiser choices for my body. I found her teachings so rewarding and I loved the challenge!
Now that my 30 day challenge is over how do I eat!?
Well … Caffeine is back in my diet! For me it’s my guilty pleasure, I love the taste, the smell and the warm fuzzy feeling I get when I drink it – haters can hate but I’m honest. The rest of the program I pretty much stick to ‘majority’ of the time because of how good it made me feel. I do allow myself meat when my body tells me I want/need it, I will have a glass of vino when I’m eating Italian food and If there’s a cheese board on the appetiser table, I am probably going to eat it …
All in all Sophie’s Gorgeous for Good Challenge has me for good! I’ve adjusted it to my body and what works for me – like I said we are not a one size fits all.
To taste how delicious healthy food really can be try my Vegan Lasagna Recipe inspired by Sophie. See how simple and delicious it can be to eat within the guides of the Gorgeous For Good Challenge. Who knows, you may feel inspired to take on the challenge yourself?
- 1 packet of Italian vegan sausage, finely chopped
- Vegetable broth (just a dash)
- 1 jar marinara sauce
- ½ can organic diced tomatoes
- mixed Italian herbs
- 1 zucchini cut in half & sliced finely
- 2 large carrots grated
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 cup of mushrooms finely sliced
- 1 packet Gluten Free brown rice lasagna sheets
- vegan grated cheese
- 2 cups raw cashews, soaked
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup water
- season with salt & pepper to taste
- Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees celsius.
- Boil your Gluten Free lasagna sheets and follow the instructions on the packet here if needed. If you purchased the non-cook ones go you! Smarty pants!
- In a large pan heat the veggie broth, add the vegan Italian sausage and sauté until brown.
- Add ½ can organic diced tomato and mixed Italian herbs. Bring to a bubble, reduce the heat and let it simmer on low. Remember to stir occasionally and you can add more broth if needed.
- Create your “vegan ricotta” by blending all the ingredients in a high- powered blender like a Vitamix and set aside.
- Lightly grease a medium sized baking dish with coconut oil
- Line your baking dish with a layer of lasagne sheets
- Add a layer of vegan ricotta and make sure it is spread evenly across the sheets.
- Add your vegan Italian sausage, followed by a layer of spinach, then a layer of carrot, a layer of mushrooms, followed by a layer of zucchini.
- Pour a layer of marinara sauce over the top and spread out evenly. Add another layer of lasagna sheets and repeat steps 7, 8, 9 until you have run out of ingredients.
- Top with a layer of vegan grated cheese
- Place in the oven and cook for 40-45mins or until the cheese has melted.
- Remove from the oven and top with marinara sauce serve hot!