Namaste November Re-cap + a new challenge!

I have to admit that I’m not a huge Phoenix fan…. until I get there. It’s silly because Phoenix has way more to offer as far as restaurants and shopping go, but Tucson still has a lot to choose from with the smaller, more intimate feeling of a small town.

Lunch 3

(Whole Foods seems to have a magnetic effect wherever we are)

In Arizona, we have this rivalry between Tucson and Phoenix– basically if you live in Tucson, chances are that you don’t like Phoenix and vise versa.

Then, whenever I visit Phoenix, I have an amazing time. Like I said, there’s a lot to do, but it’s always because of the people.

Whenever we go to Phoenix, we get the chance to see our family there, and also any friends in the area. Last night, I was so excited to join Jenn and her husband Bobby for dinner.

Jenn and I have been friends for a long time (met through the blog world) and while we’ve hung out before, I’d never been able to meet her husband. Since they recently moved to Phoenix, and just bought a new house, I’m so glad we’ll get to see them more often.

We dined at True Food (Tucson pleeeeeease get one) and per usual, everything was fantastic and it was so much fun to catch up with Jenn, meet Bobby and introduce them to the fam. My intense love for the kale salad was rekindled… I’m going to try and make a version this week.

Me and jenn

(Oliv was a huge fan of the salmon and avocado)

Today also marked the official end of Namaste November. Thank you again to all of you who participated in the challenge!

Ryan gosling hey girl can we go to yoga together jpgSource

Here are a few of my final thoughts:

I felt pretty blissed out and present this month, even with everything going on. While I didn’t get the chance to practice yoga as much as I intended, I practiced far more often that I would have without the challenge and that mindfulness in the back of my brain (“Hey, get in some yoga today!”). I especially loved reading your check-ins on the website, app and tweets- it was a great way to cheer each other on. Going forward, I’m going to keep the Namaste November mindset during the busy holiday season (then Liv’s birthday, then Kyle and Meg‘s wedding!). Even if I don’t have time to make it to the studio, I have a mat, I have at least 10 minutes to spare to get in a nice flow or some stretching.

I hope that those of you who participated also felt the mental and physical rewards of a more frequent yoga practice. The more you checked in, the higher your chances of winning a little prize from Challenge Loop and myself: a $200 gift card to lululemon. Congrats to the gift card winner, Rachel G !!

The winners of ChallengeLoop t-shirts are:

Kyra S
Alyssa H
Heather M

(I didn’t want to post last names on here, so we’ll be emailing you directly about your prizes!)

Wahoo! 🙂

Since Namaste November was such a huge success, I’m even more stoked about the December Challenge: Dine-In December!

Dine in december

We’ve been going out to eat a ton lately, and while we all enjoy it, the costs add up quickly. I also almost always enjoy a home-cooked meal more than restaurant food, and eating at home makes it so much easier to stick to health and nutrition goals. I thought this would be a great month to emphasize at-home meals, especially since there are so many holiday parties and events this time of the year. So, we’ll be dining at the house, with the exception of any holiday parties/events (like a squadron Melting Pot night we’re attending).

Who’s joining in? You can accept the challenge here, if you would like. 

For Dine-In December, enjoy as many meals and snacks at home as possible, being sure to check in via the Challenge Loop app (for iPhone) or the website. The more you check in, the higher your chance of winning another lululemon gift card ($100 from Challenge Loop- thank you!).  Along with your check-in, you can also post any photos or recipes (it’s super easy to do) as a way to share and motivate each other. #dineindecember

I can’t wait to see all of your amazing pics!

Hope you’re enjoying your weekend so far <3




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  1. Diana on December 1, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Dine in December sounds like a great idea! I’m in!

  2. Jenn (eating bender) on December 1, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    It was so wonderful to see you all — Liv is such a sweetheart and it was so great to finally meet the Pilot after feeling as though I’ve known him all these years. Can’t wait to get together again soon! 🙂 Love the idea of Dine-In December, too!

  3. Lisa on December 1, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Such a great idea! I’ve been spending a little too much money and need to buckle down on some savings. I didn’t get the chance to practice yoga as much as I wanted, but this month I’m going to try especially since I’ve been loving the yoga I’ve been to so far.

  4. Lata on December 1, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Gina, I see that your a fellow Ryan G. lover, I just stumbled upon this today and could not hold back on my laughter- its too good to be true!

  5. Alicia @NeverEverBeenSkinny on December 1, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Oh this is an awesome challenge. I always feel better when I eat in because I control it!

  6. Amelia on December 1, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Challenge accepted! For the most part, we eat ALL meals in, however like you, we do have a couple of meals that have already been planned, so we won’t be 100% perfect. It is the holiday season! 🙂

  7. Michaela on December 1, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    I really do love your challenges! I got way more yoga in than usual, too. Thanks so much for it ?

  8. Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries on December 1, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    I think you’re right about the whole Phoenix vs. Tucson thing… I was born and raised in Phoenix, but I’ve never been much of a fan of Tucson. However, we have some family that has lived in Tucson for years and they can’t stand Phoenix. Funny how that works! 😉

  9. Katie on December 1, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Challenge ACCEPTED!

  10. Emily @ Have Your Cake And on December 1, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    I would love to do the challenge especially since I will be traveling a lot I think it will make things interesting 🙂

  11. Lauren on December 1, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    The Tucson/Phoenix thing is so funny! I grew up in Tucson and I have always hated Phoenix (even though it has great restaurants). I need to get in on this dine in challenge! With finals coming up, we almost always end up giving up on cooking and going to the co op down the street for their salad bar.

  12. Christine @ BookishlyB on December 1, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    We’re going to Phoenix for Christmas this year! We go away, just my husband and I, and we got a good deal at the Biltmore so we figured what the heck. Glad to hear about the good eatin’- anything else you’d recommend?

  13. Katie on December 1, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    I so want a True Food in Tucson!

  14. Andie on December 1, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    challenge accepted! Do I need to hashtag dine in december on my check-in on challenge loop?

    • Fitnessista on December 1, 2012 at 8:58 pm

      nope, i think they automatically add it now- pretty cool!

  15. Anne on December 1, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    I am absolutely in on this challenge!

  16. Rachel C on December 1, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    I LOVE this challenge. My husband and I are awful about going out to dinner because we are too lazy after a long day at work to make/clean up from dinner. I know eating at home is much healthier and cheaper! Hopefully this challenge will help motivate me to make dinner more often. I’m also committing to Salad Beasts for lunch all week. I couldn’t do it last week because I had already done my meal planning when you suggested it. Thanks again for all your constant encouragement and healthy living advice!

  17. Bek @ Crave on December 1, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    Awesome idea for a new challenge!

  18. Kayla on December 1, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    Great idea! Definitely will be joining in on this one..

  19. Sabrina @Work It Ms jackson on December 2, 2012 at 8:09 am

    What a great challenge. I’ve got one day where I KNOW we’ll be eating out, my birthday 😉 but other than that and a wedding on a few weeks, we should be good! Great challenge for such a busy time of year!

  20. Herbivore Triathlete on December 2, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Ooh, I love a challenge! Thanks for putting it together for us.

  21. Danica @ It's Progression on December 2, 2012 at 10:52 am

    love having “Dine-in December” as a goal…it saves SO much money by cooking/eating at home!

  22. Eli on December 2, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    I’m in. And so far off to a great start! 🙂

  23. Joanna @ Running Places on December 2, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Ohhh! What a great challenge! I will def be joining this one!

  24. Meagan on December 2, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    What a great idea, and couldn’t have better timing! Thank you for the great idea!!

  25. Crystal@TheFastFitRunner on December 3, 2012 at 10:47 am

    I LOVE the idea of Dine In December! My husband and I work really hard to beat the norm of eating out fairly regularly. We strive to eat close to 80% of all meals at our home, and we come pretty close. I think this is one of the single most important thing people can do to live a healthy life. Even if you order fish and broccoli at a restaurant, unless you indicate no butter, it usually has butter, and who even knows how much?! You just can never be sure when you dine out!

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