Elf4Health Challenge Week 1

For 6 weeks I’m participating in the Elf For Health Holiday Health Challenge.
You may have noticed the most recently added button around here. —>

This challenge is for bloggers and non-bloggers and is focused on making healthy choices throughout the holiday season.  There is one little challenge to complete every day, another person (your elf) to talk to for 2 weeks at a time (motivate, share ideas, get to know, etc.), and it’s just a lot of fun!

If you’re interested in participating in the 2nd and 3rd rounds, or just want to read more about it, go here!


For the first round (2 weeks), I’m partnered up with Alyson, who’s the author of Simply Nutricising (super cute blog).  She’s “a Registered Dietitian that has a passion for food, fitness, travel, and adventure.”  I’m really enjoying the opportunity to ask her opinion on nutrition-related questions I have!  Or just insight on becoming an RD…you know…just in case I get to venture down that path someday ;)


My recap of Week 1:

Go meatless today.

Eating no meat for a day wasn’t too difficult for me (I really don’t eat a lot of meat anyway), but I used it as an opportunity to make a new-to-us meatless dinner.
Enter: Lindsay’s Lentil Veggie Mac & Cheese.
easily the best new recipe I’ve made in a long time–I honestly highly recommend it.
it’s the newest member of the dinner rotation around here

Send a card or handwritten note to a friend. 

I sent a little note to my sister, along with a little card to remind her of the important things in life…we can all use that reminder!

Try a new workout today!

My body was screaming for a rest day on Wednesday, so even though my mind wasn’t especially content with it, I decided to take the day off from working out.

I did, however, try a new workout on Saturday that I absolutely loved.

Get up 15 minutes early to meditate and reflect.

I shared on Thursday that I spent that time before work reading through my Bible (and one of the studies my small group assigned for the week).  It really set the whole day off on the right foot.

How many colors can you eat today?  Challenge yourself!

I did alright with this one!  Here are my meals from that day:

tortilla wrap (filled with peanut butter, cinnamon, and chia seeds) + a banana (and multivitamins haha)

Okay, so that doesn’t look so colorful, but it was a lot healthier than it may look (this is me refueling after a 6-miler run, btw :)
lentil veggie mac & cheese (includes edamame, corn, green beans, carrot, spinach, lentils, sharp white cheddar cheese, whole wheat noodles) with extra lentils and some blue corn tortilla chips

vanilla yogurt (with protein powder and ground flaxseed mixed in) topped with pomegranate seeds and a honeycrisp apple

dinner was a salad (romaine, carrot, tomato, chicken, walnuts, Annie’s ranch) and half of the frozen grapes you see there

aaaand then there were 3 homemade cookies consumed.  Healthy until I added the butterscotch chips and the last of the Reese’s pieces we had laying around from Thanksgiving ;)

Here’s the recipe if you’re interested:

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 cup nut butter (I used peanut, but any would work)
  • 1/2 tsp. wheat germ (any seed would work: chia, ground flax, shelled hemp)
  •  1 organic egg or 1 flax egg
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/8 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1/4 cup Reese’s pieces (instead of these add-ins, you could sub in nuts, raisins, or plain chocolate chips)
Bake at 350*F for about 12-15 minutes, until the tops just begin to brown.
**makes 12 large drop cookies

Saturday & Sunday
Clean out your closet! Fill a bag with clothes to donate to Goodwill or send some belongings to Sandy victims. 

I thoroughly cleaned out my closet recently (moving is good for that), so there wasn’t a lot to dig through, but I still found a few things that I never ever wear..donated to Goodwill.


Is anyone else participating in the Elf for Health Challenge?
What do you think of it so far? 

Favorite cookie add-in?
dark chocolate chips or any nut for me 


  1. Awesome job this week! Keep up the good work!

  2. Great job this week, Danica! The lentil veggie mac & cheese looks delicious. I must remember to try this recipe out =)

    • Thanks Jessie!
      Yes, that lentil veggie mac & cheese is amazing. The whole batch only has 1 cup of pasta too, which easily makes 5-6 servings–SO many veggies!

  3. It was a great first week! This is a great recap post Danica :) I am looking forward the week two.
    I love to add dark chocolate chips too! The next cookies I am going to bake will include white chocolate and cranberries. Yum!

  4. Like the sound of this workout, I might give it a try. I’m trying to do more plyometric-style workouts rather than just full-on strength training alongside my running.
    Those cookies look divine! I think my favourite add in are raisins because they make them extra chewey. Or maybe toffee chunks? Mmmm.

  5. I love that Elf challenge! It’s such a cute idea and seems really well-organized.


  1. […] Danica on December 4, 2012 Our Elf for Health Challenge for Wednesday this week is to “pack a healthy […]

  2. […] Danica on December 9, 2012 Week 2 of Elf for Health didn’t go quite as well as Week 1.  It was a good week in terms of healthy living, it just didn’t work out for me to meet all […]

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