While we emphasize health and holistic well-being all year round at the Dailey Method, we are particularly excited for our Align & Shine Challenge – a time to revisit intentions and rekindle our commitment to take care of ourselves.
Last year, during the four weeks of the International Align & Shine Challenge, we saw transformation and growth from every angle. From the camaraderie of all the women and men who were dedicated to taking at least 4 classes a week to the energy that came from committing to cleaner eating habits, the feedback was incredible. We even made a few morning people out of those who usually hate 6am!
This year, we will kick off the challenge Monday September 11th and it will run to October 10th. It starts with a commitment to challenging yourself to take 20 classes in a 30 day period and then is amplified by daily self-care through small tasks that add up to big differences and lead to lifestyle habit changes.
Anyone and everyone can join. I know our teacher and staff community is fired up to join all of you in this challenge.
All you have to do is sign-up and track your progress on your studio’s challenge board! It’s that easy. What’s more, ALL registered participants that complete the challenge are entered to win a FREE TDM Membership for the rest of the 2017 ($400+ value.)
There are also great add-on Partners. You can do the 30 clean – a full 30 days with our personal favorite nutrition partner, or just do a drop in any day you want to take it a bit further.
If you successfully complete the challenge you will receive $10 off your core membership for the remainder of the year AND be entered to win 3 unlimited months of classes. Let’s do this! Align and shine together.
What makes this challenge even better is doing it with someone you care about or, even better, with a bunch of people you care about – and care about you!
So start with putting yourself first and signing up, be prepared to be prepared (planning is key) and enjoy the experience. After all, it is your time to Shine!
There are times when I go out to dinner with new friends or a group of colleagues and choose to pass on dessert or that second glass of wine. I get a variety of comments from, “You are so good.. how can you not eat dessert??” to “You look great, why are you skipping dessert? Go ahead and enjoy yourself.”
What many of these people do not know is that I am a food and sugar addict. Not only that, but I was a closet eater growing up and have had a lifelong battle with body dysmorphia. It seems completely unbelievable to many. Here I am, the co-founder and CEO of an online community-driven wellness company where we host challenges to help people eliminate most of the foods I have been (and, as an addict, still am) addicted to. But isn’t that how we fall into our most passionate work? We live it, we know it, we relate to it, and we want nothing more than to help others overcome the very things we have fought tooth and nail to conquer.
How it All Began…
I grew up with a family that was not fit, not active and definitely not conscious of the latest health trends. I enjoyed after-school snacks like mini-pizzas, daily sodas, nightly ice cream after dinner and, even more, weekend trips to 31 Flavors with my mom for double (or on a super-good night triple!) scoop sundaes!
Unconsciously, sugar became something I relied on for many things: to lift my spirits, to cure my boredom, to distract me from school work and to make me a hero when my friends would come over – no one had the kind of pantry stash that I did. And it wasn’t just sugar that I turned to. Food, in general, became a comfort to me as I grew up. I went from a tween riding my bike to 7 Eleven to binge on candy (which I would hide in my room), to a sixteen year-old hitting up the drive-thrus in desperate need of French fries or hot apple pies when no one was looking. Needless to say, this took a toll on both my physical and emotional well-being.
While I was inexplicably fortunate enough to never gain an extraordinary amount of weight, I did carry around enough inflammation that the word “chubby” could easily have been used to describe me – in my mind, at least. I am sure the body dysmorphia grew out of the secretive way I ate, which led to a lot of guilt and self-loathing. Intuitively, I knew how unhealthy all of it was for me. The sugar from both sweets and other processed foods left me completely and utterly emotionally imbalanced. I spent my childhood to young-adult years riding the ups and downs of an emotional rollercoaster. My parents just thought I was moody. Ping-ponging between feelings of happiness and sadness disrupted my school work, my focus and my self-confidence and I was regularly sick. Not one person or doctor ever questioned my diet or lack of exercise.
The pattern continued into my college years, where I tried too many diet pills to count. But what good are diet pills when you exchange food for drinking? Yes, I was the weekend keg stand queen and a late night taquito junkie. Yet, I was surprised that at the start of each new week, anxiety would hit; tears, fears and promises to myself that I would stop eating and drinking my way to fun. Nonetheless, I would soon find myself in another drive-thru or drinking with friends.
The Cycle Finally Ends
Years of these habits finally came to an end at the age of 29 when my mom passed away from lung cancer. It was not only her death, but a cancer diagnosis for my father and my sister one year later, that truly caused me to do a complete 180. For the first time in my life, I took my health into my own hands. I started by finding a trainer who threw me into a hardcore bootcamp. It was intense, but fun. Fitness led to a desire to look deeper into my nutritional habits.
I took baby steps, and went from sugar addict to Splenda junkie. I started drinking protein shakes and spent a few solid years on the low-fat, sugar-free train. Of course, I dropped weight. And I even competed in a figure show! Yet, something still wasn’t right. My body looked great, but my mind and emotions were still riding a giant wave just waiting to come crashing down. My hormones were all over the place.
In 2006, on a mission to understand myself better, I became a certified fitness trainer and began learning about nutrition. I attended a life-altering workshop with JJ Virgin and learned all about the paleo and primal lifestyle. I understood that chemical sweeteners and so-called “healthy” packaged goods were just as harmful for me as white sugar and Hostess. I learned a lot about grains and the problems we have with them in their current processed form. And, I learned that all of these things, along with the foods I had already eliminated from my diet, were the possible cause of my hormonal issues and mood swings. Oh, and the eczema I had somehow began to develop? The result of over-consumption of peanut butter!
I made a personal decision to do a 30-day whole food challenge, giving up the most universally inflammatory foods, including my beloved peanut butter!
Within 30 days, I kicked Splenda to the curb, started substituting my morning oatmeal for sweet potatoes and doubled my veggie and fat intake. It was almost exactly at that 30 day mark that I also began to notice a difference in my energy, my focus and, let’s be honest, my bathroom habits – hallelujah! I felt stable. I actually liked myself and my body. I felt amazing and kept weight off with ease. After the 30 days, I began to experiment with some of the foods I had eliminated. I realized that dairy was out of the question, peanut butter was crack for me, non-gluten grains like basmati rice and amaranth worked well for my body, but gluten, quinoa and corn immediately bloated me.
The eye-opening results of this personal experiment served as the launching pad for The 30 Clean. I wanted nothing more than to share my personal journey with everyone, especially my personal training clients. I became a holistic health coach and have since had the pleasure of watching hundreds of personal clients and now thousands of 30 Clean challengers transform their lives. While, at first glance, eating clean may seem restrictive and intimidating to some, our 30-day challenges are an incredibly effective and simple way of hitting the “reset” button for your body, so you can begin with a clean slate and find the perfect nutritional plan that works for your lifestyle.
I believe wholeheartedly in balance, moderation and living a joyful life! I also know that sometimes it takes a little dedication and mindfulness to achieve the things we desire most in life, like feeling and looking our personal best. When you add to that individual focus a degree of accountability and a supportive community of like-minded individuals, success is almost guaranteed. Once you have the knowledge and once you truly give yourself the gift of a whole food diet, the emotional and physical changes you receive are worth their weight in gold!
Join our national challenge or try it on your own, with our 7-Day or 30-Day Simple Start programs. You truly will Come Back to Life!
Last Tuesday night, I held a Pre Party on Facebook for any questions you may have had about our upcoming Align and Shine Challenge (challenge starts Monday, May 2nd). If you didn’t get to join us, here is a peek at a few of our conversations.
Question: Jill I love my wine and like most things it’s better in moderation. Can you tell me what your typical day of eating looks like?
Answer:Green smoothie for breakfast that was shared on Facebook. I love the raw spicy veggie soup from Urban Remedy for lunch. Dinner favorite is creating bowls with my kids. A protein and lots of veggies and letting them make their own. I also love eggs for any meal. Oh… and a glass of wine in the evening.
Question: Jill, why did you decide to do 4 classes for this challenge as opposed to 3 per week?
Answer: 4 classes per week is when I feel my best. It’s my magic number.
Question: Hi Jill! I’m currently in my second 30 Clean and wondering, for someone like me who doesn’t live near a studio, will you be putting out more online classes during the challenge?
Answer: We are filming 5 more tomorrow, they usually take 6 weeks to upload. It will be a great motivator for you to continue after the Align and Shine challenge!
Question: Dear Jill, any suggestions for providing meals for your family while focusing on The 30 clean plan for yourself? I find it hard to do meal prep for myself then figure out what the rest of my family will eat each day…seems overwhelming and time consuming on an already tight schedule!
Answer: When I’ve done The 30 clean I’ve made the same meal for my kids as I make for myself. You can always add a little cheese or some rice to their meal. For example- for breakfast I would have eggs over last night’s vegetables and make eggs and toast for the kids.
Question: Dear Jill, I need some tips/encouragement that I’ll be able to do this challenge even though I’m in a boot for an ankle ligament tear. I can take barre classes but haven’t been able to do interval or other cardio for a while. It’s hard at times to get enough exercise and movement. Any suggestions? I heard you were injured once, too.
Answer: I totally understand! I was in a boot for 6 weeks but was able to take a Dailey barre class the entire time and really felt like I was able to stay in shape. Don’t worry about the cardio. Your body needs a rest from this right now. You’re expending so much energy just walking around with that heavy boot. Ask your Studio owner to get a stool or chair you can sit on in class for the standing and single leg series. And lots of single leg lifts, back work with the band and core work. This time will pass quickly.
Question: Jill, do you suggest to do the dailey “align” challenge after class together with other students that are joining the challenge?
Answer: Absolutely! This Challenge should be fun and interactive! Don’t forget to post pics and videos 🙂
Thank you to everyone who joined us during the Q&A. I’m looking forward to 4 weeks of Aligning and Shining by your side! Share your journey with us on Facebook and Instagram! #livingadaileylife
The change of seasons, for me, is a time of reflection and anticipation of what’s ahead. It’s also a time of year that I take stock of all the things I’ve accomplished, the milestones my children have reached and is a time to acknowledge the things I’ve done well so that I have the motivation and excitement to tackle the areas in my life that I feel need more of my attention. It seems the appropriate time for our first ever DaileyFest celebration commemorating the birth of The Dailey Method 15 years ago!
Tomorrow in The Presidio, we are gathering with our Bay Area community and San Francisco passerbys for DaileyFest
and are offering free classes, fun connection, food and giveaways to allow for all of you to share in The Dailey Method’s success because without all of you, the creation of this amazing workout would not be what it is. In the excitement building up to DaileyFest we’ve been hashtagging #livingadaileylife to convey moments that we associate with the life we strive to live within our Dailey Method community. What does #livingadaileylife mean to me?
To me #livingadaileylife is about body, mind and spiritual health and translates to the quality that I hope to bring to each day of my life and to the life of those I love.
Being in the midst of a 30 day challenge and on the 30 clean (sign up!) I’m constantly reminded of the power of taking care of my physical body. It’s amazing how wonderful I feel and the energy that goes along with it when I eat clean and accomplish my goal of taking 4-5 classes per week, as well as getting sleep when I know it is what my body needs. To help achieve optimal health, I strive for the following things:
To take time for a quiet or meditative practice
To hike in nature or walk Toney (my awesome dog) 2-3 times per week
To share conversation and a glass of wine with a friend
To connect with my family
To hug my kids, laugh with them, and to make sure they know how deeply they are loved
In addition, I find that taking time to express gratitude goes a long way in achieving health of the mind and spirit. With the anticipation of DaileyFest, and the coming Fall season, I am grateful to our entire TDM community. It truly is amazing to see what we’ve all accomplished together in 15 years.
What does #livingadaileylife mean to you? Let us see your posts! Share and inspire us. And hopefully I’ll see you on the lawn tomorrow!
(optional: add anything you like with pizza: veggies, basil, even cheese if you do primal)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Place spaghetti squash cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the skin of the squash gives when you press on it. Then reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.
Once squash is done cooking, remove threads and place in an 8×8 greased baking dish.
Place a large pan over medium heat. Add italian sausage and onion. Cook until pink no longer remains in the sausage and it is broken up into pieces.
Add pizza sauce, dried basil and salt and pepper to the pan and mix well.
Add sausage mixture to the 8×8 dish and mix well with spaghetti squash threads.
Lastly, add whisked eggs to the baking dish and mix everything together until you can no longer see the eggs.
Place in oven and bake for 1 hour or until the top of the mixture forms a slight crust that doesn’t give when you press on it in the middle of the dish.