It’s been awhile since I’ve committed myself to a month of something on the food blog, so I think it’s about time for another gauntlet that tests my will power and cooking expertise. This month:

That’s right healthy eating. I’m not going to lie–I came up with the idea in October, but couldn’t bring myself to test it out during the holiday season. Plus winter is no time to lean-up…you need a layer of protection against the snow!

I’d like to state that this month is not about losing weight–and you won’t be reading a daily diary of what I’m eating and how many calories are in a Dr. Pepper (150). I’m interested in eating healthier, working out more, and seeing if I can do both without going insane. In my view, I’m more interested in my cravings and mood than my weight, because who cares if I’ve lost 20 pounds only to become a starving bitch? I think it’s important to make healthy eating decisions, and I want to find those healthy recipes that DON’T make me crave Outback’s Cheese Fries (dipped in Ranch!) or Chips and Queso.

The Goal: To hold myself up to progressively harder dieting rules each week, and measure how it’s affecting me (physically, emotionally) and how easy I think it would be to keep up.

Week 1: Adjusting My Diet
Starting off easy, I will lay out some ground rules on Monday for me to follow that adjust what I’m already eating to be healthier. No soda—No chipotle—Plus at least four work outs. It’s the first thing everyone does when they want to lose weight because it doesn’t mean an overhaul—but the question is, does it work?

Week 2: Healthy Recipes
Armed with a new issue of Cooking Light and America’s Test Kitchen’s Light and Healthy Recipes, I will commit myself to healthy meals as dictated by others. For the dieter who doesn’t want to plan, the idea is trusting the healthy recipes to do the work for you. But will it be any good?

Week 3: The Calorie Count
Here’s where I’m anticipating actually starting to see some sort of movement in my weight. After taking a few polls online, I calculated that I need to take in between 1500-1600 calories a day in order to lose around 5 pounds in a month—so I will stick with those numbers for the week and see how hungry I get.

Week 4: The Diet!
Leaving the final week with the hardest challenge (maybe?) I will select a specific diet plan and following it to a tee. Not sure what yet, I’ve had suggestions for the Flat Belly and Cave Man diets, but I’ll need to research more. Let me know if you have suggestions!

So that’s about it. Check in here to see how I’m doing—and hopefully inspire yourself. A few of my friends are going to guest blog about their own experiences because they are my inspiration, so if you are interested in that feel free to contact me about posting something yourself!

Here’s to a healthier way of life that still involves cheese!