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12 Months to a Healthier You: February’s Challenge


One of my goals for 2014 is to focus on my health. It’s easy to let our health take a back burner to everything else on our to-do list. But as I share in my new book, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, I’ve experienced what happens when you put your health last… and it’s not pretty!

With this in mind, I’m committed to making my health even more of a priority this year. And I’d love to have you join me for the 12 Months to a Healthier You Challenge.

We’re be focusing on one challenge area each month — all with the goal of being in a healthier place as a person by the end of next year. My hope is that as we work on instilling one new healthy habit each month, they won’t just be month-long challenges, but lifelong changes.

12 Months to a Healthier You Focus Areas for 2014

Here are the focus areas I’ve planned out for 2014:

January: Exercise Regularly
February: Eat More Fresh Fruits & Veggies
March: Drink More Water
April: Cut Back on Sugar
May: Get More Rest
June: Create a Morning Routine
July: Read More
August: Go to Bed Earlier
September: Declutter Your Home
October: Cut Back on Caffeine
November: Keep a Gratitude Journal
December: Simplify & Say No

How This Challenge Works:

At the beginning of the month, I’ll introduce the focus area and encourage you to set a small goal for that specific area and I’ll share my goals.

Then, every Friday, I’ll have a check-in post where I’ll encourage you to share your progress & struggles and I’ll share mine, as well. If you want to blog about your progress, I’ll include a link-up at the end of the post so you can share your blog posts on this challenge.

In addition to the Friday check-ins, I’ll also probably share a few posts and guest posts on the monthly topics each month, along with sharing about related books, resources, or websites that I’ve found helpful.

Are you on social media? You can also share your progress on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter by using hashtag #12MonthstoaHealthierYou.

My Fruits/Veggie Intake Goal for February

My goal for February is to eat at least six big salads every week. I’m also hoping to keep up with January’s habit of doing P90X at least 4-5 times every week.

Will you be joining me for this February Challenge? If so, leave a comment letting us know you’re planning to join and what your fruit/veggie intake goals are for February. Remember to keep them simple and doable!

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  • Pina says:

    I’m up for the challenge!!

  • marla says:

    Send me some encouragement!!!

  • Kristy B. says:

    I’m joining you! I plan to drink at least one green smoothie per day in addition to eating more vegetables with meals.

  • Mary jilek says:

    OK this would be very hard for me. I work full timed never home for 5 min because of my kids.

    • Lori Baron says:

      Same here! My kids are my work out. But I did up my water intake and I try to take the stairs everywhere I go! Also when I sit down I do leg lifts and tighten my butt. Now its habbit. I also fidget constantly! Moving feet or fingers or play with a pen in my hand. Read up on fidgety, you burn more calories than you think without knowing it! Sorry if the spelling is wrong for fidgeting (sp)

    • Mrs Ro says:

      Try dried Fruits. I keep several different kinds in my vehicle for quick snacks.

  • Cathy says:

    I am aiming for at least 2 low-glycemic fruit servings per day, along with 4-5 servings of veggies.

    Also continuing with the Chalean Extreme program, so will also need to keep up with my protein intake.

  • Tonya says:

    I can’t do too much exercising due to heart issues but I have started with baby steps:) Started Feb. out with green smoothies. My goal is to get me my husband and 7yr old daughter to drink a green smoothie every morning to get more veggies and fruits in our diet:) thanks for the support and direction.

  • Michelle says:

    Count me in! My plan is to exercise 4-5 times per week and eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day!

  • Nicole Blaswich says:

    Count me in and I am excited to join you. My goal for February is to add more veggies at lunch and dinner.

  • Kristi T says:

    I’m going to substitute my chips for lunch with a crunchy veggie like broccoli or carrots, and my bread for a sandwich with lettuce wrap.

  • Maria says:

    My goal is to continue doing Denise Austin’s Daily Dozen every day, and try to add another workout video that focuses on my abs 1-2 times a week. I am also going to try to eat a salad every day and a serving of fresh fruit daily. This might be a little tough since our little town doesn’t get a whole lot of variety in the produce department, and our budget is very very tight for the next week or so.

  • Kerri says:

    I am in for February’s challenge.

    My goal is to eat 6 servings of fruits & veggies daily with 4 of the servings coming from raw fruits & veggies.

  • katie says:

    I like it. Especially the salads!

  • Lori says:

    I’m in!
    I’ve been reading the book “It Starts with Food” and it’s very informative. I have T2 Diabetes, which combined with a terrible sweet-tooth and carb addiction has wreaked havoc on my system. I need to clean my diet desperately.

    My goal is to drink a protein smoothie with frozen berries, kale and spinach for breakfast each morning, and, maybe add a hardboiled egg so I am not starving by 10am. I also need to add more veggies to each meal. I am trying to avoid “beige and brown” foods which tend to be very bad for me.

  • Julie says:

    I’m willing to try. I have about 30 lbs of baby weight to get off. I want to try and have fruit or veggies at each meal at least 5 days a week.

  • Beth says:

    I’m definitely joining your challenge! I decided that this was going to be the year that I make changes to my health. January didn’t go so well but I am going to make February great. I really like how you have picked a different area for each month and to look at them as lifelong changes. Fruits and vegetables are such an important part of a healthy diet. The USDA says we should be getting 9-13 servings a day. I really try hard to make sure that happens for my family and it really doesn’t happen as much as I would like. I’m on a mission to learn more about healthy eating, the benefits of fruits and vegetables for my family and sharing that with others. We have been filling in the gaps with Juice Plus+ and have starting seeing improvements in our health. If you want to learn more about it contact me, I would love to talk about improving our health naturally and preventing disease instead of treating it. My other goal this month Crystal is to get your book and finally get myself organized. I don’t feel like I can stick with challenges unless I win that battle, I feel like I’m all over the place sometimes. 🙁 I started following your blog about 6 years ago searching for a way to get focused and here I am still trying to get it together, so thank you for your blog and writing the book. I finally have found a way to get to the place that I need so desperately.

  • Kenra Mills says:

    I plan to eat 5 servings of vegetables and/or fruits a day.

  • Sheri says:

    I will try and eat fruits and veggies at least twice a day. I need to start out small and continue to exercise 5 days a week.

  • I am happy to join this challenge because eating more fresh fruits and vegetables is one of my personal goals for this year.

    I plan to add a fruit or vegetable to each meal. I also plan to have a Popeye smoothie ( spinach, yogurt, peanut butter, banana) for a snack at least 3 nights a week.

    Thanks for these challenges.

  • Stef says:

    I’m in…my goal is to make sure that at least two of my meals contain fresh fruit or veggies (preferably both).

  • Andrea says:

    I’ve already started as of Monday to eat my 5 servings of fruit and veggies as part of a new meal plan my dietitian set up for me. Already lost 2lbs…now, I just need to incorporate January’s (exercise) challenge! 2014 is looking good so far! 🙂

  • Stacy says:

    I am going to try this. I don’t eat very many fruits and veges so this will be hard for me. I’m going to try to have fruit for breakfast at least three times a day and have a salad at least three times a week.

  • cheryl says:

    I’m in! Hoping to start with 2 servings a day for the first week and gradually increase(3 servings second week,4 servings third,etc.)

  • Im up for it and so are my daycare kids ( though they don’t know it yet). Lol – Will make it a game & chart it everyday Like we do when we’re trying new foods. 😉 I’ll share this on Facebook too so everyone else can join us….

  • Jenni says:

    My goal is to include at least one serving of fruit or veggie with each meal and as my snack. I also want to eat the fruit or vegi as my first thing I eat so I get full off of those

  • Allysha says:

    I need all the encouragement I can get, my husband agreed to quit chewing tobacco and I said I would lose 40 lbs in three months. We started 1/6 I am down 7 lbs but exercise is not my thing I do it but really can’t get motivated. Eating well is easy enough since I enjoy most fruits and veggies

  • nina says:

    I am going to do january and Februarys health goal starting monday!.

  • Janet says:

    I am going to join you all! I already have a head start as I generally start every day with a fruit and veggie smoothie and a salad for lunch! But I can always do better and include more veggies in my evening meal! Thank you for the challenge!

  • Amy says:

    My goal is to have either a green smoothie or a salad everyday and exercise at least 4 times a week.

  • jade says:

    I’m up for the challenge! Plus I need all the help I can get!!

  • Wendy Klik says:

    I am a big vegetable fan and I like fruit but I never seem to grab those things when I want a snack. So my goal for this month is to grab a piece of fruit or some vegetables before I grab that cookie or piece of candy. If I still want the cookie or candy after the fruit and/or vegetable I will allow myself to have it but I will not allow myself to have it instead of the fruit and/or vegetable.

  • Maribel says:

    I am in

  • Sarah Bruney says:

    I’m in. Been doing January challenge and going well. Now, into February!!

  • In my house, we all love fruits so we get a lot of those! I plan to be more intentional about throwing in the veggies. For myself, I would like to join you in having a salad 6 times a week probably as my lunch! 🙂

  • Em says:

    My goal for Jan was 4-6 servings of fruits and vegetables and I plan to continue that for February.
    I have to buy my fruits and vegetables on Saturday and then cut them all up in snack size containers for the week. I am more apt to eat them if they are ready to grab and go. I have been buying colored peppers and cutting them into slices. I take “one” pepper (I mix two colors together for some variety that day) each day for lunch. I have also been eating blood orange and a regular orange every week day in my lunch…I cut them into smiles so they are quick and easy to eat. In the fall I was eating apples daily.
    I have been putting out fresh vegetables every night at dinner.
    I would like to have a smoothie everyday and will try to make them before I go to bed.

  • Dacha says:

    I’m in ! This one is hard: I actually love the taste of fruit & veggies: almost any kind! But it always seems “easier” to just buy a sandwich or get a bag of chips… So I’ll use my insulated mug to drink pre prepared vegetable soups during the day…Good Luck everyone!

  • Amy S. says:

    Sounds good. Just back from the farmer’s market with a nice haul of fresh apples, oranges, avocados, squash, onions, etc. Ready, set, go!

  • Jessica says:

    I’m in! My goal for February is for everyone in my family to eat 5-7 servings of produce each day. This means I will have to plan my husband’s lunches better on days when he won’t he home.

    I’m excited to continue exercising 5 days a week as I have noticed an improvement in the way I feel when I exercise.

  • Lisa says:

    I’m going to do this starting tomorrow. I like the salad challenge and plan to make it my lunch everyday but Sunday. I’m also going to start exercising!! I’ve got to get healthy this year!!!!

  • Kellie says:

    5+ servings each day, plus keep up my exercise goals from January. The fruits and veggies might be harder than the exercise for me!

  • Lesa says:

    Found a really cool website this week… I want to try and eat a salad everyday too!! Thanks Crystal for your website!!

  • Niamh Mc Donagh says:

    Yea sounds like a great idea I’m in…:-)
    Will try to eat a piece of fruit a day and try new ones.

  • Laurie says:

    I am going to give it a try and start back at the Y and eat more salads and try finding new ones to make them interesting. Adding new things to the lettuce and mixing it up makes it fun to eat.

  • Lety says:

    This week I will be replacing any pastries and chips with veggies and fruits.

  • Teresa says:

    I have already started and feel better already!

  • Sandra says:

    I am in! Goal for February – At least one green smoothie a day and one large salad!

  • Kendra burton says:

    Additional veggies is my goal for the year! I lost 22 pounds in 2013 and want to lose 8 more by Easter. I keep a tick sheet to track 6, handful-sized veggie portions a day. I’m not tracking fruit because I have no problem there! Thx for the encouragement

  • Lorelai says:

    I plan to eat fruits and veggies 3 days a week.

  • I try to eat 3 servings of veggies and 2 fruits everyday!

  • Jessica says:

    I’m ready to take the challenge I would like to eat. 3 -5 serving daily

  • Cathy says:

    I’m in! Going to eat 1 big salad with different veggies in it and one apple a day!:)
    And doing the exercising from January also! 30 mins a day

  • Jen says:

    I’m in! Trying to make sure my family and I eat 3 full servings of fruit and veggies a day. Starting small and then would hope to increase beyond that.

  • Michelle says:

    I’m a bit late to the party, but I’m in! I plan to exercise 5 days a week. I eat a lot of fruits and veggies already, but just at meals. I want to add a fruit and/or veggie snack every day. I pack it in lunches for my husband and daughter, but don’t eat it myself.

  • Linda says:

    Count me in! My plan is to exercise 4-5 times per week and eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day!

  • Trish Cox says:

    I’m in. 2 veggies & 2 fruits a day.:-)

  • Judy Hauschildt says:

    I’m just starting this, but have been trying to walk 3-4 times a week for at least 30 minutes at a time. I eat a fair amount of veggies and fruit already but will make more of an effort in February. I am 65 and honestly need to lose about 50 pounds to feel good about myself so I’m hoping this site will give me some motivation.

  • Krystol says:

    I’m late to this but I plan to get in exercise 3 times a week to start. I will eat 3 servings of veges and 2 of fruit each day!!

  • Lisa Borchert says:

    I’m in!!
    I’m going to eat an apple and banana a day as well as making large salads for dinner twice a week.

  • Laura says:

    I am in and would like to increase my veggies – fruits are easy!

  • Mandi says:

    I want to continue with my exercise- 3 runs a week, and at least 2 days of JM video or circuit work with husband. For fruit and veggies, I would like to have had at least 2 servings before dinner. I usually do well at dinner- with 2 or 3 servings there because we are all eating the same thing. But I sometimes get lazy with my own food for breakfast and lunch (I always give it to the kids!)

  • Christine says:

    I’m going to eat more veggies with every dinner . Do at least 30 min exercise three days and stop snacking.

  • Erin Z says:

    I was very excited to join your challenge for 2014 instead of making (and quickly breaking) some new years resolution. I am happy to say i did, in fact, get more exercise in January. I walked a total of 44 miles! It’s been great and I feel awesome. thanks for the challenge!

  • Anne-Marie says:

    I would like to join the challenge with everyone : ) My February goal is to eat at least five full servings of fruits and vegetables each day. I’m adding that to my January goals of 1) walking/jogging at least 15 miles/week and 2) working out at least 4 times/week.

    Good luck to everyone!

  • Amber says:

    I’m in! I had a c-section in November so my January exercise goals were postponed a bit. My goal is to workout 30-60 min 5-6 days a week. For February, my goal is to have veggies with every dinner.

  • Kabeli says:

    Count me in! My goal is to have a smoothie for breakfast with 2 cups spinach, 2 cups veg at lunch and dinner = 6 cups. Salads, zucchini, cauliflower, turnips, broccoli, spinach, and kale are faves. Pair with lean meat. Did this last summer and lost about 2 lbs week. Felt great and lots of energy.

  • Holly says:

    Totally in! I’m following the Running for Weight Loss app and will be adding two days of weight training this month. My produce goal is to have at least one fruit or veggie at every meal.

  • Vicki D says:

    I will be joining you! I’m still progressing on the January goal too!

  • Debbie says:

    I’m late to the game, but excited. Still need to ponder my actual family goal for fruits and vegetables, but I definitely will be more deliberate in having a Fresh veggie at dinner every night.

  • Jenny says:

    3/4 of our grocery cart today was fruits and veggies– and I got the bill of $200+ to prove it. OUCH! But I’m hoping this puts us on track for a healthy month of eating.

    For example, I’ll be eating a lot of oatmeal with berries or bananas for breakfast, tuna or pb+j sandwiches with apples, almonds and celery sticks/cukes for lunch, and turkey burgers or chicken breast with veggies for dinner.

    I’m also increasing my exercise goals this month to 10 miles/week. Thanks for the healthful inspiration Crystal!

  • Sarah says:

    Wow! You all are so awesome and inspiring!

    When I go shopping this February I will START with my produce. It all looks so good generally I get more than I had intended. With a cart full of squishable fruit and vegetables it is hard to put much else in there.
    Also, I will keep ready to eat whole foods in the fridge all month. Washed grapes, peeled oranges, cut carrots, etc. Sometimes they may even be on a tray on the counter. This way I get to take a break from monitoring my family’s snacking. Snack away!

  • Kathy says:

    Yes, grab more vegetables and fruits as snacks…more veggies than fruit…better choices that junk. Hope to get on Jan. goal since I blew it last month.

  • Monica says:

    Im in! I’m just starting this…but I hope to exercise at least 3-4 times a week. Starting out walking and then hopefully adding and increasing exercise from there. My veggie/fruit goals are to get a minimum of 5 servings daily, and to replace a few meals during the week with salads. I’m excited to try different vegetables that I don’t normally eat!

  • Brandi Favaloro says:

    I’m in! I agree to eat a vegetable with all three meals and two fruits a day for snack.

  • Heather says:

    I am also going to try and stick to it. I find the easiest way to get my fruit and veggies in is with green smoothies, so many ideas on Pinterest that taste great ..Yumm.

  • Makeeba says:

    I’m a little late but I plan to eat 3-5 servings of fruit and veggies per day as well as work out 3-5 per week.

  • This is a great idea! Thank you for doing this. I’m going to exercise 1 hour a day, 5 times a week and eat a salad with raw fruits and vegetables at least 5 times a week.

  • Row says:

    I’m in. This is a really great idea! My F&V commitment is two big salads a day and to reach for FRUIT instead of sweets. Already have January’s exercise goal nailed with going to the gym first thing every morning.
    Good luck everyone 🙂

  • Sheila says:

    I’m in….love your posts! I really appreciate them. I’m joining this challenge for my whole family, so we may all be healthier.

  • I’m trying to get my fruit/veggie servings up to 5 a day this month. Thanks for hosting this and keeping us motivated to get healthier! Let’s hope I can keep up with you and these challenges. I’m feeling great so far!

  • Becky G says:

    I missed getting in on January’s challenge but I’m all in for February!
    My goal is to make fruit and veggie snac packs to kerp ready in the fridge instead of grabbing something else less healthy for a snack or the munchies. Also, I plan to exercise at least once a week.
    This is going to be great!!!

  • Barb D says:

    I’m in and very excited! I have been exercising for 30+ years on a very regular basis…but need to concentrate on every other aspect of health in a much more consistent manner. I am looking forward to the challenge and changes this year will bring.
    I already eat 4-5 servings of fruit daily but will increase my veggie intake by replacing a few fruit servings with veggies in my salad at lunch time. A piece of fruit and some type of veggie in the late afternoon will be a fantastic addition.

  • Dedra says:

    Totally doing this. I keep meaning to start, but put it off. It’s my time now. No more putting my health last. So, I will exercise at least 3-4x a week for 30 minutes. I will replace chips with fruit & veggies for snacks. Also, find new ways to introduce veggies at meal times.

  • Kim says:

    I am increasing my fruits and vegetables to include at least: 5 salads per week, using mostly spinach. I am also adding fresh vegetables for snacks with a focus on more broccoli and carrots.

    Fruits: bananas, apples and grapefruit throughout the week.

    Exercise: currently a goal of 30 minutes 4 days per week. I would like to increase this to at 5 days.

  • I haven’t commented in a while because classes are keeping me super busy but I am following along the challenge. As a matter of fact, since starting the exercise challenge in January I lost three pounds! Not a lot but a start. 🙂

    As for this month’s challenge, my goal is to incorporate a fruit or veggie into every meal. This week I’ve done pretty good except I missed adding them for three meals.

  • Tonya says:

    My goal is to continue exercising 3-4x’s a week and eating at least 3 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit per day. Hopefully I can increase that number as the month continues.

  • Emily says:

    I plan to go for a walk at least three times a week and incorporate more fruit and vegetables into my diet. More bananas. More raisins. More celery.

  • Joy Francis says:

    I started this challenge about a week ago. I typically do an exercise routine my physical therapist told me I have to do at least 3 times a week for the rest of my life. It keeps me able to walk. Up until these massive snowfalls and sub-zero temperatures, I have been walking with my walker and assistance dog 3 – 6 miles per day. Hopefully we will be able to return to this very soon. I have gotten away from my 9 servings of fruit and vegetables . My February eating foal is to return to my 6 – 9 fruit and vegetables servings per day along with my exercise of walking 3 – 6 days per week and strength training 4 – 7 days per week.

  • Mallory says:

    I’m in! I’ve recently discovered the deliciousness that is green smoothies so my goal will be to have one every day. I can toss a full day’s worth of fruit in there and be half done with my veggie quota as well.

    I’ll start up an exercise goal of walking 3X a week, now that I can start exercising again! (Just had a baby, going to ease back into exercise).

  • sony says:

    Yes,l ‘m in.

  • katie says:

    Better LATE, than never! I’m so in, and figurin’ how to catch up…
    Exercise 3 times a week, mornin’ smoothie w/ fruits & lots of spinach! Can’t wait…

  • Debra Russell says:

    Count me in! I am a little late with adding a comment but been working on challenges. I am exercising every morning. I have my twelve year old training me, lol. Him , his brother and sister are in martial arts. I watch them as they do all they do and it makes me want to do it too. So I have them teaching me at home. Dylan teaches me exercises Devin teaches me upper self moves while Deanna teaches me the kicks. They make their momma work
    I am adding more fruit to our diet. Come and think about it we don’t get as much as we should. I also been finding fruit dessert recipes on the web. I tried some frozen fruits at the store for the first time. Some strawberries that I bought from walmart taste like they were just picked. omg! they were so good. That got me to thinking why don’t I start doing that. So been looking on the web about freezing and canning and stuff. So not only have I added fruit on the side we have had it in muffins and pies. 3 fruits a day !
    By the way I am so enjoying your book. I am only on chapter 4 and it has already started to change my days and it is more then I thought it would be when I purchased it. Thank you!

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