Browsing Category: how to make this work

2 Things Challenge – April 2018

join the #2thingschallenge

If you’ve tried big, sweeping changes and found them overwhelming, or if you’ve tried a system with strict rules where one single misstep is seen as a complete failure, you might find the 2 Things Challenge refreshing. And doable. And hope-giving.

The 2 Things Challenge

Here’s what it is:

  • Change two things for 20 days. That’s all!
  • One of the things will be about what you eat, and the other will be about why you eat. (I wrote recently about why you need to change both if you want weight loss to be permanent. If you missed that post, read it here.)
  • You choose the things! You’re not living by someone else’s rules. Choose what’s most important, or easiest, or makes you feel the most positive about tackling.

The point isn’t to lose x pounds in 20 days. The point is to start somewhere, focus on what you can do, enjoy a small victory, and see where you want to go from there.

Want to join? Here’s what you do:

  • Choose your two things. (There’s a list of ideas below.)
  • Declare publicly that you’re doing this. The accountability helps you follow through, and you might inspire a friend to join you — which will help boost your success! You can just post a comment wherever you hang out online, or grab one of the images from this post and share on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Include the hashtag #2thingschallenge, so we can find each other. ūüôā
  • Write it on your calendar. Studies show that this one simple act doubles your chances of success!
  • Get regular encouragement. Optional but recommended — follow me on Instagram¬†or Facebook. I’ll be posting encouraging comments and easy food ideas in both places during the official days of this round.

This round starts on April 2 and goes to April 22, 2018. Of course, you can start anytime you like. Start early, jump in late: nobody’s taking names or rapping knuckles! And give yourself grace. On this challenge, one slip-up is not busting you back down to the bottom of the chutes and ladders.

Any day is a good day to try again.

Important to know:

You’re aiming for¬†things that are within your control.

You know the problem with a weight loss goal? You can work towards it, but you can’t really control whether you hit it or not. Especially under a certain deadline. But if you make a habit or an action your goal — and if it’s something realistic — then you have a much better chance of success. You might not make it perfectly, but you will do it better than you did last month, and that totally counts as progress!

Describe your goals in habits, not pounds.

Need some ideas?

Suggested items for your “2 things”:

Thing 1: What you eat (Remember: just choose one)

  • Switch from pop to soda water (cold turkey, or taper off — you choose).
  • Switch from sugar to stevia¬†¬†(cold turkey, or taper off — you choose).
  • Quit anything made with flour, and/or gluten.
  • Eat protein with your breakfast.
  • If you’re a big salad eater, switch to homemade salad dressing (search this site; you’ll find lots of easy, yummy options).
  • Cut carbs in half.
  • Replace cereal or granola with a whole food alternative.
  • Replace fast food with¬†homemade,¬†or revise your order. Skip the bun, skip the breading. Make sure you have protein, veggies, and if possible, a healthy fat.
  • Replace three meals out a week with three homemade meals.
  • Give up that one thing you¬†know causes you problems.

Find more options and details in my e-book, Small Steps to Big Change. Free when you sign up for my email list.

ebook; small steps to big change

Thing 2: Why you eat

  • For emotional¬†eating: Privately journal¬†about what you’re feeling before and while you eat. If you hate writing, try recording voice or video. But keep it private. You don’t need the noise of the internet here. The goal here is not to shame yourself about what or why you’re eating. It’s to help you connect the two and learn from it — whether that causes any immediate changes or not. (If you don’t think you can do this without shaming yourself, kindly choose a different thing. Like the next one…)
  • Stuck in a cycle of beating yourself up:¬†Work on giving yourself grace.¬†Try to notice when you’re having a self-critical rant in your head, then stop the tape, and speak to yourself the way you would to your best friend. Rename”failures” as “lessons learned.” Replace “I’ll never change” with “I’m learning to change; it may take a while, and that’s okay.”
  • For stress management: Eliminate or pause what you can. Delegate or postpone some duties, maybe. Meeting friends for pizza a problem? Ask them to meet at a different place, or plan a walking date. Good friends want to help. If your friends don’t, maybe you need to beg off for a few weeks, saying you’re really busy this month. (You are: busy working on a healthier you.)
  • To cheer you up: find alternatives – funny movies, time with friends, play with a dog.
  • Boredom or loneliness: Seek challenge and/or community — call or text a friend to take a walk together, take a free adult class, host a weekly game night with family or friends.
  • Physical fatigue:¬†Take steps to improve¬†your sleep.
  • Wanting something sweet after a meal. Brush your teeth or chew gum.
  • Weary heart or soul: Work on finding a daily soul care practice that helps you, such as prayer, meditation, writing in a gratitude journal, or¬†ten minutes of uplifting music and intentional rest.
  • Know you have depression or anxiety?¬†Take steps to seek professional help.
  • Not sure what’s going on under the surface? Try “morning pages.” Google it, or see the book The Writing Diet for more info.

Need more ideas? Check out the Why we eat section of this blog.

That’s it! Got questions? Comment below or message me through the contact page.

I hope you’ll join me. I think you’ll find yourself in friendly company. ūüôā

If you decide to join:

Follow me on social media for frequent tips and encouragement.

Follow me on Instagram: @jana.realfood

Find me on Facebook: ohthatstasty


Share so your friends can join you!

Images for social media –

For Instagram:

I'm changing 2 things for 20 days

For Facebook:

join the #2thingschallenge

join the #2thingschallenge



Image by Ilya Yakover on Unsplash.


If you’re new to, you might like to know a little bit about what I consider healthy eating. Learn more here:

About me and my approach

Your four hungers (and why you shouldn’t feel guilty for every craving)

My 5-star formula for healthy eating

How to store fresh spinach

fresh baby spinach + how to store it

Ingredient readiness makes healthy homecooking so much easier! Fresh baby spinach is one of those things that’s ALWAYS on hand in my fridge. Its flavor and texture are very mild, and it’s an easy way to add healthy greens to so many dishes. But if you don’t store it right, it can quickly¬†waste away into a slimy mess in the bottom of the veggie drawer!

Here are my tips on storage to keep spinach fresh as long as possible.

Important note: when I show how to use a paper towel for fridge storage, I forgot to mention or show that you also put the lid back on the bin!

Here are some of my favorite ways to use spinach:

As a pizza topper: Gluten-free pizza crust

In these quick, easy mini-fritters.

Paleofied buffalo chicken quesadillas

Crustless make-ahead quiche


And, of course, spinach salads:

Spinach salad with strawberries

Quinoa and spinach salad with balsamic vinaigrette

Citrus avocado salad with orange vinaigrette

Club salad with creamy vinaigrette

You might also like my post on 30 things I always keep stocked in my kitchen. Ingredient readiness makes healthy homecooking so much easier!



Featured image by chiara conti on Unsplash

A food freedom manifesto

celebrate your food freedom



Being free to make your own personal, informed choices about food.
Knowing which foods you’re free to eat because they’re kind to your body and mind.

food freedom is...

Knowing which foods you’ve chosen to free yourself from because of their addictive or harmful qualities.

Knowing your own healthiest boundaries; when you can relax them and when you can’t.


woman enjoying food freedom

When you slip up, you don’t give up.¬†You give yourself grace and move on.
Not expecting food to fill your depleted heart, mind, or soul.
Enjoying delicious food — with gratitude, without guilt.

free to enjoy delicious food

–¬† Jana Snyder, 2017

“Food Freedom Is” printable¬†– A simple black-and-white page, free to download¬†and print.


images via Upsplash:

woman holding sparkler –¬†by Morgan Sessions

raising a hand – by Eye for Ebony

woman looking to the side –¬†by Katie Treadway

muffin w/ pansy –¬†by Alex Loup

Wanna change? Start small and doable. (#2thingschallenge)

start small - like really small

I remember when I first felt a glimmer of hope that I might actually be able to lose the weight I’d gained over the course of several stressful years. I found a website for a personal trainer, and the people in the “before pics” looked a lot like me. But what was even more encouraging was their “after pics.” They looked leaner, healthier, happier — but not like they were spending two hours a day working out. Maybe¬†this is possible, I thought. And I actually cried from relief. I hadn’t realized just how hopeless I felt until a little ray of hope shone into my gloomy heart.

Continue Reading

All my best food tips (so far) for easy healthy meals!

tips for easy healthy meals

So New Year, new you? Thinking of quitting sugar, quitting processed food, eating more real food, trying gluten-free, grain-free, or going Paleo? I’ve done all of those, and while I’ve landed on a real foods, mostly-veggies-and-meat formula, I’ve collected quite a few tips that work for a wide variety of healthy diets.

Making the switch from convenience food — whether from restaurants or frozen meals — to a whole-foods/real food/homecooked lifestyle does have a learning curve, but once you learn a few tricks and practice them until they become habits, it’ll be a breeze!

Set yourself up for success by trying a few kitchen stocking and ingredient tricks. Here are all my best “tips for eating healthier” and “meal plan” posts:

Continue Reading