We are back in Rochester, Minnesota, this week and for the first time, it’s not because of Ann’s chronic illness. No, this time we’re here to experience the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program.

dan Abraham healthy living center

Our healthy lifestyle journey

If you’re new to Postcard Jar, you may not know that we’ve lost a combined total of 130 pounds since late March using an app called Noom. You can read more about that HERE.  Steve lost 62 pounds and is at his goal weight. Ann has lost about 68 pounds and is more than halfway to her goal of losing about 120 pounds.

does noom work?

How we found the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program

We first learned about the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program when we came to Rochester in September for Ann’s lung CT and appointments. We wrote about this innovative program in a blog post about “Exploring Rochester on our visit to the Mayo Clinic.”  While in Rochester, we toured the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center and were intrigued by the facility and the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living program that is housed there. After learning about it, we considered planning a multi-day program in the spring but then thought that since we’re both motivated RIGHT NOW, we’d better squeeze it in before the end of the year (because holiday cookie season).

Mayo Clinic healthy living program sitting disease

So, here we are! Back in Rochester and about to start a physical activity and resiliency plan of action for the first time in our lives. Gulp.

What we’ll be doing in the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program

In a nutshell, the clinic’s Healthy Living Program is an experiential program that is science-based, outcomes-focused, and centered around three things: nutrition, physical activity, and resiliency. It has been developed by Mayo Clinic experts who also deliver the classes and help participants develop a personalized plan for a sustainable healthy lifestyle. The program meets people at their level of wellness, and helps them take the next step(s) in the right direction.

We’ll begin our program bright and early Monday morning (we have to be there at 7:00!) with a wellness meal, body composition assessments, strength assessments, and movement assessments. Once all of the testing is done, we’ll start working on the next steps to heathy living.

Mayo Clinic healthy living program healthy food options

Weeks ago, each of us selected the classes that interested us most. We’re both going to do sessions on using a foam roller, designing our physical activity plan, and get an introduction to yoga. Steve will be learning about resistance training and Ann will be taking a healing movement class.

Mayo Clinic healthy living program weight room

In addition, we’ll learn even more about how to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight. We’ll also meet with nutritionists and try new foods and kitchen techniques while we’re there which should be fun.

Mayo Clinic healthy living program nutrition staff

We are excited to be a part of this program and will likely write more about when we’re finished. This is a BIG next step for us on our journey and we hope you’ll come along. It promises to be an interesting adventure!

  • Late breakfast, early lunch. Time got away from us this morning so we had a bit of a brunch. We have been on an oatmeal kick this year for several reasons. It's inexpensive, filling, tastes great, and is typically readily available at grocery stores and hotels that serve breakfast. ⁣
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One cup of oatmeal cooked in water is about 160 calories (and a "green" food on our @noom weight loss app). We like to add a teaspoon of brown sugar, a little cinnamon, and lots of fresh berries. Other options are: bananas, nuts, nutmeg, diced apple, flax seed, or dried fruits. ⁣
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What is your go-to breakfast these days?
  • See how we lost a combined 150 pounds in a year while traveling! It was one year ago this week that we began our healthy living journey. We are travel bloggers with a new post (just click on the handy dandy link in our bio) about what we've lost and gained in one year.
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See what we've learned about calorie density, exercise and ourselves in the process. We are so thankful for the resources that have helped us, including @noom and the @mayoclinic Healthy Living Program. (This is NOT a paid partnership) We feel like new people and hope our story will encourage someone else who wants to make a healthy lifestyle change. To stay up to date with our weight loss and healthy living journey, be sure to follow @PostcardJar on social media.
  • Our daffodils are in full bloom here in Nebraska and they just make us smile. We brought the  bulbs for these flowers from Ann's first house when we got married and moved here. Ann had dug them up from her grandma Rashleigh's home in Fremont, Nebraska, and her grandma had brought them to the U.S. from a trip that she took to England. ⁣
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Ann's grandma passed away several years ago. Each spring, these flowers bloom and remind Ann of her grandma and her beautiful soul.
  • We love to travel but we're staying home to flatten the curve. As travel bloggers, writers, and influencers, we all have canceled trips, postponed adventures, and rescheduled experiences. ⁣
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We know this is temporary and soon enough, we'll be traveling again. But for now, we are all staying safe at home and encourage you to do the same. And while you’re home, check out some of these influencers’ feeds for travel inspiration.
  • Last week, we had the pleasure of making handmade pasta (via the internet) with our friends, Deb and Massi, who were in their home kitchen in Italy. ⁣
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You can read all about it, and get the recipe, on our blog. Yep, you guessed it, the link is in our bio. ⁣
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We met Deb and Massi of @italyunfiltered a few years ago when they created an amazing food and wine itinerary for us. We've remained friends and it was so good to see them, even if they were a world away.
  • We were supposed to be in Rochester, Minnesota, this week for Ann to see a cardiac sarcoidosis specialist about some recent issues with her heart. Of course, we did not travel to Rochester for her scans and doctor visits because of the coronavirus outbreak.⁣
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Instead, her cardiologists called her from their homes and her scans and tests will likely be delayed until June or July. We'll keep in close touch with them if anything changes, as well. We are so grateful for all of the healthcare professionals who are continuing to work crazy hours from home as well as in our hospitals around the world.⁣
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This is such an unprecedented and stressful time for all of them. Words will never be enough to convey our gratitude for the roles they are playing in the battle against this deadly virus while caring for those with other diseases and illnesses at the same time. ⁣
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Every healthcare provider we've talked with in the last two weeks has had the same message for those of us who don't have to go to work at a hospital. ⁣
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Just. Stay. Home.
  • Yesterday was Day 16 of social isolation for us. Because of Ann's underlying heart condition and suppressed immune system, we've cooked all our meals at home (no takeout). We've starting to get more and more creative as time has gone by. ⁣
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Last night, we made chicken and shrimp vindaloo and learned online how to make homemade naan.⁣
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It wan't as good as our favorite Indian restaurant, The Oven, but it did satisfy the craving we've had for Indian food. ⁣
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What are you craving these days?
  • We moved our living room furniture around this week and put two swivel chairs near the sliding glass door. Each day, we take time to turn around, rest our minds, enjoy in the view, and just be. #webelieveinhome

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