Advocare 24 Day Challenge Results!

you guys! happy thursday! wouldn’t it be great if it were just friday, already?  well it’s not, but i’m having a great day anyways!!

GUESS WHAT? the 24 day challenge is over!  i’m not happy its over, because i enjoyed (and will continue with) the structure of the program, and something about 24 days just made all the goals SO ATTAINABLE.  but, i’m also happy that i get to enjoy my upcoming weekend without the fear of failing at this thing.

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i had AMAZING results with the cleanse. i was actually a little hesitant the second part of the challenge, because i was afraid to set myself up, too much, in fear that i wouldn’t do well and disappoint myself.

i will continue to say that this is not a miracle pill/program.  i ate clean and worked my ass off in the gym. with all the temptation i was faced with, i had zero cheats.  i was in the gym from 5:15-6:45 a.m. every week day and at some point on saturdays.  i did not slack off and i think my progress shows that.  but, the products helped push me through it.  i had the most energy i’ve had in a LONG time.  my workout motivation came from my favorite morning cocktail of spark + arginine extreme. the cleanse helped kick my bad habits, including my relentless sweet tooth.  and i think the MNS C helped curb any other cravings i had.

so, how did i do?  well.. here you go:photo 124daychallengeresults

and here are Barbara’s results:

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pretty amazing if you ask me.  we both feel great and can’t wait to see where the future will take us.  i’m promising myself that this challenge wont be the end and i can revert back to old ways; i feel too good to do that.  this is a lifestyle change, for sure.  and i’ll make sure to keep you updated along my journey!

have a GREAT day!

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tomorrow and beyond.

tomorrow is the last day of my Advocare 24 Day Challenge!

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i can honestly say, i have enjoyed the last 23 days on this challenge.  i’m stronger, i have more energy, my diet is clean, and MOST of my cravings are gone.  i still have days when all i want is a diet coke or i think chocolate will cure my cramps, but that’s what the little bit of willpower i do have is for.

is this something that can be sustained?  yes, i believe it can.  i think the challenge gave me the tools to kick bad habits while developing better habits.  it helped me with a number of things, including:

  • kicking my sweet tooth.
  • restarting my metabolism.
  • developing good gym habits.
  • improving my energy.
  • helping me gain muscle.
  • resetting my mindset on portion control.
  • giving me the confidence to keep going.

i know all the things above will be key in finally getting to ‘goal’.  not just working out, or just eating clean.  my downfall has always been, if i let one thing slip, the rest are sure to follow shortly after.  if i skip the gym, it’s not an excuse to eat a pint of ice cream for dinner, or vice versa.

i know every day wont be perfect on this journey. i might eat too much and feel stuffed.  i might miss a day at the gym.  i might look in the mirror and catch myself the wrong way and hate how i look.  NONE of those are good enough reasons to completely shut down and revert back to my old ways.  like i’ve said before, these aren’t super pills, they simply give you the tools to get on track or stay on track.

what about after the challenge?  this whole challenge, i’ve reminded myself that it DOES NOT stop on day 24.  i don’t plan on being as strict as i have been throughout, but i’m not going to let it fall to the side.

i do plan on incorporating ‘free meals’ once every one or two weeks, because i believe balance is key to a healthy lifestyle.  i don’t love using the word ‘cheat’ because i feel like it insinuates i’m doing something bad or wrong.  i want to be able to go out with friends and have a drink and dinner and not worry about the calories i’m about to consume.  i also know that if i leave that as a ‘free DAY‘ i will consume enough calories for the entire week and not make any progress (i know this from my experience while attempting body-for-life).

i’m attending a barbeque on saturday, so this will be my test as to how well i do without strict guidelines.  at one point, i caught myself thinking about how i was going to gorge myself with all the food at the party, and realized if i go into it with those kind of thoughts, i’m setting myself up for failure.

i’m slowly learning that it’s going to take a lot more strength to rebuild the inside than the outside.  i’m damaged. i’m much more damaged than most people realize.  the more i write on this blog, i become aware of the fact that i’m much more damaged than i ever thought i was. but, i do think, if i can continue this journey slowly like i am right now, i’ll be happy with my results this time next year.

will you continue taking advocare products? yes. here is a list of products i will continue to take after the challenge:

  • catalyst for muscle repair & protection, i may lower the dosage i take.
  • spark + arginine for a pre-workout drink (love this combo!).
  • omegaplex for my omega-3 support, plus i have a lot leftover.
  • vo2 prime bar (half a serving/bar) for something light on my stomach during a workout.
  • MNS E for daily supplements and extra energy.  i was taking MNS C for appetite control, but i would like to see what the E can do, if i don’t like it, i may switch back to the C.
  • sleepworks definitely helps me go to sleep quick, i wouldn’t say it helps me sleep any harder (i’m a VERY light sleeper), but it does help out for falling asleep.

i’ll check back in with final results on thursday and hopefully some before and after pictures.  it will take all i have to post those, but i want to show my results and be PROUD of them.

Q: do you believe in free meals, cheat meals, or cheat days?

advocare 24 day challenge update

hey there!  after a four day weekend away from just about everything other than the gym, i’m feeling.. awful. i know part of the reason for my feeling like this is cramps + bloating; but, there’s nothing i can do to control that so i’m not going to let it get in my way.

this morning, i fell got out of bed,  got all my things together, then headed down the road to my gym.  (sidenote: my gym is 30 minutes away, along with most civilization, but it’s only 5 minutes from my work; so, i shower at the gym and the distance doesn’t phase me, since i would be driving that far to work a couple hours later anyway).  15 minutes down the road, i realize something: i forgot my work clothes. ugh. i drive home, scoop them up, then head back to the gym.  i started out a little early this morning, so my mishap made me on-time to the gym around 5:15ish a.m.

once i got to the gym, i jumped right into squats and kettlebell swings for leg day, but something just felt off.  my legs felt exhausted and my right quad/hamstring kept feeling like it was about to pull.  so, i backed off and did as much as i could and followed-up with 15 minutes in the sauna.  i’ve been going into the sauna for about 5-10 minutes after every workout and i haven’t felt that sore compared to how i think i should feel.  i’m really pushing myself in the gym and the sauna seems to help keep the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) away.

here’s the thing, i’m not happy with my day in the gym this morning, but i’m also not upset.  i could have easily pushed sleep on my alarm clock and slept for two more hours, but i didn’t.  i’m not saying i’m new and improved and will never skip a workout, but, after 3 weeks of this, i can feel a change in my attitude.  something i’ve never felt before.  i want this change to stick and become permanent.

i know it wont be easy and i know its going to be a long road, but i know it will be worth it if i just keep sticking to what i’m doing.

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i’m currently down 12 pounds since the start of my Advocare 24 day challenge, and before i became a bloated mess, i seriously just felt ‘slimmer’.  i wont say these are magic pills that are going to make you skinny overnight, but i do think this challenge gives you the right tools to get on track with a healthy push along the way.

can’t wait to complete my final weigh-in next wednesday and share the results with you all! sorry for being whiney this afternoon.

have a great day!

bacon turkey sliders & green bean ‘fries’

the main complaint i hear about clean eating is that it’s boring or bland.  here’s the thing: it’s only boring and bland if you make it boring and bland!

i am constantly searching for clean recipes and adapting them to my taste/preference.  one thing I’ve become obsessed with is roasted vegetables.  i’ll roast any vegetable there is, even if i don’t love it, because chances are i’ll like it roasted (broccoli) !  i use the same method for all my vegetables and they usually always turn out amazing.  i like mine on the crispier side, so times may very, but as long as you keep an eye on them, you should be fine.

greenbeanfries

thursday night, i made bacon turkey sliders with green bean ‘fries’ and it was probably the best meal I’ve made this entire challenge (i had two slices of low-sodium, nitrate free bacon, which i added to the sliders, and that was probably the best decisions I’ve ever made).  this meal was packed with flavor and it made enough for two dinners and two lunches for the next day.

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bacon turkey sliders with green bean ‘fries’

(serves 4)

ingredients:

  • 20 oz. lean ground turkey (i used 97%)
  • 2 pieces of low sodium, nitrate free bacon
  • ~2 cups of green beans (i usually just go by the handful, i used 4)
  • seasoning of choice (i used tj’s 21 seasoning salute)
  • extra virgin olive oil (or oil of choice) for drizzling
  • toppings of choice (avocado, onion, tomato, cheese. you can even put them on a bun!)

directions:

for green bean fries: preheat oven to 400*. place green beans on a foil lined baking sheet. drizzle with oil of choice.  sprinkle with seasoning. place in oven and bake for 30-45 minutes.  i usually bake mine for a little bit longer (45+) because i like them very crispy!  keep an eye on them around the 30 minute mark to make sure they aren’t overcooked for your taste.  remove from oven when happy with ‘roastedness’. enjoy!

for bacon turkey sliders: preheat oven to 350* degrees. cut up bacon into small bits. add seasoning and bacon to ground turkey and mix. divide turkey into equal portion sliders (i divided it into 4 chunks, then divided those into 3 sliders).  place sliders onto a wire rack** and place wire rack onto baking sheet.  place in oven and bake for ~30 minutes or when internal temperature is 165*. remove from oven when internal temperate is 165*.  top with add-ons of choice. enjoy!

**i placed the sliders on the wire rack so that the sliders wouldn’t sit in the grease from the bacon.  if you don’t care about that, these can go directly onto a baking sheet.  even without all that extra bacon grease, these tasted amazing!

nutritional stats (for 3 sliders and a generous portion of beans): 205 cals, 6 g carbs, 4 g fat, 34 g protein, 144 g sodium

wanna hear my one complaint about the 24 day challenge?  they don’t recommend you eat dairy for the whole 24 days.  if you do, it should be small amounts of plain greek yogurt.  I HAVEN’T HAD CHEESE IN OVER 11 DAYS!  that has to be a record for me. and i miss it. i miss it, terribly.

i’ll be interested to see if dairy bugs my stomach once i try adding it back into my diet.  I’ve never had severe stomach problems, but do deal with some serious heartburn and the occasional bloat here and there.  i can live without yogurt and cows milk. but i miss my cheese.  we’ll see. i’ll keep you updated.

have a great weekend!

Q: what’s your favorite way to prepare vegetables? raw, roasted, boiled, sautéed? roasted. all. the. way.  except carrots and cucumbers.

happy friday!

hey guys! happy friday! my sister is coming into town to stay with me for the weekend and i have monday and tuesday off! (i didn’t take any time off work this summer, since its our busy season, so i figured i would try to catch a few days just to relax and enjoy the last few rays of summer!)  i’m planning on dragging my sister into the gym with me to see how sore i can make her.

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i’ll be reporting back with how i like the max phase in a few days.  i’m only on day 2, but its going great; i still have a ton of energy and eating is going well!  i’m really pushing myself in the gym and my muscles are definitely ready for a rest day on sunday.

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Q: any plans for the weekend?

advocare cleanse recap

sooooo.. the cleanse is officially over! now it’s time for the max phase of the challenge! i can’t tell you enough how excited i am to complete this challenge.  most ‘challenges’ i have tried in the past usually wind up with me getting bored before i actually finish.  that’s what makes this challenge so different.  24 days will pass you by before you even know it!

grab some snacks, this could get long.

so, what’s the cleanse been like? i never really felt like i was actually doing a ‘cleanse’ because i was still eating great food and enjoying normal activities.  the company suggests you cut out processed food, white flour, sugar, high-cal dressings, soda, and alcohol, replacing them with lean proteins, veggies, and complex carbs (beans, oatmeal, quinoa, whole grains). drinking plenty of water (they suggested half your body weight in ounces). and, they also suggest exercising regularly, which i ended up doing 1.5 – 2 hrs of lifting + cardio every morning.  i cut out the cardio after work, because i quickly felt burnt out, and i wanted to complete this challenge strong.

advocare(two 24 day challenge, only one is mine)

here’s a rundown of what my days looked like on average:

day 1-3:

  • 4:14 a.m. – roll out of bed, moaning and groaning
  • 4:30 a.m. – spark + catalyst pre-workout
  • 6:30 a.m. – fiber drink + protein shake post-workout
  • 10:00 a.m. – snack (almonds + hardboiled egg OR rice cake + almond butter)
  • 1:00 p.m. – catalyst
  • 1:30 p.m. – lunch (leftovers from night before, usually chicken/fish + veggies + quinoa/brown rice)
  • ~3:30 p.m. – snack (almonds + hardboiled egg OR rice cake + avocado)
  • 7:00 p.m. – omegaplex + dinner (chicken/fish/bison + veggie and sometimes complex carbs if feeling completely depleted, which only happened one day.)
  • 9:30 p.m. – herbal cleanse caplets + catalyst + protein shake
  • 10:00 p.m. – in bed

day 4-7:

day 8-10:

  • same as day 1-3, except take both probiotic restore and fiber drink, leave out herbal cleanse caplets at night.

it seemed a little intimidating, at first, and i carried my calendar around with what-to-take-and-when, but after the second day, i got the hang of it.  i would double check just to make sure i was taking the right thing in the morning and at night, since those are the only things that change through the cleanse.

i, also, never felt any harsh ‘cleanse’ effects happening during the 10 days either.  yes, it did make me regular, but i never felt like i was running to the bathroom, unless you count the bathroom breaks from drinking so much water.

the ONLY part of the cleanse i didn’t particularly enjoy was the fiber drink. i read plenty of reviews, beforehand, so i knew that it was just something i needed to mix, chug, and get it over with.  it wasn’t the taste that was bad, either.  it had a very gritty thick texture that wasn’t very appealing.  i was happy it wasn’t on days 4 through 7, and i’m very happy it’s over with for good, now. as much as i didn’t enjoy the fiber drink, it wouldn’t be enough to make me not want to try this cleanse again down the road.  advocare actually suggests doing this every 3 months.

so, how did i feel during the cleanse? i felt awesome.  i cannot stress that enough.  i want to be clear that i wasn’t eating terrible before i started this thing.  no, i wasn’t working out, but i kept most of my meals clean, especially during the week.  my downfall was late night ice cream, weekend eating out, and watching my portions.  just because the meal is ‘clean’ doesn’t mean you can have 2 large servings.  i was constantly tired. i felt groggy all the time. even if i wanted to workout, i felt so tired all the time i couldn’t seem to drag myself to the gym.

soooo, how were my results??? YOU GUYS, when i saw the numbers i was SHOCKED!  i know i feel 10x better, but the numbers are making me glow with confidence!  i knew my weight was consistently going down, because of that problem i have (which i’m working on). but, when i took my measurements and started comparing them with 10 days before, I WAS ESTATIC! so, here they are:

weightincheslostTHAT’S TWELVE AND A HALF INCHES, IN TEN DAYS. 

so, am i happy with the results so far?  ummm, do ya think???!?!  i’m really excited to finish this challenge strong.  these results are proof of my hard work and dedication and i can’t wait to see what kind of results i can pull off after 14 more days!!

*i am not an Advocare distributor, but my fiancé is.  all of my opinions on Advocare would be the same regardless of this.*