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:

photo 2

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?

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.

greenbeanfries2

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.

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.*

day one

hi! so yesterday was the first day of my 24 day challenge.  i’ve been following quite a few fitness people on instagram, lately, one of them being Jess, from TrulyJess.com.  this girl is a total inspiration and i’ve been following her for a good two years now.  she’s someone very relatable, because she does struggle, and she’s not afraid of hiding it.  if she falls off the wagon, she gets right back up and pushes herself that much more.  from there i found Keri and talked to her about my situation.  she was more than supportive and told me about Advocare, which are the same supplements i had recently heard Jess talk about.

i ended up ordering the 24 day challenge for many reasons:

  1. i have nowhere to go but down on the scale.  i will not gain one more pound if it’s the last thing i do.
  2. i felt like i needed something to kick-start my transformation.  i’ve been sluggish, moody, and tired for a while now and i know its because i’m putting junk in my body.
  3. 24 days didn’t seem like a long time.  most challenges are 90 days, maybe 60.. but 24 days seems really attainable.  if what i’m doing at the end of the 24 days isn’t working like i think it should, i’ll reevaluate and go from there.

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this challenge is broken down into two phases, a cleanse phase and a burn phase.  the cleanse phase is 10 days, but you’re still able to eat real food, which i like.  a lot of times, i fail miserably on cleanses because my body feels so deprived, i give up.  the cleanse comes with a morning fiber drink, spark (a coffee replacement), before dinner, and before bed supplements.  the plan suggests you eat 3 clean, balance meals (protein, veggie, complex carb) with 3 snacks in between (more on my eats in a second).  the burn phase is an additional 14 days.  this comes with a meal replacement shake (recommended for mornings), supplements called Metabolic Nutrition System (MNS®) geared toward your goals (mine have serious appetite control), and some more spark.  again, same with the clean eating in the cleanse phase.

advocare

(two 24 day challenges. only one for me.)

i wont go into the daily breakdown now, instead i’ll sum those up in posts when i finish them.  the program also suggests working out to maximize results.  Keri gave me some insight on what she did during her challenge (which she had AMAZING results, btw), so i have mirrored my training after hers, with some of my own tweaks here and there.  she was in the gym for 3 hrs/day.. um yeah. that sounds crazy, right?

well, i guess i’m crazy, too, because i worked out for a total of 2 hrs and 25 mins yesterday; broken into two workouts.  i headed to the gym bright and early yesterday at 5:00 am.  i did an hour of lifting, which included arms + abs, then finished with cardio.  i tried hopping in on a spin class, but my tailbone hasn’t been right since i had surgery last year, so i dropped out during minute 16.  then did a mix of the arc trainer + treadmill with mini-HIIT workouts.  i felt like i got a lot out of the workout and my Puma HRM said i burned 1,062 calories. holla!

i got showered and ready at the gym, headed to work, and made sure to keep on track with my meals.  here is what my day of eats looked like:

4:30 a.m.catalyst + spark pre-workout

7:00 a.m. – fiber drink + protein shake (BSN – SYNTHA 6 Vanilla) post-workout

9:30 a.m. – 1/3 cup of raw almonds

12:00 p.m. – catalyst

12:30 p.m. – 2 grilled chicken tenders + cucumbers & tomatoes (definitely nothing too exciting here.  i had some cucumbers and tomatoes from the garden that needed to be used up, so i just chopped those up for lunch.)

chickenveggies

3:00 p.m. – edamame ( i picked up from Costco)

edamame

insert Just Dance – Just Sweat workout here.  another 335 calories burned.

7:00 p.m.omegaplex + bison stuff peppers & roasted okra tossed in some nutritional yeast.

9:00 p.m. – herbal cleanse tablets + protein shake which consisted of GNC Pro Performance chocolate protein, 1/2 a banana, almond milk, and ice cubes.  i actually really enjoy this protein.  its low in carbs and doesn’t hurt my stomach.  it was nice to end the day with something sweet since i was on an ice cream kick there for awhile.. i’m looking at you sea salt caramel Gelato Haagen-Dazs.  have y’all tried that stuff? if you haven’t, don’t… you wont know what you’re missing 🙂

daily water intake: i lost track, but i’d say somewhere in between 180-200 oz.

thoughts on the products? so far, so good!  i don’t have any complaints.  the spark really helped give me something extra at the gym.  my 4:00 a.m. wake-up came early, but i didn’t really feel tired.  the cleanse portion wasn’t harsh either.  i had heard stories that the fiber was kinda rough, so i just chugged that down.  it definitely wasn’t pleasant.  my stomach got a little ‘girgle-y’ a little before lunch time, but that was the only effects i really saw of the cleanse.

thoughts on my day? all-in-all, i felt like i had a really good day.  i felt like i was dragging at work from 4-5, but i’m going to say it’s because i had already been up so long; i may take some spark tomorrow if i feel like that again..  lunch was lacking in the flavor department, so i know if i’m going to stick to this i’m going to have to get creative.  i’m adding a hard boiled egg to my almond snack for a little extra staying power, because i was pretty hungry going into lunch.  dinner was amazing, i added some salt-free seasoning to the bison + green chiles + organic diced tomatoes and then stuffed some peppers.  it had a lot of flavor going for it.  my favorite part of the day was having something sweet to end with.  i have a feeling those chocolate protein shakes will become a staple.

myfitnesspal daily summary:

myfitnesspal

that’s it for day one of my challenge! i’ll be back either tonight or tomorrow with a recap of day two! thanks for stopping by! and if i kept you this long, thanks for reading!  not all posts will be this wordy.. promise!

Q: what’s your after dinner eating habits?  is your night now complete without a sweet treat?  do you brush your teeth right after dinner to curb snacking?  i’m def a sweet-after-dinner kinda girl.  like i said, the ice cream got a little out of hand there for awhile.