Thursday, April 23, 2015

Advocare 24 Day Challenge - Cleanse Phrase Wrap-up

As you know, I've been doing the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge.

The first phase of this challenge is the Cleanse Phase. In this phase, you use the products below and work on ridding your body of toxins that will prevent the effective absorption of key nutrients.

Advocare Spark - I used Fruit Punch and Pink Lemonade

Herbal Cleanse - Fiber Drink, Probiotics, and Herbal Cleanse Pills

OmegaPlex - Essential Fatty Acids (like fish oil, but better)

Catalyst - Supposedly, it's like "liposuction in a bottle," or so I have read.

Ok, so those are the products you need during this phase of the challenge. It lasts from Day 1 - Day 10 of the 24 days you're on the challenge.

A few things made me nervous about this challenge:
  1. Lots of products to remember to take at different times of the day.
  2. I read a ton of horrible comments about the fiber drink.
  3. The cost.
  4. Clean eating when I don't like vegetables. 

Addressing the concerns:
  1. Well, clearly, I decided the cost was worth it. I just wanted to give something a try. I knew I needed to boost my metabolism and reset my body. This was the way I chose to do it. I had seen how well it worked for a friend of mine and I knew that, if she could do it, I could do it too.
  2. The challenge comes with a handy Daily Guide. I leave this out on my counter at all times and check things off when I do them. There is also an app on my phone that will remind me to take products at certain times (like, when I'm at work).
  3. The Fiber Drink.....ugh, I'll explain more on that in a second.
  4. Clean eating..........ok, this was the hardest part of the challenge. I already meal plan, but I had gotten so lazy about cooking. As a matter of fact, when I told my boyfriend that I was going to cook at home for 24 straight nights, he laughed at me. So far, so good, but it was hard getting the motivation at first. Also, I'm addicted to coffee. With the exception of my pregnancy, I've had coffee every day (multiple cups of coffee) since I was 17. I'm 24, almost 25 now.
So, here's how the cleanse went for me:

Day 1: 
  • 5:30 AM - Advocare Spark and Catalyst first thing. Ok, Spark is really good. I'm not kidding. The fruit punch kind of tastes like Koolaid. I can handle this for 24 days.
  • 5:35 AM - AM Yoga
  • 6:00 AM - Breakfast. The dreaded fiber drink (and yes, it really is disgusting. I'll give tips for getting it down below) and food. I chose to drink a protein shake for breakfast for the first three days, just to make sure I was getting good nutrition first thing. 
  • 9:45 AM - Snack time! I ate a banana.
  • 12:00 PM - Lunch time. Salad with chicken. Lite Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing. Delicious
  • 4:00 PM - Snack time! I would eat fruit or veggies with hummus. Just depended on what I had on hand. Sometimes, I would eat a rice cake or two.
  • 6:00 PM - Dinner time. Omegaplex (2 capsules) with food. I'm going to include my dinner meal plan for the first 10 days below.
  • 8:00 PM - PiYo, day 1. Hello, Chalene Johnson. I've missed you.
  • 9:30 PM - Bed. Yes, this is early but I was exhausted. I took my crazy pills with the herbal cleanse tablets and passed out.
Water intake for the first day was about 12 cups. I peed all day long. I had to get someone in to watch my class twice so I could go pee.

Nothing happened on the "cleansing" end. Not to worry. It's just day 1!

Day 2:

Went through the exact same process as Day 1. Same breakfast, same lunch, different food for dinner. Same products. Easy!

Bad caffeine headache today. It went away around 3:00 PM...but I had to teach all day long feeling like someone was cutting my head into pieces.

Day 3:

Went through the exact same process as Day 1-2. No headaches. No cleansing. My body is starting to get adjusted to the water intake.

Day 4:
  • New product today! Adding in the probiotic at breakfast. No more Fiber drink either! Thank the Lord.
  • Finally cleansed a little today. Nothing major. This cleanse is definitely gentle, as promised.
Day 5 - 7:

Same as Day 4. Body is starting to become more regular, which is something I've always struggled with. Didn't exercise at all this weekend. Way too tired.

Day 8:
  • Return of the dreaded fiber drink. Three more days of this crap. I can do it.
  • No more herbal cleanse pills at night.
  • Everything else is the same!
Day 9 - 10:

Same as Day 8. My body has definitely become more regular throughout this process. No more bloating. I've been quite gassy though (TMI, sorry!). I looked it up, and this is a side-effect of all of the extra fiber I've been taking in. Remember, 6 of these days started with the fiber drink, AND I'm eating fruits and veggies...something my body is not used to doing.

Dinner Meal Plan:

  1. Lemon Chicken with Herbs, Salad.
  2. Baked Swai, Green Beans
  3. Grilled Italian Chicken, Corn
  4. Grilled Tilapia, Salad
  5. Roasted Garlic & Herb Chicken, Green Beans
  6. Olive Garden for my sister's birthday - I had Baked Tilapia and Shrimp with a side of steamed broccoli. Salad, of course, which was sad because I really wanted Chicken & Gnocchi soup. The saddest part of all? No breadsticks. This was depressing and very difficult.
  7. Garlic & Herb Chicken, Green Beans
  8. Baked Swai and Tilapia, Corn
  9. Turkey Meatloaf and Light Mashed Potatoes (I really needed the extra carbs at this point)
  10. Leftovers from the night before.

At this point, I'm about salad-ed out. I've had a salad 8/10 days for lunch AND sometimes with dinner. 

Now, for the best part of this whole cleanse - THE RESULTS:

Over the course of these 10 days, I lost:
  • 6 pounds!
  • 5 inches!
Average weight loss on the challenge is anywhere from 5-15 lbs. I've already lost 6 on the cleanse! That's exciting!

Do I think the products alone caused the loss? No. I'm a realist. I changed the way I was eating, completely.

Do I think the products helped a lot? Yes, absolutely. Without them, I wouldn't have gotten off of coffee/soda. Without them, I wouldn't have been inspired to make these lifestyle decisions. The strict schedule of this cleanse pushed me to do things that I normally wouldn't have done.

Hopefully, I'll see even more results with the rest of this challenge. There are a lot of pills that go with the next part of this challenge. I might have to set alarms on my phone to remember to take them all at the appropriate times. I'm hopeful!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Starting the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge

Losing weight sucks.

Like, no joke. It sucks.

A friend of mine has recently done the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge. She lost 15 lbs with the challenge. I was so impressed with her before and after pictures and results that I decided I would give it a shot. I have tried just about every fad out there, just to see what the hype is. Call it a natural curiosity, if you will. I've done Body by Vi (which, to be fair, I loved) and Plexus Slim (not a fan, honestly).

I received my package in the mail yesterday. Pretty quick turn around, actually. I ordered it on Wednesday and received it Saturday around midday. Not too shabby!

Here's what it looks like:

It was a nice sized package, about 6 lbs total. I went ahead and unboxed it (and of course, took the obligatory photo of the products stacked up way nicer than they will be for the next few weeks):

With the 24 day challenge, you get 5 products:
  1. Spark (two boxes - enough for the whole challenge) - kind of like their energy drink. This is what I am most excited for.
  2. Herbal Cleanse - for the cleanse phase (days 1-10) - contains probiotics, herbal cleanse pills, and the dreaded fiber drink (the part that I am least excited about)
  3. MNS C - vitamins and other supplements that you take during the Max phase (days 11-24)
  4. Meal Replacement Shakes - for breakfast during the Max phase (days 11-24)
  5. Omegaplex - you take this during the entire challenge.
I added on another product - Catalyst. Supposedly, this product is amazing. I've even heard it called "liposuction in a bottle." I'm skeptical, but we will see. I start taking that tomorrow morning and take it for the whole challenge.

The package also came with an insert that explains the challenge and tells you exactly what to do each day. It's laid out nicely. Pretty simple, I think.

After I got all of the products, I realized I needed a plan. Now, I'm usually pretty good at meal planning, but I have sucked beyond the telling of it here lately. Boyfriend is always teasing me about how little I cook. When I told him I meal planned and went grocery shopping, he laughed. Now I have to do it, just to prove him wrong ;)

Here is my meal plan for the week:

Currently, I'm baking chicken for the salads every day this week. We will see how that actually turns out.

I'm also starting PiYo again tomorrow. The farthest I've ever made it is Week 3. I love it; I'm just lazy. Sigh.

I have a plan. I have the products. I have the correct mentality. I have everything I need. I will be posting regularly to keep track of how I'm doing on the challenge. Part of me really doesn't think it will work. The rest of me really wants it to work. It takes 21 days to make a habit. This is 24. Hopefully I will form some good habits that I can take with me long after the challenge ends.

I'll keep you posted ;)