Advocare “Clean Phase” Review

Miscellaneous

So today is day 11 on my 24-Day-Advocare Challenge. (Read about my prep for the challenge here.)

This morning I was down 5lbs, BUT (and this is totally TMI) I attribute a lot of the weightloss to using the bathroom right before I weighed myself. Am I the only one who thinks like this? I don’t know, but I wasn’t too mad I guess.

THE FOOD

The first half of the challenge has been (for the most part) relatively easy. Sure there were times I still wanted to eat ice cream or popcorn at night, but I stuck it out without giving into cravings. Honestly I really do believe in the overall principle of the challenge. It teaches wholesome, balanced eating and I’ve never “gone hungry”. In fact, sometimes the alarm has gone off on my cell phone and I realize it’s time for another snack and I’m like “ugh!”, so that’s definitely a pro of this challenge.

The challenge stresses the important of planning and meal prepping, which is a concept that is not new to me. I’ve been doing it for basically two years so it was easy for me to jump on board. You seriously have to plan out every single meal and snack and also consciously be aware of your water intake. My husband has been super supportive of the challenge and has really helped me with meal prepping and also with cooking healthy, challenge approved dinners. In fact, he’s cooked dinner every night this week and all I’ve done is put up a list on the fridge of what we are having which nights! (He really is Mr. Perfect!)

Zucchini noodles & homemade pesto sauce

Zucchini noodles & homemade pesto sauce

A few things on my meal plan: Spaghetti squash. Zucchini noodles. Shrimp stir fry. Chicken wraps. Avocado toast. Rice cakes with peanut butter. Veggies and hummus. Cajun shrimp salad. Salmon. Stuffed peppers…this list goes on and on. You just have to be really conscious of what and when you are eating. If you are someone who tends to just “wing it” I’m not sure that this challenge would be for you.

spaghetti squash - delicious!

Spaghetti squash – delicious!

THE PRODUCTS

So far I’ve really like the Advocare products. Spark really is as amazing as everyone raves it is. I keep thinking that Advocare really knew what they were doing when they created it and incorporated it into the challenge. Since you cut out coffee and add in Spark, it still gives you something to drink in the mornings and with a little bit of caffeine so you’re not dying. I really do look forward to it every morning.

The other Advocare products have been good as well. I’ve lost 5lbs so far, but the difference in how I feel is also just as great. I don’t feel bloated and I wake up feeling better. Honestly I think if I cleaned up my diet by myself I’d probably have similar results, but it actually has been pretty fun to incorporate the supplements into my routine. It mixes it up and it’s new to me so that definitely helps.

There are a few other Advocare products that my “coach” has suggested to me. Honestly I know they are trying to sell the products to make money, so I’m not totally sure if I will buy them (pretty pricey), but I will think about it because so far so good. I’m excited to try the products in the second part of the challenge (the “max” phase) to see if I like them!

supps

Supplements all separated and organized for each day of the week, which was super helpful

TRAINING / WORKING OUT

I’ve been killing it at the gym. This morning I did P90X plyometrics and honestly I can feel the soreness in my thighs as I sit here writing this. I’ve also incorporated: stair-mill workouts, HIIT, rowing, sprints, regular distance running, cardio kickboxing and weights/circuit training. I’ve been working out in the mornings at my work fitness center and because I feel so good and energetic when I wake up – I’ve been having amazing workouts and look forward to it. I hope this motivation and “fun” never goes away!

Morning circuit training

Morning circuit training

OVERALL REVIEW (FOR THE “CLEAN” PHASE)

SO my overall review of the Challenge is very good:

  • I like what you get to eat (it doesn’t suck and I’m not hungry).
  • Training has been fun because I generally feel better.
  • Supplements/products are fun to incorporate and seem to be having a good effect on me.
  • “Coaching” has been constructive and helpful.
  • Access to a private Facebook group has been super motivating and also very helpful.

I was asked to think about my goals for the Challenge and at first I couldn’t think of any besides “lose weight”. I’ve taken the time to think more detailed about it and here’s what I’ve got:

advocare-goalsMore to come after Day 24!

Goals + Hopes for 2016

Miscellaneous

Another crazy, fun year has passed! 2015 was one of, if not the best year of my life. (2011 was quite a good year as well!)

This past year was exciting. If I had to pick one word to describe it, I would definitely say “exiting” is the word. Obviously our wedding on August 29, 2015 was the most exciting day, but the whole year was fantastic and eventful. My husband and I were blessed to watch seven other couples get married. We also took our first vacation together. I traveled to Nashville, Texas and Colorado. I competed in (and survived) my first Olympic distance triathlon. I ran my third full marathon. I got promoted at work…The list goes on and on about all the wonderful, neat stuff that we did. It has been one big adventure and tying the knot and officially starting my life with my husband was the foundation of it all.

Dec 31 _ 7pmPArkway drive, MAAs I sit here thinking about our wonderful New Years Eve plans with our friends tonight, I find myself really looking forward to 2016. I love the new year and celebrating a “new you”. Some may think it’s cheesy, but I’ve always enjoyed it. It’s a time to refresh and challenge yourself. It’s a time to reflect on the past year and your life. It’s a good way to find new things to challenge you and to be passionate about. I encourage everyone to write down your thoughts and feelings about the past year and to also write down your thoughts, feelings, goals and hopes for the new year. Here’s what I’ve got:

My 2016 Bucket List / Goal List

  • Take a hot air balloon ride AND/OR skydive
  • Travel to: California, Chicago, New York City, Washington DC and MAYBE Italy
  • Pay off my credit cards and car (I just need to buckle down and I can do it!!)
  • Compete in (and survive) my first 70.3 Ironman triathlon (maybe get in the best shape of my entire life because of this?!!?)
  • Run my fourth full marathon (???)
  • Volunteer (soup kitchens, clubs, time, etc.)
  • Complete a 100-mile bike ride
  • Attempt and be successful at donating blood (the past few times weren’t pretty and I actually HATE it, but I am O-Negative and I know how important it is)
  • Get a tattoo with my husband (we’ve wanted to get these for a while, but it was never the right time or we never wanted to spend the money on it)
  • Stay off Facebook (I have recently been trying to ween myself off the stupid social media platform. I deleted the app from my phone so that I can only check it from a desktop computer. People have become so obsessed with it and with putting everything online. I just want to scream “Get off your phone and live your life!!”)
  • Read one book a month (I tend to listen to CDs in the car while driving to and from work, but I’d like to try to do more actual reading from a paper book!)
  • Get better about seeing my group of girlfriends more regularly. Every time we get together (which is once every few months) we always say “Why did we wait so long to get together?!” I know schedules are crazy and everyone is busy, but getting together for an hour over a glass of wine isn’t that hard.
  • Write in a journal (everyday or every few days.) I’ve looked up 200 journal prompts and will use that to help me start writing more. I have a prayer book that I try to read everyday and I want to read the prayer book for a few minutes and then write for a few minutes. I want to do this every.single.day. I’ve been reading about the Miracle Morning routine and the importance of it. It’s pretty neat actually!

Fluffy Goals:

  • Continue loving my job. Go out of the way to volunteer and help with projects. Get as much experience in everything as possible and improve my professional status.
  • Look more into getting my Masters (think seriously…maybe Fall 2017??)
  • Be the best wife I can be to my incredible husband.
  • Go out of my way to spend more time with my family, especially my grandparents.

The Usual Goals:

  • Every single winter/off-season I gain about 20 lbs. It’s just what I do. I train hard and eat clean from May to September and then from October to December it’s a free for all. (It’s basically one big, giant all-you-can-eat contest.) I know it’s not healthy, but it’s what I do and as you can probably guess, I’ve gained the weight. Currently I am sitting 20 lbs heavier than I was in August for our wedding. I enjoyed my off-season, but I’m ready to shed this weight and to buckle down. The holidays are rough on everyone’s waist line, so I’m trying not to beat myself up too much. I had my fun, but now it’s time to get back on track. (Plus I feel like garbage! I’m actually excited to start eating vegetables!)
  • To help with my “getting back on track” I’ve decided that I’m going to do something that I’ve never done before. I’ve signed up for my first ever Advocare 24-Day Challenge. For the past couple months I’ve seen people rave about it and I’ve always been judgmental of stuff like this. Shakeology, Herbalife, the 21-Day Fix, Arbonne…the list of distribution companies go on and on. Finally, I grew curious and I decided to look into Advocare. There was someone on social media that I actually trusted and I reached out to her. After a good amount of research I decided to give it a try. If it fails then I’ve been right all along and now I know, but if it doesn’t – well, you get it! I’m not looking for a “quick fix” and I get that I’ll have to bust my butt, but I am hoping that the products and support help me. I’ve joined the national “All In” challenge and it starts January 11. More to come on this!

I’m looking forward to a wonderful night out tonight and partaking in my husband and I’s usual New Years Day tradition – sushi and a movie. (We are going to see Star Wars and I’m excited!) Thank the Lord for blessing me with such a wonderful and fantastic life. I pray I get to stick around for a good time more with the ones I love.

Have a wonderful and safe new year, friends!

new-year