advocare-challenge

The “Supplement”al Truth

I have loved writing these blog posts because I have found that my inspiration comes from many different outlets. This process has enlightening. I have seen the diversity of my friends and their sheer talents for a variety of things. It has given me a wealth of ideas for posts and for that I am grateful to them!

A friend posted on Facebook not too long ago about her frustration when friends approached her for advice on the use of supplements. Coach, this post is for you!

I suppose I should preface this by saying I am in no means an expert, nutritionist, doctor, etc. I use to be a YoYo dieter and hated that I was always labeled “a bigger girl.” I could be as fit and toned as they come but I could pack on the weight in the blink of an eye. If I had fast food, I would have to spend 3 days in the gym to make up for it. Who has time for that?! When I went off to college, I gained the freshman…well we won’t get into that. I tried the “quick fixes,” the diet pills; you name it, I tried it. Sure some of it worked short term but after a weekend drinking fest with the girls I was back to square one.

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I finally got smart and actually did some research into the supplement game. I found out a lot, I mean A LOT. In the words of my friend Melissa, “Supplements are just that…they supplement what you are already doing nutrition-wise.”

When I finally chose the nutrition path I wanted to go on, it was after much debate and research and with the knowledge that it may not work with my body chemistry. Supplements can be top of the line and do wonders for most people out there but may not work with your system.

I use AdvoCare products and have had immense success from them. My first introduction to them was through the 24 day challenge which was the perfect way for me to jump start my body into getting healthy, not just losing weight. As I got older, it wasn’t so much about the weight loss as it was about making sure I was healthy. Another part of the process is the personal coaching you get when you sign on to AdvoCare. There are Facebook groups and one-on-one coaching from your distributor. When I first started, I could call or text them whenever I had a question. The process was so easy. Although there are so many good systems out there like ItWorks, LeVel, and Supplement Stores, I am going to breakdown the 24 Day Challenge because that is what I know. As I mentioned before I have tried others. LeVel just didn’t work for me, but my friend swears by it (AdvoCare did not work for her). Find what works for your body, not what is the most cleverly marketed.

The 24 Day Challenge is broken up into two phases. The Cleanse Phase and the Max Phase. I personally love the AdvoCare cleanse. It is completely noninvasive and I feel so amazing when I am on it. I always had problems with feeling bloated after I ate and I could never get rid of that feeling. Enter AdvoCare cleanse. It starts taking effect right away. With your 24 Day Challenge you get a variety of products:

Herbal Cleanse

Fiber Drink

OmegaPlex

2 boxes of Spark

Box of Meal Replacement Shakes

Metabolic Nutrition System Supplements

Cleanse Phase (10 days): You will start your day with probiotics and a spark (the wonderfulness that is AdvoCare’s energy drink-this helps get you off soda and coffee if you are an addict), followed 30 minutes later with the unflavored fiber drink. Go about your day clean eating and drinking TONS of water. At night with dinner you take 2 omegaplex and before bed you take your herbal cleanse pills.

The cleanse phase is so important because you will want to flush your body of toxins before you start putting supplements into it. This is the case with any supplements you take. If your body isn’t flushed clean, the things you put into your body to help, can’t if they don’t have a clean canvas to do it on.

Max Phase (14 days): After the cleanse phase, the Max Phase will see an increase of supplements. Instead of taking some in the morning and at night, the Max phase has you taking the MNS (metabolic nutrition system) in the morning and at lunch.

I love that AdvoCare lets you choose which system is right for you. There is a system for Appetite Control, Energy, and one for Combined Wellness. I have tried them all and the Appetite Control works the best for me. The packets include Metabolic Enhancers, probiotics, antioxidants, CitriSate (which aids in controlling appetite and enhancing mood) and omegaplex.  When you get your first look at the pack, it may seem overwhelming but I fall into a routine taking them and I feel amazing!

Included in the Max Phase are the Meal Replacement shakes. I LOVE these things!! I’ve even ordered more boxes to drink during the cleanse phase because they are so easy. At only 220 calories and 2 grams of fat you wouldn’t thing these would fill you up. The shakes are loaded with 24 grams of protein and only 12 grams of sugar so you aren’t going to get the sugar crash you would normally get with other meal replacement shakes.

My average weight loss on the challenge has been between 10 and 22 lbs. I have found the times on challenges that I have lost a lower amount of weight, it is because I haven’t eaten as clean as the other times. There are so many companion products that go along with the Challenge but the above are the core Challenge products. At any given time, I am taking some kind of AdvoCare product. Whether it is Spark or Meal Replacement Shake or a MNS.

 

AdvoCare has taught me one very important thing. How to manage healthy eating. Through this process, I have found that I can’t have a “cheat day.” I can really only have a cheat meal and still stay on track. My best friend comments all the time about my new found ability to cook. Three years ago I was using my oven as storage and now I’m kind of a force to be reckoned with in the kitchen (still can’t bake but that’s probably for the best). I absolutely love meal prepping (when I am in the throes of a challenge) and trying new recipes and seeing if I can put a healthy spin on them.

I have loved helping people get on the healthy track. I had so much success on the AdvoCare track, I signed up to be a Distributor. It was twofold really. I got a decent discount but could also spread the word to others who may have had the same struggles as me. I felt that if I could possibly give someone who was experiencing the same struggles as me a way to alleviate that stressor, why not coach them through it? I have really enjoyed that process!

If any of this sounds interesting, or you just want to browse the site, click here: www.advocare.com/161226949

You might find other products that you are interested in. I am always available to answer questions and if you have a question about a product I haven’t tried, I have amazing people who I can get a hold of to answer your question. That is the incredible thing about the AdvoCare community, everyone helping each other.

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essential oil for aromatherapy and spring tree blossoms

An Unconventional Healthy

The site got a little update (I mean why not, I just started it). Maybe some of the moms out there can weigh in on today’s subject?

With the constant debate on medicine and vaccinations, I don’t pretend to offer any knowledge on the matter. But I can I offer a different perspective, but only speaking from a slightly unusual perspective. Now don’t get me wrong, I get my flu shot every year from the school nurse but that is mostly for the students and for the off chance that it does work.

It all started my freshman year of college. I was excited to be there, I had just pledged a sorority, and was making a lot of new friends. It goes without saying that I had left High School behind and was excited to start college in a brand new place with brand new people! I was sad to leave my family but excited to start my new life. A few weeks into my college life, things got a little rough. I became sick and went to the campus clinic. Their first question, “Do you have a sexually transmitted disease?” Seriously?! I’m sick?!! They ask everyone who walks in there, including kids with broken legs, if they have an STD! No, No I don’t. Something is seriously wrong with me, I have this crazy rash on my legs, get rid of it! (side note, I found out several years later the rash was post-traumatic stress from leaving home; apparently you can experience PTSD in mild forms without really knowing it-who knew). They gave me Zyrtec and sent me on my way. Fast forward a few hours and I woke up with my eyes swollen shut (FYI, not a good look for me). My mom came down to take me to the ER. I discovered a few things on that ER trip. A) I am allergic to Zyrtec and B) steroid shots in the butt HURT! I was also given erythromycin (because I am allergic to Penicillin- a childhood diagnosis) and sent again on my way. Mom left, I slept, and then I went to Sunday night sorority meeting. That’s when things got hairy. My allergic reaction to the erythromycin started to set in and before I knew it my body started shutting down due to the medicine. After another night in the ER, and strict advice from all doctors to have no medicine ending ‘cyin’ I spent the next few years struggling through seasonal illnesses and a series of allergies tests (have you had those? I wouldn’t advise putting them on your bucket list unless you like to get 150 needle pricks on your back. Not for me).

Essential Oils

Enter Essential Oils. One fateful weekend, a very good friend introduced me to her Oils, or as her husband so affectionately refers to them, her “voodoo.” After that weekend, I was extremely intrigued and then got sicker than I had ever been, running  a 103 fever for 3 days (when you usually run a solid 97.1, a 103 is bad), That, I promise you was just a coincidence. I signed up as soon as I was able to see straight.

With my starter kit I received a diffuser, a variety of 11 5mL oils, and marketing materials. I didn’t necessarily know what I was doing with each oil, but that is why Pinterest is amazing. I started looking up the different ways to use each oil and found a gold mine. I was excited to find out that one of the oils that came in my kit had a myriad of uses. Thieves is a blended oil that I am never without. Before using this oil, I would get sinus infections that would last MONTHS! Without being able to take medicine, sinus infections were miserable. Now, when I feel them coming on, I dab a few drops at night on the bottoms of my feet and sleep on it. My sinus infections only last a few days at most now. It is insane! Now, don’t get me wrong there are side effects. I walk around smelling like a spicy, Christmas like scent that can get a little over powering but who cares, I know that in a few days I won’t be feeling like crap anymore! Another miracle cure provided by Thieves…one drop on a Q-tip alleviates a tooth ache instantaneously! No joke, it is incredible!

There is more to oils than the medicinal element. My friend Anna is a blending genius and she is always coming up with crazy cool oils to blend together to make new scents. A lot of fun can be had experimenting with different oils and how they smell together. I love diffusing them in my classroom and many of my Pins on my Essential Oils Pinterest board showcase different concoctions.

As I mentioned, I am a teacher and always looking for ways to pinch a penny. For Christmas, I have made Essential oils infused gifts that have gone over great! I like to consider myself pretty crafty so these gifts turn out cute, practical, and all natural!

If you are interested in finding out more info on Essential oils, just let me know. I use Young Living because the starter kit was my in to the organization and I get my oils at a distributor cost. I also do not have to worry about renewing my membership each year which is great!

The site is https://www.youngliving.com/en_US/products  or follow me on Pinterest to view my Oil Boards!

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spot2

Eat This, Not That (but wait, you’ll want to eat both…)

I have to give credit for this post to my wonderful and funny friend Kristen. My initial purpose of my recipe posts were going to showcase healthy recipes that I have tried; the good and the bad. Kristen however REALLY REALLY wanted me to include my BLT dip in a post and it got me thinking. Why not include a healthy recipe and a cheat recipe? Best of both worlds? Have your cake and eat it too? I try to live the 80/20 lifestyle anyway (if you aren’t familiar with this it is 80% clean eating, and 20% wiggle room) so why not share some of those 20% recipes I have tried also. So Kristen, here ya go!

Eggroll in a Bowl (Eat This)

egg-roll

This dish is soooo yummy! The great thing is there are different variations depending on your tastes. Another great thing…hardly any cook/prep time!

Here’s what you need:

1lb ground sausage, turkey, or beef (the leaner the better)

1 bag dry coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots)

5 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup soy sauce (low sodium is best)

1 teaspoon ginger (optional)

sliced green onion

Brown the meat in a large skillet. In a separate bowl, combine garlic, soy sauce, and ginger (if you added it). Once the meat is finished cooking, add the coleslaw mix to skillet. Now, if you are a cooking newbie like I am, the large amount of coleslaw in the skillet will alarm you and not look right. Wait for it! It will wilt 😉

Add the soy sauce mix and stir. Continue to cook all ingredients for another 5 minutes or until cabbage is slightly wilted.

Tip: If you are like me and LOVE soy sauce, the low sodium soy sauce option was disheartening. I do not usually season my food with a lot of salt and most of the food I eat is low sodium anyway so I don’t really feel bad when I eat a lot of soy sauce.  SO, with that being said, I decided to use regular soy sauce for this recipe. My recommendation is to NOT. Although still super good, it was way too salty. When I make this again, I will buy low sodium (and only use it for this!)

BLT Dip (Not That-but really do, you’ll want to eat this, trust me!)

blt

Please do not get scared off by the ingredients of this dip. It is usually best to just let people experience the gloriousness of it and THEN tell them what is in it.

Here’s what you need:

1lb of bacon

1 tomato (diced)

1 cup mayo (can substitute with lite- I would not use fat free)

1 cup sour cream (can substitute with lite or fat free)

melba toast, bagel chips, or pita chips

Fry the bacon until it is crispy, allow to cool. Measure out sour cream and mayo. Dice tomato.

Crumble bacon. I use a food processor on the low setting to crumble the bacon. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Done!

Tips: This dip is best when served chilled.

Also, you can use Miracle Whip but it completely changes the taste. So if you absolutely LOVE Miracle Whip, then go for it. If not, I would just use mayo.

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First blog post

So here it is. I’m jumping in. Fully clothed mind you, but jumping in nonetheless. I have no idea what I am doing with this but I have also been throwing around the idea of starting a blog for a while now  because I use them so often. With so many do’s and don’t’s in this world, there is always a fine line you have walk. Why not write your own…

This will really just be a place where you can find randomness. I am constantly looking for the next best recipe or idea. Let’s be clear, this blog is a place for perspective not opinion. I can’t tell you how many times I just needed someone else’s perspective, not their opinion, and turned to blogs to get it. If you are wondering if there is a difference between these two words, there is, don’t worry. For example; I have an opinion on the best type of wine, but my perspective on the best type of wine is different (has a lot to do with how fast I can put away a bottle…).

Posts will range from recipes, fitness, nutrition, humor, beauty, and life. All of which I am not an expert in and probably never will be (insert your choice of emoticon here because I don’t have that luxury! grrr!) While I am not an expert in these areas, I have experience in fitness, nutrition, humor, beauty, and life. Experience in successes and failures. The blogs I enjoyed reading were the ones that gave real life testimonials. Rest assured I won’t endorse a product, recipe, workout if I haven’t myself tried and failed at it first.

I hope that this blog will bring some light to your daily reading (don’t worry it won’t be daily, I teach Kindergarten for crying out loud-ain’t nobody got time for everyday if you’re herding kittens all day).

As I tell my Kindergartners everyday; go through your day and “Have Courage, and Be Kind.” If you think about it for a minute, these words cover a lot of life rules…:)