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Day 11 (First day of the Max Pack phase!)

Sorry for the sporadic writing lately!  I know that I’ve for sure dropped the ball on the whole blog thing, but I have to at least write about today!

Good riddance!

Yesterday was our last day of the 10 day cleanse portion of the 24 Day Challenge, and let me say that I won’t miss it!  The first two days were the hardest, especially when only fruits and vegetables were allowed on the 1st day!  My least favorite part of the cleanse was definitely the fiber drinks in the morning, but those are long gone!  Throughout those 10 days, I learned how much I enjoy red wine vinegar on my salads, that I can survive without diet coke and coffee for longer than a day, and that I really like the Advocare meal replacement shakes!  Billy and I both ate pure and clean during the 10 days (with an exception for one cupcake each on valentine’s day from Icing on the Cupcake!) We are both seeing great results and feeling wonderful!

So today is day 11, which means we begin the second and final phase of our 24 day challenge:  The max pack, or “lean-in-13” phase.  Basically, we eat the same way that we have been eating for the past 10 days (lots of fruits and vegetables, proteins, low-glycemic carbs, and very little in sugar).  However, we add a lot more in the way of supplements and pills to our daily regime.  These supplements are multinutrients which are supposed to help increase our metabolism, suppress our appetite, and support our overall wellness.  I’ve already taken the pre-breakfast and with-breakfast supplements for today, so I should feel the effects shortly!

Well, it’s time for me to run off to my muscle blast class!   Never took this one before, but I’ve had the instructor for my boot-camp class, and if that class is any indication I’m going to be SORE this afternoon!  Hopefully I’ll have enough energy to possibly go to Zumba tonight, too!!

Have a great day all!

Day 8 (and first weigh-in!)

Hey all!  So sorry for the delay in writing!  Things have been kind of hectic the past couple of days!  Let me first give you a quick update on what has been going on:

1.  I am very proud to say that I went to go see the movie “The Vow” on Saturday night, and did NOT succumb to the enormous temptation of popcorn!

2.  Red Wine Vinegar has become my best friend.  I put it on EVERYTHING!  My salads, my dips for when I eat my veggie snacks, etc… Absolutely delicious!

3.  It is truly a showing of self-control when you go to a “Sweet Tomatoes” or “Fresh Choice” and ALL you eat is salad!  No soup?  No breads?  Torture!

4.  Got my 2nd migraine in 5 days (yesterday), coming to a total of 5 migraines in 6 weeks.  NOT happy.  However, with my health insurance non-existent at the moment, I have no choice but to grin and bear it!

5.  I am obsessed with the Mandarin Orange Spark!  It’s funny because, before I started the cleanse, I thought it would be my least favorite flavor!  Ironically, what I thought would be my favorite flavor (grape) is the worst!

6.  Don’t torture yourself and think of all the fun things you are going to be able to eat once the challenge is done!  Otherwise, you won’t enjoy the food that is in front of you right now (and it’s pretty delicious!).

Now, let’s get to real-time and what’s been going on starting today!  Billy and I have decided that we would only weigh each other every 8 days (4 times total — day 1, day 8, day 16, and the final day 24).  I definitely felt a difference when I looked in the mirror throughout the past 8 days, although I tried to convince myself that it was just in my head and not reality!  However, I am VERY happy to report that:

•  Billy has lost 7 pounds since the cleanse began!

• I have lost 6.6 pounds since the cleanse began!

Weighing in this morning was a great jump start to the week.  Definitely put a big smile on my face, especially because I wasn’t expecting it!  With only 2 days left of the cleanse portion of the challenge, we can only imagine what is to come on the “lean-in-13” phase!  We are both feeling great, happy, and a few pounds lighter!  The only downside to starting this week is that we have 3 more days of the horrid fiber drink! I hope you all have a great start to the week as I am having today!

And on a completely related topic, I would like to give a HUGE congratulations to Adele for her 6 grammy wins last night!  Her album “21” has been my favorite since it was released a year ago, getting me through my hours and hours of studying for the California Bar this past summer!  You deserve everything and more, Adele, and I’m so glad your voice is back!

Day 3 (and what a great day it was!)

Today was a FABULOUS day for more than one reason!!

Day 3 of the 24-day challenge was great!  Last day of the fiber drink…for the next 4 days!  Plus, I really enjoy the citrus mandarin spark drink (it tastes like tang!).  I felt more energized, less light-headed, and overall HAPPY!

By far, my biggest accomplishment came during lunchtime today, as I was faced with my first “eating outside of the home” challenge.  I attended a family law luncheon with the Contra Costa County Bar Association (more on that later), and prior to the start of the challenge I had pre-ordered the chicken ciacciatore for my meal.  Not only was the chicken breaded (a no-no on the cleanse), but there were mushrooms (my favorite, but unfortunately taboo on the cleanse) and white rice as well.  Part of me thought, “well, what’s the worst that could happen if I ate the chicken as-is?”.  However, I’m proud to say that the other part of me took control and said, “look at all the hard work you’ve done so far.  You need to be strong”. And STRONG I WAS!  Not only did I scrape as much of the breading off the chicken as possible, but I avoided the rice and (sadly) disregarded the mushrooms.  One of the other lawyers sitting next to me said I was missing the best part, but that she admired my self-control and that I should be forewarned for dessert….

Yes.  Cheesecake.  It looked unbelievably delicious, with berry sauce coated all around that scrumptious piece of heaven.  But I knew I couldn’t do that to myself.  So when the waiter came to my seat to bring me a piece, I politely declined.  The lawyer whispered to me “good for you!”, and those few words of encouragement was worth the decision to resist the temptation.  I couldn’t help but smile to myself and be proud of the self-control I had!

After the luncheon, I ventured over to Harvest House Natural Foods in Concord to pick up some sugar-free bbq sauces and sugar-free marinades.  If anyone is looking for some GREAT marinades and sauces to spice up your chicken while completing the 24-day challenge, I have two words for you:  Walden Farms.  Creamy bacon dressing; zesty Italian; balsamic vinaigrette:  ALL CALORIE, CARB, AND SUGAR-FREE!  I can’t wait to make more chicken with all these new ideas!  Once I got home, I had my usual snack of pumpkin seeds (without the shell), and two slices of cantaloupe — YUM!

Today was also the first day I got myself back to the gym.  With the stomach virus, sore throat, nasty cold, and migraine keeping me sidelined for a full week, it felt refreshing to walk in the doors of Delta Valley Athletic Club!  While I only worked out for 45 minutes, it was a great workout!  I thought that I may feel weak or tired because of the cleanse, but I was pleasantly surprised.  I can’t wait to do Zumba tomorrow morning!

Now, this is my favorite news of the day, and it is completely unrelated to the 24-day challenge!  This has to do with my first feeling of accomplishment and success since I’ve been unhappily unemployed since October.  When I attended the luncheon today, my ultimate goal was to meet family law practitioners and get myself out there (aka:  networking).  Not only did I meet my goal, but I exceeded my own expectations!  At the lunch, I began talking with a lawyer who seemed to really enjoy talking with me!  We talked about the family law profession, he gave me his card, and asked me to send him my contact information.  Little did I know that I would receive an email when I got back from the gym tonight, asking if I would be interested in helping him out every now and then with financial documents and other forms!  And the best part???

Yup, that’s right!!! I’ll get PAID!!!  It may not be a lot, but it’s more than what I’m making right now, which is a big fat ZERO!  So now I think you can all understand why my day was so great!  Can’t wait to see what the rest of the week brings!

Good night all!!!

Day 2

Today is my second day of the 24-day challenge, and one day closer to being done with the first step of the challenge: the 10 day cleanse!  The best part of today:  I get to incorporate low-hypoglycemic carbohydrates and proteins back into my food intake!

This morning I woke up feeling refreshed and energized!  One thing I wasn’t expecting, however, was how much I would sweat during the night!  I guess my Advocare coach wasn’t kidding when she said the herbal cleanse supplements would possibly make me warmer at night!  I woke up at around 8am and immediately had my spark and fiber drink.  It is DEFINITELY more bearable to drink the fiber concoction when you chug it down!  One of my friends warned me that, if you leave it sitting out, it turns into an applesauce-like form — I’ll make sure to avoid that!  Had my Berry meal replacement shake for breakfast, which tasted like a strawberry milkshake!  I can get used to that.

Because I missed the 9:30 Zumba class, I decided to do my wii zumba game instead of going to the gym.  Zumba is SO much fun!  What a great way to work out and have fun at the same time.  Today was the first time I did the intermediate level for 45 minutes, and worked up a sweat!  I couldn’t believe how much I had sweat in only 45 minutes!  Got to use my zumba shoes for the first time, too!  For my morning snack, I drank my protein shake and had two slices of cantaloupe.

Ouch!!

I wish I could say my afternoon was as pleasant as my morning, but unfortunately I developed another one of my lovely migraines.  This is the 4th migraine that I’ve had since December 28th, and I’m not all too pleased about it.  I was just on the way out to Trader Joe’s to pick up some sugar free BBQ sauce for dinner tonight when I began to see “spots” in my left eye.  I have learned from my doctor that the “spots” I get in my line of vision is called an “aura”, and precedes migraines in 15% of people who get them.  Luckily, my doctor prescribed me migraine medication just a week ago (fortunately the day before my health insurance ran out), so I was able to take the medicine before my migraine got even worse.  Usually, I drink some sort of caffeine to help lessen the intensity of the migraines; however, on the 24-day challenge diet coke and coffee are out!  Instead, I drank another spark to see if that would have the same effect.  Luckily, it did!  My migraine turned into a nasty headache instead, so at least I can see and am not nauseous anymore.  What an afternoon!

Lunch today was VERY enjoyable and will likely be a staple lunch during the cleanse.  I had 3 oz. turkey breast with lettuce, celery, and some red wine vinegar on top.  Definitely a better choice than yesterday!  I’m anticipating my afternoon snack will consist of 1/8 cup of pumpkin seeds (my healthy fat for the day) and some more cantaloupe.

Lastly, dinner will likely consist of 3 oz. chicken marinated in sugar-free bbq sauce, 1/4 cup of brown rice, and some steamed veggies!  Looking forward to having some carbs tonight!

Since my headache is throbbing, I’m going to sign off for the rest of the day.  Hope you all have a great evening and feel better than I do right now!

Day 1 of the 24 Day Challenge Begins!

Today begins the first day of the Advocare 24 Day Cleanse that Billy and I will be partaking in!  But first, I’d like to say to all of my friends back in New York…

Congrats to the Giants!!!  While I’m a devoted New York Jets fan, I have no complaints when Tom Brady and the Patriots lose the Superbowl!!  I hope all of you enjoyed the Superbowl, whether it was to watch football, the commercials, see Madonna lip-synch during the halftime show, or just to have an excuse to eat delicious food!  Billy and I made pepperoni crescent rolls for our friends’ Superbowl party, and they were yummy!  If you’d like the recipe to try it for yourself, let me know…

Ok, so back to the whole reason why I started this blog in the first place — to keep a detailed account of my journey on the 24-day challenge!  The first step on the 24 day challenge is the 10-day herbal cleanse, which helps the body absorb nutrients better, as well as to rid the body of toxins.  For 10 days, we will be adding to our body different supplements and herbal drinks in order to get our bodies ready for the second step of the challenge! Billy and I took measurements and weigh-ins last night, so we definitely know where we stand now, and where we want to be 24 days from now.  Maybe I will share those numbers with you after all is said and done!

Day 1 is by far the hardest day on the 24-day challenge.  While we are supposed to eat 5 meals throughout the day with a balance of protein, vegetables, fruits, and carbohydrates, on the first day we are ONLY to eat fruits and vegetables for meals 2-5.  For anyone who knows me, I am not the biggest fruit fan.  However, I am truly determined to see results on this challenge and to feel healthier (considering the last week of sickness), so with that comes branching out of my comfort zone!  That also means NO coffee, NO soda, NO alcohol, NO, sugar, and NO dairy for at least 10 days… I used to LIVE on diet coke!!!

A few of the products for the 24 day cleanse

Now that the day is done, I can definitely agree with others that Day 1 is the hardest on the cleanse.  Here’s a little summary of what my day consisted of:

Morning:  Started with the Fiber 10 drink (definitely not my favorite) and spark (a sugar-free energy drink — not bad!).  Breakfast was a Vanilla meal replacement shake that I definitely enjoyed.  Towards the end of the morning, I had an apple along with a cup of chamomile tea.

Afternoon:  Lunch was a failure, but that was all my doing.  Note to self:  lettuce + cucumbers + green beans + too much balsamic vinegar + all purpose salt = disgusting salad!  I’m sure that tomorrow will be a much better lunch, though!  My mid-afternoon snack consisted of an apple, and dinner consisted of an entire bag of broccoli.

I’m sure that I likely didn’t eat enough today, but I never thought how difficult it could be to eat ONLY fruits and vegetables!!  In addition, with all the water I drank (over a gallon!!) and all the supplements I had to take, it was difficult to keep an appetite!

Tomorrow will be a better day I’m sure, since I get protein and “good” carbohydrates back!!!  Plus, I think tomorrow I’ll feel good enough to go to the gym, which always makes me feel better!

Goodnight, blog world!!  See you tomorrow!

 

Germs

Darn those pesky germs!

Guess what?!  Yup, I’m still sick.  Except this time, unlike the past three days, it’s not my stomach that’s the culprit!  We can chalk up the additional day of confinement to my undeniably sore throat and congested nose 😦  Today will consist of chicken soup (homemade by Billy’s talented mother), tea, and….

That’s right!  Since I’ve been sick I’ve watched the first season and a half of this addictive television show, and there looks to be no end in sight [thank you instant netflix] 🙂  At least while I’m sick I can enjoy watching some drama-full entertainment!

Hope you all have a great Superbowl weekend (Go GIANTS! BOOOOO Patriots!), and I’ll be back on Monday to share my first day of the 24-day Advocare challenge with all of you!  Until then, I will deliciously enjoy eating any and all sweets I can get my hands on!

Luck

Today, Billy (my boyfriend) and I were blessed with some very good luck!!  Well, it didn’t start that way actually…

Uh-oh

Today was the third day that Billy stayed home with me as I continued to fight off my stomach virus.  While the doctor deemed me “very contagious”, Billy was fortunate enough not to exhibit the same symptoms as I had (for your sake, I will not mention those symptoms here).  As we were both eating our breakfast, I got a phone call from our storage unit in Sacramento, informing us that the lock on our storage space was broken into, along with 16 other units.  We immediately got into Billy’s car and took the hour and fifteen minute drive up to Sacramento, praying all the furniture, backpacking equipment, and loads of other valuables were kept untouched!

When we arrived at Extra Space Storage, it was obvious that there had been a break-in.  The iron-clad gate was broken, as a car during the night had gone straight through it (part of the car was left behind, so at least the gate didn’t face all of the injury).  Billy was pacing, worried his expensive backpacking equipment was long gone.  Once we took the elevator up to our unit and lifted the door, it was clear the burglars felt our unit was “too much work” and left our storage space unscathed!  Talk about a close call!  I do feel terrible for the other 16 units — hopefully some of them ran into the same situation as we did!

Yum!

 

As a handsome reward for our surprisingly wonderful news, we stopped at Icing on the Cupcake and Mr. Pickles for lunch!  Of course, I won’t be able to eat the cupcakes until my stomach finally settles, and my sandwich consisted of bread and a plain piece of chicken… Oh how I can’t wait to eat normally again!

I wish my life were more exciting and interesting, but while I’m still at home nursing my sensitive stomach I guess this will have to do!  Hope you all are blessed with good luck and fortune like we were today!  Happy Thursday all!