Monday, April 24, 2017

Post Ultimate Reset - Week 1, Days 22- 28

I plan to keep track the next three weeks while I work hard to eat right and exercise. I don't want to lose the momentum I built up after completing the Ultimate Refresh. 

Monday Day 22 - First day post reset! Everyone says to pick the *one* thing you have missed the most and eat that. And then get back on the wagon of eating right. Some people have steak and wine, or one guy in our group was all about Chicken Parmesan. (Which sounded and looked delicious!) Me, I had the cookie that had been in my pantry for two weeks and calling my name. And it tasted amazing. We planned easy meals for the week. 
  • Breakfast is eggs with spinach, and toast. 
  • Snack is 1 cup of fruit
  • Lunch is a homemade burrito bowl consisting of chicken, cooked peppers/onions, quinoa, shredded lettuce, and avocado. (All measured to fit in the portion control plan.) 
  • Afternoon snack is Vegan Chocolate Shakeology mixed only with water. 
  • Dinner is a salad with deviled eggs and sweet potato. 
  • I also have 1-2 cups of tea during the day. 
  • Still no caffeine. 
I'm working out in the evenings, doing the 21 Day Fix Extreme these next three weeks. I want to earn the free t-shirt! :) Tonight was Power Strength. Holy moly guys! After not working out for a month I was done in after 5 minutes. But I continued on! And burned almost 400 calories.

Tuesday Day 23 - I'm a little tired. Benjamin has been waking at 3am to feed. He's been asleep by 6pm, so it's kinda ok. But I wish he would make it until 4am. He "sleep eats" and I wind up sleeping while feeding him. And when done I got back to bed until 5:30am. I'm also not going to bed early like I should be. Tonight I will change that. 

Today I was VERY VERY hungry. At lunch a coworker shared with me their leftover potatoes. Delicious. And fits in the plan better then the Wendy's Frosty I was thinking about. (Kidding, but now I'm thinking about it.) Actually my back up plan was avocado toast. I didn't eat enough yesterday and then had that 400-calorie workout. I need to fuel my body well in order to make sure I can sustain my workouts.

Instead of eating the planned salad and sweet potato for dinner I baked parmesan encrusted tilapia, cooked some broccoli, and still added devil eggs. I killed my upper body workout with another 400 calories.

Wednesday Day 24 - In order to try and get ahead of that hunger issue, I switched things up today. I had Shakeology for breakfast with 4 ounces of almond milk, cinnamon, and 2 tsps of peanut butter. I saved my fruit for a snack and was not starving for lunch. Whew! Crisis diverted today. For lunch I added black beans to my burrito bowl and that seemed to help. I wasn't hungry until around 4 and drank another Shakeology (with just water). Dinner was a salad (and I'm totally over salad now), broccoli, and tilapia. I worked out!! I usually skip the Pilates but am glad I completed it. I refer to it as "fancy stretching" and it felt good on my sore muscles.

I tested out the new Beachbody program, YOUv2, the new dance program coming to Beachbody On Demand in May. A sneak peak was available Wednesday for everyone who has the All Access pass. I CANNOT dance. At all. No coordination, can't figure out left from right and double toe taps or what I'm doing with my arms. However, for the 15 minutes I did it, it was fun. It reminded me a calmed down version of Cize.

For those that do love dancing, the moves are basic and easy to follow. The gradual building of moves wasn't overwhelming. It was fun and full of good energy. The women in the video looked like me, not super thin or super fit. I can relate to those women.

Thursday Day 25 - Another day!! I enjoyed my Shakeology in the morning. I have perfected my recipe:

  • 4 ounces Silk Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 12 ounces water
  • 1 scoop Vegan Chocolate
  • Shake of Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Honey Roasted Peanut Butter
  • 1/3 Shaker Cup of Ice
  • Blend until smooth
I think the added peanut butter helps me stay full. Makes it a little smoother too. I used to add a banana, but halfway through my last pregnancy I couldn't tolerate bananas anymore. Except in banana bread. :)

I had fruit and toast as a morning snack, burrito bowl for lunch, an apple for snack (I really do not eat enough fruit!), and for dinner had a stuffed chicken with plain pasta and broccoli. The pizza in the picture is Liam's. I got some Flat Out Pizza Crust, add a little marinara, and sprinkle of mozzarella. Liam loves them and I know it's healthy. I enjoyed once small piece and felt satisfied. And I didn't eat a handful of cheese while making it. That's a win!

Friday Day 26 - Today was a cheat meal. And a donut. For breakfast I had three eggs, to get ready for a donut. :) I worked from home which is great for my work productivity but horrible for my diet. I always try to find something to eat. And we don't even have JUNK food in this house. My choices include fruit or more fruit. Jason and I had planned to go out to lunch (he took the day off and did a bunch of organizing). I chose MOD Pizza, hoping it would satisfy his pizza craving. I got a mini pizza and side salad. It was good.

Benjamin had his 6-month check up and his weight in back in line (he's in the 10-11%) and he slept after getting his shots.

For dinner we had leftover burrito bowls. I added two tortillas. I overdid it on carbs/yellows for the day. I had NO desire to work out Friday night. None, and it was late when I finally started my workout. But as much as I didn't want to work out, I didn't want to *not* workout more. I have goals, big ones, and I can't meet them by skipping workouts. So I pressed play. And then got to bed.

Saturday Day 27 - Today... eek!! I tried my best today, and could have done better. And the New Me did a LOT better than Old Me would have.

My best friend is having a baby!!! My mom and I traveled to Overland Park, Kansas (there and back) for her baby shower. I drank my ShakeO in the morning, and we took sandwiches to eat on the way there. They did have snacks at the shower and I had two little chicken salad sandwiches and a cupcake. Old Me would have have had 2 cupcakes. And more sandwiches.

On the way back we had Chic Fil A. Which is fast food (but the only fast food place I'll eat at). I even got a soda! I haven't had a soda since March 10. I made it 43 days. And I don't have a desire to drink more soda. It tasted sweet (even though it was diet.) Mom offered me the rest of her fries. I did not partake. I told her Old Me would have supersized my meal and gotten a milkshake. New Me ate a chicken sandwich, regular size fries, and drank half her diet soda.
Today wasn't a loss, but it wasn't a complete win either.

Sunday Day 28 -  I stepped on the scale today. I know it's not possible to gain 3 pounds in 2 days unless I would have eaten an extra 7,000 calories. The soda, some of the carbs, probably just holding onto some extra water weight. Or so I'll tell myself. Today is a new day. I started with Shakeology. I had *another* Shakeology on the way to Red Bud to celebrate my dad's birthday.

And then I ate *everything* I saw. Oh, look, Old Me is back. I found her, hanging out at my parent's house. Awesome. I didn't eat cake though. But I don't like chocolate cake, so that was easy. I did have chips & gauc, bagna cauda, a cheeseburger, potato salad, mac 'n cheese, baked beans, and two deviled eggs. So in summary, a million yellows, a dozen blues, way too many teaspoons, and like 2 reds. I'm not sure I ate any vegetables on Sunday. Like at all. Or fruit. And this is the *exact* reason you should always make sure you have a plan on the weekends!!

So this week's plan? Don't f- it up. :)

  • 6 workouts
  • No cheats except for the Wednesday Work Potluck (allow myself one dessert too)
  • Drink Shakeology twice a day if I have to curb cravings, or make sure to drink Chocolate Recover after working out.
  • Track track and track!! 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Ultimate Reset Tips & Tricks

I wanted to summarize what I've learned these past few weeks while doing the Ultimate Reset.

{}Make sure to sign up for the daily emails at the Ultimate Reset Participant Portal. You can't choose a past date, so plan to sign up for those emails 2-3 days in advance of your start date.

{}The portal also has all the information you need included the day by day plan, recipes, and shopping lists. You use your Beachbody account to log in. 

{}There are five facebook groups. Join them all! You have to be approved, so don't wait until the last minute to join them. I asked to join them all at once, and then "unfollowed" the ones I didn't need at the time. People post about their effort, their meals, their days, and ask lots of questions. You can also find a buddy to complete the Reset with if you need extra accountability.

{}Whether you wait for your kit to arrive or go online, really really *really* put in the effort to plan your meals. Go through the book, decided if you're going to follow it to a T or choose the Reset in a Crunch or assign certain meals per day. The Reset in a Crunch was great because it made shopping a lot easier. 

{}Make your grocery list. Lists are provided in the book, but they are for following the plan to a T. We didn't. So I had to make my own. And after joining the facebook group I saw that some things were more difficult to find than others. And I didn't want to run all over town to specialty stores looking for Miso paste a few other items, so I ordered it off Amazon.

{}Do not buy your toddler delicious looking cookies. It's all you'll be able to think about some days. Also, stop looking at facebook. All those "Tasty" recipes being shared. When I was in Week 2 I even started to get jealous of Week 1 people who were posting pictures of their Veggie Tacos and Eggs & Toast breakfast.

{}Decaffeinate yourself a week before the Reset. And start cutting back sugar. A lot of people complained about headaches which occur from no caffeine and no sugar. I had a small headache on Day 2, but it wasn't that bad. Jason wasn't as lucky. He drank soda all weekend before we started and he had a headache.

{}Bulk cooking. If you know you'll be eating Miso Soup with every meal, make a gallon of it. By week 3 I was really burnt out of cooking and prepping. So on Sunday I cooked all our food for the week. It was a hard day but made for easier evenings. Just reheating. And had my husband not helped, we would have been running late to work and eating late dinners every day of Week 3.

{}Stick with it!! It's *only* 21 Days. My own coach gave me the best advice when I was talking about a lunch invite to a Mexican restaurant -- "think of how many times you've had Mexican before and how many times you'll have it in the future! Missing it once for the ultimate reset is no biggie in the long run."  And that resonated with me this entire 3 week period. I didn't have one cheat, that wasn't on the meal plan. I posted about my "cheats" in my Final Results post, but my cheats were full scoop of Shakeology or a little more potato or grain. I didn't eat Easter Candy. Or cookies, or cake, or jelly beans. 


Ultimate Reset - Final Results

Wow!! I did it. No, WE DID IT!!!! 
I was very nervous leading up to starting, and had a couple days during the 21 days were I was unsure if I would make it without cheating. Some days I wanted to eat the cookies in the pantry. No real reason why, I didn't need it, I knew it would upset my tummy, but it was the reward for working hard. We shouldn't reward ourselves with food. We're the only species that eats food for enjoyment and as a reward. Food is Fuel. Successful weight loss is not about starving or over indulgence. It's about giving your body the healthy, low calorie food it needs in order to run it's best.

I wanted to challenge myself and complete the Ultimate Reset in order to jump start my weight loss and eliminate the cravings and bad habits I had. I kept that in mind during the entire Reset, that it truly wasn't about the number on the scale but the way I was treating my body. 

Did I cheat during the 21 days? Officially, yes, I did. 
  • I mixed my Power Greens with Shakeology almost every day. Because the power greens are nasty! I also needed the extra calories (170) that Shakeology offers to keep my body fueled for breastfeeding. 
  • I drank full scoops of Shakeology (instead of the recommended 1/2 scoop)
  • During Week 3 I had avocado with my Sweet Potato and Roasted Red Pepper Bisque (not an official option)
  • I ate two pieces of bread with my eggs during Week 1. 
  • I ate a full cup of quinoa during Week 2 instead of the recommend 2/3 cup.
  • I snuck a handful of cashews, during a couple weekend afternoons.  
The "cheats" I had were to fuel my body. I still made sure I eliminated meat after Day 3. I eliminated grains during Week 3. Did I follow the Reset to a T? No. But I am very happy with how I handled it. 

What did I lose? 
  • Cravings. For junk food and soda. Which is why I really wanted to do this. I wanted to give up soda. (My last soda was March 10.)
  • Cheese indulgence. Which is the other main reason I wanted to do this. I was eating about a cup of cheese a day. Which was adding a lot of extra calories to my diet. 
  • "Tastings" of Liam's food. I used to always take a bite of his mac n cheese or maybe even sneak a nugget. Those are really the only two "bad" things Liam eats. He'll eat salad and veggies, but not sneaking bites of mac 'n cheese was a huge win during these 3 weeks! This plan is even harder when you have a toddler -- we're making him different meals, that smell and look delicious. I even made him an entire loaf of French Toast and it smelled amazing, but I stayed strong and didn't eat any of it. 
What did I gain? 
  • Mental Clarity. While sometimes I was hungry, I wasn't always thinking about my next meal or what kind of sweet I was going to have. Because I wasn't eating "bad" foods, I also wasn't in a food coma. 
  • Mindfulness. I concentrated on how I was feeling. Yes, sometimes I was actually hungry, but for the most part I didn't think about food, And especially at work I wasn't consumed with thinking about food. I was about to be more present at work, more focused, and more efficient. 
  • Understanding of my cravings, what drives them (bored eating), and the realization that I don't need the junk. 
So our final results? 
Jason lost 17.6 pounds and 10.75 inches!
Meghan lost 15.6 pounds and 12.5 inches! 

I'm going to put myself out there and post my picture. I'm still embarrassed of my body. But at this moment, it is what it is. And while I can't see all the changes, I can feel the changes. I've gone down a size in jeans, my t-shirts fit better, I can tell my body has changed.

For those wondering (because I always wonder when I see photos or ladies), I am 5'4" and my weight in this photo is 201 pounds. I wear size 16. But don't compare yourself to me. We are all on our own journey. I'm just at the start of mine. You might be in the middle of yours.

I have a long way to go. And while I'm supposed to say that the scale doesn't matter. It does. The magic BMI chart says I need to lose another 55 pounds to have a "healthy BMI". I'd like to start with a small goal - lose 2 pounds and be below 200. Then from there try to get down to 190. It's all about the decades, 10 pounds at a time. I won't make it to 145, I'm a realist, But I'd like to change my body shape and be healthier. Some of that will come from weight loss. Some will come from eating better.

I worked out tonight. I felt out of shape. But I know it'll get easier because I'll get better. I'm doing the 21 Day Fix Extreme these next couple weeks, and then mixing up Core de Force and Master Hammer and Chisel for 8 weeks. 

I didn't even realize that Jason had 18 pounds to lose.  I can see it in his pictures though. He lost his stomach!! I'm very lucky to have a supportive husband who would do this program with me. He also did want to make changes, and he felt he had some weight to lose. He's starting Body Beast (tonight!). I can't wait to see his after pictures from completing Body Beast. 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Ultimate Reset - Phase 3 Summary - Days 15-21

So the end of week 2 Jason had lost 12.6 pounds and 8 inches. I had lost 11.4 pounds and 7 inches. 

Phase 3: Restore

Hopefully, your first two weeks on the Beachbody Ultimate Reset had profoundly positive effects on your body. You've stepped out of your comfort zone in learning to think about food in a new way, eating and shopping for ingredients you may never have heard of before (wakame seaweed, anyone?), and introduced new supplements into your daily regimen.
During this final phase, you'll adjust your diet once again. You’ll cut back on grains and consume mainly fruits and vegetables—for fiber and further alkalinization, and to provide your body with pure, whole foods that are of high nutritional value and are easily absorbed. Right now, that may sound tough . . . but once you've tuned up your body, the food you do eat will satisfy you more (you'll find that fruit tastes like candy!)
In Phase 3 you’ll also be introduced to your final supplement—a pre- and probiotic called Revitalize—which will restore healthy bacteria to your freshly scrubbed digestive tract (this is very important, and often neglected in cleanse programs).

In summary, Phase 3 is all fruits and veggies. No grains. I'd kill someone for a piece of bread at this point. I just sniffed my coworker's toast. I'm getting desperate people. If this program was 4 weeks I wouldn't survive. 

Monday Day 15 - Prepping takes up a lot of time. On Sunday Jason prepped a lot of fruit for our breakfasts, and then while I was juggling kiddos during bedtimes he prepped the salads. I helped prepped a little, but as he said - it's easier to see what I didn't do then what I did do. Monday evening we were still prepping. The good news is that the rest of the week, except for chopping some lettuce, another pineapple, and cantaloupe, all the prepping is complete!! The meals will be easy peasy these next couple days. And I think we're going to switch to paper plates because wow, we do a lot of dishes! 

Monday's meals included more fruit. Salad. Soup, more Soup, and Garlic Veggies. You know what would make the garlic veggies great? Some chicken. 

Tuesday Day 16 - Wow. I'm trying to be positive, but it's hard. Today I cheated. I've been doing the Reset in a Crunch which is a simplified meal plan. Aside from breakfast, you choose one of three lunch or dinner choices. For lunch, the two choices I prefer is a Spinach Salad with Sweet Potato or Greek Salad with Miso Soup. I couldn't do the soup again. So I did the Greek Salad and Sweet Potato. (Oh no! Call the food police!!). Then for dinner our choices are Garlic Veggies or the Sweet Potato and Roasted Red Pepper Bisque - which you also get a side of soup with. Soup, with soup? No thanks. So I added some avocado to my soup and called it good. 

All in all? My cheats? Aren't really anything I'm going to concern myself with. We still have cookies and chips and ice cream in the house and I'm not eating those. 

Wednesday Day 17 - Today I chose the Spinach Salad for lunch (with sweet potato) and it was great! Nice change to all the romaine I've been eating. I turned down a lunch invitation for today and Friday also. Jason has had a lot more temptations at work. A lot of lunches, donuts, cookies, all things he would normally be over indulging in and he is choosing not too because he's supporting me and doing this with me. It's nice to have a partner. Especially since he helps with prep and cooking and clean up. He's a great husband. 

Today was more fruit for breakfast, and for dinner we did the Garlic Veggies on the grill. I thought the grilled veggies were just ok, but Jason enjoyed them. Jason had hearty miso soup and I ate more sweet potato and plain miso soup. I will be needing a break from miso soup for a few weeks!

Thursday Day 18 - Today was a good day. I am a little sleepy sometimes, but it could just be the 6.5-7 hours I'm getting each night. Lunch was more enjoyable, I remembered again it's just fuel for my body. I got to bed early (9:30pm) and that helped. Benjamin waking at 2AM did not help and somehow I convinced Jason to handle that. 

Friday Day 19 - Today for lunch I had the greek salad (with homemade miso dressing) and the hearty vegetable miso soup. I was very hungry this morning and even after lunch was still super hungry. Tonight's dinner is garlic veggies. Jason is going to grill his again and I'm going to saute mine on the stove. 

Saturday Day 20 - I started preparing for next week, Post Reset. I have worked very hard these past three weeks. My menu next week includes Eggs, Spinach, Fruit for breakfast (maybe toast), chicken burrito bowls for lunch (but no beans yet), Shakeology for an afternoon snack, and salad and sweet potato for dinner. I'm going to keep photos of my food the next two weeks to keep my accountable. 

Today was VERY hard. The weekend, the last two days of the program. My husband and I ate what we were supposed to because we don't want to quit these last two days. I'm getting sick of fruit though. 

Sunday Day 21 - It's Easter Sunday. Note to self - start program on a Saturday or Sunday so you can pig out on Day 22 and enjoy a nice Easter dinner!. :) Just kidding! I'm kinda glad that today is Day 21. I won't be tempted to pig out on candy or ham or potatoes. I do look forward to making deviled eggs with our dyed Easter eggs. I'm going to make them healthy though - no mayo in mine. 

We had more fruit for breakfast. Soooooo done with fruit. I had a nice salad and miso soup for lunch, and then only had Garlic Veggies for dinner. Portion wise, it was HUGE. But it was leftover and I'm not planning on eating them for a couple weeks. 

I did drink Shakeology mid-day, and I also had a handful of cashews. During my final summary I plan to discuss the "cheats" I had during the 21 Days. But as mentioned above, my cheats are actual things that are allowed that week. I wasn't eating sweets or extras. 

So how did we do? Sorry, you have to wait until Tuesday!!! Including our before and after pictures! I can't wait to see how they turned out. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Ultimate Reset - Phase 2 Summary - Days 8-14

To recap, I started Phase 2 down 8.0 pounds!

During this week you eliminate dairy from your diet and start to cut back on grains. It's a lot of fruit and veggies and miso soup. You also start taking the supplement "Detox". It's similar to Fiber Sweep from the 3 Day Refresh, but tastes a little better.

If you are nursing it is not recommend to do the Ultimate Reset. Beachbody includes this disclaimer on the Ultimate Reset, 3-Day Refresh, and all work out programs: 
Consult your physician and follow all safety instructions before beginning any exercise program or nutrition plan, or using any supplement or meal replacement product, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have any medical condition, or are taking any medication.
Beachbody has to cover their ass. I can't turn around and sue Beachbody if my milk supply dries up or my child gets sick from breastmilk because they put that disclaimer there. What can I do? My own research. There are a lot of nursing mammas who complete the Ultimate Reset and have no complaints. One of the coaches, a nursing mama, who recently completed the Ultimate Reset decided not to do the Detox. A mix of nursing mamas either skip the Detox or do the Detox. I thought I was going to do it. Since I am still breastfeeding, an AM and PM session, I had to do my own research. The main ingredient in Detox is "Milk Thistle" and you're taking it 3 times a day. 

Based on my own research and minimal breastfeeding I am doing, I decided to only take Detox in the morning, after my breastfeeding session. I'll save the rest of the packets for later because you can take Detox as a maintenance supplement. 

For week 2 we decided to do the "Reset in a Crunch". It's a simpler menu you choose one of 2 or 3 options per meal. There's nothing super strange or hard to cook and your groceries are a easier to shop for. I ate the same thing for breakfast and lunch, and we rotated a couple dinners. 

Week 2
Breakfast - 3 cups of fruit. 
Lunch - Greek Salad with pine nuts, with homemade Greek Dressing and Miso Soup
Jason is eating the Microgreen Salad for lunch with homemade Vinaigrette dressing, and pumpkin seeds and 1/2 avocado. 
Dinner - Garlic Veggies or Asian Stir Fry Veggies or Sweet Potato & Roasted Red Pepper Bisque. You also get a range of sides, Miso Soup, Quinoa, or a Sweet Potato. Avocados make an appearance at lunch and/or dinner too this meal plan. 

Monday - Day 8 - I feel great. I really do. But that coldness hit me today and even hot tea couldn't warm me up. I also peed a lot. All. The. Time. I felt like a 9-month pregnant woman with all the trips I took to the bathroom. 

The detox wasn't bad, nothing like Power Greens! I forgot my apple with my breakfast and was starving by 10am. And so I was hungry for lunch I devoured my lunch and almost forgot to take a photo. Dinner was the Sweet Potato & Roasted Red Pepper Bisque. Jason roasted the rest pepper on the grill Sunday and I made the soup. Instead of boiling the sweet potatoes I steamed them in the microwave. This soup was delicious!! We got to have quinoa and 1/8th an avocado with it. Jason had brown rice with his since we had some extra rice and he prefers that over quinoa. I dipped the avocado in the soup and it was delicious! And the quinoa dipped in the soup was also delicious! This recipe will be repeated often. Liam wanted to try the soup. He often tries what we have, but we don't push it, especially new foods. He liked it and wanted his own! Proud mama moment! 

Tuesday, Day 9 - Well... today I was tired. And hungry. And at one point hangry. Just whiney and hangry. Sorry to everyone who caught some of me during that time. The morning was rough. I had tea but that didn't help. Breakfast and lunch was the same, I even remembered my apple this time! Lunch was also the same and I'm grateful to have that extra soup option this week since I'm hungry. For dinner we had the Asian Stir Fry with Miso Soup and quinoa. It was my first time using bok choy. I will probably continue to use that in future dishes, like my beef and broccoli recipe. 

I had a full scoop of Shakeology in the afternoon, even though you are supposed to limit yourself to 1/2 scoop. But, I listened to my body. And it told me I needed that full scoop. A full scoop of Vegan Chocolate Shakeology is 170 calories. I figured with this minimal calorie diet and the breastfeeding sessions that I need extra calories every now and then. (Again, another reason you aren't supposed to breastfeed and do this program - the minimal calories.) A Truth: While this program is a great boost to weight loss, I wasn't doing it only to lose weight. I wanted to lose my bad habits. I wanted to quit cheese. (Well, not want.. need..) I wanted to make a huge lifestyle change and fuel my body better. The weight loss is a bonus. 

Wednesday, Day 10 - Halfway done! Today was a lot better than yesterday. I didn't get as much sleep, but felt more energized and focused. I was still hungry by the time lunch came around, but overall wasn't ready to kill someone for food. I feel like I'm in the Hunger Games. Put all the Ultimate Reseter's in a room on Day 22 and see who walks out full! 

Thursday Day 11 - Another great day! Dinner tonight was the Sweet Potato and Roasted Red Pepper Bisque. I was really excited when Liam wanted some too. It's a super healthy soup, there's actually no dairy in it. I've started thinking about post Reset and how I will make some of these dietary changes permanent. I haven't had caffeine in almost an month! I don't miss it. I miss a few sweets, when I see them I'd like to try them, but I know my body can't handle anything with sugar at this point. 

Friday Day 12 - I won't lie. I'm getting burned out. So much chopping and soup making. I just made the grocery list for the next few days and am like "ugh". I'm going to have to clean and prep everything I buy. I don't have any cravings. I don't want to dig into a pizza or ice cream. I just want someone else to make my dinner and present it in front of me. 

I'm really proud of myself for making it this far. It hasn't been easy. I haven't given in to any treats or bites or licks and have avoided quite a bit. Liam gets to eat yummy things - mac 'n cheese, spaghetti, ranch dressing with his peppers... and nada. I used to take a bit of his mac n cheese. I do not crave cheese anymore. That's the biggest change. The first week I wanted to put cheese on everything! I would like to drink some iced tea. I used to make iced tea with my Ginger Peach tea bags. I look forward to doing that again, instead of drinking soda. I'm happy that even Jason is seeing the light and realizes that going back to soda wouldn't be good for him. 

Tonight I worked on the grocery list, because as you can see our fridge is empty. We need to buy all the fruit and sweet potatoes we can find. That's a decent summary of Week 3, Reset in a Crunch. 

Saturday Day 13 - Remember last week I mentioned that our weekends are usually full of donuts and lunches out? While Liam got a donut after swim lessons, lunch or dinner desires didn't cross my mind. I even think moving forward we'll have light dinners consisting of a stir fry or grilled veggies and minimal amount of meat. 

This program is a little harder when you have a little kid to feed. Liam loves eating "Toast Sticks" for breakfast. I make french toast in bulk and then cut up each piece into 4 peices to make sticks. I looked at the store bought french toast sticks. First off, you usually get around 20 sticks for $3-4 dollars. While they are thicker cut (usually made from texas toast), that's a lot of money per meal. They require baking in a preheated oven (who has time for that?). They also are made with a lot of ingredients, including food coloring. So I buy a loaf (or two) of bread, eggs, and milk and add cinnamon. And spend 45 minutes making my own. Then I freeze a bunch. If defrosted it's 20 seconds in the microwave to heat them up. 

Sunday Day 14 - We went ahead and weighed in and did measurements so we weren't having to make time Monday morning. Today was hard. I really wanted to snack on some junk, from boredom. I am not hungry and am not actually craving anything. I did have a small cheat this afternoon. I made sweet potato fries and ate a handful. 

My other cheats I've had include a little bit larger portion sizes every once in a while. I'm a hungry girl. And while weight loss is a great bonus, I don't want to starve either. Going to bed hungry is hard. 

I knew I didn't drink enough water on the weekends, but wow, when you're staring at your gallon jug you really realize how little you drink. It's easy to drink it at work. Sit at desk, drink water. Not at home -- too much going on! Always up and down. 

So the end of week 2... how did we do?? 
I lost another 3.4 pounds for a total of 11.4 pounds so far! I also lost 1.5 inches for a total of 7 inches. 
Jason lost another 4.2 pounds for a total of 12.6 pounds lost! He also lost 7 inches!! He's not at 8 inches lost. 

One more week!!! Here's to our final meat free week! 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Ultimate Reset - Summary of Phase 1, Days 1 - 7

My husband and I started the Ultimate Reset on Monday March 27. I was sick over that weekend, but we still managed to shop and get everything prepped. Truth? Once prepared with all the food and a meal plan, it's not hard. And every day gets better!

Week 1 Summary: I've lost 8.0 pounds and 5.5 inches!! I'll be posting before and after pictures once we are done. The only craving I have is gum. No gum is allowed on the plan. But I don't crave soda or chips or sweets. I feel great too.

Jason also lost 8.4 pounds but only a total of 1-inch. He had some losses and gains in the half-inch ranges. Some of that can probably be attributed to the fact that measurements aren't perfect. A robot isn't measuring him.

Below is a summary of each day. 

Phase 1: Reclaim

During these first 7 days you'll begin to alter your diet, slowly removing foods like red meat and refined items that put stress on your digestive system and can tilt your body toward a more acidic state. You'll also be introduced to four of the six supplements that make up the Ultimate Reset program—Power Greens, Mineralize, Optimize and Soothe.
Because most of us are living in a slightly dehydrated state, in Week One, you’ll begin to properly hydrate your body, which is critical for optimal cellular function. Along with hydration, the Week One meal plan will provide you with the vital nutrition needed to help maintain the body’s alkaline/acid balance.
Once your system has been primed, balanced, and nourished, it will be ready to continue the detoxification process.

Day 1 - We started Monday March 27. I was pretty pumped for Day 1. I had been nervous over the weekend (since I had been sick) but once I had Days 1, 2, and 3 food prepped, I was ready to go!

The food was delicious! Eggs, spinach, and toast for breakfast, a nice large salad with chicken for lunch; and then salmon, potato, and asparagus dinner.

I drank over a gallon of water, and had a glass of nursing tea mid day. I did miss coffee, but it's more the sugary creamer I put in my coffee that I think I miss the most.

Day 2 - I got to mid-morning and was like "WHAT AM I DOING? WHY AM I DOING THIS?" So yea, I made it 2 days before questioning my life decisions. Normal things, it happens often to me. I was a little hungry mid-morning, so that was most of it. I had a slight headache at the end of the day. I put some peppermint oil on it and that helped.

Food - Repeat of Breakfast and lunch, but dinner was the Southwestern Veggie Taco. They say Tacos, but you only get *one* corn tortilla. So it's a Taco folks. We'll be having that again later this week, and after the reset is over. It's really good, and very filling. You get a TON of filling, so that helps keep you full.

Day 3 - I'm getting used to the smaller portions and am not as hungry. I do drink 1/2 scoop of Shakeology in the afternoon. I also drink two glasses of tea now, one morning and one late afternoon. I'm still nursing I want to make sure I have enough calories and breast milk to keep nursing.

Food - More eggs and spinach for breakfast. I ate two pieces of toast and felt much better mid-morning. Lunch was another salad, and dinner was this yummy stir fried veggies with quinoa and a side of cucumber and tomato salad. It was a ton of food and I wasn't able to finish it all. Jason has commented he hasn't been able to finish all his lunch. Liam gets to enjoy spaghetti this week since he refuses to try anything new. (Secret - his spaghetti is *loaded* with veggies!)

Day 4 - Donuts appeared in the breakroom. And I didn't eat any. I wasn't even tempted to eat any!!It was this day I realized my cravings for sugary crap have subsided. I'm a bored eater. When I have a lull at work I look for food. Now I drink some water, take a stretch, and get back to work. 

Food - Oatmeal, yogurt, and blueberries for breakfast. It's very different than my normal Shakeology breakfast I usually have, and miss. AND it didn't sit well with me. Dairy has never really been my friend. Jason loved this combo and ate it a couple more days. Lunch salad, and we had the veggie taco again. 

Note - repeating food on the Ultimate Reset is OK. And encouraged. You want to try new things, but Beachbody understands we're not quitting our life for 21 days to focus on every meal and every new food they want us to try. You can trade meals for meals within the same Phase. I'll miss these veggie tacos during Phase 2.

Day 5 - The only craving I'm really having is gum. I used to chew gum to get the lunch flavor out of my mouth or during the afternoon to avoid snacking. I don't have cravings for anything. I eat food as fuel, and am enjoying my food.

The food today was a new breakfast - Farina (similar to cream of wheat), another salad, and the stir fry for dinner. Here I am chugging my Power Greens. That is the worst part of the whole thing. 

Day 6 - Saturday! The weekends are the *easiest* day to throw the towel in for any health and fitness journey. Not while you're doing the Ultimate Reset!!

Our usual Saturdays include grabbing breakfast on the go (Shakeology for me), hitting Sams Club, getting sodas and pretzels, figuring out where we'll get lunch (Chipotle? Burger King? Taco Bell?) and taking naps and being lazy. And laundry, we're human after all!

This Saturday we got up extra early so we could have our breakfast, Liam had swim lessons at 8am and we vowed not to be late. (And we weren't!!). Then we hit Sam's Club and got most of our groceries. I completed the meal plan and grocery list on Friday night (along with folding laundry.)  Dinner Saturday night was the Roasted Root Medley (Beets, Sweet Potato, Onion, Carrots) and the Cashew Zucchini Soup. Which is what it sounds like. Cashews and Zucchinis. Not really anything else. And it tasted like Cashews. And it was super thick. And it was gross. And I don't like beets. I had tried beets a few years ago and didn't like them, these were cooked a little differently and nope, still don't like them.

Day 7!! Another delicious breakfast and lunch. Dinner was that leftover Roasted Root Medley and we skipped the gross soup and had steamed broccoli instead.

Jason and I spent almost 3 hours preparing for the next few days. Next week's menu includes 3 cups of fruit for breakfast, salad (either greek or microgreen) for lunch, and dinner is veggies with miso soup and quinoa or a Sweet Potato & Roasted Red Pepper Bisque. We made that since it had more steps involved. I can't wait to see what this week brings!

I am feeling great. I don't have cravings. I'm not even missing cheese. I didn't have the major headaches that a lot of people complain about. I didn't have soreness. Now, I might have all that during Phase 2. Every body reacts different to this detoxification process.

I have realized I am a bored eater. I am most likely to snack in the evenings at home. And if it wasn't for this strict meal plan, I'd be digging into some cookies and ice cream right about now due to bored habits.

I can't wait to see what Phase 2 brings!!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Truth #SpringIntoHealth

I've been a part of Beachbody since early 2015.

I've lost weight. I've gained weight. I did have my second baby, and I probably should have lost more weight before I got pregnant, but it was ok. I had a healthy baby boy. It took a few more months before I really truly recommitted. 

Doing the Ultimate Reset really made a difference to restarting my fitness journey. I feel amazing, and it's only day 6. And I don't want to risk wasting time (and money) on this program to just gain the weight again. So while the minimal meals and Vegan lifestyle isn't permanent, a lot of the changes will be. 

It's than 2-months until the official "swim suit season". Let's be honest, most of us aren't swim suit ready. Most of us could lose 15 pounds or 30 pounds, and still not be what we perceive the world would consider us to be "swim suit ready". 

The world sucks. I don't ever plan to rock a bikini. I don't ever plan to wear a bikini or attempt to squeeze into one.

So what am I planning? I'm planning to stick with my clean eating meals, sweat to Beachbody On Demand, and encourage other women to do the same. It's not about weight loss though, that's just a side effect. It's about making sure I feel good physically -- no food comas, no bloating -- and mentally - working out makes me feel better about myself. 

So think about what YOU want. What is your truth? 

Interested in joining me on a fitness journey? My Spring Into Health and Fitness challenge group starts April 17th! I'd love to help others eat better, find their fitness niche, and feel better about themselves. No bikini required. :) 

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Ultimate Reset - Prep

I don't plan to sugar coat my experience with the Ultimate Reset at all. I've been following the Facebook groups and already see how people struggle with certain things. Headaches (from caffeine and sugar withdrawals), Power Greens, exhaustion, soreness. Sounds amazing, right? However, I figure for every 1 person who complains there is at least 2-3 who are completing the program and not complaining.

I sat down with Jason this weekend and we picked our meals. There are three phases and while each day has a different menu, you can repeat meals as long as you trade a breakfast for breakfast, lunch for lunch, or dinner for dinner, during the Phase you are on. (No breakfast for dinner!)

I had pre-shopped for a few things that most of the recipes called for. The cost you spend on groceries can kill your grocery bill, especially if you are trying to purchase good quality organic fruits in the middle of winter. The program also requires you to drink distilled water with mineralize added. The purpose of the program is to rid your body of all toxins and impurities, including those in our tap and even bottled water. Try to spread out the cost of some of the items over the weeks leading up to the Ultimate Reset. 

Just one of many grocery trips
I created an excel spreadsheet and planned the first week's menu and then copied the recipes from the Ultimate Reset Participant Portal to help create my grocery list. In general, there's a lot prep for this program. Mental prep first. You are going to wide up eating very healthy, and being a vegan when it's said and done. There are no treats and there is no room for treats when you are done. Then the meal planning, shopping, and food prep takes up a lot of time. And the more prep you do, the less like you are to quit, give up, or cheat. It's only 21 Days.

I was nervous at first, especially since I had a stomach bug Friday night. But once I spent Sunday prepping I felt really good about everything. It's not hard - just have to put in the effort to get it done! 

Stocked Fridge

Friday, March 24, 2017

21 Day Fix Burrito Bowls

A few months ago this video kept popping up on my Facebook feed. (It's safe to click, really, I'm not rick roll-ing you.) The recipe looked simple enough (click here for it); and it looked delicious and clean. I figured I'd give it a chance. 

It has now become my favorite lunch item. It is super easy to prep, and you can pre-prep and freeze extra peppers/onions mixture and the chicken. I used the portion control containers and measured it the first couple of times, but then learned that if I make the right amount of rice, it's easy to split it into four containers. I no longer use cheese and use avocado instead. 

Easy Lunch Burrito Bowls
  • 1 medium or half large red onion
  • 3 Bell Peppers (I prefer one red, one yellow, one orange)
  • 16 ounces chicken breasts (for 4 Red containers. Double if you want 2 Reds at lunch)
  • 1 can black bean
  • 2 cups prepared brown rice
  • 1/2-1 cup Salsa
  • Taco Seasoning
  • Olive Oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F/200˚C.
  2. Line one 8x8 glass dish with foil & spray; and spray a 9x13 glass dish with nonstick spray. 
  3. Cut the peppers and onions into strips and toss with 1 tbsp of oil and 2-3 tbsp of taco seasoning. 
  4. Place the peppers and onions in the 9x13 glass pan. 
  5. Place the chicken in the 8x8 glass dish and sprinkle taco seasoning over both sides of the chicken. Top  each chicken breast with a generous pour of salsa.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven for 25 minutes. 
  7. Rest chicken for 10 minutes, before slicing into strips or dicing into cubes. 
  8. Add a 1/2 cup of brown rice to 4 food storage containers. Add 1/2 cup black beans, cooked peppers and onions, and chicken. Garnish with fresh cilantro, cheese (optional), and a lime wedge. 
  9. Store in the refrigerator (and enjoy any extras immediately). Can be kept refrigerated for up to 4 days. Heat up the bowl, then serve with optional avocado. 
The video and instructions show everything being put on a baking sheet. I did that the first time and didn't like how it turned out. My peppers and onions stuck to the foil, the chicken seemed dry (maybe I overcooked it?) So the next time I used glass baking dishes. One for the veggies and a foil lined one for the chicken. This worked better. I could also monitor if one finished first and take that one out so I didn't overcook either ingredient.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Milk Tea for Nursing Moms

When I was pregnant with Liam, I was introduced to pregnancy tea, and then after his birth, milk tea.

My favorite tea company, The Republic of Tea, makes the pregnancy tea that I drank during both pregnancies. It helped with nausea and satisfied my sweet tooth craving. The get maternal (herb tea for pregnancy) contains organic Rooibos (leaf), raspberry (leaf), stinging nettle (aerial parts), ginger (root), alfalfa (leaf), parsley (leaf). Other ingredients: natural mango flavor, black limon.

I have no idea what most of those things are. But the tea is delicious, and safe for pregnant ladies. The Republic Teas quickly became my favorite teas to drink. My all time favorite is the Ginger Peach Green Tea and sometimes I turn it into an iced tea. 

I was given Mother's Milk Tea to use after birth, during breastfeeding. I have given away samples too. It has a sweet, slightly bitter with a distinct licorice-like taste. I don't like licorice, but I enjoy this tea. I don't add anything to it, and drink a glass every afternoon. 

It has fennel seed, anise seed, coriander seed, spearmint leaf, lemongrass leaf, lemon verbena leaf, althea root, blessed thistle herb, and fenugreek seed in it.

Finally Republic has made a nursing tea. So before I bought a whole bunch of something I didn't know I would like, I emailed the company and asked for a sample. And they said "Sure" and sent me one! Their new herb tea is made with organic fenugreek seeds, organic cinnamon and organic carrot. The cinnamon makes this tea. I love cinnamon. It's like the garlic to my baking world. I put cinnamon in my pancakes and Chocolate Shakeology, and anything else baking related.

Verdict? I like them both. The cinnamon is nice addition. There's no licorice smell or flavor. And while I don't mind Mother's Milk licorice flavor, I would prefer the cinnamon flavor.

How do they work? I am only breastfeeding in the morning and before bed. I don't pump and Benjamin gets formula during the day. I drink a cup of tea in the evening and one in the late afternoon. I also limit my caffeine (no caffeine now), and drink 100 ounces of water a day. I still have breast milk, so that's as much as I can offer to how the teas are working.

Remember Moms - Fed is Best. Doesn't matter if it's 100% breast feeding, 100% formula or a mixture. Do what works for you, your body, your child, and especially YOU.