(source) …challenge accepted and underway!
Well, here we are, at the start of another Monday, and a bit over half way through the 24 days of the Holiday Hustle! I realized this weekend that I’ve stuck with this challenge (almost!) fully through some good challenges and thought it’d be a good time to reflect! So…here we go!
The first half of the challenge is a “cleanse phase,” where generally your body is cleaning itself out and getting ready to receive max nutritional benefits (which happens in the second phase). For me, this change wasn’t too drastic because the week before I had started eating more on track and being mindful. I didn’t want to go crazy the few days before and use the challenge as an excuse to indulge but instead started right away. I think this mindfulness helped make the first half of the challenge not seem too drastic and when it began I was simply following a plan.
The cleanse phase is 10 days long and consists of a fiber drink for some of the mornings, a probiotic and some herbal cleanse tablets in the evenings that help prep your body for cleansing in the morning. The main idea of it is to rid your body of toxins and waste and help improve digestion (you can read more info here). Although I did see this happen, it wasn’t necessarily after I took the fiber drink in the morning or the probiotics but just after my morning Spark, which promotes mental focus and increased energy. Spark is supposed to replace coffee or other caffeinated beverages and can be taken in the morning and once in the afternoon if needed. Finally, the Omegaplex is a blend of fatty acids that help with heart, nerve, muscle, skin, bone, and immune health.
I liked this phase because there isn’t anything else besides the morning fiber drink and a few supplements that you take – I didn’t find it complicated or confusing but got into the habit of the new routine fairly quickly. It helped reinforce my healthy eating and sense of discipline when it came to foods and my eating became very mindful. I was aware of how much protein I was getting versus carbs and fat as I tracked everything online (as best as I could) in My Fitness Pal.
I am currently a few days into the Max phase over days 11-24 with the goal of giving your body the best tools to achieve your goals. The max phase consists of a four-part supplement regimen:
The first is the MNS vitamin pack which comes in three versions–max C (appetite control), max E (added energy), or max 3 (C and E combined along with overall wellness). I choose Max C because appetite control, weight management and core nutrition sounded about right to me!
The second is the meal replacement shake. it comes in several flavors, but only one of those flavors is plant-based. I chose the dairy-free dark chocolate shake and that is consumed for breakfast every morning on this phase.
Thirdly, the Spark is continued throughout the max phase as well as the fourth element, the Omegaplex.
Because this was a gift from my mom (we were going to split it but then she offered to pay for it all!), I didn’t want to purchase everything, especially because Advocare does not ship to Canada and I had to have it shipped to her place before shipping it north. Extra money to ship meant I didn’t choose all three of the optional companion products but did go with the Thermoplus. From their website, this product:
I’ve overcome a few (potential) obstacles during the past 3 weeks that I didn’t think about or anticipate. First of all, the challenge went over Canadian Thanksgiving. I think I am the only Canadian (well, permanent resident, at least!) to do this challenge with the rest of the Holiday Hustle group because, as I stated earlier, Advocare doesn’t ship to Canada. The point of the Holiday Hustle was to complete the challenge BEFORE the holidays so we weren’t worried about getting healthy again AFTERwards but before! But Thanksgiving up north is in early October. Whoops!
This meant surviving an 11 hour road trip (one way) with family – a time I typically indulge in candy and coffee stops! – for Thanksgiving in Manitoba. As I blogged about earlier, this weekend consisted of several meals out as we came together for Mikey’s grandma’s memorial service and for Thanksgiving and meant several times of saying “No thanks” or choosing other options.
Hot lemon water instead of coffee?! Yep! I did it all weekend and haven’t had a sip of coffee since the challenge began, believe it or not! I haven’t missed it thanks to my morning Spark, which I brought with me over the long weekend away, as well as my supplement regimen. I stood strong in the face of homemade Saskatoon Berry and apple pies, homemade cinnamon buns (my mother-in-law’s are the BEST!), late night chips and dip and little stops for candy while we filled up with gas on the road or ice cream at the drive-through.
Another obstacle I’ve overcome is being sick – that was this past weekend. I’m really not sure if it was food poisoning from something I ate (all home-cooked though!…?) or something else like the flu that’s been going around at work, but after a long week of clients I came home Friday and felt a bit off. I started getting a headache towards the evening which got worse and worse and I decided to go to bed early. Head pounding, sweaty body (when I’m normally cold in bed), watery mouth…something was up. I ended up losing my dinner and sleeping horribly, sick that night and in PJs all ay Saturday. It was a boring, blah day during which I had to cancel so many fun fall plans with friends and just rest, but it was probably good in the end. Although I didn’t go off my plan by having the 2 things that sounded good (ice cream and cereal), I didn’t eat much all day. Toast with almond butter and sugar free raspberry jam, popcorn, peppermint tea and 2 bowls of frozen blueberries. I tried to get my shake down and couldn’t but still took my supplements and Spark, so I did the best I could with feeling off. Didn’t expect this sickness to crop up, but then again, you never do!
My view…ALL day yesterday…blech.
At any rate, it’s been a good challenge for me so far, I’m feeling good about my progress (a few pounds down but mainly happy with my discipline and lifestyle change!) and happy because I needed this kickstart. More on the final few days and a final recap to come, but hopefully this sheds some light on what the challenge is like and the different elements of it so far. Keeping up with my workouts, although I haven’t amped them up any – just been staying consistent and not trying to overdo it to see incredible results or anything. Riding that consistency and patience wave pretty well lately. 🙂
On an unrelated but even more important note, I wanted to wish my mom a HAPPY 56th birthday!
Guess what she did to celebrate? Her second burpee mile! AMAZING! Check out the video from her event here:
M – muscular! …I had to. 😉
A – able, active, amazing!
R – reliable. If you say you’ll do something, you do!
I – introspective. Mom, you are always trying to improve yourself, learn more about your relationship with Jesus and grow.
L – loving and loyal; a real sense of family (on both sides of the border!).
Y – young! Really! Look at how she looks and lives! You can keep up with anyone, mom!
N – needed, necessary. More and more I realize how much I love you, I need you, I appreciate you, mom – and so many others do too, for their fitness/health, friendship and support!
You are such a good friend and mentor, confidant and encourager to me, mom. I love you so much! Can’t wait to celebrate more days with you when we visit soon. Thank you for teaching me the fun and value of Halloween, of flowers in a house and good atmosphere with candles and music, of teaching me about living well and being fit and for showing me what a respectful wife and woman looks like. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Anyone else been down and out for the count with sickness yet? Celebrate any birthdays yourself or with others? And would you ever do a challenge like this? Curious to know! Share with me in the comments below and have a great week, friends!
Live well & be well,