Ah, Life

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Life is an amazing journey.  It twists and turns and suddenly you are a foster parent and adopting 2 children.  Yep.  True story.

Amazing

In May, I was blogging about a No Spending challenge and completing AdvoCare’s 24 Day Challenge.  I did all that!  It was fabulous!  There wasn’t any time to write about it, because of life.

Here’s my dream

I want to help people be healthy and strong.  This is a reason I work in health care.  This is also a reason I joined forces with AdvoCare.  AdvoCare has helped me lose 20 pounds and be more fit and have more ENERGY!  YES!

But I’ve discovered my dream along the way.  Since I was little, I hated to hear about other children who were hurting in some way.  Abused, trafficked, sad….whatever it was, I hated it.  I really dislike watching movies or shows where children are hurt or bullied.  Foster care is one way I can help out.  And from there, we are now adopting 2 more children!  My DREAM is to help as many children out there who are from hard places or being hurt in some way.  It is my dream to donate to important causes and be a foster parent and help other foster parents.

I want to make a difference.

I WILL make a difference in this world.

 

 

 

Still Going Strong

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15 days into my AdvoCare 24 day challenge!  At day 11, I was 5 lbs down and 3 inches less!  Very happy with results so far.  I’m eating mostly good.  Friday, I had a beer because it was my last day of work for summer!  Mother’s Day dinner was a bit of a challenge but since it’s only once per year, it’s ok to celebrate!

Once the challenge is over, then I will continue my eating plan and supplements – and Spark (duh – I love that stuff!).  The idea is to follow the 80/20 rule.  Eat clean and healthy 80% of the time, and live life otherwise.  Since I still want to lose more weight, I will probably follow more like 90/10.  And then every 60-90 days I’ll repeat the 10 day Cleanse part of the challenge to reset things.

lunch

Red Quinoa is so pretty.  I’m adding 1/4 cup to my lunch salad.

redquinoa

I LOVE this journey.  Having success is encouraging and motivating!

In addition, I am half way through the No Spending month!  Still going well!  Meals might be interesting towards the end of the month 🙂  But that’s ok!  Let’s clean out the pantry!  This is such a great learning experience for all of us.  My son REALLY wants hair gel, but we’ll have to get creative there.

May 2017.  You are interesting so far.

Cleanse Phase is Ending!

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Days 8, 9 and 10 are finished!  10 days of Cleanse Phase.  I feel AMAZING! Good bacteria in, bad/yucky goo is out.  Diet habits have begun to reset.  I’m eating fruits and veggies and healthy things.  Tomorrow begins Phase II – the Max Phase.  Good nutrients are added back in, energy continues to increase, and habits begin to stick.

I made a LOT of Quinoa Black Bean Salad.  This is one of my favorites.  Recipe is here.  It’s so pretty, and the dressing is what makes it.  I do cut back a little on the olive oil.  This recipe is AWESOME.

My life is changed because of AdvoCare.  I was in a pit of diet pepsi and Reese’s peanut butter cups.  I LIVED on that.  As a friend described, it’s like embalming yourself from the inside out.  Since I began my AdvoCare journey, I have lost 20 lbs.  I have developed a healthy lifestyle.  I am sharing AdvoCare with others who need this too!

I have goals.  BIG GOALS.  I will get home with my children.  We will be foster parents.  I will help my friends and their friends get healthy and have FABULOUS lifestyles!  I-want-to-inspire-people

On to No Spending Month.  Days 8-10 are about cleaning out rooms.  I am ALL FOR it.  I’m doing some “lower level” organizing as my time is limited with work.  However, I am just about to be off for the summer, so I will go back and clean things out.  I’m thinking that June will be Box/Bag-Per-Day-Of-Stuff-To-Donate Month.

Still not spending.  I did go to lunch today with some lovely ladies.  They paid the tab, and I did contribute a small amount to the tip.  I’ll pay for lunch for them the next time.  Otherwise, still no spending.  It’s really quite refreshing!

Life changes.  Good stuff.  Let’s do this!

Weekends are harder for following diet plans

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  • Day 6 and 7 are complete.  Day 6 was not ideal, but still ok.  We had to travel an hour for my son’s soccer game at 7:30 AM – WAY early for a soccer game that is an hour away!  I had my Spark in the car and a shake.  Morning snack was a bar since it was easily portable.  Lunch was my normal salad with seeds and protein.  Afternoon snack was fruit and nuts.  We went to a party so dinner wasn’t exactly on par, but close.  I had quinoa black bean salad, guac, just a few chips and fruit for dinner.  I’ll admit it….I had one Michelob Ultra.  Now I feel guilty because the cleanse phase is no alcohol, but this is life and one 95 calorie beer isn’t going to kill me or ruin the entire plan.  I wish I didn’t have it, but I’ll deal.

Day 7 was great.  I did some food prep for the upcoming week.  New salad is made.

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By the way, these chopping scissors or whatever they are called from Pampered Chef are AWESOME for salad prep.  I love getting the greens smaller so I don’t have stems hanging out of my mouth.

pamperedchefchoppers

Day 7:

  • Breakfast – Watermelon Spark, fiber, chocolate mocha meal replacement shake
  • Morning snack – cashews, cantaloupe
  • Lunch – quinoa, black bean, red pepper, cilantro salad (one of my favorites, recipe here)
  • Afternoon snack – Muscle Gain protein shake
  • Dinner – spaghetti squash with kale and chickpeas – I might be having this for the next few days.  Recipe here.  One of my favorite vegetarian dinners.

cantaloupe

I’m learning to have the AdvoCare Muscle Gain protein as a snack when I know my dinner is more carb heavy….and to help keep my amount of protein up for the day’s total.

Weekends are great for food prep!  Makes my work week so much easier to have food to grab and put in my bag.  My fridge looks pretty.

Day 7 for the No Spending Challenge….moving right along!  I went to the grocery store yesterday.  Milk/bread/produce are on the list of things ok to purchase.  I only got produce and just enough for the week because we have a history of wasting it!  I still have plenty of milk and bread.

I needed gas…obviously also a necessary expense in order to get to and from work.  But I completely forgot about gas in making our ground rules.  I would like to be more conscious of my drive time/gas usage, and work on consolidating driving.  I did use a 40 cents per gallon discount for filling the tank so at least there was some savings.

New week!  Let’s do this!

No Cinco de Mayo Margaritas here

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5/5/17.  It’s Day 5 of my 24 Day Challenge and I’m alcohol free.  No margs.  No chips and salsa.  No cheesy, gooey Mexican food.  Today, I’m ok with that.  I really want to follow my plan and stick to it.  I have goals.  If I want to reach those goals, then I need to put in the work.  So I will.

I’m still feeling GREAT!  I am vegetarian, so this makes my meal planning a bit different.  I have been a vegetarian for almost 15 years!

Day 5 foods:

  • Breakfast – Spark (Cherry), fiber, Chocolate Peanut Butter shake
  • Morning snack – raspberries, cashews
  • Lunch – big salad, Beyond Meat “chicken” (can you sponsor me yet Beyond Meat people?), 1T pumpkin seeds, 1T chia seeds
  • Afternoon snack – Spark (Grape), 2 clementines, 2T pistachios
  • Dinner – shake and rice milk (time got away from me again!)

snackday5

What I should have done is made a Limeade Spark and put it in a Margarita Glass!  At least then it feels more “special”

Day 5 of No Spending Month!  YAY!  Still going strong.  Day 5 in the book is to Eat Out at Home….well, that didn’t happen today.  Tomorrow’s chapter is about freezer meals….I’ll have to spend some time looking into that!

Sidebar: I’m reading a book called The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone.  It’s about success/failure, not being “average” and basically creating the life you want.  It’s pretty good so far!

Down 5 pounds and Life is Awesome

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Here it is….day 4….and I am down 5 pounds!  I feel so much better.  And it makes me happy!  It’s so nice re-set my diet and my habits.  THAT is why I love doing this challenge!

I got in some fast walking today for exercise.  A bug fell into my shirt on the way.  I kept thinking I had a really weird feeling sweat droplet, but then found the bug.  Ewww!  No bites though!  Beautiful evening for a walk.

waneka

Diet went well today.  I’m low on calories, so I plan to have a snack soon.

  • Breakfast – Spark (Mango Strawberry), Fiber, Chocolate Mocha Shake
  • Morning snack – apple, almonds
  • Lunch – leftover cashew chili
  • Afternoon snack – Spark (Pink Lemonade), 2 clementines, mixed nuts
  • Dinner – big salad with 2 veggie burgers (they’re only 110 calories – needed 2!)
  • will have one more snack!

dinner

When I was packing my food today for work, I realized I did not have salad prepared.  I immediately thought that I would just buy a salad from the salad bar close by….and the next thought reminded me that I am Spending Zero!  So I had to quickly improvise and grabbed leftovers from last night’s dinner.  Glad I had leftovers otherwise I would have been REALLY late for work.  This reinforces that food prep is SO key to eating healthy.

I need to bike and soon.  Time to get serious about training.  This weekend – game on.

In my No Spending Month, day 4 in the book is to organize a meal swap.  I can’t say I’m terribly interested in that, but I will consider it….just not ready today.  Regardless, the point is that we are Spending Zero and it’s a great learning experience.  I did need dog food today, and the dog’s survival is dependent upon eating, so that fits our ground rules.

So far, May is good.  Life is goooood.

Day 3 is in the books!

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3 days.  3 days of eating healthy and no spending.  Every day that I complete these tasks gives me more focus to move forward and keep it going!  Changing habits, changing lifestyle.

Diet is going well.

  • Breakfast: Spark (mandarin orange), Fiber, Chocolate Mocha meal replacement shake
  • Morning snack: 2 clementines, cashews
  • Lunch: giant salad with Beyond Meat “chicken” strips, 2T pumpkin seeds, 1/4 cup wild brown rice
  • Afternoon snack: Spark (limeade!), strawberries, pistachios
  • Dinner: Cashew Chili

sparkmandarin

I’m drinking plenty of water – like a gallon.  I pee all the time.  All.the.time.

Day 3 of No Spending.  Totally cool.  Organize pantry and meal planning were the tasks of the day.  Meal planning is hard to do for an entire month….so the final week will be winging it.  Could be interesting, but hey, we’ll call it living on the edge.

Looking forward to continuing this journey of self improvement (and maybe saving some extra!)