Ah, Life


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


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.





No Cinco de Mayo Margaritas here


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!)


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!

Moving on to Day 2!


I woke up this morning and weighed myself at 2.5 lbs less than day 1.  I know it’s water weight, but heck, I’ll take it!

Avoiding the cookies my children have on the kitchen counter was not so hard today.  I love my checklist in the 24 Day Challenge book and love checking things off as I go through.  It makes it nice to have a plan to follow!

Day 2 diet:

  • Breakfast: Spark (fruit punch), fiber, Chocolate Mocha Meal Replacement Shake
  • Morning snack: large apple, 10 almonds
  • Lunch: huge salad, 1/4 cup wild brown rice, Beyond Meat “chicken” strips, 2T pumpkin seeds
  • Afternoon snack: Spark (grape – my favorite), 2 clementines, 2T pistachios
  • Dinner: And this is where it could be better – protein shake with rice milk

It was a crazy day at work and I didn’t prepare dinner in advance.  Tomorrow is a day that I have extra time, so dinner planning and prepping is happening!  Life happens sometimes, and I’m just glad I chose a shake over cookies for dinner.


Today’s activity in following the book (31 Days of Living Well and Spending Zero) is to take an inventory of the pantry and clean it out.  Didn’t happen.  And that is ok.  Will work on that tomorrow.  Having the inventory of what I have in the pantry and in the deep freezer will help immensely in planning.

At work, discussions came up about concert tickets on sale for $20 and going to Chipotle.  I was quickly reminded that I’m not spending any money this month.  I’ll admit, there was a quick moment of sadness!  But on the other hand, I don’t need to purchase either of those things!  It’s a mini triumph.  I’m ok with it.

And I’ll end it with pictures from Boulder today.  The first is a little blurry, from my drive into work.  The second is the coolest bridge and pond on campus.






Day one of the rest of my life!

May 1st began my AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge AND No Spending month!  So far, so good!

24 Day Challenge…working on weight loss, healthy diet and exercise.

day 1:

  • Breakfast – Spark, fiber, chocolate mocha meal replacement shake
  • morning snack – 2 small clementines and 10 almonds
  • Lunch – salad with 1/2 cup of quinoa and a few beans plus Beyond Meat “chicken”
  • afternoon snack – blackberries and 2T mixed nuts
  • Dinner – Black Bean burger, 1/4 cup wild rice and peas
  • snack – AdvoCare snack bar


I’m well aware this picture makes my dinner look terribly unexciting.  But it was tasty and filling and healthy!  Diet went very well today.  I was only hungry at dinner time.  And how I love my Spark….2:30 in the afternoon can’t come fast enough! Ha!

1377 calories.  49% carbs, 25% fat, 26% protein.


Following the schedule in my book!  Having the checklist is oh-so-helpful!

NO SPENDING day 1.  Totally cool.  I bought nothing.  Following the book, today is commitment day and making ground rules.  Which we did yesterday.  Day 2’s activity is “organize your pantry.”  THAT may be interesting.  I’m ready.






Biking and Slim


I love my bike.  It’s 9 years old with great components and it fits me well.  I cannot believe my bike is that old.  And that means it’s been almost 9 years since my Ironman.  Life has certainly changed in that time!


I ordered a bunch of Spinervals today so I can get the bike on the trainer in my basement.  They’re having a sale until 4/30.  I do like a sale!  4 months until my bike event!  64 miles, here I come.

Still on soft foods.  It about kills my tooth to chew a salad.  I’m *almost* looking forward to having the root canal done.  (not really).  The root canal is delayed by a week because the first endodontist didn’t accept my insurance.  UGH.

So I want to eat nothing but Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.  Well, they are tasty.  But so so so bad.  I started Slim, which is a drink that has garcinia cambogia in it.  It’s for appetite control.  And heck, it actually works!  I’m not so hungry.  So while I’m waiting to restart my 24 Day Challenge, I’ll use Slim.  One in the morning, and one mid afternoon.

Apple Pear or Lemonade.  Not bad!

I am starting to think about my No Spending month of May too.  I need to really think about it this weekend and make my plans!  I’ll take any support or friends who want to join in!

Happy Friday!

Day 5 & 6


Not gonna lie, day 5 was a struggle.  Still had a decent amount of tooth pain.  I can’t say I really followed my plan, had to stick to a soft diet!  My tooth still aches, and I now have a referral to the endodontist to possibly have a root canal.  Life happens.  And some days just can’t happen.  After my 24 Day Challenge, it’s all about the 80/20 rule, but for now, I’m getting my diet on track!  April goals.

I had my FAVORITE Spark flavor – GRAPE.  I love that one.

SO, day 6 was back to the actual plan. Today was a GREAT day!  I got outside on my bike!


I have a goal to do the Venus de Miles women’s bike event and do the 60 mile ride.  It’s time to get serious about biking!  Event is at the end of August.

My food intake today went well!!!

Day 6:

  • Breakfast: Fruit Punch Spark, AdvoCare Meal Replacement Shake – chocolate mocha
  • Morning Snack: Muscle Gain protein shake post bike ride
  • Lunch: Big salad with Beyond Meat “chicken” strips and 2T sunflower seeds
  • Afternoon snack: 2 clementines, 1T cashews
  • Dinner: 1.5 cups cashew chili (leftovers!)
  • Evening snack: Mango Black Bean Salad

Muscle Gain is a protein supplement from AdvoCare.


See that painting in the back?  I did that 🙂  Anyway, chocolate Muscle Gain is the BOMB.

Mango and Black Bean Salad….never had that before!  I found the recipe here.  I liked it!  I used frozen mango, and I couldn’t find any plain mangoes, but there was a bag of frozen mangoes with chili lime – exactly the seasoning needed for the recipe.  I did add extra lime.  I haven’t done anything with jicama before, it added some nice texture.


I feel like things are settling down.  Hopefully I don’t have to have a root canal….’cause that would be bad news!  UGH.

Life changes…..making positive changes.  And I feel great!

Day 3 & 4


Day 3 was…interesting.  I wound up on a liquid diet ALL DAY because I had dental work and had a decent amount of pain.  My dentist is going to heroic efforts to save my tooth.  Rough day though!

Basically, this is what day 3 looked like:

  • Breakfast: Green Apple Spark, AdvoCare meal replacement shake (chocolate mocha! my favorite).
  • Lunch: protein shake with rice milk
  • afternoon: fruit smoothie
  • Dinner: protein shake with rice milk.

HENCE, I did not write a post last night.

Day 4 is better.  Still a bit of dental issues.  So I kept foods not-so-chewy today.  No exercise either because walking/pounding hurts my mouth.

Day 4 diet:

  • Breakfast: Green Apple Spark, AdvoCare meal replacement shake (chocolate mocha again!  YUM)
  • Morning Snack: 2 clementines, 1T cashews (because they aren’t so hard!)
  • Lunch: protein shake with rice milk.  I couldn’t bring myself to chew a salad today.  Maybe tomorrow
  • Afternoon Snack: Limeade Spark which was awesome on a sunny afternoon, and raspberries
  • Dinner: Cashew Chili.  How I love Cashew Chili.

I got this recipe for the chili from Wegman’s long ago.  I was visiting my family in Philly and went to Wegman’s – they had the chili in the prepared foods section and I LOVED it.  Luckily, they shared the recipe.  I love soups and stews and when they’re vegetarian, it’s even better.

Isn’t it pretty?


Cashew Chili – A few notes on this one.  I do not have the time or patience to cook my own beans.  So I used 3 cans of red kidney beans in the recipe.  You can therefore skip the water and bay leaves.  I also dislike huge chunks of tomatoes, so I use petite diced tomatoes.  I LOVE the colors and the smells!  So many spices.  It also makes a LOT.  14 cups!  It freezes just fine, so I throw some in a glass bowl with a lid and freeze it for the future.  I’ll be having this for dinner tomorrow too.  It takes about 1 hour total, and the last 15 minutes, you just let it cook.


My 2nd favorite Spark Flavor:


And with that, I will go to bed dreaming of my 1st favorite Spark flavor.  You’ll find out tomorrow!

Love and hugs!