Friday, May 30, 2014

Recap: Advocare 24 Day Challenge

So the end of the Advocare 24 Day Challenge has come and gone now, and safe to say this is not the post that I thought I would be writing. 

At the end of the Cleanse Phase I was doing great and going strong! I saw losses in both weight and inches. I was also feeling good being back to clean eating. I had missed being "stricter" with my food choices. My body responds and feels so much better when being fueled with good for me foods vs. too many burgers and fries (delicious in their own right, and I will never ever fully give up!).

Then with a little over a week to go I was struck with some sort of allergic reaction. I am not allergic to ANYTHING, except bee stings. No known allergies. It is kind of a running joke about how awful I can be when it comes to my skin (like wearing make up to bed on oh a daily basis and never moisturizing) yet as my sister proclaims have freakishly soft hands and smooth skin and it's clear. So when this random rash breaks out and is spreading (while on vaca in MIAMI nonetheless) I was in slight panic mode. Talking legs, arm, foot, back...these tiny red rash bumps. 

Note - also do not WebMD "itchy red rash that is spreading" you will NOT like the results. Trust me. 

The only thing I could do was to stop with supplements (per doctors orders) and wait it out until I got home and to the doctor. That meant no more catalyst and MNS effectively stopping with the challenge. 

Definitely a bummer. So now I am on steroids until next week (instant relief!) and then can think about reintroducing myself to the products. 

I am not weighing myself or taking measurements at the moment. I weighed myself the day back from vacation pre-steroids and was down below the 10 day mark. But I know I am retaining water right now and any results will not be true. 

But I will recap some thoughts about the experience regardless if finished completely or not!

  • If you are Type A like me, then this is definitely good. The guidelines are clear I didn't find a lot of gray area - cut and dry what to eliminate from diet and what to eat. Very easy to plan.
  • On the flip side, the supplements - also if like me you have a crazy busy day. I definitely on more than one occasion got swamped at work and would forget the one prior to lunch. I did the best I could.
  • My stomach had a REALLY tough time with the supplements in the morning. Like really tough. On a few occasions I worked out after them and once almost had to excuse myself from Flywheel class because I thought I was going to puke. Not fun.
  • Not sure if it was the combo or what but a couple times the Spark + Catalyst before working out made me feel funny while running. I drink a TON of coffee normally so not caffeine sensitive.  
  • I'm also not sure if I totally believe in them. I have never been big on supplements in general (or vitamins - minus I am deficient in a lot and should take them...oops). I'm torn. I bought more MNS towards then middle of the max phase...and I do plan to hop back on the max phase when I can and then see if I can alter the timing and see how I feel. I also bought O2Gold to try out. We shall see the jury is still out in my mind. 
  • I do however LOVE the Spark. Fruit punch is delicious I will be continuing that. 
  • I have now given up my splenda addiction! Good bye to those little yellow packets. None for me in my coffee.
  • I also haven't had a diet soda since I started. Another great habit to break. I don't even think about it much. 
  • I was really good about eating clean and not cheating. However, I did drink some alcohol. I confessed that during my Cleanse recap and when I was in Miami I had 4 drinks over the long weekend. Sorry, totally NOT sorry. One. Bit. 
  • Good food choices are second nature yet again. I have been to countless happy hours and been around a multitude of candy jars without flinching. Willpower reengaged. 
  • Totally noticing a difference in my running. While my stomach is far from perfect (I had a GOD AWFUL Brooklyn Half Marathon I haven't recapped - 6 bathroom stops) I am getting better. I am giving it time and hoping that if I continue to feed myself well that it responds positively. 
So I think that is the most of it. Overall the 24DC was a positive experience - I am so happy that Becky included me. It helped me jump start back into a healthier lifestyle. I love a challenge - when I am given something I do not like to fail. I am pretty good at self accountability. 

I plan on updating when I start back again on the Max Phase! Don't count me out. I want to "redo" it and have a good results recap for you all. 

So there you have it. Any questions or comments let me know! 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

WIAW #2 - Clean Eating Goodness

I'm back for another What I Ate Wednesday!!! 

I love being back on track with clean eating, thank you to the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge. I am feeling better and honestly still not craving the sugar and fatty stuff like I thought I would (although I am not entirely sure that I will ever permanently give up coffee, that is the one thing I am missing and really cannot wait for!). I am still in the thick of it with another week to go but going strong! 

I have been doing a LOT more food prep, and it has been so nice to have quick and easy meals waiting for me. On tap this week:

For breakfasts I have been doing the meal replacement shakes. I am kind of picky about my protein but this chocolate is pretty darn delicious I must admit. In a pinch I am just mixing with water in a shaker bottle - but mornings when I am home I have been mixing with frozen banana and spinach and chia seeds. Delicious! 

I also made a batch of the Fitnessista's quinoa pancakes - I had a ton of leftover quinoa I had prepped and do yourself a favor, make them. Simple, quick and nutritious! 

For snacks I finally made homemade hummus. What have I been doing buying this my whole life??? It is so simple to make, and such a money saver. I went a tad heavy on the garlic this round but it was still so so good. 

I have been eating rice cakes for snacks as well. This combo - one with spicy mustard and daiya cheese, plus another with mashed avocado and sea salt, so tasty - and with a side of shredded beets. Yum!

I have been eating tempeh a bit lately - I was feeling so lazy Sunday night and wound up just slicing up some 3 grain tempeh with a side of raw veggies. I like tempeh straight out the package, don't judge! 

Then some quick grilled chicken (with Trader Joe's 21 seasoning salute - it is addictive) with a side of roasted brussel sprouts and butternut squash. I think some times the simpler the better. 

And of course can't forget my favorite date night this week - went to Guantanamera for some great Cuban food and live music, this paella was loaded with seafood and simple and delicious. And massive! Love me some seafood. 

I have been really good about not eating after dinner, but Sunday was feeling snacky so whipped up this massive chocolate protein muffin in the microwave. I will share the recipe it is sooooo good. Topped with some peanut butter and berries, heaven. Totally hit the dessert craving I was having. 

And there we have it. So much good food and all my eating has been on point. That makes me happy! 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Treat Yourself Tuesday #1

I'm joining in on the party!!! Finally linking up and thank you to Becky for hosting! Read here for the premise behind it.

I pretty much treat myself on a daily basis. Whether it is bribing myself when I don't want to workout with a kombucha or that after I complete a grueling work project I will get out grab a coffee or tea and stroll in the sunshine (yay it is finally spring in NYC!) or spending some hard earned dough on new clothes, I think we all deserve to be treated! 

So without further ado let's get a peak at what I have been rewarding myself with lately!

First up, I was in desperate need of some new sandals and these babies were 30% off at Express...I am not one to pass up on a deal!

While at Express I also loaded up on a few (also on sale) of my favorite shirts - the Portofino - honestly most favorite shirt ever and they were $20 off which in my head = buy more, right? I don't have a closet full of them already or anything...

Last but not least - I am heading to Miami Saturday and was in need of a cute little cover up - enter the romper! so easy to pull on over my bikini and perfect for biking around the beach!

I had a half marathon on Saturday and just could NOT fathom wearing any of the millions of outfits that I already had...I needed something new and bright (and clearly you are supposed to wear a brand new outfit before running 13.1 miles!). Enter this cute number, both skirt and tank from Brooks, and socks from feetures!. Obsessed. And it held up great running in! Light and breathable perfect since it was pretty hot by the end of the race! 

A couple of other unpictured treats - I have found a chiropractor and will be adding in adjustments as part of my "training" feels oh so good. She was in awe of just how inbalanced my hips and shoulders are. Yay for being completely misaligned! 

And I found a great deal at my spa - 6 massages for $200 bucks! Sign me up. Best package ever. Especially when the going rate is $80-100 usually at my place. A steal. I treated myself to one Sunday to recover from the race. So. Necessary. 

And that is it! 

Biggest treat will be coming on Saturday as I head to Miami for a loooong weekend. I cannot wait. I need sunshine, relaxation and pool time. Plus the bonus of visiting my sister who lives there. Just what the doctor ordered! 

Hope everyone else is treating themselves - we all deserve a little bit in this chaotic world! 

Friday, May 16, 2014

AdvoCare Cleanse Phase Recap

I cannot believe that the first part of the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge is already complete! Time sure does fly when you are having fun...errr something like that. 

I have to say, so far, so good. So thank you Becky for getting me involved! 

First up the initial 10 day results:

Pounds lost = 5.8

Inches lost = 5.25

Now to be fair, no I KNOW I did not lose 5.8 pounds in 10 days. The initial weigh in definitely dealt with bloating and a body a little out of wack from long runs and salt intake over that weekend. So I am sure the first weigh in number is slightly inflated. However, I can attest I am wearing skinny jeans today and they are feeling mighty comfy compared to a couple of weeks ago when I was feeling less than stellar. 

Regardless it is nice to see the progress! I can't wait to see what happens in the max phase, bring it on! 

So let's talk a little bit about what happens during the cleanse portion and what a typical day looks like : 

Days 1-3:

  • Wake up: 1 serving of Spark mixed in 12 oz water + 3 Catalyst, wait 20 minutes
  • Fiber Drink mixed with 8 oz water + 16 oz water, wait 30 minutes
  • Breakfast + OmegaPlex pills
  • Morning Snack
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon Snack + 1 serving of spark + 2-3 catalyst (if I was working out at night)
  • Dinner + OmegaPlex pills
  • Before Bed: Herbal Cleanse tablets

Days 4-7:

  • Wake up: 1 serving of Spark mixed in 12 oz water + Probiotic Restore + 3 Catalyst, wait 30 minutes
  • Breakfast + OmegaPlex pills
  • Morning Snack
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon Snack + 1 serving of spark + 2-3 catalyst (if I was working out at night)
  • Dinner + OmegaPlex pills
  • Before Bed: Herbal Cleanse tablets

Days 8-10:

  • Wake up: 1 serving of Spark mixed in 12 oz water + Probiotic Restore + 3 Catalyst, wait 20 minutes
  • Fiber Drink mixed with 8 oz water +  16oz of water, wait 30 minutes
  • Breakfast + OmegaPlex pills
  • Morning Snack
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon Snack + 1 serving of spark + 2-3 catalyst (if I was working out at night)
  • Dinner + OmegaPlex pills

On mornings when I worked out I would wake up, drink the Spark and take the catalyst prior to it. Once finished I would then continue the regime (because taking a fiber drink prior to running when you already have an iffy stomach does NOT sound good!).

So thoughts on the cleanse phase, the good and the bad:


  • Honestly, I FEEL FABULOUS. I feel lighter. I am not bloated. My clothes are back to feeling normal. 
  • This has not by any means effected my training. Still taking Body Pump 2-3 times a week, running about 30 miles and never felt off during this period.
  • The realization that I honestly do not really CRAVE the sugar and fatty food. I forgot how much I love fueling my body to perform vs. for quick satiation. I gave myself such a pass and ate what I wanted for the better part of 3 months and had a few pounds to show for it. Not cute. 
  • Listening to my natural body hunger cues. I honestly usually didn't want to snack. I would eat a couple almonds or half a banana to have the bare minimum but it was nice to wake up HUNGRY. Cause, you know, I stopped snacking before bed which I have a bad habit of doing out of boredom. I am remembering what hunger feels like. A good thing!
  • My runs have been better. Better fueling = better performance. Easy as that.
  • TMI moment BUT I am finally pretty "regular" in the bathroom. That fiber drink will help as will eating up all the fruits and veggies. I'm even going multiple times per day. Sorry for sharing but from the girl who can never go (unless in the middle of a run/race) this is GOOD NEWS. Test will be the half marathon Saturday for just how well I hold up. 
  • Money saved. Yes there is the initial investment. However, I am meal planning, bringing my breakfast/snack/lunch mostly cooking dinner and not drinking at happy hours or drinking coffee. Umm hi my bank account is super thrilled! 
  • Realizing - I don't necessarily really need to drink alcohol when out. I have been to a handful of social events and was totally FINE with water! 


  • Well I could lie, but the truth is there was some sips of wine on 2 separate occasions. What is date night without wine? I actually have no regrets for either. It did not derail my food choices or my workouts or the rest - and we are talking about not much, I didn't go on a bender. For once I did not beat myself up and just moved on.
  • The supplements. Oy. I barely remember to take my multivitamin and vitamin D (that this vitamin deficient girl is supposed to take, oops). So yes I did find it cumbersome. The good news is I am more used to it so that is helpful as is the daily checklist to aide in remembering.
  • I think less coffee somehow made me a tad sensitive to caffeine. A couple times post spark and catalyst I felt very very energized more than I have EVER felt with coffee.
  • I miss coffee. The taste. But I have also learned that I do not NEED coffee. No caffeine withdrawals (probably thanks to Spark) and also my wallet thanks me for those 2-3 trips a day. 
  • The fiber drink - as helpful as it is to get things was NOT my favorite. However I must be a sick person because I am contemplating using it a few times a week to help me. It is just the worst texture. Ugh. 

For a look at what I am eating take a peak at this post.

So here we are now in the Max phase! I'm feeling good and excited to see the progress once I am finished! Hoping that I continue to lean out. I will be in Miami the last few days of the challenge which I think is actually a good thing! Who wants to be bloated in a bikini? Plus I am visiting my sis who is a trainer/group fitness instructor and soon to be FLYBARRE!!! instructor. There will be running, flywheeling and barring and her class while I am down there. I will totally earn my lounge chair pool side bum status ;-)

Today Lauren who runs the great facebook group for those on the challenge and beyond; had a great blog post with tips for getting the most out of the 24 day challenge. Take a look over there, she is a wealth of knowledge - and ahem has amazing results! 

So there we have it. Any questions please feel free to contact me! 

I should mention I am so impressed with the products that I have purchased a few from the performance line to test out (what was I saying earlier about not liking to take supplements...) and am stoked to see how they work with my marathon training. I am already thinking beyond the challenge portion - this has all put me back in line with my goals. 

Happy Friday all!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

WIAW - AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge Addition

Holla! So as I am on the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge, a lot of friends, colleagues etc. have been asking me just what I have been eating. So I thought what a good opportunity to join in on a little blogger fun! Without further ado I bring you...

Or maybe it should be called "what I am eating on the challenge" but whatever, you get the point! And note to self...take some prettier pictures - I swear everything you see tasted fabulous!

First up, some meal prep for the week! Definitely helps to make the right decisions along the way. 

Grilled chicken, quinoa, grilled asparagus, cut veggies - things to grab and go with long days.

Lots and lots of fruit - and some laziness ;)

Fruit and hard boiled eggs (usually eat 2 whites and 1 with the yolk) has been a solid go to breakfast.

Chipotle burrito bowl lunches! I do fajita veggies, a little black beans, sofritas or chicken, mild salsa + corn and lettuce. No shame I've hit up Chipotle like 3 times thus far.

Bananas + PB2 in this instance a soupy PB2 - but still tasty!

A new obsession - zucchini, squash, and carrot "noodles" with ground turkey and a simple sauce. I do not miss pasta (and honestly am not that big of a pasta fan to begin with so I love this as a replacement!)

And for the sweet tooth that has kicked in a couple times - peanut butter chocolate banana "ice cream". I only had this after a particularly grueling day of workouts - 8 miles plus body pump I knew I needed some extra sustenance before bed so added a half scoop of protein to the ice cream. Just fabulous.

And that's pretty much the basics! Lots of fruit and veggies and lean protein. I am not the biggest carb person in terms of eating rice and pasta and bread. I do however LOVE crackers and have miraculously not missed them at all. I have replaced them with cucumbers and peppers to dip in hummus when I snack. 

I have to say that thus far, I am not really finding eating to be a problem. I am not going to lie I have had some sips of wine on 2 separate date night occasions. And do not feel an ounce of guilt over either. It's life. 

But the eating has been very clean and my body is thanking me for it already. I can't wait to post up the first post cleanse results! 

Monday, May 12, 2014

(Lack of) Motivation for the Long Run

If you know me, then you know that I am the last person that usually needs motivation to get out the door and get my workout on. 

During the week I am often doing workouts before and after work (split usually around class schedules and not wanting to spend 2+ hours at a time working out).  Managing my time around my social life and it works for me. I am usually out of the apartment from 6am or so until 9pm but for me that is normal and I like routine. 

Lately however, once the weekend hits, I am BEAT (more mental than physical). I wake up Saturday morning (inevitably at the crack of dawn thank you internal alarm clock) but just CANNOT motivate to get myself out of bed. I play games in my head...bribe myself with get out now and a mani pedi will happen this afternoon, a massage, frozen yogurt, pancakes, shopping - anything! but alas I just do NOT want to. I've even bailed on races because I cannot peel myself from under the covers. The thought of going on a long run does nothing for me. So usually I just wind up negotiating with myself that I will take body pump and do a shorter run and long run on Sunday.

Only problem with that is that as of late, Sunday turns into a big fat fail as well. I've managed to log SOME but honestly this spring I've only done a handful of double digit miles. I ran the NYC Half pretty well considering I lagged in that department and the plan was to train a bit more and potentially race the Brooklyn Half this weekend. Let's just say I haven't set myself up for a fast race at this point. 

And I am okay with that. 

My 18 week training cycle for fall marathoning begins in June and I want to go in really WANTING it. Not burnt out at all. I am still averaging 30 mile weeks so I am base building. It is not that I am NOT running, I am just not doing the long run. I am taking body pump and running and taking a rest day so that I am set up for a strong training cycle. (although I know I need to ideally take away a running day and add in cross training...details details).

I think things will work better once I have a concrete goal staring me in the face. I went into the spring race season as a "for fun" venture. No pressure, no goals to PR. I knew where I was in the fall and that after time off I would be starting from less and was not going to surpass my fall fitness to PR in shorter distances right now. I can wing a half marathon with my level of fitness. It might not be the most awesome or speediest race but I know I can comfortably knock one out with where I am at now. We shall see if I surprise myself like I did at NYC but I just plan to go out an enjoy the run.

And hopefully gain some more inspiration for long runs along the way. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge

Today marks the start of my AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge

I have to say that I am pretty excited to begin. I was contacted by Becky over at Olives 'n Wine and asked if I was interested in joining the challenge this time around (Becky sent me the cleanse portion of the 24DC products - I purchased the rest). And am so glad. I have read about her and some others results from it, and I think it is just the swift kick in the butt I need to get myself on track as marathon training looms in the very near future. 

You can check out some of her posts on it:

AdvoCare Cleanse Phase 
AdvoCare Max Phase Part 1
AdvoCare 24DC Results

First off the results speak for themselves. I was second motivated by Becky - who is obviously a healthy living and fitness enthusiast - also about to train for her marathon - and I was comfortable being guided by someone who shares a similar lifestyle - and let's not forget the obvious, a good glass of wine or a nice happy hour. 

The balance she demonstrates in her life parallels mine (although I have ahem gotten a little off course with about 10 too many happy hours and a few too many burgers lately). Fitness isn't a problem for me but the way I am feeling is not so great. I am feeling sluggish and my stomach has been troublesome so I want to get my body back to feeling great before I start upping my mileage and workouts for marathon training. 

So goodbye to coffee, dairy, sugar, alcohol and fatty foods for the next 24 days. And I couldn't be more excited. I've invested a nice amount of money in this so I want to stay on track. Goodbye random cake days (yes at work we randomly will buy a cake and have a cake day - that needs to stop). I think out of everything I will miss coffee the most (I might be a like 100 ounces of coffee a day kind of person, oops). 

This weekend I was trying to think of what I would miss most to have it "one last time" and it came down to coffee, gummy bears and greek yogurt. I didn't even bother to have a drink at all. I am ready to FEEL better. I am really proud of my willpower so while I know I will have my moments I know that I am an all or nothing person and plan to use that determination.

Oh and the fact that as the challenge ends I am heading to Miami might be a little bit of motivation. Bikini living, eye on the prize baby. 

So I have my haul of products ready to go! 

And, spent a good amount of time food shopping and food planning over the weekend to be able to stay on track without excuses. 

So here goes nothing! I will be reporting back updates on how I am doing and the first round of results after the 10 day cleanse phase finishes. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

What I've Been Up To Lately

I've been a bad bad blogger lately. 

Partially because my life has been pretty routine. And part because I don't really share too much of my personal life on here aka relationships which has taken up most of my free time outside of training. Gotta keep some things private right ;) 

So on the sharing front I've been holding back. But I am here and for the most part things are great! 

There was a crazy month of work - we had layoffs and while I was safe, I was also on the back end of things as far as knowing what was going on and planning for it all. One of the harder things that I have had to do professionally (side note - I do not work in HR and bless everyone who is in HR, it is TOUGH). 

Okay so lets see what HAVE I been up to exactly?

I have been base building and trying to get my running consistent. Especially important since this has happened:

After not getting into the NYCM through lottery (still considering running with TFK again). I threw my name into the Chicago Marathon - and got in. I figured, I couldn't NOT do it, so yup Marathon #4 coming at me in October. Which, is going to be an insane month I might add. First weekend one of my college BFF's is getting married, then the marathon and then a week after my running BFF is getting married - AND I am in her wedding. Hello to a packed October!! 

So for now my goal has been to hit 30 miles a week. I was signed up for more races after the NYC Half but only wound up running a couple of them. To be honest work had me beat by the weekend and I have been battling a non stop cold and exhaustion. So a couple times I woke up to less than stellar racing conditions and totally bailed. #sorrynotsorry I hate running in rain, wind and cold. 

I did however run a decent race yesterday (minus sucking at tangents) even though I could barely breathe so that made me happy. I am confident that come marathon time and fall running I am going to be ready to throw down on my PR's - if not sooner.

Newport 10K

I was covered with more snot than sweat by the end of the race. Who says running can't be sexy???

I am running another 10K this Saturday and a 4 miler Sunday - and am hoping to feel better and test some speed out better in both (although 10K will be in Central Park vs. Newport which was totally flat). And then on for what was one of my favorite races last year - Brooklyn Half Marathon!!! woo woo!!!

Minus 7:00am start time. Hello to 4am wake up.
After the NYC Half I was thinking there was a chance of PR'ing this but honestly with how work went and umm perhaps a little too much happy hour'ing I am pretty positive my body is not ready for it. But I am hoping to run a sub 2 at least. Time will tell but I am not putting pressure on myself at all. I have not been doing focused training.

Let's see what else. There has still been a lot of time spent at one of my favorites, Body Pump!!!
Stacks of weights are my favorite. As is squatting more than the men.
There has also been a lot of seeing my picture posted with TFK for the NYCM. Can't say I don't enjoy it. Must have been the bow ;)

#famous - or something like that
And then of course, it is FINALLY SEEMING LIKE SPRING. I am ready to be off the treadmill a lot more and on the streets. Yes, I like the treadmill. Yes I do double digit runs on it when the outdoor conditions are not to my specific liking. But the return of these views = sayonara treadmill and hello river runs.

Holla NYC.
Tomorrow I am kicking off an Advocare 24 day challenge - thank you to Becky for reaching out to me to join in. I am super excited to use this as a kick off for marathon training (and umm beach body mission because yes I am vain and no I am not ready for bikini season and am headed to Miami for MDW).

But more on that to come tomorrow! (what what two posts in two days - I know believe it when it happens). For now I must decide if I have either one final adult beverage or coffee before giving both up throughout the challenge. 

Decisions, decisions.