Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Are you ALL IN??!!!!!

Ummmm - I love this quote!!! Congratulations to all of my awesome 2015 January 24-Day Challengers - this is my first challenge as a leader and I am ready!!!  Are you ready? Are you ALL IN?

Here's what I told myself last year this time - before I really knew anything about what I was doing with the challenge - "I can do ANYTHING for 24 days!"  And once I started the challenge - I became addicted - I loved it - and I was sad when it was over because I felt so great and I loved the routine and guidance the program gave me.  So I continued with Advocare products - and here I am!

So it's true - 24 days is over so quickly and the most important thing is to FULLY COMMIT to this challenge.  The virtual coach on Advocare and the Daily Guide will be so helpful - you know exactly WHAT to eat WHEN.  It's a no-brainer and that's why I loved this program.  Eat only what you are supposed to, eliminate what is a no-no, exercise if you can - and YOU WILL SEE THE RESULTS!!!!  Don't only do this program 80% of the time - commit yourself 100% to do the program for all of the 24 days. 

So right about now I'd like you to think about your meal plans for next week.  Go to the grocery store this weekend and stock up.  And do the same thing each weekend.  PLAN AHEAD.  Think about what you have coming up that week.  Busy day at work with lots of activities in the evening?  Then make some dinners in the slow cooker, make something ahead and freeze, use those Meal Replacement shakes for breakfast/lunch, and pre-package those snacks so you grab and go in the morning.  I put my berries in little containers, cut up broccoli/cauliflower/snap peas/carrots in to-go cups, etc.

Remember you will be waking up a little earlier to do Spark 30 minutes before your Fiber Drink/breakfast or meal replacement shake

Remember to try to squeeze in a little exercise. That CATALYST that you purchased - it works even more WONDERS if you are exercising.  I mean it - I even got muscles I hadn't seen since high school!

If you weren't a water drinker before - be one NOW.  Body weight in pounds divided by 2 = ounces of water you should be consuming.  Get a fun water cup - I like the Camelbaks I found at Target.  I even put a little Vitamin Water drops in to get a little flavor.

Let SPARK take over your coffee obsession.  I know it's going to be hard to give up that cup of coffee.  But give it 3 days and you will be FINE.  Spark is so good for you and will give you that same energy that you crave in the morning and late afternoon.  Heck - I had 3 a day!!!!  Add an extra if needed (I say it's okay)

TAKE YOUR MEASUREMENTS!!!!  And your picture.  I don't care how silly it seems - but put on a sports bra/tank top and exercise pants - stand in front of that mirror - and take a selfie!!!  Same spot, same outfit on Day #11 and Day #25.  You will be amazed at how different you look throughout the process.  Record the measurement on your Advocare App.

YOU CAN get everything at a regular grocery store! I get that you don't have time to go to Whole Foods, then Trader Joes, then get the rest of the family food at another one.....  Just take some time to get to know those isles that you have never been to before - like the health food/gluten food section.  Everything you need is right in your home-town g-store ;)  The pictures I posted earlier in the blog were just suggestions/ideas.  And I lot of that stuff I found at Target!!!!!

WHEN DO WE START? Depending on when your package was ordered - most will start on Monday the 5th - but it's okay if you don't have your package by Monday.  Wednesday the 7th is the National Challenge and everyone is guaranteed delivery by then.  I will help you either way!


DAYS 1-3:  

1) Get up and Spark - seriously use that blender bottle.  Put a little warm water at first to help melt the powder - then add cold water.  Shake and drink!!

2) 30 minutes later - FIBER DRINK (it's in your herbal cleanse pack)(again blender bottle).  AND....CHUG!!!  Seriously chug it.  Don't take time to taste (it's not that bad, just gritty).  I actually kinda like it.  Add 8 more oz of water and drink.  This won't make you run to the bathroom at all.  But it will sustain you throughout the morning and you won't be hungry!
THEN BREAKFAST or MEAL REPLACEMENT SHAKE.  Decide what you want to do.  Not a lot of time in the mornings before you rush out?  Then don't stress about making some healthy breakfast.  Do the meal replacement shake!  Again - blender bottle and go!  (make sure you are ONLY mixing with water)
FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO MAKE BREAKFAST:  Avoid even the good carbs for the first 10 days.  And yes, that means the oatmeal, too.  I would do make-ahead egg muffins (cut up vegetables, pour in egg liquid or 3 eggs and a bowl of fruit. Here is a good article on breakfast during the cleanse.

3) Mid-morning snack!  Score!  I like a hard boiled egg (don't even try to make yourself if you aren't good at it.  After a dozen bad attempts - I just buy in a package.)  and a snack pack of raw almonds.  Or a rice cake and natural peanut butter (get the no-stir kind!!!!!).  Or fruit and some raw almonds....

By the way - CATALYST - if you are going to be working out in the mornings and afternoons- let me know and I have a different schedule for that Catalyst for you..... 

4) Lunchtime!!!  Combine a protein, a veggie, and a complex carb.....sooo...that means try to put together a creative salad - kale/spinach/dark leafy greens, some grilled chicken (I get the packaged but fresh kind in the deli that you just heat), add some garbonzo or black beans, some veggies, and a balsalmic vinegar dressing.  But you can still do a meal replacement shake here
Other ideas....

5) 30 minutes before that afternoon snack - ANOTHER SPARK!!!!  And you know you need it!

6) Afternoon snack - again a handful of nuts and fruit, boiled egg, 1 cup whole grain popcorn and apple slices, rice cake and natural PB

7) Dinner - Try to make this homemade and one that the whole family will like.  On my blog, Pinterest page, and our own group FB page, I tried to leave a bunch of Advocare friendly recipes.  Get creative, have fun - clean eating is delicious!!!!! Advocare has a cookbook and this is their Tumblr page

8)Bedtime snack + herbal cleanse caplets + Catalyst   (I was always in the mood for a little bit of salt this time of day - so I did 1 cup of the Chicka Boom Popcorn - the yellow bag - plus 1 apple.  If you don't feel like you need a snack - then by all means skip it!!!!

So day 4 starts a slightly different schedule so I will post later this week.

ASK ME QUESTIONS NOW!!! Whatever you are wondering is okay, not okay, - what will work with your own schedule, etc.  Please ask!  Use our Facebook page or private message me!

I can't wait to do this with you - Andrea

Sunday, December 28, 2014

My favorite "Go-to" for great "Advocare challenge" friendly recipes

A huge thank you to Jenny Collier and her amazing blog.  It is always my favorite source for great recipes that the whole family will like. When mama is on a challenge - so is the whole family!  And it's a win-win all around!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Preparing for the 24-Day Challenge

So let's get started now.  Since the challenge begins right after the holidays - I wanted you to have this to look over when you get a chance - so you can have everything ready to go on January 5th!

Planning is EVERYTHING with this challenge.  Work, kids, life - it gets in the way.  And if you aren't prepared with healthy snacks and meal plans - then you may not have time to make that healthy choice.  On January 1 - go through your fridge and cabinets - get rid of all the Holiday junk food and anything that might be a temptation.  On days 2-3 before the challenge - go to the grocery store and stock up.  Get familiar with the Advocare 24-Day Challenge cookbook, Pinterest Clean-eating recipes/snacks, and the Advo Challengers Facebook pages.  Become familiar with what is Clean Eating, what healthy combinations you will need with each snack/meal, and what your schedule will be throughout the Cleanse Days 1-10. 


  • 24-Day Challenge Cookbook - a great starting point to get recipes and learn what ingredients to use and foods to eat.  
  • Grocery List - this is a great listing of safe foods to eat during the challenge
  • Trim Timeline, Tips & Measurements - This is a good sheet to use to guide you through the challenge as well as a place to jot down your starting measurements and weight. 
 From Advocare's Challenge Site

  • Advocare Assessment Form - This is similar to the form mentioned above as it allows you to log your measurements and weight and it is from Advocare's official site. 
I started by sitting down with the challenge cookbook and other clean eating recipes and marking all the recipes that sounded like something we would actually enjoy.  Once that was done, I began writing out the week's foods for breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner. 

Next, I went through my meal plan and the recipes to create my grocery list and went shopping.  Now we have all the food for the week (I did have to go back halfway through the week to get more fruit).

  • Get up early enough to not only make breakfast, but to have your Spark and fiber drink without feeling rushed.  Make this an excuse to create a new morning routine for yourself that you can enjoy- to read the paper, do your devotionals, etc.   
What is clean eating?  Read this 
I feel like this is the more thorough website explaining the concept of clean eating.  Basically, it is eating food in it's natural state and trying to eliminate processed foods in your diet.  The web has a lot of other articles if you should decide to google search.

Gluten-free and Dairy-free: I personally decided to take the challenge a step further and eliminated gluten and dairy products (except for 0% greek yogurt and low fat sour cream that I added into some recipes).  There are so many great choices out there for gluten free snacks that I had no problem doing this.  I also switched to Almond Milk and soy cheese and found them quite tasty.

Clean Eating Recipes on the Web -
What to Buy?
Again, go to  for the grocery list.  My favorite items to have on hand:
  • Tuna
  • Fresh chicken or even Trader Joes cooked chicken strips to throw in dishes
  • Ground turkey
  • Salmon
  • Raw Almonds (no added salt or spices)
  • Trail mix (nuts and berries only)
  • Eggs - egg whites, hard boiled are great for a go-to morning or afternoon snack
  • Spinach, kale
  • Advocados
  • Quinoa!!!!!  (such a great staple - can make anything from this)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Hummus
  • Salsa
  • Natural no-stir peanut butter/almond butter
  • Steel-cut Oatmeal
  • Lots of fresh berries
  • Brown rice cakes (a yummy snack with natural peanut butter and apple slices)
  • Apples!!!!
  • Beans
  • Mung bean noodles (get at Kings or Whole Foods), Black Bean noodles
  • Brown Rice
  • Salad Dressings... any homemade dressing with lemon/balsalmic/olive oil is great.  I also bought the Hummus dressing at Trader Joes and used that sparingly
  • Earth Balance buttery spread
  • Vegetable broth/chicken broth
My personal favorites
One cup plus apple slices is a great snack

the ONLY bread allowed on the challenge for the 2nd phase - great with advocado or natural PB/AB

My absolute Go-To for sauce during the challenge.  Natural and delicious

I will also be posting recipes through the challenge and please share yours as well!!!!

Alcohol?????  So - you are really supposed to eliminate all Alcohol during the challenge.  And we are doing the challenge after the New Years - so hopefully we can go 24 days without needing it.....but with that being said....sometimes you just NEED IT!!!!  So I recommend a nice white wine, prosecco, a hard cider (naturally GF), or a Gluten-Free Beer

Caffeine?  Yes - you CAN do without the morning coffee because SPARK is awesome and it really does the job with the mental focus and alertness.  I found I had a slight headache the first 2 days of the challenge last year - but remedied quickly by an Advil.  Then I was fine without my coffee the whole 24 days and beyond! 

Going Out to Eat:  It is totally do-able.  Just remember the goal is food in it's natural state and eliminating processed foods, heavy sauces/dressings, etc. And watch out for the carbs.  I tried to find fresh fish and vegetable dishes (asked them to hold the butter).  Dressings on the side.  Believe it or not - any BBQ chicken is Gluten Free and completely ok on top of a bed of greens.  Any roasted chicken dish.  Even bars now have Gluten Free (GF) options.  My best tip is asking the chef to prepare a vegetarian meal when going to a nice restaurant. 

Ok - I think that is all I can think of for now.... Next post is Step-By-Step Instructions for the Advocare Cleanse Days 1-10

The next 24-Day Challenge starts on January 5, 2015

 I love doing the Advocare 24-Day Challenge.  It's not your regular weight loss program.  Advocare is a comprehensive supplementation and nutrition system.  It will jumpstart your healthy lifestyle and the lessons learned during this challenge will continue long after the program has finished.  Ready to break unhealthy habits?  Ready to learn about the RIGHT things to put into your body?  Ready to feel great?! Then do the next challenge with me!  January 5, 2015! Ask me how I can help you!

My personal distributor page is