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. 

Tools:

From www.chooseyourchallenge.com
  • 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).

Tips:
  • 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 http://www.thegraciouspantry.com/what-is-clean-eating/ 
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 www.chooseyourchallenge.com  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

1 comment:

Burton Adam said...

Thanks for sharing the info and keep sharing the blogs related to health.
Advocare Diet

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