“I Just Don’t Have Time to Exercise!”

I had a few friends check in with me recently after seeing me announce my business and my new website. “You look so well!” They proclaimed, and went on to talk about my photos and living life at the beach. I told them about my walks, my biking, and how nice it was that it was pretty much still warm here all the time. Then, they admitted that they “had to do something” because COVID restrictions had led them to become out of shape and not feeling their best. “I don’t feel safe at my gym” one said, as the other person spoke of feeling unmotivated and down. Another simply said, “I just don’t have time to workout.” Welcome to life in 2020, where just about everything seems harder than it should be. But, it doesn’t have to be that way!

The benefits of exercise are enormous-and many of those benefits can be a real game changer to “life in 2020”. Feeling depressed and unfocused? Exercise can help with that! Feeling as though you’ve lost muscle or strength? Feeling tired and run down? Not able to sleep as soundly as you did in 2019? The answer, my friends, is EXERCISE!

Now, I know, I know…if you’re tired and depressed, or not sleeping well, thinking about exercise just make you more tired and more depressed. But if you can get your mind moving in the right direction, and just take a little bit of motivation from this blog post, maybe taking a few small steps towards the goal of more movement is just the way to get you headed in the right direction.

SEX….Ok, now I may have your attention!!!! Did you know that regular exercise helps boost and improve your sex life?? Exercise gets your cardiovascular system going, pumps more blood to the “important” areas of your body, tones your muscles, increases your flexibility, and increases your stamina and drive. Exercise helps with erectile dysfunction, and can increase libido no matter your age. Maybe THAT’S the benefit that may appeal to many of my readers the most!!;) So, get moving you hottie!

Most of us associate working out to diet and weight goals, whether it’s to lose weight, or gain muscle mass. Exercise, of course, is a major factor in changing our bodies and becoming healthier. Aerobic (cardio) exercise increases our calorie burn, making weight loss a bit easier, and works even better when paired with some resistance or weight training. Adding this type of movement to your life a few times a week can also help burn that stubborn belly fat that seems to sneak on after a certain age. And, the best part? Each time you get some regular exercise, you boost your energy level just a bit more-giving you more energy for the next workout and for life in general!

Other benefits of regular exercise are: better sleep, more enjoyable rest days, decreased anxiety and depression, a reduced risk of chronic illness, better brain function, stronger bones and muscles (especially as we age), and healthier, less aged, skin. The hormones released during exercise increase wellness throughout the ENTIRE body system! So, let’s do this!!

PLAY BALL Win the Game with Food Focus

It’s been a long year of lockdowns and quarantine, and many of our favorite activities have been postponed or cancelled. BUT, sports are back, and if you are like me, that’s something to celebrate and enjoy. In my family, there’s almost always a sports program on the tv, and when the big games are on, it becomes a real party. Pizza shows up at the door, bags of snacks get piled onto the counters, and depending on the game, there’s usually some wine or beer. Some of our favorite family memories start out this way!

Watching televised sports has become one of our biggest pastimes, as well as a huge social event for many. Friends and families gather and build traditions around watching their favorite sports teams and EATING. This can lead to some huge challenges for those of us that aspire to live and eat healthy. The typical foods found at most sports parties, and even most stadium venues, are mostly high in fat and calories, and low in actual nutrients. The most popular “sports” foods, according to a quick Google search, are pizza, wings, nachos, chips, dessert foods, and of course, beer and soda. After taking into consideration that the average male needs about 2000 calories a day, and the average female needs about 1600, let’s take a look at what the “average” person might find themselves munching on as they cheer on their favorite teams for several hours each week:

  • 2 slices of pepperoni pizza
  • 6 wings
  • Nachos with cheese and toppings
  • Endless amounts various chips (but let’s say 2 servings)
  • 4 cookies
  • 2 beers (only 2!)
  • 2 sodas

Does that sound about right? Have you found yourself eating this way? I know this happens in my house!

This, my friend, is 2800 calories worth of food-with a whopping 100 grams of FAT. Add a loss by your favorite team, and you might find you had a really bad day!!

Fortunately, there are lots of easy and fun ways to combat this sort of pattern of “sports” eating. Offering healthier options, making it a point to get up and move during the game, and drinking more water can all help curb this crazy intake of calories and fat, and even add some fun to the day.

Sports can get pretty emotional, (I threw a vacuum cleaner down the steps after a bad playoff game once-and my dad broke the bathroom door off the hinges after a bad play when I was a kid…) Sports can also be mind numbingly tedious when nothing really happens inning and inning, quarter after quarter. The emotions, the boredom, the excitement, all lead to mindless eating. Have you ever finished off an entire bag or chips or cookies while engrossed in a tv show? All the sudden, the bag is empty, and you have little memory of even tasting it! This is a huge issue when watching sports. Recognize that, acknowledge it, and make that thought part of your watching plan. 

Some tips for making better choices during your sports and party viewing:

always have healthy options available. Veggie and fruit trays with hummus or lower fat dip are a great start.

choose mustard over mayo on your sandwich or hotdog, and consider skipping the cheese.

cheese or veggie pizza instead of pepperoni or fatty meats, and stick to one slice for a very healthy change.

use a smaller plate for your choices, eat slowly, and don’t eat out of giant bowls or packages.

make the decision to only eat at a certain point of the day perhaps at halftime, or during the 7 inning stretch.

instead of pizza, hotdogs or hamburgers, try some grilled kebabs with lean meats, veggies and fruits. 

if you choose to drink, set a limit to 2 drinks, and have a full glass of water before drinking each one. Alcohol and water intake should always be equal!

do a search for some healthy game day snack recipes (there are TONS) and try a new one out each week.

Now, to add some fun to your day! Let’s get up and move, and get everyone involved with fun and exercise!

make some bets with your family and friends, with crazy exercise as the consequence. Your team scores-they have to do pushups, their team scores-you have to do jumping jacks. This can be done with all aspect of the game, even down to ref calls and uniform choices!

get up and move during commercial breaks, long replay decisions, halftime and the 7th inning stretch. March around the house, step outside for some fresh air and take a quick walk around the yard, or even put on some music and dance for a few minutes.

have a themed “party game” available during game breaks-shoot hoops into a wastepaper basket, throw the ball around in the front yard, be creative and have some fun with it!

Above all, remember that this time is for having fun, relaxing with family and friends, and socializing. The food and drinks are just an added attraction to the day, and partaking in a huge feast of food is not a requirement or expectation. Focus on your family and friends, and your team, and have a great and healthy time!

From my website BeeWell.com

Self Love for the Win!

You’ve got you meals all planned out, your water bottle filled, and your exercise schedule is going really great. This time around, you’re really going to make those changes and reach the goals you’ve dreamt about for so long! But, a few days or weeks into your healthy lifestyle change, you find yourself tired, losing motivation, and stressed. It’s happened to all of us; we start out so focused, on the top of the world, so determined, so proud of each little accomplishment, but than reality sets in, and we slowly find ourselves sliding downward, into bad habits and just simply lose our momentum. But, there’s a fix for that, and it’s called self-love, or, self care. 

The average adult is TIRED. Family, work, and responsibilities-all fill almost every second of our day, and for many, especially women, finding and taking any amount of time for ourselves is so difficult. Everyone NEEDS something from you, all the time, and saying no, or taking a step out for your own self can seem selfish, right?

WRONG! It’s not selfish at all. Think about the process of preparing to fly; the flight attendant tells you all of the emergency procedures, and the most important one is to put your oxygen mask on FIRST. Without taking care of yourself first, it may be impossible to take care of those you love when needed. This applies to your entire life! Without taking care of YOU first, there is little energy to take care of others properly.

Now, I know-you say you are too busy. A work project is due, dinner has not been planned, the kids are climbing up your leg, your husband can’t find his keys, your phone is buzzing, and the dog just peed on the floor-WHAT THE HECK IS SELF LOVE???

I’ve been there; I’ve SO been there, and I honestly didn’t find time for self-love. I woke early to find four kids needing every second of my day, a house to constantly clean, homeschool lessons to be done, and a schedule so full of soccer, football, basketball, art class, co-op, and music lessons, there was simply not a single half hour block left in my planner. I was tired, stressed, and not the most patient person. My energy levels were spent by 2pm, and I found myself moving from one activity to the next without really noticing what was going on around me. Life became one long to do checklist.

In 2006, I suddenly became a single mom of four, determined to continue homeschooling, looking for a job and a place to live, completely and totally stressed to the max. Surely, the idea of self-love was not anywhere in my thoughts. This was a mountain to climb, and I had no clue how high it was going to be. But then a friend took my kids for a few hours-I’d never had a sitter (11 years, no sitter!) and I had a few hours to myself. For the first time in 11 years, I sat on my front porch, alone in silence, and did absolutely nothing. It was absolutely awe-inspiring! A few months later, my children started spending weekends with friends and their dad, and I found myself able to spend more time on myself, reading, writing, planning, and daydreaming. My patience level went up, my sleep got better, and my energy level improved. Although I was now working more than fulltime, still homeschooling, and doing 100% of the child rearing, my life was suddenly better that any moment before. I began to blossom into a new person, a happy person, a calm person. I had found some self love. 

So, what IS self-love, or self-care? Self-love is doing things deliberately and regularly for your physical, emotional, and mental well being. The most important word in that definition is “deliberately”; one needs to be absolutely aware of one’s well being in order to achieve a true sense of self-love. Being aware leads us to a sense of clarity and acknowledgment to the fact that we are, indeed, taking care of ourselves. It leads to a super healthy relationship with your own self, at which point, it easily translates to those around you. In short-you become the best version of YOU, and those around you benefit from your energy, happiness and joy. 

There’s so many things that we can do for ourselves to begin a journey of self-love and care, the important thing is that start with something small, and begin that journey now. How can you begin the journey? Here are some ideas:

*The Power of “NO”

One of the biggest changes I ever made in my life was learning to say, “no.” “No” is a complete sentence; it does not require details or excuses, or even an apology. 

As a young mom, I wanted to be accepted, admired, and liked. I took charge of everything-and I mean EVERYTHING. I ran classes, wrote curriculum, hosted activities in my tiny house, coached sports, brought the snacks, rallied the other parents to help…until one day when I realized that my hand was subconsciously going up in the air all by itself-even before the person asking for help even finished their request! At that point, I was already known as the “do it all” lady, and I did upset a few people with my first action of saying “no.” I moved to a new state soon after, and used “no” quite easily once the expectation was gone. I only said “yes” to those things I truly wanted to be involved in, and in return, was able to enjoy things far more easily. Instead of running things or “working”, I was able to build new relationships and be more truly in the moment of what I was involved in. 

Learn the word “NO.” Again, it is a life changing complete sentence!

*Make Your Physical Health a Top Priority

Exercise is a love/hate thing with most people. We love it and do it, or we hate it and don’t do it. Or, in many cases, we do it, find we love it, and still find times when we hate the idea of it. When we find time to do it, we find that we love the way we feel when we are done. We feel accomplished, strong, and healthy. But, for most, that feeling is short lived, and getting the inspiration to do it again is not so easy. 

Find some form of exercise that you LOVE. Something that makes you want to move, something that makes you happy. Maybe it’s dancing while you clean, or taking a long walk each day before the family wakes up. Maybe it’s a team sport, or a line dancing class where you can socialize. Find something-anything-and, as Nike says, just do it! Exercise gives us more energy, helps our blood pressure, clears our heads, and gives us body confidence. Just do it!

*Sleep is Your Friend

The Sleep Foundation reports that 35% of Americans rate their quality of sleep as “poor”, and 20% of Americans stated that they had not woken up refreshed a single day for the last 7 days. Sleep is not friendly for many, many people. Poor sleep leads to a myriad of physical and mental issues including obesity, depression, anxiety, heart disease, and more. Some of the culprits for lack of sleep are: using screens before bed, caffeine or alcohol use, eating heavy meals before bed, lack of exercise, worry, and poor health in general. It’s important to look at the factors that may be keeping you from getting the rest you need, and take action to make change. 

*Be Grateful!

It’s time to change your mindset and start looking at what it is that makes your glass more than “half full”. Negative thoughts weigh us down, create depression and anxiety, and even make us eat more and exercise less. 2020 has been an enormously emotional year, and people have handled in in very different ways. HOW they approached this crazy year’s ups and downs is what seemed to make all of the difference.

I did an informal poll in a Facebook group comprised of mostly women, asking them how they handled the pandemic. 500 people responded almost immediately, and added comments about their personal situations. 

~21% said that their experience of lockdown has been awesome, and they were doing really well. Commenters spoke of enjoying their time with family, working out more, spending more time with children while home educating, and taking up new hobbies. 

~50% responded that they had been “up and down, and in survival mode” Reasons included uncertainty about jobs and difficulties with home education.

~23% stated that they were either essential workers or had already worked from home, and they did not experience much of a change.

~3% said their lives had changed quite a bit, and they were still working on living within those changes.

~3% were not shy to report that they simply were not doing great and had pretty much “lost their minds”.

There’s a lot of factors that play into this scenario, of course, but after reading the comments, it seemed that those that did really well were the people that took some self love into consideration, and really made themselves conscious of making sure they were doing ok. They found new ways to enjoy their family, made home education more creative, got more exercise, and developed new hobbies to fill the extra free time they had in recent months. This is “being grateful”. “Grateful” beats out anger, boredom, frustration, and uncertainty, and it leaves us with a feeling of joy, instead of despair or defeat.

These are just a few things you can start to focus on in your journey to find you wealth of self-love/care. Self-love is a deeply personal endeavor, and holds great rewards, and what works for one person, may not work at all for another. Find things that inspire you, excite you, and make you feel alive, and then be sure to take the time to be present for them. Make a commitment to yourself, just as you do for others, and then show up for your own self. Go, and live your best life!

from my site BeeWell.com

That Simple Word for 2020

2020 has brought us a new year, a new decade, and an entirely new slate to write our lives upon! In embracing this wealth of new beginnings, there comes the typical conversation about resolutions: the new diet, the new exercise program, the kicking of a bad habit…But, often these resolutions fall quickly by the wayside, as our mouths fill with treats, our treadmill becomes a storage shelf, and those old habits continue to mindlessly find their way into our busy lives.

Instead of resolutions, I’ve taken to having a word for the year. After carefully examining all the “resolutions” I want to set, I look for the deeper picture. Last year, as 2019 came into view, I knew I needed to remove toxic people from my life, as well as find more “me” time to focus on the things that made me healthy and happy. Putting these thoughts into actual resolutions was difficult, because it was simply too vast to break down. I decided to pick an encompassing word: BOUNDARIES.

Boundaries became my mantra. Whenever I was put into a situation that felt toxic, or felt like it was against my need for “me”, I looked for the boundary that was not clear, quickly locked it into place without emotion, and found myself moving directly past the guilt or exhaustion that often came with those situations. This worked with my adult children, my employees, and with “friends” that were probably not truly friends. It also put the final nail in some past relationships that I had been desperately trying to remove myself from for years.

As I walked toward 2020, I pondered many words to express my new beginning and the days to come. My newly found “me” time had led me to a new part time home at the beach, a renewed love for painting, writing, inspiring, and a chance to once again find the person that had gotten silenced during 22 years of raising and home educating children. I was yearning to delve deeper into my journey, into my passions, and I wanted a word to reflect that. I considered several: creativity, passion, art, vision…But, being the always complex, multi-tasking type of person I am, I realized those words, right now, would only lead me to brain fog and exhaustion as they were simply, for now, too focused.

I realized that my new lifestyle-traveling from one home to another-had me living as an “on vacation, me time, undistracted” person for a period of time, only to quickly return to being a caregiver, homemaker, business person who had little time or energy for the things I loved. Week to week, month to month, my life was a little scattered and exhausting. Projects lost their vision, passion quickly got forgotten, and it was tiring.

So, I needed a word, a mantra, to grasp ALL of these feelings, to pull them together, and to make sense of all those thoughts and ideas bouncing in my mind…And I found it. BALANCE!

BALANCE will be the word that I repeat in my head when I’m making my schedules, when I’m journaling my goals, when my heart is pulling me to a new creative project, a new travel adventure, a new marketing idea for my business. BALANCE encompasses ALL I hope to accomplish-the writing, the beach walks, the exercise programs, the mentoring and inspiring of followers….BALANCE makes it all seem possible.

As you, the reader, enters this new awakening of a year, a decade, beginning, search your heart and mind for all the things you want to see in your life, and find that encompassing word that holds them together…Then repeat it. Every day, every time you have a choice to make-for life is so many choices-repeat that word, use it to lead you, to teach you, to hold you to your goals.

Blessed New Year. Make this the year of YOU!

Healthy Holiday Habits

IMG_9628.pngThe Holidays are upon us, and with them comes parties, dinners, baking, busy schedules, and all the general “cheery” chaos that can knock our fitness and nutrition plans right out of whack. This year, instead of giving up, or giving in, and thinking, “Hey, I’ll start back after New Years…” Let’s make a solid plan for success!  After all, different studies have shown that the average person can gain 5-10 pounds during this festive season-and who want’s that???

*SCHEDULE and PLAN! Holidays get our routines out of whack, so your current routine may be completely impossible right now. Take a few minutes-right now-to look at how your schedule is going, and how you can better plan your exercise, water, and meals. Schedule those needed changes! Put it on your calendar or reminders!

*Be prepared for those big dinners and social events.

**Here’s a crazy fact:
The Calorie Control Council says you may consume up to 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat in total during any one of your holiday gatherings. While the majority of this comes from the meal itself, you can expect to eat nearly 1,500 calories in appetizers and drinks! Don’t find yourself in a situation where the food and environment send you into a nutritional spiral-have a plan of action!

*Don’t skip meals thinking it will help in your calorie intake; this can easily backfire and leave you starving and unable to control your appetite. Instead, focus on small meals and snacks of lean protein and fruits and veggies. Eating a small, healthy snack before your event can help you avoid overindulging.

*Many people ask their guests to “bring something” to a holiday event. Instead of baking a huge tray of grandmas famous butter cookies, or dumping some marshmallows into those healthy sweet potatoes and delivering it to the table, take something you can add that you KNOW can fill your belly without, well, “adding to your belly”
For me, this is a beautifully done platter of fresh cut veggies and fruit. I like to fill my belly with THAT, and then sample small amounts of the other foods-while making my protein the base of the meal. And a big glass of water before joining the table!

*Choose you splurges carefully. Look over the offered foods and plan your plate. Sample small amounts of your holiday favorites instead of filling up on foods you eat year round. Enjoy your splurge foods, eat slowly and taste them. Prepare yourself for “food pushers”! Food pushers are thse loving friends and family member that don’t take “No” for an answer. It may be your grandmother with her famous pie, or your best friend with a bottle or two of wine. I’ve seen lots of ways to “explain” the WHY behind saying “No thank you!” to the food pushers…cute ways to inform people that you are dieting-“no thank you, I’m allergic, if I eat that my thighs will break out…” or putting the responsibility on your doctor or nutritionist-“My doctor says I can’t have….” Personally, I find that just saying, “That looks truly delicious, but no thank you” works nicely Stand firm, and don’t feel the need to explain yourself. The last thing anyone wants to do at a gathering is spend time explaining your food choices, whether it be for diet reasons, allergies, or otherwise; not to mention, all of the opinions that will surely follow. *As always-enjoy the people and social aspect of your event. Have a few great conversation starters to keep your socializing active, and try to be social away from buffet and snack tables. And hav

* Exercise during the holidays can be super difficult. For some, the weather is nasty, there’s lots of travel, busy schedules, and guests. This can make sticking to an exercise schedule HARD!
Again, it’s all in the planning. Think “family fun” and schedule in some family activity: Ice skating, skiing, hikes, walks. Enjoy some social time while getting some movement. Consider wearing your exercise footwear while cleaning, cooking, shopping-and take small breaks to march-or even dance-for short bursts of calorie burn. If doing some crazy Black Friday shopping, take a few laps around the mall. If you find yourself traveling, walk the airport while waiting for flights. If driving, stop for small breaks and take a few laps around a gas station or convenience store parking lot.
 If you are staying in a hotel or with friends, ask about exercise equipment that might be available. Or, pack some resistance bands or your yoga mat to get a short workout in.

*Set up your current environment for success! If you are visiting family, or traveling, or just running around getting things done-make your surroundings successful. Keep a cooler of water and healthy snacks in your car, or in the room where you might be visiting. Throw your sneakers in the car and get some extra steps in the parking lot of the mall. Take a break from decorating, wrapping, or cooking, and march for 10 minutes.

*Practice SELF CARE! (So hard this time of year!) take a minute before meals to breathe and set yourself up for mindful eating, get the rest that you need, take some times for yourself each day to look around, breathe, look at the beauty of your family and friends, and take in the lights, decorations and music of the season. All of this will help avoid stress.

*FIND SUPPORT! Find an accountability partner; ask a friend or family member to join you on your journey

*If you do succumb to a bad day, or even week, pull your self together! Do not feel guilty! We are all human, and this happens! Feeling guilty can lead to even worse behavior-so pick your self up and brush yourself off! Plan to make your next meals balanced! Check your portion sizes, focus on lean proteins, and lots of fiber filled veggies. Avoid those processed foods, drink that water, and get up and get some movement in.

Ultimate Reset!

I’m a hardcore supporter of Beachbody, and I’ve spent the last two years enjoying the nutritious shakes and working my way through many of the workout programs with great success. I love Shaun T’s T25 and Cize, and 21 Day Fix is always great go-to for getting whipped into shape quickly. I always research the programs closely before I start them, and keep detailed records of my achievements as I follow through. During my many hours of research, I always came across a program that seemed quite daunting and a little bit “too much”-Ultimate Reset.

What is Ultimate Reset???

Ultimate Reset is a 21 Day cleanse and detox program that takes one on a three phased journey of supplements, tons of mineralized water, and carefully timed meals of super-foods. There are many online before and after pics and claims of dropping as much as 22 pounds on this plan, as well as many blogs about the somewhat harrowing journey to reach day 22. There are many “new” foods, the program cuts out all animal proteins after week one, and you are eating completely vegan by the end of the plan. This, along with the fact that I am allergic to many foods, as well as an extremely picky eater, left me feeling like this would be a miserable and impossible feat to accomplish! I always went back to my 21 Day Fix container diet, and left the Ultimate Reset linger in the back of my mind.

Until NOW! WOW! I sit, writing this, on the afternoon of day 21, with a few supplements sitting on my desk, waiting to be taken as I complete this last day. To date, I have dropped 12.4 pounds, 6.5% body fat, and a total of 10 inches! I have tried new foods, gained new energy, and have such an amazing feeling of accomplishment! I will finish this day strong, and start to add some healthy proteins back into my diet tomorrow-which is when I will be switching back to my 21 Day Fix eating plan. I’ve been told that going OFF the Reset can be as daunting as completing it, but I am not worried-I eat rather clean as it is. I can’t wait to eat some chicken breast and gluten free toast! I have no plans of running to grab a cheeseburger or fries, because that’s not my normal eating anyway.

There’s tons of info online about the breakdown of this program, with menus ideas and recipes, so I won’t go into the intricate details of the program here. I will  however go into some of the thoughts and issues that I had while doing it….

First-the WHY

My “why” is rather typical-I needed to drop some added pounds and bloating, gain my energy back, and put an end to this crappy, sluggish, feeling. After spending 15 weeks on T25 last spring/summer, I was back in a bikini (at 51, mind you) and feeling quite fabulous. I went down with a pinched nerve in the fall, and due to pain, was unable to exercise for months. No exercise+50 year old metabolism+holiday food and drink=one unhealthy person! I started the new year in sweatpants, exhausted most of the the day, dragging myself to physical therapy appointments and waiting for bedtime. Once cleared by my PT guy, I said ENOUGH, and tried on my size 4 jeans……well….I attempted to try them on….Nope. So, in a fit of very calculated disgust, I loaded up the Ultimate Reset sales page, and took the plunge. I received my package-book, supplements, and a bracelet that reminded me of my beach hippy days-a few days later, loaded up my fridge and pantry with healthy foods, and got my butt on the scale. The scale said “YOU’RE READY!”

How Did it Go?

Week One-RECLAIM

Phase One is focused on removing refined foods and animal products from the diet, while adding tons of veggies. There are healthy grains added like quinoa and oatmeal, and sugars are replaced with pure maple syrup and raw honey in very small amounts.

Day 1 was hard. I felt deprived, looked at the calendar date 3 weeks away, choked down the Power Green Supplement at 4:15, almost threw up, looked at the box in front of me and thought, “What am I doing?” But I continued on…

Days 2-4 were terrible. This seems to be a common issue for most on the program. Online blogs and Facebook support groups are full of posts about headaches, chills, achy bodies, nausea, and exhaustion. I experienced all of this as my body began to detox. I was miserable, and to add to my misery, I came down with a terrible head cold. I spent the first weekend in bed, sipping my minaralized water, feeling as though my head might explode. I wasn’t hungry though, so that was a positive point.

By Day 5, I was feeling much better. My energy level was rising, my cold was gone, and I was enjoying the foods. My favorite, by far, was oatmeal with fresh fruit. I set alarms on my phone to remind me to take my supplements, drink my water, and eat my meals, and the next few days just flowed right on by.

Week Two-RELEASE

Phase Two focuses on releasing toxins from the body, including a gentle but thorough colon cleanse. This cleanse is very gentle, so there was no cramping or running to the bathroom, thankfully. This weeks food is completely plant based-fruits, veggies, and grains. I had a busy week planned, so I opted for the “Crunch Menu” plan ( a basic phase by phase daily menu plan), and ate pretty much the same yummy foods almost every day-fruits for breakfast, veggies and broth for lunch, and beans, brown rice, and veggies for dinner. My energy level was very high, my sleep was improved, and my skin was looking more vibrant. I had no headaches or body aches, and I remained very focused. At this point, I weight myself, and had dropped 6 pounds in 9 days! At this point, I was looking forward to my phone alarms going off so that I could take my supplements and feel one step closer to my goals.

Week Three-RESTORE

Phase Three is the last week of Ultimate Reset, and the phase in which it all seems to really come together. In this phase, the only foods allowed are veggies and fruits, with a sweet potato option at dinner for some bulk. The week flew by, and my schedule was busy, but my phone reminders kept me on target with meals and supplements, and my handy insulated lunch bag kept my prepped food fresh while I ran my errands. My energy level has been off the charts, I’m waking earlier each day, and my mind seems clearer than before I started this program. I see the finish line, and beyond! Im currently down 12.4 pounds, and dropped 6.5% body fat. SCORE!

In the End…

I have to admit, when I started this program, I was very honest with my doubts in completing it. Our lives are very busy, we tend to dine out often, and I have many food allergies-as well as being a picky eater. When I try a new food-well, it’s usually not quinoa or lentils, but some chef inspired delicacy. But, I committed myself to doing this…And I told so many people-I had to be held accountable!!!

So, the big question-to sum it all up-is, would I do it again??? With that, I have to weigh the pros and cons…..

Pros:

The weight came off quickly, as did the nasty bloated feeling. That kept me inspired and pushed me through another day-every day.

The support I found on my Facebook Ultimate Reset groups was inspiring, full of information, and really held me accountable with daily check ins.

The foods were good-some will say awesome. I discovered a love for mangos and oatmeal that I had previously just not cared to focus on.

The ability to substitute certain foods made this easy to manage and plan around my tastes.

My husband seemed to enjoy my foods, and started eating much healthier-he even tried to eat some of my pre-measured fruit plate…I almost bit him.!

My clothes fit for the first time in months, and my energy level and brain clarity is is high!

Cons:

The cost of the program, complete with supplements is a bit pricey.

The scheduling of the supplements, water, and meals is a bit daunting for busy lifestyles.

Family meal time was a whole new ball game in dieting; I was eating foods I wasn’t so stoked about, while watching my teens eat pizza and fries.

My fridge was jam packed with bags of produce, my counters were covered in fruit, and I had to find an entire new shelf for the aminos, oils, vinegars, lentils, quinoa….so much food!

I had to run to the grocery store every 2 days  for fresh produce, and my dishwasher was constantly full of tupperware, pans, and measuring utensils,

But, in the end-I have to say….I would do it again. Now that I know all the ins and outs, the tricks and the shortcuts, and what to expect, I would definitely do it again.

Tips, shortcuts, time/money savers:

Don’t run out and buy an entire week’s worth of produce! This seems to be a common mistake. Your produce will start to go bad after a few days, so only buy what you need for 3 days max.

Buy your dry goods in bulk-lentils, oatmeal, quinoa, rice, beans, etc. You will use lots of them over the three weeks, and hopefully, you will enjoy the recipes and want to make them again.

Many recipes call for aminos. These are not incredibly easy to find-I had to go to 3 stores. I ended up finding them at Whole Foods, but they are also available on Amazon. Don’t be concerned about trying them! The Braggs Aminos taste like soy sauce, only better, and are wheat free. You will find them where oils are found. (hardest thing to locate on the menu!)

Use “Reset in a Crunch” if the daily menus seem daunting. You can repeat meals in each cycle as much as you wish. If you don’t like a menu, replace it with another menu item for that week for the same meal of that day.

Join the Facebook groups for awesome support and accountability! Check in daily and learn more as you go. Search on Facebook for Beachbody Ultimate Reset groups-there is one for each phase, including pre and post.

DRINK THE WATER!!!!! Just DRINK IT!!! It made ALL the difference!

For more info about this program, or to purchase it, contact me