My 3 Day Cleanse!

Before I get started I just want to make sure it is known that I did not do this to loose weight quick, but to attempt to flush out toxins in my body, get this water weight off, and jump start healthy eating (and to make my pants fit a little better :)).  One of the worst feelings to me is when my pants/clothes are snug and then start to get tight to where I’m uncomfortable.  I’ve never been one to buy new clothes a bigger size when mine get tight.  After my pregnancies I would wear my maternity clothes until I lost the weight.  That was a motivator for me to continue toward my goal weight.  I have recently gained some weight (and no I did not think I was fat) but I was uncomfortable to the point of my pants being too snug for my liking.  I actually rarely weigh myself because to me my goal weight is: being able to fit into my clothes and feel good.  I did weigh myself for this challenge for the fact that I could share that it’s not all about how much you weigh but about muscle mass over fat.  I think that one of the most important things is that we love ourselves in the here and now and if there are goals that we want to achieve then go for them and be your own motivation!  I don’t always “feel like” exercising and I don’t always “feel like” eating healthy, but I know what the outcome feels like if I do and I never regret doing it!  I do have to say there were times during my cleanse (mostly during the day) that I was hungry…but it’s ok to be hungry.  And there were also times that I realized that I wanted to eat because of stress, bordem, kids driving me crazy, etc…

After our recent vacation and just eating unhealthy more than I should, I wanted to try a cleanse.  I know there are tons of cleanses out there and some of them you probably actually feel like you are starving.  I wanted to come up with my own where I could actually still eat everyday and not feel like I was so deprived that I couldn’t make it for 3 days.  This is the first cleanse that I’ve ever done and I loved it!  No, the smoothie drinks were not the best tasting thing but I thought hey, “for 3 days?”  I can do it!  As one of the powders in the cleanse is alot of freeze dried grasses, I joked with my kids that I was drinking “my barnyard smoothie”.  I looked at some of the other cleanses out there and came up with this:

I love shopping at Sprouts!  Their produce is great and it’s fairly well priced.  Ultimately you can get your ingredients from other places but this is where I got all of my stuff!  Here are some photos throughout my cleanse (and No, I wasn’t pushing my stomach out in the first one).  It’s encouraging to take photos during as it helps for motivation to continue!  The abs I have gained from planks and trying to live a healthy lifestyle, but I put photos on to show what a cleanse can accomplish in uncovering our muscles!  Here goes… My results: I lost 3 pounds (most of which could be water weight), my pants aren’t tight anymore (YAY!!!!!!), and I feel great!

DAY 1:  

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DAY 2: 

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DAY 3: 

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I was kind of nervous as I thought, “what if I don’t finish this cleanse and I just announced that I’m doing one?”, but that is actually what helped me stay on track and continue on…being held accountable by my blog.  So if you are wanting to do a cleanse I strongly recommend doing it with someone else, that way you can hold each other accountable!

This is how my days looked on my cleanse: 

I would start my day with a cup of decaffeinated Green Tea.  I did sweeten mine with a little stevia, but that is also optional.  Also important is that you remember to drink 64 ounces (at least) of water a day!

Breakfast: Smoothie made with one scoop of Sprouts Protein powder flavor of choice (powder comes sweetened with stevia), one scoop of “Green Vibrance”, a cup of ice (or however much you prefer), and 6-8 ounces of water.  Blend and enjoy…or don’t enjoy and just drink! 🙂  Sometimes I used less water if I didn’t feel like drinking quite as much.  I did also drink these smoothies without ice if I was making them at work.  I know, not great but more convenient.  If you read the label on the green vibrance, it shows all of the fabulous ingredients along with 25 billion probiotics per serving!  There have been many stories of people with illnesses, cancer, etc. using this powder and getting great results!  It’s called a “superfood!”  You can also get it on Amazon and read hundreds of customer reviews of how it has helped different people!  MAKE SURE TO KEEP THE GREEN VIBRANCE IN THE FREEZER IF POSSIBLE!  This helps the probiotics to stay alive!

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Lunch: Smoothie same as breakfast AND one Ultimate Flora (50 Billion Probiotics) pill.  I also took another one of these pills after dinner.

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Afternoon snack: Smoothie same as breakfast and (if desired) one serving of veggie, fruit, or half an avocado.  That’s one…not all three of those.  I would also have another cup of decaffeinated Green Tea when I desired, in the afternoon.

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Dinner:  All organic if possible: A large bowl of salad with chicken breast (or fish), with tons of veggies!  I used: bell peppers, another spicy pepper I’m not sure the name of, grape tomatoes from our garden, jalepenos from our garden, avacado, and sliced mushroom.  Be creative and try new veggies!  One of the important parts is that you don’t use dressing unless it is a vinegar.  I used white balsamic vinegar for dressing.  There are lots of tasty vinegars out there!  I took another Ultimate Flora pill (50 Billion Probiotics) after dinner as well.

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I also used distilled water for drinking and for my tea throughout my entire cleanse!  And remember since you are taking in less calories than normal, if you are going to workout…do a lighter workout!  The exercises that I did during my cleanse were: walking, jogging for no more than 10 or 15 min, and a little yoga.

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CLEANSE GROCERY LIST: 

  • Decaffeinated Green Tea bags
  • Sprouts Chocolate or Vanilla Protein powder 
  • “Green Vibrance”
  • Vitamin B12 (gives energy- but optional to take during cleanse)
  • Garlic Supplement (it’s a great immunity booster)
  • Ultimate Flora (50 billion Probiotics)
  • Organic Salad Mix of Spinach and Baby greens
  • Lots of organic veggies to go on your salad 
  • Chicken Breast (organic if possible and cooked in water)
  • Grilled Fish (if preferred) 
  • Distilled Water 
  • Vinegar if desired for salad dressing

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I honestly have to say, I am so amazed at the results that a cleanse can bring to your body and life!  I have had so much energy the last 3 days, my mind is more clear, I don’t have those awful blood sugar spikes, my sinus infection went away with no meds, and I don’t get hungry after dinner (believe it or not)!  I’d say that’s pretty amazing!  I accomplished what I wanted through this cleanse.  This is not a “diet” and should not be completed long term as the calories are so low for your optimal health.  But like I said, “hey, it’s only 3 days!”  The key is to continue with healthy eating after and to try to keep those carbs at bay!  Remember…”EAT FROM THE FRIDGE, NOT THE FOOD CUPBOARD!”

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“Super Legs”

Let’s take our leg workout to another level!  Believe me…your legs will be sore the next day.  I always like it when my body is sore the next day, because I know that I pushed myself, using new muscle groups!  When we do the same old thing every day, our bodies are not challenged as much and begin to plateau.  When I worked in Outpatient Physical Therapy, this leg workout is one of the workouts that we used with many of our athletes.  It’s a great way to tone up our legs for “all year round!”  As we should not work the same muscle group every day, try this leg routine 2-3x a week.  Do each squat exercise 25x.  We can always mix in other squat activities on alternate days to mix it up a little and challenge those muscles.  Watch my you tube video demonstration for squat examples:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s44tUnbsOJc&feature=youtu.be

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Super Legs Routine: 

  • Squats with legs together
  • Squats with legs apart
  • Squats with a jump at the end
  • Lunges (back and forth is one)
  • Scissor kicks

Do each exercise 25x after 2 minutes of jump rope.  Mix in other squat exercises if you desire.  To protect your joints, make sure that your knees do not go over your toes.  Try to get as close to the ground as possible.  Let’s push ourselves and tighten up those legs!  And as always, get yourself cleared by a Physician before starting any type of new exercise routine.

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Plank it out!

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Plank Challenge Starting Now:

Don’t wait until February or for the beginning of the week, start today!  This is the plank Challenge that I will be doing for the next 30 days. I am already up to 2 minutes so I’m going to start there.  Who out there is with me on this?  In my opinion, planking is the most effective abdominal/core strengthening exercise out there.  I can’t tell you the last time I did a “crunch”.  My abs have always looked better when I am eating right and completing plank exercises.  I already do these 5-6x a week, but this chart is a great tool to push me a little beyond my comfort point.  You don’t have to do abdominal exercises for an hour a day to have nice abs.  I think we’ve all heard the saying, “abs start in the kitchen.”  Needless to say, if I don’t eat healthy (high protein with low carbs), my abs do not look as nice.

 My 5-8 minute Abdominal Exercise routine consist of:

  • Forward planks (2 min-as shown above)
  • Side planks (1-2 min each side)
  • 60x with a 10# weight or 100x with no weight “Russian Twists”
  • I also incorporate different abdominal exercises that I have learned through internet or other workout videos
  • Watch my you tube video for an example of what a day of core strengthening may look like for me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVs_GTdoTOA

There are many abdominal exercises available to allow for muscle confusion of your core.  One of my goals is to start mixing up my abdominal exercises a little more.  Feel good on the beach this summer!  Eating healthy along with a great abdominal workout will help you to loose that unwanted belly!  Happy Planking!

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Exercise + Eating…it matters!

I have blogged a lot about food, as well as a few things on exercise.  While both are important, exercise is just not as effective if we are over eating and eating unhealthy.  I strongly believe that to get strong, as I desire, my daily diet must be in check or I will plateau at a certain level, or gain weight, and not have the result that I would like.  I have talked a little bit about muscle confusion.  My exercise week often looks like this.

Monday: Interval Training with focus on legs (and core)

Tuesday: Running (and core)

Wednesday: Weight lifting (and core)

Thursday: Interval Training with focus on upper body (and core)

Friday: Interval Training

Saturday: Running/ Weight lifting (and core)

This is only an example, as my weeks are never exactly alike.  My point is that it is important to “mix it up.”  Take activities that you are interested in for your cardio work and then work strengthening exercises around that.  I do core exercises 5-6x a week.  Also, the exercises that I complete during my workouts strengthen my core as well.  To have the strong core that many desire, it takes eating a daily healthy diet.  I could work out and do 100 crunches every day until eternity, but if my diet is not in check (healthy eating & portion control) then my core will lack the strength and the look that I desire.  I save one meal a week for a “cheat meal” and try to only eat 1-2 sweets a week.  Then on the weekend (or whenever I chose to eat my “cheat meal”) I can have a little of the food that is not so good for me.  That way I am not totally depriving myself of foods that I sometimes crave.  This gives me a mental goal and prepares me to stay self controlled in my eating until my “planned cheat meal” for the week.

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Lets eat to live… Not live to eat!

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Get Stronger TODAY!

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In the last couple of years I have incorporated lifting weights into my exercise week.  I have noticed throughout the last 2 years that I have a tighter core and less aches and pains from daily exercise and activity at work.  As we age our body looses muscle mass, therefore we need to work harder to keep those muscles strong.  Muscle confusion is the best way to conquer building muscles.  The same muscles do not enjoy doing the same things every day.  They get bored with the same activities and they tend to slack off or just remain the same. In the past when I would strictly run for my workouts, my upper body was never challenged to get stronger and my core lacked the strength that it needed to protect my back throughout daily activities.  To mix my exercise routines up, is to keep my muscles guessing and challenge them to get work harder.

There are many different lifting workouts.  I lift 2x a week for biceps, triceps, and shoulders (and never 2 days in a row).  I then incorporate other strengthening exercises into my interval training workout days (that I will share with you in the future).  My lifting routine this morning consisted of a 10 minute warmup much like my blog post on short interval workouts (“No Time” for Exercise?)  This helps my blood to begin to flow to these muscles I’m about to strengthen and decreases the possibility of injury.  I also do core strengthening about 5-6x a week…more to come on this topic in the future as well.  When choosing weight, I pick a weight that is tolerable for me to get 12-15 reps and work up from there (maybe start with 5-10 pounds depending on your strength level). My weight amount may be different for every exercise as well.  Some exercises I can tolerate more weight than others.  If I am trying to really build muscle I want a heavier weight completing only 8-10 reps but my body will need to work up to the heavier weight.  If I want to build muscle to stay tone with less bulk I choose a lighter weight and do 12-15 reps.  I use 15-20 pound weights on my exercises.

There are many pictures of different exercises on line as well. I just type in the muscle group I’m trying to strengthen and there are many ideas.  I use BodyBuilding.com for a reference for different exercises. I only use free weights, as I don’t have a gym membership, but on BodyBuilding.com there are a lot of exercises you can use in the gym as well.  This way you can incorporate different exercises into your weight lifting days and not always be doing the same exercises.  Make building your strength a goal for yourself this year!

For example, today my lifting looked a little like this (I completed 2 sets of 12-15x each; to fatigue and tolerance):

Set one:

  1. Shoulder overhead (start with bicep curl and then bring arms over head)
  2. Bicep curl both arms
  3. Floor lying tricep extensions (lying on a mat: pick up weights from each side of face and extend arms above until straight and then back down to face)

Set two:

  1. Shoulder press overhead one arm at a time
  2. Bicep curl one arm at at time
  3. Tricep kickback (lean over at 90° angle at your waist, bring weights up and straight back)

Set three:

  1. Shoulder rows (hold arms in front of your body then bring pull them straight up)
  2. Bicep curl (one arm in bicep curl pose (holding) while completing curl on other side)- complete these less reps 5x each side
  3. Tricep push ups from a chair (place arms on chair with feet in front of you, then push straight up, keeping your legs straight)

Set four:

  1. Shoulder abduction with bent arm (shoulders out to side with elbows flexed at 90°)
  2. Bicep curls in sitting (hold weights between legs while bent forward at your trunk and curl up)
  3. Tricep overhead ( bring arms over head, one arm at a time then let top half of your arm fall with control into flexion )

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