Two weeks in, over half the way there and I'm not even wishing it was over. Booya!
Day ten was the last day of the cleanse phase (I was pretty happy to be rid of that fiber drink) and we've (my team and I, I do not have multiple personalities) since moved into the max phase. Basically the cleanse was getting our bodies ready for this portion of the challenge, cleaning us up and preparing for maximum nutrient absorption.
Here are the products that are included in the max phase-
1. Spark energy drink for energy and mental focus. Not gonna lie, I'm super pumped that this is included. I think I will drink this every day for the rest of my life.
2. Meal replacement shakes for breakfast ( I switched it up and had one for lunch instead. Whoa, rebel). These are great. They have 220 calories, a one to one carb/protein ratio, twenty-four grams of protein and twenty-six vitamins and minerals. They are surprisingly tasty and slightly thick, so it doesn't just taste like flavored water. Totally quaffable.
3. MNS Max 3. MNS stands for metabolic nutrition system. Every day you take four little packets of supplements ( I thought the packs kind of looked like condoms and was like "whoa, freaky phase!", but they were just pills), one packet thirty minutes before breakfast, two packets with breakfast and one packet thirty minutes before lunch. These supplements fill in nutritional gaps and provide core nutrition that you aren't getting from diet. Also, they boost your metabolism and include probiotics, appetite control and added energy.
4. Omegaplex omega 3 fatty acid supplement ( same as before) for all of our fatty acid needs.
I've only been taking these new products for four days and I already feel a difference. With all of my nutritional requirements being met, I really think my body is finally preforming optimally. In order to take advantage of this, I have really been ramping up my workouts. I'm trying to get at least half an hour of cardio every day, plus some sort of weight training and at minimum, fifty-five pushups or one-hundred and fifty crunches, alternating days. So far, so good. I can almost see "She-ra: Princess of Power" abs! I have abandoned my hopes of completing the Turbo Fire advanced cardio month during the challenge. I've already completed it once, a few months ago, and since I'm working out every day, I really need to change it up and throw in some variety.
This weekend I went for two different park runs and they were super rad. Both parks offered gravel trails ( I hate running on asphalt or cement because its just too hard on my joints) and about a five mile jog if I ran around them twice.
The first was Crown Hill park and wildlife preserve in Lakewood. I really like this trail ( I used only the dirt paths around the perimeter) mainly because it is fairly secluded and I didn't really come across more than a few other people (on a Saturday!) during my entire run. It gave me time to think and really enjoy my surroundings. Also this park borders a cemetery on one side and, while I don't usually get the heebie-jeebies around cemeteries, this one inspired me to run a little faster, to be the best I can be before I end up in one of those. Dark... maybe, but it got the job done. I was really pleased with averaging an eight minute, thirty second mile for the entire jog.
The second was the ever popular, Wash Park jogging trail, which is a completely different experience. The park is surrounded by "Wash Park Mansions" and I really like daydreaming about living in one while I jog. I don't usually run here though, because the place is always crawling with people and I'm not a big fan of crowds (especially stinky, sweaty ones). But I decided to brave them anyway and I'm really glad I did. Turns out I perform better out of my comfort zone. I get something that I like to call "extreme passing anxiety" when I'm jogging around a lot of people. When I think I may have to pass someone, I tail them for a while to make sure that their pace really is too slow for me and that there is no doubt in my mind that I can run faster than them. If the pass is absolutely necessary, I make sure to sprint for a long time so they aren't annoyed that I passed them (or staring at my jiggly butt).* I know, I'm insane, but have come to embrace this and move on with life. Anyway, this particular brand of anxiety really improved my speed (it felt like I was passing everybody and therefor, sprinting for a good portion of the time) and I ran faster by a whole fifteen seconds a mile. Maybe I should get out of my comfort zone more often!
*I have never actually seen my butt while running, but have always assumed that it isn't pretty.
Okay, enough of the longest blog entry in the world! Onto the Highs and Lows!
1. I am weak and had an egg-roll on day eleven. Horrors!
2. Everyday I am ridiculously sore from too many pushups and crunches. Meh, who needs to bend anyway?!
3. Finding toddler clothes at the army surplus store and thinking about all of those poor baby soldiers...
Food! Its all food!
1. Amazing coconut, berry oatmeal.
Use light coconut milk instead of water when you're boiling your oatmeal.
Toss in some blueberries and raspberries while it cooks.
Garnish with fresh berries, dried coconut and lime zest
Squeeze a little lime juice on top and drizzle with honey (optional)
My whole family loved it and the boys won't stop asking for it
2. Mexican stuffed peppers with quinoa and black beans.
I added some chipotle in adobo to the filling and I used locally roasted hatch chiles instead of canned. The "cheese" is actually vegan, almond, jalapeno cheese and it was surprisingly melty and delicious. We had these for dinner one night, but it seems like the leftovers just get better by the day. You should definitely make this and eat it all week!
3. And my favorite, Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Meatballs.
This is the best thing I have eaten so far during the challenge. It comes from the magazine "Whole Living". My mother in law got me a subscription to it a few years back and it is an awesome publication with lots of tips on healthy living.
I added some garlic powder to the squash before I topped it with everything else and of course I squirted the whole thing with sriracha (it was begging for it), but other than those minor additions, this recipe is perfectly delectable as is. I am without a doubt, making this again. Soon.
If you are still reading and haven't fallen asleep yet, I commend you. Pat yourself on the back. You have officially* read the longest blog entry ever and the record book people will probably be contacting you shortly :)
*not at all official