Archive for April 2013
Realized that I forgot to update this as I finished the Advocare 24-day Trim Challenge. The whole NFL Draft/Zero Sleep/No Free-time really cuts into the whole “blogging for no reason.” Anyways…
- 13 LBS lost
- 7 inches lost from my waist
- 2 points off of my BMI
- Blood Pressure at 129/69
I’ve already ordered another shipment of Advocare supplies. I won’t be doing “the challenge” again for a while, because one is only supposed to do the “cleanse” portion four times a year. I will, however, continue taking the “max phase” vitamins and using the meal replacement shakes. There are also two supplements—ThermoMax and Catalyst—that are supposed to aid fat-burning and metabolism. I’ll be trying those out for the next couple of weeks (once the shipment arrives!).
Had my first beer last night in over a month. 22-year-old Mike would be flabbergasted at that statement. I stopped by my favorite restaurant after a (long) day with both sons. Joshua was home sick, and Silas refused to sleep because his big brother was home! My first post-advocare meal looked almost exactly like my last pre-advocare meal—TomYum Soup, Sushi made with black rice, beer and mango pudding for dessert. It was simple, packed with fruits and veggies and overall a lot healthier than it could’ve been. I’m proud that it wasn’t a greasy burger and fries!
Not really craving alcohol or soda anymore and I’ve nearly eliminated excess salt from my diet. I’ve found I barely even miss it. I’ve continued to eat healthier than I did before the diet. A lot of the swaps I’ve made to our shopping list are going to stay permanent. There’s little reason to switch back!
So, we’re going to keep going. I’ll keep you all updated on the progress.
I’m eight days into the challenge and I’ve dropped eight pounds! Even more exciting…I’ve dropped three and a half inches from my waist. I’m ridiculously happy with the results, but not satisfied…not yet.
Each morning, I eat roughly the same thing. Two eggs with a TON of veggies and a side of oatmeal with cinnamon and fresh/frozen fruit. Some days (not many), I’ll swap out the oatmeal for a whole-grain/double-fiber wrap. The Advocare guide says breakfast should be Protein, a complex carb and a fruit. Veggies can be added anytime! The meal fills me up and isn’t much of a difference from what I’d normally eat except for eschewing the unhealthy/processed add ins like sugar, salt, cheese, etc.
Let’s compare my “Advocare Breakfast” to my “Usual Breakfast”:
Advocare Breakfast—2 Whole Eggland’s Best Eggs, 1/2 tomato, 1/2 cup spinach, 1/4 cup of red peppers, 1/4 cup of onions, 1/4 cup of white mushrooms, 1/4 Avocado, 1/4 Cup Old Fashioned Oatmeal, 1/2 Cup of Strawberries.
383 Calories, 34 Carbs, 7 grams dietary fiber, 18 grams fat, 21 grams protein, 148 grams sodium, 10 grams sugar, 822mg potassium, 66% DV Vitamin A, 210% DV Vitamin C, 7% DV Calcium, 24% DV Iron
Usual Breakfast—2 Whole Eggland’s Best Eggs, 1/4 Cup cheddar cheese, 1/2 Cup spinach, 1/4 cup onions, 1/4 cup white mushrooms…2 slices Arnold’s 100% whole white bread, 2 TBL Kraft Mayo w/Olive Oil, 1 “liberal squirt” of Sriracha, 1 dash of salt.
615 calories, 51 carbs, 30 grams fat, 8 grams dietary fiber, 31 grams protein, 1261 mg sodium(!!!), 12 grams sugar, 440mg potassium, 76% DV Vitamin A, 11% DV Vitamin C, 41% DV Calcium, 22% DV Iron
So, I’m trading calcium, some protein and a little Vitamin A for a huge reduction in calories, carbs and fat. As far as sodium goes…wow. The usual breakfast is halfway to the daily recommended allowance of sodium and almost the entire way to the recommended intake for people with high blood pressure and/or who are overweight.
Meanwhile, I’m getting double the potassium (helps muscles and nerves function, helps prevent high blood pressure, manages electrolytes) and an absurd amount of Vitamin C (eliminates free radicals, helps iron absorption, improves Vitamin E production).
Dairy isn’t completely outlawed in the weight-loss challenge. The guide says that in moderation, it can be a snack. I’ll add some skim milk, yogurt or string cheese to my diet once the “cleanse” phase is over (Day 11—Monday!). Calcium is shown to help weight-loss and fat burning, so I’m anxious to get some more natural sources back into my diet.
For those who aren’t as into eggs as I am (seriously though, you should be!), need more variety, or don’t have as much time to cook that kind of breakfast in the AM, here are some other breakfast ideas:
- Two-Ingredient Pancakes (Banana and Egg)
- Two-Ingredient Pancakes (Oats and Eggs) (Top with Berries!)
- Homemade Turkey Sausage (Make with Extra-lean Ground Turkey Breast)
- “Jewish Eggs” (Healthy version of Bagel w/lox…avoid cured/smoked meats because of sodium!)
- Sweet Potato Hash Browns, In the Waffle Iron! (Potatoes/Sweet Potatoes are a complex carb)
- Cheerios w/skim milk (or plain yogurt) and Berries
- Whole Grain English Muffin w/Egg and Veggies (Can cook the egg in a microwave-safe bowl w/a little non-stick spray!…perfect for busy mornings)
Here are some foods that are good for the Advocare 24-Day Challenge that I’ve culled from the parameters on the informational booklets and from different Advocare mentoring sites around the web. I’m creating this mostly for myself as I get ready to shop/plan meals, but feel free to use as much as you’d like!
But First, Some General Guidelines:
—As much as possible, stay away from the middle of the store and the dairy section. Whole meats, veggies and fruits should make up the bulk of the meals. Venture in toward the dry goods only for whole grains or nut butters, buy sparingly, then get out ASAP. Head into the dairy section for eggs and then ignore the cheese, butter, and other assorted goodies.
—LOOK AT LABELS! “Healthy Food” isn’t always healthy. Why buy peanut butter with 12 ingredients when there are varieties with just peanuts and a little salt. Why buy wholegrain bread/english muffins/wraps with triple the sugar of other varieties or canned tomatoes and beans with five times the salt? Don’t fall for buzzwords like “natural” on the front…LOOK. AT. THE. BACK.
—No liquid calories and no liquid chemical additives. The first 10 days of the challenge is a detoxifying cleanse. Adding the myriad of chemicals in soda (even diet soda) or alcohol to your body is completely defeating the purpose. That means no sugar-free juices or pre-made teas either. No juice either, eat a piece of fruit instead. Drink. Water…lots of it. It’s 24 days! You can do anything for 24 days! Maybe, just maybe, you’ll create habits that you can take with you into day 25 or beyond!
—Be careful with produce. Buy as much as you and your family can eat, but going overboard is going to waste a LOT of money.
(Seriously, just go nuts in the produce section…limit starchy veggies like corn and potatoes, but there is no such thing as a bad vegetable.)…Fresh or Frozen is better than canned!
—Spinach —Kale —Broccoli —Carrots —Zucchini —Cucumber —Tomatoes —Eggplant —Peas —Celery —Lettuce (esp Romaine) —Asparagus —Edamame —Peppers (esp. Red) —Radishes —Mushrooms —Brussel Sprouts —Cabbage —Cauliflower —Beets —Onions
(In general, go with fruits you like. Bonus points for choosing lower-calorie and/or higher nutrient-dense foods. One site called them “Northern Fruits” i.e. Berries, Apples, Cherries, etc. Think more fiber, less sugar.)…Fresh or Frozen is better than canned!
—Apples —Strawberries —Blueberries —Raspberries —Blackberries —Kiwi —Oranges —Melons —Grapefruit (also a known fat-burner) —Banana —Pineapple —Peaches —Pears —Nectarines —Plums —Cranberries —Figs
—Dried fruit is OK, but look for added sugar!
—Grapes are great snacks, but might be wise to avoid on the 24-day challenge because they’re higher in sugar and lower in nutrients.
—Eggs —Fish (Tilapia/Salmon/Tuna/Halibut/Cod) —Canned Tuna —Turkey Breast —Ground Turkey (>93% lean) —Lean cuts of Pork —Lean cuts of steak —Ground Beef (>93% lean) —Tofu —Almonds/Walnuts/Hazelnuts (No added salt!) —Lentils
—Beef is OK, but should be considered a secondary option.
—Stay away from lunch/deli meats.
—Shellfish is good for you normally, but isn’t recommended on the cleanse.
—Brown Rice —Brown Rice Pasta —Black Rice —Wild Rice —Quinoa —Spelt —Oatmeal (Old-fashioned, no added flavors or sugars!) —Wholegrain Bread (Bonus points for making yourself!) —Squash —Sweet Potatoes —Potatoes (Limit, no frying!) —Beans/Legumes —Hummus
—Lemons/Limes —Vinegars (I ❤ Rice Wine Vinegar) —Olive Oil —Canola Oil —Mustard —Wasabi/Horseradish —Mint —Cooking Spray —Soy Sauce —VARIETY of herbs/spices (nothing with added salt.)
It’s day three of my Advocare 24-day Challenge and I am feeling great!
Waking up the second morning, I’d already lost 3.5lbs. While those results didn’t repeat from day two to day three, I felt great in the morning (minus some muscle soreness from exercising). I even remarked to Stacey that I felt like a “slimmer human being.” It wasn’t just psychosomatic either, getting ready for church in the morning revealed a baggier shirt and some looser fitting pants.
There have been very few times that I’ve felt legitimately hungry and far more times that I’ve felt excited to eat a meal!
I’m also feeling more-and-more like my body is getting a rhythm back. I’ve been more energetic in the morning (even before the “Spark” drink) and haven’t had mid-morning or mid-afternoon crashes. Without any caffeine in the afternoon or evening, I’m winding down earlier at night. Overall, I feel more productive and get a lot done in-between trips to refill my glass of water!
Here’s what I’ve eaten the past two days:
Day 2 Breakfast: Dinner from the night before (chicken tortilla stew) w/scrambled eggs and avocado.
Day 2 Lunch: Porkchops w/Quinoa Pilaf and Edamame
Day 2 Dinner: Skirt Steak-Spinach Salad (made wraps for Stacey and Joshua)
Day 3 Breakfast: Dinner from the night before w/scrambled eggs in a high-fiber/low-carb wrap
Day 3 Lunch: Leftovers from Day 2 Lunch
Day 3 Dinner: Curry-rubbed Chicken Breast w/yellow squash and brown rice.
Back to the daily grind on Monday when we’ll hopefully get to sign some mortgage papers so we can continue moving on our new house!
Is it too dramatic to declare this the “first day of the rest of my life?”
So, instead, I’ll point out how I looked at the scale this morning and was relieved to see “344.” It’s not the heaviest I’ve been (I slightly surpassed 400lbs before my stomach surgery in 2004.) It’s also not the heaviest I’ve been lately—I was 356lbs as recently as January. A few weeks ago, I had started with the “8-Hour Diet” which preaches intermediate fasting. I dropped from 356lbs to 339lbs in that time.
Although I was pleased with the results, and wholeheartedly agreed with the science and reasoning behind it, my job keeps me up until midnight and up some mornings around 5am. It’s extremely difficult to only eat 8-hours out of those 19 (or so) hours.
When that didn’t work for me, (and Easter crept up on me), the Schotteys started eating out more again, and I started pounding enough fun-size candy bars to make a King. As bad as 344 is, and as far away from my goal as that is, I was a little relieved that I had somewhat stayed around the weight I had previously lost.
Still, being “not as terrible as I had thought” isn’t “good”…I’m going for good.
My day started at 5am this morning with a big glass of water. The formula Advocare uses for daily water consumption is WEIGHT/2=oz of Daily Water Intake. That’s 21.5 8oz cups of water every day. Combined with the fiber drink I took this morning, some of these blog posts may end up originating from my bathroom. TMI? You’re on my blog, deal with it.
Breakfast was Oatmeal with some frozen fruit cooked into it and a two-egg omelet with spinach, tomatoes and avocado. It was delicious and something I would normally make, but I probably wouldn’t have eaten them together—choosing to snack all morning instead—and it would have had some salt, cheese and sriracha on the eggs with some salt, milk and brown sugar in the oatmeal. Overall, it kept me satiated until a small snack (an orange—a fruit I would never normally eat since I hate peeling them). My other snacks were an apple and some broccoli in the afternoon and a serving of brown rice Triscuits in the evening.
Lunch was leftovers—chicken breast, mushroom couscous and green beans. Turns out Couscous isn’t really a whole grain. I knew it was technically a pasta, but I thought it was both (and many people list it as both.) So, I’ll have to alter my shopping schedule a little bit. Dinner ended up as a kind of tortilla soup with tomatoes, pinto beans, chicken and a bunch of veggies. Seasoned with a ton of cumin, the only added salt came from the dash of hot sauce I threw into it.
Also went to Walmart to re-define our pantry a bit. Grabbed a bunch of produce (it’s stone fruit season!) and some lean meat—chicken, lean pork chops, thin steaks—as well as some variety of whole grains (Quinoa and wild rice). I was a bit surprised that many of our usual 100% whole grain breads/english muffins/wraps have so much sugar in them. I had to do some digging, but it was rewarding. I’ve mentally made a note to hit up their frozen seafood section next time I feel like celebrating a night we would have normally gone out to do so.
Overall, I didn’t feel like this had any sort of negative effect on my day. I felt more energetic and didn’t even think about snacking as much as usual. While I’m trying to remember that this is about day-24 more than it’s about day-1, I can’t help feeling like the first day was a success.
For those who didn’t catch my earlier announcement via social media, I’m starting the Advocare 24-day Trim Challenge. My pastor and friend, Phil Huebner has already completed the challenge (losing 12 pounds) and has just started a second go-around with his wife. He was alerted to the program by and received his first shipments from Cincinnati Bengals’ offensive guard, Zevin Zeitler whom he coached in high school. Pastor Phil is now a “pusher” of the products.
In short: the program changes the way you eat and gives you all the tools one would need to lose weight. In addition to their “trim” line, they have plenty of different supplement lines to effect or support healthy lifestyles.
My Advocare pack arrived this morning and 1st thing’s first—I couldn’t believe that such a tiny box would change my life in the way that it promises to do! However, I guess, being a father should have taught me that big change can come in small packages.
Included in the pack are Herbal Cleanse Fiber Drinks (YUM!), Probiotic supplements, Energy supplements (Caffeine+vitamins), Omega-3 supplements, Metabolism-boosting Multivitamins, and meal replacement shakes (that I don’t take until day-8 of the program).
The first phase is the “Cleanse Phase” where my body clears out all the junk I’ve put in it over the last 27 years. Then, Days 8-24 is the “Max Phase” where the bulk of the weightloss is supposed to happen.
It isn’t “just miracle drugs”, it is also a strict eating plan that includes little-to-no processed foods, and a lot of natural proteins, vegetables, fruits and complex carbs. It’s a little ironic that my family already eats this way—most of the time—so it will be interesting to see what effect the regimented schedule and the lack of terrible snacking, fast food, eating out and liquid calories will have. (I’m guessing a LOT!)
I will be blogging about the changes and updating everyone on my progress. If there’s any doubt I could seriously use this program, I took my waist measurement and broke a fabric tape measure…so, it’s clearly time to carpe this diem.