Ultimate Reset Redux: Day 20!!

Well friends...I'm almost done with the ultimate reset for the second time!  I have only a few more meals left before I am off on my own to continue with the healthy changes I have made over the last 21 days for continued weight loss and health.  For the next couple of days I will share with you all some information about how to transition into post Ultimate Reset life, all things INSANITY and of course - my results from the last 21 days. Today however, I just wanted to share a few tips on getting through the reset and getting through the end.  These last few days are hard because you start looking to the future.  You know by day 19 or 20 that you have to start planning for day 22...the day where you don't have a reset plan and are on your own to eat what you want, when you want, and how you want.  So what do you do when all you can think about is that bowl of tomato soup that you have been craving is all yours in 48  hours?

1. Make a day 22 plan.  Right now.  Actually make a day 22-27 plan.  Figure out what you are going to eat menu plan style and write. it. down.  Then make a grocery list.  Do this so you don't lose your mind when you hit the store on day 19-21 to get food for day 22 and to give yourself some peace.

2. Connect with your challenge group, team, or coach.  Of any program I have ever done, this is the one that I feel like you really need support through.  Eating healthy is hard.  Eating a very specific diet for 21 days with no room for any options is incredibly hard.  Knowing that you can reach out to someone who is doing the program or has done the program for help can really be amazing because it just helps to know that it can be done and someone has struggled/is struggling like you are right now.

3. Remember your why.  The Ultimate Reset is not a free program and there had to be some reason that made you pick up your wallet and order it.  What was that reason?  Why did you feel like you needed to do this program at this time and what were you hoping to gain from it?  For me, my why is control over my cravings, control over food, and the ability to continue with a healthy diet after the 21 days so I can continue to lose weight.  My why is about control 100%.  Establishing it and maintaining it.  For me, it's not about falling off the program because I won't lose as much weight or see as good a result, it's about getting myself in the habit of eating healthy, ignoring every food impulse I have, and learning to tell myself no when it's appropriate.  Going back to the why helps clarify to your rational self your goals and helps give you the strength to finish this thing out.

4. Ingredients, not just recipes.  This one is my favorite tip.  During my research of this program one thing that has always stood out to me was the fact that for each meal, you are given the recipes but more importantly you are given the ingredients.  And you can play with those ingredients it make some changes if you need to keep with the program.  Another example from my personal experience is from this weekend.  The meal was supposed to be a spinach salad + a baked potato.  I cannot do raw spinach...something about the texture doesn't sit well with me.  I knew there was no way I was going to be able to get through the huge salad (the base was 3 cups of spinach) because I'm kind of over salad at this point.  So I took the spinach and steamed it a little first and made up a plate with the remaining salad ingredients.  Instead of suffering through a salad I (1) didn't like and (2) didn't want, I had a plate of veggies that was delicious and I ate the whole portion.  Don't add extra stuff, but do add some creativity if you need to in order to get through these last few days.  Also don't forget that Shakeology is also an option as a meal replacement - the vegan versions only - if you need it.  If there is something you really hate or can't get through you can blend something up that will give you all the nutrients you need with a different taste.

Hopefully this helps you with some strategies to get through the end of your reset.  It's a hard program at times, but it's certainly 100% possible to finish it with successful results if you focus on your why!  Interested in more info?  Shoot me an email (kimbfitblog@gmail.com) or check out the Ultimate Reset site for more on the science behind the program and configuration options.

Ultimate Reset Redux: What do you eat?

The question I get most often from people is what do you eat on the reset.  I think because the weight loss is pretty significant, people think it's a starvation diet.  It's not.  If it was I wouldn't do it because I don't believe in that kind of thing.  I thought I'd share more pictures of the dishes that I'm eating.  Below are a mish mash of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners that I've been eating for the past 2 weeks.

I am doing the Ultimate Reset pretty much just as written.  My husband is selecting a lot of the reset in a hurry options and mixing in Shakeology as a snack.  I have repeated some things just because it's open and I'd rather use it all up instead of moving on and having to throw things away.  Like the Pinto Beans and salad.  I repeated that since the beans were already open and I didn't want to waste food.
Tabby mentioned to me that it seems like this is easier for me this time and I'd have to agree.  Last time all this food seemed totally weird and new and strange.  This time it's familiar and it's very close to how I try to eat anyway.  Lots of fresh food, lots of colorful produce, and being a vegetable vegan instead of a processed food vegan.  I do not eat this many salads (salad almost daily) even though I know I probably should.  I do like the simplicity of the recipes and that is why I will repeat them while I am trying to ease from the Ultimate Reset and into my Insanity program.
Speaking of Insanity, don't forget that today is the last day for the challenge pack sale of the program + Shakeology.  This is the program that I will do including the Shakeology starting May 20th and if you want to join me please shoot me an email (healthyengineer@gmail.com) and we can get you set up and add you to our Insaniacs Facebook group so we can support you and help you finish this program!

Ultimate Reset Redux: Recipes and Updates

Today is day 10 of my Reset Redux.  I was looking back at my pictures from the first day of my first reset and wow, I have changed.  I also apparently look really really orange under the lights at my old place.

Between these two pictures - 7 months, lots and lots of Shakeology, one full Ultimate Reset, 9 days of the current Ultimate Reset, one full round of INSANITY, a month of P90x and a lot of other workouts from Beachbody thrown in.  Most importantly I stopped dieting and started really focusing on eating right.  Between these two pictures other than the 30 days so far I have been on a Reset program, I have not been logging or following any specific meal plan other than Shakeology once a day most days.  I've just been focusing on eating healthy, finding delicious recipes with healthy ingredients and moving my body.  It's actually the simplest "plan" I have ever followed while losing weight...so I'm not really surprised it's sticking so well.  Because it's damn hard to fall off of a plan that is basically common sense, eh?
And with that, since I've had the request on Instagram a ton, I wanted to share a few of my favorite favorite recipes from the Ultimate Reset.  These are recipes that I either repeated a ton after my first reset or I plan on repeating after this one because I forgot about it before :)  All of the recipes below are vegan.
Pinto Beans and Rice (makes 1 serving)
1/2 cup canned pinto beans w/ liquid
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 tsp EVOO
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 dash ground cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
1 tsp Bragg Liquid Aminos
Salt (to taste)
Heat beans in medium sauce pan over medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until hot.  Drain.  Add all seasonings to the pan and mix well.  Gently fold beans into warm cooked rice.

Stir Fried Veggies (makes 1 serving) Ingredients 1.5 tsp coconut oil 1 tsp sesame oil 1.5 tsp Bragg Liquid Aminos 1.5 cups of vegetables to stir fry of your choice

Heat oils over medium high heat.  Add vegetables and cook stirring frequently 5-10 minutes depending on type of veggies.  Carrots and broccoli will take longer than more water filled veggies like zucchini.  When veggies are tender-crisp turn off heat and add Braggs.  Mix well and serve with rice or quinoa.

Sweet Potato and Roasted Red Pepper Bisque (makes 1 serving) Ingredients 1 cup water 1 medium sweet potato peeled and cubed 1/4 medium red bell pepper 1 tsp grated ginger root 1.5 tsp EVOO 2 tsp miso paste, mixed with 2 tbsp hot water 1 cup vegetable broth Bragg Liquid Aminos Herbal Seasoning blend to taste (Spike for me)

Add sweet potatoes to boiling water and cook for 7 minutes.  Drain and set aside.  Roast bell pepper in oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes turning to cook evenly.  Place in medium bowl and cover with a kitchen towel for 10 minutes.  Peel skin under running water and remove seeds.  Chop into 1/2 inch cubes.

Place sweet potato, bell pepper, bell pepper, ginger, oil, miso, and broth in a blender and blend until smooth.  Can do in 2 or more batches if necessary based on the size of the blender.  If consistency is too thick, add water.  Heat soup in a medium saucepan over medium heat; cook stirring frequently for 4 to 5 minutes or until hot.  Add Braggs and herbal seasoning blend if desired.

With all of these recipes, they are just a component of a meal, not a meal alone.  You can add salads or steamed or roasted vegetables to the side to make the meal more complete.  You could also add a meat side if you wanted.  Just play around with the meals to fit them into your nutrition needs and personal dietary preferences.  For example I have used the stir fry recipe many times as a base for making fried rice by adding a scrambled egg and about 3/4 cup cooked brown rice.  Other times I have added an egg and shrimp to make shrimp fried rice.

Any questions about the Ultimate Reset?  Leave a comment here or shoot me an email - healthyengineer@gmail.com.

Ultimate Reset Redux - Day 6 Check In.

1. I want to do a workout so bad I could cry lol. Ok not cry, but I would love a good workout. 15 more days. 2. Resting on the reset is really hard. Resting in the literal sense is fine. It's the trying to actually really slow down and rest that is hard. My life is go, go, go and it's been hard to find time to just chill. Today and yesterday were better relaxation days because it was the weekend, but I'm going to have to work hard to try to find this Monday - Friday. Maybe I will start sitting outside at lunch since its nice? It would certainly break up the day.  I know quite a few of you are working a 9-5 same as I am - so what do you do during the day to get a breath of fresh air?

3. Reset food. Here are collages of the food of days 3-5. Day 1 was posted here and day 2 here. As you can see, this isn't a starvation program, you eat a lot. Sometimes it's too much almost. But when you eat fresh whole foods your portions are just larger.  And when I duplicated a meal I sometimes forgot to take a pic, oops, lol.  You can catch that I'm sure.  I didn't eat exactly the same fruit portions I'm sure, but it was in general the same thing.

I don't do snacks, I just don't really honestly have time to fit them in with the supplement timing and I am not really hungry.  In addition the the food below I'm also drinking around 100 fl oz of water a day...so I'm really honestly not hungry, I'm just full of water and full of food :)  I take the alkalinize with a decent amount of water and that happens right when I would want a snack in the afternoon.

Ultimate Reset Redux - Quick Changes

So today starts the 3rd day of the reset.  I feel SO much better after 2 days of super clean eating that it's amazing.  I know that food can heal and that food is the best medicine, but it's always amazing to feel the change.  As you can see in the picture below, the food on the reset through day 2 still includes meat and also has a lot of grains and variety.  I was definitely full all day. I don't typically eat oatmeal, but maybe I need to add it in more again...it's always really good when I have it...then I guess I forget, lol!

So that is what I ate yesterday. This morning I took this picture.  My body looks better, closer to how I looked when I finished Insanity.  My stomach bloat is almost all gone and my stomach aches I started to get again have disappeared again.  I really am starting to feel back to normal..the way I felt back in early February.

I am shocked honestly at how little cravings I have.  Before this I was craving everything again....crap food, junk food, sugar, quantity over quality...all of the things that made me 300 lbs before.  And it scared the crap out of me.  I know it was stress related, because that is when all of this started.  But I didn't really appreciate it until I started doing this reset.  Right now I have more free time because I'm not working out, not doing so much laundry, not rushing to bed...essentially creating the me time I need by making my life a little simpler.  And that then means my stress is naturally much lower...and that makes everything with diet so much easier.  I need to file this little lesson away - next time I feel like I can't handle myself and food it's time to s l o w it down.  Take more time for myself.  I'm taking that right now.  I'll be focusing on doing more personal development, talking to positive people, sleeping, spending time with my husband, spending time with my sister....just taking the reset literally. Letting go of the baggage and crap and letting in the positive and calm.


Ultimate Redux - Day 1 Completed

All together now!

Lots of green, lots of colors. That salad was too massive and I honestly could not finish it. Micro green salads are my reset nemesis - it's the first thing that annoys me...but I am going to go all out. That said - it was great to eat this clean, it's been a while since a whole day was this clean. I'm feeling good tonight, feeling strong.

I did start noticing changes right away, mainly that there is only one piece of bread for breakfast now, booooo lol! I'm not booing because I'm a big carb hound actually, it's because I can't sandwich up the ingredients lol. I didn't notice until I was making my plate, so I was late to work because I had to sit and eat vs making a sandwich for the road. Lesson learned lol. Although there was always only one piece in the pic, so it was probably always supposed to only be one. Oh well. Anyway, I think I'm going to go for a walk or something to chill out then bed early!

Ultimate Reset Redux - Day 1

I took my starting pictures last night to get ready for today!  I know night time isn't ideal, however in my new place I really don't have a good mirror for full body shots so I had to recruit my husband for pictures.  Which meant taking them last night because he is probably still sleep and I left the house an hour and a half ago, lol. Anyway, I wish I had morning pics or at least realized I needed his help before dinner but I didn't, so you get me about an hour after I ate dinner.  Not the best, but it's me.
I've lost some "definition" in my stomach for sure the last few months but I'm not too worried about that, that will return quick once I start insanity, lol. My main goals for the next 21 days are to reset the stress hormones in my body.  I've been stressed out from funerals, moving, my hubby's job situation which goes into financial stress.  And all of that is jacking up the stress hormones.  I haven't been sleeping well, which means I'm tired all the time which means that my exercise sessions have been less intense or non-existent and my willpower meter is at an all time low.  I've said yes to meals out more than I usually do and definitely been eating way more meat, dairy, and quick grab and go snacks.  Essentially - I've been taking the easy way out and letting the poor influences around me bring me down to their level because I've been tired and too tired to keep fighting for myself.  
In the last few days I've been giddy about doing this again because I NEED this structure right now.  That's why I moved it up - because I needed to start this now.  Somehow even though the hubby starts the reset conversation every time, I've found by the time it starts that I need it just as much if not more than he does.
I'll be posting my food on my Instagram as well as my running commentary on how it's going (@kbrooksfit or here for the web version).  If you have any questions on what's going on just leave comments on my blog posts, my instagram, or email me at healthyengineer@gmail.com


Ok I'm going to start working on my party post later. But for now - done quick schedule updates.

1. Reset is moving up. I'm going to start on Wednesday now instead of next Sunday. I have no reason to wait another week and with all the parties on top of bring out of sync - my body needs a reset ASAP. My goal was to wait until after the parties. I'll have less time to shop, but I'm ok with that. A lot of things I don't have to buy again, so it should be a simple shopping trip anyway.

2. Insanity is a definite go in May. It's my body's happy program...so I'm going to give it what it wants. I'm trying to lose 50 lbs this year which means being aggressive!

April Goals

April is going to be a transitional month.  The first 20 days are going to be about getting over this post-move funk I've been in lately.  I have REALLY struggled after moving with getting into any kind of rhythm.  I am planning this month as a month where I get back to that hardcore place I was in.  So my goal for the first 20 days:

Repeat my Turbo Pump challenge I gave myself back in October.  I got AWESOME results with this calendar and more than that - I really enjoyed the combo.  I updated the calendar for where I am with fitness now and here it is!  It's more intense then the original Turbo Pump because the last time I did this it was coming out of the Reset (and 21 days of no exercise).  This time I'm going IN to the reset, so I can do the workouts I just fine with no need to keep it basic.

I am going to do Shakeology daily.   Which I was doing, but I've kind of fallen off during the move and as my routine is off in general, I just have been a mess.  Back on this every day at least one shake....two if I need it.  I have a bag in the hole so to speak, so I can have a few extra shakes w/o being off.  Especially since during the reset I definitely will not have a shake daily.

Get on schedule.  Seriously.  I am having a really hard time getting up on time (which is making my exercise and food prep in the morning a mess....) because I'm not going to bed on time.  It's a horrible circle.  The problem has been that since I'm closer to work I am allowing myself to get up later.  But somehow I am allowing a 30 minute shift in my wake up time to be an hour - hour and a half shift in my go to bedtime.  Right...that math is so wrong.  So I need to just start going to bed no later than 10:30 pm - end of discussion on the days I need to workout before work (which will be all of them since Sunday will be my rest days for the next 3 weeks).

So that's my 21 day plan to get my life back on track.  I haven't gained any weight as of my last weigh in, so that's how I know my move wasn't completely off track as I usually gain weight by thinking about food.  But I do feel like I am not as in shape as I was - which is worse to me.  I don't care what the scale says if I feel great.  I don't feel great.

So then on the 21st, the Ultimate Reset starts.  I'm going to follow that book 100% like I did before.  No excuses. I will add in the walking and the yoga this time...at least I hope I will.  I think I am much better prepared to go into the reset as far as how to prep the food to make the food prep more efficient, so I should have more time to do this.  But if I ever do have to choose - it's food prep and rest.  One thing about the reset is that last time I got SO much sleep...it was amazing.  I slept like a baby most days and got 8-10 hours a night.  I could go for that again.

The reset takes me into May.  I haven't decided what exercise program I will pick up post reset yet.  I have about 6 weeks to decide that.  But trust you will be the first to know :)  I am doing a "get to goal" challenge with one of my fellow Team Tenacity coaches right now that I'm excited about.  I'm really excited for the challenge because it's coming at exactly the right time.  Time to shake off this moving funk and really get myself back on the road.  There is no reason I shouldn't be at my goal by December 31st :)

Ultimate Reset: Part Deux

My hubby has been talking about the reset a lot lately.  He has had to go to the doctor because he wasn't feeling well and because he has strayed way farther from the post reset life than I.  With him being in Memphis and me being in Virginia last time, he kind of just went back to what he knew.  Since he got back from that job and has been home, we both have struggled.  Him with my cooking not being as processed/not healthy as before and me with trying to keep on my healthy path someone who is not quite there with me also in the house.

Rewind to a few months go when he asked about doing the reset again.  I was like um...didn't we just do it? It's not a cheap program and I really didn't know about diving in again so fast.  But then I stopped to listen really to what he was saying.  He wanted to do the reset again to get back to that place of health and he knows this time with us in the same state, I'll be there to catch him as he comes off of it.  To keep him from having such a large relapse because I won't go there with him.  Now the money seemed to not really matter or the fact that we already did this...this started to be something bigger...something that was about him taking back his health again.  It became clear that he felt he needed this to be back in control of his eating and that made it clear to me as his wife that I needed to support him on this.  I had to stop thinking about the fact I wanted to finish Combat or that I wanted to do something for me.  It became about the fact that he needs me to do this to help him and it will not hurt me one bit to join him and support him.

So, today we ordered the dual Ultimate Reset kit.  I was just going to order the refill kits - but it's actually cheaper with the sale to just buy the whole dual kit.  Considering since we did it last year there have been a few program changes (the soothe supplement, reset in a hurry, and shakeology incorporated into the meal plan if you want to drink it) I was glad it worked out that way.  We aren't starting right away - we are starting April 21st - so in about a month.  This gives us time to get the new kits (regular shipping from Beachbody is about a week) and time for us to adjust to a new schedule (the man is going to be taking on a new position with a very different commute in April) and avoids the April celebrations (I have 2 bridal showers, a bachelorette party, and a birthday all going down in April and while I am trying to lose weight, I'm also a human who really demands a piece of birthday cake on my birthday) so I don't have to face a delicious cake on day 2 of the reset or something equally insane.  It is manageable to do the reset and have events...but it's definitely not preferred if you can avoid it.  And since we have some open time between the party madness and the wedding I am in...just makes sense to wait until the open time.  Of course...I am lucky that my dress for the wedding is a corset back so I have some room to lose without fear because I can just tighten the heck out of that sucker if I need to do so :)

Anyway...I'm working on getting a facebook like page up and running so if you want to join me on this crazy venture we will have a place to discuss the whole process.  I am hoping to have a challenge group of 5 people...but the more the merrier.  If you order before the end of March, you can save on the reset.  If you can't order in the next few days, you can still order in April and have your kit in time to start with us on the 21st.  Here is my before and after shot from when I did the reset in September 2012.

I lost 21 lbs and felt really good by the end of it.  I was sleeping better and had way more energy and was able to handle stress a LOT better.  I'm getting excited to feel that way again...I have never felt as great as I did during week 3 of the reset and the month or so after before going back to a less regimented diet.  And as you can see, I was in a hotel at the end - I finished the last 4 days of the reset on travel for work.  It can be done!

Are you in?  Email me at healthyengineer@gmail.com for questions or check out my Ultimate Reset site  All the deals are listed on my March Promotions page for a break down of what you save with each version of the reset.  If you are interested in signing up as a coach you can do that by going to my main site here and you will save some extra on your kit (it's an extra 25% off for a coach...which is huge with this kit).

Hello Again :)

I finally am back in my groove and it feels oh so good.  I got the living room all cleared out and started back on Combat yesterday.  As I mentioned in my post the other day, I decided to just start over based on where I was in the program and the long break.  I knew I felt fluffy in the middle from not working out and eating different...but I KNEW I lost fitness when I was struggling to keep up with Combat 30.  I remember the first time I did it, it was hard, but it wasn't impossible.  Yesterday I felt like it was the hardest workout ever.  I got through it, but I was struggling.  Today with HIIT: Power I had to drop weights a lot.  I was at 12/15 lbs...today was 12/9 lbs.  Definitely lost some fitness.  But that's ok...because it's temporary.  What's funny is that my clothes do not fit any different.  This is just a feeling that I have now from not working out.  Change is happening...

My plan right now is:
1) Les Mills Combat Ultimate Warrior Schedule - 60 days of fighter fit baby!
2) Add in 2-3 days a week of weights.  Preferably Les Mills Pump or heavier lifting at the gym here at the apartment complex. 
3) Eat CLEAN.  

Yes number 3 is a biggie.  By packing up a kitchen and moving it over the last few weeks I haven't been eating my ideal diet at all.  I've been eating microwave food (mostly Amy's organic meals) and a random restaurant menu.  I've tried hard to eat right...just a few blatant slips here and there.  But now that the kitchen is back in action, I'm going hard core again.  As I type this, I have brown rice in the rice cooker, the Ultimate Reset fish recipe marinating in the fridge (I know...I'm cooking fish!) and am going to stir fry some veggies to make a delish lunch.  I miss eating my own food!  The buzzer just let me know it's time to put the fish in the oven so I'll catch you later :)

Links and Moving Update

Hey ya'll!

Finally through the packing and into the unpacking phase of moving.  How we got so much stuff....I can't figure out.  I have been throwing a lot of stuff away though....new start clean start kind of thing.  That's why posting is a little slow lately...I just haven't been really doing much except trying to stay on track, exercise when I can (and where...box jumping is today's activity, lol), and trying to get this new apartment livable.

So today, I thought I'd share some of my favorite fitness/health links.  Please share some of your favorites in the comments too, I'm always looking for more good resources.

Michi's Ladder - very good resource if you are trying to start eating clean.  It works pretty easy.  Figure out what tier your foods are in and try to swap out a tier 1 or 2 item for your tier 3-5 items.  It's not a diet - it is a clean up your eating plan.

Daily Hiit - used to be BodyRock.  I started with this and UFC Trainer on XBOX in January 2011 at 300 lbs.  No, I couldn't do everything and yes, there are probably better workouts to start off with that would have given me faster results because I was so big and out of shape there was so much I couldn't do.  But I was SO pumped up and motivated after finding out about BodyRock and so wanting to start that I just jumped in and did what I could do.  This is what happens when you just wake up and decide to go forth and do something on a whim.  Anyway, long story short - I owe a lot to this program because it got me moving and starting the weight loss process.  A lot of the early posts on this blog are breakouts of my BodyRock workouts.

Fleur Meets Fitness - This blog has served as many a motivating moment for me.  Fleur is a Australian girl who lost a ton of weight in a very short amount of time.  It's motivating for me because it's a story of what you can do if you really put your money where your mouth is.  You can do pretty much whatever you want to do if you decide it's your #1 priority.

Truly.Into.Fitness - I just like reading about the lives of people that change their weight.  And apparently aren't from the US, lol!  Jess is French Canadian and is living the dream - lost the weight and became a personal trainer.  Motivation in leaps and bounds.

Team Beachbody - Great resource if you are doing a Beachbody program for sure.  Also if you just want recipes and a fitness community.  I use the message boards a lot, especially to research a program.  I spent a TON of time on the message board before deciding finally to take the Ultimate Reset and I still check the forum a lot.
Don't forget this month's deals:

1. P90x and Ultimate Reset deals end on March 31st.  Don't miss these awesome deals if you want these programs!
2. Shakeology greenberry and chocolate (non-vegan version) go up in price by $10 a month as of April 1st. Order on HD this month to lock in the price for life.
3. Challenge pack or Shakeology HD orders this month get a free Shakeology shaker cup!  :)

Snow Day Announcements

Being from Michigan I still get a kick out of the fact that this little bit of snow means the entire WORLD in the DMV area shuts down!

So I'm going to take this day to catch up on some work that I am behind on from being so busy this week, do a little laundry, do a little packing, and do a little work on my Beachbody business.

Also I wanted to let you guys know that if you sign up for a challenge pack this month, you get (1) this discount on the Shakeology for life (2) a bonus Shakeology shaker cup (3) and me as your coach for one on one support via text/email/Facebook/Instagram - all of these, none of these, whatever you are looking for.  Why a challenge pack?  Because you get the meal plan, the Shakeology, the workout program, and the one on one support for one discounted price.  It's a good deal and one of my favorite discounts that Beachbody does.  Pile on the current discounts on P90x and the Ultimate Reset this month (both end on the 31st)...and you can really save some money going forward on your healthy journey.  Questions?  Email me at healthyengineer@gmail.com.  I want to help at least 5 people...hopefully more...with their health journey this month.  Do you need a little help and support?  Let's team up together and work on our goals!

Shakeology Cleanse Complete!

I completed my modified Shakeology cleanse yesterday.  I have to tell you - I feel so good!  I don't eat a lot of junk food, but we had started eating out a lot and I started eating way too much dairy.  Cleansing all of that out of my body for a few days was exactly what the doctor ordered.  I slept so well last night and I woke up this morning feeling really good and my stomach wasn't pissed off at me like it had been the end of last week.  I did lose 3 lbs, which surprised me because I didn't really think I'd lose anything considering my normal diet is very similar to the cleanse (well take away 2 shakes and replace that with lunch).

It took me back to how good I felt when I finished the reset after 2 weeks of eating vegan.  I go back and forth with should I go vegan.  I don't really want to...but I always feel so GOOD when I eat vegan for a few days or more that I feel like I should give it a good college try to see if anything longer than 2 weeks would be good for me.

The hubby wants to do the reset again very soon and obviously I'm so on board to do that.  I'm not sure when we will do it, perhaps something for March after we move.  I think if I do decide to go vegan for an extended period of time I can't think of a better way to transition into it then the reset.  The hubs wants to do it again because he is not feeling very good.  He has not gone back to his old pre-reset eating ways at all, but I think he wants to do it again to push his habits more towards the good.  He and I went in different ways after the last reset.  I tried to maintain a similar to the reset but more food so I could support my exercise diet and he worked on replacing the foods he was eating with healthier options.  Organic granola instead of Captain Crunch cereal.  Organic cookies instead of oreos.  Now - yes this is better than his old diet.  He is eating healthier foods and I'm cooking healthier foods.  But at the end of the day, organic junk food is still junk food.  He knows he needs to make some changes and figures doing the reset again will help him break these habits.  

I am running around like crazy today, as usual, so a short post today.  If you have any questions about the cleanse or the Ultimate Reset, drop me a comment :)

Also - Team Beachbody has Hip Hop Abs on sale for a crazy low price - $19.95 for the base and $39.90 for the deluxe (plus 25% off that price for coaches).  I definitely ordered mine today...if you are interested check it out on my site :)

Post Thanksgiving Recovery Plan

It's the Monday after the holiday and as we all head back to work it's evaluation time for Thanksgiving health and fitness goals:

For me, I was 100% on exercise.  I sometimes had to workout late (10pm start = ouch) but I stayed on track and pushed hard.

For food I was maybe 80%.  I did eat tons of veggies and my healthier options.  But I also had too much mac and cheese (ironically not even on Thanksgiving - but Friday night.  the man makes it 2x a year and I just went a little overboard), too many meals out (spent all day in the city on Wednesday, out shopping Friday, out for the game Saturday) and too much meat (I had meat 2x a day for 3 days in a row - big big change for me).  I also skipped shakeology one morning, which is a disaster for me.  Seriously.  I don't know why I do that...every time I do I really struggle with cravings all day.  Lesson learned, I haven't skipped again.

So now it's Monday.  The family members have all gone home (one with a ton of mac and cheese left overs), the football games have been played and my gym is now my gym again instead of the spare bedroom.  So how do we get back laser focus after a holiday like Thanksgiving that is very much a food and sit on your butt kind of weekend?  Four super easy steps, that's how:

  1. Water.  Like you are crossing Death Valley folks.  Guzzle a gallon today.  Why?  A few reasons.  One being if you drank a little more than normal (which is kind of typical during the holidays, especially when surrounded by family, eh?)  then it's time to rehydrate.  Two being you probably didn't drink enough over the holidays (I didn't - I struggle at home anyway, and when I'm crazy busy cooking and entertaining it's easy to forget to guzzle).  Three being it will help you stay full while you bring your food intake back to normal levels (something has to replace that mac and cheese!).  Four being - it's just healthy for you and you should drink a lot of water anyway for life.  Pick your number, ponder it over a glass of water.  No flavoring of the water with anything in a packet either.  Fresh fruit and/or veggies (like cucumbers) if you need a break from plain water.  
  2. Eat Clean.  Alright, it's time to be a little strict on yourself this week. Check out Michi's Ladder and stick to the top 2 tiers.  Personally, I don't do non-fat cheese, I stick to regular cheese, that's my only mod.  But I don't have much or have it often.  I also will be really focusing on building mainly vegetarian or vegan meals home and on the road this week.  Lots of veggies and lots of fruit too.  If it comes in a bag or box and isn't onion, oranges, grapefruits...you get the drift - leave it alone.
  3. Train Mean.  Whether you stayed on your exercise plan or not - today is the day to move.  Doesn't matter what you do, just sweat it out.  I am still doing INSANITY and got my workout in today as I did through the holiday.  Go move.  Now.  I'll be here when you finish :)
  4. Sleep.  Yes, you heard right.  Sleep.  I was so off schedule this week staying up late to hang out with family and waking up early to cook or watch football.  I'm going to definitely focus again on my 7-9 hours of sleep a night like I usually get.  Sleep is important for health, lots of studies talk about how people who don't get enough sleep are more likely to have health problems and be obese.  Combat that by hitting the pillow on time tonight.  Figure out what time you need to wake up and try to be in bed 7-9 hours before that.
Something else to start thinking about this week - what are you going to do to keep it solid through the holiday calendar that officially kicked off last Thursday?  For me, it's INSANITY obviously.  It is a 63 day program and will take me all the way through new years day so it is perfect for right now.  What's yours?  I realize now how big a fan of laying out your workout plan for a long chunk of time, then working that plan.  Beachbody programs (all of them), Jillian Michaels Body Revolution, and I'm sure tons of other programs, these are just the ones I'm really familiar with.  If you can't afford a DVD program or simply don't want to spend the money on one - totally ok, you can DIY this.  Sit down RIGHT now and plan out a program in whatever your exercise of choice is on a calendar.  Then do it.  Even if it's Dance Central for exercise - print off a calendar for now through January 1st and write down every single day you will workout.  Then daily cross it off.  This is powerful - it's the contract with yourself to stay on track and move.  

Do the same for food.  Time to think about your diet too.  There are tons of options.  Beachbody and JM programs have food books with them to help guide you.  There are other in person options like Weight Watchers.  You can also take the opportunity right now to start the Ultimate Reset, which you guys all know I think is just the best thing ever and totally changed me and my hubby.  If you are not feeling me - add one good thing as you take away a bad thing.  Example?  No more McDonalds for breakfast - have something from home.  One simple change that will go a long way.  Do that every week an you will be on your way.  There is a nice chunk of time to do it right now and especially if exercise isn't your thing - this is the best way to get started on health.  In general - diet > exercise for weight loss.  You can't exercise out a bad diet - but you can have a great diet with no exercise and be crazy healthy.  So don't just focus on exercise - focus on your diet while exercising.

Changes and Turbo Pump Week 2 Schedule

This week has been stressful.  Actually the last half of last week and then so far this week.  Lots going on at work, preparing for visits from family next week, planning a get together for next weekend, and working on my ongoing Project Get Fit that I have been working on.  Oh and of course staying up way too late watching the Tigers (one game from the World Series - pinch me!!).  In the middle of all this, my washing machine broke and I spent a lonely few hours in a laundromat the other night (like seriously...there was nobody there but me and the girl that works there the whole time, it was weird.).

When I say stressful - I don't say that word lightly.

Usually, this is when I fall apart.  It's what happened last year and almost every other time my weight loss efforts went to crap.  But this year, it's like the opposite is happening.  I'm doing BETTER with weight loss than ever.  I was kind of shocked...until I really thought about it.

The first thing that always goes for me is the food.  I slowly slip into one bad habit after another until I just am eating so terrible it's not even funny.  Then I stop exercising as much because I don't have the energy to keep up because I'm fueling my body on junk.  Net effect - the weight comes on.  Slowly at first.  But since my automatic response is to fix it with exercise, I never get the momentum.

This year, it's different.  I have a fairly defined way of eating and I am really awesome at sticking with that.  Except for today when I left my lunch at home :(  Other than that, I am really good at eating well now.  I don't want the junk.  This weekend I had what amounted to a kid's size cone of ice cream and I barely finished that...which if you know me and my ice cream addiction is like a miracle.  I just don't want junk and when I do have it, I am happy to have just a few bites worth.  So my energy never takes a nosedive and I can stay on track.  I think the reset has made me a more grateful person.  Grateful for the fact I still can make these changes and grateful that I am making them.  Grateful for the possibilities that will come and grateful for the fact that I am a healthy as I can be RIGHT NOW.  I can't be mad about tomorrow or yesterday...but I can make sure that my right now is as awesome as it can be.

On a totally different note - I wanted to post my week 2 Turbo Pump schedule.  As I mentioned the other day, I lost almost 4 lbs this week, crazy!!  I know the above has 80% responsibility for my success.  If you want to lose weight, you have to eat to lose weight.  But I know the 20% is HUGE from exercise.  I am sticking to my daily commitment to workout like white on rice and letting that be my stress relief.  Without further ado - week 2!

Monday - Fire 45
Tuesday - Pump and Burn/HIIT 20/Stretch 10
Wednesday - Rest
Thursday - Sculpt 30/HIIT 15
Friday - Fire 55 EZ
Saturday - Pump and Burn/Stretch 40
Sunday - Fire 45/Hard Core Abs

This was an intense week.  This week even more so.  I did HIIT 25 for the first time this week - oh boy.  I thought it looked "easier" but I was proven wrong 5 minutes in.  Chalene knows her stuff.  I definitely am doing more during my workouts.  More jumping instead of the modifier moves.  More weight on my Pump bar.  More everything.  Pushing yourself during these workouts is key to seeing results.  Every workout try to jump one more time, punch a little harder, or pump a little more weight.  That is how we get the body we want at the end of 60 or 90 days.

I'm still waiting for my jump mat (should be here tomorrow!!) and it will be fun to use it for a workout soon :)  To pick up Turbo Fire, Les Mills Pump or the Ultimate Reset, just go here!  You can also use that link to join my team so we can plan workouts and keep each other motivated :)

Weigh In!

My first weigh in of October and the 2nd one after the Reset and the first with the challenge of the month.  Drumroll please......

For a loss of 2.6 lbs!  I'm VERY excited about this for several reasons.  One being I've put in lots of hard work.  I've been drinking shakeology for breakfast 90% of the time, sticking to my aggressive exercise schedule and working hard to make the best food choices.  I've been eating vegetarian since the reset and the husband and I decided we would keep a vegetarian household and save our meat eating for when we go out whenever we decide to eat meat.  Honestly the few times I have gone out since the reset I have eaten vegetarian still.  The second reason is that I've read a lot of people that have come off the reset and put all their weight loss back on.  The reason is that they tend to go back to all their old habits.  And by old habits I don't mean eating meat.  I mean old habits like eating lots of processed foods and lots of sugar.  I DID NOT do this, which was a big win for me.  If you remember, one of the goals for my husband and I was to change our mindset about food and use it as a kickoff for a healthy life after the reset.  At this point I feel confident saying that we are doing that and will continue to do that.  When I wrote that the reset changed our lives - I was serious about that.  I didn't realize how far from right I was on eating until that 21 days happened and we started living a much healthier life.

This week is another heavy Turbo Fire/Les Mills Pump week!!  I'm excited because these workouts are crazy hard and I know that they are working in combination with my diet to whip this weight off of me.  I'm having a lot of fun because both programs have the best music of any of the Beachbody programs in my opinion and it is a big boost!

Back to the (new) Normal

Okay seriously ya'll...it is SO nice to not have to cook everyday like we were on the reset.  Like SO awesome.  It's also nice to be able to not have a sense of dread when I go out to eat.  Today I went out with my fellow bridesmaids for my girl T's wedding and it was very easy to eat vegetarian.  Yep I'm still doing that.  One of my friends commented how weird it was to hear me to say I'm eating vegetarian and not missing meat because I've always been a meat evangelist.  I told her that I'm still getting used to that myself.  But I am finding it very easy still.  I told her I'm not a committed vegetarian, so don't flip out when she sees me with a burger :)

Other than not having meat, the other reset habit I have maintained is drinking a LOT of water (still about half my bodyweight in ounces) and not snacking.  After years of believing that I had to eat 5-6 small meals a day I'm enjoying eating just 3 regular meals.  It's just easier  - both for travel and for planning - than the small meals.  It's also cheaper and I'm finding the budget much easier to stick with, even though I'm shopping at Whole Paycheck more now.  Breakfasts I'm sticking with shakeology for now with misc frozen fruit and almond milk for now.  Although I do have a plan to have some pumpkin oatmeal since it's getting chilly and a smoothie isn't going to be my first desire when it gets below 60.  Lunches and dinners have been a variety of things.  Now that I'm back home from NC I did a meal plan for the week again that includes both vegan and vegetarian meals and portions large enough for leftovers (can you tell I love me a good leftover???).  As I'm new to doing my own plant based meal plan and am honestly not sure how big my servings will need to be, I picked up a few Amy's frozen vegetarian meals and a variety of pre-made soups in boxes and cans.  I figure these are my new backups.  I threw away a lot of old canned foods in my pantry and organized my spices and vinegars and oils and grains and nuts and seeds.  The (new) normal around here is so different that it really took me a few hours to get my kitchen ready and organized so I could do better with planning.  I actually now have a list printed out of all of the spices/oils/vinegars so I won't buy the same stuff over and over again (like I did during the reset, oops).

And the new habit I'm bringing back - it's exercise baby!!  Since the reset was over (okay maybe including the last day of the reset) I've exercised regularly again.  I love it.  I have lots of energy and feel like I'm powering through them.  I have followed the reset advice and not going full out.  Since I don't trust myself to really follow this advice, I'm making sure I do by planning exercise that isn't too intense.  Like the elliptical at the hotel or playing Dance Central at home.  I haven't done anything that I know is one of my intense hard workouts yet intentionally.  Not just because of the reset guidelines, but also because I'm scared of hurting my knees.  I don't have the best knees and I'm concerned that with 3 solid weeks off jumping right into my old routine will leave me broken.  So far I've definitely felt stiffness in my knees but no pain, so I know I'm doing the right thing.  I'm not sure what I want to do first as far as stepping up intensity, but it may be a more gym based strength training program for a few weeks to build up my legs a little more before jumping back into the interval training I love so much.  I will tell you it's really nice working out without the 20 lbs I had on me a week ago.  I feel amazing right now because last time I worked out I didn't feel this light.

Anyway, I'll be back tomorrow with my menu for the week and possibly a recipe to discuss.  I'm diving into vegetarian cooking with something that isn't just roasting veggies!

Ultimate Reset: Day 22 and Beyond!

Well folks, the man and I have finished the reset as of Wednesday!!

It's been a hard 21 days. But totally worth it. We have gained a better understanding of how to eat and how we want to eat. We have lost a combined 37.9 lbs (21.4 for me and 16.5 for the hubs). We have really changed our lives for the better when it comes to food.  We also are both wearing clothes that we have not been able to wear in a long time.  I am only now SEVEN lbs away from losing the 50 lbs that I re-gained.  All in all - there is a huge happy dance going on.  I started a new fitbook this week to help me out with the post reset life and I'm just finding it much easier than ever to make the right choices.

Do I think people should reset? Yes. I honestly do. I think everyone who survives on a lot of process foods, has a bad relationship with food, has trouble sticking with a healthy eating program, or just is having a lot of digestive problems would benefit from this program.  I think the committing to the program and really going into it with a positive outlook and a positive mindset is vital to completing it.  I also think having a buddy to do it with you or a friend who has done it to coach you through it is really important.  There were definitely times where knowing my husband was eating the same dinner made it so much easier to go forward.  This reset is HARD.  Let's not beat around the bush here.  It's hard because those of us who need to do is most just are not eating anything like this plan.  It is a mental challenge more than anything physical because you have to really accept the purpose of the reset for it to be something you can actually do.

Read that again:  you have to really accept the purpose of the reset for it to be something you can actually do.

For the first time, I have really bought into the purpose of something.  From my research pre-reset I really believed that it was something that was good for me and would help me become the person I want to be.  I kept that belief through the program.  My husband totally accepted this and has really studied and taken some of the nutritional beliefs to heart as well.  We both bought in.  Drank the kool-aid so to speak.  And because of this, being successful was much easier than I thought it would be.

So now is actually day 2 past the reset (I started this way before I finished it).  We both have maintained vegetarian diets so far and had several vegan meals each.  The hubs is ready for some fish next week and I'm kind of whatever on that.  I'm not really sure when I'll actually eat meat.  The vegan days all I could think about was cheese and eggs on my plate.  That's all I really missed.  Meat was never the main thing I wanted/needed to make it "easier" to stay with the healthier eating.  I'm not saying I'm going to be a vegetarian.  Because I'm not one in my heart.  But I don't plan on eating the tons of meat I ate before and I no longer believe that every meal needs meat to make it a complete meal.  Same with the hubby.  I also think I may plan to do a stricter vegan "cleansing" week every once in a while just to maintain the lifestyle and to do a mini reset. We will see what happens on that front.  I think because we are committed to continuing to eat in a way that is very similar to the reset we will both maintain our losses and continue to lose weight as we (well I) add exercise.

I hope that my story during the reset inspires someone to either do the program or just really take a good hard look at their diet and make those changes.  You don't need to do the reset to make these changes.  I did because I needed the push to actually do and stick with the program.  But I have friends that have done this on their own.  The point isn't that you use a beachbody program, but the point is that you eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and less processed everything.  That is the purpose of the reset.

Ultimate Reset: the home stretch

Well, this is it folks!  Only 2 days left on the reset and we are DONE!!!  We are really looking forward to being done just because it will be nice to have control of what we eat again and also to be able to eat without such a rigid schedule.  This week at work was really hard because I had so many meetings that it was hard to get the supplements in when I was supposed to take them and all that jazz.

And honestly time?  I'm so ready to not cook 2-3 meals a day.  Seriously, that was probably the part of the reset I hated most.  A lot of meals in phases 1 and 3 do not repeat so I was doing a lot of cooking which meant a LOT more cleaning.  I was running the dishwasher 1-2 times a day and that's only because I handwash all my pots and pans.  If I ran those through the dishwasher we would be at 2-3 easy.  That part of the program I will not miss at all.  I am a cook enough for a few meals and eat leftovers kind of girl.  I cannot wait to be back on that groove.

I also miss working out.  I got my new ugi ball for bodyrock and I may or may not have decided to pull up some workouts to do them and see how I felt.  I went slow and aimed for slow proper reps instead of going all out and didn't do every exercise.  I can tell I haven't aggressively worked out for a while because some of the moves were really hard for me.  But I can also tell I've lost some inches around my waist because I felt less interference during some of the ab exercises and the overall jiggle factor.  I was very happy about that.  I think this week I will aim for doing more walking and adding in some short BodyRock bursts here and there. I honestly did not do much working out or walking during the reset because between cooking, cleaning and work I didn't have any time.  Also every single weekend of the reset was busy with friends and family in town or something else going on (including this weekend).  So it's just been a very jam packed 21 days.  Now that I don't have to spend hours cooking and cleaning (because that's honestly what it was...at least 2 hours in the kitchen between prep, cook, clean) I definitely am ready to re-direct that energy into some sweating!

Life after the reset?  I'm ready for it.  I spent a while in Barnes and Noble yesterday and picked up a few vegetarian cookbooks.  I also now am a new subscriber to the vegetarian times.  I am really committed to having this lifestyle of vegetarian with dips into carnivore and total herbivore living here and there.  I think that is a balance that I can live with for weight loss, higher energy levels, no gastro problems, and overall happiness.  I also think that with my traveling lifestyle I can do that while on the road.  I've already saved Happy Cow as a bookmark on my iPhone so I can find places to eat while on the road.