One of the most common questions that I get is, “What do I do when I am done with the AdvoCare 24-Day Challenge?”
I was asked this question four times in the last two weeks, so I thought I would share my thoughts and what I do between challenges.
First off, I consider my challenges to be 25-Days long. Day 25 is celebration day. On day 25, I try to reward myself for 24-Days of good clean livin’. I typically go grab something really good tasting for lunch. Something that I was craving while on the challenge that maybe isn’t so great for you. Today’s reward was lunch at Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen. It’s prime time for crawfish right now and I love Cajun food, so I went there and had the lunch portion of the Crawfish Combination, which is half fried crawfish and half crawfish étouffée. I’m more a creole guy than an étouffée guy, so I substituted my étouffée for sautéed crawfish. It comes with rice, so I got some white rice. It was delicious and a just reward. With that said, the splurge doesn’t continue all day and didn’t start at sunrise. It’s just for that meal.
One of the great things about the 24-Day challenge, in my opinion, is that Phase II can easily become your normal day. An easy way to live each day. For me, it’s just that. Tomorrow, I will step right back into my normal, “non-challenge” routine, which closely resembles Phase II of the challenge. Here is what a typical day looks like for me:
- Wake-Up and head to the kitchen and mix up a Spark and take my diabetes meds (which I am trying to kick with all this healthy living) and my MNS Max E before breakfast pack. I take a ThermoPlus and whether I am going for a morning run or not, I take my Catalyst.
- If I am going for a run, I will get my things together for the day, pack up and head back into the kitchen and mix a Meal Replacement. If there is fruit around, I will grab whatever is around, my meal replacement, a bottle of water and I will head out. I’ll take down the meal replacement, whatever fruit I grabbed and the bottle of water on the way to the trail for the run. I’ll take my MNS “with breakfast or lunch” packs, an additional OmegaPlex, and I’ll go run.
- I’ll usually stop for a green tea. When I do, I grab a large ice water with it. I’ll sip on the tea for my drive to the gym to shower and get ready for work.
- I try to keep Almonds or Walnuts with me. Mid-Morning, I’ll take down some of these or a piece of fruit if I grabbed some. Sometimes, I’ll grab some beef or turkey jerky and take that down. I’ve pretty much kicked Diet Coke, so I stick to water and tea. Mostly water. I’ll take my final MNS pack 30 minutes before lunch. If I forget, I take it before dinner. This happens to me from time to time.
- At meals, I try to remind myself of two key facts. 1) Food is Fuel and 2) If it breathed (lungs or gills) and its eatable or grew out of the ground, you can pretty much eat it. I’m lucky in that I don’t like french fries much, so getting a salad with a chicken sandwich is pretty common for me. I pretty well avoid fried food. If I am going to eat a larger portion meal, it’s lunch, not dinner.
- I’ll try to remember to do some afternoon snack, but when I am not on the challenge, this is usually where I slip up. I’ll consume water all day, but I will forget or just not do the afternoon snack. I am trying to get better at this, but you can only eat so many almonds. I take another ThermoPlus and my second round of Catalyst in the afternoon or if I didn’t run and I am going to the gym, right before I go to the gym with my gym supplements (Mass Impact, Arginine Extreme, Muscle Fuel)
- If I work out at the gym after work, I usually do a meal replacement right after my workout.
- At dinner, I’ll try to eat lighter and more healthy. I’ll fix tuna fish or a salad with chicken. From time to time, I will take my son for pizza or a burger at a local place we like to go, but I try not to make it a habit.
- I try to be done eating dinner by 7 most nights and to not have anything but fruit and/or water after that. It’s common for me to take down a cup or two of pineapple or an orange while I catch up on work at night after dinner.
The key things for me are to avoid the sodas, the sweets, and the fried food. The soda and fried food is not that hard for me these days. If there are sweets around, I will find them, so I try not to keep them around. It’s awfully hard to say no to those Girl Scouts and their cookies at the store though. I prefer the Lemonades, for the record. I had a few before I started the last challenge. I digress. I easily take down 100 oz of water a day and I avoid the caffeine as much as I can.
Living this lifestyle has helped me lose 68 pounds since early June of 2011. Do I slip? Yes. When I do, I hop right back on the track the next meal. I do not allow myself to stay in the rut.
I just completed my third 24-Day Challenge. I will continue to do them every three months. Got questions, fire away! I am here to help.