Monday, December 16, 2013

5 Ways to Stay on Track Over the Holidays (Without Going Insane)

Ahh, the holidays are upon us once again.  If you are anything like me, you have lots of gatherings coming up with family, friends, coworkers,or even just you and your significant other having some quality time to yourselves!  So with all of this, often comes the anxiety and guilt associated with figuring out what to eat at all of these parties, or how to stay motivated to work out.  And you're also getting bombarded with magazine covers that are trying to show you how to "Beat Holiday Weight Gain", etc.  Well, bah humbug!  Instead of deciding that you need to log 90 minutes on the treadmill, or that you need to eat nothing but celery at your next holiday party, try these 5 tips to help keep you on track, without being too hard on yourself!  After all, what good would it be if you lost 5 pounds over the holidays but were a total Scrooge the whole time and no one wanted to hang out with your grumpy self??  No one needs that!

5 Real Life Tips for Healthy Holidays

1.  Make a Plan

This means for your meals, snacks, and workout time.  If you map out your week, including all gatherings, shopping trips, and other time commitments, you will be much more likely to stay focused on your goals.  I like a BIG calendar with lots of space to write, so I will print out a weekly agenda page or even one page per day and start filling in spaces.  Plan out your workouts and relaxation time (because this IS important too, especially around the holidays - you must de-stress!) and sketch out your meals, along with that you have on hand for snacks.  That will help remind you that there are healthy things you can eat, so you don't just grab the first pre-packaged thing you see.  Raise your hand if you have a bunch of veggies pushed to the back of the fridge that you've been ignoring.  Go ahead, I wont judge you.  ;)  If there is a party or work lunch or something coming up, think about the choices that will be available and how you can make them work for you!  Which leads me to...

2.  Make Good Choices

For a lot of us, restaurants and parties are where we really tend to get off track with our eating.  Luckily, if we think about things ahead of time and make a plan, we can alleviate some of the stress about what to eat.  Ok, so make a plan - but what should I plan to eat?  This is where you will have to use your best judgement, but here are some guidelines.  For example, avoid things that are fried.  Restaurants for the most part do not use good oils to fry things in, and fried things are often coated in refined starches of some kind.  Two strikes against fried foods - so avoid them.  For your main course "meat dish", try to stick with things that are roasted, grilled, or baked, and pile up the veggies instead of the mashed potatoes or fries.  You can always sub out potatoes for the "veggie of the day" or even a small side salad.  Salads are a good choice, but watch your toppings and dressing serving size.  I previously mentioned refined starches/carbs.  Those are things like crackers, bread, cakes, cookies, sweets in general.  Limit these to avoid an insulin spike that will actually make you hungrier in the long run, and can make you crave MORE bad foods!  So, how about some other party foods:  Dips and spreads - this is a tough one.  Some of these things are made with healthy ingredients, but most are not, especially if they come prepackaged.  So it's best to use these sparingly with your veggies.  Veggies are what I would consider a free for all food, honestly.  It is VERY hard to overeat on veggies - assuming they are not in some kind of cheesy casserole.  ;)  Fruit is another great thing to add to your plate in place of sweets.  Sure, fruit has some sugar, but it also contains fiber and lots of great health benefits, so that makes it a better choice.  Nuts are also a good choice because for the most part, the are in the category of good fats - just don't overdo it, and don't go for the nuts doused in a bunch of sugar.  Deviled eggs are generally ok to eat as well.  Even though they are usually made with unhealthy oils (in mayo), small amounts are fine - and will give you health benefits of eggs, like protein and good fats, which will help you stay full and satisfied.  EAT the foods you know are healthy - fuel up with the good stuff.  And for goodness sake, no starving yourself - eat every 3 hours!

3.  Listen to Your Body

Holiday parties are tough - there is ALL of this gorgeous, delicious looking food, and you want to sample it all.  Did you know that there have actually been studies that show that we tend to eat more when we have a big variety of foods to choose from?  Makes sense, right?  A little of this, a little of that...  Well, don't worry, you can sample a lot of different HEALTHY foods - just skip over the bad stuff or take a VERY small spoonful if you want.  Is chocolate or cupcakes or chips or something like that a "trigger food" for you, meaning, does it make you want MORE and send you into a downward spiral?  Then avoid those foods altogether, and save yourself the hassle.  The key here is to listen to your body when it tells you that you are satisfied.  Try to stop there - at satisfied or full.  You shouldn't feel stuffed or uncomfortable.  You want to feel good and enjoy yourself without unbuttoning your jeans, right?  (Yes, I've done it, don't judge me!)  So don't overdo it.

4.  Make Time For Fitness

I know the holiday season can be super busy, but it's so important to schedule some "me time" in your week!  However, iff you are busy and stressed, I don't advocate going to the gym and killing yourself for an hour and a half.  This actually causes MORE stress for the body and raises cortisol levels.  Yep, cortisol - the fat hormone!  There are SO many great short workouts out there these days.  Know why?  Because the experts have found through scientific studies, that short increments of exercise are best, especially when done along side resistance training.  What does that mean?  Basically, they are saying that the body gets the most benefit from the first 30 minutes of cardio, especially when it is intense and involves really raising the heart rate.  So choosing something like a HIIT (high intensity interval training) or another short and intense workout is a great idea.  You can find ideas on YouTube, Instagram, and I have a January challenge starting in the new year that is ALL 30 minute workouts (feel free to use the Contact button or find me on Facebook about this).  So definitely plug into these resources!  Any time you spend working out during the holidays is a great investment in yourself, and will help so much in relieving stress, even if it's just some simple stretching and yoga.  So be kind to your body and give it some love!  That being said...

5.  Relax!

You don't have to be perfect!  There, I've given you permission to chill out a little.  Believe me when I tell you that the point of this article was NOT to make you feel bad about your habits, or to shame you out of having a slice of pie at grandma's this year.  There are ENOUGH articles out there that do just that.  I want you to enjoy
your holiday, enjoy your friends and family.  And I know that for a lot of us, that is tied to food, so the best we can do is try and make the right choices as we go.  Just being conscious of our goals and having them in the back of our mind is a huge step.  If there is a dish you love, enjoy it!  Have that treat if it's worth it and you won't feel bad about it!  Just balance the rest of your choices accordingly.  So here are the things I DON'T want you to do.  Don't weigh yourself incessantly.  Please, just don't.  Seriously, we all know that there is going to be some indulging going on with food and alcohol, so you are going to get a little bloat going on.  Just drink your water and move on.  Don't make it worse by making yourself feel bad about what you weigh!  Also, don't try to exercise away your bad food choices.  For one, it doesn't work.  And two, it can actually make things worse (see cortisol comment above).  Depriving yourself by just plain not eating is also a really bad idea.  Your body needs fuel, just make sure it's the nutrient dense, REAL stuff, and you'll do great!  Just stick with the plan.  ;)

Another thing worth mentioning is that it helps to surround yourself with people who have similar goals to yours.  Did you know that I have a 100% free fitness group on Facebook just for this purpose?  We'd love to have you join us.  We'll be talking a lot about staying motivated, and how to make it through the holidays with our sanity intact.  ;)  If you'd like to join, click here and I will make sure I reach out to you and get you added.  Have a great holiday, everyone!!

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Easy Chocolate Shakeology Pudding

This is a recipe I came up with that is SO easy - does not involve cooking, and is loaded with superfoods (from your Shakeology of course!) and good fats from avocado.  All you need is a few ingredients and a food processor.  I used my Ninja.

No-Cook Chocolate Shakeology Pudding

1 ripe avocado, skin and seed removed (chilled is best)
1 ripe banana, peeled (chilled or frozen)
1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, more as needed

Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until creamy.  Add a tiny bit of almond milk as needed for consistency.  Makes 2 servings.  Enjoy!

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

P90X3 is here!

Today is the day!  P90X3 will be launching in the Team Beachbody Shop by the end of the day.  I will be jumping on this, as I have never done a Tony Horton workout (crazy, right?) so I am super excited!  What's really great about this program is that you do NOT have to have completed either P90X or X2 in order to start this!  There are modifiers in the videos and you truly can start at any fitness level!  
I will be forming an "Extreme Accountability" challenge group for this program so to stay current on all the latest news in regards to that, go ahead and make me your coach so you get my newsletter, and follow my Like page on Facebook for updates!
More Q&A about this epic release today:
When is P90X3 available for purchase?
P90X3 will be available to order by end of day 12/10.
Where is P90X3 available for purchase?
Find it in the TBB Store and take advantage of free shipping until 12/31. The tool kit will also be available by end of day 12/10.
When should I order it to guarantee I get it by Christmas?
Order by 12/15 11:59 PM to guarantee delivery by 12/25.
What special offer is associated with the release of P90X3?
All orders of P90X3, purchased on, through a Coach or through a Challenge Pack, from 12/10/13 through 12/31/13 will include a free P90X3 hat. There are no hats for P90X or P90X2 orders at this time.
Is there an App available?
The P90X App will be available for Android on 12/10 and the Android version will include the ability to track P90X3 workouts. The functionality to track your P90X3 workouts will be available soon for the iPhone App.
Is there a vegan meal plan option available for P90X3?
There will be vegan options included in the new P90X3 Nutrition Guide that will be available on December 10, 2013.
For tips and ideas on how to modify the P90X3 meal plan to be more vegan friendly, we encourage customers to post the topic on the Team Beachbody message boards ( We have dietary experts that monitor the posts and provide some great ideas and direction.
How long does it take to complete P90X3?
P90X3 is a 90 day program, split into 3 Blocks. Blocks 1 & 2 each consist of 4 weeks, while Block 3 lasts 5 weeks.
Additionally, the Elite Block calendar, which is an optional block to be completed AFTER the initial 90 days, lasts 4 weeks.
The Elite Block includes 3 workouts not included within the P90X3 Base Kit. These workouts and calendar can be found within the P90X3 Deluxe and Ultimate Kits. In addition, they can also be purchased separately.
How long are the workouts for P90X3?
All P90X3 workouts are 30 minutes. The lone exception is the X3 Ab Ripper workout (15 minutes), included within the Deluxe Kit. Most workouts include a 2-3 minute cool down period.

What is included in P90X3?
Exclusive hat and bonus workout, only through your coach!
P90X3 Base Kit Includes:
  • 16 unique and brand new workouts on 8 DVDs
  • Plus, 5 Free Gifts
  • Fitness Guide
  • Nutrition Guide
  • 90 Day Workout Calendar
  • How to Accelerate Intro DVD
  • 24/7 Online Support
  • Network Exclusive P90X One on One: On One Leg DVD
  • Network Exclusive Premium P90X3 Hat ($24.95 value) - December Only!

What is the best deal on P90X3?
Hands down, your best deal will be the Challenge Pack.  You get the program (including bonuses and the free hat), the VIP membership that includes meal planning tools on the site, and you get Shakeology for only $60 extra!  Nutrition is SO important - it gives you 80% of your results!  So give yourself what you need to be successful.  You also get $2 shipping on this, so you save even more money.

P90X3 Challenge Pack
Retail Price: $205 (December Promotional Price: $180)
  • P90X3 Base Kit
  • 30-Day Supply of Shakeology HD
  • 30-Day VIP Team Beachbody Club Membership

Other options besides the Base Kit and Challenge Pack:
P90X3 Deluxe Kit
Includes everything in the Base Kit PLUS:
  • 3 Elite Extreme workouts on 1 DVD
  • Includes free Elite Block Calendar
  • 1-Month E&E Tub
  • 3 B-Lines Resistance Bands

P90X3 Ultimate Kit
Includes everything in the Base & Deluxe Kits PLUS:
  • 1-Month R&R Tub
  • Gym-Quality P90X® Chin-Up Bar
  • P90X® Chin-Up Max
  • Premium Beachbody Jump Mat

What are the P90X3 workouts?

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Thursday, December 5, 2013

My Transformation With Beachbody (so far)!

I have been wanting to put something like this together for awhile.  I remember when I was starting out in fitness, really overweight, I used to be SO inspired by people's before and after pics and videos.  I would watch them every morning before I would work out, to give me that extra kick in the pants!  I took making this vid as a personal challenge that really shoved me out of my comfort zone.  In my undies on the internet, really now??  But I must.  :)  So here it is - I hope it inspires you and shows you that we all start somewhere!

You can join my free fitness group by making me your coach and messaging me on Facebook - easy!

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Get Fit, Give Back! Make a difference this month.

Of ALL the promotions Beachbody has run, this is my absolute FAVORITE. During this month of Thanksgiving, THIS is what it is all about:

Beachbody is working with a nonprofit organization called Feeding America and our corporate leadership has created an opportunity to give back through our “Give and Receive” November focus.

Here’s how it works:

(1) If you order a Challenge Pack in November, Beachbody will give $20 to Feeding America.

(2) If you order Shakeology on Home Direct (cancel anytime), Beachbody will give $10 to Feeding America.

How far does this donation go? Each $1 contributed will pay to distribute 9 meals to the needy - including kids and the elderly. So a single Challenge Pack will provide 180 meals!!!

What's in it for you besides the feel good of giving?

New & existing Customers and new Coaches who buy ANY Challenge Pack in the month of November will receive a $20 coupon to apply to a future purchase.

There is no limit to the amount Beachbody will donate and our CEO Carl Daikeler has promised a minimum of $250,000 with a goal of $500,000. If it's $1-$2 million...EVEN BETTER!

Let's make this Thanksgiving have REAL meaning for those less fortunate than us. The more support I have from my blog / Facebook family, the better, so all Likes and Shares are appreciated! Let's spread the word!!!

If you are interested in getting started with a Challenge Pack, here is a direct link - or contact me so we can chat about YOUR goals!

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

The 21 Day FIX - a NEW program from Team Beachbody!

Now there's a program that makes losing weight so simple and easy to follow, you'll never have to diet again! Introducing 21 Day Fix, the latest breakthrough from Team Beachbody®.

What is 21 Day Fix?

The 21 Day Fix program takes the guesswork out of weight loss. It's a unique portion-control system combined with easy-to-follow workouts that fit into anyone's busy schedule. Trainer Autumn Calabrese shares her passion for food and fitness as she shows you how to make simple choices that add up to life-changing results.

Want to be the first to know when 21 Day Fix is available?

Sign up below and be the first to know when 21 Day Fix is here. Demand for this revolutionary system is expected to be sky-high, so sign up now!  Can you say, "Challenge Group"??  We will be doing this!!

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Who is Autumn Calabrese?

Autumn Calabrese is a celebrity fitness trainer and national-level bikini competitor. A rising star in the fitness community, she's made a name for herself by helping people lose weight and get fit through simple portion control and consistent exercise.
Autumn holds personal training certificates from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and the American Fitness Professionals & Associates (AFPA). Her supportive, motivating style has made her a highly sought-after expert among celebrities and the fitness industry.
Building on a foundation of good food choices and exercise habits, Autumn empowers her clients to reach their goals in a healthy, sustainable way. In addition to her celebrity clientele, Autumn is the fitness specialist for Her workouts have been featured in Cmagazine, LA Parent, The Palisadian-Post, and Daily Candy, and on TV shows like Home & Family. With a passionate, entrepreneurial spirit, Autumn is the perfect addition to the Team Beachbody family of trainers.

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Be a Coach On My Team!

Becoming a Team Beachbody coach can literally change your life - I am proof!  Here is a little bit about what we do!

Ok, I am ready!  What is the cost for becoming a coach?  How do I sign up?

The start up fee is usually $39.95, a smaller fee than most companies will require, and well worth it!  I made up this fee easily in my first check from Beachbody.  :)  There are several ways to join for FREE however - I can tell you how!

To sign up as a coach on my team, please contact me or find me on Facebook so I can make sure you know the various sign up options, and we can choose one that helps fit your needs the best.  I can't wait to chat with you!  If you are SURE you're ready, apply below!

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Focus T25 is here!!

Shaun T's new program, Focus T25, is shipping TODAY!  You also get free shipping for a limited time!

The best value is a Challenge Pack, which includes Shakeology (yes, you can choose VANILLA!!) and your program.  You save $70 ordering this way, and will have access to my personal Challenge Group, where I will be doing the program WITH you!!

The base kit is also available separately, and has free shipping for a limited time!

Focus T25 - 25 Minutes. 5 Days a Week. 100% Results.

The only thing standing between you and the results you want is TIME. Shaun T experimented for the last year to design a program that delivers the same kind of results you'd expect from an hour-long program, in under 30 minutes. He's pulled out the rest to give you everything you need, nothing you don't. The result is FOCUS T25—and the name implies the intent: If you focus your intensity for 25 minutes, and you do it 5 days a week, you WILL get results.
Your FOCUS T25 program includes:
ALPHA Cycle 25-Minute Workouts:
  • Cardio. 25 minutes of calorie-burning, sweat-drenching cardio.
  • Speed 1.0. Ignite your quickness. Burn the fat. Fast-paced for fast results.
  • Total Body Circuit. Focus on strength and resistance—without lifting a single weight.
  • Ab Intervals. Cardio and ab intervals that shred the fat from your midsection.
  • Lower Focus. Focus on your lower-body muscles—the key to burning fat and kicking up your metabolism.
BETA Cycle 25-Minute Workouts:
  • Core Cardio. Get your sweat on! This progressive cardio-core workout is about you getting shredded fast.
  • Speed 2.0. Rev it up with Shaun's calorie-scorching, core-focused speed drills.
  • Rip't Circuit. Cardio … upper body … legs … abs ... repeat! This is how you get ripped in 25 minutes.
  • Dynamic Core. You'll go from vertical to horizontal and back again in this dynamic, crazy core routine.
  • Upper Focus. Shaun will help you develop the upper body of your dreams. All you have to do is FOCUS.
Tools to Make Every Minute Count:
  • Quick-Start Guide. Hit the ground running with this step-by-step guide for how to achieve your best results.
  • Get It Done Nutrition Guide. We make eating simple too! 5 meals a day, 5 ingredients, 5 minutes to prep. It's that simple.
  • ALPHA-BETA Workout Calendars. Shaun gives you each day's workout so there's no guesswork. All you have to do is nail it!
Plus, 4 FREE Gifts:
  • Stretch Workout. After 5 days of hard work, stretch it out—and enjoy this one! You deserve it.
  • 5-Day Fast Track. Get a jump start on your weight loss with this 5-day meal plan. It's not easy but it works!
  • B-LINES® Resistance Band (15 lb.). Burn fat and carve lean muscle faster with our lightweight pro-grade resistance band.
  • 24/7 Online Support. Stay motivated with 'round-the-clock access to fitness experts and peer support.
And a FREE Bonus Workout:
  • Core Speed. Push hard, burn fat, and get shredded in record time with the FREE bonus workout DVD Core Speed (a $19.95 value) when you order FOCUS T25 through your Coach or Team Beachbody®.

See Shaun T. and Carl Daikeler explain what Focus T25 is, and how it came to be (and Shaun T. talking about the Shake Weight at the end - HA!!  Footage from Coach Summit in Vegas!

30-Day Money-Back Guarantee:
Shaun's so sure you'll get amazing results with FOCUS T25, he's giving you a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you're not completely satisfied for any reason, simply call Customer Service for a Return Authorization number, and return it within 30 days, and he'll give you a full refund of the purchase price, less shipping and handling, no questions asked.

FOCUS T25 is an extreme and physically demanding workout. Consult your physician and follow all safety instructions before beginning.

Results may vary. Exercise and proper diet are necessary to achieve and maintain weight loss and muscle definition.

*Free Shipping to U.S. and Canada only.

Resistance bands contain natural rubber latex, which may cause severe allergic reactions.

© 2013 Beachbody, LLC. All rights reserved. 

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Vanilla Shakeology is finally here!!

After years of research, Beachbody has finally found a way to formulate a REAL, natural vanilla flavor for it's Shakeology shakes!  It is available starting TONIGHT and you will get FREE shipping on it until July 7th by ordering through me, a Coach!  Let me help you get started with the best meal of the day!  (Just click the link.)  :)

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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Ginger Apple Detox Cocktail (21 Day Sugar Detox Friendly)

For the past few days, I've been doing the 21 Day Sugar Detox, kind of as a prep for doing The Ultimate Reset again in July (my hubby and I lost 47 pounds on our first Reset in March!).  For those who don't know, the 21DSD is basically an eating plan that involves eliminating sugars and sweeteners, real or artificial, for 21 days.  So no sweet foods!  It is meant to get your body at a place where it does not crave sugar, and is eating whole, nutrient-dense foods.  Nothing processed!  I am on Level 2, so there are no grains or legumes allowed - nothing starchy really, except for green-tipped bananas.  It's been a challenge but also very doable for me, since I was eating about 80/20 Primal beforehand.  I am in my first week, so my tummy is feeling kind of funky, and I am feeling a tad stressed.  Both are very normal reactions, and will improve over the 21 days.  So this evening, I was looking for something sweet.  Knowing I would not be finding that in the 21DSD, I decided to experiment with some fun-looking "detox drinks", and I came up with this recipe.

Ginger has been shown to speed up metabolism and help detox the body, and lemon is a diuretic that also helps eliminate toxins.  Cinnamon and green apple help to stabilize glucose and insulin levels and promote weight loss, so drink up!

Ginger Apple Fizzy Detox Cocktail

(makes several servings)

juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger (or cut into chunks if you are using your Ninja)
1/4 of a large green apple
a few shakes of cinnamon to taste
1-2 packets of stevia (if you are NOT on the 21DSD)
carbonated water

Peel apple, cut into chunks, and place in blender with ginger, lemon juice, and cinnamon.  Blend well, until you have a thin, pulpy liquid.  (You may add a little water if necessary to get it blended.)  Put a couple spoonfuls of the mixture in a glass with carbonated water, stir with a spoon, and then pour through a fine strainer, pressing the mixture through with your spoon, into a fresh glass with ice if you wish.  You may adjust the taste by adding more soda or mixture.  Store the remaining mixture in an airtight container in the fridge.

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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Beachbody Ultimate Reset RESULTS!

Hey everyone! Thanks so much for sharing this Reset journey with me! This was a hugely rewarding experience and I am glad I could shed some light on it for those who are wondering about it and who are questioning whether this is right for them.

I am just going to cut right to the chase and let you know what my husband and my results were from the 21 day Reset cleanse!  (To the right is a little pic of me after the Reset, feeling lean and light!)


Scroll down for before and after pics!  First let me say, this cleanse is about SO much more than losing weight!  We did plenty of that of course, but here are some things we experienced aside from weight loss that makes this Reset SO worth it!
  • Better sleep (length and quality)
  • Calmness of mind
  • Reduced/eliminated cravings
  • Learning a new TRULY clean way of eating and new recipes
  • Elimination of bloating and a feeling of "lightness"
  • HUGE feeling of accomplishment after 21 days!
Now, drumroll...  Here are our weight loss results!  I lost 14 pounds, went down a pants size, and lost several inches all over.  My hubby lost a whopping 33 pounds!!!  He of course went down many inches all over, and feels amazing!  He kicked his caffeine habit, no longer totes energy drinks to work, and sleeps better than he has in ages (and he used to rely on sleeping pills so this is huge)!

We will be doing the Reset again in August or September - join us for support!!  And read more about our journey in my past Reset posts!

Could YOUR body use a Reset?

5 Signs your body is toxic:
  • #1 Do you find it very difficult to lose weight?
  • #2 Are you tired, even after a good night's sleep?
  • #3 Do you have high Cholesterol, even when you eat right and exercise every day?
  • #4 Do you have cravings for coffee, sugar, or junk food?
  • #5 Do you regularly suffer from bloating or constipation?

Those are the symptoms of toxic overload, and if you recognize one of them, you're not alone. Our environment is full of toxins. They're absorbed in the food we eat. They end up in the water we drink. Right now, they may literally be trapped inside your body. If you fit any of the above criteria, think about joining my challenge next month! It's not just about looking good, friends. It's sooooo much more!
If this sounds like you, message me and we can chat!  I would love to help you check out the Ultimate Reset and see if it's something you would like to try.  

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Friday, March 29, 2013

The Ultimate Reset: Files and Resources

Here are some menu and schedule spreadsheets I used during my Reset - they helped tremendously! Print them out and put them on the fridge! :)

Phase 1 Menu and Supplement Schedule
Phase 2 Menu and Supplement Schedule
Phase 3 Menu and Supplement Schedule

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Ultimate Reset Phase 3 Recap: Home Stretch!

So, week 3 was somewhat low key and "uneventful" for us, which is  GOOD thing.  The food was good, we felt good, no complaints!  Here is my last recap before our big results!!

The Food

The food this week was really tasty!  We did not eat any grains, though they were optional.  I personally did not miss them, but it's nice to know they were there in case we needed them.  We had fruit every single morning.  Overall, this was a really filling breakfast, but on days when we were extra hungry we made sure to have some green apple or coconut meat on our plates.  Yay for fiber!  My kids also enjoyed watching Mommy bash coconuts open with a hammer, and used the empty shells as helmets for their stuffed animals and our puppy. :)  Lunch, I will admit, got a tad repetitive.  I was getting a little sick of the microgreen salad so I started adding other veggies to it, and the menu also calls for other things to be added on certain days.  For example, we had Moroccan Carrot Salad on our greens one day, and Carrot Seaweed Medley (much better than it sounds) another day.  So that helped mix things up!  Dinners were great!  The only one I didn't care for was the roasted fennel.  Maybe I didn't cook it correctly, but I just wasn't a fan of the taste.  Our highlights were:
  • Asian Cabbage Salad (recipe below!)
  • Curried Cauliflower with Lemon Kale
  • Mediterranean Roasted Beets (I know, gasp!!) and Coconut Collard Greens
  • Asian Stir Fry with Braised Greens
  • Carrot Seaweed Medley ( this is a stir fry of edamame and carrots and other veggies)

How We Are Feeling, and a Bit About Water

Like I said, this week went on a pretty even keel.  Moods were stable, the physical symptoms pretty much went away aside from some soreness occasionally, and we were sleeping great!  Our energy levels were high, and we were enjoying the food AND the fact that we weren't having to stir up a Detox supplement 3 times a day. :)  Hubby and I both had a couple days where we were hungry and craving more food, so we made a couple snacks with our Tropical Strawberry Shakeology and that helped so much!  Drinking TONS of water helped a lot, with hunger and also keeping things regular.  My strategy was not to graze on my water all day, but to drink about 24 oz. every time I had a supplement, so then by the end of the day I was confident that I had enough water.  I am not a huge water drinker so this worked well for me.  For those wondering, your first choice should be distilled water.  Second choice: Tap water filtered through a reliable reverse osmosis or carbon filtration system, not a pitcher filtration unit. Last choice: Bottled water, preferably SmartWater® or Penta.  These should all have Mineralize added.  We bought gallon jugs and kept one in the fridge at all times.  You just add 1/4 tsp of the Mineralize to each one.  You do taste it a little at first but after a few days you don't notice it at all.  Post-Reset, we will continue to drink our water this way, in order to achieve optimal hydration!  :)

Ultimate Reset Asian Cabbage Salad

This is a great salad to take on the go - just make the dressing and add before you eat it.  That way you can also tailor the dressing amount to how much you prefer.  I added a tiny bit of honey to my dressing to make it a little sweeter.  Just don't add too much - 1 tsp max.


3 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 1/2 tsp. fresh ginger juice (grate a piece of fresh ginger and squeeze juice into a bowl)
2 Tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos
1/2 head Napa or Savoy Cabbage (or regular green cabbage)
1 carrot, shredded
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 green onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
Himalayan Salt to taste

Mix the first 5 ingredients in a small bowl.  Toss with remaining ingredients and let marinate in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.  Serves 1.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ultimate Reset Days 11-14: Phase 2 Recap and Results!

Phase 2 has been pretty uneventful and easy for us I think!  I have had a rough last few days due to my kids being sick and home all day with me, but they seem to be on the mend so I am grateful!  I still managed to prep and cook all of our meals with no slip-ups, and everything we ate was really tasty!  Here are some highlights:
  • Fruit Plate nearly every morning - score!!  I did try the mashed chickpeas and they were ok, but I decided to have fruit the second time they came up in the menu this week.  Love that flexibility!
  • Mediterranean beets - who knew??  I was a big beet-hater when we started this.  Either my taste buds have changed, of the method we used to cook these was better for me, because I loved them!  They were paired with coconut collard greens, which were also extremely delish!  This will be a repeat meal for sure.
  • Kambocha squash with tahini sauce - again, who knew?  I had heard mixed reviews of this online but really it was very good!  If you like hummus, this would be right up your alley.  I'll post the recipe below!
  • Kambocha squash, tahini, and coconut soup, basically a serving of the squash blended up with coconut milk to make a soup.  This was creamy and fabulous.  It also really helped warm me up since I am still freezing all of the time!

Yes, I am still cold...

I'm glad to know that this is a common symptom of detox, but I will be happy when I am not so cold all the time and I can return my thermostat to a normal level!  Luckily, we haven't really had any other side effects except a little soreness on and off, AND my monthly cycle is kinda out of whack.  That is a common occurrence on the Reset, so no big deal, just posting here for the sake of disclosure!  :)  As far as good side effects, I seem to be sleeping much better - still having crazy dreams too.  I am waking up very refreshed and have plenty of energy throughout the day.  I just feel good!


This week has been slower in the weight loss department, as expected.  I have read that people tend to lose the most in week one and three.  Seems counter-intuitive with the Detox supp, but it was definitely the case for us!  It just really depends on when your body chooses to "let go" of the waste, etc.  Everyone is different.  We didn't do measurements this time, but weight-wise, I am down 11 pounds total, and hubby is down 26 pounds!!  He looks so different - his stomach is obviously going away, and his face and neck are slimming down.  You "de-puff" everywhere with this program - it's truly amazing!  We are really happy with the continued progress.  On to week 3!

Ultimate Reset Squash with Tahini Filling

Ingredients - makes 2 servings
½ medium kabocha (or acorn - I used buttercup) squash, seeds removed
4 Tbsp. sesame tahini
2 tsp. miso paste
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400° F.
Cut the half squash into 2 pieces and place it cut side up on baking sheet.
Combine tahini, miso, garlic, and oil in a small bowl; mix well.
Cover squash evenly with tahini mixture.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until squash is fork tender. 1 serving = 1/4 of the whole squash
(Check on your squash at 20 minutes and if the sauce is browning up too fast, cover loosely with foil.)

Calories: 267
Total Fat: 21 g
Saturated Fat: 3 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 217 mg
Carbohydrate: 18 g
Fiber: 5 g
Sugar: 0 g
Protein: 7 g

TIP:  Add 1 finished serving of squash to 1/4 cup of coconut milk in the blender to make a soup!  Add water if too thick, then warm over low/med heat, and serve.

A little funny from me - spent my St. Patty's Day with something green, but it's not quite the same!  :)

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Ultimate Reset, Days 8-10: On to Phase 2!

Yayyy, here we are in Phase 2!  The first few days proved to be pretty easy for us.  Here is a recap!

The Food

  • Breakfasts:  (Day 8) fruit plate, (9) mashed chickpeas, nori gomasio (toasted seaweed and sesame seeds blended together), and avocado, and (10) fruit plate.
  • Lunches:  (Day 8) microgreen salad and avocado, (9) microgreen salad with pinto beans and rice, and (10) sweet potato and roasted red pepper bisque with Greek salad.
  • Dinner:  (Day 8) pinto beans and rice with steamed zucchini and string beans, (9) roasted red pepper and sweet potato bisque with roasted asparagus and slivered almonds, and (10) quinoa lentil pilaf and steamed broccoli.
What I love about Phase 2 is that you can double up a lot of the recipes in order to use the other half at lunch the next day.  Less prep!  Highlights of the past few days' meals were the sweet potato and roasted red pepper bisque and the roasted asparagus - yum!  I'll post the soup recipe below - it was super easy.

The Dreaded Detox Supplement

This is really not as bad as everyone has said.  I find the Alkalinize to be way more foul.  :)  I add my Detox to about 8-10oz of cold water (with Mineralize of course), squeeze in a little lemon juice, and stir really well. Then chug it before it settles.  Also, swirl it around a bit in between chugs to keep it mixed.  The texture is the worst part I think, the taste is kind of like iced tea - kind of...  As for the "effects", I didn't really notice anything immediate.  It's not like it hits you and you run off to the loo or anything.  I would say it does change your "movements" but nothing too severe.  For the record, you drink this supp 3 times a day.

How We Feel

The hubs has not complained of being particularly tired, although I know he had a couple nights where he didn't sleep well.  That is somewhat normal for him pre-Reset.  I have been sleeping well and still having bizarre dreams!  I have been going to bed earlier also.  The other night I was so wiped out and was sure that it was really late and I had lost track of time - nope!  It was 9:30.  :)  But overall we feel rested, and I can tell that I have a lot more patience with the kids, I don't get stressed out as easily as before the Reset, etc.  My moods are on an even keel.  It's great!  The only "negative" side effect right now seems to be that we are freezing, at night especially.  I have been turning up the heat at night and wearing extra layers with socks.  That is of course normal, and I have heard it pretty much begins in week 2.  It's just a detox thing.  Drinking tea helps.  I AM feeling slightly burned out on the prep and all the work that goes into planning everything, but it's so worth it, and I plan to get caught up on  more prep and cleaning and stuff this weekend when my hubby is around more.  This leads me to my next topic...

Things that will make your life easier on The Reset!

  • paper plates (Don't hate me, you should see all the dishes in my kitchen.  You use a LOT within a day!)
  • lots of Tupperware/storage containers for prep/leftovers, all sizes
  • a giant fruit bowl.  You'll need it.
  • a lemon juicer with a built in measuring cup
  • shaker cups or bottles for your supplements, or even a kids' cup with a lid that you can use to shake small amounts.  My husband had these plastic "jars" from making freezer jam and they work awesome!
  • insulated lunch bag and containers if you plan on taking things to work.  Microwaving foods is not recommended on the Reset, so something that can keep things warm would be great.
  • a Snuggie - see above about the COLD!!
Stocking up on a few key items will help you SO much.  If I think of any more I'll add them here!  As promised, here is the recipe for the fantastic soup we had!

Ultimate Reset Sweet Potato and Roasted Red Pepper Bisque

1 medium sweet potato
¼ red bell pepper
1-2 cups vegetable broth or water (I used water here and it was great)
1 tsp. finely grated peeled ginger root
1½ tsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. miso paste, diluted in 1 Tbsp. hot water
Bragg® Liquid Aminos, Himalayan salt, and herbal seasoning (to taste)

Boil 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan.  Peel and cube sweet potatoes. Cook in boiling water until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, roast a whole red bell pepper on gas stovetop or grill, turning frequently until evenly charred on the outside OR in your oven at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, turning every 10 minutes or until skin is charred.

Put pepper in bowl and cover with towel for 10 minutes to steam. Clean off skin by running under cool water. Cut in quarters, remove seeds, and chop one quarter into ½-inch cubes. (Set remainder of pepper aside for another use or to make another batch.)

Place sweet potato, red pepper, broth or water, ginger, oil, and miso in blender. Blend thoroughly, adding more liquid to achieve desired soup consistency. If needed, transfer to a pot and gently heat on low until hot. Add aminos, salt, and seasoning as desired. Serves 1.

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Ultimate Reset, Day 7: Results From Phase 1!

Hey everyone!  Just wanted to give you a recap of the end of our Week 1!  I am so excited to be moving on to Week 2, even though there is a new Detox supplement added that is a doozy!  More about that later...  On to the results!!

Results - Ultimate Reset Week 1

I am happy to report that I have lost 8 pounds in 7 days, as well as 3 inches between my waist and hip measurements.  I an visibly see the difference in my stomach and it's crazy!  Even my legs look smaller!  In an obvious attempt to upstage me, my hubby lost an astounding 20 pounds the first week!!  We could not believe it, but what great motivation to continue!  In addition to the weight, we are both  more rested in the morning, and hubby has been getting up earlier.  Aside from a few cravings, we have been full and satisfied from the food - definitely NOT starving!  We don't miss the caffeine either - we have plenty of energy.  The soreness we experienced the first several days is now virtually gone and we feel fantastic!

The Food

On day 7 we had oatmeal with apples and yogurt for breakfast, more of the zucchini cashew soup (check out the recipe in my last post) and a microgreen salad for lunch, and baked tempeh, steamed veggies, and brown rice for dinner.  It was a good food day - everything was tasty!


I did have a snack today because I felt like I needed a little extra something to get me to dinner.  The Week 1 snacks are a little different from Week 2 and 3, but here are some examples of what you can have:
  • 1 to 2 cups raw veggies (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, pea pods, bell peppers, etc.) + ¼ cup hummus
  • 1 small green apple + 12 raw almonds
  • 2 celery stalks + 1 Tbsp. almond butter
  • 1 hard-boiled egg + 6 to 10 whole-grain crackers

Looking Ahead

Week 2 is just around the corner and there are some changes to the supplements and meals.  The diet changes to a vegan one that includes grains, nuts/seeds, veggies, and fruits.  The portions also look to be a little smaller in Week 2 so I am curious to see how that will go.  We are also going to be drinking the Detox supplement 3 times a day along with our existing supps!  It is basically supposed to scrub out your colon of all nastiness - sounds fun!  But make no mistake, this is a gentle cleanse, so no running to the bathroom or anything like that.  Your body is just being given the things it needs in order to "let go" of the junk.  :)

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Beachbody Ultimate Reset: Day 6, Relief!

I just want to let out a big sighhhhhh with this post! Day 6 was pretty fantastic after the roller coaster of days 3-5! I had no real aches and pains other than a little soreness in my back that was barely noticeable, and my shoulders were a little tight - but they usually are. I guess I carry tension there? Anyway, I felt good! I had lots of energy during the day.  I went to bed slightly early for me and I feel like I got a lot of good quality sleep - complete with some crazy Reset dreams. They aren't kidding when they say you will dream more - I've had some doozies this week.

The Food 

  • Breakfast - Baked tempeh, avocado, and steamed spinach. This was pretty good. For breakfast? Eh, I am not sure. The tempeh did have a smoky maple type taste to it but it felt weird eating it for breakfast. Hubby opted for eggs, toast, and spinach. 
  • Lunch - Microgreen salad and quinoa salad. Yum! I love the quinoa salad, though I do add less lemon than what it calls for just for my tastes. For the microgreen salads we've been having, I find that I prefer the creamy garlic dressing and Josh likes the Greek. Both are really tasty! 
  • Dinner - Roasted root medley and zucchini cashew soup. The medley has beets in it, just so you know... I ummm... I don't really love beets. I tried some with an open mind tonight and could not do it. They taste like dirt to me, no matter how they are prepared! The other veggies were awesome though; we definitely will be repeating this dish in the future!  Now, the soup? LOVE. I will post the recipe below for you. Hubby and I both loved this meal. 
  • Snack - Apple with almond butter - I was STARVING today for some reason. The root medley portion seemed really small and dinner just did not fill me up. After trying to get some extra water down, I caved and went for the snack. I normally would not have one after dinner since the guide advises against it (they prefer you have it between lunch and dinner) but I really was trying to avoid a binge! 

Things I Learned Today!

I watched this great video today from Carl and Isabelle Daikeler. It was them talking about their experience with the Reset going into Week/Phase 2, and they also answered questions. It is almost an hour long but it really helped answer some things for me! For example (I am paraphrasing but you get the idea):
  • Q: Is it safe to lose a lot of weight in a short period of time? A: Yes, since this is a cleanse you are losing water and waste for the most part, maybe a little fat, and VERY little muscle if any. 
  • Q: What should I do if I am starving on the Reset? Can I eat more? A: Yes, you should increase your portions at meal times and see how you feel, and use the snacks provided in the guide. If you stick to ONLY foods from the Phase you are in you will be fine, but be sure to assess your hunger to see if it's more out of habit than anything else. [See, this is great!  I would have loved to increase my portion size at dinner since I was sooo hungry - next time this happens I will do it!]
  • Q: Can I make substitutions? A: Yes, as long as they are in the same Phase of the program that you are in. You may switch dinners with dinners, lunches with lunches, etc. and you may also switch your dinner meal with your lunch meal if that works better for you. [Just a side note here, I would personally not switch my breakfast with another meal, because fruits are better for you to have in the morning. They help to regulate your blood sugar levels after waking and since they are a form of sugar, your body will have a chance to use it throughout the day.  That's why the reset was designed the way it was.] 
Here is the video if you want to check it out - it's really informative!


Another thing I knew about but learned more about today is the "rules" for using Shakeology with the Reset. First, you can only use the vegan varieties, and only the approved recipes in the back of the guide.  My personal fave is Tropical Strawberry.  The Vegan Chocolate is good, but not quite as good.  :)  You can use it as breakfast in Phases 1 and 2, breakfast in Phase 3 (half serving), or a snack in all phases, but only a half serving.  It's great to have options!  Shakeology plus the "Reset in a Crunch" section in the guide (where there is a chart that shows some quick and easy substitutions) really make it flexible.

And now, as promised...

Zucchini Cashew Soup Recipe

1 1/2 medium zucchinis, cut into chunks
1 oz. raw cashews (17 cashews)
Himalayan salt or Bragg® Liquid Aminos (to taste)
Herbal seasoning or fresh herbs, like basil or dill (optional; to taste)

Soak cashews in 1/2 cup water for 1 hour.  Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan on medium heat, then add zucchini chunks and cook for 4-5 minutes.  Drain and set aside.  Combine cashews (with water), zucchini, salt or aminos, and seasonings in blender and mix until smooth, adding water as needed for desired consistency. Pour into saucepan and reheat gently, but do not boil. Can also be served cold. Serves 1.

250 calories
17 g fat
3.5 g saturated fat
0 mg cholesterol
30 mg sodium
21 g carbohydrate
4 g fiber
9 g protein
1,036 mg potassium

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Ultimate Reset, Days 3-5: The Rough Patch

I'm baaack!  I have been taking a break from updating every day but I am getting caught up now!  The last few days were a bit rough so I was just not feeling up to typing it all out.  But now that I am back to feeling great (yay for Day 6!!) I am ready to tell you all about it.  Brace yourselves!

Why You Should Start Your Reset on a Wednesday (Maybe)

I was told (and it says in the guide) that Days 3-5 are typically the most challenging on the Reset in terms of being sore, feeling tired, emotions running high, etc. so hubby and I decided to start Wednesday of last week and he also used a vacation day in order to get the weekend off.  If the weekend is not typically your downtime, plan accordingly.  Wednesday is not the "correct" day for everyone, but I'm glad we did it that way.  The kids were home from school so that added a little bit to the stress levels of mom and dad, but I think it was still worth it for us to be able to stay in our jammies and veg out, and support each other as needed!


This was the most pronounced thing I noticed, at least for me.  My moods were out of control LOL!  I woke up in a foul mood at least 2 of the 3 days, and felt grumpy throughout the day.  I also experienced higher levels of stress and irritability, as did my hubby.  The kids had us on our last nerve more that a few times, and  we could have used a break!  This is where babysitters come in handy, people.  Or DVD players.  On Saturday (Day 4) the stress was so bad that we dropped the kids off at Granny's and rolled out to the mall!  I spent a little more than I wanted but it was worth it, 100%.  I needed something to take my mind off of food, water, and supplements!  (Although we did take our water with us - staying hydrated!  And another note, if you are out and forget your water, you can buy Smart Water and add a few shakes of Mineralize to that.)


 This was interesting.  I consider myself to have a pretty clean diet overall, and I was careful to REALLY clean it up before the Reset because I wanted the transition to be as painless as possible.  My cravings were under control pre-Reset so I figured there wouldn't be a problem.  Well, the weekend proved to be challenging in this respect.  First off, hubby had the bright idea to get the kids a pizza on Friday night.  Pizza is my total weakness!  I have to say, I was very irritated at him for this (see "Emotions" above LOL) and found myself wanting that pizza BADLY.  Adding to the joy of that experience, we had nori rolls that night, which I utterly butchered.  I am pretty good at rolling sushi - I have a mat and they usually come out great!  Well, on this night, I did not make my brown rice sticky enough and they basically fell apart.  I made hubby's second and his came out better since I added a little water to the rice.  But yeah, overall a very unsatisfying meal while your kids are eating pizza two feet away from you.  We also had the cucumber salad with it and I just could not eat another cucumber.  I was so sick of them LOL.  Anyway, my advice - don't tempt yourself!  Just don't!  This is only week one and you are going to crave things.  Don't rely on your willpower to save you if you can possibly help it - that is tempting fate a bit too much.  Wait until week three to get goodies for the kids, seriously.  You'll be more in control.

Physical Stuff

At this point, I was still having minor headaches on and off, and by Day 3, my shoulders, neck, and back were starting to get sore. All very normal, just toxins leaving the body!  Day 4 was also pretty big for soreness, and I had to lay on the couch a couple times and just rest my back because it was sore.  I did a little stretching for my shoulders and neck - not sure if it helped.  I also took a couple hot baths with Epsom salt - highly recommend!  On Day 4 I also took a nap - I was SO tired!  I felt kind of foggy and groggy for the rest of the day.  Luckily, all of these things were virtually gone by Day 5.

Day 5 - the light at the end of the tunnel!!

Ok, so as I said, most of this stuff was pretty much gone by Day 5, which was great!  I did get out the Rumble Roller though and did my back and shoulders - ahhh.  I think it really helped!  I had no headaches on Day 5 either - YES!  I had a good amount of energy during the day and made it to the store to get a few remaining things for week 1 and a good start on week 2.  Walking past all of the things I used to routinely buy was pretty crazy, and I was feeling pangs of jealousy toward my non-Resetting peers, but that was short-lived.  I noticed as I walked through the store that my formerly-snug jeans were now sagging quite low and I had to keep hiking them up!  My stomach looks so much flatter already and that is great motivation.  My next weigh in will be on Day 8!

Food Recap

I will try to make this brief, while still giving you an idea of what we had!


  • Fruit Plate and Yogurt (breakfast) - I will never get sick of this!!
  • Lentil Lime Salad (lunch)
  • Quinoa Salad (lunch)
  • Stir Fried Veggies and rice/quinoa (dinner for 2 nights)

Misses, or at least "Meh":

  • Nori Rolls (dinner and lunch) - we subbed the lunch on Day 4 out for the "in a crunch" option
  • Japanese Cucumber Salad (dinner) - I am so over the cucumber, please make it stop

A Final Note on Food

This weekend I really realized what a strong social connection we have to food.  Pre-Reset, the weekend meant socializing with hubby, and that automatically included alcohol and "good food", indulging a little, etc.  What I wouldn't have given for a cold beer at the end of day 3 or 4 - I felt I needed it!  Seeing it all behind me now, I am proud that I didn't give in.  This is a mere 3 weeks out of my life, and I am doing something SO good for my body!  I am giving myself a gift more meaningful than a nice bottle of wine or a rich dessert.  Those things will be waiting for me after the Reset, so for now, I am letting them go!  It's kind of like the mantra I say to myself while doing my shot of Alkalinize (which by the way, has not gotten any tastier), "This is so good for me!  This is delicious!  This is nourishing my body!"  Makes it all go down a little easier.  ;)

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