Transform Your Life in 2018: What Does NFL's Drew Brees Have in Common with Me?

Happy New Year


On the evening of November 5, after completing my fifth marathon, I went to the bathroom. As I got up, I noticed that my urine was a dark color that I had never seen before. A somewhat controlled panic set in; this wasn’t my first rodeo, yet I had never experienced this before. 

I started to think; I didn’t feel fatigued or unusually sore. But I had been extremely dehydrated throughout the run, which led to the strangest feeling of being completely shot in the legs yet full of energy and endurance throughout the rest of my body. Come to think of it, the phrase I would use to describe how I felt during my entire training for this particular marathon was “a chronic state of depletion.” Like I was missing something.

I have always been skeptical of supplements or any sort of vitamin regiment. My sophomore year at Cornell I took a nutrition class. Yes this was 20 years ago, but I remember my professor vehemently arguing that taking vitamins did absolutely nothing for you. One should be able to get and absorb all nutrients necessary from eating a well-balanced diet.

Since then, I am 20 years older, and research has changed. People now argue that with today’s climate of processed food, it is not possible to gain all one needs through food alone. Whether or not this is factually accurate, as I have gotten older I have noticed that my body responds differently to certain foods and beverage. My junior year in college, I could stay up late drinking and still run 15 miles the next day as I trained for my first marathon. But this time around, one vodka martini the night before and my five mile run suffered. This past October, in leading up to the marathon, I drank minimal alcohol, and food wise I consumed a healthy balance of proteins, fats and carbs. Still, I felt sluggish and ended up with rhabdomyolysis, which led to the muscle cramping in my legs, severe dehydration and, yes, urine discoloration. 

Timing is almost everything. So is intuition. I have noticed more and more when I pay attention to my intuition it leads me in the right direction. Last April, Melissa Martin, a boutique fitness studio owner in upstate New York and independent AdvoCare distributor, reached out. She took a class with a few of her colleagues and we met. I absolutely loved her energy; I wanted to work with her. But the timing wasn’t quite right.

Melissa stayed in touch. Then the week of the marathon I got an email from her; AdvoCare was sponsoring a booth at the marathon expo. We reconnected and I felt even more certain I wanted to work with her. As a fitness professional, I have been approached by countless network marketing companies. And, since I always want to try products before I encourage others to take it, I have tried a range. So I figured, after feeling the way I did after this marathon, why not try AdvoCare?

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AdvoCare: What’s your budget? What’s your lifestyle?

These are the first two questions asked by an independent AdvoCare consultant when approaching a potential client. Translation: let’s find something that works for your life. If you say your budget is $50 a month and that you are looking for more energy, that program and product regiment will look different than someone who is looking to lean out and has $200 to spend.

When it comes to cost, I quickly realized the importance of understanding the concept of reallocating funds. Example; as I said earlier I used to use no supplements. No pro biotics, no vitamins, no omegas. I also used to drink two coffees a day (one at home, one purchased), did a combination of eating out and eating home and, yes, most dinners out were paired with wine. Grocery shopping was reasonably healthy yet I purchased the cheeses I wanted and often some treats or snacks with refined sugar. 

With AdvoCare, there are meal replacement shakes and bars for snacks that cut into that grocery bill.  Their caffeinated "Spark" drink (also considered a non-alcoholic version of "Mommy Juice") served either hot or cold is incredible and provides you not only with amino acid replacements but focus and mental clarity that cuts into your coffee bill.  Unlike many programs, AdvoCare is FOOD based; they give you a meal plan that is approved by a registered dietitian and, when following that, you will find yourself cooking more, planning more, eating out less, and trimming that grocery list away from all those caloric empty snacks and treats.

AdvoCare: Real food, meal plan, and setting you up for success. 

My introduction into AdvoCare was with their 24 day jumpstart. The best part about it? I ate EVERY day 5-6 times a day. There was not one day I "cleansed" by drinking juices that taste like dirt or drinks you want to hold your nose while guzzling down as quick as you can.  

The goal is to literally clean out your system by eating the right foods, which in turn provides your body the best chance in absorbing all that it can from natural food.  This plus the right balance of vitamins and supplements (and of course exercise) is the key.  During the 24 day jumpstart, you are to eat gluten-free, dairy free, no refined sugars. Coffee is a no because it’s acidic; caffeine is ok. Alcohol? Wine, bourbon, a definite no with the sugars and gluten; if you must Tito’s vodka is an option. 

 So how did I do?

Mind you, I started the Monday after thanksgiving and continued through the first part of my recent trip to Mexico. As yes, I did it throughout the holiday season where indulgence is at its peak and all around you. In addition, I had the additional stress of a major leak at The Fit Co and some sleep stuff with Sophia so there were many times that indulging in a glass of wine, chocolate, coffee was desired. But I held strong.

I found the gluten, dairy free and no refined sugars not that hard. And trust me; I love my cheese, crackers, and frozen yogurt.  Using the meal plan and my own creativity and previous knowledge, I got a bit creative. I am by no means a seasoned cook. But I found myself thinking outside the box (i.e. stringed sweet potatoes as a substitute for pasta; brown rice cakes and hummus instead of pita; oatmeal with a bit of AdvoCare’s “rehydrate” and fruit instead of brown sugar; meal replacement shakes blended with ice for my ice cream cravings; avocado, guacamole or hummus in addition to tuna instead of mayo). When it came to no gluten or dairy or refined sugars: 100% successful over 24 days. 

As for coffee; I am definitely a lover. Yet I found having spark instead provided me with more of a slow focused caffeine boost than the more jittery and up then down bolts from coffee.  I wasn’t perfect; with Sophia waking me up before 5am many days during the cleanse I did break. But total cups consumed? In 24 days, 6 cups (down from what would have been most likely 40) 

And alcohol? 

Tends to be my weakest link. I do adopt the work hard play hard mentality. I held strong with no wine, no whisky, no beer past the 24 day mark. But I did have some Tito’s with soda and fresh lime (sorry Melissa just being honest) I did though make sure for me I was doing it because I wanted it and not because I was used to it or because I was stressed. 

When it came to the food, why was I successful? Because I planned. For the busy person this may stress you. But consider this; if you prepare the food by fitting it into your life you will be successful. I took my early morning wake ups and turned them into time to make brown rice or quinoa, so I would have it ready for me when I got home and was starved. Little things like that prevent the most common mistake; waiting too long to eat and then eating the first thing in front of you. 

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AdvoCare the message: it’s a lifestyle. 

 I talk about this all the time at The Fit Co. It’s all about a routine for life. With AdvoCare the question after the 24 days is of course what next? AdvoCare preaches the 80/20 lifestyle; 80 percent good, 20 percent wiggle room. But now they have taken it a step further with their AdvoCare ONE/80 plan. Scientists say it takes about 60 days to form a habit. With their new 80 day plan, they are providing you with the structure and support to make good eating and nutrition a lifetime reality.  

For those of you in NYC, I am hosting an event this Wednesday with Melissa as a special guest.

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For those not in NYC, have no fear. You can Zoom in!


And Drew Brees?

For those who are not football fans, Drew Brees is the Quarterback of the New Orleans Saints.  He is also AdvoCare’s National Spokesperson.  Drew Brees is the only endorser that is compensated through his charity.  But unlike many companies who pay athletes to endorse their products, all the other endorsers (Jason Witten, Tom Coughlin plus some Olympic Athletes) get paid only in product.  Which means they have to like it.  It also speaks to the safety of the product, as professional Athletes, olympians, and the U.S. Military would not use product if it was not. 

Make a Decision; Commit to Yourself:

I wrote this in my last blog post; year of 2018 is a year to commit to yourself; to your wellness from the inside out.  This is my focus for the year of 2018, and I look to approach this philosophy for all of you not only through my workouts, but through partnering with a nutrition company I believe in as well as other wellness professionals.  I welcome you on this journey with me.