More on Isagenix

See Part One of my review here.

So, what can’t you eat?  Not too much, really.  No dairy, red meat, minimal fruit (only if you are following the strict 30 day program), white foods (white potatoes, white rice, white bread), carrots and peas (high sugar).  That’s about it!  You’re encouraged to drop coffee or use their low-acid version.  Honestly, I’m finding my coffee dependence greatly lessening.  I’m down to just half a cup a day now.  I used to drink 4-5 cups a day!

Here’s what I ate yesterday: thick chocolate shake for breakfast with a Natural Accelerator; mid-morning snack of egg whites, avocado, and a brown rice cake (all things I like – I have a long list of snack options); lunch of another shake (I could have had vanilla, strawberry, or mixed berry but grabbed chocolate by accident), an IsaDelight chocolate, and another Accelerator; afternoon snack of a small apple and raw almond butter; and dinner of savory sweet potato waffles , poached eggs, and a side salad with balsamic vinegar.  Hardly a deprivation diet.  And water.  A LOT of water.

What about cost?  The initial start up package cost me $342 for the month (there was a “new year” benefit that offered free enrollment – the initial cost may be higher/lower for you) but, here is a comparison of our average grocery bills for the past few weeks (yes, we spend a lot on groceries.  We live in an expensive area and never eat out. Don’t judge me :D)

Before Isagenix: Trader Joe’s $162
Giant $77
Total $239
After Isagenix: Trader Joe’s $124
Giant $57
Total $181
Difference $58
Savings per month $232

That monthly $232 savings is just on groceries. It does not include Starbucks, migraine medicine, or other things I no longer need.  Based on just grocery savings along, it costs me less than $30 per week extra to use the base system!  That’s pretty reasonable, if you ask me.

 

Can I lose xx lbs in a month??  It’s hard to say how much you will lose.  Everyone is different.  I’m not being dodgy but there isn’t a clear answer to this. Don’t expect a magic pill, though.

Can I use this and train heavy? Yes.  There are actually quite a few pro-athletes that use Isagenix (I did not know this) and there is a large Facebook group dedicated to runners who use the program and are willing to share their experience and perspective.  It includes people just starting to those who run ultras and Boston.  I’m sure there are also other groups for weightlifters, cross-fitters, etc.

How much are you exercising? A shit-ton.  In addition to my running, I am walking two miles at work almost every day (one of my goals was to walk more during the day #nailedit) plus cross training at least twice a week. That said, only the walking is beyond my training plan.  I didn’t suddenly go into overdrive to make the diet work —  but you will see better results if you exercise and try to move more.

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Run The Year Challenge

Is the science valid? I am not a scientist nor a nutritionist. They are using studies from, and are publishing in, main-stream, peer-reviewed journals.  Take that as you will.  They do cite everything so you can easily read the source articles.

Isn’t it just a MLM that’s only looking to make bank?  Eh, I don’t think so.  Sure, you are encouraged, and compensated, to sign people up but you are not penalized if you don’t.  You can easily use the program successfully and never talk to a soul about the products.  There are a lot of various coaching/support groups.  Some may be more high pressure than others.  The ones I am in are seriously low key.  If you are in one that is too sales-y, move on.

What will you do different this month?  Like I said, I like the cleanses but they are rough since I don’t have two “off” days in a row in my training plan.  I think I am going to try just cleansing on just Monday’s for this next month and see what that does for me.  They say that 80% of the fat loss is on the second day but if it helps with the inflammation and I can stick to my training schedule, that will be okay with me.

I am also going to try a “belly buster” option – it is basically a scoop of their straight protein (not the meal replacement shakes) with a scoop of their “fruits” mix and you take it 30 minutes before bed.  The idea is that you will sleep more soundly, enhancing weight loss, and your body will be able to burn more fat more easily.  Here is what it is based on.  I’m willing to give it a month.

Is that all?  I think so 🙂  Overall, I like the products and I like how it’s encouraging me to focus more on my nutrition.  I feel it is working quite well with my training goals.  Feel free to comment, if you have any questions that I didn’t cover!

(Nuts, I didn’t get talk about the the AMPED performance line.  I think that will have to wait until another post)

 

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Review: Isagenix and Marathon Training

Today I finished my first 30 days with Isagenix. I’ve alluded to it on Facebook and Instagram but I’ve kept a bit quiet until I could see what it was all about.

If you haven’t heard of it before, Isagenix is a nutritional support program.  The model I follow has a protein shake for breakfast and lunch, morning and afternoon snacks around 100-200 calories (I up my calories on heavy training days), and a healthy dinner that’s around 500 calories.  There are also two sets of two “cleanses” where you just consume the company’s products and are in a semi-fasted state for 48 hours.  For me, day one of the cleanse days were easy but the second was a bit of a struggle because I was still running around 5 miles.

Like I said, I just finished my first 30 day program and I’m pleased with my results.  I have lost  10.6 lbs and 15″.  The bulk of the pounds were lost in the first week but most of the inches were lost in the last two weeks.  I have not had my body comp calculated but those changes clearly show that I’ve been gaining muscle while dropping fat!  While my visual results aren’t crazy impressive, I can see a difference and – bonus – pants that were almost too tight to zip at the start of the month are now quite loose!

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30 day progress

I think I was eating fairly healthy before starting this program but, really,  I was allowing a lot of junk in and I was not as meticulous about planning my meals as I should have been.  It wasn’t unusual for me to find myself starving when I got home, eating handfuls of this and that, and then never eating a real dinner.  Not good.  With Isagenix, I plan every meal and every snack and log it on MyFitnessPal.  Before, this would have kicked off some unhealthy attitudes but I haven’t had any problems with my mental game this past month.  I’m also really enjoying finding and sharing new recipes!

Since I am marathon training, I do eat more than the standard plan.  I try to eat back about half of my exercise calories but that means an extra piece of Ezekiel bread with raw almond butter and maybe a smidge of honey.  Not a big bagel with extra cream cheese!

I am also a migraine sufferer (since I was 7) and I know my diet affects my migraines but I easily “slip off the wagon”.  Since I have been on this program, I have only had one bout of a headache and that was after eating two (planned) pieces of pizza at a work function.  That kicked off a headache that then hung on for a few days as a weather front moved through.  Other than that, I have taken zero medication for headaches or even body aches.

Another big, and surprising, benefit came on my cleanse days.  I’ve been dealing with a ton of chronic pain in my lower back and hips and would have to get up in the night to take Advil or use aspercreme with lidocaine so I could try to sleep.  When I started doing the cleanses, the pain totally disappeared!  Since I haven’t done a cleanse in two weeks, the pain is starting the creep back in just a bit so I am looking forward to my next cleanse on Monday!

One kind of big tweak I did was to add in extra protein to my shakes.  They do have a “pro” line that has extra protein but a) it is more expensive and b) my initial package only had the regular shakes.  No problem, though! I just added two tablespoons of dry egg whites or collagen (not gelatin so it does not thicken anything) to my morning and lunch shakes!  Instant protein 🙂

The shakes themselves are quite good!  Not too sweet, no weird after taste, and if you mix in your blender with ice, they become quite thick!  There are a bunch of “recipes” to change the flavor but I’m too lazy so I just use them as-is.  I wasn’t sure how they would work with my finicky stomach so I chose regular whey protein as well as some dairy-free flavors. I use the dairy-free at work since they are in packets but the regular ones don’t bother me at all so I will be just using straight whey from now on.

One thing that has taken some time to get used to is the Ionix Supreme.  It is basically a “tonic” that you take every morning that has extra vitamins in it and is to help with stress and fatigue.  Some people love it.  They dilute it in water and have it either cold or warm, like a tea.  For me, it is a necessary evil so I just slam my 1 oz shot every morning and follow it with a tall glass of water!

This is getting pretty long so I’m going to save the cost, their “fuel” line (AMPED), and what I’m doing next for tomorrow.

** I am not going to turn this into an all-Isagenix, all the time blog. It was hard for me to find honest feedback before I started the program so that is why I am posting this.  That said, if you want to try it, I can totally hook you up 😉 **

Product Review and Giveaway: RooSport 2.0

As you may remember, I’m a big fan of my RooSport!  My original has taken quite a beating over the past (almost) 2 years and still works great!  However, when I spotted the RooSport 2.0 at the Philadelphia Hot Chocolate 15K, I immediately snatched one up!

Brand new!
Brand new!

The new version is larger so it can handle an iPhone 6 (but not a Plus), has headphone access points at both ends of the pocket, has extra water (sweat) proofing, and has additional zippers, including one on the outer flap for little things like cough drops or lip balm.  It also comes in a bunch of fun colors!

Ready to go this morning!  My 6 fits just fine and I didn't even put it in a baggie thanks to the extra water proofing!
Ready to go this morning! My 6 fits just fine and I didn’t even put it in a baggie thanks to the extra water proofing!

I love my RooSport 2.0 so much, that I want to pass one along to you!  But, first, I need to ask a favor…

I applied to be a Race Ambassador for the Asheville Marathon next March but I’m not a big and flashy blogger so I need to get their attention!  This is where you come in 🙂 Please go over to their Facebook page, like it, and comment that Unexpected Runner sent you.  I have never been a race ambassador before so, if I am chosen, you can be certain that there will be some plenty of random shenanigans going on!  Also, early bird registration is $125 until April 30 so hop to it if you want to run it with me!

I am supplying the RooSport 2.0 myself.  All opinions are my own and I have not received any compensation for this post.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Product Review: Saucony Swift Armwarmers

I am a hot runner.  Literally.  No matter what the air temperature, I always return absolutely dripping in sweat (sexy, I know).  I hate starting a run freezing but I know that if I layer too much, I will be regretting it within 2 miles. There have been many times that I have worn a long sleeve shirt and really regretted it.  I would love to wear a short sleeve shirt or tank with arm warmers but I have a long love/hate relationship with arm warmers due to the size and shape of my arms.  Any that were large enough to accommodate my size were fugly (and usually men’s) so I would just mutilate my husband’s tube socks and make my ghetto warmers.  Serviceable but looks horrible in pictures!

Enter Saucony Swift Armwarmers!  I snagged a pair of these after Thanksgiving. I was super excited because they have real sizes (not just “one size fits most”) and the colors are sharp!  I opted for just the carbon, for easier matching.

From Saucony.com
From Saucony.com

I tried them on right away but didn’t get a chance to use them until this past weekend.  For my long run (14 miles) on Sunday, the weather was overcast but in the low 40s by the time I started at 7:30 am.  I knew I would be too hot with a long sleeve shirt so I decided to try a short sleeve an my arm warmers.  They were absolutely perfect!  I did not have any weird “muffin arm” at the top and there was absolutely no chaffing and they didn’t budge a bit.  I am very sensitive to any little irritant when I run and I honestly forgot I was even wearing them!  I did not try out the “mitt” feature because I forgot it was there 🙂  I can’t wait to wear them again!

If you place your order by January 4, 2015, you can save 20% off from these or anything else from Saucony with the code “newyear20” – just sharing the info., no benefit to me.

Review: Fabletics

I heard about Fabletics (affiliate link) a few months ago.  It is a membership program for exercise apparel.  You sign up, complete a survey, and they recommend outfits for you.  You can can review their choice for you before it ships.  You can skip a month (or many!) or choose to have it ship. If you decide you like it, you are charged $49.95 but you can easily return pieces if you don’t like them.

I was very curious to try this service.  I tried one once before but the sizing was rather… severe.  XLs fit like Ms and it was clearly geared to the yoga set.  Fabletics offers up to XXL and seems to be more my speed.

I had an Active discount so my first outfit would be $25.  I love a bargain so I decided to give it a shot!  I chose the Eureka top in L and the Camacan capris in XL.

Very nice, vibrant colors. Capris are not see-through!
Very nice, vibrant colors. The top is soft and the capris are not see-through!
The capris had fun detailing on the sides and along the waist.
The capris had fun detailing on the sides and along the waist.
Pre-run
Pre-run

Pros: The capris fit well and did not fall down!  The waist and abdominal area was a bit loose but I still had no problems keeping them up. I couldn’t have gone smaller because my calved definitely maxed out the stretch at the bottom.  The top fit well and had very long arms that could easily cover my hands (see above!) and could cover my butt when pulled down.  The sleeves were easy to roll once I warmed up.

Cons: I wish the capris had a draw string and a small pocket – but few at this price point do.  The shirt rode up when I had it pulled all the way down but stayed put when I kept it just below my hips. The long arms were nice but I would have liked thumb holes.

Overall: I was very happy with the outfit and kept it!  I feel the quality was just right for the price (even minus the discount) and I didn’t feel like a fashion reject 🙂

If you’re looking for a fun update to your running duds, I recommend you check them out!

Best Fleece Tights for a Curvy Girl

Can you hear it? I think there are angels singing because I finally found a pair of fleece tights that will work with my man-calves, big thighs, and (relatively) narrow waist!

This has been a long time coming! I kid you not, I once had to finish a race much faster than I planned because I was losing my tights! :0

I give you the SUGOi Mid Zero Tight.
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They are actually cycling tights but they don’t have a pad so they are perfect for running. They have a high rise in the back, a drawstring, a small key pocket, and grippers at the ankles. I am 5’7″ and wear a 12/14. I bought an XL because smaller sizes strangle my calves. These were perfect! I might have been able to swing a smaller size but these are not noticeably loose and I’m happy to not feel like a sausage! The legs are also long enough that I think they would for someone up to 5’10”.

I have worn them twice, once for a 5 hilly miles, and they did not budge a bit. My only small complaint is that my ankles are thick (shocking) so the ankle grippers pinch a bit. Put the tights on over my socks fixed that problem.

I think I’m going to buy the sub-zero version next!

What is your favorite cold-weather gear?

BFF: Badass Fitness Friend

When Thick2Thin put out a call for their new ambassador program, I jumped right on it!  I really love the message they promote – the tag line on the webpage says it all “Because where you start doesn’t matter, it’s where you’re going that does” – and the fit of the clothes.

I was first introduced to T2T via my own Badass Fitness Friend who bought me a couple of tanks for my runniversary.  I then had to add to my collection 🙂

They saw me through a tough 17.75K race with a bad hip

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Cat not included

And through a mental block of roller derby practice

Suck It Up Buttercup!
Suck It Up Buttercup!

And the capris stay up, even when bogged down with Spartan mud!

Saggy pants would have been a problem!
Saggy pants would have been a problem!

Yes, I am definitely a fan and now I am part of the BFF (Badass Fitness Friend) program!  I can offer my friends and readers a sweet 10% discount on all of the T2T merchandise!  Just use code VAJP14 when you check out.  I am in no way being reimbursed for my opinions or for purchases made with the code.  I’m just sharing a product that I love and helping you save a little coin in the process (race entries are expensive! Save where you can!)

Product Review: LYFT Energy Stir Sticks

I received the opportunity to review LYFT Energy Stir Sticks, a 0 calorie product with no artificial flavors, sweeteners or preservatives and I was intrigued.  I am a caffeine junkie!  I have managed to cut back to “just” 3 cups of coffee a day (usually) but could easy drink more.  I just returned from a very long and busy conference to find my sample waiting for me and I was overjoyed!

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I decided to test one out mid-morning, just in case my touchy stomach didn’t like it.  I didn’t want to worry about any digestive problems during my tough evening workouts.

The “delivery system” is a plastic, perforated stick.  You peel off the protective wrapping and stir it into your beverage of choice for 10 seconds.

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I chose to add it to my orange seltzer water.  I am very sensitive to artificial tastes and there was absolutely no weird taste with LYFT.  In fact, it didn’t change the taste at all!

The company says that each stick has the caffeine equivalent of one cup of coffee.  I did feel a little bit of pep but I think I need to try the second stick when I’m not so dead tired because I still managed to take a nap a couple of hours later.

Pro

Portable

No funny taste

Can add to any drink (great when you don’t want a hot cup of coffee!)

No digestive problems

Con

It’s a minor quibble but I wasn’t sure when all of the product was out of the stirrer.  I think I stirred longer than needed “just to be safe”.

Overall

I liked LYFT and would consider using it again.  If you’re interested in trying it, check out their website, Facebook page, or Twitter for special special offers and giveaways.

#sweatpink #cleancaffeine #pureLYFT

Disclaimer: I received a sample of the LYFT product for review but no other compensation.

The above review is my own opinion.

Product Review: Gracie & Me Jewelry

Apparently it is gauche to be proud of your accomplishments. I mean, really, who on earth would put a 26.2 sticker on their car?? Oh…

26.2
Oops!

I am so not sorry for this.  In fact, I decided to further announce my accomplishment by having a custom necklace made! I contacted Barbara at Gracie & Me and asked her to make a necklace to commemorate MCM.  The original design was all silver but I wanted a little more pop so I asked that the smaller distance charm be copper.  Barbara was all too happy to oblige!

Isn't it pretty?
Isn’t it pretty?

I absolutely love my necklace!  I have received many compliments on it and I know I will cherish it for a long time.  If you are looking for some custom bling that you can wear every day (the medals just aren’t practical for every day wear 😉 ), I highly recommend you check out this store.  Barbara is very easy to work with, you can customize just about everything, shipping is super quick, and the necklace came nicely packaged in a protective tin along with an anti-tarnish bag for the rare occasion that I’m not wearing it.  You can also have it placed in an organza bag if you are giving it as a present (hint, hint guys!)

Happy shopping!  Oh, and be proud of your distance if it is 1 block or 100 miles!  You’ve earned your bragging rights!

Giveaway: RooSport Pocket

I bought a RooSport pocket about a month ago, right before it was announced that CamelBaks would not be allowed at MCM.

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My pocket after the marathon

Since I use whole food instead of GUs and gels, I really needed something to carry all of my fuel. I hate to have anything bouncing (I have enough of that on my own!) so a fuel belt was out.  When I heard about the RooSport, I thought it might fit my needs.  Overall, I have been very happy with the pocket.  My only complaint was the little piece of Velcro on the outer-most pocket. I could never get the pieces to line up right and it was a major chaffing point.  I finally took some scissors and cut out the stitches.  After that, I had no further problems.

I met one of the owners, Brenda, at the expo on Friday and told her about the Velcro. She said that they weren’t happy with it, either, so they have removed it from the current models. She then gave me a BRAND NEW, Velcro-less pouch! Well, mine works just fine now so I decided to pass the new one on to YOU!

The pocket is super soft, has a zippered pocket that can hold an iPhone, another pocket for fuel, and it attaches to your waistband via a super strong magnet. I have never had it shift or even noticed it on my runs, no matter what I stuff in the pockets!  Oh, and best of all, you can wash it 🙂

The giveaway runs until 8:00 am Monday so don’t delay!

1. Like Unexpected Runner on Facebook
2. Like RooSport on Facebook
3. Leave a comment here saying what you will put in your RooPocket

Good luck!