3 Day Refresh UNFOLDED!

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This summer Beachbody released a brand new product called The 3-Day Refresh that I have been itching to get my hands on.  Being someone who has never done a cleanse or detox before, I felt like this product was exactly what I needed.  I’ve always been scared to do a cleanse because of the lack of nutrients and food your body is allowed to get during this time.  I can’t lie.  I like to eat.  So I’ve always been turned off from the idea of a cleanse.  Beachbody’s 3-Day Refresh is different.

The 3-Day Refresh is designed to do the opposite of most juice and liquid cleanses.  It detoxifies and cleanses, while supporting your metabolism with easy-to-prepare, nutritious whole food to help your vital organs re-energize.  In their test groups, participants lost on average 4 pounds (yes, 4 pounds in 3 days), reduced cravings for carbs and sugars, had an improvement in energy, and felt their body functioning more effectively.  I decided I needed to do this refresh so that I could give my customers an honest opinion and direction if this is something they desire.

3DR_products_with_foodBefore I get into how the refresh went down for me, I want to explain to you what it entails.  For three days you will basically do the same thing, so here is an example of a daily schedule:

  • UPON WAKING UP:  Drink 8 oz of water
  • WITHIN AN HOUR:  Shakeology and fruit
  • MID MORNING:  Green or Herbal Tea
  • AN HOUR BEFORE LUNCH:  Fiber Sweep
  • LUNCH:  Vanilla Fresh Shake, Fruit, Vegetable, & a Healthy Fat
  • MID AFTERNOON:  Herbal Tea
  • SNACK:  Vegetable & a Healthy Fat (or a pressed juice)
  • DINNER:  Vanilla Fresh Shake & Dinner Recipe (various cooked vegetable recipes)
  • EVENING:  Herbal Tea
Meal Prepping and Planning is KEY on this 3-Day Refresh!

Meal Prepping and Planning is KEY on this 3-Day Refresh!

That certainly seems like a lot of food, right?!  It really is.  That’s why I was so attracted to this cleanse.  You mean I get to jump start my body and refresh my insides without having to starve myself?  That’s what got me hooked.  Now for my story.  🙂

There are some health foods that are just not for me!  This juice was one of them! :)

There are some health foods that are just not for me! This juice was one of them! 🙂

I have to preface my journey by letting all of my followers know that I had my wisdom tooth pulled out three days prior to the refresh starting.  If/When I do this again, I WOULD NOT advise starting the refresh if you aren’t in good health.  I don’t mean health like working out or eating well (the whole point of this is to jump start THAT lifestyle).  I mean you shouldn’t be sick or recovering from something to begin this.  I firmly believe that this affected my overall experience.  But, I will give you my honest opinion anyway!

Day One was difficult to start because I was famished from not really eating anything substantial for the week prior to the refresh.  My diet was very liquidy and soft and so I was lacking calories.  I counted the minutes until lunch and I ate lunch like it was the first time I had been served food!  🙂  The lunch filled me up, though, and I was very satisfied for the rest of the day.  The fiber sweep smells like vitamins and it is very thick because of the seeds (chia, flax, and psyllium).  It tasted like lemon tea to me, though, so I just pounded it quickly like my old college days! 😉  ***This by far is the hardest thing to ingest during the refresh***  After work I went home and attempted to make the pressed juice, but without a juicer it was way too chunky.  I settled for vegetable and a healthy fat (I chose mashed avocado and tomatoes).  Dinner was excellent.  A vanilla fresh shake and Vegetable Stir Fry!  I left Monday feeling great! 🙂

Dinner from Day One!  It was SUPER YUMMY!!!

Dinner from Day One! It was SUPER YUMMY!!!

Day Two.  Day two was a breeze.  It’s like shampooing.  I basically did Day One.  Rinse and Repeat.  🙂  Day two was a pretty busy day for me since I had marching band rehearsal.  I ate my salad on the go at rehearsal and was able to go home and had zero cravings.  I did, however, get home from rehearsal and realize that my belly appeared to be bloated.  I looked TOTALLY PREGNANT! 🙂  But…as I said to my followers…I am not.  🙂

A little Green Tea break in the morning :)

A little Green Tea break in the morning 🙂

Day Three.  Day three was the HARDEST day for me.  I wanted to quit, give in, throw in the towel pretty much all day.  I had a lot of inner dialogue about the worth of finishing out something I had started and how I owed it to my followers to finish.  I was hit hard with cravings and it followed me EVERYWHERE.  I had students bringing in fresh baked cookies, scones from Starbucks, and colleagues offering me Cuban coffee.  Life was ROUGH!  🙂  I stuck it out though and continued to feel bloated.

No Cuban coffee for this lady!

No Cuban coffee for this lady!

This scone started my day FULL OF CRAVINGS!!!  Appreciated, but hard to not eat!

This scone started my day FULL OF CRAVINGS!!! Appreciated, but hard to not eat!

While I was frequently hitting the restroom during these three days to pee, I had done any bowel movements.  This is exactly why I had such a huge belly.  This much I knew.  But, it wasn’t until AFTER the refresh that I got it.  The fiber sweep is meant to be a GENTLE way to eliminate waste from your digestive system.  After the refresh I had very solid bm’s and never any discomfort.  This is a huge one for me!  I am usually known to get stomach aches and have abdominal pains and quick trips to the bathroom when something needs to get out of my system.  My stomach is very flat now and I never experienced a “panic-rush-to-the-bathroom” feeling.  (Sorry if this last paragraph was TMI ;)***

So all in all I feel great.  My eating habits aren’t horrible and I haven’t been off track, so this just continued to help boost my energy and keep my at my healthiest.  I think this product is excellent for anyone ready to jump start a healthier lifestyle.  I also think this product is perfect for anyone trying to return back to health after a particularly unhealthy time (vacation, holidays, etc).

I would recommend it to any of my customers who enjoy cleansing and detoxing.  The 3-Day Refresh will do it the right way for your body to be at it’s prime! The only other recommendation that I would give would be to do it with a spouse, friend, co-worker, or family member to ensure that you have some accountability.  It would have been hard to do this without the support of my friend Michele!  🙂

Do you have additional questions about the 3-Day Refresh?  Are you interested in trying it out for yourself?  Let me be your coach and guide you through this!  Email me:  brittmcmillan@yahoo.com or Comment below with your email and I will send you more info!

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Get Out There and SING!

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I am overwhelmed with gratitude this week as I sit down and see just how many people were impacted by my article posted last Monday. Sharing your heart can be a scary endeavor, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. Through many conversations, text messages, and Facebook likes and shares, it became so clear how important my message was. There were so many people that NEEDED to hear the words that I typed. And everyone came from a different place. Different walks of life. Different jobs. Different marital statuses. Different living situations. Different ages. But one thing was constant. Everyone affected by my words last week walks this planet on a daily basis searching for answers. We all have great days and we all have hard times. Each one of us is human.

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I write to you this week to challenge you. I wonder who is going to be up for this and who will just read the words on the screen and move on. Challenges take effort, thought, and desire so I do not make this attempt lightly. I believe, though, that challenges bring us to another level that we never knew could exist. Challenges force us to rise to occasions and become stronger and wiser than we once were. Today I am challenging you. Are you up for it?

I have found that sharing the “real” you is the best gift you can give anyone. It can also be the scariest most vulnerable place you have ever been. What if people disagree? What if people don’t like the “real” you? What if “you” isn’t good enough? I’m here to say that all of that is irrelevant. Unimportant.

Your story. Your journey. Who you are and the story you are writing for the world is the most beautiful gift you have.

It doesn't matter what other people think about you.  What matters is how you view yourself.

It doesn’t matter what other people think about you. What matters is how you view yourself.

So here is my challenge. I challenge anyone reading this to find a way to share a piece of themselves this week. Share what makes you “you” and the trial(s) it took to get there. Either share this article on Facebook along with something that most people don’t know about you or comment below with a part of your heart. Either way, I challenge you to share yourself. Get out there and SING! What if your story has the power to heal someone? What if your story helps someone see that they aren’t so alone after all? We don’t live meaningless lives and our stories can help heal others in the times when we least expect it. I can’t wait to read and share in each of your stories this week! 🙂 In the meantime, I hope you’ll “Run to Your Happy Place.”

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Brittany M. McMillan

Founder- Run to Your Happy Place

What I Learned from Being Alone

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It is no mystery that I spent the last year of my life in pursuit of happiness.  It was a choice I made in a rather difficult time of my life, rather than falling off of the deep end.  I can’t thank God enough for his guiding hand throughout the last year of my life.  It is through prayer, lots of tears, and an immense amount of hope that I am sitting here typing to you today.  I believe there is a plan for each and every one of us and when you hear God calling you to action, you can’t rest.  I didn’t.  And these next ten tidbits of information I believe everyone should apply to their own life and pursuit of happiness.

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Top Ten Most Important Concepts I Learned from Being Alone:

1.  If you want to do something- go do it.  Far too often did I find myself sacrificing tasks that would ultimately make me happy for other people.  I would find myself upset that I didn’t go out for that run or mad because I didn’t get to go to the store like I had my heart set on all week.  Being alone allows you the freedom to do what you want, when you want it.  Looking back on all those times I didn’t do something because the people around me wouldn’t join me was foolish.  If I want to do something bad enough, I can do it alone.  Don’t get me wrong.  Having someone along for the ride is fun, too.  But if my ultimate happiness is measured by whether or not I do the said thing I want to do, then I can do it alone if need be.

2.  Never forget to be grateful for what you have.  I made a vow to myself around New Year’s of 2014 to always lay my head down on my pillow and name at least one thing that I was grateful for in that day.  You won’t believe how this transformed my thinking.  I began to not only wait until the moon came up to appreciate what I had, but I would find myself thanking God after a run for my legs, my heart, and my health.  I would sit at meals with friends and family and have to stop and just “BE” because the moment was so awesome.  Being grateful caused me to be aware of my life and all of the beauty within it.

3.  It is possible to cook amazing meals for one.  As someone who loves cooking, I think this was the most painful part about being alone.  Before I was alone, I would often host parties with lots of friends attending and I always had another person to cook for and take care of at the end of the day.  I love taking care of people in the form of a good meal and for months I didn’t cook because it would make me angry and sad inside.  I hated my kitchen.  But, slowly I worked my way back in there.  Chopping vegetables.  Sipping a crisp glass of white wine with some music on in the background.  The aroma of the house.  It was therapy.  Sometimes in this healing process, I wouldn’t even eat the meal because of how lonely I felt.  Slowly but surely, though, I got my joy back for cooking.  I plan out meals for myself for the week and challenge myself to try new recipes frequently.  And if you like leftovers like me, you’ll enjoy your creation the following day at work!  Extra bonus…it is much cheaper to plan a grocery list when cooking and eating for one!

4.  Wine is essential.  I’ve always loved wine.  But I’ll never forget last fall when I planned a bucket list trip to wine country to run a half marathon.  I can still remember the way the cool, fall, northern California air hit my nose when I walked off my tiny jet plane in Sonoma County.  The smell of those vineyards is unlike anything else in the world.  Wine country taught me that I’m stronger than I give myself credit for sometimes.  I’m bold.  I’m courageous.  I’m independent.  And I’m allowed to stop every now and again and just sit in stillness with a good glass of wine.

5.  Nobody cares about your problems.  This one was the most difficult for me to accept.  What do you mean nobody cares?!?!  There has to be someone out there?  Well, aside from my mom and dad, I’m pretty sure nobody cares.  Most of the people we tell our problems to want to hear about our problems because it makes them feel better about their lives.  It sounds harsh, but it’s true.  It is so much more pleasing to be around people who talk about solutions and resolutions than their issues.

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“Keep your face towards the sunshine and the shadows will fall behind you.” -Walt Whitman

6.  It’s okay to know exactly what you want.  Don’t be afraid to put your foot down and make demands.  It is incredibly powerful when a person knows exactly what they want.  Knowing what you are worth, where you are going, and what you need to get there puts you in a position of power.  You get to steer the wheel.  You’re in the driver’s seat.

7.  It’s okay to have no clue what you want.  On the flip side, it is okay to realize that this game of life we play in daily isn’t set in stone.  We don’t have all of the answers and THAT IS OKAY!  🙂  This one I continue to work on daily.

8.  You are the only one who can take care of you.  At the end of the day, you were graced with the one life and one body that you call yours.  Nobody can take that from you.  But, you also have to know how to take care of yourself and be ready to help yourself when no one else will.  There will come a day when you are left feeling alone in a time you could use a hand.  That’s part of life.  Embrace how strong you are and take those difficult moments one step at a time.

9.  Loving yourself is sexy…and so is forgiveness.  How many times are you told that you are beautiful and you shrug it off?  How many times a day do you cut yourself down when you look in a mirror?  STOP!  Find ways to love yourself.  It will change how people see you- I swear!!!  Opposite to love, though, we have feelings of hate.  These feelings of anger can eat us alive if we let them.  I know it isn’t easy to forgive people.  I continue to work on forgiveness daily.  So I’m right there with you.  But, I also know that being alone gives you a lot of time to reflect on people and experiences.  Find ways to let go and let things be.  Hate is heavy.  Free yourself of that excess weight.

10.  Never let a day slip out of your fingertips.  Don’t waste a second of your life.  It was brought to my attention in the finest of forms last fall when I lost a dear friend on a random September night.  His last post on Facebook was about his favorite team (The Knights) while watching the Saturday game.  My last interaction with him was in the football stands at a high school football game while we waited for half time.  I can still hear him laughing from that night.  48 hours later, though, he was gone.  Life took him.  This hit me ridiculously hard.  Why him?  Why not me?  What am I here for?  I can’t answer those questions.  Nobody can.  But what I can do is live everyday like it is a gift that has been given to me.  If I’ve learned anything about my year alone, it is this-  You have one beautiful, ugly, happy, sad, loving, hateful, successful, failing life that you have to live.  The only way have beauty, happiness, love, and success in your life is to inevitably deal with ugliness, sorrow, hate, and failure.  Life swings like a pendulum and we have to have one to feel the other.

I hope this message rings loudly for some.  I’m certainly not done learning and growing, but I needed to release this message to those in need.  Life is precious and beautiful.  Enjoy the gift you’ve been given and never forget to run to your happy place anytime life seems to get too hard.  I promise you’ll never run there alone. 1029

A Healthier Pumpkin Spice Latte

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I’m not sure if I’ve ever met someone who doesn’t love Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte.  I’m not sure if I WANT to meet someone who doesn’t love it. 🙂  PSL

What’s not to love?  Nostalgia.  Warmth.  Comfort.  Sweet.  Spicy.  Creamy.  Lovely.  It really is the perfect fall drink.

But lately, I’ve been on a pursuit to health-i-fy (is that a word?!) my favorite guilty pleasures.  So, I began my research and this is the recipe I came up with.  The best part of the recipe you are going to try (and fall in love with) is that you can rest easy knowing EVERY single ingredient that you are putting into your body.  There isn’t an ingredient which you can’t pronounce and everything is easy to find at your local grocery store.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!!!  Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

healthy pumpkin spice latte

Health Make Over: Pumpkin Spice Latte

3/4 cup brewed coffee (strong)
3/4 cup vanilla almond milk
2 tablespoons pure pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (more or less to taste)
fat free whipped cream (optional)

While coffee is brewing, warm almond milk and pumpkin over medium heat. Add remaining ingredients and stir off heat. Pour warm pumpkin concentrate over coffee. Top with whipped cream and an extra sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.

Never Miss a Monday

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I know that feeling all too well.  The alarm goes off, the sun’s not up, and Friday seems like an eternity away.  You roll over and think to yourself “I wonder if I’m coming down with a cold…Maybe I should call in sick.”  No.  You are not ill.  You are perfectly fine.  Except for one looming feeling…it is MONDAY. 

Love Monday

Monday’s.  Back to work.  Back to the busy, fast paced days.  Back to routine.  Most of us have a hate-hate relationship with Monday.  I mean, why not?  What good could we possibly find in a Monday?  We’re tired from the weekend.  Our job stinks.  We’d rather lay in bed and sip mimosas all day.  I know, I know, I KNOW!  But, friends, I’m here today to tell you why Mondays should be celebrated and not shunned!  <Record stops and scratches…>  It’s true!  Believe me.  If we turn our perspective around a little bit, Monday’s can actually be a great day to anticipate. 

You’ve probably heard the phrase “Never Miss a Monday.”  What does that actually mean?  Why do people always say “I’ll start my diet Monday?”  It’s simple.  Mondays are linked to fresh starts and do-overs.  Mondays are the beginning of a new week and a time for everyone to regroup whatever they feel they’ve fallen off track with.  Whether it is heading back to the gym, starting a new diet plan, or being more productive at work, people use Monday to give them that “go ahead” to dive in.  That’s why Monday can be exciting. 

never miss a monday

“Never miss a Monday” is a powerful statement.  It means that you are in control of your week.  If on Monday you ignite the week with a workout session or you choose to eat better, it is setting the tone for the rest of the week.  Doesn’t it just FEEL good to start your week off like that?  Yeah, I know it does.  😉

Diving into your week with a positive outlook can do wonders for you.  You will increase productivity in your job.  You will make healthier decisions.  You may just end up being more positive come Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, too!  I challenge you to see how you can make Monday count today.  It is a new week.  All of your goals are ahead of you.  Dive in.  Take charge.  And inspire others around you to do the same. 

Need some inspiration for a Monday sweat sesh?  Try this 20 minute sculpting workout from Fitness Magazine! 

http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/express/20-minute/burn-fat-with-weights/#page=1

 

 

 

Five Reasons you AREN’T Losing Weight

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Are you stuck in a plateau with your weight loss? Do you feel like you’re putting in the work but not seeing results? Here are 5 reasons why you may not be shedding the pounds like you think you should:

Pair of female feet on a bathroom scale

1. You aren’t building muscle. If your workouts tend to be more cardio based, you WILL burn calories, but adding light resistance and free weights to your workouts will help you burn calories faster. Also, as muscles repair themselves post workout, your body will be burning calories EVEN WHILE YOU WATCH TV! 🙂 BONUS! 🙂

2. You aren’t eating enough. To lose weight we know that you need to burn more calories than what you eat. Simple enough. But, if you are eating TOO little then your metabolism will slow down to adjust and that will slow down your weight loss. Not to mention it will leave you feeling sluggish. My suggestion is to incorporate a well balanced, portion controlled diet.

3. You are drinking away your calories. Without thinking about it, we mindlessly drink 100+ calories in some of our favorite beverages. Try sipping a high calorie beverage with every meal and you’ve added around 500 calories just in liquid per day! AND THESE CALORIES ARE COMPLETELY EMPTY! 🙂 There is zero nutritional value to them. So swap out for water whenever you can!

4. You skip breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day…WE ALL HAVE HEARD THAT! But, skipping breakfast is very common among adults. With a fast paced morning and other people in a household to take care of, breakfast often gets placed on the back burner. It becomes minimal or non existent. Skipping breakfast, though, brings us back to our metabolism. The word breakfast breaks it down simple: “Break” the “Fast.” We NEED breakfast to jump start our metabolism in the morning since our bodies essentially fasted through the night. Breakfast high in fiber and protein can help fill you up and boost your metabolism early in the day, so that you will end up making smarter diet decisions later. Your body won’t feel STARVING come lunchtime and you will have much more energy and productivity.

5. You eat out way too much. Going out for food and drinks with our close ones is a lot of fun and helps boost our mood. It is a big part of our social interaction. But, too many nights out can be a major reason for your plateau- even if you are hitting the gym hard. At restaurants we tend to overeat. Too much food = too many calories. Portion sizes are much larger at restaurants and food prep is usually done with oils, grease, and high amounts of sodium. If going out with friends and family is a major part of your lifestyle, you will really have to consider the foods you order. Stick to fresh foods like salads and grilled lean proteins. Limit your amount of cocktails and look for ones that are low in sugars. Try squeezing in a glass of water in-between each drink to slow you down and maintain hydration.

Hopefully these five reasons spark something in your lifestyle. If you aren’t seeing the results you think you deserve, then consider which area of your life you could improve. Not seeing the scale change or our pants fitting looser can be frustrating in any health and fitness routine. Be honest with yourself about where you are letting down and don’t give up!!! You’ve already made it this far, so why stop now?