What is collagen?

Have you heard of collagen?

If you’re the least bit interested in beauty and/or health, I’m sure you’ve seen it referenced a time or two. It is the newest buzzword in the health and beauty industries… and for good reason!

So, what IS collagen?

Per Medical News Today, “Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, found in the bones, muscles, skin, and tendons.”

Okay, so collagen is a protein… what’s the big deal?

Well it IS a big deal if you care about the health of your connective tissues… I’m talking joint health, healthy skin, nails and hair, and reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Did I catch your attention yet?

Collagen is important when it comes to your body growing new connective tissue – that means keeping joints, bones and tendons healthy as well as quickly replenishing skin, hair and nail cells (the quicker our body can replenish cells, the younger our skin/hair/nails appear). When we are young, collagen is produced by our bodies in abundance, but as we age and expose our body to UV radiation and other environmental factors, our bodies produce less and less collagen. This is why we associate popping joints, brittle nails/hair, and wrinkles with aging… our body produces less collagen to prevent these age-related issues.

Besides age, what else can reduce collagen production?

  • High sugar consumption (UGH, I KNOWWW… even more reason to keep that sweet tooth in check!)
  • Smoking
  • UV Rays
  • Genetics

So, what can we do to prevent collagen loss?

The biggest factor in maintaining healthy collagen production is – you guessed it, a healthy diet. Consuming the correct amounts of Vitamins A and C, copper (found in nuts, red meats and shellfish), as well as Proline (found in egg whites, meat, and cheese) can aid in the production of collagen.

Along with a healthy diet, I’ve chosen to supplement my collagen over the past few months. I’ve tried a few brands and while, I do think they work (although it is still a bit early to tell…), they either don’t mix well or leave an awful flavor when I mix them into my smoothies or water.

Because I’m always looking for new health and beauty supplements to try, I was SO excited when AdvoCare announced the launch of its Glow system a few weeks ago! There are three products in the system, one of which is a collagen supplment. YAY!!!

Glow is a three-step system designed to promote the health of our skin, hair and nails. It is comprised of three products – Collagen, Skin, and Hair & Nails, and it has received only RAVE reviews from the ladies (and gentlemen!) that were given the opportunity to test it before it was released to the public.

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Step 1 is Glow Collagen. This supplement supports skin firmness and elasticity, promotes healthy skin cell function, and helps support natural collagen and elastin fiber production. It is a drink mix that is a cherry berry flavor and my oh my is it ever tasty!! It is much better than other collagen products I’ve tasted!

Step 2 is Glow Skin. This supplement provides antioxidants to support skin health, helps promote healthy aging of the skin, and supports healthy skin quality and structure. It is a single pill you consume daily.

Step 3 is Glow Hair & Nails. This supplement promotes healthy hair growth, supports lustrous hair (yes, please!!), and contains nutrients that support hair and nail strength. It is also a single pill you consume daily.

As I am now entering my mid-30’s (say whattt??), taking care of my body is one of my main priorities. I eat mostly healthy, I exercise, I *try* to get enough sleep (LOL, I’m a mom… yeah, right!), and I supplement to fill in any nutritional gaps my diet may not provide.

For me, staying healthy also means looking healthy. Is that shallow? Maybe, but if products can not only make me look better but also keep my skin, hair, nails, and other connective tissues healthier, count me in!

I am currently participating in a Glow Challenge where everyone is taking the new AdvoCare Glow System for 30 days and sharing their real results. The online group is private and very supportive, open, and a big ol’ self-love fest. We have been sharing photos of our before images this week along with photos that make us feel like we are GLOWing. I am loving this new “challenge” and all of the love and support we are showing each other.

If you’re interested in learning more about Glow, please don’t hesitate to reach out. There is no time like the present to put a little love into yourself and begin glowing both inside and out!

January 2, 2017 – What are YOUR goals?

2017 is right around the corner and I have one question for you. Okay, actually TWO questions for you ;)

What are YOUR health goals for 2017? And what will you be doing to improve your health on January 2, 2017?

  • Are you looking to lose a few of those holiday pounds? Or maybe, finally – once and for all, shed that baby weight? 
  • Do you want to improve your fitness game? Gain lean muscle mass? See those biceps POP?
  • What about your energy? Is one of your health focuses for the new year to have the same amount of energy you did as a teenager?
  • Eat healthier? Be more active? Feel fantastic inside and out? Fulfill something that is missing in your life?

What is stopping you from achieving your goals? Do you not know where to start? Does it seem intimidating? Have you ever considered working with a personal trainer and/or health coach to reach your goals?

I can’t answer these questions for you, you gotta dig deep for that. I can, however, tell you what program changed my health and life (and many of my personal training clients’ lives) for the better. Are you willing to listen? Maybe you already know…

AdvoCare.

Yup, this company has changed my life and I am so grateful. They released a HUGE announcement today and I cannot wait to share it with you all.

I am SO excited to announce that AdvoCare shared their 2017 ALL-IN 24-Day Challenge with the world TODAY!

AdvoCare has been my choice for a healthier lifestyle going on 3 years (has it been that long?! Read more about my story here.) I use AdvoCare products daily for energy, improved workout performance (BODYPUMP!!), gaining lean muscle mass, and to feel great! My personal training clients have seen incredible results with the addition of not only the 24-Day Challenge, but also the Performance Elite products into their fitness routine. I love that the products are developed and tested by a team of scientists, nutritionists, and physicians, the products are 3rd party tested for banned substances, AND that AdvoCare provides multiple solutions for both the physical (energy, weight management, wellness, sports performance) and financial areas of your life.

I am so very grateful AdvoCare entered my life almost 3 years ago!

So, what’s this ALL-In 24-Day Challenge?!

The ALL-IN Challenge includes the same fabulous products as the regular 24-Day Challenge PLUS bonus items AND free shipping from now until December 20, 2016. *While supplies last!*

Oh, and did I mention a JUMBO BOTTLE OF CATALYST?! <– Can you tell I’m excited? This mega bottle is only available to those who decide to go ALL-IN and is going FAST.

You better bet your britches that my January 2017 AdvoCare ALL-IN 24-Day Challenge has been ordered… Plus the jumbo bottle of Catalyst (obviously…)! I would LOVE LOVE LOVE for you to join me and kick start a healthier lifestyle for YOUR 2017!

The challenge can be customized to fit any health goals and/or budget, so please comment below or shoot me an email (becky@olivesnwine.com) so I can help you customize a package to meet your needs. I would love to tell you about the fantastic products, discount options, and business opportunity if you are interested.

There are so many important health goals to choose from, not only for the beginning of 2017 but for each and every day that we wake up. I encourage you to make the decision to make 2017 your healthiest year yet. It doesn’t matter which program you decide to follow or how small the step, any movement towards health is in the right direction!

2016 – A new year!

I always get a little sentimental thinking of this day two years ago… Okay, today plus two days if we’re counting down to the last second ;)

Kyle and I were visiting Ames for an early Christmas celebration with my family and I remember sitting on my mom’s sofa cursing her slow internet connection as I was attempting to respond to an email from my friend, Lauren. She invited me to participate in a New Years’ challenge and I was so excited, I couldn’t wait to respond with “HECK YES, count me in!”

The thing is, I had been thinking about trying out Advocare for almost a year but I always found an excuse… time, money, prior commitments, skepticism… You name it, I listed it off as a “reason” to why I couldn’t/shouldn’t/wouldn’t try Advocare.

Thankfully, something changed when I read her email that afternoon. Maybe I just needed a little push in the right direction, a friend to help me along the way, someone to lead me toward something better…  It just so happened that I decided to finally make a change for the better in December 2013. 

A LOT has changed for us in the past two years – a big move south, The Deanster, leaving corporate America, and pursuing my passion in health and fitness.

Never once did it cross my mind that by saying yes to Advocare that cold December day I would be setting myself up for an incredible and (almost) unbelievable journey. Advocare has not only taught us how to live a balanced, healthy lifestyle but through A LOT of hard work it has provided residual income, an incredible group of friends, and an avenue for me to begin my personal training business. I’m not certain I will ever be able to give a big enough “thank you” to everyone who has helped me on this little journey of mine!

Oftentimes I kick myself for not starting sooner. Why did I wait an entire year to jump on board? I could have been one whole year further into my journey… But then I realize we start when we are ready. Maybe that is you, maybe you are ready to take the leap and start a healthier way of living in 2016.

All-In 2016

If you’ve been thinking about this Advo thing… Maybe thinking about it for a LONG time like I did… I’d love for you to join me for our 2016 ALL-IN challenge. The products are safe and effective. You will feel great and have loads of energy. And you never know, it may just change your life like it did mine.

If you’re ready to start and want to join us for our ALL-IN January 2016 24 Day Challenge, you can find more details here.

You can read more about my journey (and see some of my before/after photos!) here.

I’m always available (and I secretly LOVE it!) to chat about Advocare as well. If you’d like to chat, feel free to shoot me an email: becky@olivesnwine.com – We can talk about your goals and how Advocare can help you reach them in 2016 and beyond.

So let’s hear it, who is ALL IN with me for 2016?

Cyber Monday!

One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving weekend – well, besides the food! – is Cyber Monday.

You’re back in the office after a long weekend, not looking forward to catching up on your inbox when BAM! Sales galore across internet-land!

Cyber Monday is even better if you have kids – No getting everyone into the car, dragging them around the store, waiting in lines… Just turn on that computer of yours and with a few clicks all of your Christmas presents (for others and yourself, hehe!) will arrive at your door within a few days time.

Pretty sweet if you ask me!

I’m especially excited for this Cyber Monday… Why is that?

AdvoCare is throwing their FIRST EVER Cyber Monday event! You guys. AdvoCare products never (like never ever ever EVER) go on sale and starting today, they are offering some pretty fab discounts on their best selling – and my favorite! – products.

I’m not going to admit how much Spark and Catalyst will be showing up at my doorstep in a few days… ;)

What makes this deal even better is that your member discount applies ON TOP of the reduced prices! Yes, please! Not a member? No biggie – Shoot me a note and we can get you the best price on the best energy, nutrition, fitness, and weight management products on the market.

The only thing better than Spark is Spark at a discount. Cheers to that!

Get your AdvoCare Cyber Monday deal here.

“Challenge” Results

I always love reading about other women’s health journeys so I thought I’d share part of my postpartum story today.

Before I jump in, you’re probably wondering why the word challenge is in quotations in the title. Here’s the thing, I’m still breastfeeding so my body’s numero uno job right now is to feed Baby Dean. Like a lot of women who have recently had babies, of course I want to go all out, balls to wall, get the baby weight and lumps gone, BUT I wanted to be realistic with myself. If you are feeding another human, you should not “challenge” your body, it is already being put through the ringer. You gotta love yourself where you are at and make small improvements. The small daily changes are what create long lasting improvements anyways.

With that being said, for the past 24 days I continued with my favorite AdvoCare products (I’ll share my exact schedule below.), kept up with my normal fitness routine, and cleaned up my diet to make sure I was consuming whole, good for mama and baby foods.

I’ll start by sharing my results since that is the most exciting part and then I’ll jump into my supplementation schedule below!

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Results <– I think the photos speak for themselves, yes?

Number Results:

  • I’m down 8 pounds.
  • I lost 6.5 inches, 3 of which came off of my stomach.

And because we all know, numbers only tell a small fraction of the story, here are my other “results” that I am loving these days:

  • My skinny jeans fit again!!! Actually all of my clothes, even my Skinny Minnie dresses fit (and look good on me <– self brag, it’s good to be confident in yourself and it is something I’m working on) again. Wahoo!
  • I feel great – My mood is wonderful, I’m happy, I am more outgoing when I’m in public… I just have an overall, “I feel fab” mindset these days.
  • Dean is sleeping through the night – I’m not sure whether this is age-related (It started a few days before he hit the 3 month mark) or related to eliminating sugar and crap from my diet, I guess we will see the next time I indulge in a big ol’ cookie ;) Either way, 9-10 hours/night has been much welcomed.
  • I have a crazy energy boost – I’m sure everyone can agree, extra energy is always welcome :)
  • My workouts have stepped up a notch – I no longer feel like I’m out of breath while teaching (or taking) BODYPUMP and I no longer need a nap after spending an hour in the gym. Yay!

While I obviously want to continue to see results – mainly in my fitness performance and core strength, I am happy with where I am at 3 months postpartum. There are (unfortunately, haha) no quick fixes, but hard work will take you far!

Now, let’s chat my supplement schedule. Here is what I took:

  • Upon waking: Probiotic Restore, 2 Catalyst, and Spark + Rehydrate
  • 30-60 minutes later: Peaches ‘n Cream Fiber Drink followed with 24 ounces of water (I took the fiber each day during days 1-10 and then every 3-4 days during days 11-24)
  • 15-20 minutes later: 2 OmegaPlex with breakfast
  • With lunch or dinner: CorePlex (serves as a prenatal) and 2 OmegaPlex
  • I also had MRS on hand for when my sweet tooth struck. I’m obsessed with making mug cakes with them now!

My workout supplementation:

Going forward, I plan on sticking to everything I listed out above and an 80/20 schedule. Eat well most of the time (it is good for Baby Dean and it makes me feel great), and throw in some treats along the way. Life isn’t worth living without chocolate and wine and pizza and the good stuff, am I right? Balance is the key to happiness and I know I will continue to get closer to my goals each and every day.

My team is kicking off a group, “back to school” challenge beginning right after Labor Day – September 8th! If you want in shoot me an email (becky@olivesnwine.com). It’ll be tons of fun – Lotsa new friends, tons of support and motivation, healthy recipes, tasty Spark, and more!

As always, thanks to everyone who has supported Kyle and I since Baby Dean made his appearance! It’s been a journey and I appreciate all of our friends and family who have helped along the way. He is a lucky little guy to have so much love in his life :)

The Value of Time

As I sit here and try to wrap my head around this weekend, my mind keeps returning to one word. Time.

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I haven’t mentioned it here on the ol’ blog, but Kyle and I earned an AdvoCare beach incentive trip to no other than Naples, Florida. The trip (although it wasn’t a long one for us!), took place over the past four days where we joined fellow champions from around the country.

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The weekend was an incredible vacation.

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We had amazing Gulfside views.

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We participated in fun events, including the Beach Olympics. Our team came in 2nd, BTW… Go Team Pro20!

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We met amazing individuals and spent time with some of our favorite Sparkheads.

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(Bonus points if you can find us!)

And, of course, we drank a lot of Spark.

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But the weekend wasn’t about vacation. It wasn’t about the views or the delicious food or the time in the pool. The weekend was so much more than that and it is difficult to put into words.

And yet I keep coming back to one single word, time.

If I had to decide on one takeaway from the entire experience, it would be about time. The most valuable gift we can give anyone in our lifetime isn’t money or possessions… It is the gift of TIME. Time is our most important, yet finite, resource and every minute you spend away from your loved ones or doing something you love is a minute that is gone forever.

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Y’all. We are blessed to have choices in this life. We can choose how we live our lives and how we spend our time. I don’t know about you, but I am going to my live life on my terms. And my terms are all about spending time with those I love.

AdvoCare incentive trips are just one portion of our overall compensation package through AdvoCare. Trips are not guaranteed but with A LOT of hard work and by helping others achieve their goals, they can be earned.

Want to learn more?

Y’all know I love my Spark. Like love, love, LOVE my Spark… especially now that I can call it my “mommy juice” ;)

I’m not alone in my love for all things AdvoCare. If you’ve been curious about Advo and want to learn more, a few amazing ladies from my team are hosting a webinar this evening at 9pm EST/8pm CST! They will be sharing the many ways AdvoCare has impacted their lives and how it can help you reach your personal goals, whether they be physical or financial.

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I know I can’t wait to listen in and I hope you join me – Listen in while you’re making/eating dinner, driving home from the gym, or relaxing before bed in your sweats… That’s the beauty of the internet, my friends :)

Use this link to log into the webinar.

Go Sparkheads!

How do I take Catalyst??!

The most frequent questions I receive in regards to AdvoCare are about Catalyst.

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When do I take it? How many do I take? What does it do? Will it give me your shoulders?! 

Okay, I’m kidding on the the last one ;) But yes, it will up your shoulder and your bicep and your entire lean muscle mass game!

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First of all, let’s chat about Catalyst. What is it? What does it do?

Besides being my second favorite Advo product (next to Spark, obvi…), Catalyst is an amino acid supplement that supports muscle tone as well as enhances strength and energy.

Per the bottle, the Catalyst supplement preserves, firms and tone muscles… [it] also enhances strength and provides sustained energy during physical activity.

It was part of my marathon training supplement regimen and it is something that I still take on a daily basis.

Catalyst is an optional add-on for the 24-Day Challenge (I always recommend it because, like I said above, it is my second favorite product and I take it daily!) and can be taken during the 24 days to boost results and continued on Day 25 and beyond.

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Alright, so onto the next question… When do you take it?

The good thing about Catalyst is that there really is no wrong way to supplement with it. I recommend people start out with 2 pills upon waking with their morning Spark and then 2 pills with their pre-workout Spark in the afternoon/evening. I am one of the crazy Catalyst takers (yes, all approved by my doctor!), my supplementation is as follows… take 3 in the morning with your Spark, 3 mid-afternoon with your Spark, and 3 before bed with water.

Game. Changer.

Now, how many do you take?

The general rule of thumb with Catalyst is one pill per 50 pounds of body weight (rounding up), with a max of 9 pills per day. Most people will fall into the 3 pills/serving category. That is what I take, 3x/day. Once I added Catalyst to my BODYPUMP and running routine, BAM. Hellooooo lean muscles. And, what’s even better is that they didn’t disappear with my maniac marathon training schedule. Yup, I was able to maintain my lean muscle mass while running 20-30 miles per week.

Finally, will it give me your shoulders??!

You obviously can’t just take Catalyst and expect a miracle to happen – that isn’t what Advo is about – you gotta put in the work along with taking the supplements.. Thankfully, Catalyst will only up your game and get you to your goals quicker than you would get there on your own.

Plus, did ya know that Catalyst (and all of the Performance Elite products) are Informed-Choice.com certified? That means there is nothing illegal or bad for your bod in the mix and athletes – professional and everyday, can feel 100% safe and confident taking Advo. Rock on my muscle-lovin’ friends. Advo’s got ya covered.

Now, let’s work on those shoulders!

Time for Round #2

I know y’all remember Round #1.

It was the biggest in history!

Well, I have exciting news, because Round #2 begins April 6th… yes, that is two weeks from today.

A healthier YOU by summer? It IS possible and I’d love for you to join me and see where you can go!

All In Round 2

Improve your running times by the time race training begins? Work on those abs for beach volleyball? (I mean, you HAVE seen Rich Froning right? Did you know that he’s been using Advo for years?) Find that extra energy to chase your kiddos around all summer? Lose a few pounds from the winter that would never end? Earn some extra income for your summer vacation?

Whatever your goal, it is ALL possible with AdvoCare and it begins with 24 days.

As my friend Lauren said not to long ago, just begin. Just. Begin.

Because really, what do you have to lose?

For more details, contact me at becky@olivesnwine.com or use the Contact link at the top of the page.

Ready to commit? You can find everything you need for your challenge here.

As always, you’ll receive my support and motivation, recipe suggestions, personal coaching, an invite to my private Facebook group that now holds almost 2,000 fellow challengers, and 24 days that will change. your. life.

Yes, the 24 days will be life changing. How do I know? Because those 24 days I embarked on last January changed my life and I WILL see that they do the same for you.

Advo Hacks #2

I was going to save this post for the future as I just posted my first hack last week. However, this Advo Hack has been saving my life so I couldn’t hold it back from y’all any longer. It just wouldn’t seem right!

If you follow me on my new Insta, you saw my post about the awful pregnancy leg cramps I experienced after returning from Iowa. I’d like to blame the winter weather that we had the “joy” of visiting while there, but I have always gotten leg cramps and they have just seemed to intensify during my 7th month of pregnancy.

Blame it on dehydration. Blame it on the dry weather. Blame it on pressure changes in the airplane. Blame it on pregnancy. Blame it on being super active and probably not stretching my muscles as much as they should be stretched.

Blame it on whatever you like.

Whatever the cause, I have a solution. The good news is that this solution isn’t just for pregnancy leg and foot cramps, it is for ALL muscle cramps.

And it is magic. By magic, I mean it will grant you a night full of painless sleep and will prevent you from scaring the crap out of your husband because you wake up hyperventilating from pain at 3am ;)

I don’t have a fancy name for this one, but it doesn’t matter because the combo works!

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Let’s call it… HydraCalcium

You can take this concoction twice per day, plain ol’ Rehydrate as many times per day as you like, and it is safe for us preggos :)

I love Calcium Plus as it not only provides 50% of my daily calcium needs, but it also contains magnesium which helps your body absorb that much needed nutrient, calcium. And did ya know that muscle cramps can be caused by low levels of calcium, magnesium, and potassium in your body? (Reference) Calcium Plus contains ALL three minerals… combine that with the hydrating powers of Rehydrate and you have yourself the perfect mix for an athlete, a pregnant woman, someone who tends to get dehydrated easily, and anyone who tends to get muscle cramps!

Mmm… HydraCalcium – I think it is time for my daily dose!

Find my previous Advo Hacks here:

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