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    DRAGONCHILDE   57,014
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My new secret weapon!


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Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Okay, I've been hinting at my new secret plan, and today, I finally get to reveal what it is.

I was privileged enough to receive an advance review copy of Sparkpeople's new book, "The Spark Solution: A Complete Two-Week Diet Program to Fast-Track Weight Loss and Total Body Health."

www.sparkpeople.c
om/sparksolution/


You've probably seen it advertised around the site.

I've been stalled for a while, mostly because of self-control issues, and when I was offered a chance to check it out, well, who am I do say no?

The plan has been absolutely fantastic. The food is good (as anyone who has tried one of Chef Meg's recipes can tell you) and the plan is easy to follow; it's about education. It's a "diet" book, I suppose, because it provides you with specific foods to eat, but what it REALLY does is teach you how to make smarter choices. It provides specific foods you might eat, and then provides an alternate option that is better, and teaches you how to make clever substitutions that lower calorie count and boost nutrition. I'm sticking white cannelini beans in the weirdest stuff now, and I'm amazed at how much bulk I'm getting as a result. ;) Seriously, who would have thought to stick kidney beans in an enchilada?

Overall, I have really enjoyed this book. It's written in the upbeat, positive style that is Sparkpeople's unique voice, and includes tons of helpful tips that when applied, can result in big changes.

I will admit I didn't do much in the way of the exercises; I have an exercise plan I follow, and prefer more advanced strength training moves. But I have been following the plan, and have been thrilled. In the first week, I lost two pounds. I'm down 4, total! Given that my weight hasn't moved in months, that's what makes me happiest. The best part is how I am not hungry; these plans provide perfect nutrition to stave off cravings, and I find I don't even miss the stuff I'm skipping.

Now, you may ask, why in the world should you get this book? Well, for starters, the freebies that come with preordering (3 months of SparkCoach, a bucket of sparkpoints, and some DVDs) are well worth the cover price anyway.

But if you're just starting out on your journey, or are stuck and bored with the plan you have... I seriously think you should consider this. I mean, come on, a diet plan that includes cookies for breakfast? Seriously? (I'm not kidding. There are breakfast cookies.)

This isn't a diet like other diets. It doesn't promise to shed pounds with little effort, or "burn fat" more than others. It's about teaching you to make healthy choices for life. Teaching you to think about what you're putting in your body, and eat for energy. It's about mindfulness. None of these recipes are "diet food" - my favorite is the curried tuna salad sandwich. I used to make my tuna sandwiches with tuna, a splotch of light mayo, and a slice of cheese. This recipe uses curry powder, cucumbers, cranberries, and a bit of greek yogurt, and it's served warm. I added a little bit of shredded mozzarella for a cheesy addition. Stuffed into a sandwich round, it was honestly the best tuna sandwich I'd ever had. :)

Nearly every recipe includes veggies. Even things that you wouldn't expect to find veggies (like the aforementioned enchiladas) have added vegetable content in ways that aren't intrusive. It doesn't feel like you're sneaking them in, but it DOES make it much easier to get those vegetable servings in each meal.

Now, there were a couple of recipes that I got a bit frustrated with. Some of this may have been my lack of sleep, but one or two were too complicated for my liking. I couldn't afford a big trip to the grocery store for some of the ingredients. However, thanks to the information in the book, I felt comfortable swapping out things in the recipe for stuff I had on hand (no cucumbers? Dice some bell peppers instead!) because that's kinda the whole point.

Best of all, this is a two week plan, but the subtitle is very misleading. This isn't just a two-week diet plan. This is a handholding introduction to healthy living, and after you finish the plan, it arms you with the tools and resources to keep moving forward. One thing any of you who have seen or read anything I write now, I don't diet. I don't deny myself, I don't skip things I enjoy, and I refuse to disallow myself any food.

That didn't change following this plan. I averaged around 1600 calories a day (a little more than the plan recommends, but necessary for me) and still had days where I had takeout pizza, or even a bowl of ramen noodles. But I did stick primarily with the plan, and will continue to follow it for a while. I stopped for about a week, and found myself immediately feeling rough again... not tracking and ignoring the things I learned caused me to pay a price. I'm planning on doing it again starting this week.

This is a plan I like. And the cheesy chicken pouch? Dear lord, that thing is a sin, and no one who is "dieting" should ever eat it. At least, it tastes like you shouldn't. But that's what I love about the Spark Solution... you can have it, and eat it, too. Guilt free.

So please, if you're looking for a change in your routine, just getting started, or are plateaued and want a change, preorder the Spark Solution. If you do this plan, you won't regret it.

Besides, it's just two weeks. How long have you been fat? Two weeks is nothing. You have that kind of time. Try it. :)

Full disclosure! I received an advance copy of this book for free from SparkPeople and did not receive any form of payment for my review.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FUNLOVEN 4/10/2013 8:59AM

    This is the second blog review I have read on this book this week. I am wondering what the difference is between the first book SP published (The Spark) and this book (The Spark Solution). Does anyone know?

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DJSHIP46 4/10/2013 8:56AM

    Waiting for my book... anxious to get started!!!

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HLOCHRIDGE 4/10/2013 8:51AM

    Going to be ordering that book as soon as I am able! Congratulations to you!

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NEWMOM20121 4/10/2013 8:50AM

    very cool

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MBEHNKEN 4/10/2013 8:48AM

    emoticon

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MICKEYH 4/10/2013 8:45AM

    emoticon can't wait for mine.

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NIKKIJ55 4/10/2013 8:44AM

    emoticon

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MIMIDOT 4/10/2013 8:41AM

    Thanks for sharing. Very interesting.

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SIMPLYABUNDANT 4/10/2013 8:37AM

    Mine is on order, and I'm looking forward to getting it. I bought it primarily because it advertised no more yo-yo'ing...which is my middle name! I know how to diet, how to work out. What I can't do is stick with a program when an avalanche of stress, grief, etc. makes me feel overwhelmed. I hope it addresses more than just calories in-calories out! Thanks for the review!

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THOMS1 4/10/2013 8:34AM

    Leave it to spark to come up with something great. emoticon

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CJYOUCANDOIT 4/10/2013 8:33AM

    Sounds like a good one! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KNYAGENYA 4/10/2013 8:30AM

    emoticon

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CHRISTINECAN 4/10/2013 8:28AM

    emoticon Interesting review,

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PENOWOK 4/10/2013 8:11AM

    nice review!

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IDICEM 4/10/2013 8:05AM

  Thanks for the review! emoticon

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BRASKIN 4/10/2013 8:03AM

  appreciate the info on the new book.

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 4/10/2013 7:50AM

    emoticon

“Change takes time. It takes time for the seeds to begin growing within, time to understand the process, time for the growth to mature, and time for the old self to die and fall away.” -Bryant McGill

Have a great day and keep ...

-:¦:-
´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.•´ .•´¨¨))
((¸¸.•´ ..•´ Spreading the Spark!-:¦:-
-:¦:- ((¸¸.•´*



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BETTERHEALTH123 4/10/2013 7:48AM

    Recipes seem very interesting for something new...but i dont think i need another "diet" book since i am an emotional eater at times....hit a bad plateu because of that reason... i guess im been on so many diets and have heard it all by now..theres no quick fix book sounds good never the less. I hate exercise besides walking and biking....

Comment edited on: 4/10/2013 7:53:07 AM

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BKNOCK 4/10/2013 7:39AM

    emoticon

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OFGREENGABLES 4/10/2013 7:38AM

    thanks for your review

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NANNABLACK 4/10/2013 7:37AM

    emoticon

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LODESTONE 4/10/2013 7:32AM

    Mine is on order. Can hardly wait to check it out. Thanks for letting me know it is a positive decision!

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RAKASHA 4/10/2013 7:28AM

    Thanks for the review!

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TDEMAIO2 4/10/2013 7:26AM

    emoticon

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WATERDIAMONDS 4/10/2013 7:22AM

    a well-balanced review of the pros/cons. thank you.

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TERMITEMOM 4/10/2013 7:18AM

    emoticon

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JANEMARIE77 4/10/2013 7:10AM

    thanks for the review I already order and I'm enjoying sparks coaching can't wait for the book

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LRSILVER 4/10/2013 7:08AM

    Thanks for the review. Very informative.

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SHERYLP461 4/10/2013 7:03AM

    enjoyed the review

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ROSE284 4/10/2013 6:55AM

    Definitely considering getting it now. Thanks for the review!

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CATE195 4/10/2013 6:28AM

    Great review of the book. emoticon

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BESSHAILE 4/10/2013 6:21AM

    Interesting - I already own the spark so I was not planning to buy this one. You have me thinking now, though......

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THEIS58 4/10/2013 6:10AM

    Sounds great!

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COOKIE_AT_51 4/10/2013 5:45AM

    Looking forward to getting it!


emoticon

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TRYINGHARD54 4/10/2013 5:32AM

    thinking about getting the book

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SANDYCRANE 4/10/2013 5:10AM

    Interesting review.

emoticon

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GHOSTFLAMES 4/10/2013 4:22AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CYDNEYLEECH 4/10/2013 4:10AM

    This really makes me look forward to the book when I get it. thanks for the preview!!!!

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OLIVIANIGHT 4/10/2013 3:54AM

    Well now i want to go out and order it! I've been stuck for a while too so maybe it's just what I need.

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CANDEE412 4/10/2013 3:53AM

    I can't wait to get my book.

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AMANDACOETZER 4/10/2013 2:58AM

    emoticon

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COLLEENROSTE 4/10/2013 2:41AM

    I can't wait for mine to arrive emoticon

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DRB13_1 4/10/2013 1:42AM

    I've ordered mine...happy to have more SparkCoach time and currently in the plateau busting track. I NEED to write down my weekly menu. When you fail to plan, you plan to fail. And I want to be a success story! emoticon

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SETAGOAL1 4/10/2013 1:36AM

    emoticon
Janet

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ILOVEFOOD590 4/10/2013 1:29AM

    NICE! Keep up the good work!

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VTRICIA 4/9/2013 11:09PM

    I knew it! [/prince humperdink]
But this sounds great. I am looking forward to getting mine, and I've enjoyed being back on sparkcoach as a result. That was the real tipping point in favor of my getting it, though I like the cardio blast dvd as well.

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1STATEOFDENIAL 4/9/2013 7:27PM

    I'm glad it has made a difference for you! This was a well-written review - I hope others will heed your advice and give it a try.

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MARINEMAMA 4/9/2013 7:05PM

    Thanks for sharing!!! Might check it out!

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ARCHIMEDESII 4/9/2013 3:37PM

    What a wonderful review ! I'm thrilled that it's helped you break a plateau !!

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JADOMB 4/9/2013 3:32PM

    I think this is a great idea for those that need an extra boost or restart. I have been planning on signing up for the spark coach once I get back into my full routine and get back to where I was when I stopped. At that point I was feeling I could use a bit more info and help.

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