Sunday, August 12, 2012
28 Day Cleanse
At the beginning of the summer a friend invited me to an Arbonne party. Similar to Pampered Chef, or Tupperware, it is one of those independent consultant companies. The products they offer are all natural though. Right up my alley, so I was the perfect invite!
My friend had decided to embark on the 28 day cleanse and was also planning on a lifestyle switch to a Paleo diet. No way. Not me. I love food. There was no way I could make a drastic lifestyle change like that, but I decided to at least give the cleanse a try. I never let it inhibit me, it was more empowering. Granted, I had my cheats, but I did my best to abide one hundred percent.
So here I am, 28 days later, to let you know how things went...
A little preface... I feel like I was a pretty healthy eater before. I eat everything, but in moderation. I don't eat fast food, ever. I eat organic when I can. So I honestly thought there wasn't going to be much to "cleanse". But, I have a pot belly, a little souvenir from pregnancy eight years ago, and while I work out, it does nothing. So when I learned I could be carrying around harmful pollutants and undigestable irritants in my GI tract, I thought that might be my problem to losing my belly.
So what I couldn't have on the cleanse was wheat/gluten, dairy, yeast, sugar, alcohol, vinegar, caffeine, corn, potatoes (except sweet), peanuts and soy. This made cooking difficult, as I am very much a butter person. But the only oils I could use were coconut oil and olive oil. I already use olive oil regularly, so it was mostly about replacing butter and canola with coconut. I also had to give up my daily cup of coffee. This resulted in caffeine withdrawal headaches for about 3 days.
But the beauty is, after those three days I had fabulous amounts of energy. Prior to the cleanse I'd hit an afternoon slump where all I did was feel like napping and I'd come home from work and eat to get my energy back up. Now, I don't need an afternoon snack and I workout after work, with no worries on energy to fuel my workout. Another crazy thing? No more headaches! I was the person who had headaches almost every day. It is probably the greatest benefit of this cleanse for me, because my incessant headaches truly made my life miserable. And the results of the reason I decided to cleanse? I lost ten pounds, 4 inches off my belly around my belly button and 2 inches off the lower belly (measured at 2 inches below my belly button). I lost the most in the first week, and actually added a couple inches back on, probably because I figured out how to cook!
We've been doing p90x, so I will continue to tone up, and I will maintain the "cleanse" style of eating, gradually adding things I miss back into my diet and seeing how my body reacts to it. And if it's negative, I will know I cannot eat those things regularly, only as treats. So, how does it work? Well you can google "Arbonne 28 day cleanse" for a more in depth description, but here's what I did.
I replaced my morning coffee with detox tea.
For breakfast (previously I ate none) I made a meal replacement shake out of 1/2 cup organic almond milk, 2 scoops Arbonne vegan protein, 1/4 cup carb (I used organic frozen strawberries), 1 teaspoon flax seed oil, 1 scoop Arbonne fiber and sometimes I'd throw in a handful of spinach. I also have a juicer, so sometimes I would juice blue berries, carrots, apples and spinach and mix that in instead of frozen berries.
For lunch I would have a salad of organic spinach or mixed greens, layered with onions, carrots, celery, tomatoes and a hard boiled egg for protein, and drizzled with olive oil for fat. Your plate should be 1/2 veggies, 1/4 protein, 1/8 carb and 1/8 fat. I would snack on organic raspberries and strawberries inbetween meals as my "carb".
Dinner was difficult. I had to feed my family while still maintaining my cleanse. So I bought a Paleo cookbook since the cleanse is quite similar. (paleo cannot eat beans or rice, on the cleanse I can). Dinner was the only time I'd eat meat (unless I had leftovers for lunch) which is fine with me, organic meat is VERY expensive. I've also never been one to have to have meat at every meal. I would just stick to the plate division rule, and try to creatively season my veggies to make them more interesting and flavorful. I will share some recipes soon!
I had a cup of detox tea before bed as well.
For sweeteners you could use agave, stevia or xylitol (apparently natural). I had Agave already, so I used it in my tea. You are not supposed to eat after 7 p.m. This rule I violated constantly. My schedule doesn't allow it. Impossible most of the time.
Post workout I'd have a recovery shake consisting of 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1 scoop Arbonne protein, 1/4 cup carb (frozen berries, or if I used rice milk, none) and 1/2 a banana or 1/2 cup pineapple plus water.
I am really looking forward to maintaining this organic healthy lifestyle. I want to be a good example for my daughter, and I don't want our family plagued with health problems often associated with processed and pesticide ridden foods. I also love the respect for the earth that organic farmers have. As a gardener myself, I have a true appreciation for the hard work that goes into producing these crops. It is not easy, and it is understandable the price difference. So in order to compensate for this, we will of course eat our own produce (this year we have green beans, tomatoes, zucchini, pumpkin and rhubarb), as well as eat seasonally. Continuing to limit meat consumption will ease the costs of organic, free range, grass fed meats.
So how about my cheats? The first cheat was in my second week. I had a mini pistachio gelato at Whole Foods while grocery shopping. I felt fine. Next, (beginning third week) I had a half a turkey sandwich at the lake with a friend. I was bloated in the belly the next day, but felt fine. At the end of the third week we went out to eat and I had a Brie and granny smith apple grilled cheese sandwhich with sweet potato fries. The restaurant uses responsible ingredients, so I have no qualms there, but I instantly felt tired and ended up napping that day. This was at the end of the third week, and I also gave two vials of blood that morning and we walked in the hundred degree heat for a couple hours, so many factors could be to blame here, I consider it a horrible combination of all! The next day I had s'mores in our backyard (3). I had a headache the following day.
So I'm learning what I can and cannot eat, what's affordable, what's best for me to keep me feeling good and energetic in my lifestyle. I'm taking it a day at a time and remembering to live too, this is not a diet, it's a healthier lifestyle.