OVERVIEW OF THE PROGRAM
On January 4th, Tom and I started a Clean Eating Challenge created by the company I've been working for since November. Arbonne calls it "30 Days to Healthy Living and Beyond" but the National Group I work within has designed a plan they call "28 Days of Clean Eating" because they do a few things differently than the general plan.
1. They encourage and guide you in clean eating. (list of foods to avoid, and what to increase in your diet, brand suggestions, meal plans)
2. You eliminate acidic and allergenic foods (gluten, soy, corn, sugar, coffee, vinegar, etc)
3. You supplement your diet with the products in the 30 Days kit. (Protein Shakes, Fiber boost, Energy drinks, Digestive Enzymes/Probiotics/Prebiotic, a 7 Day Cleanse, Herbal Detox tea)) and Fit Chews (instead of candy - if you are junkie like me). They help a lot!
The 28 Days plan puts you into a Facebook group (or email group if you aren't on facebook, or I can give live support).
The group provides guidance and support through the whole 28 days, plus afterwards (that's the BEYOND part).
In the group you get meal plans, and grocery lists to help you eat clean all week, keep it easy, and stick to a budget.
I want to write a little bit about my experience with it, and my results, and what is next for me!
1. I didn't really exercise during this program. I didn't want to, that's one reason why. BUT in my next program I will. I want to do crunches at the very least. I have a lot of work to do in this post-baby body. I wanted to see what my results would be if I did it as a real person who just stuck to the plan. and here they are!
|Iris took this delightful photo of me. You can see why I wanted to eat better.|
Week 1: (KIDS WERE SICK)
I loved that everything was already Gluten-free, and Dairy-free. I loved that I didn't have to worry about our allergies. Some recipes (Apple Pie Oatmeal) had cinnamon, and some had almonds, so that was a place I had to pay attention - but I've been working around things like that forever, so it was ok.
It was pretty easy to transition to Clean eating. Drinking a milkshake for breakfast and in the afternoon felt like a total treat. I could still eat Fit Chews (which are the consistency of Salt Water Taffy, but give you a smooth energy boost). Skipping coffee was ok - the Energy Fizz sticks also give a nice smooth energy that I liked having.
On Coffee: I like to come downstairs and drink my cup of coffee, black, like my soul. I like how the acid burns in my belly. I like the hit. I want everyone to leave me alone and I want my fix. Honestly.
But, switching to the fizz sticks changed that. Its a light fruity, refreshing drink. It gives you the energy fix you want, but not the "junkie" feeling who needs the fix. Does that make sense. I think the biggest change for me was that my energy became MUCH much smoother throughout the day. No big swings or crashes, or hyperness (I know you don't believe that I wasn't hyper). It affects my mood and the way I respond to the kids - so this is a big win for me.
Weight loss: I lost 4 lbs the first week!
Not Clean - I realized a few of our foods from the past week were not clean - hummus had vinegar, salsa had sugar, and some of the Vegan cheese we were eating had potato in it. SO I realized I had to do a better job of reading labels.
Meals were great, shopping was easy because of the shopping list. It became pretty automatic - but with a little more label reading.
Weight loss: 3 lbs.
Week 3: Everyone on the facebook group did the 7 day body cleanse this week. They got re-grumpy as they eliminated, and then they felt better by the end of the week. I really wanted to do it - and I tried to somehow get it into my plan - but I wasn't supposed to try it because I am nursing. I struggled because I wanted to do the whole plan completely, and fully so I could report back here.
But we stuck with the meal plan, and the grocery shopping was easy and focused.
I was getting bored with the shakes - seriously I was just doing plain vanilla and plain chocolate. So I started branching out with shake flavors - Vanilla and Citrus Fizz stick (Dreamscicle), Chocolate and Coconut cream, -Vanilla and allspice (Chai). this helped a lot! There are tons of recipes on the Arbonne website, and within the group.
Weight loss: 3 lbs
Week 4: SNOWSTORM of DOOM. This week was hard. The hardest so far for me. Snow makes me want to stuff my face and eat junk. I made a lot of hot chocolates and hot vanilla (with protein powder). I made protein powder cupcakes. I made protein powder pancakes. It was all yummy, but NOT junk (what I really really really wanted) I was grumpy.
|It is SO exciting to see results!|
We also ran out of the Fiber Boost which was something we would add into our shakes, it helps you feel fuller, and we didn't have it. So I think I was more hungry than normal. In all of this, I ate... a few slices of gluten-free bread, which has potato in it. I also had an inch of coffee, about twice. I sent a message to my sponsor when I "cheated" so that I would be accountable to them. On the last day, of the clean eating, I had some gluten-free fried food at an Indian Restaurant, and there was potato in it again. *sigh* I had a few "failures" in the program this week, and I was feeling so unmotivated because of the snow... but I did it.
Weight loss: 2lbs.
Measurement totals: I lost....
ONE inch in my bust.
THREE inches in my waist at my belly button.
FOUR inches in the two inches below my belly button (WOO HOO!)
ONE inch in my hips (I think they got bigger since Gianna)
ONE inch in my thigh. AND I lost
THREE inches from my big fat arm (bicep).
I am solidly in my pre-pregnancy pants! I now fit into about 8 more pairs of pants. I am SO happy about this. It is so sad to not have any clothes that fit.
I lost 12 pounds.
|I hope my brother doesn't see this. He'd be so embarrassed. And yes, I am holding in my stomach in BOTH of these photos. BOTH.|
I DIDN'T EAT SUGAR!
I am have never NOT eaten sugar (candy, chocolate, junk) for a month before!!!!
I didn't crave it, because I got to have shakes and fit chews and chocolate and vanilla deliciousness. My cravings never got ahead of me in those regards because they were satisfied.
I didn't eat it for Iris' birthday, our 10 year wedding anniversary, and not even during that darn snowstorm of doom.
I am SO proud of myself, and I can't believe how "easy" it was to lose this weight.
I have done Weight Watchers and I find that I spend all of my time obsessing about food and how I can eat more candybars if I eat enough salad.
I have used running to lose weight, and I am always hungry, I run more, eat more... I am always hungry when I run.
I felt that I could eat if I was hungry, and if I wasn't hungry - I didn't want to eat. I wasn't eating because I was exhausted or tired, because of the fizz sticks and fit chews - they really evened out that part of my stress eating.
Dinners were hearty and substantial, easy to make and yummy to eat. Some of them were so big that we had tons of leftovers. They weren't expensive to make.
Overall we went about $100 over on our meal budget, but we pretty much do this every month, we probably should up our budget. The snow helped too.
The kids liked many of the meals, but not all of them. That's also pretty standard.
|Pizza night was a win!|
I am going to eat mostly clean for the next week and a half and then I will be starting another Clean Eating Challenge on Ash Wednesday........
We are doing "A Lenten Journey to Healthy Living and Beyond" That's right. FYI: Arbonne is NOT a Christian Organization - However, we run our individual businesses the way we we see fit and there are a whole bunch of us in the Nation who are Christian and want to lead a Lenten version of the 30 days program. I am SO EXCITED!!!!!!! why? Because I am going to co-lead it.
Seriously, if you are still reading this, and you know me, you know that I've always loved health (a BS in Exercise Science and a MS in Public Health don't lie) and I have always loved my faith and I ALWAYS have dreamed of this intersection. I didn't start Arbonne to sell face masks and shampoo. I started Arbonne to bring GOOD to people, to BLESS others, to share HEALTH and GOOD products, and a GREAT company.
I feel so blessed that on Ash Wednesday, we are going to start a program that incorporates the Clean Eating Program, Daily Devotions, and a Weekly Pray-in where we can share the intentions we are praying for!
If you are interested in learning more about the the Lenten Journey, or a non-religious Clean Eating Challenge, I'd love to tell you more about it all. Feel free to ask any questions!