Some back story – after my second pregnancy (that resulted in Asher), I was struggling to lose the weight I put on. I only put on about 20 pounds with Brynn because I had gestational diabetes. I could control is with diet, but only if I was super strict, so I ended up losing weight near the end of that pregnancy.
And for anyone that is saying, “oh shut up!” right now, I totally understand, because I would be saying the same thing now! 😉 That’s because I gained a little over 50 pounds with Asher. Yikes! Somehow I didn’t have gestational diabetes with Asher, and with a toddler running around at the time, I was definitely not making great food choices.
The good news: I was successful in losing about 40 of the 50 pounds, which took me a little over a year.
The not great news: I was still pretty unhappy with the way I looked at the time, which was, mind you, only back in like April of this year. I didn’t really know what to do, since I’m not a big exerciser (read: I hate exercise).
That’s when my sister suggested Arbonne. She had mentioned it to me before, but to be honest, it just seemed too hard. I wasn’t sure I could really successfully follow it (plus, I’ll admit, it is a bit pricey).
So I put it off for a long time. Until May of this year, that is! That’s when I went to my sister’s house for an Arbonne party (it’s one of those direct sales, deals like Tupperware, Tastefully Simple, or Norwex).
I had prepped myself beforehand (I do love to research), so I knew walking in, I was going to buy in and really do it.
So what is it anyway? I’ll break it down, in my own language (with some of their jargon mixed in):
- It is not supposed to be just a diet, it’s really about a lifestyle change
- The “rules” are to eliminate a lot of foods from your current diet, specifically:
- Sugar and artificial sweeteners
- Peanuts and peanut butter
- Non-lean meats (some resources say to avoid all beef except grass-fed)
- Coffee (I guess it’s really not the caffeine that is “bad” but the acidity of coffee, so no de-caf either)
- White potatoes (sweet potatoes are OK)
- Then the rules start to get a bit inconsistent; my sister never cut corn from her diet, but a lot of sources online mentioned to cut all corn products as well. Also, my sister was told she could eat any fruit, but lots of resources on the interweb state that you can only eat green apples, berries, lemons, and limes.
- Side note: In my opinion, I think the limit on fruit seems ridiculous. I tried to have more green apples and berries, but didn’t restrict myself the few times other fruit was available (especially in lieu of something else like potato chips!)
Here’s a list of foods to remove (and what to replace them with) from Arbonne themselves:
Plus, if you Google around for “Arbonne Foods to Avoid” you can find lots of other infographics on Pinterest and other sites. 🙂
So I mentioned it is a but pricey, so naturally you may be wondering what do you actually have buy? You can buy products individually, or you can buy a kit that offers the best deal (if you use and like all the products of course). Since I was new to everything, I wanted to try it all to really get the best experience. Here is what comes in the kit:
- Meal replacement vegan protein shakes (one for breakfast per day and one for lunch),
- Fiber powder to add to your shakes,
- “Digestion Plus”, also to add to your shakes,
- Detox tea,
- 7 Day Cleanse (separate drink packets), and
- Fizz sticks (mild energy drinks to help those, like me, going cold turkey from drinking coffee daily to none at all).
And since I’m trying to keep it real here folks, here are my overall thoughts on the challenge and the products. Of course, please note, these are just my opinions!
- It is definitely hard, but not impossible. I know this is cliché, but if I can do it, anyone can. Words cannot describe how much I love cheese, coffee, bread, and ice cream, but I’ve been able to give them up (with minimal whining).
- The tea is disgusting. I don’t drink a ton of tea, normally, but I’ve tried on several occasions to choke this stuff down and I just can’t do it. My sister loves it though, so clearly this is just a preference thing.
- The cleanse drink isn’t too bad, it tastes a little like tea to me (but in not a horrible way! haha!). You only have to drink the cleanse for 7 days (and not consecutively either), so that helps too.
- I LOVE the fizz sticks! They are delicious (a mild fruity, fizzy drink) and they give me just a slight energy kick. I actually continued to drink these even after my first 30 day challenge was done.
- The shakes are pretty good and there a ton a recipes out there to flavor them differently (you get two flavors in the kit – Vanilla, which tastes like birthday cake to me, and Chocolate). People are very creative with adding fruits and other things to make them ever better (I like both plain, as well).
I’m actually doing the 30 Day Challenge again, because after countless picnics/bbqs, parties, and our vacation, I needed a reset to get back on the clean eating track. I’m on Day 17 (nearly Day 18) and counting! Whoo hoo!
And now, having done this one and a half times, I’m really amazed at the difference in how I feel. I suddenly have more energy, I sleep better, and I don’t really miss all the junk anymore (although dairy really is the hardest part since I love it so!).
I want this “feeling good” feeling to last, so it’s really helped to motivate me to continually and consistently make good food choices going forward (especially through the holidays).
In the end, I’ve found the hardest part for me is just self-control, specifically with snacking (as a family, we’re pretty diligent at eating pretty healthy things for our meals). Sure, I could have just one cookie, but isn’t 10 so much better?? 😉
I thought I would end with a quick rundown at what I eat each day:
- Breakfast: Vanilla shake (2 scoops of powder) and fiber (1 scoop)
- Fizz stick after I finish the shake
- Mid-morning snack : A small handful of raw nuts (almonds or cashews) or a Larabar
- Lunch: Chocolate shake (2 scoops of powder) and one packet of Digestion Plus
- Mid-afternoon snack: 2 hard boiled eggs and/or a green apple (if I am only doing the green apple, I eat it with almond butter)
- Fizz stick sometime in the afternoon (generally guidance is you can have 2-3 fizz sticks per day; I usually have 1-2, depending on how crazy my day is and if I remember to drink the second one!)
- Dinner: Sensible, clean dinner, following the “rules” I outlined above. We always ate fairly good dinners, so this wasn’t a huge change (we just eliminated gluten and dairy, really)
And for those interested, here is the calendar (30 Day Challenge Personal Calendar) I used last time and this time to know when to drink the cleanse drink and also reintroduce certain foods (to see if you have a reaction to things, like gluten, for example).
If anyone has any questions, let me know! I had a ton when I first started, so I naturally started researching like crazy!
When my “challenge” is up, I plan on posting my before and after numbers from each time (I haven’t decided if I’m brave enough to post the before and after pictures though! Haha!) 😉