Sunday, March 6, 2011

28-day detox -- more than just a diet

For those of you who don't know, Ryan and I went on a 28-day detox through Arbonne this month. I have been itching to blog about our experience for quite some time.  (After all, it's only been about 5 months since my last post -- time to update!)

So, in case you're wondering how we were detoxing, this is what we did . . .

We cut out all potentially allegenic food, and food that's just plain bad for you, including:

-refined sugar
-Medium- and high-glycemic fruits (we only ate green apples and berries)
-caffeine (other than Arbonne's fizzy tab)
-coffee (AHH!)
-processed foods
-pork (or any pig meat products)
-white rice, or any non-complex carb

We tried to only eat organic fruits, vegies and meats.  In addition, I only purchased organic, hormone-free, free-range and grass-fed meats.

We cut our portion sizes on our plates.  A fist-sized portion of protein, a fist-sized portion of grain, and then we could fill our plates with vegies, salads and leafy greens.

We did Arbonne protein shakes for breakfast and lunch, had an energy fizz tab (natural energy drink), and the get fit chews (yummy choc. chews).  In addition, we did one whole foods snack a day. (my fav was fresh avocado with cilantro, lime juice, tomatoes and salt.)

So why the heck did I even start this crazy diet anyway?

Well, for starters, I wasn't happy with how my body felt.  I know, I know . . . I'm not a huge person.  BUT, I don't think it matters what size you are -- I knew I wasn't healthy, my clothes didn't fit right, and I didn't feel CONFIDENT in my body anymore.  Besides, who wants to feel like they are squeezing into their clothes every day, or feel self-concious?

I wondered if it might help cullulite (big confession there.)  I knew I was addicted to coffee and sugar (and bread). 

Plus, I knew it would be good for our whole family.

Last, but not least . . . you really can't sell a product you don't try.  So many people were loving the products and the system, that I knew I would miss out unless I tried it.  I'm so thankful to my hubby who joined me (sometimes begrudgingly, but he joined me nonetheless) on this journey.  I couldn't have done it without him!

Here are some of the results from our detox journey:

1.  We lost weight.  (I know, big surprise!)  Ryan has lost 12 lbs so far, and I've lost 3. My clothes fit way better, I feel renewed confidence in my body, and I even got new skinny jeans to commemorate my new body.  (I love rocking those jeans!)

2.  I lost my reflux.  With the exception of a few times, I haven't had any reflux in 3 weeks.  (The times I did have it were the times I ate past 7 -- or had a cup of coffee -- things that we're not supposed to do on the diet.)  Before the detox, I was feeling nauseated most days and lots of gross burping at night (sorry, I know that's icky) . . . but I really hated that feeling.  The interested thing is that I lost the reflux naturally by changing my diet.  When I talked to my Dr, he just prescribed medicine and never mentioned changing my diet. 

3.  My stomach shrunk. For some reason, before the detox, I had gotten in the habit of taking seconds -- something we weren't allowed to do on the diet.  Looking back, I never needed the extra food -- it's just that it tasted good.  I think I stretched out my stomach so that I "needed" those seconds to actually feel full.  Now, post-detox, I rarely feel the need to have seconds.  In fact, I've even had a hard time finishing my plate full of veggies sometimes.

4.  I sleep better at night.  Maybe it was all the coffee I was pouring into my system.  (I was a 2-cup-a-day kinda girl.)  But I am actually READY to go to sleep at night now the way I used to be.  The only downside?  I now regularly fall asleep during our late night movie fests.

5.  I SAVOR the flavor of food more.  In the past, fruit was a chore.  I liked eating veggies, but I always ate them with dip, or something fattening.  Given the choice, I wanted bread or sugar, not healthy food.  Now, I am LOVING the flavor of apples, tomatoes, broccoli, you name it.  I hardly crave things like pretzels or potato chips . . . just give me a carton of grape tomatoes or strawberries!  (Confession:  I even like the flavor now of unsweetened chocolate.  Weird . . . I know).  But I still have a craving for chocolate cake . . .

Here's what I learned from my experience:

1.  I WASN'T choosing healthy foods before, even though I thought I was.  The first grocery trip for our diet was quite revealing.  My cart looked totally different than before.  And I spent the majority of my time in the different sections of the grocery store.  I always breezed past the natural and organic section.  But I plan to spend much more time their in the future.  This time, my cart really reflected just a few things:  healthy and organic grains, organic produce and "healthy" meat (which I could really only get at Central).  Oh, and almond milk for me and Ryan (and organic whole milk for Maddy.)

2.  I eat from emotions WAY more than I thought I did.  I've always considered coffee to be a comfort food.  When I'm stressed, coffee makes it better.  When I have to do something I don't want to do, coffee makes it better.  When I'm with a friend or family, coffee makes it better.  If I'm stressed out with Maddy, coffee makes it better.  You get the idea . . .

So, what the heck was I to do when I couldn't have coffee for 4 weeks!?!?  First, I have to say that I did not end up with caffeine withdrawal, thanks to the fizzy tabs.  But emotionally?  That was another matter.  Every day, I wanted a cup of coffee.  Some days more than others.  But not having that as an instant-soother made me kinda confront my emotions in a different way. 

I think that from now on, I'll view coffee as a treat (and always decaf).  But I'll start my day with an energy fizz tab, because I don't get coffee breath with those, they don't give me the jitters, I'm less hungry through the day, and it gives me the energy I need.  So coffee will be an afternoon treat sometimes, and not every day (esp. cause I know now it gives me reflux.)

3.  It matters what I eat.  It matters to my health, to the way I feel, the way I look, and my attitude.

4.  I'm stronger than I gave myself credit for.  Sure, we messed up our diet a few times.  But I've learned to overcome cravings I didn't think I could.  To stick with something, even when other people weren't looking.  I have a new respect for myself.

5.  Because I was giving up things (like vinegar, and non-organic meats), it made me curious WHY I was doing those things.  What's wrong with them anyway?  This lead me on a path to research our foods, and how they are made here in America .(Insert the documentary, Food Inc., which has forever altered the way I think about food.)  Knowledge is power.

Tomorrow is the last day of the diet.  But I truly feel that the way I eat, and treat my body, has really changed for good.  And yes, I'm really looking forward to having a piece of chocolate cake with a cup of (decaf) coffee here soon.