I don't do well on diets. As soon as you tell me I can't eat something, I immediately crave it, even if I didn't want it before. I've stayed away from cleanses, because let's be honest, they all sound horrible. My motto has been "everything in moderation".
Suckily (yes, it is a word and it describes many of the bummers of midlife), as I approach fifty, the pounds have been slowly creeping on. The things I've always done aren't working anymore. I exercise most days and eat a fairly healthy diet, but...50. Hormones and a slowing metabolism mean I have to work harder and eat better, just to get the same results. Sigh. Time to try something new.
I've successfully used Beachbody workouts and eating plans before, so their 3-Day Refresh intrigued me. The $70 price tag was giving me pause. Well, that was my excuse, but really, the idea of a cleanse gave me all the shudders.
Then the indecision gods intervened, and I won a 3-Day Refresh giveaway from my lovely friend Carrie. Apparently I was meant to give it a try. A few weeks later the box arrived, with its pretty colors and organized little packets. Visually appealing, but still, a cleanse. What had I gotten myself into? Not wanting to disappoint Carrie, I got over myself, picked a day to begin, and lived to write about it.
|Morning one with my breakfast Shakeology.|
Each day goes like this:
- Breakfast: Shakeology mixed with water and a serving from the fruit list. I picked chocolate Shakeology, and it was pretty good. Since I'm not hungry in the morning, this filled me up.
- Mid morning: Fiber sweep, mixed with water. This is kind of like metamucil. It doesn't taste terrible, but be sure to drink it as soon as it's mixed, because it gets very thick, very fast. One morning I got distracted by a phone call. Trust me, fiber sweep is better as a liquid instead of a gel. I was worried that it would do its job too well, but everything was fine in that department. Moving on.
- Lunch: Vanilla Fresh mixed with water, a fruit serving, and a veggie serving with a healthy fat. The vanilla was yummy, and I chose celery sticks and hummus. Still not feeling hungry.
- Mid afternoon: A serving of veggies with a healthy fat. I had carrot sticks and mashed avocado.
- Dinner: Another Vanilla Fresh mixed with water, and a salad or veggie dish from the approved list. I had spinach salad with mushrooms, sunflower seeds and a lemon/olive oil dressing. There is an option of adding a cup of vegetable broth, which I did. By this point I was HUNGRY.
I ate the same things all three days. I found it easier that way. For more variety, there are lots of options on the approved food lists. Of course, tons of water is recommended, along with green tea. My only cheat was half of a Diet Coke with dinner, because I wasn't willing to put up with a caffeine headache on top of a rumbling tummy. Moderate exercise is okay, so I walked on the treadmill after lunch.
My thoughts? It wasn't that bad. Which doesn't sound like a great review, but keep in mind that this is a low calorie cleanse. It shouldn't necessarily make you feel great while you're doing it. I never felt shaky or light headed. I was a little hungry by the end of the day, but not ravenous. The first two nights I was exhausted by 9pm, so I went to bed early, and probably dreamed of chocolate and donuts.
On morning four, feeling very proud of myself, the scale revealed that I had lost 2.5 pounds. My stomach was less bloated and seemed empty, in a good way. Thank you fiber sweep. Two weeks later, the best news is that the pounds appear to have left the building for good, so it wasn't just water weight. The Refresh comes with a maintenance guide, with lots of tips to keep the healthy momentum going.
Would I do it again? Sure. It's a doable kick start to get back on track after the holidays, or to prepare for a special event or trip. And really, it's only three days.
Now to figure out the other 362.
Questions? I promise to give an honest answer.