A 28-Day Journey of Eating Clean with Arbonne Products

January 4, 2016 is a day I decided to change my life.  Not only was I wondering how I could possibly live without wine and coffee for a month, but I was about to embark on this journey to find out some interesting facts about the foods I should be eating on a daily basis, and how my body reacts to toxic food.  Arbonne’s Nutritional Rebalancing Program starts the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month.  I’m added to a (free) private Facebook group of 500+ participants where there are tons of coaches, personal trainers, nutrition experts, dietitians, and even an M.D., so we get questions & concerns answered easily. The group also includes people all over the world doing the challenge with you, so I’ll have a TON of support, encouragement, motivation, and tips/advice sharing! All meal plans & recipes, as well as the shopping lists for the entire 28 days are free.  Even if you are brand new to clean eating, they definitely make it easy!  There are both vegan & non-vegan recipes but I’m able to tweak & substitute the meals as long as I stay within the healthy approved foods & ingredients.

The kit gives me 2 bags of protein to make meal replacement shakes, muffins, pancakes, protein bars, (and more) along with a bag of soluble, tasteless and heat resistant fiber to add to my protein.  I also get 2 boxes of energy Fizz Sticks to help build electrolytes and add B12s (this also helps me eliminate any coffee, soda or bad-for-you energy drink cravings), and I also get a 30-day supply of probiotics and enzymes, 2 boxes of herbal detox tea to help remove toxins and support liver & kidney functions, AND a 7-day cleanse drink (we use that in week 3 to remove extra heavy metals).

Along with this kit, I was able to pick out any item up to $50 for FREE.  Bonus!

This plan is going to educate me on allergenic, acidic and addictive foods, and when replacing them with alkaline forming foods/drinks — what that can do for me.

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Day 1:  HERE WE GO!
Weight – 130lb
Waist – 31″ (at belly button)
2″ below waist – 35″ (Talk about feeling BLOATED)

IMG_20151226_110222 AVOID LISTDay 4:  Before this challenge, I may have been innocently snacking on cookies or chips….(or cake frosting)… and then realized twenty minutes later that I almost ate the whole bag. To make matters worse, I wasn’t even hungry!
TIP:  If you find that you are consistently hungry throughout the day, increase the amount of protein and healthy fats in your breakfast and lunch shakes. I now down a glass of water when I’m hungry!  Arbonne also has “Fit Chews” that come in chocolate, caramel, banana and lemon flavor, to help curb food cravings.

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“True” commitment shows up in tough times. “Convenience” commitment shows up in good times. Long term success is the result of TRUE COMMITMENT.

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TIP:  When dining out, remember your plate should be filled with lean protein and veggies. Most restaurants are NOT going to have organic offerings. Don’t be afraid to ask for modifications when you order…no cheese, no bread, no butter, ask for oil/lemons on the side for dressing,  A lot of restaurants are offering gluten-free options, so check for that and then modify as best you can.  Great Website for dining out “Detox Style”: findmeglutenfree.com.

DAY 7:  YES!  I SURVIVED WEEK 1!

I have now been empowered to start taking steps in changing the physical response I might be having. (I’ve had a headache for 6 straight days).  Every day that I eat clean and stick to the detox plan, I’m choosing to change and retrain my brain to crave healthy foods.
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TIP:  Get creative!  I Arbonne protein shakes!
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Day 7 Measurements:

Weight – 127.5lb
Waist – 30.5″ (at belly button)
2″ below waist – 33.5″ (Still bloated)

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DAY 8:  Well, one week down and not seeing too much change.  I feel good, though.  Gassy, but good!  I understand that THIS TAKES TIME and we ALL respond differently!  Here’s an encouraging fact, people actually have GAINED weight during week 1.  Must. Have. Patience.  (something I need to work on)  Its only been a few days and I know that what I’m doing is good for my body and has long term rewards.  So, I’ll just keep on keeping on!  This is SO MUCH MORE than numbers.  I don’t get tired at 7:30pm anymore!  I love that my husband is actually doing this with me!  Although I shot down all of his attempts at trying to have a beer each night, we’re both more aware and we can THINK!  We’re definitely beginning to view food a bit differently, and have decided to keep going with this plan.
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It’s very important to understand that this isn’t about counting (calories, points, etc.)  But now is the time I need to track my daily caloric intake for just a couple of days. Why? Clean, whole foods are high in nutrients, but naturally low in calories. Because of this, our bodies are satisfied, we aren’t hungry and we don’t have the urge to snack.  In order to keep up my metabolism, I have to be in what is called the ‘sweet spot’.  If I don’t get adequate calories (>1200), my body will go into ‘starvation mode’ and I’ll begin to store fat and not lose weight. The body says “I don’t know when she’ll feed me next, so I better hang on to this!”

FOOD calories minus EXERCISE calories = NET calories. NET calories need to be 1200+.
(For example: I ate 1200 calories and burned 400 in my exercise class. My NET is 800). Will I lose weight? NO! If I want to keep my metabolism up and keep burning calories, and I know I’m going to burn 400 in the gym, then I need to EAT at least 1600.  This means adding snacks, and more healthy calories to your shakes. Nuts, almond butter, seeds & avocados are all high in healthy fat and a quick way to pack in the calories.
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DAY 10: This information comes straight from Dr. Oz’s Clean Detox program (I LOVE that Arbonne’s detox program is totally in line with his):

The 411 On Weight Loss:
How and when weight-loss occurs varies for each person. Everyone comes into the detox with a different level of toxicity, a different genetic history, and different hormonal patterns. For many, the body will not begin to reduce inflammation and release extra weight until it has found balance through the cleansing process. Let’s take a step back and look at the bigger picture of why we might have excess weight in the first place.  It’s often a result of consuming foods that do not work for the body, resulting in poor digestion and toxic overload. Detox helps the body re-balance itself and help repair the damage done by years of poor habits. When you lose weight without doing this important foundational work, the weight-loss typically doesn’t last. It also doesn’t bring about the increased vitality, that in the end is what we really want. Even if you haven’t seen much weight-loss yet, hang in there. You’re doing the foundational work, and that’s what matters most. Daily bowel movements, sticking with the detox diet, and avoiding emotional snacking will encourage your body to find that sweet spot, totally unique to you. Don’t stress yourself out by stepping on the scale every day. Just remember, how you feel is a more accurate measure of success. Instead of numbers on the scale, focus on your energy level, sleep patterns, digestion, elimination, mood, and clarity of thought.”

This portion of Dr. Oz’s program spoke to me BIG time! It’s kinda long, but great info!

“Emotions and Food:
Emotions are a big part of the detox. For most people, food is not just about satisfying our physical hunger, but satisfying our emotional needs as well. Have you ever found yourself thinking: Why do I reach for cookies when I’m tired? Why do I crave ice cream after a fight with my partner? Reflecting on these questions and your answers to them, will get you to the heart of the detox – the deeper stuff. The stuff that mindless eating attempts to cover up. During the detox people can feel more emotional than usual. This is because cleansing is not just about the body. When you detox, you also release emotional toxins like fear,
stress and anxiety. This can be scary as hell, but like any challenge, if we spend some time reflecting on it, we usually surprise ourselves with what we discover. When you feel a craving or an emotional release happening, give it space and be gentle with yourself. Don’t make it about the food. Go deeper. Ask yourself, “what’s really going on here?” The answer is closer than you think.

Hunger: True & Emotional
When faced with the sensation of “hunger” during your detox, consider the possibility that it might not be true hunger. In our Western culture, what we call hunger is often the physical manifestation of an emotion that is asking to be “numbed” or comforted. If left alone and quietly observed, emotional hunger becomes an opportunity for immense growth. When that “hunger” sensation arises, mindfully keep your attention on it, and ask yourself: What am I really feeling? If it’s boredom, restlessness or any other emotion, truly allow yourself to feel it. You don’t have to wallow in unhappiness or negativity, but simply recognize what the true feeling is, and put a name to it. Am I truly hungry or am I feeling anxious / nervous / sad / upset right now? With a little effort, this exploration can help bring awareness to the difference between true hunger and emotional hunger. Understanding this distinction on a personal level can help stop the cycle of bad habits that lead to food cravings, weight gain, and poor health.

Here is a useful way to determine if what you are feeling is true hunger:
True Hunger
• Gradually arises
• You’re open to different food options
• Doesn’t have to be filled immediately
• You stop when you’re full
• You feel good when finished

VS. Emotional Hunger
• Arises suddenly
• Crave one particular food only
• Must be eaten right now • Keep eating even when full
• You feel guilty, shameful, or unsatisfied

Emotional Hunger Tips
Hydrate: Drink water or have a cup of tea instead. Hydrating yourself during your Detox is important to keep the bowels moving and to help flush out released toxins.
Switch it up: Get up and go for a walk, call a friend or write a letter to a loved one, finish a work project, or simply stay with that feeling and let it rise up and then fall away naturally (which it will inevitably do), without having consumed any food. You may even feel the negative sensation change to a very pleasant one. The sense of empowerment that comes from this change can be amazing.

True Hunger Tips
Snack mindfully: Eat in serene and distraction-free environments in a mindful way. Hummus, guacamole with veggies, raw nut butter on some apple slices, a quick soup, or fresh green juice are great options.
Check in on your daily caloric intake: While we not big fans of calorie counting, noticing how many calories you’re eating can be useful. Often, people new to a detox program will under-eat, and this can cause cravings, anxiety, and poor sleep. The amount of nutrient-dense food a person needs each day depends on their level of activity, but a good benchmark is eating a minimum of 1200 calories and 50-80 grams of protein each day.” – Dr. Oz

DAY 12:  This is exactly what it’s all about! I’m building a new me…and building a new me takes time.  (Again, that P word..)  Yes, there are good days and bad days during this detox, as it’s all part of the process.  I’m a bit more irritable this week.  But by the end, the good days far outweigh the bad and it’ll all be worth it.

DAY 14:  Half-way there!  WooHoo!  This is when the 7-day cleanse comes in.  Oh boy!  Surprisingly, this stuff tastes really good!  Think watered-down apple tea.  I added the cleanse pack and a pomegranate Fizz Stick (for flavor) to 32oz. of water.  I have to drink it gradually throughout the day, then follow it up with another 32oz. of water.
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Day 14 Measurements:
Weight – 125lb
Waist – 30″ (at belly button)
2″ below waist – 31.75″ 

DAY 16:  When tempted to do what’s maybe easy, fun or satisfying in the MOMENT, I have to remember what it is I want MOST and RE-commit myself to THAT. “No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening–it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.”
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DAY 17:  Note to self:  DON’T GIVE UP!!  WHAT YOU ARE DOING MATTERS. I must remember that the process to HEALTH will take weeks, months, sometimes even years.

Have you heard about Arbonne’s protein bars? You can eat them during the detox! They come in chocolate or fruit, and makes a great grab and go option!
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DAY 19:  10 days to go!
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HOW AMAZING DOES THE SNACK BELOW LOOK?  I’ll let you in on this little recipe secret, but you’ll have to join a Clean Eating Challenge for four-weeks worth of amazing recipes! Ingredients:  Brown rice cakes with fresh toppings such as avocado, cucumber, tomatoes, and some spinach leaves with a bit of cracked pepper.  (For all recipes, training advice, and support from a team of 500+ people in a private group, you should probably sign up for the next Clean Eating Challenge).
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DAY 21:  My last official week of boot camp starts TOMORROW!  Uh….now what?

I feel amazing, and wouldn’t know what to do without my Fizz Sticks (because I haven’t had coffee in 21 days).  My morning shakes are keeping me full until lunch, and I’m probably going to drink those forever.  (I just placed an order for two more bags of protein).  I never realized how crucial the digestive enzymes/probiotics are (boy, that’s one product I can’t live without either). Aside from it all, I’m flushing the toxic fat away with detox tea.

TIP:  Arbonne has an amazing referral program! Another28-day Boot Camp starts soon.  Whether YOU want to join me for the next Clean Eating Challenge (because I’ve got more pounds to lose and I really want to share this incredible program with those I love), or you know somebody who could benefit from the program, I can show you how to get your products at a great discount. Just by sharing the gift of HEALTH, VITALITY and ENERGY with those I care about, I’m putting products in pantries at a deep discount!  We have some amazing specials going on right now, so please let me know how I can serve you as we continue this journey together.  This isn’t the END, it’s just the BEGINNING of a LIFETIME of HEALTH!

One full week left!  Game on!

Weight – 124lb
Waist – 29.5″ (at belly button)
2″ below waist – 32 1/2″ 
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Of course some bit of physical activity is a must!  Each morning, I woke at 5:30am to hop on the elliptical for 30 minutes.  I lifted 5lb weights at work while listening to calls at my desk, climbed up/down 4 flights of stairs (5x) daily, and went to the Y on weekends to work arms, abs, legs and row.
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 Day 28 Measurements:
Weight – 120.5lb
Waist – 28.5″ (at belly button)
2″ below waist – 30.75″ 
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I absolutely believe in these products!  I’m now living proof! Join me in the next one!

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