Train your brain – 3 Day Refresh

So, April, I’d decided to push a little harder with my fitness goals.  (Gilmore Girls and ice cream drove me to this point).

I gave the 3-Day Refresh, a little Beachbody kick start product, a whirl to get the bod back on track.  I did it with the ever-amazing Miz J. as a rather spur of the moment kind of thing the Tuesday right after Easter. (What!? Huh?! Eeek!) We both happened to have the kit, and it was a huge “no time like the present” move forward.

(Admittedly, for me it was a desperate psychological ploy to make progress in my fitness regime.  I need to see results.  And I did – I got them.)

The Refresh has fibre and protein components, and the holes around it are filled with loads of water, green tea, fresh fruit and veg.  We did it bang on in the middle of the week  – Tue/Wed/Thu – and that helped with keeping busy and not sitting around waiting for our next feeding time.

Day 1 – Tuesday convo outtakes
“I’m at work surrounded by the scent of chicken fingers and a tray of sushi.”
“Two more days! We can do it!!!”
“I was grumpy between work and dinner.”
“Family wants Easter ham and blueberry waffles…I’m eating cucumbers and tomatoes.”

Day 2 – Wednesday convo outtakes
“I couldn’t resist, and I did weigh myself this morning… am down…! But don’t want to speak too loudly about it as I really need to keep this off. No more yo-yo stuff.”
“Woke up hungry this morning. Wanting coffee.”
“Tracking the food keeps me more honest.”
“Vinegar is my new booze. I just dumped it all over this salad and shot back what was left.”
“Made it [to the end of the day] … food all okay. Workout done. Self tanner on face to raise self esteem.”
“24 hours [left] – whooohooo!”

Day 3 – Thursday convo outtakes
“Empty colon” [check]
“For my healthy fat I brought a chunk of coconut oil. BLERGH. Like eating wax.”
“I’ve just had that fibre sweep and am counting down the minutes ‘til I can have lunch.”
“Good thing I have to stick to this strict plan. Mindless snacking would have started…”

In the end – we both lost weight (5 lbs each) in the three days, but this should be expected when, as mentioned above, our colons were empty and we were peeing every hour with all the water.  We kept up our exercising throughout the Refresh, and walking a lot.  And having a partner in crime made a huge difference…no man is an island.

Moving ahead, cautiously optimistic – suddenly I was panicked… what do I eat now??  With such a clean slate, I felt like I couldn’t possibly bring precious food into my system.  I agonized over every frigging thing I ate on Friday. It truly was a case of obsession. Today, I’ve relaxed a bit more, but boy – I think about everything before eating. That’s probably a good thing. It’s like my brain has been re-trained.

Overall, I feel less bloated in the tummy, lighter, experiencing clarity (right??) and as for cravings – like for SUGAR – are actually gone. Onward. Ho.

Weight update
March 30: 214 lbs
April 11: 207 lbs

Detox cocktails for the holiday-ravaged bod

“Sometimes I drink water just to surprise my liver.”

Why wait for January 1st?  Flush out the cells with a healthy shock to the system after all that holiday yumminess.  Can’t hurt to go through the motions, right??  Here’s something I tried this morning:

Ingredients
1 large glass of water (12-16 oz.)
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. raw honey

Directions
Blend all ingredients together (I used a shaker cup)

Details of why this is good for you below* BUT all you need to know is that this concoction is NOT DELICIOUS** and therefore must be fabulous for the bod.

For other green/happy/detox recipes check out these winners:

Party on the Top, Party on the Bottom Tie-Dye Smoothie

Super Detox Green Cleansing Smoothie

Kid-friendly Green Smoothie with Banana

*Apple Cider Vinegar is full of acetic acid which has been shown to lower blood pressure up to 6%. It can also help eat up the starches if you do eat grains in your diet. Lemon juice helps balance blood sugar and has an alkaline effect on your body helping to regulate ph. Cinnamon is one of the best anti-oxidants on the planet. It is the number one herb/spice for balancing blood sugar. Honey contains enzymes that stimulate the digestive process and boosts metabolism, which contributes to weight reduction. YUM.

** I used warm water and pretended it was some sort of exotic après ski nog in a European destination of the rich and famous. Very oddly, I thought this was relatively good for the most part, and then it became a chore.  At the end I just plugged my nose and chugged it.

 

Kicking my holiday food hangover

Seize the moment…remember all those women on the Titanic who passed up dessert.
~ Erma Bombeck

You don’t need a New Year to start a resolution, you just need a Monday.
~Anonymous

I decided to eat whatever I wanted over the Christmas holidays.

It’s a HOLIDAY after all, and haven’t I worked hard all year and deserve a treat?

So, I did. And I had fun.  Oddly, the meals were not a challenge for me – all my choices were well-balanced and filled me up.  It was the snacking. Boxes of Himalayan pink sea salt & caramel chocolates, homemade cookies, bowls of cashews, cheese/crackers/sweet pickles, eggnog and Kentucky bourbon, Shocktop, Kronenbourg, Oyster Bay… SO GOOD going down.

I’d go to bed with a food hangover, wake up in the middle of the night with a food hangover, come to in the morning with a food hangover…what’s a food hangover?  To me, it was an overall feeling of blergh. Partly it was a full stomach, but mostly it was like every cell in my body being in distress.  I felt thick. Tingly. Sore. Swollen. My heart would race occasionally.  In other words, nothing really good.

And as I lay in bed, staring at the ceiling, I would claim “NEVER AGAIN!!”  By midday I’d be feeling better, and would happily overdose while playing board games, watching movies, or just because it was there.

I let myself enjoy these past two weeks, only to cause blergh-ness. The overindulgence of sugar, fat, caffeine and alcohol culminated in one giant yuck-fest. Yet…oddly I don’t regret it*. Or the 9.5 pounds that came with it. NINE POINT FIVE.  Yep. In, like, two weeks. I swear it’s all that food still in my colon. I’d like to think I’ve learned a lesson??? Hm.

Fun is up. Time to get back to it. Plan of attack:

  • Water. Lots of it. Drinking half my body weight in ounces. Add lemon to that water to aid digestion and cleanse the system.
  • Sweat. My knee is still sore, but I’ve also been using this as an excuse. I need to work around the knee and modify my exercises. Do-over of P90 – Day ONE starts today. Thank goodness for accountability partners. You know who you are.
  • Whole foods, baby!  Weaning off the sugar pops over the next few days and then going sugar-less by the first week in January. Easier said than done, because I know I can eat great meals, but the afternoon cravings for junk will kick in.

The most obvious is to remove the treats from the house. Will send it out into the world with the teenagers for their late-night card games or simply toss it in the garbage.  When I’m on a good roll, it CAN be in the house and I don’t touch it, but currently addicted, I need it gone.

Haha – the funniest part about my plan of attack is that I KNOW all of this. So many of us ‘know’ what to do, how to be healthy, what good choices are…yet we CHOOSE NOT TO.  That’s the kicker.  The true test is acting on making the purported change.  That’s a whole other session on the couch that really hasn’t been examined over this past year for me, and could very well be what’s getting in the way of success… deep thoughts. Stay tuned.

*Okay, the ONLY regret about gaining weight over the holidays comes down to saving face… Doing my January 1st weigh-in – comparing to LAST January – I will now have not ‘lost’ as much weight…  Ahhhh vanity.

Detox Day 3: 3-Day Refresh

I had to go to work on Day 3.

It was a Monday.

It was a little bit of a drag. I got to smell all sorts of delish lunches being warmed up in the kitchen. Lunchtime was over in 30 seconds for me (slurp, crunch, done) so I went for a walk.

Lots of energy again today – efficient, effective, etc. Crazy how despite the vague feeling of hunger, I was sharper and more aware of a lot of things, if that makes sense. I prioritized, got things done, had some clarity and vision on other topics. Hm.

When I got home, the family was all in the kitchen making their dinners, and I was blending mine. My love affair with food was on hiatus essentially. Food plays so much more of a role than just “fuel” for me. Hard to break that train of thought.

Monday was super hot in the city again, and despite going to bed at a reasonable hour, I couldn’t sleep. By 1:00 am I shuffled downstairs where it was much cooler. And because it was past midnight (3 days done in my books), I ate a wrap with ham in it. I was SO HUNGRY.

Fast forward to the next morning – for (ta-dah) —–> the RESULTS!

I was down 5.5 lbs and 2 inches from my waist. Feeling lighter on my toes MENTALLY, above all.  Was the junk in my system slowing my brain down?

Would I recommend this refresh?  Ya.  I’d do it again, I think, maybe after Christmas or a holiday.  It really re-sets you. It was an annoyance for me though.  It showed me what a huge role (beyond just being fuel) that food plays in my life. I’m slightly obsessive.

I think my biggest take away is “What am I going to eat next?”  It’s not the pizza or the gooey brownie from the Italian Centre (you know, the one where you literally feel the sugar coursing through your veins = so good) that I was kinda secretly planning on. Instead, I’m feeling very careful in my decisions.

The next day, I spent 15 minutes in Sobey’s staring at the Greek yogurt section debating whether or not I wanted to add dairy back in after the refresh.  I did buy a container (I love it to pieces) but then I didn’t enjoy it as much.  I just felt like it wasn’t right. (Is it possible to be brainwashed by vegetables in three short days?)

Now two days later, I know for sure that I’m going to give dairy a break, remove all processed meats from my diet (so long, deli ham!) and keep my coffee treats to green tea treats.  (Not terribly excited about this, but it just feels right – does that make sense?)  The hardest part is not knowing what to replace things with.  I need to check my protein lists again, review my carb options, get some recipes…so that I’m better prepared.

And that’s the 3-Day Refresh!  Give it a go. You can buy it here with a 30-day supply of Shakeology so you can maintain your kick start results: 3-Day Refresh challenge pack.  Or you can just buy the three day kit on its own here: 3-Day Refresh base kit.

Would love to hear if you do this detox – post your story and results!

Or if you’ve done other detoxes, what were they like?

Detox Day 2: 3-Day Refresh

Day 2 of my 3-Day Refresh has been a little more manageable.

I did wake up with the same headache…it continually pulsed from my forehead around the left side of my head to my neck and then back again. I also woke up crazy grumpy and was out of bed by 6:30 am on a Sunday. Insane.

Despite the head and the grumpiness, I was uncharacteristically efficient today. I did 30 minutes of yoga, crossed EIGHT things off my to-do list, walked to the grocery store, and organized stuff like there was no tomorrow.

By noon I was so ready for “lunch” – yes, still slightly hungry all the time – and I caved in and took Advil for my headache. Cleanses I did way back in the 90s were all about feeling the pain, working through that detoxification process, etc. The 3-Day Refresh promo materials did say I’d experience some mild discomfort (hm – how about creating an entire different personality??) but I don’t think I read that you couldn’t kill the pain with pills….

By 1:00 pm I was back busily doing my chores, when BAM! I was exhausted. I lay down on my bed and passed out for a good 3.5 hours. I woke up feeling amazing.

Made dinner for the family, and the little Refresh dinner for myself, then went on a 2-hour walk in the River Valley.

I feel really good tonight in comparison to yesterday. OH – and when I weighed myself this morning at 6:30 am, I was down 3 lbs. I’ll be curious to see if any weight loss during a detox process is permanent or temporary.

ONE MORE DAY!!!

PS. DH did indeed quit the Refresh. He was happily eating all sorts of things all day. Sigh.

Detox Day 1: 3-Day Refresh

Alright, alright, alright.

So, yeah. From my last hastily scribbled out post, I’m detoxing (cleansing, torturing myself, etc) for three days.

Why? Well – I had about two weeks of holiday. GREAT HOLIDAY. I travelled to the mountains and hiked into the backcountry, living out of a tent with nothing by the bears and the hummingbirds about. Okay, there were other campers as well, but I didn’t always communicate with them.

The beauty of travelling into the backcountry is that there is no rush and fuss. You eat, you walk, you sleep. Unplugging from everything is quite the decompression. Life is simple and thoughtful.  Your priorities shift.

For food, I ate a lot of nutrient dense slow-burning stuff.  I was super good in NOT buying 18 chocolate bars under the reasoning I’d be hiking every day and needed energy, and instead tried to figure out the healthiest, fuel-providing foods. Trail mixes with mixed nuts and dried fruit, a few M&Ms sprinkled in for good measure; a whole whack of different protein bars (love Clif Builder Bars); and then dehydrated meal packets for suppers.

These dehydrated meals with fancy names like “Kung Pao Chicken” and “Country Turkey with Potatoes and Gravy” can be deceptive. Yes, you’re far from any other choices, so it’s bound to taste good. And even if it doesn’t, it’s at least going to warm your belly because you “cooked” it by pouring hot water into the resealable bag or because the fact the makers of such meals seem to douse all meals in copious amounts of like, white pepper.

The icing on the cake is the sodium levels of these dehydrated bag meals. Way more than half your daily recommended intake. I know you often need a little salt after sweating and hiking all day, but the levels were just scary.

In the end, I’ve come off the trail absolutely craving all sorts of healthy fats (nuts all the time! avocados! plates of cheese!) and salty deliciousness (chips and salsa! salt! more salt!).

The 3-Day Refresh is like a mini re-set of the bod. Getting things back to normal. The promise on this product is to cleanse the body and improve the way you feel without starving. (Note: as I write this I could REALLY USE A PIZZA. Please send. I will give you money.) Other bits and pieces are to lose weight, inches, blah blah. You can do moderate workouts and eat “real food”.

Today was Day 1. Breakfast was fine, the “Fibre Sweep” did not send me running to the bathroom or anything, lunch was good… then we walked over to the mall to do some chores.

(My husband, btw, is doing this with me. Solidarity. Well, I feel for him because he drinks crazy amounts of coffee all day, and the 3-Day Refresh suggests you refrain – if you MUST, then have it black.)

By the time we walked home from the mall, my head was buzzing and DH thought he was underwater. When we got home, we had our afternoon snacks, then he hit the couch for a nap, and I just did some computer work.

By dinner, I wanted to eat anything I got my hands on. It was awful. I was panicking in the kitchen.

I drank the dinner portion of Vanilla Fresh, and scarfed down two teaspoons of unauthorized almond butter. I just needed SOMETHING. Then I made the dinner from one of the recipes in the program guide – a little veggie stir fry. I ate out in the sun on the back deck. I calmed down after that.

DH was still sleeping when I checked on him. When I checked in again a couple hours later, he said he felt terrible. He thought it was food-related. So he had cereal and toast for supper.

I am on my own.

I don’t know whether he will continue tomorrow or not…he’s not sure if it’s the detox or if he’s coming down with something or if it’s caffeine withdrawal.

ANYWAY. Here I am, needing to go to sleep, because if I don’t sleep I will feel the hunger.  I also have a low-level headache across the forehead.  Erg.

3-Day Refresh: drunk pre-detox prep

I’ve had a beer. Or three.

Maybe a plate of nachos. With extra salsa and sour cream because sharing is really hard for me, and eating someone else’s share is not.

I’m reviewing my 3-Day Refresh program guide, because I’m starting a detox tomorrow. Oh, the irony.

A little bit drunk. HAPPY, I think they’d say. Still have most of my faculties.

I suppose I should’ve prepared more seriously for this detox thing.

Tomorrow I get to do this:

– I should start by weighing and measuring myself, just in case there are differences at the end of all this.

– drink 8-12 ounces of water “upon waking“. I might just wake up at noon…

breakfast is Shakeology with filtered water (do I really have to filter water? Do I buy that? Can I use my camping/backcountry filter from MSR?) and 1 serving from the fruit list. We are SO OUT OF FRUIT except for cherries, so cherries it is. Get 2/3 of a cup, so that’s like 4.

– optional morning tea. No thanks.

AM snack is the Fiber Sweep (why do Americans insist on ER rather than RE?) mixed with filtered water

lunch is the Vanilla Fresh – mixed with more filtered water, plus one serving from the veggie list, the fruit list and the healthy fat list. God. Decisions. Can I make up my mind tomorrow?

PM snack is 1 serving from the vegetable list – prob go with broccoli at 3/4 cup – and 1 serving from the healthy fats list. Let’s make it easy and just suck back 1 tsp of coconut oil. Oh wait…healthy fats OR some raw juice. Well. Really. I don’t have a juicer, so there be no raw juice in my house.

– optional afternoon tea. Nope.

dinner is more Vanilla fresh + filtered water and 1 serving from the dinner recipes list (read: salad or some sort of veggie thing)

– optional evening tea. NO.

I get to drink half my body weight in ounces of water every day, so that should be freaking plenty.

Tah-dah. That will be day one.

They don’t suggest too much exertion/exercise…bahahhaha. But I am in a PiYo challenge, so I may/may not squeeze a workout in.

All of this should kick-start the 3-day detox process of fun.

Chances are I’ll be a little grumpy.