Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Detox Days 5, 6, & 7

Since today is DAY 7 (seriously?!), I thought I'd measure myself to see if anything has changed.  I certainly FEEL lighter, less bloated, but the tape measure is the ultimate truth-teller.

Beginning measurements:          Day 7 measurements:
Bust: again, I say, HA!                       Bust: non-existent (still)
Waist: 30.5"                                        Waist: 29" (down 1.5" - woohoo!)
Hips: 39"                                             Hips: 38" (down 1"!!!)

Super exciting and highly motivational results!  Guys if I can do this, anyone can!  I am the LEAST disciplined person I know (next to my dear husband, of course!)

Here's how the past few days have played out:
We finished out the weekend without much excitement.  Brian and I had a few heated discussions over true hunger vs. toxic hunger, eating nutrient-dense foods, and finding a balance that he could handle in this new healthy eating lifestyle that I've imposed on him.  He promised to eat more vegetables if I promised to cook more of his favorite vegetables and stop trying to get him to eat "new" foods (zucchini, red peppers, and brussels sprouts).  He also promised that once the 30 days are up, he would stick with the program 5 days a week, but that he really felt he needed the weekends to indulge.  Totally understandable and doable, I say.

On Sunday, I stuck with the plan (mostly): shake for breakfast, grilled chicken salad for lunch, grilled chicken and veggies (marinated overnight and cooked in a foil packet on the grill - delish!) for dinner.  If I had the recipe, I'd share it, but I totally made it up as I went along.  I can tell you the marinade consisted of olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, ground mustard, a little worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and 3-4 cloves of garlic (diced).  The veggies I used were red pepper, zucchini, red onion, and one jalapeƱo pepper (seeded and diced).

On Monday, it was back to business as usual: shakes for breakfast and lunch.  Fit chews between meals if I felt a little hungry.
Then came dinner... On Monday night, we had family dinner out and let our son pick the restaurant.  Of course, he picks Mexican food.  I thought I could be strong, but when they set those warm tortilla chips and fresh salsa on the table in front of me, I was toast.  I ate them and, at that moment, they were delicious.  For dinner we had steak and chicken fajitas--without the tortillas.  We had done enough damage with the chips and salsa.

When we got home, I felt VERY dizzy.  I have a little bit of an inner ear issue anyway and I was once told by a chiropractor that I have food sensitivities  to corn and dairy products that will often manifest themselves in my ears.  Sounds crazy, I know.  I never believed it either until last night.  By eliminating corn products from my diet for over a week and then introducing them suddenly, I was able to realize the effect they have on me.  That is the beauty of this plan.  You eliminate allergenic, inflammatory, and generally upsetting foods.  You get your body running at its optimum level, and then you introduce your "old favorites" back into your diet, one by one.  You will truly notice which foods are your triggers and what they do to you.  It can be anything from a headache, to dizziness, to even an emotional response.  Lesson learned!

Tuseday - I stuck to the plan... no more deviating for me!  Being unable to dress my kids for bed or do any of the millions of things I need to do after they're in bed was enough to make me give up corn products for a long, long time.

Brian's results so far: He won't let me measure him, but he says he feels like his belly doesn't stick out as far anymore. He makes me giggle. ;)

Coming up in the next few days, I'll give details on traveling while on the Arbonne plan and the weekly prep I do to make having shakes at work SUPER easy.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Detox Day 4: Weekend Warrior

I knew that the weekend would be hard.  We have a tendency to eat out on weekends... Waffle House breakfasts, a quick lunch, Mexican food for supper.  But today, Brian and I had every intention of staying on track.

For breakfast, I made each of us a chocolate shake (using Arbonne's delicious protein powder, of course!) with frozen strawberries and half a banana.  And of course, we took a ThermoBooster.

Then we went to our new house to clean up the construction sight.  FUN!  We spent the morning picking up wood scraps and pieces of sheetrock, and sweeping up sawdust.  I took a cooler with bottles of water and two cups of shake mix.  I had every intention for us to have shakes for lunch, but that didn't happen.  Lunch time rolled around and we weren't close to being finished cleaning up.  The kids were starving, so we loaded up and went to Wendy's (kids' choice).  I had a spicy chicken caesar salad with minimal dressing and strawberry lemonade (it is SO good y'all!).  Brian totally screwed up and had a chicken sandwich (fried, of course) with french fries and a coke.  What am I going to do with him?!  We each took a ThermoBooster with lunch and powered through the rest of the afternoon clean up.

Around 3:00 I had three fit chews and more water for an afternoon snack.  Water is the KEY!

For dinner, Brian wanted a giant grilled chicken salad for supper and didn't want to cook anything, so we loaded up the family again.   We each had a grilled chicken salad.  His was plain jane and mine had strawberries and pecans.  I broke the rules a little at supper and ate half of a roll and had vinaigrette dressing.  We each had two glasses of water with dinner.  The kids wanted ice cream after supper so we stopped for them.  Amazingly, we were both able to resist ice cream.

Now (9:00 p.m.) I'm relaxing with a cup of detox tea.

A few things I've learned over the last 4 days:

  • I am addicted to cheese and bread and it's harder to resist than I thought it would be.  I'm ok until I smell them.  Guess I should stop eating out.  That seems to be when the temptations hit me hardest.  
  • Hydration is so SO SOOOO important.  We worked hard today and sweated a lot, but neither of us ever felt "run down" and I truly believe it's because we made a conscious effort to stay hydrated.  

  • What we think of as hunger, is actually "toxic hunger."  I've heard this term before, but never experienced the difference between toxic hunger and true hunger until today.  Toxic hunger is defined as rumbling in your stomach, headache, irritable, feeling faint. Real Hunger is felt in your throat as if you put your two hands - one under your chin around your neck and the second one below that hand at the base of your throat and on your collar bones kind of.  If you'd like to read more about toxic hunger vs. real hunger, you can do so here.  I usually experience the headache, irritability, and faintness.  Today, I totally expected all of those things, but didn't experience any of them.  When I got hungry, I felt tightness in my throat...almost like I was choking back tears.  The sensation actually made me want to drink more water.  It took me a minute to realize what was going on.  When I looked at my watch and realized that it was lunch time, it hit me that I was experiencing Real Hunger.  I was honestly excited.  Nerd alert!
  • To avoid late night cravings and subsequent binging, I've begun going to bed earlier.  This can only lead to good things.
Even though I've cheated a little, I'm trying not beat myself up over those moments of weakness.  I've just got to keep trying.  Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming...

This plan (Arbonne's 30 days to fit) can work for anyone.  I've seen it work for people of all different backgrounds, lifestyles, ages and ethnicities.  I know I can do this!  It's not about the numbers on the scale.  It's about the way I FEEL and I can honestly say that four days has made SUCH a difference.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Detox Day 3 - It's the Magic Number

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have turned a corner!  No more nausea!  No more brain fog!  Woohoo!

At first, I woke up feeling yucky.  I blame it on the mashed potatoes I couldn't resist at birthday dinner last night.

Pre-breakfast: Glass of ice water

Breakfast: Chocolate shake with Fiber Booster and a ThermoBooster

Mid morning at the gym and after: LOTS of water (3-4 glasses)

Lunch: Vanilla shake with half banana and 5 frozen strawberries, Fiber Booster, and ThermoBooster

Afternoon snack: Citrus fizzy energy drink and three fit chews

It should be noted that I resisted temptation at every turn today.  I took my kids to a birthday party and did not eat cake or ice cream.  I did not eat snacks or party food.  I drank LOTS of water (probably another 3 glasses).  Whenever I felt the urge to grab a handful of chex mix and stuff it in my mouth, I drank more water.  Whenever I wanted to bury my face in birthday cake, I drank MORE water.  I've always heard that hydration is key and today I proved it to myself.

After the birthday party, around 5:30, I ate a granny smith apple.  I knew I would have a late dinner again, so I needed something to tide me over.  It is truly amazing how satisfying one apple is!

Dinner: blackened tilapia and steamed veggies (broccoli, carrots, and zucchini), 1.5 glasses of sweet tea.

I just finished my cup of Herbal Detox Tea.  It has replaced alcohol as my favorite way to wind down at the end of the day.  :)

Easiest/best part of the day: no guesswork when it comes to meals.  Yay!

Hardest part: resisting the urge to revert back to my usual eating habits.

What I've learned so far: sip and savor, my friends, sip. and. savor.  Don't chug your shakes!  On average, it takes me about and hour an a half to finish a shake.  I feel SO full by the time I'm done that I often don't even drink the last ounce.

I've heard people say that their taste buds change at some point during their detox and all the unhealthy things that used to taste so good, suddenly don't any more.  I wonder if it's because they know how those foods will make them feel the next day or if their taste buds really do change.  I've also heard that eventually the cravings for unhealthy things go away too.  I'm really ready for that.  My Pinterest feed is totally messing with me!  It makes me want cheese and lightly breaded foods!  Needless to say, these first three days have given my will-power a major workout.

Cheers to the weekend!  Here's hoping I can stay strong!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Detox Day 2

It's late, so this one's gonna be short and sweet.

Breakfast - Arbonne vanilla protein shake w/ fiber booster + thermobooster

Snack - 2 fit chews and a fizzy energy drink

Lunch - thermobooster + chocolate almond butter shake: 2 scoops chocolate protein powder, 1 scoop fiber booster, half banana, 1 heaping tablespoon almond butter, 5 ice cubes.

Snack - 2 fit chews and a green apple (I knew I would eat a late dinner)

Supper - Birthday Dinner with the hubs!  So I kiiiiind of cheated a little at dinner... but it's my biiiiiiiirthdaaaaay!  
The good: Steamed asparagus and a filet (grass-fed).  
The bad: I also had a wedge salad with a little bleu cheese dressing and a few bacon crumbles.  
The ugly: I did NOT have the will power to resist a glass of sweet tea and a few bites of mashed potatoes.

Best part of the day - besides being told happy birthday by my son... a delicious steak dinner and sweet tea ;)
Worst/Hardest part of today - again, not eating my kids' snacks.  I really think there's some addictive property in goldfish!
The brain fog was marginally better.  It's definitely more noticeable in the afternoon/evening than in the mornings.  I'm expecting to turn the corner on that by day 3 or 4.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

D-Day: Detox Diary Day 1

So... Brian and I are tired of being tired.  And we're tired of our snug-fitting clothes.  Since we're building a house (still), and on a budget (always), we decided to do the Arbonne 28-day detox plan together.  Everything's better together, right?  I'm going to do my best to give a detailed, non-sugar-coated depiction of our journey.  Hopefully, I'll work up the nerve to post some before and after pics too ;).
First, let's be clear... I don't think I'm overweight and I'm really not doing this to lose weight.  I'm doing this to get healthy.  I KNOW my eating habits are terrible.  I KNOW Brian's eating habits are terrible.  He wears a pedometer at work and we found that he walks an average of 10 miles each day.  TEN. MILES.  Yet, his weight remains the same.  The only logical conclusion is that he eats too much crap.  The saying is true, you really can't outrun (or out walk) a bad diet.  So here goes...

Carrie's starting measurements:
Bust: Ha!
Waist: 30.5"
Hips: 39"

Ouch!  That's motivation enough!

6:15 a.m. - RUSH downstairs and pack Joseph's lunch for school, drink 1 glass of water, and fix my breakfast shake.  I used my Arbonne shaker cup (quick and easy) with 2 scoops vanilla protein powder, 1 scoop Fiber Booster (aka "Muffin Top Melter"), and about 10 ounces of unsweetened almond milk.  I also added a little crushed ice to make it extra cold.

7:00 a.m. - Finally leave the house and start drinking my shake in the car.  I'm a sip and savor kind of girl with my morning shake.  As part of my promise of full disclosure, I will tell you, mixing my shakes in the shaker cup is NOT my favorite way to have them, but for busy mornings, it's a must.  I also took one of Arbonne's new ThermoBooster pills.  You can find more detailed info about it here, but a quick description is: fat burner, metabolism booster.

8:45 a.m. - Finished my breakfast shake and went to the gym.  Drank 16.9 oz of water during workout.

10:00 a.m. - Left the gym drenched in sweat (it hurt so good!) and had a Fit Chew on my way home.  Why does working up a sweat automatically make me crave unhealthy sweets?  Must retrain my brain!
*on the way home, I got a signal that I was getting a flat tire.  Had to make a detour to the Gateway Tire store to get the tire patched.  Took longer than anticipated and was starving by the time we left at 11:00.  Had another Fit Chew.

11:30 - Finally got home, and was starving.  MUST. HAVE. DELICIOUS. SHAKE.  I put 4-5 frozen strawberries and half a banana in the blender, along with 2 scoops chocolate protein powder, 1 scoop of Fiber Boost, 10 oz unsweetened almond milk and 3 ice cubes.  Oh, sweet goodness... tastes JUST like a banana split!  Take another ThermoBooster.

After my lunch shake, I mixed up a pomegranate fizzy energy drink (I like to call it my "mommy crack") to ward off the dreaded 3:00 p.m. slump.  It is a fact that your metabolism slows down around 3:00 p.m., which is why we (Arbonne) suggests having your shakes for breakfast and lunch.  It's not a hard and fast rule, but a strong recommendation.
The package says to mix your fizzy with 8oz. of water, but that's a little too tart for me.  I mix it with about 12-14oz.

Now a word of WARNING about Fizz Sticks: it is FIZZY!  It will blow the cap off your water bottle if you shake too vigorously.  Shake it TWICE and then open it.

2:00 p.m. - Carpool line.  I'm feeling a little woozy and my thinking is a little foggy.  I was wondering when this would happen.  I've always been told that if you can make it through the first 3 days of the detox you'll have a breakthrough and will feel better then you've ever felt.  I've also heard that the symptoms of detox (removing toxins from your body and your diet) can feel like anything from a mild hangover to the flu.  It just depends on how toxic you are.  The solution?  DRINK MORE WATER!

3:00 p.m. - Not tired!  YAY!!!  But hungry.  Snack time!  My snack today: 1 whole carrot (organic), hummus (gluten free, organic, non-GMO), and water.

6:30 p.m. - Supper: Roast chicken with veggies and MORE WATER!

9:30 p.m. - Detox Tea to wind down and two fit chews to curb my late night sweet tooth.

Overall, not a bad day.  I must say, it's a pretty good feeling to know that I've had 40 grams of healthy protein, 40 vitamins and minerals, plus your entire daily allowance of fiber by lunch.  The hardest part?  Not eating my kids' snacks.  The easiest part? Not having to think about what I would eat for breakfast and lunch!  Goal for tomorrow: Drink 8 glasses of water.  (I only drank about 6 today).

By the way, if you want more information/details on what exactly Arbonne's Detox program includes (and excludes!), please comment below with your email address and I'll be in touch!

I Drank the Kool-Aid and You Should Too

A while back, I had the opportunity to go to Memphis, TN to witness an Arbonne car presentation.  For those of you reading this who don't know what in the world I'm talking about, here's the deal:
I work for myself as an Arbonne consultant.  Arbonne is a health and wellness company.  It's a network marketing business (not a pyramid scheme -- that's illegal!) and when someone becomes a Regional Vice President in Arbonne, they get a white Mercedes Benz of their choice and we have a big party to celebrate.  In Memphis, I heard wonderful and inspiring stories about other peoples' adventures in Arbonne.  All the way home from Memphis my friend (a fellow consultant) and I planned how we would achieve our goals in Arbonne.  Tonight, while I was snuggling with my sweet, sleeping baby big boy, I started thinking of what brought me to Arbonne.  What brought me to this point in my life journey?

I first heard of Arbonne in 2005.  I was 24 at the time and laughed at the idea of using anti-aging skincare... never mind the fact that there was a FREE Mercedes attached!  A year later, I got married.  A year after that, I had a baby.  Three years later, I had another baby.  Three weeks after that, I turned 30 and my younger sister brought me sample packs of Arbonne's Anti-aging skincare and told me that it was time to start using it.  Talk about a blow to my ego!  But my sister and her husband saw the bigger picture.  They saw people experiencing great success and financial freedom through Arbonne.  They knew our budget was tight.  They could see the stress and tension it created in my marriage.  Through a little pressure from them, I agreed to meet with a consultant.  The thought of going back to work after almost 4 years at home was daunting.  The thought of leaving my four-month-old with a stranger was terrifying.  Then I remembered what I liked about all my past jobs.  I loved helping people.  That's why I always worked in retail.  That's why I enjoy being a mom.  Although, it can be exhausting to help little people all day long.  I realized that through Arbonne, I could have the best of both worlds, so I signed up.   

When I started out, I had a four-month-old baby and I wasn't about to leave her with anybody for any reason.  Needless to say, I didn't do much with my Arbonne business at first.  I told myself that my goal was to get my own products for free.  When I reached that goal, I told myself that it would be nice to have a little extra shopping money each month.  I despised asking my husband for money and feeling like a free-loader (can I get an AMEN from all the stay at home moms?!), so I worked my business to make that happen.  Then I met all these people who were not only making a little extra spending money, but were paying for their kids' college -- IN FULL, were quitting their full-time jobs in corporate America, were rescuing their families from bankruptcy, etc. and it was ALL because of Arbonne.  I told my husband these wonderful, inspiring stories about these successful women and men in Arbonne and he said, "So why aren't you doing that?"  That question weighed heavily on my mind and on my heart.  Why aren't I doing that?  I desperately wanted to take some of the financial burden off my husband.  I saw the stress that it caused him to be the sole provider for our family.  We had/have very little "family time" because of it.  I've dreamed my whole life of being a wife and mother.  I couldn't bear the thought of leaving my kids at daycare each day, so a typical day job wasn't going to work for me.  I knew Arbonne was the ONLY way for me to fulfill my wants.  

The further into my Arbonne journey I went, the more self-discovery I did.  That weekend in Memphis, I had a lightbulb moment (several actually).  Tonight I realized that I started my Arbonne business for financial freedom, but I have stayed in it because I wanted to return to being myself.  If that doesn't make sense, just keep reading and hopefully it will.  You see, in college, I was a bright and bubbly, happy girl without a care in the world...as most college students are.  But the older I got, the more I worried and somewhere along the way, I lost myself.  My worry was stealing my joy.  I became "Brian's wife," "Joseph and Katie's mom," not "Carrie-the-girl-who's-always-smiling."  I needed to regain that part of myself.  I have realized that Arbonne is the answer to all of my WANTS: 
Looking 25 again -- check!
Feeling 25 again -- check!
Building a house that we can stay in and never out-grow -- check!
Paying for my kids' college -- check!
Shopping anytime I want -- check!
Driving a PAID FOR Mercedes -- CHECK PLEASE!
FEELING like myself again -- PRICELESS!

All of this is to say, that Arbonne has been transformational for me.  I am renewed and excited to help people again.  I am looking forward to living in my new home and knowing that it will be "the house that Arbonne built."  For most people, their debt is rising and their savings are falling, but I am determined to reverse that trend in my own home and to help others do the same.  Here's to HEALTH and WEALTH!