I lost 10 pounds. The 10 pounds. The elusive 10 pounds everyone is always trying to lose. At least everyone I seem to know.
I wasn’t sad. I didn’t feel deprived. I felt motivated because I had started so strong (6.5 pounds in the first week!). I had half-heartedly been trying to lose weight for, well, ever. I eat healthy (most of the time). I work out pretty much every week day. But it wasn’t coming off. (And sometimes it was coming on!) It wasn’t until I was finally ready to try something new that it finally did.
For 30 days I did two plant-based, protein shakes a day, with capsules full of fruits, vegetables and berries, and a healthy meal. Sometimes that meal would be lunch (better) or if I was going out, it would be dinner. The shakes were filling. Sometimes I would put kale or bok choy or carrots or apples in it too. Whatever I thought sounded good and easy. In between, I ate healthy snacks like apples, bananas, roasted brussel sprouts etc. Grow food. I never let myself get hungry.
10 pounds – one month. I think that’s the healthiest way to do it if you’re trying to do it fast. Two-ish pounds a week. Though my weight didn’t come off like that storybook tale of weight loss.
This program has rules. Rules that I was supposed to follow for 30 days. I followed them for 7. And the rest of the 21 days I was close but not perfect. No where near perfect. And I guess that was okay.
The next time I weighed myself after my exhilarating 6.5 weight drop was a Wednesday (I normally weigh myself on Fridays but did it early because we were going camping later that day and I knew I was going to skip a few detox days and add them to the end of my 30. Creative, right?). Turns out I was the same weight I had been the week before. I was a little heart broken because it felt like I had tried so hard and didn’t have the validation I needed for my efforts but at least I hadn’t gained any weight which meant it was real. Plus, I was just about to start my, umm, cycle and that’s a couple extra water weight pounds every month. So, really, hurray!
When we got to the campsite, my blonde, thin and beautiful girlfriend Morgan walked over to me and said, “Wow, you look great. Did you lose some weight?”
Now that’s some powerful validation.
During the camping trip, even though I had given myself a hall pass for the weekend, I was still aware I was supposed to be good with my food. I wanted more of what I got from my friend Morgan. I ate but not a lot and I made healthier choices than I would have otherwise, knowing I had my 6.5 pounds to protect.
In that first perfect week, I had tried to cut out coffee. I drank maybe one or two cups. In the second, I resolved to reduce. One cup a day was fine I decided.
In that first week, I worked out every weekday. You’re supposed to move your body for at least 30 minutes a day, five times a week. I usually walk or take a yoga or zumba class. Nothing crazy. In the second, we went camping so that cut out three of my five days. In the third week, I was tired because it felt like I was fighting off something I had picked up during the camping trip because although I was still drinking the shakes in the morning, I HAD FORGOTTEN TO BRING MY JUICE PLUS CAPSULES – the real heart of our healthy regiment. I live a life full of irony. So, third week, no workout but no coffee either.
You’re also supposed to reduce dairy, wheat and alcohol. Eliminate if you want to go faster. I eliminated wheat and reduced the rest. I love a little feta or gorgonzola in my salads.
Also, somewhere in week two, I watched a documentary with my husband called Forks Over Knives. It talks about a study called The China Study, which is the largest nutritional study ever conducted and points to the meat and dairy industries as the culprits for the increase in cancer we are seeing around the world. Previously healthy countries, shifting from their local diets to our Western one, are starting to experience the obesity and resulting diseases that we are seeing in our country. This study purports it is caused by meat and dairy. Although I am not willing to give up all the foods I love that include those items, I am willing to reduce them. So, starting at week two, we shifted our diets dramatically to include beans, rice and many new (to us) vegetable dishes. I had to get a new cookbook.
But I am a big proponent of the 90-10% rule. With everything, including the kids. If I eat well 90% of the time, I feel I can get away with atypical choices the other 10. It’s within that 10% range that birthday parties fall into for my kids. It’s within that 10% that meat and dairy and alcohol fall into. It’s the every once in a while rule. So you never feel deprived and never have the urge to binge or overindulge.
Another big part of the program is water consumption. You’re supposed to drink half your body weight in ounces every day. More if you exercise. That’s a tall order but it’s also how your body flushes all the toxins out and how your skin and cells stay supple. I drank two glasses of water in the morning, afternoon and evening, with my meals or shakes. After a while, it just slides down.
Then there’s sleep. You’re supposed to get 8 hours a night on the program. Many women hold onto their weight because their bodies don’t get a chance to “cleanse” themselves during the sleep cycle. When we sleep, our entire body repairs itself. And people who regularly get less than 6 hours of sleep, have a shorter life span. Every night I aim for 8 hours but I have kids and I wake up when they wake me up. So the trick is to accommodate this temporary condition in my life by adjusting my natural body clock which is nocturnal. I had varying results with this one too.
Plus, you’re not supposed to eat after 6. This is also to aid with the “cleansing” portion of the body’s cycle. I mostly failed with this one. I wonder if I had been able to stick to this rule specifically, if I would have had even better results. But I love to go out to dinner with my husband and friends. And I love my weekend couch dates that involve wine and popcorn (air popped).
Overall, I think if you can follow the main principles of the program and decide whether you want to do this quickly to power through the inevitable detox portion and finish quicker (T30) or go a little slower to ease into the program ( The Complete Transformation). I used the shakes as meal replacements because I wanted to lose weight. But athletes and people who just want to get healthier overall can use them as snacks between meals and after workouts. They are very filling.
At the end of week 4, I held my breath as I stepped onto that little window of judgement and found the number displayed dipped below my pre-pregnancy weight. Hurray! It was such a welcome sight. I looked up into the mirror with a whole new appreciation of myself, ha ha.
Ultimately, here’s my philosophy on health: we’re all going to die. Taking Juice Plus and trying to be healthy is about living long and dying short (plus looking good in the meantime….naturally!). Everything will benefit from eating more fruits and vegetables. Everything.
I always hear these great stories from people who take Juice Plus consistently. My one girlfriend has struggled with a bleeding dry skin disorder her entire adult life. She was already eating very clean but after adding the capsules, she told me her skin is softer than it’s ever been. Another friend just told me after a month of taking the capsules, her cousin had her blood work done and all the results were in great ranges. Her doctor asked her what she was doing different and to keep it up because her cousin is battling a brain tumor. It’s things like that that make me want to tell everyone how easy it can be to look and feel great. It’s why I do it between my writing projects. It’s why I pull my hair out when I feel I’m not communicating this great find in a way that makes it clear. What brought it home for me was after 6 months of taking the Juice Plus capsules my doctor told me my blood tests showed I had low (“enviable”) cholesterol levels. I haven’t had low cholesterol ever. Not since the first time it was tested in 9th grade. It’s genetic and I thought out of my control. And it’s also freed my family from being quaratined during the cold and flu season like a war triage unit. There are several respected medical journals that have published scientific clinical research studies on Juice Plus showing many more ways it helps people. Which other nutritional supplement company has that?
There’s a reason doctors and nutritionists say to eat 7-13 servings of fruits and veggies everyday. But in this fast paced, over scheduled, processed food world that we live in, it’s hard. Besides, who has a refrigerator big enough?