UPDATE: Be sure to be on the lookout for my week 1 update; I have learned more about the diet (why we avoid what we avoid) from the facebook group!
Some of you expressed an interest in my experience with Arbonne's 28 Day Detox, so I plan to do this intro post, an end of week post each week I'm on it, and maybe my thoughts after it's all over. I might review some products along the way as well. Just to be clear, I am not trying to sell anyone Arbonne. I am a consultant, but just because I wanted the 35% discount for myself and friends/family.
Any posting here is just because I'm viewing this as a fun science experiment. I am really interested to see how my body responds to the various products and whether it's worth the hype (and steep price, even with 35% off). I'm also blogging about it because I enjoyed E's posts and all of the other posts I read - no two people have the same experience, so I figure I'll put mine out into the world too.
My initial thoughts on the program (and it's totally okay if you disagree!)
I should probably say right up front that I think the whole concept of "detoxing" is bullshit. I have no reason to believe that my liver and kidneys aren't doing the job for me. I get really cringey when people in the various facebook groups (I'm in the June 2 and June 16 groups) start talking about how we are being poisoned by this or that and how all of these "toxins" are in our fat cells and that's why we have no energy and can't lose weight. I don't know of a single credible medical professional who would agree with some of these claims.
I am only 1/4 of a doctor (med school dropout, woohoo!), but I think that the reason this plan works is that it puts people in nutritional ketosis. Compared to the standard American diet (which people love to call SAD, but it makes me happy - yay food!), it's super high protein (80+ grams if you work out) and super low carb (most of the allowed carbs are all fiber, and you are only supposed to fill up 1/8 of your plate with carbs).
I personally don't think gluten is evil or that people in general have anywhere NEAR as many food allergies / intolerances as they claim. I don't think there is a ton of benefit (to me, not to the animals) from only eating cage free animals, and GMOs or hard to read ingredients don't typically scare me. I don't mind a little science in my food and skincare.
It's all about moderation, people. If you normally eat tons of crap and don't work out, and then you suddenly pay close attention to your nutrition for 28 days, you will lose weight, plain and simple. Considering that I prepped for the detox by hitting up Five Guys, Coldstone, and Church's Chicken, I fully expect that replacing 2 meals with shakes and eating a healthy dinner is going to have a big impact on my appearance and my general well being. I also think it will be better for my family as a whole, since it will force us to eat out less and to cook more. I actually do make really healthy dinners when I cook, but when I get busy with work and the kids, meal prep is one of the first things that goes out the window. I am ready for a lifestyle change.
Finally, I am excited to see if this actually helps my rosacea. This diet eliminates almost every single rosacea trigger, so even if nothing else works out, I will know once and for all if avoiding triggers is a worthwhile endeavor. I did get some Arbonne skincare, but I think I'm going to hold off until after the detox to test it so there aren't any confounding factors.
Arbonne products are vegan and gluten-free, and are developed "with premium blends of vitamins, minerals, botanicals, superfood antioxidants, enzymes, prebiotics, and probiotics."
The 28 Day Detox uses products from the 30-Day Feeling Fit kit, which is not at all confusing (omg). The kit includes 2 protein shake mixes (chocolate and/or vanilla), 2 energy fizz sticks (citrus and/or pomegranate), 2 fit chews (chocolate, caramel, lemon, or other seasonal flavors), 2 herbal detox teas, and 1 daily fiber boost.
You can also add the 7 day cleanse for week 3 of the program. I got it in the name of trying to follow the program to a T, but basically I think I'll be pooping out $50. You're welcome for that image. Some people add Digestion Plus (probiotics) to their shakes as well, but I didn't purchase it.
The 30-day feeling fit kit plus the 7-Day cleanse ran a whopping $272.11 after my discount, but including those pesky taxes and S&H. The S&H on Arbonne is INSANE. I have no idea how much I spend in 28 days for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and diet coke, but if I assume $5 for breakfast and $7 for lunch, I would have spent $336, so this may actually be less expensive than business as usual. And I will save more money by swapping or skipping items next round; it's customizable.
The avoid list
While doing the detox, I have to avoid dairy, gluten, soy, peanuts/PB, sugar, honey, maple syrup, artificial sweeteners, coffee, alcohol, all fruit except limes, lemons, green apples, and berries, pork, farm-raised fish, non cage-free eggs, non free-range chicken, non grass-fed beef, white potatoes, corn, nitrates, MSG, and vinegar. Whew!
I am most worried about diet coke, but I cut wayyyy back the last 2 weeks so I didn't have to go cold turkey.
Arbonne doesn't spend a lot of time telling you WHY you are avoiding certain ingredients, but I still think it's mainly to get you into ketosis and to see if you have food allergies.
A typical day
You are supposed to go 4 hours between meals, so I decided my shake times are 10 and 2 and dinner is at 6. You aren't supposed to eat after 7.
Wake up: Detox tea, fizz stick
Breakfast: Shake + fiber
Snack: Fit chew and/or 8-10 almonds or 3-4 berries
Snack: Fit chew and/or 8-10 almonds or 3-4 berries
Dinner: A fist size of lean protein, non-starchy vegetables, high fiber carb, and a small amount of healthy fat. The cheat sheet shows 1/2 your plate being veggies, 1/4 protein, 1/8 carbs, 1/8 fat. No seconds.
If I work out intensely for an hour, I can have a recovery shake in addition to all of the above, within 30 min of working out. It's basically a regular shake + half a banana + a serving of healthy fat. I might just eat the half banana with some almond butter on it and skip the shake if it's too close to meal time. We'll see.
I have an Arbonne pinterest board that has a ton of great dinner options. Some of them will require substitutions to comply with the avoid list though. I'll be including which specific meals I eat in my weekly write-ups, since that is what I was most interested in when I was reading every Arbonne detox post in the history of the internet. Well, that and before/after pics, obvs.
Wish me luck!!