Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Enabler Alert: Summer 2015 Allure Beauty Thrills Box on sale TODAY

This is just a quick note letting you guys know that that Summer 2015 Allure Beauty Thrills box will go on sale at noon eastern time.  There is a countdown on the Allure Beauty Thrills page if, like me, you find time zones harder than they should be.  There is also a products list and descriptions of the items at the link.  Personally I think this one is a great box; tons of household basics plus brands I love like IT Cosmetics, Laniege, Redken.  This is the first box in a LONG time where I know I will use almost every item so I'm planning on snagging one.

Don't forget that these boxes sell out FAST; you will need to start refreshing the page a few minutes before noon and type in your credit card number at lightning speed to get one.  Good luck!!!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Arbonne 28 Day Detox Results / Review / Tips

28 Day Detox Overview here.
Comparison to 30 Days to Healthy Living here

Full disclosure: I am technically an Arbonne consultant, but only in the sense that I paid to be a consultant so I can use the 35% discount for myself and my family.  It's not a business opportunity for me, and I don't care if you buy it or not.  This is my results post from doing the detox in June 2014, written in July 2015 because I had NO IDEA so many people were googling Arbonne Detox results and finding my blog until now and I feel bad that I never posted these results.  Welcome, Google friends!

I should also disclose (before it's too late for your retinas) that for me, a results post involves posting unflattering pictures of myself with far too few clothes for my comfort.  However, I know when I was researching the detox that was what I wanted to see when determining if this was worth the investment / hassle. So I'm taking one for the team.  I'm also posting shirtless pics of my hubby, who is a sexy, albeit hairy, manbeast.  YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Before getting to the results, I did want to share something I learned from the Facebook group when I asked why corn and vinegar are on the avoid list.  Turns out the Arbonne diet avoids all things Acidic, Addictive, or Allergenic.  I found NOTHING explaining this when I first researched the diet, so that was super interesting to find out.  This video actually explains the perils of acidic diets really well, and is totally consistent with what I learned in medical school (we had a whole day devoted to "is diet coke bad", and all they came up with was that it leeches phosphates).  So I still think the detoxing concept and aspartame hate are bullshit, but I now totally understand more about what this diet is ACTUALLY doing for my body. 

On to the results.

The first time I did the Detox was back in June 2014, and my hubby did it along with me.  Since this was the only time I followed the rules pretty closely, these are the only pics I'll subject you to.  In 28 days, I lost 13 pounds and my husband lost 22.  I think we both had moments of weakness, so I think we could have lost a bit more if we tried harder...maybe 15 and 25 pounds? 

These pictures are not photoshopped and we are not purposely trying to look chubbier than real life in the before shot. 

My results:

Justin's results:

My thoughts on the Detox:

Well, obviously it works.  I lost 6 of the 13 pounds during the first week in June 2014, and have lost 5-6 pounds in a week several times since then.  I LOVE that I know that any time my pants don't fit or I feel bloaty and crappy, I have a super easy fix.  And it really is easy if you are the sort of person who does the best when you have really specific rules.  I don't feel like I am overly hungry on this, since you get 2 shakes, 2 snacks, and a decent sized meal every day, plus fizz sticks, lots of water, and detox tea in between.  If anything, I actually feel more full during some parts of my day because I'm consuming so many beverages.  That was unexpected...it's weird to think about how much less food your body REALLY needs. 

That being said...the Detox makes me tired and crabby when I strictly follow the rules.  Almost pregnant-tired, if you know what that's like.  They tell you in the Facebook group to make sure you are getting 1200 calories so you don't plateau, and I think that just might not be enough for me to feel like a functional human being.  Justin and several of my friends who have tried the Detox all reported that they felt AMAZING and their energy levels were through the roof.  Justin was actually downright CHEERY on this thing.  But that's just not how it affected me.  However, I have learned that if I do a cheaty version of the detox (eating some greek yogurt or a non-gluten free tortilla here and there, or just plain enjoying a food I like in moderation 1-2 times a week or so, rules be damned) I can lose 9-10 pounds over 28 days and feel just fine. 

Is it sustainable?

I stayed within a pound or two of my final weight for 3 months after the first round, which tells me that I didn't just lose water weight.  It also took time for my body to go back to wanting bigger portions, so it's not like I quit cold turkey.  But to be honest, I never really went into the 80/20 maintenance mode you are supposed to do for after your 28 days are up.  I have gone through phases where I gain weight, then do the detox for a week, then gain it back a couple of months later.  But that clearly had nothing to do with Arbonne and everything to do with the choices I was making.  I have no regrets, I love food, and I am far far far from one of those "nothing tastes better than skinny feels" people.  That expression makes me genuinely sad for the people who feel that way.  But I like that I know I can enjoy myself on vacations or holidays and know exactly what to do to get myself back to a more comfortable weight whenever I am ready to commit again. So yes, it's sustainable, but you will gain your weight back if you go back to old habits.  If you tend to yoyo your habits, you will likely yoyo your weight.  Duh. 

Did it fix my rosacea?

Yes and no.  I was actually kind of annoyed that my skin cleared up so nicely on the Detox, since it proves that avoiding all of the good things in life does, in fact, help.  But it's not a magical solution...I still flared up when I used a sunscreen that was too harsh for my skin, or when I got overheated.  So it's not like all of the non-food triggers disappear just because I'm avoiding the food triggers.  And if I can't control everything, I may as well enjoy the occasional glass of red wine or spicy food or sweet, sweet chocolate...that's what makeup is for!

Here is a pic of me with little to no makeup after a couple of weeks on the detox in June 2014...not too bad, if you know what my skin normally looks like:

Hot tips:

The thing that works best for me is keeping it simple.  Sure, it's fun to experiment with all of the different shake varieties, but a) they add calories, and b) ain't nobody got time for that.  As a working mom, it's easier for me to just keep the powder and a shaker in my cube than to go home at lunch or to pack a fancy shake with a ton of ingredients.  The chocolate is actually rather delicious on its own.  On the weekends, I throw in a spoonful of almond butter and replace the water with almond milk, and it's a fancy treat. 

Same goes for meals.  It's fun to follow the Facebook group and try out all of the new recipes, but that takes a lot more planning than I have brain space and time for.  I am totally okay with just having plain chicken and broccoli for dinner.  Or a chicken burger and a salad.  Or a sweet potato and browned / lightly seasoned ground turkey.  Or eggs scrambled with spinach with some avocado and salsa on the side.  If that is too boring, the other thing that works for me is pairing the Arbonne shakes with Wildtree freezer meals (I would like to do a post about that some day too - basically I love taking advantage of consultant discounts in pyramid schemes, haha).  Most of the meals are reasonably Arbonne compliant as they are, but honestly when I am doing the cheaty version I don't worry about it if it's not.  Even the meals that aren't technically Arbonne 28 Day Detox compliant are pretty healthy and that's good enough for me.

This one doesn't apply to everyone, but I also have to be really careful to only pack the snacks I'm allowed to have that day, or I will binge eat like a crazy person.  I learned this the hard way when I thought I'd be slick and bring in the whole bag of almonds instead of the allotted 10-15.  I mindlessly ate half the bag when on a conference call; something I would never do if it wasn't sitting here, asking me to eat it. This applies to home as well...if you don't typically have a lot of willpower, don't keep any junk in the house.  You can't eat what you don't have.     

Final verdict:

It's been a year since I first started using Arbonne products, and I can honestly say I recommend the company and their products, despite having a healthy degree of skepticism about some of their claims.  As much as some of the "you just feel bad because years worth of those pesky toxins are leaving your body!!" type sentiments annoy me, ultimately I don't care if Arbonne's claims are based on junk science as long as the rules set me up for success.  We can argue all day about what is actually happening at the cellular level; the point is that it works. 

What I really like about the Detox is that it's so customizable.  I highly recommend doing what I did...follow it to a T or as close as you can one time, then take the pieces you like and discard what you don't like the next time...use the buffet approach.  Everyone's body and tastes are different, so adjust the Detox to your own preferences.  I think that is the best way to make it a legitimate lifestyle.  But like I said before - you DO have to make it a lifestyle for the results to stick.  I'll speak more to the products that worked for me and the products that didn't in a future product review post.  Until then, I hope this helps!