I recently completed the Beachbody 3 Day Refresh cleanse and wanted to write a bit about my experience. This was actually my third time doing the program, and I thought I would share my thoughts. I'm going to be completely honest about this and my feelings about it, because the Refresh program does feel very personal. I typically have stayed far away from cleanses. I love food, I don't like depriving myself and other cleanses such as juice fasts or 30 day detoxes just felt way too restrictive.
However...there are times when I start straying off the reservation! I know that I'm starting to get off track with my nutrition when my cravings (especially for sweets) start skyrocketing, when I feel bloated and sluggish and when I feel bored and uninspired by food in general...thus leading me to bad choices.
The past few weeks I could sense my bad habits creeping back and I was just feeling sluggish and bloated. I chose the refresh so that I could do a quick program to reboot my system and get myself back on track before the new year. Below is a short recap of the program, what I specifically did, and my true feelings about it.
The 3 Day Refresh is a plant based cleanse that does include meals over a 3 day period. I shopped for it by purchasing a lot of vegetables and fruit like celery, lettuce, carrots, peppers, cucumber, apples and banana. Snacks also include healthy fats, so I stocked up on my avocado and hummus.
Each day on the Refresh starts with a superfood shake called Shakeology. I already drink this every day and LOVE it, so naturally this was the best part of my day. I added half a banana to give it some density and texture. Mid morning it was time for the Fiber Sweep drink. It didn't have the best taste, but it was in only 8 ounces of water and easy to get down when I drank it quickly!
Lunch consisted of a small portion of fruit, a Vanilla Fresh shake, and two vegetable portions. I had half an apple, half a cucumber, and some hummus in addition to my shake. Then, in mid-afternoon the snack was carrots and hummus.
Dinner was another vanilla shake with a healthy sized salad of cumbers, spinach, olive oil, lemon juice and tomatoes. The program comes with a very helpful list of plant based recipes. I did like that variety of options for dinner. There was also an option at dinner for a cup of vegetable broth, but it wasn't necessary.
How I felt: Eager to start feeling better, bleary (hello sugar detox!!), slightly hungry, and some stomach issues (likely due to the increased greens....thus highlighting an area that needed work!). At the end of Day 1 I already had identified several bad habits and realized that I wasn't getting enough greens in my diet.
Vigorous exercise is not recommended on the Refresh, so I did a lighter workout and had my chocolate Shakeology (again, best part!). I noticed right away that I was feeling tired, but the stomach issues were gone. I kept on throughout day with the fiber sweep again mid-morning, a lunch of fruit, vegetables and Vanilla Fresh shake, then a cucumber and hummus snack. I concluded the day with a final Vanilla Fresh shake and green beans with olive oil and lemon.
How I felt: Irritable! Hungry! Tired! This was my third time doing the refresh, and each time Day 2 is the hardest for me! My body felt like it really was in the throes of detox and I just tried to go with the fatigue and irritability by taking it easy this day and being gentle with myself.
Wow, what a difference. I woke up feeling alert and clear. My morning exercise consisted of a vigorous walk outside because my physical energy level was still low due to the calorie decrease. Mentally, I really felt great. The fogginess and general fatigue were gone. I once again kept up the same food pattern and found that I wasn't as hungry as the previous two days. I didn't even have a snack in the afternoon, which is usually when I start wanting to eat anything and everything!
How I felt: Fatigue gone. Energy back up. Irritablily gone. Cravings for sweets vastly reduced, but I really found myself craving proteins like meat and eggs. This day felt easier. Partially I think because I was coming to the other side of the detox process, but also because mentally I knew it was the last day!
That was it, just 3 days. Day 4 for me was great. My energy level was almost back at 100%, but more importantly I felt amazingly alert and clear. My bloating had completely gone down and my stomach was almost flat, which admittedly is very rare, as that's where I hold the fat in my body.
Final Results & Conclusions:
I lost 4 pounds. I felt more alert and energetic. Most importantly to me, I GAINED a new awareness of some bad habits that I didn't even realize i had developed! All in all, I think this program is great. Is it easy? No. The second day for me is always pretty difficult, but I always know I need to stay the course through the detox process. I would do it again, and am glad to have it as a resource for those times I need to get back on track. I only will do this when necessary though, as I prefer to just stick to my usual 5 meals a day with lots of protein!
If you want to have a quick reboot, and find this appealing, then it's a great program for you!
Even if you think a cleanse is not the right choice, I'd love to hear from you and we can talk about options. Cleanses may not be for everyone, but there is always a program that works based on individual needs! Feel free to comment below, via the sidebar or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you'd like more information about the 3 Day Refresh, please see my post here.