Monday, July 22, 2013

The Nitty Gritty on the Shakeology Cleanse (and why it rocks my socks and I can't wait to start it again)

I know I talked about the Shakeology cleanse before but I felt like that was more personal experience than actually explaining the hows and whys. Since I just got home from spending four days in a college dorm again (supervising 21 high school cheerleaders - when did I become the grown up?) and eating in a college cafeteria I am so ready to cleanse again. The last time I committed to this it really helped me get back on track quick after a long weekend trip of indulgences. I was able to quit sugar (which has slowly creeped back into my life again) and just really get back into eating clean and working out daily without really skipping a beat. In the past I have had to force myself to get back into the disciplined schedule I have been keeping. With the cleanse, it kind of just happened naturally. I didn't force myself to workout since my calories were restricted but the second and the third day I felt the want and the need to workout. My energy was there. I was waking up feeling awesome and ready to rock the day (and I had just started TurboFire and was super excited about the new workouts.)

So here is more behind the cleanse and why it worked for me --

It isn't a cleanse in the traditional sense

When I think of a cleanse, two things pop into my head. Spending days in the bathroom unable to do anything else or walking around sipping a concoction made from lemon juice, maple syrup, hot sauce and water and trying really hard not to eat for as many days possible. Neither, in my mind, sound like anything I want to sign up for. 

The Shakeology cleanse is different in the fact that the goal is not calorie restriction as much as it is getting the most nutrients for the least amount of calories. So think of it as getting the most bang for your buck in terms of nutrients and what your body needs. And then putting all of those calories to use in your exercise program. The other two goals of the cleanse are to rid the body of undigested food and toxins and hydrate your body to homeostatis. (

 How it Works

So if you have been clean eating and doing 5-6 small meals throughout the course of the day, your eating  structure doesn't change much. And again keeping the nutrients up is key - you still want to be able to exercise and function in your normal day to day routine.  

Making your shakes without added fruits is what is recommended - but if you are exercising and need the calories add fruit to your shake. (I do the vegan protein and it is more gritty than whey protein since it is made from brown rice & pea protein. I love adding 1/2 a banana to counter the grittiness. When I did the cleanse the first time, I continued to do this. I also needed the calories since I was doing a moderate to intense workout daily with Turbofire. Now the texture of my shake has become less of an issue and I can omit the banana. 40-60 calories at this point isn't going to be an issue. Do what you have to do.)

The salad -- which will be the best salad you have ever had in your entire life every night of this cleanse -- can also be modified if your body is telling you it can't function on what you are giving it. For example, I don't really eat meat. I can do fish occasionally but chicken makes me gag (it's a personal problem.) So one night I did a roasted portobello mushroom on top of my salad. The meaty-ness of the hot mushroom left me totally satiated but to make sure I was getting the calories and the good fat that comes with meat (even lean white meat) I added 1/4 of an avocado to my salad. I didn't follow the rules exactly (since I am not a meat lover) so I adapted it to work FOR ME. (And that is one of the things I love about this cleanse - you can adapt it to work for you and you still get awesome results.)

The day above is just that, a sample! I found it worked better for me to have fruit for breakfast with my green tea. I had my first shake after my workout. It kept me from getting headache-y. I have read blogs where the salad for lunch instead of dinner has really helped people who have a long day. Don't be afraid to play with it if it isn't working for you. 

A Word About Exercise

Exercise while being able to keep up with your "normal" day is the goal for this cleanse - however, light to moderate exercise is recommended. If you are doing an intense exercise program such as P90x or Insanity it is best to plan the cleanse for your recovery week. If you are exercising in the moderate to high level, you may need to add fruit to your shakes or seeds to your salad. Listening to your body and what it needs is super important! 

Other Liquids and What to Drink

Water - and lots of it. This is really important (especially when you think about one of the points of doing this being hydrated.) Drinking more water helps eliminate water retention (which sounds counter productive but it's not!) There are many different opinions on how much water we should aim for daily. I shoot for 1/2 my body weight in ounces and if I fall a little short (which I do a lot) I am still in pretty good shape. 

The cleanse calls for green tea (not coffee...ugh I know!) but the goal of the cleanse is being able to perform your daily routine and your exercise program so if you need a cup of coffee to get up and go - do it. (Just skip the cream and sugar!) You know what you need. If you are going to suffer from headaches all day if you skip your coffee, don't do it. Or if you are preparing to cleanse, start to cut back on the java little by little. Or try black tea - it still has caffeine (and can be easier to drink without cream and sugar.) Plus it can be easier on your tummy. 

And that's all folks. No pop, sugary drinks, sweet tea, vitamin water - nada. That stuff all has chemicals and the name of the game is to eliminate chemicals. 

Weight Loss

Drumroll please....what everyone want so hear about - the weight loss. Almost everyone loses weight with the cleanse. But the amount varies based on a few things. Those of us who eat fairly well and stay hydrated will lose less than those who have a lot to flush out of their system. (Which is one of the reasons I like to do the cleanse after a period of over indulgence, it gets me back on track.) It also sets up your system to use nutrition more efficiently so you are improving your ability to lose weight. The first time I did the cleanse I lost 3.8 pounds. I think I ended the cleanse on a Wednesday. Over the course of the weekend I lost another 5 pounds - so that whole setting your body up thing. Totally true. And unlike other crazy cleanses and diets (think cabbage soup or something like that) it never came back. I was able to stay off sugar and continue to lose until the beginning of this month. (Plateaus suck!) I would call that a rockin' success. 

So weight loss varies - welcome to life. Even if you don't lose weight, I can guarantee that you will feel awesome and your cravings will be pretty much gone. And remember the goal of the cleanse isn't weight loss (even though that is what most of us want) but nutrition and hydration (and feeling awesome!) 

So those are the details behind the Shakeology cleanse (and everything I neglected to talk about the first time I did the cleanse.) I have cleanse kits available (to order one check out the drop down buttons on the right.) If you have any questions or are interested in giving it a shot message me or leave a comment below. 

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