My Shred 10 Journey
As I was just writing that title I realized it sounded as if I went on this long trek or did something for some great long while, but in all actuality it was only 10 days. But…it was still a bit of a journey for me 😉 and Matt included!
About a month and a half ago a person reached out to me on Facebook messenger saying that one of the instructors at Pure Barre said we should get to know each other (we both like Pure Barre, cooking and eating healthy and we both have Golden Retrievers! Duh!) Her name is Marianne and we decided to meet for an outdoor coffee before the next Pure Barre pop-up class. Needless to say, we hit it off immediately and I felt like we had known each other forever! As you get to be my age, especially when you aren’t working a full time job, it is really difficult meeting people, especially those that you have so much in common with. 🙂
After a couple more times meeting up I saw that she was wearing a shirt that had “Juice Plus+” on it and I asked her about it. After hearing more about it, I was very interested and will tell you more about that later on. She also said, as part of that, she was participating in this ten day cleanse sort of thing and she invited me to check it out on Facebook to see what they were doing with it.
At first, the guidelines seemed daunting. I mean, eliminate or reduce alcohol and caffeine for ten days? Seriously? That includes a weekend where we sometimes like to indulge (Pumpkin Spice Lattes just reemerged, we just found this amazing new Gin… you get my point). Ok, I can do anything for 10 days, right? Reduce or eliminate processed foods. Well, that won’t be too tough because we don’t eat too much processed foods anyway. Score! Eliminate gluten, dairy and artificial or refined sugars. Alright, I’ve had some gluten free products and there are quite a few options so I can still have bread if I want. I already had the Ezekiel Sprouted Grain bread in my freezer so that won’t be too bad. Dairy? We don’t drink milk! Easy! But wait…one of my favorite things in life contains dairy…CHEESE!!! Now that might be another tough one for me to say the least. But, I can do anything for 10 days, right? (I kept trying to tell myself this) And as for the refined sugars, no big deal…or at least I thought.
The other parts of the Shred included more plant based foods (easy), drinking plenty of water (I already do), get 7-8 hours of sleep each night (I try and lately have been getting close thanks to melatonin!), and exercise most days (already doing my Pure Barre and walking the dogs). The last part was adding 1-2 Juice Plus Complete Shakes a day and taking the Juice Plus capsules daily. Easy peasy. Once I learned about all the benefits of the Juice Plus products, I was sold and became a partner with the company very quickly! 🙂
So, I soak all this in and start sharing all my excitement with Matt. Being the supportive husband that he is, he decides he will join me for the next Shred that was going to be starting the day after Labor Day. We went grocery shopping together on the day before it was to begin. We loaded up our cart with lots of fruits and veggies and felt good about it all.
I forgot to mention that Matt and I decided to also eliminate meat while on this Shred. Totally not necessary, but I thought we could use the extra challenge. Don’t ask me why. We don’t really eat that much meat anyway so I thought, why not? Hmmm…
We get home from shopping and I start a little meal prepping. I made these totally delicious protein energy bites as well as some kale and edamame salads for our first couple of lunches. I was feeling so motivated and excited to see what was going to come of all this. Only good, right?
The first couple of days weren’t too bad! It was weird sitting down to dinner that first night and not “cheersing” each other with our usual glass of wine with dinner, but the new sparkling waters we found made it ok. The first day was Tuesday, where we normally have tacos of some sort or some other mexican dish. I ended up making these lovely burrito bowls and somehow didn’t even miss the cheese. Day one complete!
On day 3 I started getting headaches, which I rarely get. It was uncomfortable, but everything else was going ok until I started thinking about our Friday pizza. As many of you already know, Friday is a very big Pizza night in our house. We have spent the last 6 years perfecting our pizza making techniques and pretty much love everything about Pizza Fridays. We decided we were going to try and make our own cauliflower pizza crust. Sounded like fun and I knew as long as Matt was willing to help we’d be good. Then I started thinking about the toppings. Nope, can’t do the pepperoni I was thinking about because we said no meat. Ok, that’s fine, I’ll use some Beyond Meat spicy italian sausage! Throw some fresh arugula on top and we’ve got it! Oh wait…no dairy. Now this just added to my headache and made me mad that we had decided to eliminate so much from our diet during this first shred of ours. Then Matt remembered a vegan cheese that we had used in the past that wasn’t bad so I found some of that and was kinda feeling better about it.
Overall, it was a process and the flavors were amazing, but we had to eat it with a fork because we just couldn’t get the crust crispy. Live and learn. Maybe someday we will try again, but as I am writing this, it is Friday and I cannot WAIT to make our usual crust for tonight’s pizza 🙂
We managed to do ok over the weekend. We didn’t indulge…too much. I did fix a scramble on Saturday morning with some veggies that tasted good even without cheese. I tossed in some nutritional yeast to add some of that flavor and it was very good. We did have wine with our dinner on Saturday night as well as an after dinner drink too.
On Sunday, Matt woke up and made a new smoothie for us. It tasted just like an apple pie! It was very satisfying and a good start to our day.
On to Football time! I had my special snack already all planned out. Matt was trying to get our games on the tv to no avail so we resorted to listening to them both on Sirius. It was all good. Both of our teams won thankfully and our sweet potato nachos turned out delish!! Will definitely make these again. Also had to eat with a fork, but that did not matter. Even made a delicious vegan cashew queso to drizzle over the top! Yum!
After Sunday, we just had four more days to go. I really felt like I was over the hump and was definitely feeling good. I was noticing small changes with my body as well. I had more energy and was just overall feeling refreshed. Here are a few more things we made for dinner during this shred.
Overall, participating in this Shred10 was a great experience. I felt like I pushed myself, especially when I was having cravings, to choose healthier options. DId I miss certain things? Of course! I especially missed the option of having things that I wanted. I think that’s what frustrated me a bit. But, now I amy not go for that piece of cheese when I want it and may go for some carrots instead. Did I miss sugar? I think I may have. I know that some days that fresh fruit just didn’t satisfy me like one of my oatmeal butterscotch cookies would have, but, I made it through. Will I continue eating like this? Not exactly, but I will be much more conscious of what I am preparing and what I am snacking on. Will we do this again? Of course! It’s great for maybe before you go on a beach vacation, or after the holidays when you may have overindulged. What’s awesome is the amazing group of people we connected with over Facebook during this time. There was constant support from everyone and wonderful ideas for recipes. It was so nice to hear others’ stories on why they were doing this or what they were experiencing during the shred. People come from all different places in their health journey to do this together and that makes it a lot easier, knowing that others are going through the same things you are, maybe even more so. Feel free to reach out to me if you want to learn more about the Juice Plus products or if you want to join in on the next Shred 10. They start the first Monday of each month and last for ten days. You can do anything for ten days, right? 😉