Hello my friends! Today I want to share a story with you. I want to tell you about something that I have been involved with since October. After just a few months I am convinced enough about how amazing it is, and how amazing I feel that I feel comfortable sharing it with you all. Actually comfortable isn't the word - I want to shout it to all of you from the top of a mountain! Please take a few minutes to read my story :)
You all know that I have been on a mission to get healthier for over a year now, almost 2 at this point. I feel very passionately about processed foods, and how bad they are for us. As much as I love my Doritos and still eat them from time to time, I am well aware that they are just a chemical shit storm in a bag :( It's been a long and sometimes painstaking process, but you will find very little processed foods in our home. What you will find are a lot of mason jars filled with things like almonds, dried beans, different flours (white, wheat, coconut, almond, etc), brown rice, quinoa, shredded coconut....you get the idea. Our refrigerator has a lot of veggies and some fruit, eggs, cheese, almond milk, some condiments, wine lol.... Is this ideal for everyone? Absolutely not. All of our situations are different. In my case, I have no kids left at home - sad face - and I love to be in my kitchen cooking, so not only do I have a lot of time to do this, but I also enjoy it as well. Really though, once you get started it gets easier and easier. And if you decide to start cutting the processed foods out of your and your family's diet - I will be happy to help you as much as I can. I have done so much research into foods, and so much experimenting with different recipes - I have an arsenal of awesome ideas!
Back to my story, I get sidetracked so easily once I get started on the horrors of all the chemicals in our food!
I started very slowly making changes, because I knew this was a lifestyle change for me. It wasn't some crazy diet, some phase I was going through, or anything else I was accused of by people who thought I was nuts or just jumping on the latest food trend bandwagon. I started increasing the whole foods in our diets while decreasing the processed stuff. I gave up my precious Diet Pepsi. That took 3 different tries!! That was the hardest thing I have done on this journey, hands down. And now, I don't even miss it. As a matter of fact I tried one a few weeks ago at a restaurant and after 3 sips I asked for a glass of water. It tasted horrible. If only Doritos would magically taste horrible!
So, last summer I was watching my friend Jessie post day after day on facebook about something she had started doing and was having amazing results with. It spiked my curiosity and in October I decided to try it for myself. That something was Juice Plus Complete Shakes. This shake mix is amazing, it's full of healthy protein, not chalky or gritty and it tastes delicious. Best of all it DOESN'T contain chemicals, it's a natural whole food based shake mix. It's gluten free, dairy free, and vegan friendly. This video explains it better than I could write it, please take 2 minutes to watch it! The Complete Solution
In addition to the shake mix the Juice Plus company also has capsules and chewable gummies for your children that contain over 20 fruits and vegetable in each one. I am just starting to venture into the capsules, and if you have children you can get the gummies for them for FREE.
What has this done for me personally, and why do I feel like I want to share it with everyone I know? Let me tell you!
*More energy. I have been drinking a green smoothie for breakfast since January of last year. Almond milk, spinach, a scoop of protein powder and some frozen fruit. When I got the shake mix I added a scoop of it to my smoothie and oh my goodness, the chocolate shake mix with frozen banana - DELICIOUS! I felt like I was drinking a milkshake for breakfast. I noticed within a week that I had A LOT more energy. I stopped using my protein powder in my smoothies, mainly to save calories and because I was getting more protein out of the shake mix than I was the actual protein powder!
*I was sleeping better. I have a fitbit flex that measures your sleep as well as your steps. I started noticing that I was no longer waking up in the night, and according to my fitbit I had many less episodes of "restlessness" as well. I was waking up feeling refreshed again instead of still tired.
*My fingernails started growing again, and were stronger. Due to my job I can't keep fingernails at all, they always break. Now they actually grow and if I could just quit biting them I may have a shot at having nice nails!
*No afternoon slump. I used to need a 3pm cup of coffee to make it through the evening. I no longer felt that slump or decrease in energy and once I realized I was still drinking it out of habit I stopped.
*My mind was clearer. You know that foggy brain, I can't remember anything feeling. Yeah, it was gone.
*I lost weight. Yes, just by drinking a Complete Shake in the morning and changing little else, I lost 15lbs between the beginning of October and the end of November. My friend Jessie I mentioned - she has lost around 70lbs thanks to these shakes. I contribute it to the fact that my body is being nourished on the inside, getting what it needs to function properly and beginning to heal its self from the damage of years of eating and drinking like crap. And - I was more active thanks to all the extra energy I had. I started taking walks and just doing more around the house because I wasn't tired all the time.
Overall, I just felt better. Mentally and physically, I was noticing changes. Great changes!!
And then the Holidays hit. I knew I was going to be eating stuff I normally wouldn't, but I thought I was far enough a long in this journey that I wouldn't go too crazy. Boy was I wrong. It didn't help that I was unemployed for 5 weeks during this time, so I had nothing to do but cook and bake and yes, eat. Old habits can creep back up so easily!! I was out of my routine, so I quit drinking my shakes, I rarely left the house since I had no reason to, I started eating bad carbs and sugar - things I had cut out of my diet months ago. And man, did I ever feel like crap. I was sleeping like crap, I was starting to feel depressed and anxious again all the time. For 3 weeks I kept telling Russ I was going through menopause because I was having horrible hot flashes. He'd be freezing on the couch because I'd turned the AC up, and I'd be sitting there next to him sweating and fanning myself with a magazine. It was awful.
One day shortly after Christmas I noticed something. I ate something sweet and immediately the hot flashes started. Hmmmm. Got over that one and a few hours later I ate something sweet again. Sure enough, I started with the hot flashes again. I still wasn't convinced so I did it again the next day and it happened again. I realized just how unhealthy I had become again in such a short period. The new year was approaching and I decided it was time to get back on track. The next morning I got on the scale and was upset, but not surprised to see that I gained back every one of the 15lbs I has lost. Let's get something straight - I am not interested in being skinny. I have been skinny before, it was nice to have clothes fit me better but even though I was skinny I was NOT heatlhy. Not at all. I want to be healthy, and if skinny is a side effect of that then great, but it is not my main goal!!!
Now, here is the main reason why I am convinced that these shakes are my secret weapon. At the beginning of the year I started them back up again. I still wasn't eating totally healthy, but I had to start somewhere. Almost immediately I noticed a change. I went from feeling semi depressed, anxious and sluggish to feeling alert, having energy and just feeling better in a matter of days. It was ridiculous how much better I felt after a week. And it's not just me - I started making Russ the shakes again as well and he noticed a change also. Here's just some of what I noticed:
*No brain fog
*My anxiety is gone
*3pm slump is gone again
*I am more active
*My sleep is back on track.
*My hair feels healthy again. I no longer need a ton of leave in conditioner to get a brush through it. And it doesn't seize up like wet barbie doll hair in the shower anymore :)
*Feeling better makes me want to eat better so we have gotten back on track with our healthy food. We threw away the junk left from the holidays and restocked the healthy snacks.
Are you ready for the kicker? Those of you who really know me are probably going to fall right out of your chairs. Last week I GAVE UP COFFEE. Yes folks, you read that right. If Dunkin Donuts goes out of business I am sorry, but I broke my coffee addiction. I no longer need an IV of caffeine to get through my days. So while America may be running on Dunkin, I no longer am. You know that awful headache that goes along with caffeine withdrawal? Me too, as I have kicked caffeine in the past and it was awful. Ummm, not this time. I had a slight headache for a couple of day but it was nothing like the pounding ones I had in the past. I am truly amazed at the ways these shakes have changed so many aspects my daily life. And Russ is as well!
I am going to wrap this up because I know its gotten long, and if you are still reading - Thank You! I will be signing up to be a rep with this company soon, and Russ and I are going to start with the capsules as soon as I do. As well as getting Zach the free gummies since he is still in school - awesome right?! If you have any questions at all please ask me! I am in NO way going to pressure anyone to order anything, I just really want to share the info because I think everyone can benefit from better nutrition in their lives. I am more than willing to talk to you about it and answer any of your questions to see if it's a good fit for you and your life, and if it's something you'd like to try I'll be in a position to help you. I have a secret Facebook group as well, if you'd like to be added to that to get more info and see what everyone is saying about it let me know. Once I am up and running I will be offering free samples from time to time so you can try it before you buy it if you'd like. I have done the research and if I didn't believe it truly is a great product you know I wouldn't be using it - much less telling anyone else about it. I am really excited about being a part of something so wonderful, so beneficial, and sooooo good for ME!
I'll leave you with this..... Testimonial by Dr. William Sears