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Program Review: 3 Day Refresh

You know that feeling when you get home from a vacation and you can sense with every cell of your body that you overindulged? When you just feel sluggish, bloated, and BLAH?

That's exactly the feeling the 3 Day Refresh is meant to address. It's a three-day vegan cleanse that is meant to hit a "reset" button for your body. If you've gotten off track from healthy eating, it's meant to get you back to it and kick any junk food habits and cravings that may have taken hold. If you've never before experienced how your body feels with clean eating, this is meant to be a crash course. It may be a drastic change, but its short three-day timeframe makes it manageable.

How does it work??

Our bodies are constantly performing detoxifying functions to protect us from the environmental toxins we're all exposed to with the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the products we put on our skin. But by reducing our exposure over the course of three days, we allow our bodies to better detoxify and to direct energy toward other functions. (For this reason, it's suggested that you buy organic produce for this plan even if you don't normally.)

The 3 Day Refresh is a food-based detox (unlike that cayenne and lemon water cleanse you may have heard of). It's gentler on the body and more similar to the way you're used to eating. You can expect to eat lots of vegetables, along with some fruit, plant-based protein, and healthy fats. All of the foods included in the 3 Day Refresh have potent anti-inflammatory effects. This is a big part of how the program works: instead of our bodies having to fight inflammation from the foods we ingest, during this program our diet works with the body's efforts to quiet down inflammation. (Learn more about inflammation and why it matters for health.)

What do you eat on the 3 Day Refresh??

The plan includes two servings of fruit per day (one with breakfast and one with lunch); two snacks (each made up of a vegetable and a healthy fat) and one dinner choice from the simple recipes included in the program guidebook; and three vegan protein shakes per day. Some extras are also allowed, like herbal tea and organic vegetable broth with fresh herbs, or a fresh raw juice (from the recipes in the book) once per day instead of a snack.

So, for example, during my 3 Day Refresh I had:

  • A cup of water with lemon upon waking

  • Within one hour of waking up, vegan Shakeology blended with water and frozen raspberries or blueberries

  • Mid-morning Fiber Sweep shake shaken with water

  • For lunch, a Vanilla Fresh shake blended with water and frozen raspberries or blueberries, plus a vegetable and healthy fat (e.g., celery or carrots with almond butter, or red pepper sticks with hummus)

  • Mid-afternoon snack of a vegetable and healthy fat (e.g., tomato with avocado, chili flakes, and vinegar; kale sauteed with coconut oil; or kale massaged with olive oil and lemon zest)

  • For dinner a Vanilla Fresh shake blended with water, and a dinner recipe from the book (e.g., kale with pine nuts; roasted asparagus with olive oil and almonds; spinach salad with tomato and cucumber)

Is it hard??

The first day was tough, just because I never felt 100% satisfied after a meal (I normally eat a lot of meat). After that, my body seemed to adjust mentally and physically. I had more energy, felt less hungry, and had extremely sound sleep. I personally believe that meat has nutritional benefits and my body does best eating meat regularly (and I love dairy too much to give it up for good!)—but I plan to repeat the 3 Day Refresh a few times a year. It would be great before an event where you want to look your best in a form-fitting dress.

What's in the supplements??

Shakeology is a superfood shake that contains probiotics, digestive enzymes, antioxidants, supergreens, and adaptogens in addition to protein. I drink it daily because of its protective effects against the stress of everyday life. The vegan version is recommended during the 3 Day Refresh just because whey protein is an ingredient people may have sensitivity to without realizing it.

The Fiber Sweep shake helps clean out your pipes using psyllium husk powder, flaxeed, and chia. In my experience and the experience of my clients, it is a mild laxative, not powerful or harsh.

The most important function of the Vanilla Fresh shakes is to meet your protein needs for the day. However, they also contain vitamins, as well as medium chain triglycerides (a type of fat that is very easy for your body to break down and use for energy, and which effectively raises your metabolic rate so your body burns more calories at rest) and luo han guo (a fruit used in Chinese traditional medicine that is sweet in taste and is known as the "longevity fruit" - it has a beneficial effect on blood sugar, inhibits the growth of tumors, and acts to reduce inflammation).

The supplements are all vegan and soy-free (another common item for people to be sensitive to). They are free of harsh ingredients and cleanse the body gently. They are formulated to help the body avoid losing the muscle that you've worked so hard to gain! For this reason, it's also recommended that people not exercise during the 3 Day Refresh, so that your body doesn't go into starvation mode and begin measures for conservation of energy. This is important... the last thing you want is to harm your metabolism!

One more factor that distinguishes the 3 Day Refresh from other cleanses is that it balances the macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrates). So, it's not a zero-fat or zero-carb diet... A plan like that would definitely have an effect on your body, but not necessarily a beneficial one!

What's the point??

Probably the most common reason to do a cleanse is to beat bloat and have our clothes fit a little looser. The 3 Day Refresh works for this! In three days, I lost 10.1 pounds as well as one inch from my hips and two inches from my waist. It's fair to say that a lot of this was water weight, and I wasn't even necessarily looking to lose weight—I just think it's worth noting that this program does have a tangible effect on your body.

But it does have significant benefits beyond the temporary loss of water weight. First, completing the three days represents a mental victory. You prove to yourself that you can do it, and then the idea of taking on a 90-day fitness program isn't so daunting.

Second, it provides an educational benefit. Even for those who eat clean, certain foods are more nutrient-dense than others, some fats are healthier than others, etc. By following the 3 Day Refresh, people learn which foods are powerhouses when it comes to promoting better health. While they may not stick to a diet of these foods exclusively after the program, they can use what they've learned to incorporate those foods regularly.

Third, it provides the physical experience of what clean eating feels like—for the first time ever, for some people. Until you experience that, you may not know how good clean eating can feel. Once you've made that memory, you'll start to notice more and more how yucky you feel when you don't eat well. Armed with the knowledge gained during the 3 Day Refresh, you can come back to clean eating anytime. And three days is just long enough to break the cycle of craving and prove to you that if you can survive three days with your favorite treats, you can probably go even longer than that ;)

Fourth, it provides a "quick win" of seeing the scale move—and even if it's only temporary, that can be the mental and emotional boost needed to motivate someone to contemplate longer-term lifestyle changes. It's an amazing feeling to see that scale tick down when you're used to seeing it climb up and up! Especially when you know you're doing it with a plan that is gentle and not harsh on your body.

Ready to try it?? Order your kit here. Make sure to send me an email at the address below so I can hook you up with resources and support!

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