Over Christmas and new year I had the best time with friends and family, however it did involve a lot of eating out. At the time I didn’t worry about it so much but by the time the two weeks were up I felt lethargic and horrible, I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror or how it was making me feel so it was time for a change. My problem was that any time I’ve tried to change my eating habits long term, it doesn’t seem to stick, in fact I’m not sure I’ve lasted more than about 10 days until now!
The truth was, counting calories or thinking that I had to live off of ‘rabbit food’ was hindering my results as I didn’t enjoy it. What I really needed was a plan that meant I didn’t have to think about the numbers and could actually enjoy what I was eating. That’s where Arbonne’s 30 Days to Healthy Living comes in. You may or may not know that I have recently started up as an Arbonne Independent Consultant, mostly because of my love for their skincare products. I wasn’t particularly interested in the nutrition until I heard people’s success stories. My favourite thing was that people would tell me how great they felt, how much more energy they had. There was no focus on the numbers because that is not what the plan is about.
It is a healthy living plan; the focus is creating new habits to lead a healthier lifestyle. Yes there is quite a lot that is cut out for the 30 days, but at the end you get advice on how to add these foods back in without going back to square one!
So on the 8th of January I started my 30 Days to Healthy living plan with a view to creating better habits and feeding my body with more nutritious meals and snacks. I knew that just by doing this I would start to loose some of that excess weight and bloat that I was carrying. The first few days are the hardest, the lack of caffeine was definitely a difficult one to deal with and in the interest of full disclosure I did not manage to go 30 days without it. I had about 7 coffees over the 30 day period, which considering I used to be a 5 coffees a day kind of girl I think that’s a pretty good effort.
Aside from my love of caffeine, food also plays a big part in my life, I love to eat which is why counting calories is no good for me. It feels like a punishment and nothing you love should ever feel like that. With this plan I was still eating 5 times a day, 3 main meals and 2 snacks, and it was amazing. So what did I eat?
Most days breakfast was a protein shake, my top picks have to be the mint choc chip and the ginger snap. I’m a terrible morning person so these are actually a great time saver so I’m planning on continuing with these most mornings. On days off when I had a bit more time the protein pancakes were the ones!
It’s still pretty cold so you really can’t beat a good soup for lunch, so I probably tucked into that about 3/4 times a week. My homemade butternut squash and sweet potato is a firm favourite. The rest of the week it was leftovers from dinner the night before and the odd salad.
This is the one where you can have all the fun; when starting the program I got a recipe book with some suggestions for dinner but I don’t think I really used them. We had too much fun finding recipes that were on plan but also yummy. We would have beef once a week, 2 vegetarian dinners (usually a curry or chilli) and the others were usually chicken. Sadly I’m not a huge fan of seafood, so I missed out there, although we did try out one fish dish that I suppose was ok.
Although the other half wasn’t doing the plan with me, we ate the same dinners as its just much easier. He even admitted that he didn’t miss having meat 7 nights a week!
This is usually my biggest downfall, it’s way to easy to reach for the bar of chocolate or family sized bag of crisps, next to coffee crisps was probably the 2nd hardest thing to give up. I managed it though! I swapped them out for arbonne protein bars, green apples and veg with hummus. Also the occasional bowl of homemade sweet potato wedges, which I will never buy from the shop again, I will always make them myself, they are so much better.
With the plan over my aim is stick to more of an 80/20 diet. If I can eat how I did on the plan most of the time, with the odd glass of wine and dinner out where I don’t think about what I’m eating too much, then I should be able to maintain my better mood, clearer skin and my generally more positive outlook on life.
I know I’ve stressed that it’s not about the numbers but just by changing my diet I dropped 5kg and a total of 21.1cm (arm, bust, waist, hips & thighs). This just shows that you do not have to starve yourself to loose weight, you only need to make sure you’re eating the right things for your body and the rest will take care of itself.
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