Day 1 of 3-Day Refresh

I’m no stranger to cleanses.  Four months ago, I completed the Beachbody Ultimate Reset, which is a 21-day total body tune-up.  It rocked my world, changed my outlook on what I put in my body, and now I’ve come to conquer the newest cleanse that Beachbody has to offer – the 3-Day Refresh (3DR).

Some Background

Beachbody was inspired to do a 3-Day Refresh when they saw a coach had essentially made their own 3-day Shakeology cleanse.  It consisted of 3 days of Shakeology for breakfast and lunch, a dinner salad with a lean protein (like chicken, fish, or tofu), and green tea.  Well, Beachbody got word of this cleanse, saw that there was a market for a 3-day quick fix (rather than the pretty intense Ultimate Reset), but saw that they could improve upon the Shakeology cleanse.  How?  By adding more protein and fiber to keep you feeling full (I remember getting a little exhausted and irritable on the Shakeology cleanse) and giving you better food options to provide you with a more complete vision of nutrition.  Beachbody wanted to make a fast, clean, and healthy way to drop a few pounds quickly, break free of bad habits, jump start a new clean-eating diet or fitness regimen.  In walked the 3-Day Refresh.

3-Day Refresh Kit

3DR Kit

The 3-Day Refresh kit includes a program guide with recipes, lists of acceptable food options, and 3 days worth of the Vanilla Fresh shake (high-protein, hunger-satisfying shake), Fiber Sweep (digestive health drink), and Shakeology (daily dose of dense nutrition shake).

Having completed the Ultimate Reset not too long ago and acing it with flying colors, I thought how hard could the 3-Day Refresh really be?  This is my story.

Day 1 – Morning

The format for the 3 days is essentially the same.  First thing that you do upon waking is drink 8-10 ounces of filtered water to help get your system going.  For folks familiar with the Ultimate Reset, I’d like to point out a difference here.  Unlike the Ultimate Reset, where you are only permitted to drink distilled water, during the 3DR you can have filtered.  So, if you have a Brita, for example, you’re good.

Then I worked out.  I probably worked out more than I should have.  The program guide for the 3DR says that you should only engage in “mild to moderate exercise” so that your body can use your energy more effectively to help clean up your system without needing to repair muscle.  Well, so what if I consider Core Cardio and Balance from Insanity “moderate” exercise? To each their own, right?

For breakfast, I had Chocolate Vegan Shakeology like I do every morning.  But instead of blending it with almond milk, a banana, and peanut butter, I had to just stick with 1/2 banana and 1 1/4 cups of water.

Then it felt like a long morning.  Drinking tea is optional during the 3DR, and I decided to have a cup, which you can have at least 1 hour after breakfast.  You’re not supposed to have caffeine, but green tea is permitted if necessary.  I had some decaf herbal detox lemongrass tea.

An hour after the mid-morning tea, you can have the Fiber Sweep.  Fiber Sweep contains soluble and insoluble fibers from whole-ground flax, chia, and psyllium seed husks to naturally and gently eliminate waste from the digestive system while supporting healthy intestinal flora.  You mix a packet of the Fiber Sweep with 1 cup of filtered water and drink it.  For those who have done the Ultimate Reset, this drink is similar to the Detox supplement from week 2, but it tastes less lemony, is a bit less gritty, a little thicker, and goes down a bit easier than Detox.  After taking my Fiber Sweep, I was counting down the minutes to lunch.  In other words, I was getting hungry.  In the future, so I can eat lunch earlier, I might skip the morning tea.

Day 1 – Afternoon

Lunch includes one Vanilla Fresh shake and then actual food!  Yes, this is only a short cleanse, but you do get to eat real food on it, unlike some other cleanses, where you drown yourself in high-sugar, low-protein juices.  Vanilla Fresh is a high-protein shake (contains 20 grams of protein) to satisfy hunger and deliver essential nutrition needed for healthy weight loss. Since I was in the office at lunch time, stranded without a blender, I shook up the Vanilla Fresh powder in 1 1/4 cups of filtered water.  It wasn’t bad, even with room-temperature water, prepared through a shaker cup.  It tasted similar to vanilla Shakeology, though a bit thicker.

For lunch, you get to exercise some creativity when it comes to the recipe.  You are instructed to have 1 serving of fruit (which you can blend into your Vanilla Fresh if you’re lucky to have a blender around or just eat by itself), 1 serving of vegetables, and 1 serving of healthy fat.  There are lists for each of these categories (fruits, veggies, fats) that show the item (e.g., blueberries) and its corresponding serving (e.g., 2/3 cup).

Last night, I decided to prepare a salad utilizing each the fruit, veggie, and fat.  For the sake of variety, I split the veggie serving in half.  So, I had 1/2 serving of spinach, 1/2 serving of cucumber, 1 serving of strawberries, and 1 serving of olive oil.  I also added some flavors from the list of “Guilt-Free Flavorings” included in the program guide, including Himalayan pink salt, basil, and red wine vinegar.

Day 1 Lunch

Day 1 Lunch

At least 1 hour after lunch, you have an afternoon snack.  Lunch held me over about 2 hours and 40 minutes before I went for the snack. I probably could’ve held out longer, but I wanted the veggie crunch!  Again, the afternoon snack is another exercise in creativity.  You are instructed to have 1 serving from the vegetable list and 1 serving from the healthy fats list.  Sorry, I forgot to take a photo of this one, but I again split the vegetables for variety and had 1/2 serving of red bell pepper, 1/2 serving of carrots, and 2 tablespoons (i.e., 1 serving) of hummus.  I added Himalayan pink salt and ground cayenne pepper to flavor it.  An hour after this, I can also choose to have tea if I want, but I didn’t have any today.

Day 1 – Evening

For dinner, it’s another Vanilla Fresh shake.  You also are provided a list of dinner recipes (most if not all of them are recipes from the Ultimate Reset, so yippie! low learning curve for me!).  You can also add an optional cup of organic vegetable broth with 1/4 cup of chopped fresh herbs.  I chose to have the veggie broth with cilantro.

For my meal, I chose one of my absolute favorite meals from the Ultimate Reset that was included in the 3DR recipe book – the carrot-seaweed medley!  In the 4 months since my Ultimate Reset ended, I had to have made this recipe for dinner at least a dozen times – carrots, edamame, arame seaweed!  (Don’t worry, not all of the 3DR recipes are as exotic as this one!)  The recipe is not identical to the Ultimate Reset book, but it’s pretty close.  The 3DR recipe does not contain Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, for example, and the cook time is actually less, which is a bonus.  For tonight’s carrot-seaweed medley, I actually ran out of red bell pepper after making tomorrow’s afternoon snack, so I substituted jalapenos for a nice spicy kick!

Day 1 Dinner

Day 1 Dinner

It’s been probably an hour since dinner ended and that meal really hit me.  Between the Vanilla Fresh shake (200 calories, mind you), the carrot-seaweed medley, and that big cup of veggie broth, I’m actually pretty stuffed.  One obvious difference between the 3DR and the Ultimate Reset is that I actually felt like I ate more food on the Reset and the portions were bigger.  With the 3DR, you are consuming so many shakes and getting so many calories that way that you are actually eating less food.  I probably prefer eating the calories rather than drinking so many of them, but at least drinking them is less time-consuming.  Read some of my old posts about how much time I spent in the grocery store, on food prep, and cooking during the Ultimate Reset, and you’ll see what I mean.

You can also choose to end your evening with some optional tea.  I just might.

Day 15

Today, I enter the final week of the Beachbody Ultimate Reset – the Restore phase.  During this phase, I’ll be eating mostly fruits and vegetables that are easily absorbed by the body for optimal nutritional value.  I think grains are completely cut out of the diet.  This phase comes after the detox phase, and it helps bring healthy bacteria back into your “freshly scrubbed” digestive tract by introducing pre- and probiotics to help restore the metabolism to maximum efficiency.  This is accomplished through the final supplement – Revitalize.  Revitalize comes in a capsule form, and its consumed three times a day.

While I am on the topic of supplements, I ran out of Mineralize yesterday.  Since Mineralize is only pink Himalayan salt, I just went out to the grocery store and bought some.  But, for those of you who don’t have the luxury of an organic supermarket in the neighorhood and need to send away for these things, make sure to have some extra pink salt on standby in case you run out.

This morning, I decided to try something new.  My usual morning routine outside of the Reset is a 30-60 minutes workout, usually something intense, like Insanity, to help wake me up and get my blood flowing in the morning.  I’ve never been a morning person, so, to me, this is essential to be minimally pleasant before noon.  On the Reset, you are not permitted to workout because your body is receiving such an intense inner body workout.  Plus, I don’t think you’re really consuming enough calories to really support your body during intense training.  Exercises like yoga, tai chi, stretching, and brisk walking are fine, but no Insanity, unfortunately.  This was one of the big adjustments for me, and I was skeptical whether I would be able to survive mornings without the jolt of adrenaline first thing in the morning.  Somehow, I’ve been surviving.  I’ve been doing free yoga videos that come on Xfinity On Demand.  They’ve been great, but I really missed Shaun T.  Today, I remembered that there are Recovery workouts that come with Insanity that I could do.  It would probably be a step up intensity-wise from the yoga I’ve been doing, but I was willing to try it.  Well, when I do Insanity, I normally substitute Core Cardio and Balance for the Recovery workout, because the Recovery workout is just too easy, doesn’t make me sweat, and isn’t enough to get my blood pumping in the morning.  Well, this morning, it got the blood pumping, and I was even sweating.  My muscles were literally shaking during some of the moves.  My legs are already feeling sore from this morning.  This makes me nervous about starting Focus T25 after the Reset is complete, but I’m going to jump on it anyway.

Also, this morning, I weighed myself for the second time of the Reset.  I’m down 2.4 pounds since day 8.  That means I’m down 4.4 pounds in only 15 days!  Not bad for a 5’2” tall chick.

During the final week of the Reset, breakfast is fruit only.  You’re supposed to choose low glycemic fruits, like berries, and avoid tropical fruits like bananas and pineapples.  I’m skeptical of the ability of fruit to keep me satisfied until lunch, but I guess it worked today.  One of my raspberries was shaped like a heart, which made this first day of the Restore phase extra special.

Day 15 Breakfast

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Last night, I prepared lunch for today – an Asian “cabbage” salad, 1/4 sliced avocado, and miso soup.  I put cabbage in scare quotes because I didn’t have cabbage.  Unfortunately, the labels in the grocery store produce aisle weren’t accurate, and my husband picked up mustard greens instead of napa cabbage.  It’s okay.  We’ll make do.  We had some extra Romaine lettuce, so instead of cabbage, I chopped up some Romaine and used that instead.  This lunch had a lot of onions in it.  The Asian salad had both raw red and green onions, and the miso soup had green onions.  I had to run to back-to-back meetings in the afternoon, and was so tempted to grab some gum or a hard candy to get the taste/smell of the onions out of my mouth.  Well, none of that is allowed on the Reset!  I chewed on some herbal tea leaves (it was all that I had in the office), and that helped a little, but I still felt bad for all who I came in contact with this afternoon.

Day 15 Lunch

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Dinner was awesome!  And by “awesome,” I mean baked sweet potato awesome!  Against my better judgement, I’m a huge fan of carbohydrates.  I was very happy to see a baked sweet potato on the menu for dinner.  I’ve actually never baked a sweet potato before.  It was heaven.  I’ll definitely be doing that again.  The sweet potato was accompanied by garlic veggies – broccoli, carrots, zucchini, and red bell pepper sauteed with garlic, lemon, olive oil, and Bragg’s Liquid Aminos.  They were fine.  The sweet potato stole the show.

Day 15 Dinner

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Day 14 – Detoxed!

Well, there is a light at the end of the tunnel after all. I just completed 2 weeks of the Beachbody Ultimate Reset!  Only one more week left to go!  I must admit that I’m rather terrified of the final week that I begin tomorrow.  I’ll only be eating fruit for breakfast.  Other meals will have more variety, but I’m skeptical of the ability of fruit to hold me over until lunch.  Not only is there no meat or animal protein in the week ahead (child’s play, did that last week), but it doesn’t look like there’s even any grains in the final week.  No brown rice, quinoa, or millet.  Will I go mad?  We’ll see.

Like the week prior, detox actually wasn’t that difficult for me.  I actually liked the taste of the detox supplement, which you mix into 12 ounces of distilled water.  It’s texture was a little strange, but the taste was fine – tasted like lemons.  On a personal note, I, um, eliminated every day this week, which is a new habit.  I did not experience any skin rashes or acne.  While some people complain of constantly being cold throughout the detox week (since your blood is moving from your extremities to your internal organs), I did not really experience much coldness, even in the winter.  Though, my hands have felt a bit more stiff, and I feel like I have experienced light headedness on occasion.  I attribute it to the redirection of blood flow.  Some people experience emotional outbursts, and I haven’t really had that either.  Detox treated me well.  What can I say?

My husband somehow ended up with an extra detox supplement packet at the end of this week.  Hmm.  I’m wondering if he skipped a supplement or Beachbody gave him extra.  It’s a mystery.

As for the food, today, I started with a fresh fruit plate of apples and various berries (blueberries, raspberries, etc.).  For lunch, since I never got the Kabocha squash, I unfortunately had to miss out on the Kabocha squash soup.  Bummer because I love squash soups!  I replaced the soup with pinto beans and rice (see day 8).  By the way, the pinto beans and rice recipe is one of the most solid, easiest, go-to recipes in this book.  I’ve used it at least three times this week.  Great for the Reset if you don’t have much time to prepare lunch.

Dinner was a new recipe!  Dinner included edamame and roasted corn succotash, and lemon pepper kale.  Both dishes on their own were wonderful, though, together, it was a bit too much acidity for me (lemon juice, lime juice, vinegar, etc.).  The picture below shows our kale in a bowl that is way to big for the kale.  Oops.  Let’s just say I had an artistic vision.

Day 14 Dinner

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Day 9

Remember those challenges that I mentioned?  Well, I’m starting challenge #3.

  • Challenge 1 / Week 1:  The Reset at work.
  • Challenge 2 / Week 1:  The Reset at a conference.
  • Challenge 3 / Week 2:  The Reset at a retirement dinner.
  • Challenge 4 / Week 2:  The Reset at a 24-hour Oscar-nominated best pictures marathon (in a movie theater).
  • Challenge 5 / Week 3:  The Reset during mourning and a funeral service.

One of my dear colleagues is retiring, so let the festivities begin!  Today, we had a wonderful going-away party for her, full of lots of wonderful meats (prosciutto, capicola,  salami) and cheese (my favorite, goat cheese, mozzarella, cheddar, and more), mac and cheese, pasta salads, soups, deviled eggs, carrot cakes, cookies, brownies – you name it, we had it, and everything looked delicious!  There were probably some things at the party that I could have had (tabbouleh, guacamole, veggie platter), but instead, I stuck with my Ultimate Reset lunch that I brought into work that morning.  After I helped set up the party, I quietly sneaked back to my office, ate my lunch, and then returned to the party on a full stomach and without temptation.  Didn’t have any of it (even though I’m pretty sure I could’ve).  Tomorrow, we are taking our retiree out to dinner, and I have a particular dish in mind from the restaurant’s menu that I am pretty sure is Reset-friendly.  So, I might take a much-needed break from cooking tomorrow afternoon, and let someone else make me something for a change, though I will be careful to stick to the Reset.  Then, Challenge #3 will be complete!

One odd thing that I’ve been experiencing is that I feel like my sense of smell is changing during the Reset.  I first noticed this with the smell of cigarette smoke.  I used to not mind the smell of cigarette smoke at all.  While I wouldn’t say I mind it now, it smells different and less comfortable to me.  Well, it smells like dirty feet and stale popcorn now.  Likewise, at this afternoon’s party, the smell of the room with all of the food in it, with all of the meat and cheese, just smelled kind of sour and unpleasant.  Strange.

Onto things more pleasant…

The breakfast today was a little different.  It was basically hummus minus the tahini.  Seasoned mashed chickpeas with nori gomasio.  Nothing better than raw garlic first thing in the morning!

Day 9 Breakfast

Day 9 Breakfast

Lunch was a half serving of the pinto beans and brown rice that I made for dinner last night.  Always make sure to look ahead to the next couple of days when you do the Reset to ensure that you can double recipes that you will be using again the near future.  The pinto beans were paired with a microgreen salad.  This time, I tried baby arugula for my green, and I must admit, not much of a fan.  It was a little too bitter for me.  Plus, I forgot to add dressing to the salad this morning.

Dinner was frenzied.  We had theater tickets for tonight (thank god, for the cabin fever associated with this Reset has been brutal).  After staying a little late at work, my husband volunteered to go out and pick up enough groceries to get us through the next couple of days, which includes a concert tomorrow night and the 24-hour movie marathon on Saturday (so, a lot of prep work needed).  He also agreed to cook tonight’s dinner.  The dinner for tonight was sweet potato and red pepper bisque and roasted asparagus with slivered almonds.  Roasted asparagus is easy, but a bisque?!  Well, my husband, who pre-Reset could hardly boil Ramen Noodles, whipped up the bisque perfectly.  It was pretty amazing, and I am so proud of him for learning how to cook a couple of things during the Reset.  His other specialty is miso soup.  I think he might have a knack for the soups.  Since we were in a rush to get to the theater, we did not have time to actually roast the asparagus, which was a total bummer to me because I adore them roasted.  Instead, we opted to steam them.  Still pretty good.  Word to the wise – double up on that bisque.  You eat it again for lunch tomorrow!

Day 9 Dinner

Day 9 Dinner

Day 8 – Let the Detox Begin!

And thus begins week 2!

I weighed myself this morning.  I lost 2 pounds during the first week of the Beachbody Ultimate Reset.  While 2 lbs. may not seem like much, I am celebrating this for a couple of reasons.  First, the healthy recommended safe weight loss per week is 2 lbs., so that puts me right where I should be.  Second, I am only 5 foot 2 inches.  I’m short.  If I can lose 2 lbs. per week on the Reset, that’s 6 lbs. total, and I would be happy to take that.  Third, the Reset, to me at least, is not all about losing weight.  While losing weight is certainly a side effect of living a healthy life, my main focus is to feel better – better mood, increased energy, more productive sleep – and I am beginning to experience those benefits.  Finally, losing those 2 lbs. finally brought me into a “normal” BMI (24.8!).  I had technically been considered to be “overweight.”  Now, I know, the BMI is criticized a lot for not taking many factors into account (including muscle mass), and that outside of the BMI number, I am a very healthy and active person.  Nevertheless, it really means a lot to me that I was able to break past a weight loss plateau and finally get to a healthy and normal BMI.  I haven’t been there in years.

Week 2 of the Beachbody Ultimate Reset introduces a new supplement into the day – Detox.  Detox, similar to alkalinize, is a powder that you mix into water.  You drink it three times a day – before breakfast, before lunch, and before dinner.  A lot of people find the taste repulsive, but I actually didn’t mind it at all.  It tastes kind of like lemons, though the texture is a little strange (it is grainy).  The detox powder has got a number of ingredients, like chia seed, milk thistle, a camu-camu, that helps remove toxins and waste in the colon.  In the Reset instructional video, it is described as a gentle colon cleanse that won’t leave you parked by the bathroom.  TMI maybe?  Well, get over it.  You’re reading a blog about a detox program – what did you expect?!  While one obvious way to get rid of toxic waste is via the digestive tract, one other way that people experience detox is through our largest organ, the skin, so I am really hoping not to experience breakouts during this week.

Detox Supplement

Detox

In week 2, you completely cut out animal proteins, including dairy.  This isn’t really a drastic change from week 1 if you followed the scheduled meals in the guidebook.  Unless you doubled up on certain recipes, you only have chicken and salmon once in week 1.  You do have yogurt several times for breakfast.  I feel like I’ve been transitioning gradually to this point, and it shouldn’t be too much of a shock.

Breakfast for day 8 was a fresh fruit plate.  One of many fruit plates in store for me in the next 2 weeks (week 3’s breakfasts entirely comprise fruit).  Though I considered my diet pretty healthy before the Reset, I was definitely guilty of not incorporating enough fruit into my diet.  So, the Reset is really helping me get into the habit of eating more fruit.

Day 8 Breakfast

Day 8 Breakfast

Lunch was my old friend, the microgreen salad, but with avocado added to it.

Day 8 Lunch

Day 8 Lunch

Finally, dinner included pinto beans and brown rice, steamed zucchini, and string beans with lemon and olive oil.  It was a lot of food.  Pretty good, though nothing miraculous.  Though I definitely enjoyed how quick and easy this one was to make (relative to other dinners at least).

Day 9 Dinner

Day 8 Dinner

First day of the “Release” phase – Done!