It all started with a cheese and crackers binge at Kure Beach, August 4, 2017.
I arrive, kitty Cleo in tow, around 8 p.m., tired, hungry and excited to see my people. I walk through the door to our beautiful little cottage with sunrise photos of the Kure Beach Pier lining the knotty pine walls and my big, warm, loving family, arms wide open.
Oh. And a bar top full of gorgeous, chunky, colorful CHEESE.
We’re talking gouda, gorgonzola, brie, blue, purple, green, yellow. You name it! There is even this pimento cheese looking dip that turned out to be lobster, but I’m pretty sure cheese is a main ingredient.
So, of course, I gorge.
Then we move to dinner. Two, magazine worthy Margaret Boothe Baddour salads topped with provolone cheese, cover the table. I mustn’t forget the delicious takeout pizzas from Osteria Cicchetti, our favorite Italian restaurant. Then we drive to the pier (.5 miles away) to top off the night with ICE CREAM.
Hello, dairy overload.
It didn’t end there. I will spare you further details of Helen’s Caloric Chronicles from the weekend. Just know, I needed to run much more than the 7 miles I logged, to make it mildly okay.
Normally when I have a food binge weekend like that, I workout hard a couple times, get back to my normal diet, and try not to beat myself up about it. Not this time. Ever since that weekend, my stomach has not been the same. Basically, my stomach feels full all the time. It feels like I eat half a dozen Dunkin Donuts every night before bed, followed by a couple Big Macs, washed down with a glass of milk. It feels like that, I don’t actually do that. I feel full, but seemingly hungry all the time. I’m less motivated to workout, mainly because I feel so weighed down. I’m tired. And my clothes are uncomfortable. Not to mention feeling low on energy.
Has anyone else been here before? I hate it. It must stop. It’s time to open up a door, a new chapter, if you will, on my health journey.
And, since statistics show that 74% of Americans suffer from some GI discomfort, perhaps you, dear reader, are interested in knowing what I’m going to do about it. If you don’t suffer from GI problems, you should still read on because my new health adventure is just a good, healthy thing to do, especially for active, athletic people.
Wait. What is Juice Plus+?
Little did I know, Juice Plus+ has been around for 23 years. It comes in capsule form and you take three capsules, twice daily. The capsules include juice powder concentrates from 30 different fruits, vegetables and grains. Basically, they remove the H2O from fruits and vegetables, which turns the nutrients and antioxidants from those sources into powder form. And then you consume them on the reg.
Juice Plus+ helps bridge the gap between what you should eat and what you do eat every day. Not a multivitamin, medicine, treatment or cure for any disease, Juice Plus+ is made from quality ingredients carefully monitored from farm to capsule to provide natural nutrients your body needs to be at its best.
Let me be clear, these are not weight loss pills. The point is to add nutrition to your daily diet.
Blair sent me a bunch of clinical research, which highlights the impact of these little capsules on heart health, the immune system, healthy skin, and a slew of other categories. A bit of a skeptic, I tried the capsules for three days, and I actually noticed a difference in my energy and digestion. Remember, this was before the cheese smorgasbord episode. Interested, but not clamoring to buy the product, I put off talking to Blair about it. Then the Kure Beach Cheese Weekend happened. The effects of the weekend didn’t go away.
“Blair. I’m in. How soon can it be here?”
Cleo’s excited too!
Here’s the deal: The I started taking the capsules yesterday morning. In addition to taking the capsules daily, I have embarked on the highly encouraged Shred10 diet for the first 10 days of taking Juice Plus+.
What is Shred10, you ask?
Basically, it’s a lifestyle change (similar to a cleanse, a diet or a detox) where you ADD: more real food, Juice Plus+ capsules daily, 2 Juice Plus+ shakes daily, plenty of water, 7-8 hours sleep, and exercise. (I’m using my own plant based protein powder, that I love, in place of the shakes, but the Juice Plus+ shakes = delicious.)
On Shred10, you ELIMINATE: gluten, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, artificial and refined sugars and eating after 6 pm!!
That’s right folks. Eliminate caffeine.
Anyone who knows me knows that cutting out coffee for 10 days is a daunting task I have never accomplished in my adult life. No alcohol, sugar, processed foods – no worries! Not eating after 6 pm will be interesting. Probably wise to cut out dairy and gluten anyway, so bring it on. But no coffee?!
I can do this.
I WILL DO THIS.
I’ve never done anything like this before. Whole 30, Paleo, Atkins, Weight Watchers, gluten free, non-dairy, vegan, vegetarian – I’ve never been on any of those diets. My philosophy is and has always been to just eat healthy and don’t over indulge. If you do overindulge, get back on track quickly and effectively. But I’m telling y’all, something happened to me in the month of August that has never happened before, and I have to do something different to answer it.
Blair is “shredding” with me, and there’s a private facebook group, so you can talk to other Shredders about the coffee withdrawal headaches and such. I’m actually really excited. I’m excited to see what happens to my body and my energy level.
Shred10 gives you a comprehensive food guide with meal, snack and dessert ideas and a bunch of recipes. My fridge is currently stocked with fresh vegetables and fruits. Pantry full of healthy, hearty grains. I see a lot of creative salads and variety of nut butters in my near future.
I’m keeping a food log, and promise to share my favorite recipes and meal prep tips with you when this is all said and done. Actually, if I can’t eat after 6 pm, maybe I’ll report back in the middle of the 10 days. What else am I going to do after work? Can’t eat, can’t drink. Oh hey, Chasing Helen.
No doubt, this will challenge me. I’m up for it. And I can’t wait to tell you about it!
Cheers to opening a new door on the health journey. Blair, let’s do this.