Pancakes. Waffles. Chocolate covered strawberries. Pasta. Does that sound like punishment for you?
I have been following Danette May for several years. Several times a year, she runs a 30 day challenge, focusing on both mind and body. I have wanted to try it, but it was never the right time . . . I was always training for a race.
That was no different this summer. But I thought to myself “there’s never a good time” and it’s true. Life is always in the way, but I knew my clothes weren’t fitting the way they should and that bothered me.
I signed up for the August challenge — and I’m very happy that I did.
What’s included :
- Price: $47
- 3 Day Detox
- Meal plans for 3 meals + up to 3 snacks per day (including vegetarian options for many recipes — although not many vegan options), released weekly
- Weekly Meditations
- Weekly workouts: Pilates and Bodyweight
- A few motivational emails each week
- A private Facebook group for support
3 Day Detox
When you sign up you get links to your materials. It includes :
- A welcome email with a link to the private Facebook group and a overview of the program
- An email with links to the meal plan, meditations, and workout plan/video
- An email asking you to take some time to think about your “why”
- An email detailing some of what you might feel
I didn’t have all the ingredients ready for the “detox” bcause I signed up the day before the challenge started — I recommend signing up a week before it starts (the next one is 9/18).
It is a detox, but not as harsh as many. So I winged it. Something Danette said you shouldn’t do in her introductory videos. Oh well. She also said you shouldn’t exercise hard during the first week — yeah, but I’m training for a half! Oh well again.
The first day is a lot of liquid and no solid food. Except I had some solid food. I did follow as best I could, but I subbed in a smoothie from a different plan, and added in one of the meals from the next day.
The second day was different smoothies (but everyday includes dandelion tea and that master cleanse drink — you know, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper in water?). Speaking of the detox drink, I didn’t have any cayenne pepper. So I just added ACV to my usual water with lemon juice in the morning (yes, that’s the first thing I drink).
Eventually I bought some cayenne and have been adding that in, too.
Oh, and I didn’t have any Dandelion Tea, either. Dinner, however, was solid food — but a light quinoa dish.
And the third day was supposed to have a smoothie for dinner, but a solid food meal for lunch. Again, I added extra food and moved things around.
The verdict: some of the recipes were tasty, some were okay but nothing was so bad I had to choke it down. Other people didn’t quite feel the same way.
Days 4 – 6
Once you get past the detox, you can swap lunch for dinner, snacks from one day to another, and so forth. Basically no sugars and no chocolate (other than occasional protein powder and cacao nibs).
I’m rather surprised that dairy is allowed. Not a lot, and not regular milk, but yogurt and cottage cheese and a small amount of regular cheese occasionally.
I rarely found myself hungry. I enjoyed the food. And cravings had already dropped off big time. And of course I particularly enjoyed the chocolate chip cookie dough balls. I also really enjoyed the bok choy bacon salad
Weigh in on Thursday (started the plan on Monday): -.8 lb
Foodwise things get easier in the second week. While it’s highly suggested you stick to the plan, it’s also okay to switch a lunch for dinner, or a snack from one day to a different day — which means you can work more with leftovers and not have to prep nearly as much. I rarely did the meal plan exactly as laid out — I’m a rebel that way!
Things like oats and honey and/or maple syrup (in moderation) are reintroduced.
Still few cravings (and no chocolate, outside of cacao nibs) — if you can believe that! Again I really enjoyed so many meals, rarely was hungry, and rarely had cravings. A couple of my favorites from this week was the artichoke pizza and the banana walnut quinoa.
Danette does warn you that it’s not unusual to gain weight this week, which is exactly what happened to me. But just .4 lb. Which might also be due to the fact that I was feeling better this week and was able to exercise more — I’ll usually see a temporary increase if I’m exercising more.
The workouts, however, get harder. Because I’m training for a half marathon, though, I don’t end up following the workout schedule. And there is no adaptations for people who are training for something (and I never asked about that, either). With more food this week, though, and the reintroduction of some carbs, I found it was easier to fuel workouts properly.
Weigh in on Thursday: + .4
Week 3 reintroduces . . . wait for it . . . chocolate! Yes, you get to eat some chocolate this week. The previous weeks had chocolate smoothies and a chocolate avocado pudding I really enjoyed, but this week it’s real chocolate.
There are also a couple of recipes using chocolate + coconut oil — I found both to be really good (chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate covered almonds).
Some of the recipes also repeat occasionally — which is good if you like leftovers — I do! The sweet potato antioxidant salad was so good I plan to serve it on Thanksgiving. The salmon burgers have become one of my go-tos.
The workouts continue to get harder, but they’re still bodyweight. In this week you do both the new bodyweight workout plus occasionally the Pilates workout from the first week on some active rest days.
Weigh in on Thursday: -.2
When I first looked over the recipes for week 4, I was underwhelmed. Even now that I’m finished with the challenge (but continuing to use many of the recipes — more on that in a bit),
Some people in the Facebook group were disappointed that some of the recipes this week were repeated more often. As I said above, I like leftovers. While I will say that it wasn’t my favorite week recipe-wise, I didn’t feel deprived at all: hello, chocolate mug cake, french toast, filling protein pancakes and watermelon banana booster.
The workouts continued to progress, Pilates continued to be in there for active rest.
The one downside to week 4 was it became a real push to join the monthly site called Forever Fit. I enjoyed the program, so I started a trial membership and I know I’ll be joining. In fact, if you do sign up for the next challenge, I suggest taking advantage of the offer to try it out for a month for $1 when you sign up for the challenge (my trial membership was 2 weeks for $1) .
Suddenly mentors, as they’re called, were appearing in the private Facebook group and talking about Forever Fit. Danette made videos about it. It just seemed a little too pushy for my taste; I won’t lie.
All the materials are yours to keep so yes, you can do it again on your own. But just like Weight Watchers, the accountability and support of a group are what really make the difference. People — myself at one time included — think I know how to do this; I don’t need to pay for it. Guess what? It’s the rare person that’s successful on their own.
Pros and cons
When it comes to food, I’m pretty adventurous. When it comes to weight loss, I’m willing to try new things — nothing drastic; no cleanses for me, no cutting out entire food groups. So this isn’t the first time I’ve joined a challenge/reset — but I do feel this was the first time I joined a challenge and really felt this was a lifestyle that worked well for me.
- Meals plans that map out every meal
- Flexibility — the ability to swap lunch for dinner, breakfast for breakfast, snack for snack (after the 3 Day Detox)
- Mind-body connection: weekly guided meditations
- Weekly Workouts
- Private Facebook Group for support
- 3 meals and up to 3 snacks per day
- A lot of new recipes — I still haven’t tried all of them
- I quickly found most cravings gone
- Guidelines for when you go on vacation
- Guidelines for eating out
- While I didn’t lose a lot of weight — or inches! — the difference in how my clothes felt was pretty amazing
- Several emails per week with encouragement and more information
- Money-back guarantee
- A lot of meal prep — you’ll spend more time in the kitchen than you’re probably used to
- The detox isn’t easy, but definitely doable
- The mealplan for the week is released on Friday. I tend to avoid weekend grocery shopping when possible, so it made shopping for what I needed a little difficult.
- I actually found the private Facebook group not that exciting — there are thousands of woman (mostly) from all over the world — I do better in a smaller group where you can really get to know some people. I actually do like the private Facebook group for the ongoing Forever Fit community. There are still thousands of women (mostly), but I find useful information in there and there are challenges and inspiration, too.
- Towards the end it feels like a really hard sell to join the Forever Fit community.
A word to the wise: the next challenge starts on September 18. If you’re interested, I’d suggest signing up early and getting your materials so you can do your shopping. I signed up last minute and couldn’t start right away — my kitchen is always pretty well stocked, but I still had to go shopping. And it seems like a lot of food for those first three days.
You can sign up with my referral here
Disclaimer: I do not earn any money by promoting this challenge, but I can potentially earn prizes by referring people. That’s not why I’m referring you — I wouldn’t mind a prize, but I also know that while some of my blogger friends are able to easily maintain a healthy weight, many are like me and it’s a struggle. I hope that people who have read my blog for a while know that I only recommend things I truly believe in. And don’t forget, there’s a money back guarantee (I didn’t use it, so I don’t know how easy it is).
I’m sure some people wouldn’t have the time or interest in that much meal prep, but the truth is, food shouldn’t always be fast and yes, you’re worth the investment of time. You may end up spending more than you’re used to at the grocery store, too, but again, I’m willing to spend money on good food.
Others, I’m sure, will not be thrilled with meditations, but I’ve already talked about how much I feel guided meditations help me.
You don’t have to be perfect. I wasn’t. I did not follow the detox exactly. I still went out to eat. I got the yummy granola bar from Leah’s Cakery that I love so much. I was doing a different exercise program already, so although I worked in the workouts, I didn’t always do them as many times as it’s suggested.
Finally: I lost 2 pounds. Not much for a month, right? But it’s a good loss for me. I’m at a healthy weight, but at the higher end of a healthy range and I could feel it in my clothes. It was never just about the number, though. I felt better about myself, and my clothes fit a lot better. I have one pair of jeans that will get tight when my weight creeps up — which is had (both the weight and the tight jeans), and by the end of the month they were loose on me again.
Talk to me:
Have you done an eating reset you enjoyed?
Do you enjoy plans that involve the mind/body connection?
What is your best tip for getting back on track?