Let me set the stage for you. It’s the last week of July and 20 people are making their way by plane and automobile from Southern California to my house. Most of these people have come before and for some, this is their 5th year in a row they have made the trek. They come for one main attraction: the Oregon Brewer’s Festival. This incredibly fun group has been visiting NIck and I for the large craft beer festival since we moved to Portland and each year the group has gotten larger. The only way I can describe this annual event is…wild! We spend the week drinking beer, eating at their favorite restaurants (so many trips to Pine State Biscuit and Salt and Straw!), staying out until the wee hours of the morning, and… drinking more beer.
Needless to say, this week ends with the strange silence of no longer having 20 people share our tiny living space and our bodies royally hating us. To cleanse our systems and get back into the swing of our routine of healthy eating and regular exercise, Nick and I decided to give The 3-Day Refresh a try. The 3-Day Refresh is a new program from Beachbody designed to:
- Provide a clean break from bad habits
- Kick-start healthy eating
- Break through a weight loss plateau
- Jumpstart a weight loss journey
For 3 days you have the superfood-packed Shakeology for breakfast along with a fruit option; a Fiber Sweep digestive health drink later in the morning; a high-protein Vanilla Fresh shake for lunch, accompanied by fresh fruit, vegetables, and healthy fat options throughout the afternoon. For dinner, you have another Vanilla Fresh shake along with your choice from a list of delicious, easy-to-prepare dinner recipes, which are provided in the Refresh guidebook. You can also have tea twice a day and as much filtered water as you like (LOTS! You should drink at least half your body weight in ounces per day).
How is the Refresh different from other cleanses? Juice cleanses and other popular short-term cleanses provide incomplete nutrition promoting muscle loss instead of fat loss and can cause a rebound due to the lack of adequate protein, low fiber, and/or high sugar levels. It’s probably a huge bummer to go through a cleanse only to see the “results” disappear as soon as you begin eating normally again.
So, how did the 3-Day Refresh go for Nick and I?
Nick and I both loved how each day was mostly planned out for us AND we got to make choices on the fruit, vegetables, and dinner options. This made the Refresh both easy to follow and also added to the sense of satisfaction because if we wanted blueberries, we could have blueberries!
The dinners were really delicious. We tried the kale salad with lemon juice and almonds (in place of pine nuts, which we didn’t have on hand) and the spinach salad with cucumber, sprouts, tomato and raw pumpkin seeds. We didn’t have time to try all of the dinner recipes and we definitely plan on trying out the carrot-seaweed medley and Moroccan carrot salad.
We both noticed changes in each other’s bodies, particularly in our bloated stomachs! I feel really silly to admit this, but we didn’t do the best job at tracking our progress through pictures or measurements. My “before” and “after” photos were taken in the morning rush between getting out of bed and heading to work, so the light isn’t ideal and neither is the clutter of Reymie’s dog bed and our computer in the background! In any case, I could see some significant changes, especially in my stomach, over those three days.
Nick lost 5 pounds over the 3 days and realized that he hadn’t been drinking enough water prior to the Refresh. I was able to concentrate on and avoid my tendency to emotionally eat at work, which usually strikes some time in the early afternoon when I feel like I have way too many things to accomplish in a short amount of time and that nearby sweet or latte somehow provides a little support. During the 3-Day Refresh, I was forced to ask myself, “Am I really hungry right now?” The answer was always, “no, this is stress. Drink more water.”
Despite the fact that I am currently training for Hood to Coast, two half marathons and the Portland Marathon, I took a break from tough workouts for the three days I was on the Refresh. Although the 3-Day Refresh is a low-calorie program, the shakes and fresh food selections are high in protein and fiber so you feel satiated throughout the day. You can continue to do light-to-moderate exercise during the Refresh, so I chose to concentrate on walking more with my dog and at work on those days. I know of people who have continued to do PiYo and felt totally fine, so I’d recommend sticking to what you feel up for.
What didn’t go so well?
I happened to be on-call that week for work. This means that in the event of a critical incident in any part of the large agency I work for, I need to respond in person. On the third day of the 3-Day Refresh, not only did I have to deal with my dog panicking until 2am about a lightning storm, I had to respond to a call at work from 3am to 6am. I then went home, slept for a few hours and went back to work at my regular work site. Having a disjointed sleep schedule and too few hours of sleep really threw me off. I always feel more hungry (not exactly hungry – more like “I need chocolate and nothing else will satisfy me,” which is more emotional eating) when I am tired and stressed, so my hectic night made the third day feel slightly hard. In short, it feels better to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night (regardless of what you’re currently eating throughout the day!).
All in all, I really liked the 3-Day Refresh. I definitely plan to do it again after a particularly indulgent weekend or trip. I think I’ll do it over a weekend next time so I don’t have to worry about work.
Interested in refreshing your eating habits and cleaning out your system? Have questions about something else? Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org OR complete the form under the “Ready to Make a Change?” tab at the top of this page 🙂