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Sorry. I've been crap at updating this blog. I lasted through my 30-day Isagenix Cleanse & Fat-burning system. I am happy to report that I lost a total of 17 pounds. I'm now on their "Five Pillars of Health" maintenance system and have now lost approximately 20 pounds total. (Not been as rigorous about maintenance as I could/should be, but I started my 30-day cleanse weighing 210 pounds and am now fluctuating between 189-193. Would still like to lose another 5-10 pounds and couple that with some weight training and exercise.)
I still need to finish out the articles to cap off my first week's experience - including my first fasting day on Sunday. The remaining weeks were pretty much a "rinse and repeat" operation, though there were several observations about the Isogenix products and my experience that were worth noting (will come back and infill on my personal experiences - promise).
I attended a day-long Isagenix seminar, yesterday ($20 to get in, got to listen to Michael Close - a Multi-Level Marketing guru). It was an interesting day and I learned more about the Isagenix products, which I am starting to gain an appreciation for the quality of research and ingredients. THIS is the main reason I signed up with Isagenix and not the marketing stuff (I'm a horrible salesperson and can't really see myself becoming some rich millionaire marketer. Wouldn't mind the millionaire part, just don't see myself turning into a "marketer" to do it! LOL.) The balance of the afternoon was spent on the marketing aspects of the product line. Yeah, it's there and if it's for you, then I'm sure that Isagenix is a great company - both in terms of product line and also pay-structure!)
The real reason I'm posting today is because of a news article I spotted in the local paper about the benefits of fasting (one of the hallmarks of the 30-day Fat-burning system is a weekly fast. THIS is where your body looks for fuel alternatives and begins to convert stored glucose, burning fat reserves for fuel. Within the Isagenix community, they recommend a 2-day fast, but after my 4 fasting experiences, I'm not certain I'm down for that. One day was hard enough ... although, oddly enough, after going to bed very hungry after a day of fasting, I was astounded to always wake up the next morning and NOT be hungry!)
Anyway ... here's some of the story (not sure how long the link will last). I thought it was interesting, since I had just come off the Isagenix 30-day nutritional cleanse and fat-burning program only a few weeks prior.
It's funny how you can go to bed hungry, but when you wake up, you're not hungry! I love it! (Kinda makes me want to sleep all the time though).
When I woke up on Friday, my headache (like normal) was gone, along with my hunger. The funny thing though, was that it never returned! Yay! I'm hoping my headache days are behind me (more room in bed, for one reason!) LOL.
I've been having fun trying different things in my shakes, just to be creative. Hey ... an artist uses whatever is around him to "create", eh? So what if all my art comes in a glass? It's still art!
This morning I put in a level teaspoon of homemade blackberry jam in with two level scoops of vanilla "IsaLean Shake" powder. Turned it a nice shade of purple and there were even bits of blackberry seeds at the bottom of the mug. (You know you're hungry when, instead of rinsing the mug, you pour water into it, swish it around and then drink it!.
Yep, I'm still hungry!
2 "IsaLean Shakes", 1 scoop of "Ionix Supreme" drink mix, 2 "Natural Accelerator" pills, 2 "Shake day support options" (Scooby Snacks), tons of water (half gallon minimum), 1 "IsaFlush" pill and a balanced meal (400-600 calories) rounded out my diet for the day.
Dinner was very good. I had range-fed, grilled T-bone steak (about 6 ounces) and a salad consisting of stir-fried vegetables and quinoa (Quinoa is an ncient Mayan seed that's considered a "whole grain" food. Quinoa takes less time to cook than other whole-grains, taste's great on its own, is gluten and cholesterol-free and provides all 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. It's pronounced as "KEEN-wah".)
I also splurged and had a beer with dinner!
Before you freak, I should qualify this by saying it was a "chick" beer.
By day four, you'd think I'd be in a routine. Nope. I get up and try to get Alex off to school. I'm lucky to have a glass of water and a mixture of "Ionix Supreme" (one of these days, I'll have to figure out what all this stuff is).
When I come back, I make my morning "IsaLean Shake". I opted for chocolate this morning and added some peanut butter. I take my morning "Ageless Essentials Daily Pack" vitamins and head upstairs to work on web design. During the course of the morning, I drank a cup of coffee and at a "Scooby Snack". My headache persists, despite adding (reduced amounts) of coffee back into my routine.
It must be the hunger. Dunno.
Lunch consists of a vanilla "IsaLean Shake" and I can't think of what to put in, so I put in half of an apple. I guess I didn't blend it very well, because it ends up kinda chunky. I don't care. It kinda adds texture to the shake! So I drink/eat my lunch and head back upstairs to work on the computer.
Hunger has become my constant friend. It follows me wherever I go. In the office, it sits in the chair next to me. It follows me outside when I let out our chickens, collect the eggs or haul out the garbage. It's with me when I go to bed. I feel the need to give my hunger a name. After 30 days, who knows, me and my hunger may be having conversations with one another!
Oddly, I'm getting used to the hunger. It's not as bad as one might think it would be. I've never really experienced prolonged hunger before. Oh sure, the normal ... "I'm starving!" feelings you get before eating a meal, but never days-long, low-grade hunger. It's not that bad. It's kinda like hopping into a cold swimming pool. It shocks you at first, then you get used to it.
One thing I've noticed about hunger is that I now look forward to and appreciate my dinners much more! Tonight I baked butterflied chicken breasts, stuffed with a slice of ham and cheddar cheese, topped with a bit of Cajun seasoning. As a side we had brown rice and oven-roasted carrots. Boy, was it good! I ate it slowly, savoring each bite. I didn't want it to end! (Normally, I wolf down my supper like a hound dog ... then wonder what's for dessert, before dinner even hits my stomach!)
When you only get to eat one meal a day, it becomes a special event and you want it to last.
Another new sensation, leaving the table hungry. Never really done that before. Sure, I've left the table thinking, "Gee, I could eat more." But that's not the same as thinking, "Gee, I'm hungry."
Alex, my eight-year-old daughter, is intrigued by my diet. She tried a shake. "I wish I could have one for breakfast," she said. This morning, when I was making my "IsaLean Shake", she was pulling together her lunch for school. One of the things she added was a pre-packaged container of yogurt. I looked at her and said, "Hmm, I'll have to try a shake with some yogurt in it!" She thought that sounded like a pretty yummy idea.
After dinner, Rachel buggered off to work (she's a nurse and was working a 12-hour night shift), so it was just Alex and I at home. Alex and I were going to play a game, but Alex had her school lunch to put together and I had a bit of work on the computer. As I was typing away, I heard her bound up the stairs. She entered the office and said, "I know you're hungry dad and I was thinking of you." She handed me a tiny container of yogurt. What a sweetheart, eh?
Did I eat the yogurt? Damn straight! I enjoyed it too!
Afterwards, I went downstairs to the living room, where I sat quietly for 5 minutes, before playing with Alex. I took my blood pressure. It was 137/79. Not perfect, but within range. (I'm taking blood pressure medication and have for the past 2-3 years. It was super high when it was first diagnosed - at a Live Fire Training Exercise in Comox, B.C. - like SUPER high: 210/110. The firefighter doing the monitoring shook his machine a couple of times, thinking it was broken). One of my goals is to see if can't get this under control with diet and exercise, so I'm curious to see how Isagenix does with this.)
My hunger (and my low-grade headache) followed me to bed. (Not a problem, since Rachel was at work, there was room for the three of me).
Today my headache persisted and I elected to drink a cup of coffee in the morning (with a teaspoon of sugar), to see if it helped to reduce my persistent, low-grade headache. It was great to have my coffee back! I missed you, dear black stuff!
It tasted great, but did nothing to curb my headache. I'm thinking it's more to do with hunger, than any withdrawals from caffeine. Just my opinion (which I remain free to change at any time!)
I changed up the "IsaLean Shake" this morning. I had chocolate for breakfast (started off with vanilla in the morning). BIG change, eh? LOL ... OKAY ... I added a spoonful of peanut butter. (There's a little recipe booklet that comes with the Isagenix "Isablender". It's a hard-to-follow recipe called, "Peanut Butter Cup". You add 1 tablespoon of "organic" peanut butter to your two scoops of chocolate "IsaLean Shake" and 8 ounces of water. Why "organic"? Why not "organic, dolphin-free, ecologically-sustainable, non-irradiated, community-generated, charity-supporting Canadian" peanut butter? Probably because peanuts come from Georgia, eh? LOL ... I used regular Jiffy peanut butter. I think peanuts are pretty much organic. Maybe not the mouse poops, but the rest is.)
Can you tell? I'm a tad grumpy. I get like that when I'm hungry!
Rachel asked, while I was drinking my breakfast (upstairs, working on the computer), "How's your shake?"
"Oh," I gushed, "This just tastes great! And it's so filling! I - - L ... O ... V ... E - - it! In fact, I love it so much, I think I'm going to have another for lunch ... and for breakfast tomorrow. Maybe I'll mix it up a tad and add a little less water though, it's a bit runny!"
Yes, I do sarcasm when I'm grumpy. No extra charge!
The rest of the day went by and I did all that I'm supposed to do (minus the 30-minutes of exercising). I didn't want to strain my already deprived, weakened body!
Actually, I must be getting used to the diet. I got busy with work and actually FORGOT to have my lunch-time "IsaLean Shake"! Can you believe that? (Me neither!)
Dinner sucked. Not wanting to overdose on lean chicken breasts, I pulled out some frozen salmon fillets. These WERE fresh-caught salmon, but they'd been stuffed back into the recesses of the freezer and made little houses back there, building an igloo using all the other frozen items. I guess they've been hibernating back there for what? Two years? (They were a tad freezer burned).
I was determined to use them. Partly to get them out of the freezer, mostly because nothing else was defrosted. Rachel was in a hurry to leave for some nursing function (or was it running clinic?) It's hard to keep track, my food-depraved brain isn't conducting electricity too well anymore!
I steamed the salmon over a bed of vegetables, drowned in balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, olive oil, water and lemon juice. We had steamed broccoli along with a cup of steamed brown and wild rice. I also made a red pepper, cucumber and tomato "chutney" (hoping it would drown out the freezer-burned taste). Sounds good, eh?
It wasn't. Rachel couldn't finish hers. I happily ate every bit of mine, saying, "This is the best meal I've had all day!"
We counted how many bones we found in our fish. Alex "won" with nine. She won dessert! I asked her, "How do you like the fish?"
"Well," she hesitated, "I'm glad I won (the bone contest), but I really didn't like it all that much!"
We saved what wasn't eaten and gave it to the chickens the next day. (Chickens make great garbage disposals and have the added benefit of yielding eggs ... not that I've eaten any lately!)
I had another cup of coffee after dinner. It had the same effect. It tasted great, but it didn't help my low-grade headache much. (That's OKAY ... I'm kinda getting used to the headache!)
I worked late into the night and didn't go to bed till nearly 1 AM. I was stressing over the new website, which is probably what's causing my headache, in reality.
One Tough Day
OKAY ... it's actually Day 5, so I have a bit of catching up to do. (Note to self: Do not start a diet in the week after launching a website! Crazy busy.)
It was cold last night and I couldn't get warm in bed. Mind you, it was a cold night too, so I don't know if "body fuel" was the issue or just plain "cold temperatures". I'm thinking "cold temperatures", because Rachel was cold too. One big benefit to being married? Snuggling! Great way to warm up. We snuggled together most of the night ... and slept.
I woke up feeling hungry. My body was definitely not liking the new regime. I drank water and had a glass of "Ionix Supreme". The morning ritual was pretty much the same, as I worked with Alex on her spelling, walked her a quarter mile down to the bus stop, fed the chickens and collected eggs on my way back.
After my first day, I decided that if I was going to see this 30-day "cleanse" through, there were going to have to be some changes. Plain shakes aren't going to cut it and eating solid food for lunch, while drinking a shake for dinner, isn't at all conducive to family mealtime.
So, I did a radical thing. I added half a banana to my morning vanilla "IsaLean Shake". (I know ... I know ... pretty bold of me, eh?)
The rest of the morning was spent in front of the computer, working on the new website. I chowed down a "Scooby Snack" at about 10:30 AM. Hunger persisted and one "Scooby Snack" didn't ward it off for very long.
As I was working, I noticed that I was beginning to develop a headache. I don't normally get headaches. In fact, I would say that I rarely get headaches. Usually, they're brought on by hunger. So, I figured, "Yep, I'm hungry!" It passed when I had my lunchtime shake (chocolate with - yes - the other half of the banana). Tasted a tad better than vanilla with a banana, but - of course - I still wanted more! I felt full, but hungry.
I pretty much followed the "Shake Day Planner" (plus the banana and change-up between dinner and lunch). My headache returned and persisted during entire afternoon, until dinner. I drank loads of water (hauling around a quart Nalgene water bottle. I drank about 3 quarts of water out of the bottle, plus whatever else I drank with my shakes and out of a glass. I had to pee a lot! Important to stay hydrated!)
Dinner was a highly anticipated event! The whole family had grilled skinless, boneless chicken breast with an Italian dressing marinade, steamed brown rice and steamed carrots and broccoli. (I actually weighed mine, just to make sure I was keeping within the 400-600 calories recommended in a "Balanced Meal". It weighed 6 ounces). Out of curiosity, we tallied up my meal based on Weight Watchers points (Rachel has had success following an "at-home" version of a Weight-Watchers diet, so we had the book ... but it's also possible to tally points online, or even from an iPhone app, I think). My meal came to 8 points and Rachel says, "A point is worth roughly 50 calories". So I was right in the range (maybe add one or two extra for margarine & the salad dressing).
Tuesday's are "Practice Night" at our local fire hall, where I volunteer. So after dinner, it was time to run off and practice fighting fires with my mates. My "Isagenix Coach" is also a volunteer. In fact, there are several of us on the Isagenix "30-day Cleanse" diet. Four hall members and a spouse).
At practice, we chatted about our experiences with the diet thus far. My coach said that my headaches are probably due to mild withdrawal symptoms from no longer drinking coffee. (I usually drink 2-3 ... sometimes more ... MUGS of coffee a day. When I started, I thought I was supposed to quit coffee completely. I found out at practice that you CAN drink coffee, just not on your "cleanse days", which are every 7th day). Good to know!
We all cheated a bit that night, having a few alcoholic drinks after our fire practice. I went home thinking the Isogenix diet wasn't so bad! (I'm sure it was the alcohol, rapidly converted into sugar, doing all the "talking"! LOL).