One of the VF writers, Sandra Aziz, told us she was doing the Arbonne cleanse and agreed to write about the whole thing! And nope… not sponsored. Literally ZERO connection with the company. Just a funny, relatable, and informative read by your new VF homegirl!
Story by: Sandra Aziz
PART 1 OF 2: MY EXPERIENCE WITH A DETOX DIET
Let’s be real, as women, we are programmed to hate certain parts of our bodies. Am I right or am I right? Thighs, stomach, hair, arms, whatever it is: I feel ya! And if you are like me, you pray every day that the universe will Freaky-Friday Eva Mendes and you (because she’s GORG and really, you are Ryan Gosling’s soulmate). But seeing as though the universe clearly hates us and won’t allow for it, we have to realize we are stuck with own bodies!
Rewind to June, 2015
When I moved to San Francisco 8 months ago, I noticed a significant change in my body. Granted, moving cross-country can be stressful and can take a toll on you but the change persisted for months! My skin became super oily, my hair became dry, I was extra sluggish and thanks to the Indian restaurant down the street, I gained (literally) 25 lbs. Like what even is??? I mean I’ve never been thin but barring the occasional PMS-induced bitch-fest, I’ve always been comfortable with my body!
Fast-forward to January, 2016
My news feed had become a battle with everyone fighting and advertising for the new diet they are starting in the new year: Shakeology, Beach Body, Gluten-Free, Paleo and your endless list of juice cleanses! I was half intrigued and half “WTF guys, who out there eats real food anymore?!”. Every morning I would wake up to a new before and after picture of someone who had suddenly gained a 6 pack overnight! And on most days, I would scroll and admire all the newly sculpted bodies while eating my burrito with a side of chow mein, chicken vindaloo for dessert while sipping on a tall, tall glass of hater-ade.
With all of the different fads, one diet/cleanse persisted on my news feed. And surprisingly, many many people I went to college/grad school with were signing up to do it and were getting incredible results! Now what really caught my attention wasn’t any of their before and after pictures; it was a story about a man (an old classmate’s dad) who has Type 1 Diabetes and was at risk for leg amputation. He did the program, reached a healthy weight, managed his blood sugar levels and is no longer at risk for amputation! I mean…THAT’S AMAZING!
So I messaged said old classmate who did the challenge with her dad to learn a little about it. The more and more I learned, the more I became skeptical. Girls that I knew were losing 5 pounds a week. So…Question #1: Are these products laced with cocaine or amphetamines? Because how is that possible!! Question #2: Are you only drinking water and eating ice for the duration of the challenge? Because homie, that ain’t happening for me. A girl just can’t ignore all the good foods SF has to offer! Question #3: Since most of these diets are not cheap, how do I know it will actually work?
One month later: February 1st, 2016
Yes, a whole month had gone by with me sitting on my ass and doing nothing about it. Because … well… I JUST LOVE FOOD SO MUCH! But I decided to dive deep into research and I began by going directly to the source to find out exactly what was in these products. Are they safe? What are the ingredients (most of these products, no matter what company you buy them from, should list their ingredients and their sources)? What exactly is this challenge? Will it work for me? Can I look like Eva Mendes? Etc.
Question #1: Are these products laced with cocaine or amphetamines?
This cleanse in particular claims to be completely plant-based, gluten-free certified, dairy-free, kosher certified, vegan certified, formaldehyde and paraben free, and guarantees that none of their products have been tested on animals, and contain no artificial coloring or sweeteners. To be honest, I’m not anti any of the products listed above and more importantly, I wouldn’t know what to do without gluten or dairy! So these aren’t hard requirements for me. But if they are for you, make sure this list (or any detox ingredient list) follows your dietary restrictions i.e. if you are vegan, make sure these products don’t have any animal product or gelatin or are tested on animals. Note: this website does NOT list any clinical research to back their claims and that’s no bueno!
Next: I went through the ingredient list in the products. Especially if it’s a protein powder, I wanted to review what is used to make the powder. Many are flavored vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, so I paid special attention the sweeteners and where they are sourced. This product in particular was tested low for the glycemic index — which means that on a scale, it is low for causing a spike in your blood sugar. For other ingredients, the protein powders in this product listed mostly vitamins and nutrients needed in our diet (zinc, magnesium, etc).
Conclusion: No apparent cocaine or amphetamine or any other unusual substances to make people lose weight quickly = ✓
Question #2: Are you only drinking water and eating ice for the duration of the challenge? Because homie, that ain’t happening for me.
For 28 days:
Stay away from: gluten, dairy, soy, corn products, alcohol, refined sugars, peanuts, and caffeine.
What to eat: Veggies and fruits, lean meats, poultry and fish, and “good fats.”
The package would include: Protein powder (vanilla and chocolate fiber boost powder), energy fizz sticks…um, what?, detox tea, and digestion plus powder.
Initial thought: RUN! You can’t even go a day without Philz hot cocoa — how on earth are you considering this?
Morning: shake and/or healthy meal
Lunch: healthy meal
Dinner: shake and/or healthy meal (with snacks and detox tea for the in between)
Conclusion: Product seems more realistic and not like I would be starving myself for a whole month = ✓
Question #3: Since most of these diets are not cheap, how do I know it will actually work without compromising my astronomical rent (but fo’ realz)?
I don’t know about you but growing up, every time I saw a weight loss commercial it was always the same sort of endorsement. All. The. Time. It always left me wondering: Ok Sally, 46, mom of 3 from Idaho, what did you REALLY have to do to get that body and lose 60 lbs in 3 months? And did you REALLY suddenly gain so much energy that you were finally able to run around with your kids and reignite the spark with you husband?
While I may never know about hypothetical-Sally, I knew I needed to reach out to a few people I knew were on the cleanse to really get to the bottom of this. This wasn’t hard especially since it was spreading like wild-fire on Facebook. Now a couple of them were consultants for the company and would make a percentage of what I would pay for the product, so I took what they said with a grain of salt. Some weren’t so unfortunately/fortunately, due to my skepticism, I really took their experience to heart.
From them: no mixed reviews, strictly positive! What every single one of them had in common was this: none of them set out to do it for weight loss, they all just wanted to change how they felt: sluggish, tired and low energy. WAIT, THAT’S ME TOO! PREACH GIRL! The weight loss just seemed to be an added bonus. Also, many of them, even after the cleanse was over, continued to use the product because they loved it. Hmmm… interesting right? This stuff isn’t cheap, so there’s gotta be something to it…
I set out to read every blog (some really encouraging!) Some more eye opening. I read every Pinterest post. And practically EVERY review I could find on the cleanse. Like this one and this one. I spent a lot of time looking at recipes to see if they were actually do-able, to see if someone could do this with a F/T job. Like for example: how on earth do people take smoothies to work? Doesn’t the milk and the fruit always turn to mush? I’ve always wondered! Share your secrets with me!
Conclusion: After the mixed reviews I found on research, I decided to bite the bullet and try it out. And there was no better way to see what the all the rave is about but by trying it myself! Annnddddd after days of me being annoying, my friend agreed to sign up with me so we could get a cheaper rate!
First ever detox cleanse (Arbonne) = ✓
Stay tuned for: PART 2 OF 2: MY EXPERIENCE WITH A DETOX DIET — in 30 days! Here are my before photos!!
WISH ME LUCK!