7 Ways Clean Eating Changed Me

I’m wrapping up my 28 days of clean eating detox. I loved it, and am definitely adapting that way of eating into my life. Over the course of the last four weeks, I learned quite a bit:

  1. Cooking isn’t so hard. I didn’t really like to cook, which is what made processed food so appealing: open freezer, take out box, microwave it, eat it. Every time I stuck something in the microwave I chided myself for not serving myself and my family something healthier. In the last month, I only used the microwave to heat up homemade leftovers! My family ate about 80% of my clean meals; they occasionally ate processed food. I did try to provide as healthy as possible processed options.
  2. My only beverage was water. I’m not a coffee drinker, and if it had been winter I may have opted for herbal tea (no sugar or milk) on occasion.  I used to drink fruit juice and maybe some soda 2-3 times a week. Didn’t miss any of that at all. Drank bottled spring water at home and water with lemon when eating out.
  3. I missed pizza the most. The good kind of pizza, from the pizzeria, not frozen pizza. We’re lucky to have a great little pizza place in our tiny little town. I reintroduced gluten and dairy by having a couple of slices. I missed pizza more than sugar.
  4. I didn’t miss sugar. My meals were so satisfying and my body was getting the nutrients it needed. The only sugar I ate was a few grams (less than 5!) in the 2-3 pieces of Panda Soft Licorice I ate a few days a week. It’s all natural with only 4 ingredients (molasses [sugar], wheat flour [gluten], licorice extract, natural flavor [aniseed oil]). The other source of sugar was in the 70% dark chocolate bar a sometimes ate a segment of. Serving size is 1/2 a bar – which is 9 segments. A couple of times I had 2 segments, but otherwise 1 was enough to satisfy my sweet tooth. [Amazon sells them, but only in bulk – check your local grocery store in health food or gourmet food sections. This one is my favorite.]
  5. My family’s attitude towards eating changed as well. While there weren’t on board with ALL my meal choices, they starting eating more fruits and veggies, drinking more water, and trying new things.
  6. I feel amazing! I have a ton more energy. I lost about 2 pounds (weight loss was not a goal). My thighs are less jiggly and my stomach is (and feels) flatter. The clean eating got rid of (or at least reduced) the fat around my internal organs; my workouts built up some muscle!
  7. This way of eating – clean, healthy, and plant-based – has inspired be to get my health coach certification!
  8. I’m going to keep going! While I will be reintroducing some of the food types that were banned (like dairy, gluten, soy, and corn), I am staying away from processed food completely – or as much as I can.

Are you interested in eating more healthily? Not sure if you can make a 28-day commitment? I know where you’re coming from! Three months ago I would have scoffed at the notion of taking on this challenge, but my desire to feel better and be healthier trumped my laziness and reliance on processed foods.

It’s really not hard if you are committed and keep the reason you are doing this forefront in your mind. If you want to take the plunge, contact me, and we’ll talk about a plan for you. If you’d like to ease into it slowly, then I recommend switching your beverage to water – as much as you can. If you still need that morning cup of joe, fine; but start cutting back and then eliminating soda. That, in combination with movement, will make a world of difference. So drink water and take some long walks!

[Disclaimer: some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but I will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps me spread my message!]

5 Things I’ve Learned on My 30 Day Clean Eating Detox

glass-of-waterToday I am half way through my Clean Eating Detox, and it’s going well. I’ve surprised myself at being able to stick with it this long without any major cravings or cheats. And I’ve learned a few things:

1. Water is your friend

I was already a water drinker, but when I would dine out it was easy to choose something else – usually sweet tea or soda. I found that many places had terrible tasting water, so I would just opt for a tastier option. Lemon solved that. There’s bound to be a wedge of lemon somewhere in the restaurant. Squeezed into a tall glass of not so wonderful tap water, it made the water not only drinkable, but quite refreshing. I ask for lemon even when the water is delightful on its own.

2. Doing your best is better than doing nothing

So many times in the past I had good intentions but would get overwhelmed and confused. Was this food item considered healthy or not? It has 27 ingredients, and I can pronounce all but 2 of them. This one has 4 ingredients, but 3 of them are poly-syllabic words that require five minutes each to sound out. I used to give up. Now, armed with the week’s grocery list plus my master sheet of “EAT vs AVOID” I’m ready for battle. Still, there are some things that just couldn’t be found: “clean” mustard (no sugar and no vinegar). Ultimately, I used a bit of fancy mustard I had in the fridge. No sugar, but it did have vinegar in it. Is my cleanse a bust? No. Is the teeny, tiny amount of sugar in the all natural soft licorice I ate throwing me out of the game? No. Those 2 (or maybe 3) little pieces of licorice still have less sugar than the handful of M&M’s I was munching every evening, with an occasional handful after lunch, and sometimes the small handful that I grabbed walking out the door when running errands. I can confidently say that I’ve been eating more than 90% clean, and probably closer to 95%. Pretty proud of myself.

3. Preparation is key

I have a grocery list that corresponds to the week’s menus. For some of you that is a no brainer; for the rest of us – this is crucial. The list and menu with recipes comes from a Clean Eating group I belong to. I didn’t have to do the math to calculate how many tomatoes I needed. I bought what was on the list (with a few substitutions), and voila! I had groceries for the week that actually corresponded to what I was going to prepare for meals.

The only thing I didn’t count on was what to easily pack if I was traveling for the day. Since my options for eating out were minimized, I had to plan ahead (which was a challenge for me). After one sad dinner consisting of a protein bar, an apple, and some rice crackers, I spent some time devising better snack and light meal options that could survive the summer heat in my car.

4. Trying new things isn’t so scary

Swiss chard was on my first week’s grocery list. I looked at it. I was scared. I didn’t buy any. I did, however, try kale. It was also on my list. I liked it. I didn’t love it, but it was quite yummy mixed with baby spinach as the base of a salad. I’d definitely buy some again, or better yet (as I hardly made a dent in the huge bag I had purchased), I will continue to grow some in my garden – and not consider it a decoration! We’ll see if I get a bit braver with the Swiss chard.

5. Little changes can make a big difference

If you’re not ready to go full throttle on a challenge like this, consider cutting back on the avoids: sugar, dairy, soy, gluten, coffee, and alcohol. There are more, but those are major ones. Drink more water. Eat an apple each day (green apples are healthier for detoxing). Add in more leafy greens. Small steps to healthier eating along with a change in mindset will make a huge difference in how you feel.


If you want more information on clean eating, including recipes and tips, join my Facebook group “Healthy and Happy.” It’s a closed group, just ask to join. There are no fees, just information and sharing of clean eating experiences. I’m not an expert, but I’m with you on this journey!


Learn the Power of Breathing

100% of the top 100 successful people do it. 100% of Olympic gold medalists do it. 100% of the top 100 happiest people in the world do it. They breathe. Long, slow, focused breaths. Try it (because you know you already did, but do it again). Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. You don’t have to hold the breath in. Closing your eyes helps too (after you’ve finished reading this). I visualize the breath coming into my toes and filling my legs, body, arms, and the I exhale. That air leaves as quickly as it came in, taking with it my stress and worries. Sometimes I can feel chunks of stress fall off my shoulders.

In May I was in Indianapolis on business with some friends of mine. I spent much of the weekend being referee to some verbal arguments as well as just witnessing some downright ugly behavior. I didn’t realize how much stress I’d accumulated (indirect stress, as I wasn’t directly involved in the arguments), until I sat grabbing a bite to eat with another friend at the airport. As I sat, for the first time in four days, in a peaceful setting and took a few deep breaths, I could feel big, dry, caked-together chunks of stress fall off. My friend looked at me from across the table and remarked she could see the stress “falling away” as I took each deep breath.

Many of us don’t breathe properly. Our breaths are shallow and only use a portion of lung space. Deep breaths come from the diaphragm, the muscle below your lungs, and your stomach area should move in and out as you breath as opposed to your upper chest moving. Different breathing patterns can help you to relax, fall asleep, or even become more energized. So I put together a few videos on some breathing techniques that will find useful:

So today I charge you with the task of taking the time to breathe. It’s one of the first things I do in the morning – at least three slow, deep breaths. I repeat as needed throughout the day to combat stress, anxiety, or the daily craziness that comes from being the mother of two tweens.


Taking Care of Myself Once in a While

SeaSource 5-in-1 Essential Massage Oil
Arbonne’s SeaSource 5-in-1 Essential Massage Oil

Suffering from cabin fever, I decided that now was as good a time as any to deep condition my hair. My stylist mentioned that a healthy scalp meant healthy hair – and my scalp was a little on the dry and itchy side. And my hair a little on the frizzy side.

I grabbed my bottle of Arbonne’s SeaSource 5-in-1 Essential Massage Oil. I massaged a small amount into my scalp and hair ends. I then took a towel I had heated up in the dryer for a few minutes and wrapped it around my hair. Five minutes later I jumped into the shower and shampooed as usual. Good bye frizzies! Good bye itchy scalp! Hello beautiful hair!

As the name suggests, there are multiple ways to enjoy the massage oil. Here are some of those ways:

  • Body Massage – Of course! Warm a small amount of oil in your hands and massage onto skin using broad circular strokes, moving toward the heart, until the oil is completely absorbed.
  • Facial Massage – Use on freshly cleansed, damp skin. Warm a small amount of oil in hands and massage onto face, neck, and neckline using light strokes; massaging in direction of the muscles toward the heart until the oil is completely absorbed.
  • Facial Steam – Add up to 4 pumps of oil into a large bowl of steaming water. Place face over bowl, cover your head with a towel and remain in stream vapor for 3-5 minutes to help open and detoxify pores. When complete, cleanse and moisturize your face.
  • Bath Soak – Add 4-8 pumps of oil to tub of warm water and soak for 10-15 minutes. Step out of the bath carefully as tub may become slippery.
  • Aromatherapy – A small amount of oil may be massaged onto temples or added to a diffuser to benefit the aromatic oils, which help promote a sense of well-being. Avoid your eye area.
  • Deep Hair Conditioning – A small amount of oil on fingertips may be massaged onto scalp and ends of hair. Place a towel in the dryer on high and heat it up; once the oil is on your hair wrap the towel around your hair for about 5 minutes. Then rinse and shampoo as usual.

Disclaimer: I am an Arbonne Independent Consultant and do make a commission off of any sales placed through me or through my Arbonne website. A part of my I’ll Take Success business is coaching and training individuals to be successful Arbonne Consultants. If you would like to know more about starting and succeeding in Arbonne, you can visit my Arbonne website or contact me. It’s a fabulous company with botanically based products!