Wednesday, July 31

Adventures in Nutrition: Arbonne Fit Kit Detox (review)

June 1st through 30th I removed all gluten and dairy from my diet and followed the Arbonne Detox Fit Kit.

Now let's get this straight--this was not easy, especially when much of your diet is wheat- or dairy-based. I think I chose a good time of year to do this experiment. Fruits and vegetables abound, making my food prep fairly easy and straightforward.

Now the specific Arbonne products...
The whole Fit Kit: chocolate protein powder, vanilla protein
powder, two boxes of herbal detox tea, citrus fizz sticks,
pomegranate fizz sticks, lemon fit chews, caramel fit chews,
and daily fiber boost. 

Protein mix - I used coconut milk and a banana in every shake I made. Initially I struggled with grittiness, but once I began using bananas I found the thickened consistency to be pleasant. (I wasn't doing the detox to lose weight, so the banana fit my plan. Others who were trying to lose weight most likely didn't use bananas since they're considered extra sugar, etc.) I noticed that mixing frozen fruit changed the flavor more effectively than fresh fruit (with the exception of the banana). I was most pleased by the way my GI tract handled the protein. I've gone through several brands trying to find something that didn't bother the "I" part of GI, if you know what I mean. My only real complaint was that the zipper closures on the bags weren't that great, so I ended up using a clip on the bag to make sure everything stayed fresh. Both chocolate and vanilla flavors were satisfying, but I enjoyed mixing things up with the vanilla mix most. Coconut milk, pineapple, banana, and orange juice were amazing mixed with the vanilla shake.

Energy fizz sticks - Delicious. I was originally nervous about using these since they were supposed to be replacements for coffee and other caffeinated beverages because I don't do well with caffeine anymore. (Before my tumor I was fine... Now that I've only got one adrenal gland and no tumor making extra adrenaline, if I have a cup of coffee I usually end up feeling really loopy.) But I didn't feel jacked by the energy aspect of these drink mixes. The flavors were nice--citrus and pomegranate--and I was pleased that I could have even two of these in a day and not feel crazy. My only complaint is the little perforated area to tear open the packets was usually insufficient for opening it. I often had to use scissors to open it, which makes it slightly less convenient for on-the-go drink portability.

Herbal detox tea - This is amazing as sun tea. Herbal iced tea is one of my favorite things to drink in the summertime, but making sun tea with this particular tea was really enjoyable. I used five tea bags per quart and no added sweetener.

Fit chews - I had to keep these in the refrigerator after a bad experience with the wax paper not peeling off of the chew. The consistency is like salt water taffy. The lemon is my favorite flavor. Caramel was okay, but not as satisfying as the lemon was, as a replacement "candy" treat.

Fiber boost - I think this did its job--it helped me stay full between my breakfast shake and lunchtime. No flavor here, so it's an invisible extra in the blender.

All in all, I recommend the Fit Kit if you're looking to do some detective work around your diet. I was majorly uncomfortable after eating any gluten once I finished the 30 days, so I've learned that I'm sensitive to gluten. This has been really helpful information for me when shopping and planning. I still enjoy bread, beer, pasta, and pastries... just not all at once or all the time. I'm selective about what gluten to include in my diet now. It has to be quality if I'm going to eat it. (I'm not sitting around eating plain white bread!)

I learned a lot about what I *can* eat too. I've not gone the route of finding all my gluten-ridden favorites in a gluten-free form. I admit I'm concerned that I could end up swapping one unhealthy thing for another if I'm taking sugary or fattening versions of GF food. I really stuck to a meat, fruit, vegetables, and brown rice diet pretty well. (Again, doing this in the summer made the difference for my palate and patience since veggies and fruits were plentiful.) I can't say that I tried any new recipes or food preparations. It felt too complicated to try to overhaul my diet and my way of cooking in just one month. One thing at a time... :)

So before and after is a big deal with this Fit Kit, but mostly for folks who were trying to lose weight. Since I didn't get to workout for about two weeks in June, I know I didn't do anything truly spectacular for my physical shape. (I kept my same weight, within a few tenths of a pound, and my measurements didn't change either.) Lots of people kick up their fitness routine to get the maximum benefits from this kit, but I actually toned my routine down (by force, not choice) and ended up noticing how the nutritional changes affected my appetite. I wasn't hungry. I felt fuller longer and my GI--both G and I!--felt better and I'm okay attributing that to not eating handfuls of gluten every day. Dairy (fortunately) is not a problem for me, so I've integrated that back into my diet slowly (so as not to shock the system).
Good tidings of great gluten free Fit Kit

I'm interested in finding more information about digestive enzymes to help me process gluten better. I'm also interested in just keeping a low profile on the gluten-filled foods I like. I know I can live without them and I know how they will affect my insides. I pray I never get to the point that I have Celiac's disease or some other affliction that forces me to act on my diet again. I also have a new respect for my friends and acquaintances who eat gluten free regularly, either by choice or force, because I now know the pervasive grip that gluten has in our society's generalized diet. It's tough to be 100% gluten free because that little protein gluten is in so many things that we don't even realize it sometimes.

Would I recommend the Fit Kit? Sure. For people who are looking for a way to jumpstart their foray into dairy- or gluten-free life, this is a good way to get used to new things in your diet. It's simple too because there is no restrictive calorie counting or other numeric calculations (outside of your weight and measurements, if you choose to track them). Having the Facebook group to go to with questions and successes was a nice addition. (The Facebook group helped me solve the gritty smoothie problem in a matter of minutes, when I could have spent hours trying different combinations.) If you're looking to investigate your GI health in a safe way (no crash dieting), I think this is a good program with lots of information and support. The Arbonne consultants stick with you and have answers to questions, which makes the system really work. (Kudos to Becki from Fighting for Wellness!)

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