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Day 9 – Clean 9

Done it!

Literally done everything as instructed, for the last 9 days, even weighing chicken, checking calories per pitta bread today, and serving the recommended quantity of rice (3/4 cup, cooked), rather than just piling as much as I want on the plate.

I had my first lunch in 9 days today, two wholemeal pittas filled with prawns, lettuce, cucumber and a spoonful of sour cream mixed with mint in each, replacing the chocolate shake.

Snacks today were an apple and banana, and for dinner I made ginger, garlic and chili chicken and prawns, with wholegrain vermicilli, peppers and cucumber.
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I don’t think I have ever had this much energy, but best of all, this much confidence in myself. I pointed out at the start I chose not to take any weight or measurements. I wanted to do this as a detox and kick start a whole new lifestyle. But also because I really struggle with body image. I realise now I’m way too hard on myself. If I found out today I’d only lost 2lbs (which could happen as everyone loses weight at a different pace), I would’ve focused on that in a negative way rather than acknowledge all the benefits I have achieved. So I didn’t set any weight or inchloss goals, my goal was to just stick to and complete it.

However, in hindsight I kind of regret this as I would say I must have lost around a stone.

I did weight watchers not long after having Jessica and I don’t think I felt the differences till around week 5 or 6 as I’m feeling after Clean 9. Some of my clothes are too big now (mainly tops), some fit better and some I never expected to wear this summer, fit. It’s mainly my waist and legs where I can feel the difference, and I noticed my face looks thinner too.

I’m loving how clear my skin is, and how much thicker and shinier my hair looks and feels.

The only exercise I’ve managed to fit in has been walking, apart from Clubbercise on friday, but thats down to not having the time or opportunity to do much else. I’m hoping to fit another clubbercise class in during the week, but it’s hard working it around the kids. But I’m exercising now and that’s the main thing.

My plan now is to keep with the healthy meals, with proper portion control, and no Milkyways or Crunchies to curb my chocolate cravings. They may be the lowest in calories, but I don’t need chocolate in my life now, except maybe christmas.

I will definitely do C9 again, I’m thinking probably january to start off 2016 how I mean to go on. But I think this time I will take note of weight and measurements.

I would say to anyone thinking of doing C9, to stop thinking and just do it. It’s well worth the money but only if you stay fully committed and stick with it, which you really need to do to see and feel the best results.

Surprisingly enough, I haven’t at any point felt hungry, or suffered any headaches, which I thought I would.

I would without a doubt say this has been lifestyle, if not life changing.

Thank you to everyone who has followed my C9 blogs. I decided before I started on the detox I would document and share each day, that way I knew I had to stick with it.

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Day 8 – C9

I should probably be really excited that the detox is nearly over, but I’m not really that bothered.

I can have 300 cal meals for lunch, replacing the shake from tomorrow, which I am really pleased about, but 8 days in and what was just a week ago the dreaded aloe gel in the morning has become routine and drinking it no longer phases me. The supplements were never a problem and drinking the recommended amount of water a day is easy.

Dinner times are what they were before the detox, but I seemed to have enjoyed them more knowing I haven’t eaten two donuts whilst cooking it.

I made fish and prawns with a tomato sauce, green beans and boiled potatoes for tea, and I might have strawberries, grapefruit and sour cream a bit later.

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Feeling pretty amazing in myself and I’m especially impressed with the much improved condition of my hair. It even looks longer with it being softer.

Final day tomorrow

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clean 9, diet, excercise, forever living, general, health, health and fitness, lifestyle, mental health, wellbeing

Day 7 – C9

Started the day with the usual supplements, gel and shake. Didn’t particularly enjoy the shake thismorning, it’s gradually starting to taste sweeter and sweeter as the week progresess, today it tasted really sweet. With not eating chocolate or any of my other vices, I’m really starting to taste the natural sweetness in foods.

Andrew remarked how much thinner my legs look, which is great as I’m a step closer to finally getting something like this

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which I’ve wanted for ages but won’t get until I feel comfortable in myself.

We got the girls ready, and without even thinking about it I filled my water bottle, grabbed a banana and apple and put them in my bag.  Usually i would just grab a sandwich, crisps, chocolate and a fizzy drink when we’re out. I feel like my body knows the drill now, I’m not missing or craving anything and my mind has infact been reset.

Weekends are always tiring as the girls are a handful, and I don’t know any child with as much energy as Jessica. I’m usually ready to wind down about now, to watch a movie, but tirednesd wins and I’m I’m in bed half way through it. I feel full of energy and looking forward to watching something later, with a small packet of almonds rather than sweets.

For dinner tonight I’ve made chili, which I’ll have with brown rice.

Two days to go, and I’m feeling more like this is becoming my lifestyle.

Thanks all who has followed my C9 diary. I thought before I even started the detox, documenting and sharing each day, would also be a way of making sure I stuck with it

clean 9, diet, excercise, forever living, general, health, health and fitness, lifestyle, mental health, wellbeing

Day 6 – C9

It might be the weekend, but the kids were still awake before 6 but getting up wasn’t a problem at all this morning.

I’ve wore clothes i didn’t expect fo fit into this summer today, a maxi dress with a thin quite short cardigan I bought without trying on and realised it was way too small when i got home. Not any more it’s not.

My skin is really clear, so clear I’ve done something I despise doing, and took a photo to show how good it is. I know I don’t have a before and after obviously, but it’s completely unairbrushed or filtered.

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I did attempt to do half an hours exercise this morning, but with Emily circling me on her scooter, it didn’t quite work out. But we did all go out for a walk this afternoon.

Dinner tonight was whole-wheat rice noodles with chili and ginger salmon and prawns, steamed carrots, peppers and pak choi, and was delicious and very filling. I enjoyed it much more than I do our usual saturday night takeaway, Andrew agreed.

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Shakes for breakfast are just routine now. I’m thinking about sticking with this after the cleanse, as mornings are quite hectic and breakfast is usually toast or branflakes and coffee. I want to cut bread out of my diet altogether, and reduce dairy. I can do one shake a day long-term no problem, but not two.

Three days to go, onto the final stretch now

clean 9, dance, diet, excercise, forever living, general, health, health and fitness, lifestyle, mental health, wellbeing

Day 5 – C9

Today has been slightly harder. Not because I’m missing particular foods, but just because I’m bored of the shakes. I don’t mind having one at breakfast time, but at lunch time I’d really like a prawn salad now, or a wholemeal pitta with grilled chicken and salad, thats better than wanting chocolate, which I’m not missing at all. I’m not missing coffee either. I only had one cup a day to wake me up, but I don’t even feel like I would even need that now.

I have even more energy today, and my clothes are even looser. I’m actually starting to wish I had noted weight and measurements now, but I do plan to do this again later in the year, or after Christmas so I will next time. I joined weight watchers a few months after having Jessica, and stopped going when I felt comfortable in myself. I would say at the minute, i feel a bit like I did around week 4 or 5.

Aswell as the usual gel tablets, aloe, two shakes and loads of water, I’ve had a banana, some strawberries, cherries and made a lush red thai curry for tea. I stuck to the suggested weight quantities, added red peppeds, babycorn and sugar snap peas to fill me more, and had brown rice.

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The meals are 600 cal meals if followed correctly. Each shake also totals around 300cals so I’m still having 1200 calories a day, plus those from the fruit and veg as snacks.

I also burned quite a few calories tonight at Clubbercise. I felt and looked slimmer in my gym stuff, had loads more energy and left feeling pretty good in myself knowing I’m not about to go home and put do some damage with a huge bar of dairy milk.

My skin looks much heathier, my hair is soft and boucy, and I’m not feeling tired at all during the day, and no longer have to drag myself out of bed in the morning.

4 days left

clean 9, diet, excercise, forever living, general, health, health and fitness, lifestyle, mental health, wellbeing

Day 4 – Clean 9

Keeping this one really short as I’m doing this on my phone as I’ve lost patience with my lap top today.

Today has been pretty much the same as yesterday. Had a bowl of strawberries, grapes, cherries and grapefruit with sour cream and a shake for lunch. I used soya milk rather than rice milk today, and gave it a really good shake making it all frothy and a bit more like a McDonalds milkshake.

For dinner I had the same as last night.

I feel lighter, much more energetic and I’m even sleeping better. I’m not experiencing any hunger other than hunger you would expect to feel before mealtimes. I’m not missing eating things I shouldn’t be at all.

So all good

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C9 – Day 3

So today’s the day, the day I can have food, well a proper meal. The plan has now changed slightly meaning I now have a shake to add to breakfast AND lunch

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and the much welcomed and anticipated addition of a 600 cal meal to tea. I’m not sure if I’m more excited over this or the reduction in aloe gel from 8 cupfuls a day to only two.

I still haven’t experienced any hunger, only now but I think that’s more because dinner is prepared I’m just waiting for Andrew to finish what he’s doing to have it. I used Clean 9 meal suggestions I found online, and I’ve gone for chicken wholemeal wraps with peppers, onions, lettuce and a homemade salsa (which is just tomatoes I’ve boiled then peeled, mashed up, added chopped red onion and red wine vinegar), and sour cream.

I faced a big challenge tonight as Jessica had three friends come for tea. She wanted pizza and a tea party.

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I had no temptation with the pizza, but the cakes, crisps, and chocolate biscuits I did. Well not temptation as such, I didn’t think once about eating any of them, but I imagined it. When the kids had finished eating there was loads left and Andrew ate the chocolate and lemon cupcakes, whilst reasurring me they weren’t very nice..

I definitely do have more energy, and my clothes are feeling loose after just two days. I’m looking forward to having an excuse to go clothes shopping soon. I feel and look so much less bloated. My skin is clearer,  I already do have pretty good skin, but I seem to have more colour to the extent it makes my usual foundation looks a bit dark.

So I’m liking the results so far, with every intention of doing the whole 9 days still. I do know one thing though, there is no way I could or would do a meal replacement diet of shakes long term. I’m planning my full days meals now for once I’ve finished this cleanse, and I’m sticking to it.

Ok, I think it’s time for dinner!!!

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Clean 9 – Day 2

So day 2 is done and I didn’t expect to say I’ve found it pretty easy.

Todays plan was exactly the same as yesterdays. Only difference was I has the ‘snack’ (fiber mixed with water) at about 9 rather than nearer lunchtime as I did yesterday.

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The shake I mixed with organic rice milk and it didn’t taste much different than it did with water. It’s not great, but drinkable.

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I’m still knocking back the aloe gel like I’m doing a bushtucker, trial but it’s mind over matter.

I’ve had a few strawberries, cherries, a grapefruit and an apple throughout the day, which are the free foods and only foods I can have on days 1 and 2, and eaten in moderation.

The programme claims that during days 1 and 2, you will begin to purge toxins and in this time your body will reset itself and mind. I definitely feel my mind has been reset. I’ve still had all the vitamins my body needs over the last two days, just not in food form.

I do feel more energetic, but not overly. Just kind of less lethargic. I’m not craving or missing the usual chocolate, cakes, crisps, or even hungry, but I am really looking forward to a 600 cal meal tomorrow.

If these are the two hardest days, then I can do the next 7 no problem.

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My Clean 9 diary

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve started my diet again this year, so decided I needed to something which involved a little bit more committment. You can’t get more committed than spending £120 on a detox.

For passing my exam a few weeks ago, my hubby bought me Clean 9, a product from Forever LIving. A company which manufactures and sells Aloe Vera-based drinks, nutritional suplements and cosmetics. I’ve thought about trying it out for a while, but I’m a bit wary of multi-level marketing companies. I’m pretty sure I could buy all the products needed to do a very similar detox from Holland and Barrett at a fraction of the price. But as much as I talked about it, we both knew this wasn’t going to happen. So it was a present, this way I know I can not give up or cheat, but stick to the plan or I’ll feel I’m not only letting myself, but also Andrew down.

The detox kit comes in a box, similar to a Indian meal for two at Sainsburrys, (yes I have food on my mind as a type this), only the contents are not even half as exciting or anywhere near as appetising.

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Two bottles of Aloe gel, a packet of Lite Ultra Shake mix (I opted for chocolate rather than vanilla), Garcinia Plus softgels, Forever fibre, Therm tablets, a shaker and tape measure. There is also a guide-book which you follow over the 9 days, and a section in the book to be used as a daily planner.

detoxSo that’s the contents and basically my food for the next few days, although a small meal is introduced from day 3. I also just want to point out that I’m not promoting the product for anyone, and have no plans to be a distrinutor whatsoever, so I’m giving my own un-bias, impartial, honest, experience of the 9 day detox.

I’m also not doing this for a quick fit weight-loss. I’m chosing to not weigh myself, as I got rid of the scales a while ago after finding out it’s very easy to become too obsessed with weight.

I want to see how much better I feel in 9 days, how much more comfortable I feel in myself, and in my clothes. I also plan to continue with healthy eating after I’ve finished the detox. I actually do eat healthy. My meals are all freshly prepared. I just eat way too much sweet stuff inbetween meals and it’s that which I need and plan to stop doing.

So today is day 1. It’s now 8pm and I haven’t found today to be too bad to be honest.

Breakfast consisted of 2 soft gels, a therm tablet, and two capfuls of aloe gel. I’m not going to lie at all, the aloe gel is just awful. I find it smells and tastes like sweetcorn, and I don’t like sweetcorn. If I was to describe it to anyone, I would have to stop after a couple of words as I’d be gagging. It’s of a runny consistency, but it has very fine stringy bits in it. I just nipped my nose and knocked it back. Then drank water afterwards to wash away the taste.

For a snack I had one of the powder sachets mixed with water, which had no taste at all.

Lunch, 2 more gels and a tablet, more of the aloe vera, and a chocolate shake which I made up with water, which didn’t taste too bad either, but I’ll be making it with almond or rice milk tomorrow.

Dinner was two more gel tablets and another 120 mils of aloe gel, which I found harder to drink this time. I then thought that was me done for the day, till I realised I have another 120 mils of gel to look forward to at some point tonight.

I’ve also drank a lot of water, and i mean a lot. I’m going to the toilet as much as a pregnant women in her third trimester.

There is also a list of free fruit and veg which can be eaten in moderation over the whole nine days. I had a very small bowl of lettuce, cucumber and red pepper about and hour ago then three strawberries, five grapes and three cherries. Just to ease the hunger a bit.

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My exercise today, which is recommended to be low intensity, was my usual walk thismorning taking and picking Emily up from pre-school, which totals around half an hour.

My only struggle today was teatime. I made too much for the kids and had to bin what wasn’t eaten, when I really really wanted it. Andrew came in from football and asked what was for tea tonight, and I said whatever he can find as I’m not cooking something I’m not going to be able to eat. That would be torture.

I’m feeling quite good in myself, a bit of a sense of achievment after only a day sticking to a plan. I’ve read that around day 3 you really start to feel more full of energy. I’m excited for that and wondering how I will feel this time next week. On the downside, I only have two words, aloe gel.

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Today I hate autism and this is why

I like to keep my blogs light-hearted, positive and happy, as that’s pretty much how I feel most of the time. But I would be lying if I implied all the time, and that life with an autistic child is all rosy and I cope just beautifully. The truth is, it isn’t and I don’t.

Today I hate autism and the reason I hate it is because I took Jessica to a pop concert yesterday, and spent most of it completely choked up inside. It’s not often we’re around other kids. We rarely go to softplay, the cinema is virtually empty whenever we go, I doubt there are parents desperately trying to entertain their kids before 10am on a sunday morning, and Jessicas party invites are few and far between. Being in a class of only 9 children, and some of those children unable to deal with sensory issues a party brings, it’s not often she brings home any invitations.

It’s when I’m in a situation where I see other children, I’m overcome with sadness. Jessicas differences become more apparent, well more apparent to me. And it hurts

The reasons I hate autism are

1)  Four years in and I’m tired of having to explain Jessicas condition to people. Not friends, I’ll answer any questions they have at all, but strangers. Whether it’s some grump complaining about her behaviour (I got evil looks off a man trying to eat his lunch in a cafe last week when I was there with the girls, which I chose to ignore), or someone being friendly and talking to her. She won’t answer any questions she is asked, I answer for her. Then I feel the need to explain she has autism and doesn’t conversate well. It hurts so bad even hearing myself say that.

2) The whole ‘label’ or ‘autism doesn’t exist’ comments I’ve had thrown at me. It’s not a label, it’s and explanation, and trust me, it exists.

3) Apologies. People ‘apologising’ when I do explain Jessica has autism. But to be fair, I’m not exactly sure how anyone should act. I mean what else can you say to that little conversation stopper.

4) The assumption that people with autism don’t show empathy, or sympathy. Jessica knows when someone is hurt, and will tell me and her teachers in school. She may not run over and ask if they are alright, but she will alert someone. That’s empathy and genuine concern. She also gives the most amazing loving cuddles you could wish for.

5) Stupid damaging articles such as this one http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/11553012/Smartphones-making-children-borderline-autistic-warns-expert.html Talk about demonising autism and the very thought of having a child on the spectrum. Oh the actual horror!!

6) Attitudes and reactions towards my choice to stop vaccinating my children. I chose to refuse Jessicas MMR booster, and Emily hasn’t had a single vaccination since she was 16 weeks. I’m not for one second insisting the MMR is the cause of Jessicas autism, but I’m not saying it wasn’t either. I’ve spent a lot of time reading into this and concluded that I would be silly to allow Jessica to have a booster. How would I even live with myself if I had to then watch her regress? I’m not a neglectful parent, I’m a cautious one.

7) The feeling of isolation I experience every single day. Over the years I’ve lost all confidence and even refused to leave the house sometimes. I’ve missed opportunities to make friends at parent and toddler groups, and turned down meeting up with friends and nights out. How could I possibly have enjoyed myself when I’m experiencing such sadness at home?!

8) The assumption that I’m coping fine. Jessica is on the whole very well-behaved, so I must have an easy and quiet life, right? Wrong, I’m up at a time most parents only get up at at Christmas every single day. Jessica lives at a million miles an hour. She wants her breakfast the second she is awake, then her clothes on instantly, then her shoes. Meal times – she wants pizza, but she wants it now, she doesn’t have the patience to wait for it took cook, so I find myself repeating ‘wait, good waiting’. It’s exhausting both mentally and physically.

9) Milestones taking so much longer to achieve. I hate seeing other children become more responsible and mature than Jessica and I find myself wondering if she will ever even achieve some milestones. I feel consumed with guilt that I dread seeing Emily overtake Jessicas developement. What kind of a parent dreads seeing their youngest  child reach milestones??

10) I’m constantly ‘on alert’. I follow Jessica meticulously around a park, I avoid softplays as I’m constantly scanning the damn thing looking for Jessica, which gives me a headache. I’m terrified she may wonder off so I can not take my eyes of her for a single second. I go to bed at night aware I will up in a few hours, a few hours less than I want to be. I’m constantly waiting for the next meltdown. Not that she has meltdowns like you would expect, she’s just very anxious and crys over the littlest thing, then will apologise for crying and I tell her she has nothing to apologise for. The anxiety is becoming more apparent, I have to speak to her really gently sometimes and offer constant reassurance.

11) Not knowing Jessicas future. I heard the other morning that only 15% of adults with autism end up in employment. I’m guessing that is down to capacity to work rather than job opportunities. I am praying she is in that 15% I want her to live alone and independently. I want her to fall in love, and have children, and live a happy life. I want everything that my other two children will have.

12) The belief that autism is a ‘gift’. Really?! Jessica is a gift, all children are a gift. But I’d like to return the autism, please. It’s somewhat hindering my beautiful child’s development and distorting her understanding of the world

13) I hate myself for having all these feelings, but I am only human and I’m entitled to my own thoughts and the ability to voice them. But they don’t come guilt free. I love my daughter unconditionally, but today, and every so often, I hate autism