Since March I hadn’t been eating as well as I was eating while doing Whole30 (or mostly Whole30) for about six months, and I had gained back more weight than I was happy about. And in general I was still feeling really run down, energy-wise. The supposed energy boost is one of the main things that attracted me to do Whole30 in the first place last fall, but even after months eating that way, I still felt tired a lot of the time. I even went to the doctor to get some blood work done in October, and it didn’t reveal anything.
Over the past couple years I have been listening to my friend Beth talk about how awful she felt years ago before she starting using Isagenix products, and then how wonderful she feels now. In May I was feeling like I’d tried everything else, including eating the most healthy way possible while doing Whole30, so I decided that I had nothing to lose, and I signed up for Isagenix during one of their promotional periods when getting a wholesale account was free (instead of the normal $29 annual fee).
My Initial Order
Beth recommended that I start with the 30 Day Starter Pack, which provides general nutrition for a month. It includes a variety of products to get you started, and then you can decide which products you like and what you want to keep doing longer term.
I had some concerns because I am such a picky eater. I don’t like chocolate, and a lot of their products are flavored as chocolate. But I was able to make it work with just using vanilla and strawberry flavored items in the 30 Day System. It comes with the following:
- 4 packages of shake mixes – each 14 servings (I choose 2 vanilla, 2 strawberry)
- 1 Ionix Supreme – super food powder to help with stress (this only comes in 1 flavor)
- 1 bottle Natural Accelerator pills
- 1 bottle IsaFlush pills
- 2 Cleanse for Life powder canisters (more about this later)
- 1 bottle “Snacks” (I choose vanilla)
I also ordered some vitamins because I was really feeling like my body didn’t have the nutrients it needed to function. Even the most healthy food doesn’t always have the vitamins our bodies need because our soil is so deprived.
How Isagenix works is you have 6 “shake days” per week and 1 “cleanse day”. They recommend that you start with at least two shake days before attempting a cleanse. The basic Isagenix schedule
is fairly simple to follow, but I still sometimes have to reference it on cleanse days.
Breakfast – Shake
Morning Snack – Natural Accelerator, 100 calories of protein along with some veggies
Lunch – normal meal aka “fork food”
Afternoon Snack – Natural Accelerator, 100 calories of protein along with some veggies
Dinner – Shake
Bedtime – 1 IsaFlush pill (for bowel regularity)
Four times throughout the day you drink the Cleanse for Life liquid, which tastes horrible. It’s the worst part of this whole lifestyle. Then in between those, three times a day, you have 2 “snack” tablets. They’re nutrient packed wafers that aren’t too back and do surprisingly curb your hunger.
My First Month’s Experience
I almost threw up the first day because the milk taste of the vanilla shake stayed with me all morning, and I really didn’t like it. This was partly my fault because I didn’t put any ice in it when I mixed it up, and it tasted like warm, melted milk shake. I had strawberry that first evening, and it was so delicious. Beth recommended that I mix the two together (one scoop of each), and then it mostly tastes like strawberry, so I did that a lot too. Although after my first cleanse day, that vanilla shake tasted amazing.
I used a lot of the recipes I had found during Whole30 to cook healthy meals for myself when I started using this program. Jim had decided to eat low carb again around the same time, so that worked well for us. And while this program allows you to eat “normal” meals, I didn’t want to keep eating junk.
The meal prep is much more management with Isagenix than with Whole30 because I only have to have one full meal and then two snacks per day. It was a bit of an adjustment to buy that much less food and to plan so few meals. You can swap lunch and dinner, which I do quite often, so that your fork food is at night. I normally cook a couple of dinners per week and then have left overs for lunch. Or if I know I’m going out to dinner – for book club or whatever – then I have a shake for lunch that day.
The first few weeks I was really hungry all the time, and after one not-so-nice episode where I completely lost it on Jim because he forgot to cook his assigned dinner one night (I get seriously hangry, people), I had to adjust the amount of protein calories in my snacks. Since then I have been having about 150 calories of protein, and it’s working MUCH better.
The biggest surprise was how much the cleanse days have helped with my energy. I have skipped cleansing twice (going two weeks instead of one week in between cleanse days), and I noticed that when I haven’t done my cleanse I feel super tired again. I don’t really subscribe to the idea of “toxins” building up in my body, but they also say the cleanse day is good for resetting your metabolism, and I think there must be some truth in that.
I was pretty skeptical about this whole thing, but I do feel like my energy is better than it was before. I wake up most mornings feeling like I am ready to face the day – unless I stayed up too late the night before or drank alcohol. I have given up caffeine again without a problem. And I don’t feel like I’ve been saying, “I’m so tired” when Jim asks me how I’m feeling in the evenings.
And, added bonus, I’ve lost 12 pounds now in two months. Nine pounds in the first month. And also a lot of inches based on a variety of measurements (weight, bust, thigh, arm, etc.). My clothes are fitting better, which is always good.
My Second Month’s Experience
I didn’t feel like 30 days was a sufficient time period to really determine whether this system was working, so I placed a second order. I stopped the vitamins because they were pretty expensive, and I didn’t know that they were really helping any more than the shakes. And I also didn’t order the IsaFlush pills again, and actually I stopped taking them after the first 2 weeks because I have the opposite problem, so I’ve added back in fiber pills (Citrucel).
I haven’t been pleased with the amount of added sugar (fructose) in all of the products, so I ordered two packs of the dairy free shakes the second month because they have only 7 grams of sugar vs. the 11 grams in the dairy shakes. I usually have one of each type per day. The dairy free come in Vanilla Chai and Mixed Berry, which are both super tasty. Although they don’t mix as well just by shaking with water and ice, and I’m too lazy to use a blender. But I’ve gotten used it now, and I like the Mixed Berry dairy free the best now.
I’ve been a little less stringent about the fork foods I’m eating. Allowing myself more alcohol, pizza occasionally, etc. Also, if I’m extra hungry, then I add in a third snack some days – usually before or after dinner. I am still losing some weight and about the same amount of inches each month, so I am feeling good about that. I need to find a good balance between being healthy with my eating and also being reasonable, so I don’t want to binge on junk periodically.
Long Term Plan
Jim keeps asking me if I am going to continue eating this way forever. The answer is that I don’t know. Probably not, but for now it’s working for me, and I’m feeling pretty great. I placed my third order last week (that’s the picture above). We’ll see how things go. I think I will probably keep this up for another couple of months, and then maybe I’ll try just one shake a day (breakfast) and see if that helps me feel goof longer term. We’ll see.
Have you ever tried Isagenix? Do you have any questions? Sorry this post was crazy long.