The 3 Day Refresh is completely vegan and designed to clean up your nutrition, your digestion, and just generally get you back on track either after a little overindulging (think post holidays) or before a big event (think weddings, reunions, etc). I won't lie, I am a huge carnivore so the fact that the Refresh is vegan was hugely intimidating to me!
We started on a Tuesday so we planned our meals and went grocery shopping on Monday. I freaked out a little about the lack of eggs/meat but it was probably the easiest meal planning I've ever done. The refresh comes with a booklet with fill-in-the-blank meal plan for each day and a list of recipes you can choose from. To make things simple, Rob and I decided to just pick our favorite and do the same thing for three days. Our total at the grocery store was $27.
Tuesday: I woke up and drank vegan Shakeology with 1/2 frozen banana for breakfast. Nothing drastically different since I drink Shakeology every day (just normally not the vegan kind). I did a 30 minute PiYo workout and felt like I had normal energy. About an hour later, I had a big glass of iced tea and an hour after that I did my first fiber sweep. The fiber sweep was the thing I was dreading most. I'll be honest, I heard people gag and have to plug their nose to even get it down. I have such a weak gag reflex I thought for sure I would struggle with this. But I'm so confused!!!! What are people talking about?!?! It wasn't bad AT ALL!!! I mean it wasn't something that I would choose to drink all of the time and kind of had the consistency of sawdust in water but it wasn't disgusting or anything! It had a very neutral, lemon-y flavor and went down in a couple of gulps with a straw. If you have ever drank apple cider vinegar (the bombshell spell, anyone!) this is NOTHING compared to that! After the fiber sweep I packed, did laundry, and chugged water. I heard some people get headaches from not drinking enough water so I tried to stay on top of my intake (Note: I never once had a headache). I will say this (sorry if this is TMI)---I must have peed 50 times on Tuesday alone! I definitely wouldn't have survived if I was at work and couldn't use the bathroom every five seconds. For lunch, we had a tropical stirfry of red bell pepper, onion, and pineapple in coconut oil that was delicious! We also had a vanilla protein shake that tasted like a super sweet treat. I had another glass of hibiscus tea in the afternoon and still felt pretty normal. I had a cucumber tomato salad with oil and vinegar as a snack in the afternoon with another big glass of water. Hunger hit pretty hard at the 4pm mark but that is pretty common for me in general. I tried to push my dinner back until 6:30-7ish so that I wouldn't get hungry at night. For dinner, we had boiled kale with lemon juice and pine nuts. We also had another vanilla shake. I thought the kale was going to be terrible but it was surprisingly delicious. Like so good that I think I will make it as a side dish on a normal night. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of food! We went to bed at a normal time and I slept pretty well minus waking up to pee.
Wednesday: I woke up and, of course, weighed myself immediately (and lifted my shirt to see if my abs came in yet ha ha) Down 1.3 lbs! (Rob was down 3 lbs!) Rob had to go to work (a simulated flight not a real flight! Don't worry he would never attempt to fly not fully fed!) but said he felt pretty normal. We stuck with our same meal plan as day 1. Wednesday was by far the hardest day for me. We ventured out to check out Christmas trees in town and I missed my afternoon snack time and this was probably the lowest point for me. Rob wanted vegetable broth with dinner (it's optional on the plan) so we hit Winn Dixie on the way home. I was out of water, hours from dinner, and feeling mentally weak. Walking through the aisles of "real food" was torture! We came home, ate the cucumber tomato salad, and just lounged around watching Kardashian re-runs and decided it was best not to over-do it. The vegetable broth with dinner was delicious and Rob even called it a "three course meal" haha My friend Blair was hosting Wine Wednesday so even though I knew how hard it was going to be, I felt like I had to go. I filled up a wine glass of tea and somehow avoided eating macarons and bruschetta. A serious test of my will power!!! One thing that surprised me is how well I slept during the refresh. It usually takes me a while to fall asleep and I wake up easy but I fell asleep fast and slept hard all three night!
Thursday: The final full day! Rob and I were both down another pound each. I felt more energy and my mood was definitely improved from Day 2. Rob was off work so we binge watched Netflix and took it easy. I feel like doing the Refresh during a time when you can relax makes it feel like a treat. (although I can see the benefit in doing it when you are super busy and therefore not constantly thinking about food too)
Final results: In three days, I lost 3.7 lbs and Rob lost 5.8lbs. More importantly than that, I realized that I can do hard things. I ate a VEGAN diet for three days! If you don't know, I spent my first 24 years of life avoiding anything and everything green and for three days, I ate kale for dinner....and loved it! But in all seriousness, my body felt great. My stomach felt smaller, my cravings were practically non-existent, and my skin felt clearer. I felt....refreshed! I can see myself craving the refresh when I have that icky, overindulged feeling. I liked that I was able to eat real food, not just drink liquids and think that really helped me feel more satisfied.
So how does the Three Day Refresh compare to other cleanses/detoxes? Well, this is the only one I have ever done so this is the only actual experience I can give you. I can give you numbers though.
Cost: The Three Day Refresh cost me $52 + the cost of food (so I guess roughly $13). For comparison, a three day Suja Juice cleanse costs ~$162, a three day Blueprint Juice cleanse costs ~$228, and my sister in law Erin did a five day local juice/soup cleanse in San Diego and it cost her ~$300
Calories: One of the things I really like about the Three Day Refresh was that I could actually eat (and chew) real food, not just liquids. With that said, the daily calories are all pretty comparable. The Three Day Refresh is roughly 900-1,000 calories. The Suja cleanse is ~1,060 calories and the Blueprint cleanse is between 860-1040 calories.
The REAL Final Results: I don't think anyone doubts that a refresh/cleanse/detox will make you lose weight but my skepticism came in what happens AFTER the refresh is over. I said from the beginning that this would be an open, honest review so here it is:
Rob and I did the 3 Day Refresh IMMEDIATELY before going home from Christmas. We KNEW that we were going to eat whatever we wanted over that week and would certainly gain. After 7 days of travel and holidays, I came home and had gained 4 lbs. To me, that was pretty reasonable. But here is the interesting thing: In six days after we got home, we kind of got back into a routine but not really. (ie. drank shakeology but ate pizza for dinner and worked out two or three of those six days) and I lost 3.7lbs. So overall after two weeks of travel and binging over the holidays, I only gained 0.3 lbs from my Post-Refresh lowest weight EVER. To me, that speaks volumes to this program!
Would I do it again? DEFINITELY! Especially before a big event or after an indulgent vacation! Interested in trying it for yourself? You can get it HERE (Click Shop --> 3 Day Refresh)