Many of my blog posts center around topics like grief, parenting, and relationships but three years ago I took a risk and shared that I had made the decision to pursue Isagenix as a weight-loss plan. (Click here to read the original review). Some people scoffed and rolled their eyes but many people secretly messaged me to ask for some insight around the Isagenix program.
My initial detailed Isagenix review outlined the Isagenix weight loss program, the Isaganix company itself, and detailed my first week on the plan. Then, life happened and I never circled back around to close the loop on my experience with Isaganix.
Three years later, while I am not where I want to be with regards to my weight or my physical health, I must admit that Isagenix has provided me with a much needed consistency. Despite a bunch of curve balls thrown my way (launching my own business and relying solely on myself for employment, 2 cancer scares, 2 surgeries, and an intense life changing diagnosis, to name just a few), the Isagenix program and products have continued to provide me with an easy way to center my life around healthy nutrition.
As I sit here enjoying my Isagenix chocolate shake for lunch, it seems like it is time to give an Isagenix update!
What I LOVE about Isagenix
Isagenix protein shakes are the ONLY shakes I use. They are filling. They taste great - I do NOT like super sweet drinks so these shakes appeal to me because they are not sweet at all. They are easy to mix either in a shaker with water or with some milk product (I use almond milk) or blended with ice in my NutriBullet. The shakes work with whatever diet plan I am currently following. Due to a recent diagnosis, I have been attempting to follow a Whole Food Plant Based Diet and the Isagenix Plant-based shakes fit so nicely in with this plan. Additionally, at just 7 points per shake, they fit perfectly with the green Weight Watchers plan that I am trying to follow along with WFPB diet.
Over the past 3 years, all I have seen from the Isagenix back office is improvement. Their website and message have become more streamlined and clear. They have continued to expand upon and refine their products, adding product lines such as essential oils, skincare products, and a whole line of products specifically geared towards children. Their reimbursement and compensation for their consultants has not wavered and they continue to be one of the best MLM marketing companies out there with regards to how they treat and reward their consultants and associates.
One of the tenants of the Isagenix Diet is that you have two of their shakes each day, one healthy meal, and two healthy snacks. Following this plan is so convenient for me as a mother and therapist as my meals are often taken while driving from school to work to sporting events or in my 10 minutes between sessions with my patients. I don't have to think or do a lot of prep work. I just toss a prepackaged shake envelope into my work bag along with a shaker of water and my lunch is set. As for my "fork and knife meal" of the day (i.e. not a shake), it is really easy to toss together some protein source with some veggies and some healthy carbs for a meal around 350-500 calories. Each of the two snacks per day should be around 100-150 calories and the options are completely limitless.
By far one of the hardest aspects of the Isagenix program is getting accustomed to Cleanse Days. These are days where you give your body a break from heavy digestion and instead enjoy some of the specially formulated Cleanse for Life drink and carefully selected Isagenix supplements and snacks for 1 or 2 days. I cannot begin to explain how AMAZING I feel on a cleanse day. My brain fog is lifted, I've got tons of energy, and I feel healthy. Surprisingly, I never feel hungry! The new Peach Mango Cleanse for Life is one of the best drinks I have ever had! Getting through your first few cleanse days is a mental exercise. If you are thinking about trying it or struggling with that idea, feel free to reach out to me here as I'm happy to offer some support!
No matter how hard I try to plan ahead, I always seem to find myself peering into my pantry and realizing I only have just a handful of shakes left. Ordering from the Isagenix website is so easy and within just a couple days, my shakes are at my doorstep. Truly only Amazon Prime ships things faster for me!
What I would CHANGE about Isagenix
Making that initial Isagenix purchase felt like a huge financial risk for me. But, when I actually compare the price of the program to the price of what I would spend on food at the grocery store or on take out, Isagenix really does save me money. Plus, when you choose to sign up as a consultant, you can quite easily earn enough commission each month to pay for your own Isagenix purchases.
After that large initial purchase, however, I really just need to replenish items on a rolling basis each month. It's sort of like when you move to a new place and restock your essential pantry items: it's a big purchase at first but you don't actually need to buy a big container of dried basil every month or a large bottle of EVOO every week. So, big cost up front but then minimal cost moving forward!
Thinking of trying Isagenix?
If you are thinking about tryng the Isagenix system, I suggest you take the leap, invest in yourself, and give it a chance. You'll never know if you'll love it like I do until you try it.
Read my complete review and overview of my first week on Isagenix here.
If you read my most recent post, Getting "Me" Back, then you know that I have recently started using Isagenix products to help me reach my health and wellness goals. Here are the results of my first week with Isagenix. (TO SEE AN UPDATED REVIEW CLICK HERE.)
I have done Beachbody's 3-Day Refresh before and always loved how I felt. In fact, each time I have done that program, I would finish the 3 days and want to do more. So, once I made the decision to try Isagenix, I was ALL in. I began cutting back on my junk food, went back to limiting dairy, gluten and sugar and cut back on alcohol and snacking. I figured this prep work would make a smoother transition into Isagenix and avoid some withdrawal symptoms. I took my measurements, weighed myself and set up my phone apps to track my weight, measurements and photos.
I did some research on the facebook support group for Isagenix and with my Isagenix coaches. I also consulted my good friend, Google. I decided what day I would start and planned out my cleanse days around my work, school and sports schedules. I made my grocery list and saved daily calendars and tips to my phone's photo album so they would be easily accessible. Then, I began to stalk my order via FedEx. (There may have been a not so kind phone call from me to FedEx after I saw that my package had just been sitting in a warehouse for 3 days). I readjusted my schedule just in case my package did not arrive in time. When that FedEx man arrived on time though, I almost ran out of the house to hug him.
Shake Day 1
I weighed myself first thing in the morning - partly because I become addicted to the scale when focused on my health but also because knowing that i have to step on that thing each morning makes me more accountable. Isagenix actually recommends only weighing yourself weekly but I am breaking the rules because I believe it is best for me. Turns out my preparation had resulted in a 3.2 pound weight loss over the period of 2 days. This really just got me back to where I had been stuck for a while, weight wise.
So, onto Isagenix:
Each day begins with one scoop of Ionic Supreme dissolved in water. My internet research had found that some people don't like the texture or taste. So, some people dissolve it and drink it like a shot, others drink it like a glass of juice and others dissolve it in hot water to enjoy it like tea. Since I am almost always cold, I opted for the tea route. Boy, was I surprised. My 11 year old smelled it and turned his nose up at me but I took a sip and instantly fell in love. It truly tasted great. A little fruity. A little sweet. A little bit of a kick. It tasted great.
Because my work schedule is so crazy, I am no stranger to protein shakes for breakfast. I had ordered the chocolate version and was afraid it would taste not great. But, again it exceeded my expectations. Yes, it's a bit chalky but it's not very sweet which I really like. I added ice cubes to mine so it was a nice thick shake. It kept me full and fueled for my solo trip to Target and through some very emotionally charged psychotherapy sessions with patients.
As for shake #2, I did certainly prefer to have the shake blended in my Nutribullet vs in the shaker cup but I'm used to protein shakes and how the consistency can be a bit wonky at times. If someone is sensitive to texture, they may want to have their two shakes at home and have their fork and knife meal out so they can blend the shakes.
I had no adverse reactions to the two accelerator pills that I took during the day. I had some almonds and cucumbers for snacks during the day and for dinner had chicken, veggies and brown rice. I had a little bit difficulty sleeping that night but I think that was due to work stress and not the products.
Shake Day 2
No weight change today but I did wake up feeling good and looked forward to my Ionic tea. Day 2 was uneventful except I was hungry after my dinner of sweet potato, chicken and broccoli. I think I might not have had a big enough serving. I had a small 100 calorie snack after dinner and that helped the hunger.
Cleanse Day 1
The day I was both dreading and looking forward to started off with a surprising weigh in result - another 1.6 pound loss for a total of 4.8 pounds in just 2 days of clean eating on my own and 2 days of Isagenix. The bonus was that I had just blasted through a plateau where I had been stuck for months.
I wasn't sure what to expect with the Cleanse for Life (CFL) liquid. I added the 4 oz to about 8 oz of room temperature water and found it very pleasant. It sort of tasted like a watered down fruit punch. Not too sweet which is good because I don't really like sweet drinks.
I did get nauseous about 20 minutes after the CFL but thought it may have been due to taking my daily medication with it. An Isadelight cured my nausea right away. I decided to take my medication tomorrow with some food and not just the CFL.
I made it through the rest of my morning without needing any food other than one Isasnack. Enjoyed my second CFL but then was nauseous again. Needed two Isadelights this time to quell the nausea.
Right around this time in the day - around 1pm, I noted that I had lots of energy, clarity and focus. I have a 40 page manuscript due by July and have not opened it in over two months. I found myself able to sit and make some serious headway on it with more focus than I have had in a long time. I also did that while sitting in a Starbucks smelling all the warm sandwiches. (I should say Starbucks had not been in the original plan but a very last minute cancellation of an appointment left a gigantic hole in my schedule).
The rest of the day was really easy and uneventful. I expected to feel hungry at bedtime but was not hungry at all. In fact, I had to keep double-checking the Isagenix Cleanse Day instructions to make sure I wasn't doing it wrong. But I was right on track and fell asleep feeling pretty damn proud of myself. :)
Cleanse Day 2
I woke up on the second day of my cleanse feeling absolutely starving. My scale showed another loss of 2.6 pounds for a total of 7.4 pounds. I had my Ionix Supreme first and that actually quelled the hunger. In much of my research on Isagenix, I read that many people found the second day easier than the first. I felt the opposite way. Cleanse Day 2 was definitely more of a challenge for me. I noticed increased hunger but drinking water certainly helped. I managed to sit with my family while they ate turkey burgers and sweet potato fries and although I sort of wanted to steal their food and run away, I also wanted to finish these two cleanse days super strong. The hunger seemed to be the most challenging during the middle of the day which - coincidentally - was the part of the day when I had nothing happening and had fewer ways to distract myself. I fell asleep quickly without feeling hungry at all.
Shake Day 3
The scale showed another loss of 1.1 pounds for a total of 8.5 pounds. The morning was easy. I looked forward to my ionix as a hot tea and enjoyed a delicious shake. I found the middle of the day difficult again as I was hungry. But, it was a Sunday and we oddly had no sports or family activities scheduled. So, we were home and had the day off.
For my first fork and knife meal, I was craving mexican food so I opted for some baked chicken fajitas (homemade seasoning) with lettuce as the tortillas. I also had some cauliflower and brown rice. i felt awful after I ate. I felt like I had eaten two large pizzas. In retrospect, I probably had too large of a serving. Although it was a typical and normal serving size, I think my stomach was a bit shocked. Lesson learned - first fork and knife meal after a cleanse day should be small
Shake Day 4
No movement in the scale which was a huge victory for me. I had been expecting to gain all the weight back once I started back on shakes and food. I found I felt great throughout the day. Things that typically annoy me didn't seem to bother me so much and I was craving a good workout. After work I went home and did 30 minutes of Zumba to my Zumba playlist and felt great. This was probably the first time I had worked out in all of 2017.
Because I wasn't sure how I would feel working out, I prepped myself one of the Isagenix AMPed hydrate drinks for after my workout. The packets made two servings so I left one in the fridge. When my husband came home from his run, he looked and felt awful. He pushed himself and felt shakey and nauseous. I offered him the other serving of the Hydrate and it totally did the trick. He wants me to buy him some of it now :)
Shake Day 5
Still no movement on the scale. But, it's ok. I woke up in another great mood, feeling good about myself and finding my clothes feeling better. Since I am on spring break from teaching this week and didn't need to leave at the crack of dawn for work, my husband and I decided to have a breakfast date after the kids went to school. This would be my fork and knife meal for the day. I had a veggie omelette made with egg whites and swiss cheese with a side of has browns and bacon. Let me tell you, I felt awful for the next 6 hours. Truly awful. I don't know if it was the size of the meal, the cheese, the white potatoes or the bacon but my stomach was not happy. I felt full and bloated and gross.
I once again felt like working out after work so I did a 30 minute circuit routine of upper body, lower body and ab work. Felt great.
I felt pretty awful again from about 90 minutes after my workout until I went to bed. I don't know if it was the breakfast still, the workout, too few calories, the fact I sat in a building where people clearly smoke cigarettes for over an hour or a combination of all of the above but I did not feel good. I felt sick, tired and run down. I realized it was the first time I had felt like that in over a week.
Week 1 Results
My scale was up a bit this morning - 0.8 pounds. Honestly, based on how I was feeling during the day yesterday, I was expecting it to be up more like 2 pounds. Prior to Isagenix, my weight would easily fluctuate about 2-3 pounds/day. I also realized this morning that I am about midway through my lady cycle and I usually tend to bloat and gain weight around now. So, I don't feel discouraged by this morning's loss.
So, after one week with Isagenix, I have had the following results:
If you are interested in learning more about Isagenix, now might be a great time to give it a try as they are offering $30 off for new customers. Feel free to leave a comment, send me an email or visit http://jennibrennan.isagenix.com/ for more info.
This blog is a hard one for me to write. It feels like defeat. It feels like failure. It feels like I am opening myself up to some pretty harsh criticism. But, I am writing it because it is helpful for me and, perhaps, may be helpful for someone else too.
When my second son was born, I reached my all time high - on the scale. It was a shocking number which I will not share here. But, it was huge. Needless to say, it motivated me to lose the weight and over the course of the first 6 months or so, I dropped a significant amount of weight by following Weight Watchers. But, then I plateaued.
Still determined to find a healthier me, I changed my perspective, began counting calories and really looking at the quality of the foods I was eating. I also found Zumba. Then I found Bodypump. Then I found Spin. Then I found running. I essentially moved into the gym. I was there for at least 2 hours daily at least 6 days each week. Sometimes I would find myself having done 8 or 9 solid days in a row without a break. I was addicted. But, I had lost over 150 pounds since my youngest son was born. 150 pounds. That's a whole person!
Yet, it took it's toll. At different times along the way, I developed tendonitis in my calf, re-injured my knee and injured both my wrist and my elbow. I developed some neurological concerns which required me to halt my exercise for a few months. In addition to the exercise taking its toll on my body, it also took its toll on my children as they often would tag along with me and spend those 2 hours each day in the child care room. They were bored and frustrated. I often missed their sports practices and sometimes missed part or the entirety of their games so that I could get my workouts in.
In finding a healthier me, I lost sight of myself as a mother. I hadn't found balance.
It was too much. But, that was depressing. I had made a life for myself at the gym and connected with some wonderful people. I missed them. I felt left out. I l felt like a loser. I felt judged. So, I comforted myself with food. I cut back on my at-home workouts. Quite quickly my bad habits came back. Over the course of two years, I gained back nearly 50 pounds.
Even when I was able to exercise again, I couldn't turn back to the gym with the same fervor I once did. Eventually I came to accept that and began to view the ability to spend more time with my children as a gift. Besides, I knew that my greatest weight loss always came when I was eating clean - no gluten, limited dairy, no processed foods, no added sugar. I knew what I had to do but I just couldn't make it work.
Over the past few months, I could feel myself needing another change in perspective. I knew my body needed a reset. I could feel it. I needed a do over. I needed to get back to being me. And, I needed to do it without marrying the gym and causing myself more harm. I needed to respect my physical limits. I needed to find a way to be me - physically, emotionally, professionally and as a mother.
So, I have decided to give Isagenix a try. Even just typing it out feels like a dirty secret. Yes, I opted for a program with protein shakes and supplements and days of fasting/cleansing. Yes, it costs a lot of money but really no more than I was spending already on take out and fast food. Plus, shakes are hugely convenient for me as I work somewhere different each day and have only a few minutes to eat in between classes or patients. Plus, it feels like what I need.
I decided to invest in myself this month and see what happens.
My goal with Isagenix is to reset my body and to unlearn my bad habits. My hope is to balance out my hormones so that I can delay that hysterectomy looming over my head. I would love for my joint and muscle pains to get better so that I can get back to heavy lifting and do more than the 5 and 10 pound weights I have at home. I would love improved sleep as well as improved mood. Ultimately, I want "me" back.
It's not going to be easy. It means a big change and it means trying something new. it means being judged by people who think I should "just eat real food" or "just work out." It means owning that those things aren't working for me now and that is ok. What I need is more important than how some people may view me.
As I move through these first 30 days, I will be blogging about my experience, the challenges I face and, hopefully, my successes. I have spent time researching the program and have been connected with what feels like a good support system. I have taken my measurements and submitted my before photos. I am ready to hit reset on me.
Here goes nothing.
UPDATE (CLICK HERE FOR MY REVIEW OF ISAGENIX WEEK 1)
My stash for the month (cat not required).
Mental Health & Wellness
Now, more than ever, we all need a little support to help get us through the rough spots. With all the pressures of life, it can be a challenge to find time to not only take care of yourself but also to truly understand who you even are anymore.