I significantly increased my energy levels in 30 days! Did I just say that?! I can hardly believe it myself.
I have battled with fatigue as one of my predominant symptoms of FND for nine years. Even when I was in “remission,” I still battled with fatigue every day. It was mostly mild unless I overdid it, but I still had to build in rest times on the weekends so I could work full time.
I never in a million years thought I could ever feel this good again! Did I dream about feeling this good again? Heck yeah, I did! But did I think it could be a reality? I was kind of losing hope on that.
So how did this happen? What did I do differently?
I’d been researching food as medicine, and I had listened to a few docu-series about how gut health can affect brain health. I’d also found other bloggers claiming their symptoms had gone into remission using food as medicine, and I decided I wanted to try it out.
So here I am trying to think about how I’m going to go about this clean eating diet, but every time I tried to think about how I was going to start it, I just got overwhelmed.
Then I was introduced to Arbonne. Go ahead, roll your eyes if you need to, but please hear me out.
For those of you that don’t know Arbonne, “Arbonne has developed pure products with botanically based ingredients in scientifically tested formulas. [Arbonne] combine[s] the best of science and nature to produce formulas that deliver incredible results — from nutrition products that are vegan, gluten-free and non-GMO formulated, to high-performing skincare products that are better for your skin.”
And let me tell you, my results have been incredible!
Why did I choose Arbonne?
- It was an easy program to follow. They give you EVERYTHING needed to succeed. I didn’t have to really think about anything.
- They have high standards in ingredients. They have a Not Allowed List that includes the nearly 1,400 banned ingredients from the EU and several hundred more that Arbonne has voluntarily removed from their products to ensure they are safe and beneficial.
- I was curious if a change in my diet would help improve my energy, which in turn could reduce my symptoms since fatigue is one of my primary triggers.
- I was over 20 pounds heavier than my pre-pregnancy weight, and I wanted to change that.
- I had a severe sugar addiction that I really wanted to stop.
The 30 Days to Healthy Living Program
The 30-day program is designed to give our body a break from all the foods that cause inflammation that we typically eat daily. This break allows our gut to reset, and it puts us on a path of a healthy lifestyle when it comes to food.
Once the 30 days are over, you can start re-introducing foods and see if you have any sensitivities or changes in your body that you don’t like as a result of eating some of the foods that cause inflammation. I was definitely surprised by my results when I started re-introducing foods, and I discuss those later in the post.
My Starting Stats
The day before the 30 days started, I weighed 152 lbs. (I am 5’2”). On day 1, I got the stomach flu. Wah wah. As a result, I lost 3 pounds. Bonus?
Beginning stats post stomach flu:
- Weight: 149 pounds
- Waist (belly button): 35.5”
- Hips (2 inches below the belly button): 37.25″
- Right Thigh: 25.25”
- Left Arm: 13.5”
Concerns I had about completing the 30 Days to Healthy Living Program
Sugar! I had a major sugar addiction. It was no joke. It was so intense that I had a tough time not searching for something sweet when the cravings hit. In other words, 9 times out of 10, I searched for something sweet when the craving came on. I was really concerned that I wouldn’t be able to make it 3o days without sweets.
Also, before Arbonne, I had never (not even once) turned down a chance to eat baked goods. In fact, I was usually one of the first people in line for dessert.
My Daily Diet during the 30 Days
- Herbal Detox Tea with Citrus Energy Fizz Stick
- Breakfast: Meal replacement shake, one scoop of Daily Fiber Boost, and one packet of Digestion Plus.
- Lunch: Meal replacement shake and one scoop of Daily Fiber Boost.
- Snacks: Most if not all were plant-based. My favorite was baby carrots with hummus
- Afternoon Energy Fizz stick – this really helped my body from crashing in the evening.
- Dinner: Free range/grass fed protein with leafy greens and other veggies. Sometimes I would have baked apples with cinnamon and nutmeg for dessert
- Detox Tea
*Note: I also added a veggie, fruit, and healthy fat to my shakes.
My Definitions of Tired, Fatigue, and Body Crashes
Before I get into my results, I want to define my definitions of tired, fatigue, and body crashes so you can get an idea of my starting point.
So having fatigue as a symptom is nothing I ever experienced when I was well. Even when I had mono, I was not this fatigued.
My definition of tired means that I’m sleepy. I didn’t get enough sleep, and if I were a person that napped, I would take one frequently if not daily.
My definition of fatigue is something that goes beyond sleepy or tired. People who’ve been sleep deprived, such as the first few months you have a baby, may come close to this fatigued feeling but it’s still not the same.
When I’m fatigued, I don’t always feel sleepy. It’s just this feeling of exhaustion and weight that settles in my body. It makes everything more difficult to do. Moving becomes difficult, and at times, thinking is extremely challenging.
I feel like I’m not describing fatigue as well as it needs to be, but that’s the best I can do right now. Also, everyone seems to experience fatigue a little differently, and that’s why I wanted to explain how I feel when I’m experiencing fatigue.
The body crashes started when I relapsed. They usually occur between 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm.
My body crashes when it can’t handle the fatigue any longer.
The dystonia hits more than one body part at once, with most times affecting almost my whole body except for maybe my arms. The muscles in my feet, legs, abdomen, face, neck, voice, and sometimes hands contract uncontrollably. This could result in muscles locking up or body parts moving uncontrollably. It’s scary for my kids, and I hate it.
I’m usually fully aware during these episodes, but they are immediately followed by me passing out dead asleep. I’m talking so dead asleep no one can wake me up.
There have been times where I’ve tried to wake myself up with all my might. I’ve been able to open my eyes for just moments in a haze. I can say maybe a sentence before I’m out again.
The Results of my 30 Days to Healthy Living Program
Well, the week didn’t start out as planned because the whole family got the stomach bug. I did, however, lose 3 lbs during this time, so win? I eased into the program on the third day, Wednesday, and by Friday night, I was feeling something I haven’t felt since my FND started 9 years ago.
I felt ENERGIZED!
It felt amazing! I then overdid it and was laid out on the couch by Saturday afternoon and most of Sunday. Monday morning I woke up feeling like I’m back at square one, but I’m okay with that.
I hope to feel energized again later this week.🤞 I just have to remember to PACE myself this time even if I feel energized. 🙂
The week started with me recovering from overdoing it, and I worked the entire week, which I hadn’t done the week prior.
The logical part of my brain knew that I might not feel as well since working causes fatigue for me both mentally and physically. Even with having that in mind, I still got a little discouraged during the week because I wasn’t improving as fast as I wanted to.
By Friday, I was starting to feel like I had more energy but nowhere near energized. I made it 45 minutes through my ballroom class without symptoms being triggered, and I danced more this past Friday than previous weeks. 🙂
There were some improvements. I only had one body crash around my kids’ bedtime, and it was mild and didn’t cause me to fall asleep. This is pretty huge, actually! I also was able to stay up later, which I’m not sure is always a great thing.🤪
Another perk, I’ve lost almost another 3 lbs! That’s more than 5 lbs in two weeks, thanks to the stomach flu and Arbonne. Lol.
This past week I did something I haven’t done since my relapse started in December 2015. I drove over an hour in traffic to a destination, worked, interacted with people in an overstimulating environment, ate dinner in a restaurant, and then drove for about an hour home. I did all of this without any rest!
I definitely had to rest the next day, but it felt so amazing to gain some independence back in my life! I wouldn’t have made it without the Energy Fizz Sticks. I took four that day at various points when I felt my energy levels dropping.
I then got sick again (!) with a cold, and my symptoms flared a little on Saturday and Sunday.
BUT, I noticed something else that’s worth mentioning, and that is running up the stairs without realizing I’m doing it. This may not seem like a big deal, but stairs have been my nemesis.
For the last year, I have, for the most part, been able to walk upstairs by myself thanks to physical therapy. But before that, it was a huge struggle whenever I was tired because my legs would lock up and my husband would have to help me get up the stairs almost every single night.
The energy levels continue to improve. The daily body crashes at night occur 2 – 3 hours later than usual, or they occur during the usual time but are mild and don’t result in passing out asleep, or they don’t occur at all. Very exciting times!
Week 4 and Remaining 30 Days
I didn’t have a single body crash during this time!!! Also, A LOT happened.
I started this week off with getting my period. I know it’s kind of taboo to talk about, but I wanted to mention it because I had almost no PMS symptoms and only one chocolate craving which I didn’t need to fulfill! The only symptom I really had this time was fatigue.
Over these nine days, I drove 45 minutes each way to and from a tea party. The following day, I met up with a friend outside of the house for four hours. On the day after that, I ran errands (including a short trip to the grocery store, which is a trigger for me), I went to a doctor appointment and then had a conference call after that.
After those three days of crazy activity, I did flare again.
I ended the 30 days in a mild flare, but that doesn’t indicate how this 30-day challenge has totally changed my life.
Final Results and Recap
So much happened this month. I got sick twice! I had more flareups in a month than I can remember, BUT I also had the most AMAZING month I’ve had in YEARS.
I kid you not, I NEVER thought I would feel this good again. Here are my results:
- More energy! My feeling of fatigue is still there but not nearly as noticeable now.
- Overall reduction of my FND symptoms, including minimal to no end of day body crashes.
- Increased feeling of happiness. In fact, I feel fantastic right now. I can’t even believe it.
- Ended my sugar addiction! Before this program, I couldn’t go a day without eating something sweet because I HAD to have it.
- Significantly reduced cravings to a point where I can say no to sweets!
- I had chocolate candy in my house for a whole week, and I didn’t eat a single piece. I almost did after a week, but I put it down and then forgot about it!
- Ended my after dinner snacking.
- I increased my water intake.
- I increased my intake of fruits and vegetables.
- Weight: 146 pounds (-6 pounds total, -3 pounds post stomach bug)
- Waist (belly button): 34.5” (-1″)
- Hips (2 inches below the belly button): 36″ (-1.25″)
- Right Thigh: 24.25” (-0.5″)
- Left Arm: 12.5” (-1″)
Post 30 Days
Since the 30 Days to Healthy Living Program, I have stayed on the same plan, but I did try and introduce some food back into my diet with some undesirable results. As of the writing, I’m back on another 30 days challenge, and it’s going great.
Here are a few things that happened between the first and second 30 days to wellness challenges:
- For the first time since August 2010, I ran without triggering my symptoms!!! I didn’t run just once but multiple times on this day. At one point, I got up to my full stride (no sprinting yet 😉). This is so significant because I couldn’t run when I was in remission without it triggering symptoms.
- My feeling of fatigue is almost nonexistent at times. Sometimes I actually have to think about if I’m feeling fatigued or not. Pretty amazing!
- We went to a birthday party, and for the first time ever I said no to cake! This is huge because I’m usually the first parent that accepts cake at a birthday party. Or at least I was!
- I found out when I re-introduced gluten into my diet that it is an almost INSTANT trigger for my dystonia. As in I take one bite, and within a minute, my mouth and neck contractions are going. I tested this on four different and not consecutive days and with different foods. I got the same result every time. When I tested pretzels after I ate the first one, I thought, “Since my dystonia is triggered, I might as well eat a handful.” Well, within the hour, I had severe brain fog come on. It lifted about an hour or so later after I ate dinner. I had no idea food could be so powerful!
- I continue to lose weight. It’s been slow for me but some people have lost 15 pounds in one month.
So after all of this, I decided to join the Arbonne team and become an Independent Consultant! Full disclosure, if you buy from my Arbonne store, I will receive a percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you.
I have to share my fantastic experience with everyone I know and meet because I would love for everyone to try it and see if they can feel as amazing as I do.
I realize this program may not work for everyone, and if you try it and it doesn’t work, Arbonne will give you a full refund within 45 days of your purchase. Please also consult your doctor before trying any dietary changes.
So, if you are you ready to:
- Reduce Inflammation,
- Increase Energy,
- Eat Clean, and
- Lose Weight,
Arbonne will provide you with:
- Personal Coaching by Me 😁,
- Private Facebook Support Group,
- Recipes and Shopping Lists, and
- Education and Accountability.
**If you want to learn more about Arbonne and the 30 Days to Healthy Living Program fill out this form and I will get back to you shortly.**
Have you discovered any food sensitivities that trigger your symptoms? I’d love to hear about your journey and how you found them in the comments below.