Forever Living Clean 9 Review

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At the end of last year I made the decision to kick start the New Year with Forever Living's Clean 9 (C9) programme. When Michele, one of my friends, started her Happy Forever After business, I showed an interest in C9, but wanted to wait until I had enough money and the time to commit to it. The 2nd January was a Saturday so that seemed the perfect time - a week after Christmas to get rid of all the crap in the flat and a kick start to a healthy New Year.

Michele added me to the support group on Facebook which is great for tips and having queries answered, but perhaps most importantly for support when you're tempted by those naughty cravings or are just feeling a bit meh.

I decided to start the cleanse at the weekend as I find I snack far less when I'm keeping myself busy at home than at work where the dreaded biscuit drawer is in my reach. I also opted for the chocolate flavoured Forever Lite Ultra as I knew that if I were to get any cravings during the cleanse, it would be for chocolate.

On to the programme itself. The first two days of the C9 programme are designed to reset your body and mind and are exactly the same - 120ml of Aloe Vera Gel, two Forever Garcina Plus capsules and one Forever Therm for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (no Therm for Dinner and an extra 120ml of Aloe Vera Gel before bed), a sachet of Forever Fiber for a mid morning snack and a scoop of Forever Lite Ultra for Lunch. No meals except for the listed free foods. The list is quite extensive and certainly enough to stop you from feeling hungry.

Days three to nine are where the fun begins because you go down to just the one lot of Aloe Vera Gel a day for Breakfast as well as a scoop of Forever Ultra Lite. You still have all the other pills and potions as above, but you can have a 600-calorie meal in the evening. Now that's not a microwave meal that happens to be 600 calories. This is all about eating clean. You can have pretty much anything you want, but just keep an eye on how you're preparing it and cooking it. And don't forget all those free foods!
Day 1
Up at 6.30am to weigh myself and take all my measurements before starting the cleanse itself. I wasn't expecting this to be the difficult bit, but I'm so cack-handed that when I measure myself like this I constantly worry that I won't do it in the same place the next time so I won't be getting an accurate representation. Then I told myself to stop being stupid and just get on with it. The scales never lie so the measurements are more of a guide as to where the cleanse is working.

Time for breakfast - I have always struggled taking capsules and tablets and they are quite big, but I managed them with no problems. I'd also heard horrible things about the gel so prepared by brushing my teeth before hand and having a big glass of water ready to wash it down. It wasn't that bad. The taste isn't great, but if you can down it quickly, you'll be fine. Also don't forget you've got your free foods so many people find that have a couple of grapes sorts the taste issue out. The problem I had was the texture of it. I was fine in the morning as I forgot to shake the bottle (read the instructions Abegg!), but when it came to lunch I got the full Aloe Vera Gel experience which I discovered triggered my gag reflex. I spoke to my friend and explained the situation. 

I really wanted to carry on with the cleanse, but didn't think it was worth making myself feel ill by having the gel. We decided that it would probably be best to go straight to Day 3 of the programme so I could have my evening meal straight away. The results would not be as good as, but I would still benefit from it. Exactly the news I wanted to hear.

Colin and I had done our weekly shopping in mind of the fact that I wouldn't be having dinner for the first two days so when it came to him cooking his delicious meat feast pizza, I decided to make a Five-Minute Pizza. Of course I wanted Colin's pizza, but my option with a small side salad was enough to fill me up. My mindset was already changing. Don't eat more than you need to. I'm not saying that after this cleanse I won't have a cheat night ever now and then, but the long-term benefits outweigh the temporary pleasure of the takeaways and chocolate bars.

Not unsurprisingly I felt tired at the end of the first day so I took myself off to bed early than usual to get ready for day 2.

Day 2
I switched my alarm off over Christmas and for the majority of the time I've still been waking up stupidly early. This morning I slept until 7.45am (still early for the weekend I know), but I felt wide awake and energetic which I was surprised at. Other than that the day wasn't much different to the day before except I didn't have the dread of the gel.

Day 3
4.6lb lost! My measurements didn't really change, but as I said I'm not convinced I do them very accurately anyway so I'll leave it until the end of the cleanse to report my findings on these. I am so pleased that even without the gel I am seeing positive results. 

Today was the test for me as it is at work that I tend to graze. I packed some of my free foods into my bag to keep me going, but found that I didn't actually need much, proving that I really do snack just to break up the monotony of typing all day.

Day 4
Colin's dad was back from Thailand for a visit so we all went out for Thai tonight. I researched the menu beforehand and although it didn't list the calories, I put my faith in Google and narrowed it down to a couple of choices. When my final choice (Kao Pad Nam Prik Pao) arrived I couldn't believe the pile on the plate and didn't manage to finish it. It's amazing what you can have and it's mainly down to the preparation. It's also good to remember that a treat every now and then is perfectly fine (just not ideal during a cleanse).

Days 5 - 8
The rest of the week has been pretty much the same from day to day. The evening meals have definitely been the highlight of my week. I've enjoyed preparing meals with Colin. It's a bit of couple time and us working together as a team which I love. All of our evening meals during the cleanse have come from The Hairy Dieters: Eat for Life book which I can't recommend enough. Have a look at my Instagram (see right) for some photos of the end results.

Thursday I woke up with the serious grumps and felt exhausted! Being day 6, I weighed myself and took my measurements as soon as I got up - 0.2lb back on (which, let's face it, is nothing) and not a lot of variation in my measurements. 

I had to go to the doctors for a check up and the past couple of times they've commented that my blood pressure has been a little high so I was a little anxious about going. However when I asked how it was, the doctor said that it was a vast improvement on last time. Maybe I was just stressed out the last couple of times, or could it be that this cleanse is kick starting a healthier me? 

Day 9
On the last day of C9 you can have a 300-calorie meal for lunch instead of the shake. I went to see my friend on Sunday for a good old catch up and, knowing that I was doing the cleanse, she cooked me a wonderful meal. Apart from that the last day was pretty uneventful. I was very pleased to see when I got home that before Colin went out shopping, he had bookmarked some more low-calorie recipes for us to enjoy.

On Monday morning I weighed myself and I was disappointed to see I'd put a little weight back on and I haven't felt full of energy like others have reported (I blame the first week back at work for that though). However I have noticed a change in attitude towards the way I eat which is a major breakthrough. I also realised yesterday that apart from the wrap that I used for the pizza and the ones that we had with our fajitas, I hadn't had bread at all during the cleanse and I haven't actually missed it. 

I would say if you are going to do C9 try really hard to stick with the Aloe Vera Gel as it does make a difference to the results. Everyone has different results with C9. Some people lose weight, some lose inches and some lose neither, but feel full of energy. You won't know how it's going to work for you unless you try it. You'll have a wealth of information and support at your fingertips so if you want to make a long-term change, this is a good place to start.

Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year to you all! Well, it's been over a week since my last post so I'm already doubting my ability to keep this up to date regularly. Then again we have had Christmas and New Year thrown into the mix so I won't shoot myself down too soon.

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas. As I told you in my last post Colin and I have been all over the place, but have had an absolutely fantastic time. After I finished work on Christmas Eve we drove down to Faversham to spend Christmas Day with Colin's parents and brother. I've discovered a new game called Dobble - you have to play it, it's amazing! Very basically it's a card game with pictures. Each card has several pictures on it and every card shares at least one picture with all the other cards and you can do about five different games with it. I was hooked and got quite loud playing it. Not Uno loud, but not far out. 

Anyway I digress. The best part about Christmas Day, for me, was not the dinner (which was scrumptious) or the presents (all for which I am truly grateful), but simply the fact that we didn't have the TV on at all. I didn't miss it one little bit (maybe only because I knew I could watch Harry dancing on Strictly on iPlayer) and it was so nice to just chat, play games and listen to music. 2016 will have more days without TV!

On Boxing Day morning we got up and drove across Kent for Christmas Day #2 with my parents in Brede. As opposed to the previous day where we were just five, there were twelve of us and we all seemed to arrive at the same time. We had a lovely meal and in the evening settled down to watch Inside Out. If you have not seen this film then go see it right now. I'll wait here while you do. It's all the feels in one and so accurate. After the kids went to bed us adults stayed up to watch that classic feel good Christmas film... Point Break (at least Die Hard was set at Christmas!)

Sunday we finally had our traditional Christmas breakfast (Ham and Sausage Rolls) and all said our goodbyes as we headed our separate ways. Well I say separate. Colin and I were heading back across Kent to have dinner at his aunt and uncle's pace, but we had some time to kill so we dropped into the Designer Outlet Centre and bumped into my brother and his family who we had waved goodbye to just an hour earlier.

Le lendemain de Boxing Day (I feel it needs a special name) saw fourteen of us sit down for the best pulled pork I have ever eaten in my life. The Taylors sure know how to put on a spread. We swapped some more pressies and then headed home to our own beds.

I am so glad I had a wonderful Christmas because that evening I was struck down with a stomach bug. I was hoping I had just overindulged over the past few days, but I only really felt better yesterday. It nearly stopped me going to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but I hate wasting money and we'd already booked the tickets. I don't care how ill I felt, it was A-MAZ-ING!

My Christmas break was extended when I went to work on Tuesday morning and quickly realised that I was not over my stomach bug and returned home and slept all afternoon. I already had New Year's Eve booked off as holiday and I had some more to use up so was luckily able to book Wednesday off too.

So yesterday, feeling moderately human again, we drove down to Deal for New Year's Eve at The Lighthouse. Colin was DJing before and after The Swinging Dice played and it was great watching him do something he really loves. The band were fricking awesome and if you love Rock 'n' Rock and Swing then look them up. After midnight they played a couple more tunes before Colin came back on and played the Dropkick Murphys version of Auld Lang Syne. He was wondering if too much time had passed since midnight, but it went down a treat.

This morning I woke up in the squishiest bed ever listening to the sound of seagulls. What a way to start 2016! Today's been a bit of a relaxed start to the year. We popped in to see the lovely Sandra on our way home, bought a new water filter (which I am way too excited about) and started Series 6 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Netflix. It's only now that I'm sitting here thinking about going to bed that I'm realising it's the start of a brand new year.

Tomorrow I am starting my 9-day cleanse (something I'm even more determined to do after this bug) and I had to chuckle to myself when I picked this card out this evening. I'm really looking forward starting it actually and it's giving me the push to do my weekend walks again.
I am also doing Sunny Dawn Johnston's 44 Day Detox and this card couldn't be more apt for me at the moment. 

That's all for now really. I want to start doing some extra posts about different topics in addition to my catch-up posts, but I need to actually sit down and do some planning so hopefully you'll be seeing some of those soon. 
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