Thursday, May 9, 2019

Thoughts on My Shaklee Cleanse

Last week, I participated in the Shaklee 7 Day Cleanse. Here's my experience from the notes I kept during it.

First, let me preface this with letting you know that I am in no way promoting the Shaklee Cleanse (or any Shaklee product) in any way. The closest association I have with it is that I am a member of Burn Boot Camp and they promote and sell Shaklee products. This is my first time using Shaklee products, and I decided to report an honest experience. I pride myself on presenting an honest perspective, even of the products that I am provided free to review, like often with BibRave, and have never been paid for an item review. These, however, were not free. I paid for the Shaklee Cleanse. 

Why do I feel the need to go into so much disclaimer before this post? Well, especially in the world of nutrition/diets/cleanses... there's a lot of information out there that may not be 100 on the up and up. When I first started trying to research the Shaklee Cleanse, when I did my preliminary Google search, pretty much all I could find were Shaklee Distributors waxing poetic about all their increased energy and all the amazing after effects. Could be true, but Shaklee is a MLM (Multilevel Marketing) company that relies on recruiting people to sell under them and reaping a portion of the profit. We've all seen those type of companies. Some good, some bad. Okay, a lot bad which is why I was suspicious.

Why I Decided to Try It

Round 1 of Food Prep
Two main reasons brought me to actually taking the leap and trying a 7 Day Cleanse. First, as I mentioned, I'm with Burn Boot Camp, and the gym I go to (Rock Hill, SC) was doing the cleanse as a group. I think about 30 ladies decided to do it and misery loves company. This wasn't the first time that the gym had participated in the 7 Day Cleanse, but it was the first time that I didn't have any kind of event to train for or outside factors keeping me from it. See, you are recommended to cut down on your physical activity a bit during the Cleanse due to the caloric restrictions. Second, I was able to track down some info about Shaklee products that convinced me that they wouldn't at least be harmful. Independent research has been done that has confirmed that Shaklee products are all natural and have faced clinical trials. They were created by an actual doctor even. Here's just one of the sites I found describing the Shaklee products, though not the specific cleanse I did. That consisted of 2 daily Supplement packets - which I will describe more later.

What Is The Shaklee 7 Day Cleanse?

Morning Pill Pack Contents
You can check out the Shaklee website for the info here, but in my layman's terms, basically, here's the deal. For 7 days, you eat just fruit and vegetables. You also get 2 Supplement packets - one for the morning and one for the evening that are designed to detox your system. They consist of: Morning Packet which has: 1 Optiflora® DI probiotic pill, 5 Alfalfa Complex pills and 1 Liver DTX® Complex pill. The Evening Packet has: 5 more Alfalfa Complex pills, 2 Liver DTX® Complex pill and 2 Herb Lax pills. Fun fact: When you open the packets, they smell vaguely like toothpaste. I think it is the Alfalfa pills. They are not terrible, but take a lot of water to get down.

Other than the Supplements, the plan is basically, eat only fruit and vegetables. The recommend 2/3 be vegetables and 1/3 fruits. In the box you receive there is a helpful booklet that tells you which veggies and fruit to embrace. And basically, if it is not on the list, it's not allowed (looking at you grapes and pineapple). Also, there are a few things that are limited to once per day (ie: the yummiest things like sweet potatoes, avocado, oranges and bananas). Items on the Foods to Embrace list can be eaten unlimitedly. No recipes, but you can find some online plus, there's a super helpful Facebook group you can join for ideas or just to whine.

My Daily Thoughts

Day 1

Actually tastes better than it looks

So I am not the world's most creative cook, especially when it comes to fruits and vegetables, so basically, all I had done to prep was to buy a bunch of the stuff on the list and cut it up. The most creative I got for day 1 was to get a frozen bag of Cauliflower rice with veggies added into it. I mainly at raw cut up fruit and vegetables Day 1. Because I planned to continue to run and go to Burn during the cleanse, I did add a scoop of plant-based protein powder to my morning smoothies, but otherwise, I followed the restrictions exactly. For dinner I had Zucchini Noodles with tomato sauce. Favorite thing I ate, sliced cucumbers with pico. Yum! Felt pretty good because it was early, so of course I did. I went to Burn in the morning and ran/walked a mile and a half with my little one in the evening. Easy peasy.

Day 2

I was getting tired already of my lack of variety so I tried something new. Several people had talked about making Cauliflower Oatmeal so I figured I'd try it. Cooked some berries, added to riced cauliflower and mixed in a bit of cinnamon and vanilla. It was awful. Like really awful. Tried for 2 meals (one on Day 2 and one on Day 3) to muscle it down and just nope. I also made cauliflower fried rice for lunch on Day 2 also (which was okay) but I officially declared myself OVER cauliflower. For dinner I ate mashed butternut squash and green beans. I was not a happy camper. But no headaches like some report on Day 2 and my energy was still ok. I ran 3.5 miles no problem, though I purposefully reduced my pace and milage (usually I run 4-5 on Tuesdays). I was annoyed enough to vow to hit the store on Day 3 for more variety and look up some recipes. Scale says I am down 3 lbs already. (forgot to measure inches).

Day 3
Day 3 Grocery Restock

I had intended to go to Burn in the morning, but apparently my subconscious had other ideas. I slept right though my alarm and woke up 5 minutes after class had started. So, instead, I gathered up my food for the day and headed to work. On my lunch break, I went to the grocery store and picked up some items to make a few recipes that I had researched. I also grabbed a container of raw veggies from the salad bar. Dinner was Roasted Vegetables (carrots, peppers, Brussel sprouts and butternut squash) and was pretty good, but I got tired of eating it about halfway through my plate. Again, I went for an afternoon run of 3.3 miles. Energy levels still okay, but I did feel a bit more wiped after my run. Hard to tell from the cleanse or the heat (been in the mid-80s during my runs). After work, I made up some food for the rest of the week to break the cycle of monotony and I'm pretty exited about some of these dishes. Biggest take away from Day 3 is that in order to feel full, I pretty much eat almost constantly. Either that, or drink. So basically, 90% of my day consists of eating or peeing. Down another pound and a half for total of 4.5.

Day 4

Not gonna sugar coat it. Today was ROUGH! My brain feels like it is not working properly today. Not dizzy or light headed, just feeling a bit fuzzy, like easily distracted. I managed to get up for Burn though, so yay. I ate my new recipes today which added some much needed variety. My Green Smoothie was ok - I have another serving for tomorrow which I will drink, but probably not make again. I'm still adding the scoop of protein in it, which helped the fuzziness some. The Sweet Potato Hash was hands down AMAZING! I will make this even when not on a cleanse. The Tomato, Avocado, Cucumber, Onion Salad was pretty yummy but after, my mouth tastes like onions and I couldn't use a mint. I did Zucchini Noodles again for dinner cause they are pretty darn good too. I felt full most of the day, but again, just off and to the left a bit. Down 5.5  lbs total now.

Day 5
Will you just LOOK at this NONSENSE my coworkers brought

Felt better this morning as far as the fogginess. Not terribly hungry, but am starting to crave bread and eggs for some reason. I expected to crave sweets, but I'm actually pretty okay on that front. Already planning my first post-Cleanse breakfast to be a Egg White and Turkey Sausage Sandwich. I had lots of leftover food in the fridge at work, so I didn't really have to prep anything which was nice. Two decent sized hurdles today. First was a really really tough Burn work out right after running a mile. Bout knocked me on my butt and I was sweating like crazy and pretty weak, but I perked up after finishing my breakfast smoothie. Second big hurdle was 2 of my coworkers brought in yummy food to share - donuts and danishes. I could SMELL the sugar. Normally, I would have devoured a few of them. I did try to file a Hostile Workplace Complaint, but mostly was ignored. Down a total of 6.5 pounds and now within 7 lbs of my goal weight (not for the cleanse, but for overall goal). Hopefully I can keep some of these habits after the cleanse. At least I can threaten myself that if my eating gets so bad again then I'll have to repeat it.

Day 6

I felt better than I thought I might on Saturday morning during my 4 mile run with my Fleet Feet group, but I purposefully ran with a friend with a slower pace and hung out with the mid-back of the pack runners, who I had a blast with. Got to meet a few new people too. I had two main challenges today in keep on the cleanse plan. 1 - I went to see Avengers Endgame which had me in a movie theater for about 3 and a half hours with no healthy food. This turned out to be a nonissue during the movie, but after I was starving and luckily there was a Panera in the same complex. Was able to grab a veggie only salad with no dressing and a apple on the side. 2 - I was having dinner at my SIL's house and I didn't want to have to explain what crazy thing I was up to, so decided to just wing it. Well, I was in luck as there was some veggies and fruit and I grabbed up a bunch of both on my plate and happily ate it - cooked peppers and onions, raw carrots and celery and berries. Sticking to the plan was easier than I expected on the weekend. Down a bit more for a total of 8 lbs.

Day 7
Last Pack of Supplements

I was pretty sure I was dying on Day 7. I slept in a bit which I thought would help me. I woke up feeling light headed, weak and MISERABLE. I headed out for my run (it IS Mile a Day May so no rest days) around 10 am. I wasn't hot, but really humid as it had been raining off and on. When I left, the rain was off. When I got about a mile out, the rain came back on. I The plan was to run for a half an hour and whatever that got me miles wise, that is what I would be okay with. I didn't even make that goal. I made it 2.25 miles (about 23 min) and that was literally all I could do. Had to sit down to recover for a bit after. It is abundantly clear to me that in order to an effective runner, I need carbs. Made another batch of that yummy Sweet Potato Hash for the week because I really liked it. Finished out the last dinner of the cleanse with a big bowl of assorted veggie items from Moe's Southwest Grill (it was Cinco de Mayo) and was so glad to take that last pill pack. I had stuck to the plan, pretty much to the letter with the only addition being a scoop of plant based protein in my morning smoothies. Weight stayed the same for 8 lb total loss.

Shaklee Cleanse Take Aways

The Positives

  1. I can be stubborn enough to follow any kind of plan. When I indulge, it's because I want to and I need to remember that and say no to convenient treats more often. 
  2. I did develop some good habits of eating more and different fruits and veggies over the week and will continue to eat some of the dishes I discovered. I realized just how much I like Sweet Potatoes and Avocados for instance.
  3. I do have time to meal prep if I really really want to.
  4. I do feel like I needed this reset as a reminder to do better nutrition wise. I'm an all or nothing kind of girl and need a drastic change to make any kind of change.
  5. I did lose 8 lbs and some inches (I didn't measure the inches before hand, so not sure exactly how much, but I did buy a size smaller in jeans over the weekend).
  6. I'm now in a couple of Facebook groups that pass around some pretty good healthy recipes, so that's pretty cool too. 
The Negatives
  1. A few days during the week (esp Day 4 and Day 7) I was feeling really really rough. I had a hard time thinking straight and running/camp were struggles to get through. 
  2. I NEED carbs and protein to do the kinds of workouts that I want to. Fruit and veg are great, but my body needs more than just that to perform well. 
  3. I think 7 days was too long. I think after 3 or 4 days I would have achieved the same reset benefits.
  4. I know I have losing 8 lbs in the pro category, but I am giving it an entry in the con category as well. Mostly because people are not meant to lose weight that quickly. As I start adding back in "regular" foods, I fully anticipate gaining some of it back. I'm sure not all, but well, it's been 3 days and I've already put 1 lb back on. 
Would I Do It Again?

I don't think so, but I could. If I go way off the rails nutritionally again, I may do a mini-reset, but I do not see myself doing another full 7 Day Cleanse unless I am really desperate to reset again. Hopefully the threat of doing it again will keep me better. Now that is not to say that I won't occasionally eat junk, cause I am going to, but I am hoping to be more consistent with the good habits I've been working on over the last 7 days going forward. In fact the last 3 days that I have been off the Cleanse, I've actually eaten much of the same stuff I did last week, I've just added back in some good protein and good carbs as well. 

If you are considering doing this, or another type of cleanse, feel free to ask me anything. I'm happy to share. 


  1. Exactly how I felt . I think I would do it again, but only for 3 or possibly 4 days , with more iron ? I'm still dizzy 4 days after the cleanse, but I have been anemic before in the past. Good for your documenting , sounds like me to the T . Did anything help your dizziness ? I've been eating meat , maybe I need to wait for my iron stores to get back up .

  2. This was so helpful!!! Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Hey, did you feel better when you were finished? Like he claims, did you have increased mood and mental focus as well as energy, better sleep and decrease cravings?