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.
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