Meet Barb and Mark who lost 56.4 pounds between them with the Clean Food Crush 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge.
We have been married 27 years and have two daughters and 4 grandsons and we live in Iowa.
We are both retired. What we do for fun: We have always walked the neighborhood and trails and biked as well. We also belong to a rec center. In the fall, we go to home Iowa football games (season ticket holders for over 30 years) and in the winter we watch Iowa basketball on TV. Now that we are retired, we are beginning the “snowbird” process of vacationing in Florida for the month of February.
I have done about every diet there is since I was 30.
I would have success but would eventually gain it back and then some. Mark never did any kind of diet in his life. I had been following Clean Food Crush Facebook Recipes for 5 months and liked all of the recipes I tried, so that was a motivating factor in our decision to join.
The “ah ha” (or maybe better stated the “oh no”) moment on what motivated us to join the Clean Food Crush challenge was when we had family pictures taken at our grandson’s high school graduation in May 2019. Looking at ourselves in those family pictures and seeing how much weight we had gained over the years, was really eye opening, and the more we looked at them, the more upset we became. We looked at ourselves and said “How did we let ourselves get that way?”
One night towards the end of July 2019, while we were sitting on our deck, I explained to Mark about the email I had received from Rachel regarding the 30 day challenge. I suggested that we do the challenge and Mark enthusiastically agreed as we both knew we had to do something. I went over the plan and I told Mark that he wouldn’t be able to have cream in his coffee (which was a staple for him for the last 40 years). He said “ok, then I won’t.” That was when I knew he was ready. I signed us up and started shopping and reading the material.
The first week is the hardest but it’s only 7 days and the support group was amazing. They explained to eat until you are full – I had been trying to stuff myself to get all of my food in for each meal. We followed the plan to the “T” and were very committed on not deviating from the plan. The key to success is to prepare ahead of time. If I didn’t take the time to prepare, it was very stressful. I made a few days of the egg/banana pancakes for breakfast and put in baggies with our names on it. Mark gets more than me! Again it’s only 7 days and the next 3 weeks are much easier.
We faced our first challenge of the program during the first week also. Our grandson was participating in the Iowa State Baseball tournament, which was 2 hours away. But we were good troopers and had our cooler packed with healthy lunches, snacks, and water (so we got our 16 glasses a day). No popcorn or hotdogs at the baseball game! We would drive home every night and head back the next day. (Our grandson’s team won state, by the way). At the end of the first week I lost 4 pounds and Mark lost 5.8. Talk about motivation. (As a side note, Mark went cold turkey on the cream and started drinking his coffee black on day 1. He now enjoys his coffee so much more and never looks back.)
After week two, I went thru my cupboards and gave away all of the non-clean food I had in my pantry. I was shocked how many foods with preservatives we had been eating. I stocked my pantry with all the spices needed for Rachel’s delicious meals and started looking carefully at all the labels in the grocery store. Mark now looks at everything before he puts it into the cart at the grocery store. No sugar added is huge. Dill pickles? Peanut Butter? Who knew? This has been an eye opener for us and life changing! And the taste has been fine. No big changes. Our motto is “if a product has an ingredient with three or more syllables you don’t want the product!”
We began our Journey July 31, 2019 and it’s been 8 months. It has not been difficult to stick with this plan. We went to Florida for 5 weeks this February and I took my printed 3 ring binder with my recipes and we cooked a lot. When we did eat out, it was for fresh fish/seafood. I took my small jars and made my overnight oatmeal (10 at a time) and ate that most mornings. We both love our oatmeal. It was great being on a winter vacation and not gaining any weight. We actually took our scale along to keep us accountable. That definitely helped.
Both of us have lowered our Cholesterol and our doctors were so happy. Our doctors told us to keep doing what we were doing.
We feel so much better physically and mentally. From July 31 through January 31, we lost 56.4 pounds. Mark lost 28.4 and I’ve lost 28. Our weight loss has been like the old saying “slow and steady wins the race!”. Each Friday morning we would record our weight and measurements (stomach/chest/arms/legs/chest/hips). We each would lose anywhere from 0 to 3.0 pounds a week. Some weeks we would be very excited about how much weight we loss, while other weeks we would be a bit disappointed. However, we would never get discouraged if we did not lose as much weight as we thought we would. Since January, we have been maintaining, but with spring upon us, we are going to try to lose another five pounds each.
In addition to following the Clean Food Crush 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge, we have increased our exercise activity. We walk every morning between 75-90 minutes (approximately 4 miles). Plus, 4-5 times a week Mark will do a second workout in the afternoon of approximately 60 minutes, consisting of cardio or weight training. I may also do a second walk in the afternoon with a friend or neighbor. We also do yard work on the weekends, for both exercise and upkeep on the house. We believe exercise is an important part of success on the Clean Food Crush. Since Mark and I are retired, we have more time than most people, but I would strongly recommend that people find 30-45 minutes a day to do some exercise. Between the exercise and clean food living, you will feel so much better!
We would highly recommend this to anyone who feels like they need to lose weight, but also wants to quit putting preservatives in your body. Once you look at what is in the product, you will wonder why you ever would eat that!
I have to say, we never went to bed hungry and had plenty of food to get through the day. Rachel’s recipes are easy, quick and healthy. I am still adding to our book as new ones come thru. Mark is loving the variety we are eating as well. The support group including Billie Jo, Daisy and the team are there immediately for any questions you may have. They are very helpful and you will be in that group forever. Rachel sends out positive thoughts and ideas frequently and I have printed them out to reread if need be.
We will probably lose a little bit more, but we are happy with our weight now. The program has completely changed our way of life, how we think about food and I have broadened my horizon on eating and cooking things I have never tried. It is such an easy program to follow, and now it’s just a way of life.
Thank you Rachel and everyone on the team, for helping Mark and me. We highly recommend you give the 30 day Challenge a try. After 30 days, it’s a slam dunk!
– Barb and Mark