Every January we hear the same thing…time to detox, join the gym, be a better version of yourself. All I hear is blah, blah, blah. I’ve never been a believer of New Year’s Resolutions. We all joke about how we go on the wagon (or is it off?)…only to fall off it within the first month. Whatever happen to setting ourselves up for success? I mean, we hear that often when it comes to teaching kids and heck, even dogs.

When my friend Meredith asked me to join her in something called the Shred10  challenge, I thought, “here we go again.” But I’ve learned to listen and digest information before jumping to any conclusions. I’m also someone who’s willing to try things IF it can fit into my lifestyle.

Meredith has been someone who I’ve known to live a healthy lifestyle. Making conscious decisions in what she, and her family, eats. She’s also does her best to exercise. She’s not a “pusher” by any means but as someone who’s realized her changes have made an impact, Meredith can speak first hand about how a few tweaks can make a big difference.

She tells me that a few times a year there’s this program called Shred10 and wondered if I would be interested in participating this next round. She handed me a booklet that explained what it was — 10 days of incorporating healthy changes.  I skimmed through the booklet and yes, I’ve heard this all before but what really caught my attention was the explanations as to why. Why eliminate foods like gluten, refined sugar, caffeine, and dairy? Why eat more fruits and vegetables? Why it’s important to keep moving? Why 7 to 8 hours of sleep is important?

Yes, I understood that at the end of the day, the program also includes supplements that would cost money but realistically,  Shred10 is within reason. So, I agreed to join her. After all, it’s just 10 Days!

What I like about this? Basically, you eat foods that fall within the guidelines until you feel full. There’s no calorie counting. No complicated meal plan.

As for the juice and veggie supplements. It’s not so easy to include fresh produce this time of year. It’s okay but can be expensive and limited. So, Juice Plus capsules and protein shakes make this all more convenient and more affordable to get a decent amount “whole food based” nutrients. (You can learn more about Juice Plus here)

I was completely honest with Meredith telling her that convenience is key and I’m not an easy person to deal with when it comes to sticking with rules. I might just get “hangry”.

We were coincidentally away at the same time at the same place. We laughed over wine and bottomless Pina Coladas. How will I be able to do this? I started having self doubt. I love food too much but I know she does too. She promised to keep checking in. If I sway? No worries. Hey, just remember any step towards change is good even if it ends up being half of the list which is better than nothing, right?

I’ll aim to stick with the plan for the 10 days. Who knows? I may just be able to stick to it for longer! Which is obviously ideal. We will see about that.

I started today based on the community support group that has been set up on Facebook. Power in numbers, right?

I’ve put away the boxes of holiday chocolates and shortbreads. I didn’t buy the bags of chips so it’s just not in the house. No baking (which is no fun but I’ll  search up healthier baking options – by the way, if you have any decent recipes please send them along!) I’m a grazer so usually within arm’s reach from my computer I’ve typically been BAD. Very bad! But my usual chips, cookies, chocolates have now been replaced with carrots, red peppers, avocados, hummus and fresh cut fruit.

Meredith has checked in with me already. “What’s the biggest hurdle?” she asked. I took a look at the list and some I know are easy. Eliminating dairy is an easy one. Gluten will be easy, I think. Coffee? I’ll keep you posted on that one. You don’t want to know how many I consume in one day. But I’ll start by decreasing the amount. By the way, it’s now 5:00 pm and I haven’t had one yet. Shocker, I know!

I know one of the biggest challenges is to get more exercise. Having an active puppy has FORCED me to get outside for at least an hour to two hours each day. He’s the reason I’ve lost 15 lbs since he’s joined our family. But what else can I do? Getting out to a gym is tough but I’m increasing activity with the NIKE Training App (Free) that offers all different types of workouts for all walks of life.

But I had questions for Meredith…

There are so many cleanses, diets, and detoxes we are being bombarded with. Tell us what is Shred 10 and what makes it different? 

Meredith: Shred10 is not a cleanse. We call it a program: A healthy eating & lifestyle program. It is unique in that it’s adaptable. It has a specific set of Guidelines, but these can be adapted to any individual. For Example it is safe for vegetarians, vegans, or those on Paleo or Keto alike can have success following the Shred program. It has built-in support through a Guide book, recipes, educational videos and workouts. Plus a motivational and supportive community of leaders and fellow “Shredders”!

Why are YOU doing it?

Meredith: What I love about the Shred 10 program is that it’s so simple, and I can focus my efforts for 10 days. It is a fun, effective, and do-able jump-start to better health. For 10 days you will shred the food and habits that are not serving you and will focus on clean living and flooding your body with whole food nutrition. The 10 day jump-start is the beginning of a 4-month period of education and healthy changes that will revolutionize your health for years to come.

What should people consider when they start doing any program, but particularly Shred 10?

Meredith: Is this a priority for me right now? Am I ready to do something positive for myself? The more dedicated someone is to their personal health goals, and the more they value the program, the more they get out of the Shred.

There are certain foods we should avoid when doing this program. We noticed caffeine is on this list but let’s be honest, that’s a hard one for some of us. What if we cave?

Meredith: Though best results are found when all Guidelines are followed, we meet each participant where they are at. So if you are a coffee drinker, and cutting it out is near impossible, we’d just encourage you to cut down, or try drinking a green tea in the afternoon over a second cup of coffee. It is not just about what you eliminate: Gluten, Dairy, Caffeine, Alcohol, processed foods, artificial and refines sugars, But what you are adding to your diet; The Juice Plus Trio Capsules are filled with concentrated Whole food nutrition, from a variety of over 30 fruits and vegetables, loaded with cancer fighting Phytonutrients and antioxidants. We also add in 2 Complete Shakes Daily, plenty of water, exercise and sleep.

Shred 10 isn’t about losing weight necessarily, right?

Meredith: Absolutely not. It’s not about losing 10 pounds; it’s about 10 days of focused healthy eating and lifestyle habits, and “shredding” habits that no longer serve us! When people nourish their body through good nutrition, and eliminate sources of inflammation and digestive distress, the body finds balance. And THAT’S when the weight comes off. It starts with feeling better, thinking clearer, clothes fitting better, and improved sleep. Long-term, we are purging the body of toxins so that a balanced weight is easier to sustain.

Can anyone do it?

Meredith: Yep! It’s flexible, adaptable, and totally safe for any age and stage of health. (special guidelines available for those who are pregnant).

What else should we know about this program?

Meredith: It’s totally DO-able, flexible and affordable!!! And people who do it, gain so much from it for the short term and long term. It is a start to new healthy habits. In with all the good things your body needs, and out with all the things your body should be doing without. This is not just a program for 10 days but a lifestyle that everyone should stick to, and with Juice Plus, they can.

Clients can tap into so many resources from their Juice Plus Consultant, Private Facebook Community, including a free 90-page eBook available exclusively to Shred10®participants, filled a robust collection of plant-based meal ideas and healthy cooking tips and tricks from members of our community all over the US and Canada.

You can follow Meredith on Instagram @healthylivingwithmer and if you have more questions. Find her: https://mgertin.canada.juiceplus.com/jp

Okay, wish me luck! I’ll post at the end of the 10 days and let you know what happens. I’ll also be posting some updates on instagram…hangry or not.