It is essentially a 7 day meal replacement plan – forever living shakes, two shakes per day to replace two meals of your choice. They contain:

• High quality soy isolate protein – provides a good alternative to those that are lactose intolerant!
• Protease enzymes
• 2 servings a day gives 100% RDA of vitamins and minerals (this is a big one for me as the days I am off with the boys I’ll be lucky to get time to get my 5 a day so having this shake makes it all easier)
• Low carbohydrates
• Aminotein – this is a unique blend of enzymes specifically designed to break down protein and to ensure proper digestion and optimal absorption of amino acids, so helps your body manage the large amounts of protein you are taking on if you are bulking up.
They come in vanilla or chocolate, and you can use water or any milk to make it up – coconut, almond, semi skimmed! Whatever you like! I plan to use semi-skimmed for mine as that’s what we already buy.

To be honest I’ve always been slightly sceptical of these types of things (I get majorly hangry!) and I doubted my ability to actually stick at it so I’m not entirely sure how I ended up volunteering (but I definitely did volunteer!)

Whatever the reason, my vanilla forever living shakes  was delivered to me this morning (alas, sadly too late to stop me from indulging in one last latte and almond croissant for breakfast) and I made up my first one for my lunch – convenient really as I’d forgotten to pack myself any that day!

Before we go into that, I might as well lay out the specifics of my own challenge and a few points of note.

First things first – I do not know my starting weight and I do not own a scales (or have much desire) to find out. Sorry if that makes this review less helpful to anyone but for my own reasons, I find life much less stressful when it isn’t controlled by a scales. I will treat you all to a ‘Start’ photo and a ‘Finish’ photo in my final post but that’s about as technical as it will get I’m afraid. I’m really more interested in how I feel after completing the challenge, how my clothes fit and any physical side effects I experience (good or bad).

As far as I can gather, the ‘rules’ of the challenge are as follows: that you choose two meals to replace (I’ve chosen breakfast and lunch) and then it’s just water to drink and one meal under 600 calories (dinner for me). I’m aiming to keep my version fairly similar except that I plan to add some fruit to my shakes to make them more ‘smoothie’ like and, although I plan to drink no coffee or tea (argghhhh!) or alcohol (ARGGGHHHHH!!!), I will be drinking my lemon and ginger tea when I want a hot drink – I get this from Lidls, it is naturally caffeine free. In fact, it is the first fruit tea I have ever tried that I actually genuinely like! I’ve also got myself some sparkling water to try and spice things up a bit 😉

So now that we’ve established the ground rules, let’s get straight on to my first impressions….

Sweet.

Oh my gosh, the flavour is so sweet. Despite this, I was pleasantly surprised by my first taste of the shake as I really didn’t like the smell of the powder when I first opened the packet but thankfully it didn’t taste anything like that. It also made me so grateful that I’d opted for vanilla – the other flavour option is chocolate and I dread to think how sweet that would have been! If I’m honest, it was FAR too sweet for my taste but I’ve already bought some berries to add to tomorrow’s and I’m hoping that the tartness from the fruit will tone down the shake a bit. Otherwise, it’s going to be a tough week!

 

I had a moment of madness and decided to take part in a Forever Living 7 day shake challenge which involves replacing two of your meals (I chose breakfast and lunch) with the Forever Living shakes. Purely for research purposes you understand, nothing to do with the fact that I am terrified that I will not fit into my bridesmaids dress on Saturday.

Day 2

It’s probably a slight stretch to call this Day 2 as I only replaced one meal on Day 1 with a shake and promptly relapsed less than hour later by eating a rogue packet of Mini Cheddars from my desk drawer. However, as I am not going to be able to do the full 7 days in a row anyway (due to the aforementioned wedding on Saturday – like I’m missing out on that calorie fest to drink diet shakes!), we’ll go with day two.

I made both of today’s shakes together in one batch to take to work with me. I blitzed a load of berries into it to try and take the edge off the overly sweet flavour I mentioned yesterday, I used blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. It is still a bit sweet for my liking but it definitely made the flavour much more palatable and (hopefully) had the added bonus of bulking it out a bit.

I poured out half of my shake batch to have for breakfast when I got to work along with a big glass of sparkling water (bubbles fill you up right?) In the interest of full disclosure, I will admit that I attended a meeting later that morning and ate one of those teeny tiny Lotus biscuits that come with hot drinks in cafes. I know it was naughty but it was on the side of my saucer and I couldn’t say no! Other than that though, I survived until lunch and amazingly I wasn’t even ready to kill somebody for a slice of toast.

However, I knew that lunch would be the difficult one. Having not ‘eaten’ all morning, I was so ready for something great to eat for lunch… but unfortunately for me, just another shake awaited. It wasn’t quite as nice the second time around, having been pre-made in the fridge all morning (or maybe I was just already just sick of it haha) but it was still perfectly nice. I had my second shake at around 1:30pm and by around 2:15pm I was just starting to feel the slight fuzzy head/headache that I normally get when I go without food for too long. I must point out that I had also not had any caffeine yet, only 3 large glasses of water and a cup of lemon and ginger (caffeine free) tea so the fuzzy head could also have been a caffeine withdrawal issue.

I did manage to stay strong throughout the afternoon though and once I was past that ‘hungry’ stage I almost forgot that I hadn’t had any proper food all day – I was extremely ready for my dinner that evening though!

Day 3

As I mentioned in the introduction, I won’t actually be able to complete the full seven days in a row as I am attending my best friend’s wedding at the weekend (oh and I did I mention… I’m a bridesmaid!) so you’d better believe I’ll be eating and drinking everything in sight! Still, I figured five days was better than no days and it would at least give me a good idea of what the challenge is like. Plus I can use the final two days as a ‘post wedding’ detox so actually it works out pretty well.

I’ll be honest and say that this morning, the idea of having nothing but those shakes again until dinner time basically made me want to not bother! Although I’ve discovered that, blended with a load of tasty berries and crushed ice the vanilla shake is actually fairly nice (it’s far too sweet for me otherwise though), the idea of no yummy breakfast or lunch food is just…. depressing. However, I am not a quitter and I’m determined to see it through (plus I can’t deny that this morning’s non bloated flat stomach was a pretty good motivator!)

I made the days’ worth up in one batch again to take with me to work. I would prefer to make it fresh each time, as I found the second one yesterday was not quite as nice (probably because I prefer it with all the crushed ice blended in) but obviously as I add the berries, this is not an option unless I want to take a blender into work with me!

I prepared myself a bit better today as I’d found the lack of ‘real’ food hard to deal with yesterday so I brought in a huge bag of carrot sticks (raw fruit and veg are allowed) to snack on during the day. I also still had my morning cup of tea but I’m only drinking the lemon and ginger tea once I arrive at work. I’m wondering how long until the caffeine withdrawal kicks in to be honest!

I found the carrot sticks really helpful in dealing with the hunger (which I’m starting to recognise is actually more the craving to chew something!) so I will definitely be repeating that tomorrow. See some of the forever living shakes