Monday, December 29, 2014

24 Day Challenges, Yay or Nay?


The following Blog post is somewhat graphic in nature and if you are easily offended/grossed out by talk of bowel movements, please don't read any further!  Not grossed out by poo? Check out this informative post on what you can learn about yourself by inspecting your poo!

       What you are about to read is the (somewhat graphic) retelling of my and my business partner's experience with a 24 day cleanse/weight loss challenge. This post is meant to be taken with a rather large grain of salt and sense of humor.  You may notice that not each day is accounted for, that's either because I got bored with it, or didn't have anything exciting to report on those days.  So here it is, our largely unedited experience with this challenge...

                Day 1:  Friday Sept 26:  I’m getting a proper start to cleanse day 1, so naturally I've gotten up before 7 AM to attend a meeting that will be serving fresh hot doughnuts, coffee, and hot apple cider and I intend to consume it all!  The doughnuts and cider were absolutely delicious, I didn't get to eat many doughnuts because I was so busy talking with people and didn't want to be rude by stuffing my face while trying to hold polite conversation.  Back at the office, it’s time to start this cleanse for real now.  Step one mix up some Spark! What is Spark you ask? It’s this miracle energy supplement drink.  We've been advised to add the ‘fiber drink’ to the Spark and drink both as a ‘water shot’.  We will try this as the fiber drink is reported to get ‘thick’ relatively quickly.  Our flavor options for Spark are Mandarin Orange or Fruit Punch. We've opted to try the fruit punch first. Opening the fiber drink packet it looks like dirty dried potato flakes, and smells like some sort of herbal concoction you’d smell in one of those ‘natural goods shops’ (don’t smell it, seriously).  Mix it, pound it and wait for the sweet sweet bitter aftertaste of the sucralose sweetener. Gross.  Nothing to do now but wait 30 minutes to eat real breakfast.  Keep in mind at this point that we've been advised that this cleanse is ‘gentle and uneventful’.  This is simply untrue.  Roughly 2 hours after eating, my stomach is rumbling, grumbling and things are MOVING through.  My stomach is cramping and it is evident that there is about to be an EVENT.  The Event itself turns out to be the most gentle and polite round of liquid poop you will ever experience, but it’s an event nonetheless.  This event will repeat itself several times over the next few hours.  The rest of the day passes with little to no incident, just have to take the Catalyst, omegaplex and nighttime fiber supplements before bed.
                Day 2: Repeat of day 1, Spark + Fiber Drink + Catalyst = thick, almost chewy, gross, overly sweet bitter poop juice
                Day 3: I've decided that the way this challenge causes you to lose weight is by helping your food to pass through so quickly that you don’t have time to absorb the calories. I have not had a solid poop in 3 days…  Overall I am noticing slightly increased energy levels and less effects of the ‘2 O’Clock slump’ in the afternoons after lunch which is good.  So I’m pooping like a champ with slightly increased energy levels, YAY!
                Day 4: Phew, no fiber drink today, today we replace fiber drink with probiotics capsules for the next 4 days in the mornings.  Oh goody, I get to ingest billions of little microscopic beasties that will help me digest my food even FASTER!
                Day 5: I once again awoke early, this time to perform barn chores.  I realized halfway through chores that I am starving and badly craving real wholesome food.  I will drink my Spark, catalyst, and probiotics and see how I feel after…Nope still starving.
                Day 7:  I had my first solid poo in a week this morning.  So far nothing about this cleanse is really memorable aside from my bowel movements, which is unfortunate for those that are reading this blog…  I will say that we’ve gotten a few new flavors of Spark to try and our listing of flavors from best to worst is as follows: BEST toss-up between Pink Lemonade and Strawberry Mango, next is the Fruit Punch, and the worst so far by far is the Mandarin Orange which tastes a lot like Tang, only more gross.
                Day 8:  We had an event early this morning that was going into the afternoon and there was no way I was going to get back on the Fiber Drink and not have easy bathroom access for upwards of 5 hours while dealing with the public, I think we can all agree that postponing ingestion of the Fiber Drink until tomorrow was the best decision all around.
                Day 9:  Fiber Drink with Spark and Probiotics this morning followed almost immediately by the expected ‘cleansing’ again gentle but eventful.  At this point though I am down 3 pounds from my starting weight and haven’t changed a whole lot about my lifestyle aside from taking all these supplements and cleanse drinks.
                Day 10: We've moved into the MNS Max E phase of the challenge. “What does that mean? You ask. Well basically it means that we’re done with the thick and chewy fiber drinks and can start taking a metabolism boosting supplement called MNS Max E that is about 45 individual tablets and capsules to be taken at 16 different times throughout the day before and during meals.  Realistically that’s a gross exaggeration of the number of tablets and what not, but you get what I’m saying.  So first thing we’re doing Spark, with Catalyst, probiotic, and a ‘colored’ packet of the MNS 30 minutes before breakfast then another bunch of tablets with breakfast (which is now a meal replacement shake) then more tablets before and with lunch (now our first real food of the day)
                Day 11-24:  The MNS packets contain I do not know how much caffeine, but they evidently ramp my metabolism up so high that I break out in a sweat if I twitch my finger.  So now I'm hungry, jacked up on caffeine, and very sweaty. Its like a second, more terrible puberty in that I'm unable to control my body while it's doing all kinds of strange things, but I just have to get through the day like everything's fine. 
                Day 30: We are still struggling through this 24 day challenge cleanse, the pills tastes so bad it’s like smelling them with your mouth…I don’t even know how that is possible, but somehow one smells these with their mouth and I’m NOT talking about taste here. (Yes I am aware that much of the taste experience is through smell and vice versa)

All jokes and witty comments aside, this 24 day challenge wasn't terrible (except the sucralose) and the products really did help increase our energy levels while helping us lose a little weight.  The major issue here with this challenge and with most similar products, is that the products don’t teach you how to change your diet and lifestyle for the better, they teach you ‘Hey, take these gross miracle tablets and you’ll lose weight while maintaining unhealthy habits’.  So while doing a challenge like this may be the thing that helps kick start the process of weight loss and better fitness, there NEEDS to be an added component of education and support to teach one how to modify diet and exercise habits at the same time so when the cleanse is over you can maintain the progress you've made and continue progressing without needing to continue spending bundles of money on these products. 

If you have any questions or would like more information/assistance with lifestyle changes that may be right for you, please don't hesitate to Contact us!

Dr. Rachel Kohn, DC is a chiropractor with Active Life Chiropractic and Rehab, LLC. She graduated from the University of Western States in 2013 and is working everyday to improve the health of her community.  Questions for Dr. Kohn?