Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Cleanse?

I think I first heard about Advocare from Hopsy at Kappa Prep in the spring. She lost a lot of weight after doing the Advocate 24 Day Challenge and eating clean. Like your average American woman, I have complicated feelings about my body and my weight. But I try to focus on staying healthy. _If I can run for 30 minutes without stopping and do so regularly my weight itself probably doesn't matter too much.) I really don't want to accidentally starve myself and I don't want to poison myself with diet soda and diet pills. This cleanse seemed like something I would feel comfortable doing.

What really motivated me to try this was a health scare I had in September. I have on going issues with my skin (yeah for the atopic tirad of allergies, asthma, and eczema) and I finally got to a dermatologist the week before my 27th birthday. She looked at my skin and confirmed the eczema and she said that I had another skin condition that suggested insulin resistance. E2 has juvenile diabetes though no one else in my family has diabetes. I also have high cholesterol. So, I was was pretty worried that I would have to remove both sugar AND butter from my life--I can do one but not both.

I decided that I would do the 10 Day Cleanse after spending a month worried that I might have insulin resistance. I thought about the 24 Day Challenge but as soon as I realized that that meant having meal replacement shakes for breakfast I knew that would be impossible for me. I am a whole foods type person and meal replacement shakes make me gag.

The Contents of my Package from Advocare

As soon as I got the cleanse in the mail (it shipped really fast), I looked at the amount of vitamins in the cleanse supplements and in Spark. I wanted to be sure that I wasn't getting toxic levels of any vitamin if I continued to take my multivitamin while on the cleanse.

Pre Cleanse Prep

The materials that came with the cleanse recommended eating eight to ten servings of vegetables and fruits each day, drinking eight glasses of water, eating only whole grains, reducing dietary fat, avoiding fried foods, and avoiding added sugar. The cleanse came with a fiber drink that I drank on the first three and last three days of the cleanse, herbal cleanse packets, and a probiotic supplement. The Advocare distributor I talked to recommended the cleanse instructions at Advotips.com and I ended up using their 10 Day Cleanse Checklist. I also really liked the advice I found at AndyOrozco.net's Detailed 10-Day Herbal Cleanse Instructions. What I liked most about these detailed instructions was that the food portion and meal recommendations on pages 5 and 6.

Advocare says that beans are carbs in their food suggestions but I decided that I would treat beans as proteins since I am frugal and I don't like eating expensive meat every day. Apart from a few cheats, I did not have dairy, gluten, or added sugar. I tried to drink a gallon of fluids every day and always had at least ten cups of water. While they recommend reducing dietary fat, I still used olive oil in cooking and I used it to make my own homemade greek salad dressing.

The Monday before starting the cleanse. I started playing Wii Fit again. Its a video game where you move and it can weigh you everyday. The week before starting my weight averaged 155.2 pounds according to the Balance Board (the device you play Wii Fit with). My weight on the balance board is always more than my weight on my bathroom scale. I also always weight myself on the bathroom scale at the same time of day so I think its numbers are more consistent.

Before the cleanse started, I stocked up on unsalted nuts, made my own carrot sticks, bought hummus, and made sure I had plenty of fruits and vegetables. I also bought fish oil supplements to use instead of the OmegaPlex and I didn't buy the recommended but optional Catalyst.

How it Went

The first day, I learned that natural peanut butter is gross if you are used to Skippy. Very gross. I only felt hungry after playing Wii Fit before going to bed. At first I was trying to eat between eight and ten servings of fruits and vegetables a day. On the second day I woke up with a horrible headache. I assumed it was caused by either sugar or caffeine withdrawal. I felt stuffed all day.

On the third day, I continued to feel very full. This was unexpected because I had drank three glasses of the fiber drink and the herbal cleanse tablet had a natural laxative in it. I was stuffed every day for the first part of the cleanse then I stopped trying for eight to ten servings of fruit and vegetables each day. On the upside, I had forgotten what regular peanut butter tasted like so the natural peanut butter started to taste okay by the end of the cleanse.

I tried to exercise every day for at least half an hour but I only ended up exercising for six days during the cleanse. Two of those days were hour and a half long yoga classes, though.

The hardest part of the cleanse was not having a cup of coffee with milk every morning. While I came to like Spark I much prefer coffee on a cold morning. The biggest problem I have with the Spark is that it has an artificial sweetener, artificial flavors, and it was hard to mix. I wish I had a blender bottle instead of a tervis tumbler and I found that it tasted better mixed into twelve ounces of water instead of the recommended eight. That said, I still found Spark to be pretty enjoyable.

What I Used During the Cleanse


On the first several days of the cleanse I cheated a bit by having a glass of unpasteurized apple cider. I think it may have started to ferment and it had a lot of sugar in it (thirty grams per cup). On the fourth day, I went to a JL event at Alex + Ani and had a glass of the energy punch. I don't know what was in it so I assumed that it was mostly fruit juice.

On Friday, day six, I cheated big time. Mr. Handsome wanted to go to Ruby Tuesdays for dinner so we did and I had the salad bar, ranch dressing, a steak, sweet potato fries and lots of ketchup. I thought this meal seemed to be mostly in line with the recommendations. On the ninth day of the cleanse, I had crasins sweetened with sugar and on the last day of the cleanse I had a little square of dark chocolate.

Also, since I did not want to go out and buy a jar of special mayonnaise, when we had just bought a fresh one,  I just used the jar we had. I had tuna salad three on three days during the cleanse and I made it with a five ounce can of tuna with one tablespoon of mayonnaise. This made for an easy lunch on days when I didn't have left overs from the previous nights dinner but I had to be careful not to eat too much so I could avoid mercury poisoning.


I avereaged about 1580 net claroies (the number consumed less the number burned through exercise) a day. My Fitness Pal esitmates my calories burned from daily activity at 1,830. Based on calories in, calories out, I should have lost about a pound over the course of the cleanse. I ended up losing slightly more.

I have before and after photos but I won't be sharing them since both the before and after photos are pretty unflattering. As you can see by the changes in my weight and measurements there was some effect.

According to Wii Fit I lost 4.8 pounds during the course of the cleanse. I do not know why my weight spiked to 157.6 pounds from 155.2 pounds on October 20th. If I look at how much I lost from my average the week before I only lost 2.4 pounds. But, I experienced weight loss after the cleanse was over (despite eating a lot of leftover Halloween candy). And, I am over all happy because I broke through 150 pounds.

I get anxious weighting more than 150 pounds. I am worried about slowly gaining weight overtime and ending up with weight based health complications. So I see 150 as sort of a benchmark and I worry if I get too much over it. I am happy to be back under 150 pounds.

My Results in a Table

Day 1
Day 10
152 lbs
149 lbs
157.6 lbs
152.8 lbs
39 in
38 1/2 in
38 in
31 1/2 in
31 in
30 3/4 in
30 1/8 in
29 1/2 in
29 3/4 in
40 3/4 in
40 5/8 in
40 3/4 in
20 3/8 in
20 in

In Sum

I was honestly underwhelmed with the results. While I was happy that I broke through 150 pounds, I had hoped to end up a lot closer to 145 pounds. I think this would be a lot better for people who aren't already eating healthy. It's a great way to jump start clean eating. Since Mr. H and I already eat pretty clean because I cook most of our meals, I don't think this cleanse was as effective for me as it would be for others. I plan on giving this cleanse a try again in 90 days after Thanksgiving, Christmas, and a trip to the Keys.

Please note this is all my own opinion. I purchased this product myself because of my own interest and received no compensation for this review.


  1. Laughing over your comment about natural peanut butter. :) I really like almond butter - Whole Foods makes a good version that isn't very liquidy. It sounds like you already lead a very healthy lifestyle, so actually, I think losing 2.4 pounds in about a week is great! Congrats on finishing!

    1. Thank you! I like the natural peanut butter now (I had some with apples for a snack this morning) but it took a bit of getting used to.


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