I’m not sure if the title gave it away, but I’ve been up to something behind the scenes over here. I’m sneaky that way.
I just finished a 10-day cleanse using the Advocare products.
I didn’t announce it on the blog or social media (or really to anyone but Katy – who did it with me, and Travis) because I honestly wasn’t sure what I thought about the cleanse. As you know, I’m not a huge advocate of food challenges/cleanses/diets/etc. They all seem so …short sighted? Obsessive? I don’t know. With my history of ED and food restriction, I have to be really careful when it comes to these types of things. When Janetha blogged about her Advocare experience last year and how much she loved it, I kept asking and asking questions. She finally said, “Just do it. Try it and see how you feel.”
So I did.
Now that my 10 days are up (I only did the 10-day cleanse – there is a 24-day challenge that many partake in), I’m ready to talk about my experience. If you’re squished for time (this is a long one), I’ll give you the one sentence synopsis. I LOVED IT and I’ll do it again!
The 10-day Advocare Cleanse
The primary reason I signed up for the cleanse was to get my digestion back on track. As I’ve shared before, I struggle with constipation issues and have for most of my adulthood (read more here). I’ve tried so many things – giving up dairy, using enemas, acupuncture, colonics, etc – and while those things work short-term, I still struggle with “going” daily (it’s more like every 3-5 days!!). Pregnancy and this current postpartum period have also thrown my digestion for a loop. Some days are ok, some not. Going into this cleanse, I just wanted to find a happy balance.
I knew I wanted to try the cleanse for that reason alone. Having less bloat or better skin would be nice side bonuses, but they weren’t the primary goal. In fact, as you’ll read below, I didn’t adhere to the prescribed diet during the 10 days. I also didn’t weigh or take any measurements. Like I said, I know myself enough to know that I should steer clear of diet plans. Plus, I wanted to see what the products would do on their own. If I’m going to be paying for products, I want to know that they’ll at least do some of the work, ya know!? You’ll see that I did make some changes – but again, those were related to digestion and NOT cutting out food groups for calorie restriction.
As you know, I’m a nursing mom. Advocare has a special “Nursing Mother” bundle that includes products that are safe to consume while nursing. After reading some of the literature (and googling for other mom’s experiences, which were all positive), I honestly still wasn’t sure that I wanted to be taking any sort of products. What if they made Porter gassy? What if my milk supply decreased? What if he grew horns?? Joking, but you get the concern here. I said that if I noticed any sort of adverse effects on my son, I’d quit immediately. All Advocare products are Informed Choice-approved and undergo the highest safety and quality checks – I found comfort in that but still wanted to use my own judgment.
I’m happy to say that I didn’t notice ANY changes in Porter whatsoever – in his stools, in his gas, in his behavior. My milk supply didn’t decrease. I did make one change to the cleanse by decreasing the amount of Spark they suggest from two per day to one per day because this product contains caffeine (the amount in one cup of coffee) and I was more comfortable with that amount. My sister Katy, who is nursing, also saw no change in her daughter or her own milk supply. I say all this because I know a lot of nursing moms out there who WANT to do the cleanse but who might be concerned and I wanted to give my experience with these products. As always, you should use your best judgment and talk to your doctor.
After researching and deciding that I wanted to do the cleanse, I signed up to become a distributor (<-full disclosure here – that’s an affiliate link). This means you pay a yearly membership fee and get 20% off the products. You can also sell products, but that wasn’t (isn’t) the draw. Just from Katy and my mom ordering things, I’ve already made back my $79 membership fee!
The “Nursing Mother” bundle consists of six products:
- Spark (an energy drink)
- Catalyst (an amino acid supplement)
- Fiber drink
- Probiotic Restore Ultra
- Calcium Plus
Since I already take fish oil and a multivitamin, I didn’t order the last two products. My kit arrived a couple of days after I ordered and Katy and I started on a Monday.
Here’s how it works (the “Nursing Mother” cleanse):
The cleanse comes with a prescribed meal plan. You eat real, whole foods and you eat OFTEN. The products are meant to work in conjunction with a whole foods approach – there is no calorie restriction or starvation. You’re told to drink at least a gallon of water a day (easy) and to avoid dairy, sugar, processed foods and coffee.
Here’s what I Did:
I tried to track everything using checkmarks (obviously..I love organization).
- As you can see, some days I forgot to take all of the prescribed products (woops) but for the most part, I stuck to the suggested supplement intake.
- I felt like the “no carbs after lunch”-thing was a bad choice for me so I added in a bedtime snack every day (usually cereal with unsweetened almond milk).
- I ate whenever I felt hungry and while I didn’t cut out all processed foods (teddy grahams, cereal, M & M’s, etc.), my desire for them went down drastically.
- I DID cut out dairy because I know from past experience that this helps with my poo problem.
- The Peaches & Cream Fiber Drink tastes amazing! I like the Grape Spark better than the Watermelon.
I guess you could say that I only half did this cleanse – I just tailored it to my own needs and went for it. Katy actually adhered to the prescribed diet and had great results. We took before and after pictures/measurements and she looks AMAZING! I’m hoping she’ll let me share her story on the blog.
After 10 days, I feel GREAT. My sugar cravings have decreased significantly (they were kinda out of control). I have way more energy (I was relying on coffee far too often and I don’t think it was doing much for me). As for my poo problem – completely gone! I haven’t had a day that I didn’t “go” during AND after the cleanse (we ended last Wednesday). For me, this is the BIGGEST benefit by far!
Because I know people are interested, I do notice a difference in the way some of my workout pants fit, especially around the waist. I feel less bloated, less puffy. I didn’t do the cleanse for weight loss purposes (nursing Porter is working well in that regard!) but to be able to easily fit into some of my old Lululemon pants is a nice bonus.
Slowly getting some of those abs to peek back through.
All in all, I’d highly recommend the Nursing Mom cleanse and I already have plans to do another in early Fall. My mom just ordered the 24-day Challenge to prep for our upcoming beach trip! If you want to learn more, go here. If you have any questions or need help creating your own Advocare bundle, just email me and I’d be happy to answer.
QUESTION: Have you ever tried any of the Advocare products? Ever had problems with digestion/constipation?