10 days to a new you

I'm just finishing a 10-day metabolic cleanse, or detox, and I feel great! Ten days to some people sounds too long, and some people might ask 'how can anything change in only 10 days?'. I am writing to record my impressions (and those of my husband, who did it too) for anyone curious to try such an endeavour.

First off, I will explain that this was the Metagenics Clear Change program. I found it easier to do than other programs I've tried (Dr. Oz 3-day cleanse, 8-week challenge, etc). I never felt hungry, and cravings were minimal. Today, on day 9, I walked by a fast-foot restaurant with delicious smells wafting past me in the parking lot. I was able to acknowledge that it smelled good without any pangs of hunger or desire to have some. I then went to the grocery store, supposedly to find "treats" that I had been denied over the past nine days. I came home with nothing except the same foods I have been eating. I'm just not interested.

It is called a metabolic cleanse, designed to improve the functioning of kidney and liver, with the aim to rid the body of toxins (from the environment, air, foods, etc). As our liver is integral to digestion, this claims to help GI symptoms as well (bloating, gas, indigestion). To be honest, I did it to lose weight. To get rid of the stomach, to not feel so full and bloated after meals. Mostly to get smaller.

Days 1 and 2 were fairly simple, as it was really just clean eating. They even give you a handy booklet in your kit with meal & snack suggestions. The day before we started I went to the grocery store armed with this booklet and picked up everything we needed. If I can stress anything about this detox, and beyond, it's that PREPARATION is the key. It wasn't hard or much more time consuming than usual, but advance planning at the grocery store and in the kitchen was necessary. The second way I prepared was by removing anything from the kitchen that wasn't on the cleanse. Why look at it if we couldn't have it?! I put a plastic bag around anything in the fridge or freezer we weren't going to be using (other meats, drinks with alcohol or sugar, off-limits condiments). I put any cupboard products (wheat-based crackers, granola bars or cereal) in a bag in the basement storage. Then when we went to the kitchen for a meal or a snack, anything you could see you could eat. An excellent book by Harvard Researcher Shawn Achor explains that our willpower weakens the more we use it, and that we are constantly pulled towards the path of least resistance. So, he posits, why not put our goals IN the path of least resistance ie. make what we want to happen, the easier choice? By having only the "good food choices" available and having meals prepared ahead of time, the easiest choice in the kitchen, is that which is already there!

The kit comes with a shaker cup and tub of UltraClear powder, to be mixed with water and/or apple juice and drinken 1-4x/day (depending on the day). It also comes with a bottle of Advaclear capsules with antioxidants and compounds to aid in the organ detox. I was warned it's classified as "medical food" and not designed to taste like a milkshake. True story. The first day I tried it with just water. It tasted like bad sand in a glass. After a day, though, (and some apple juice for flavour) I became used to it, and today I am willingly having the shakes throughout the day. I'll be sad when the tub is gone. It's filling for a couple hours, and feels great in the stomach.

After the first couple days of craving my favourite foods, it became almost easy to continue eating the suggestions in the booklet. Some noticeable changes: you pee alot more. I will assume that's the kidney's function improving. No full/bloated stomach feeling by the end of day. Sleep is good. My husband reported a significant improvement in injury-related pain. Weight loss; my husband lost almost 10 pounds. I lost 3. I feel, however, significantly smaller around the middle and all my clothes are much looser. I'm happier with that than seeing a double-digit loss on the scale.

Overall an excellent program, one I would consider doing yearly to improve my digestive system, organ function, and just to feel great. If you have questions or if this is something you would like to try, contact Drs. Scott or Taia for more info.

Taia Spencer-Yap