Supplements, (i)herb + cleanse diets

When I got home from work on Wednesday, was greeted by this wonderful little box on the table:

Woo hoo! My latest order from had arrived! The best thing was- I ordered these goodies on Monday, and the shipping was free. ROCKS. A word of caution though if you go to their site: you will get sucked in. They have a wide variety of health and beauty AND food products. Your cart will start filling up rather quickly!

In my box of goodies:

CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid): I used to take this supplement faithfully, but haven’t for about six months. I first heard about it when I read Jackie’s book the first time, and decided to order some and start taking it again. CLA is suggested to increase metabolic rate, lower insulin resistance, cholesterol + triglycerides, and enhance muscle growth, amongst other things. From what I’ve heard, the benefits are seen over a long period of time.

Maca: I bought a bag of Maca powder at Wegmans a few weeks ago after reading about it’s benefits. When I got home, I tried mixing a teaspoon of it with almond milk. The flavor was so horrible that I couldn’t stomach it. I tried again, mixing it into a smoothie. Nope- I could still taste it. Luckily, the good folks at Wegmans let me return the opened bag and get my money back (it was almost $20!). I ordered the supplement instead so that I can just take it in pill form (and I can’t taste it at all- score!).

You can read about all kinds of benefits from Maca root here, but I was particularly turned onto it because it’s said to help regulate levels of estrogen and progestrone (and mine are anything but regular). The list of benefits is pretty amazing- and if I notice a difference in any of the areas listed, I’ll be very happy!

PB2 with premium chocolate: I thought better this time and ordered two. This stuff is SO GOOD. And it’s only 45 calories, 1.5 g fat, 2 g fiber and 5 g of protein for 2 tablespoons. Pretty amazing. Bell Plantation sells 1 lb. bags on their website, I might have to look into that! I still love my regular peanut flour, but this is a nice change-up sometimes- especially when I’m craving chocolate. Okay, when am I not craving chocolate…

MRM Whey Protein Powder in Rich Vanilla: Another recommendation from Jackie: whey protein powder. I am truly in love with Vega’s line of powders, but again- I’m switching things up a bit. Since starting Jackie’s program, I’ve been including a lot more animal-based foods into my diet than I’ve had in a long time. Whey protein powder is easily digested and helps reduce muscle damage after exercise and improves endurance. I wasn’t sure which brand of Whey protein to buy, but saw this brand on Janetha’s blog– so I figured it was worth a shot.

Iherb also always throws in a few free samples. This is what I got:

I know nothing about either of these products. The Arctic Root says that it improves energy, mental clarity and stress support. That can’t be all that bad, right? The CocoCeps is basically just cocoa powder. I’ll try it this weekend.

Other than those above, I also take the following supplements on a daily basis: A women’s multivitamin, Green Tea Extract, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid (in case I ever decide to start trying to get preggers), and Gaia Adrenal Support.

I used to order most of my supplements from, but I have found that iherb is generally cheaper and more reliable. If you order anything from, be sure to use the code:  QIR197 when you checkout for $5 off your first order!

Just so ya know, I am not being paid by Iherb to endorse their site. I just love them and want to share the love with all of you!


Yesterday morning, I hit the gym for some cardio and Bodypump. I generally break my cardio up into two 15-minute intervals: half is more intense (usually the stairclimber) before Bodypump, and then the rest is usually moderate intensity on the elliptical while reading a magazine. I save this for last because it doesn’t require as much effort on my part. 🙂

I grabbed the latest issue of Women’s Health and started flipping through the articles and stumbled upon one that really caught my eye. It was called How a Fruit Juice Cleanse Affects Your Body. I have always thought that cleanses like this are really stupid- because you’re basically starving yourself. I have known people that do a cleanse like this on a regular basis and swear it makes them feel “so much better,” but I’m not buying it.

This is copied directly from the article:

Thinking of signing up for a fruit juice cleanse? You might first consider how your body reacts to a week with no protein or fat and fewer than 1,000 calories a day.

After the first sip
Your brain’s hunger signals are answered with a dump of pure fruit-juice sugar. And don’t get any ideas—veggie-based cleanses aren’t any healthier.

The sweet stuff prompts the pancreas to squirt out insulin, which moves sugar—now in your blood in the form of glucose—into your cells.

After 30 minutes
As your cells suck up the glucose, your blood sugar level can start to plummet and you may feel dizzy.

Meanwhile, lacking enough calories, your body is operating off its supply of glycogen, a form of short-term energy stored in the liver and muscles.

After two days
With each shot of juice, your insulin levels skyrocket, then crash. Your glycogen stores are pretty much gone, leaving your tank on empty—and you feeling weak and listless.

Since you’re getting only about half the calories you need, your body draws on two long-term power sources: triglycerides, a type of energy stored in fat cells (woo-hoo!), and protein, taken straight from your muscles (oops). You begin to lose muscle mass, even if you’re still exercising every day.

After three days
Your brain is not happy. It enters into semi-starvation mode and gobbles ketones, fuel that comes from the breakdown of fat. Ketones work, but they’re like low-grade gasoline; as a result, you may feel unfocused or irritable. (Any “mental clarity” is likely due to a strong placebo effect.)

Sans a fresh protein infusion, your brain is also lacking amino acids, the raw materials that neurotransmitters need to maintain your mood. If you’re prone to depression, you may start feeling blue.

The proteins in your shrinking muscles break down into ammonia and uric acid, unwelcome chemicals that invade your bloodstream. Now your kidneys are busy detoxing your detox.

Stay near the bathroom: The juice’s high carbohydrate load causes a surfeit of water to enter the intestines. That extra H2O in your gut means you’re apt to get diarrhea.

After four days
With no food to digest, your small intestine feels ignored. Its villi—the rows of tiny fibers that move food elements into the blood—start to atrophy. Your diarrhea may get worse, leading to dehydration… and there goes your rosy glow.

On the eighth day
Solid food! But uh-oh—you’ve lost muscle. Even if you go back to your regular eating habits, you now have less muscle mass to burn those calories; instead, the calories are more likely to be turned into fat. (Hence, one reason yo-yo dieting makes it harder to lose weight: Your reduced muscle-to-fat ratio messes up your metabolism and makes calories much harder to work off.)

Very interesting! Basically you starve yourself to lose weight and end up losing muscle and lowering your metabolic rate in the end. NO THANKS.
I’ve been reading about a lot of other bloggers trying out cleanse diets that allow you to eat real food- and I think that sounds perfectly legit. But any “diet” that restricts your calories to a level of starvation just isn’t smart.
Hooray for another weekend! As you may know Friday night = pizza night in my house. I’m thinking goat cheese and spinach on an oat/buckwheat flour crust…
Have a great Friday!
Do you take any vitamins/supplements? Ever tried a cleanse diet?


30 Comments on “Supplements, (i)herb + cleanse diets”

  1. I need to try that maca root!
    I’ve seen a lot of that PB 2 in the blog world… low cal peanut butter??? I can’t even imagine… that would be like heaven!

    • Lauren says:

      You have to try it. It actually in powder form, and you add liquid (water or milk of your choice) until it reaches desired consistency. I go through it WAY too quickly.

  2. I read the same article and was also really happy to see it. I know quite a few people who do cleanses thinking they’re good for them and good for losing weight.

    Thanks for sharing something I had wanted to share myself! 🙂

  3. Is there any difference in PB2 and peanut flour? I’ve only tried PB flour (which I LOVE).

    Juice cleanses always seemed too extreme for me. I have to chew on something, and I need to protein or I’m sluggish.

    I’m interested to see how you like the maca capsules!

    • Lauren says:

      This particular flavor of PB2 tastes a lot different than peanut flour- it’s sweeter (and sorta chocolate-y). I think the plain PB2 is pretty much like regular peanut flour.
      I could do a juice cleanse- as long as I could eat well-balanced meals along with it! 🙂

  4. Corrie Anne says:

    Whoa. Thanks for posting that about the juice fast. I’ve always been a little curious.

    I LOVE PB2!! It’s really hard to find in stores in Denver for some reason. I should probably check out iherb!

  5. BeckyA says:

    Thanks for the discount code. I will have to explore the sight tonight!

    As for supplements, I currently take chlorella, maca, a blood builder, and flaxseed oil. I also toss in a vegan protein powder into my morning smoothies most days.

    I have been considering adding CLA (thanks for listing the benefits) and the PB flour sounds AMAZING!

    I started tracking my calories on myfitnesspal and didn’t realize how low my calorie intake had gone ( When on track with my eating its mostly veggies, some fruit, beans and seeds and limited whole grain carbs). Reading about what happens when you’re body is lacking calories is an eye opener!

    And being able to eat more calories feels like indulgence!! Can’t wait until I get Jackie’s book!

    • Lauren says:

      Tracking your calories really opens up your eyes. I was most interested to see how my calories actually broke down into fats, carbs and proteins!

  6. I’m SO over the latest diet or cleanse. No matter who it comes from (doctor or dietitian or blogger or what) It’s all totally bogus. ‘Nuff said.

    LOVE your stuff you got. I need a new protein powder, so tell me if you end up liking that one!

  7. I agree with everything you said about the cleanse. Most doctors advise against it as your body naturally ‘cleanses’ at all times. I would rather put my focus on eating well rounded healthy ‘whole food’ meals daily instead of going all out for a week and then back to bad habits.

    I don’t take any supplements or vitamins. I sometimes pop a fish oil, but I am bad at remembering. Honestly I am not sure where I stand on all that. I just try and eat super healthy and hope I get everything I need.

    • Lauren says:

      My version of a “detox” just means eating… pretty much what I always do. 🙂
      I’m not exactly sure where I stand on supplements, like if it REALLY makes a difference, but I think “it couldn’t hurt.”

  8. Love PB2! I ordered it all the time for awhile and then forgot about it. I will have to bust it out again soon!

  9. Stellina says:

    I’ve never tried PB2 but I do love Better’n’Peanut Butter! Does PB2 taste like the real stuff?
    I’ve never done a cleanse before! I kind of want to know, but I start to feel lightheaded if I don’t eat for 3 hours, let alone a few days! Ahhh!

    • Lauren says:

      I think that PB2 tastes more like peanut butter than Better ‘N Peanut butter does (for the record, I also love Better ‘n Peanut Butter).
      I’m a total b*tch when I’m hungry- I can’t imagine what I’d be like if I starved myself! I don’t want to find out!

  10. PB2 in smoothies is awesome! And I’m not a cleanse person, but lately, I’ve seen a lot that focus on super clean eating, and they’ve caught my attention. I like to think that if you make an effort to eat healthily most of the time, you’re ok!

  11. A new website to check out! I may be stuck inside for the next 24 hrs (snow storm) and could do some serious retail damage on iherb. I’ve never tried a cleanse–I think I’d pass out by 10am trying to survive on juice alone.
    Rishi Tea makes a ginger matcha tea. It’s a little spicy and very delicious.

  12. janetha says:

    look at all that loot! fun! i have done the isagenix cleanse before which = starving and it is not fun at all and i gained it all back. so lame. i read that same article on cleansing and had similar thoughts. i think a juice cleanse is a GOOD thing, as long as you still get nutrients. let me know how you like the mrm!

    • Lauren says:

      I like the MRM… but honestly, nothing tastes as good as Vega Vanilla Chai health optimizer. I made a smoothie today with a 1/2 scoop of each so that I could still get some of the whey protein benefits. I still like Jay Robb’s brand the best for whey protein (but MRM isn’t bad- and the nut. stats are great)

  13. Lee says:

    I’m interested in maca but have always been hesitant because of what I’ve heard it tastes like. I didn’t know it came in pill form though.

    I think I’m the only person in blog world who didn’t like PB2!

    • Lauren says:

      Maca tastes AWFUL. Don’t even try it- seriously worst taste ever. Blech. You can’t taste the pills at all though. 🙂
      I don’t think we can be friends if you don’t like PB2. Have you tried the flavor I got? It’s awesome!!!

  14. We learned about CLa in a few of my nutrition classes and that it doesn’t have the same afect on humans as it does with the animals they get all their research from. Either because animals get a much bigger hit from the same dose than we would or because they have slightly different metabolisms. Not sure, though..I wouldn’t take my work on it. It can’t hurt to take it after all!

    • Lauren says:

      Hmmm, that’s quite interesting. I’ve just heard that it’s good to take, so I do. I figure sooner or later it might have SOME little effect!

  15. Tiffany says:

    This is exactly why I dont shop online–I get sucked in, addicted and $300 later I have to pay my credit card bill!

    I love my gummy multivitamin that I take every day but unfortunately they are so good that I usually take more than I should! Other than that I take B-12 to help with energy. I never knew there is a green tea extract you can take, I drink too much of it so I dont have to worry about it 🙂

    • Lauren says:

      Oooh I want a gummy multi-vitamin! If you have a good brand, recommend it to me! I drink a cup of green tea every night, but figure a little extra won’t hurt.

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