time to talk about poop again.
or lack thereof, i suppose.
first, i want to tell you about the cleanse i started on monday. it is called zrii.
this is marketed as a weight loss product, but it also claims to be beneficial in other aspects of life: to increase energy, clear up your complexion, increase your sense of well-being, reduce addiction to habit-forming foods (like caffeine, sugar, and alcohol), and to achieve more efficient and effective digestion. BAM. there’s the reason i am trying it.. because my digestion right now is anything but efficient and effective. i will try anything once.
there are four parts to zrii:
- purify 7-day cleanse
- achieve meal replacement shake
- accell metabolism support
- zrii amalaki juice
i heard about this line of products from my mom, who has done the 7 day cleanse and now just drinks the juice. my sister, suni, has also done the 7 day cleanse and uses the products daily. my mom said the cleanse made her feel great and her mind was more clear. she lost a few pounds. my sister raves about zrii. the cleanse made her lose around 7 pounds and her depression has subsided and her energy has skyrocketed. both my mom and sister told me that the cleanse really cleaned them out.. if you know what i mean. while i don’t have a desire to lose weight, i do have the desire to clean out my pipes and digest food like a normal person.. so i thought i would give this zrii thing a shot.
while the company suggests you use all these products while cleansing (and afterward to maintain), the main part of the cleanse is the purify line of products. there are three components to the 7 day cleanse:
- fiber powder
the pills are taken first thing in the morning (4 pills) and right before bed (2 pills.)
from the website:
AM Detox – Jump-starts the purification of the body’s tissues each day. Removes toxins from the circulatory system and vital organs.
PM Detox – Promotes elimination of waste material. Cleanses and improves digestive tract function.
the fiber powder tastes absolutely horrible (but comes in a lovely orange flavor!)
from the website:
Fiber – Gentle yet powerful elimination of toxins. Binds to impurities and creates gentle scrubbing action in digestive tract.
the fiber powder is to be mixed into water and you drink it with breakfast and dinner. each serving is 55 calories, 17 grams of carbs, and a whopping 12 grams of fiber. times that by two and you’ve got 24 grams of fiber in your day. it’s not a pleasant way to get fiber, but it definitely is a way. i still think that getting fiber from food, not supplements, is the way to go.. but like i said, i will try anything once.
the oil is also taken with breakfast and dinner—it doesn’t taste nearly as bad as the fiber. it says the flavor is lemon.. i am skeptical.
from the website:
Detox Oil – Removes impurities from fat cells. Separates impurities from tissues. Lubricates the channels of the body. Facilitates waste removal.
i would compare this to olive oil spiked with lemon extract. it contains 135 calories per tablespoon which all come from fat. and like the website says, it is taken to “help move things along” after that huge dose of fiber.
so those are the cleansing components. the company suggests the following during the 7-day cleanse.
from the website:
What to eat.
- Eat mostly plant-based diet while on the PURIFY System.
- Achieve Weight Loss Shakes
- Fresh fruits and vegetables (organic is best)
- Eat lots of green veggies
- Juicing fruits and vegetables is great
- Choose whole grains like quinoa and brown rice (avoid bread if possible)
- Raw nuts, beans and lentils
- Lean proteins – fish, white meat, legumes and soybeans
What NOT to eat.
- Processed foods – chips, cookies, crackers, candies and frozen meals
- Fast food – which isn’t real food anyway…
- Heavy fats including butter and cheese
- Fatty meats & deep fried foods
- “White foods” – sugar, flour, white rice, bread products, shortening
What to drink.
- Of course, drink Zrii! Drink plenty of water every day – we suggest at least six 8-oz. glasses. You may also drink herbal, non-caffeinated teas while on Zrii Purify. Avoid alcohol, soda and caffeine.
How to exercise.
- 20-30 minutes of light to moderate exercise each day. It is important to move around every day because this movement helps flush toxins out of your system.
Get some sleep.
- Go to bed early and aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
- Take time out each day to do something restful: take a hot bath, read a good book, or write in a journal. This is a time to let your body rest and rejuvenate.
so basically.. eat clean, drink water, get some exercise in, get enough sleep, and don’t forget to take a load off. pretty standard principles. it is a basic, straightforward cleanse and you still get to eat food. that’s appealing.
of course, they want you to use their other three products while cleansing.
they suggest you use their protein powder to replace two meals a day. i have been using it to replace just one meal and then have been eating two meals and one snack each day. i have also been having my blended juice each morning with the fiber and oil supplements.
the meal replacement powder is a blend of pea and whey protein with a whole bunch of other ingredients (you can read them here). i have been mixing the powder with almond milk, peanut butter, half a banana, and ice. it tastes good, but it doesn’t have stellar stats like some of my favorite protein powders do. each serving is 110 calories, 18g protein, 12g carbs, 1g fat and 7g fiber. if i was to check this powder out at the store, i probably wouldn’t buy it. but it does taste good and the ingredient list isn’t bad.. plus, more fiber! so i have been using it this week with the purify cleanse.
accell snack packs.
they say to mix the accell in water and drink this instead of having a snack. it is said to boost metabolism, improve digestion, and relieve stress. but to be completely honest, when i wanted a snack.. i just had a snack. i do plan to try the accell out at least a few times before the 7 days are up.. but i don’t think having a healthy snack is a bad thing so i have done that instead of replacing a snack with accell. plus, i am not in this for weight loss. BUT.. it does say it helps with digestion, so i should give it a go, right? right. good talk.
they recommend you drink the juice while on the cleanse—1 to 3 ounces daily. when i remember, i will take a swig from the bottle. it tastes good, but i have no idea if it is doing anything for me.
so there’s the cleanse and product line in a nutshell. i paid $300 for the whole she-bang because i wanted to give it my all. it’s one of those pyramid, multi-level marketing things.. so of course if you sign up as an “independent executive”, you get a better deal. it’s free to sign up as an IE, so i did just that. the products i bought would have been $375 if purchased at full retail price.. so the savings isn’t huge, but it’s something.
i am not into the multi-level marketing scheme and i am not trying to go out and sell this stuff, i just wanted to try it to see if it helps my guts. but, since i did sign up to be an IE, they gave me a website where people can read about the product and shop. i honestly don’t want to be a salesperson for this stuff, but i have linked the website in this post because it contains a lot of useful information to those who are looking to try zrii. if you do want to try it, i can put you in contact with someone who will be happy to tell you more about it.. but i am really not a sales person and would rather not try to pitch you some marketing shpill.
okay, now that that is out of the way.. should we talk about how the cleanse is working? okay.
monday: day 1.
i started the cleanse monday morning. i still had my blended juice, probiotic, and digestive enzyme as i have been doing. i didn’t have coffee. i felt fine for most of the day. i didn’t have any more or less energy due to the cleanse. but around 4 o’clock i started getting very bloated. by the end of the night, i was huge. my whole midsection was so distended! more than it ever has been in the past, in fact. the strange thing was that there was zero pain. usually when i am extremely distended, i have quite a bit of pain to go along with the bloating.. but not on monday. i physically felt fine—no pain—but i was very gassy and bloated but couldn’t pass any of the gas or eliminate. i still took the fiber and oil with dinner (we had chicken, quinoa, and asparagus) and the pills before bed. pretty sure this was my body’s reaction to a whole shitload of fiber supplements in the powder and the protein meal replacement and then i ate food and drank juice with fiber on top of that.
tuesday: day 2.
i woke up still gassy and bloated, but not nearly as bad as how i’d gone to bed! i repeated all the steps of the cleanse. i was gassy all day, but again couldn’t really pass the gas and just was bloated. i know the purify supplements were trying to do their job and clean me out, but my body wasn’t allowing me to let anything out. hmmm. i carried on and did everything i was supposed to. i had the most delicious broiled corvina with a honey wine vinegar reduction for dinner.. but that has nothing to do with the cleanse. it was just really good and i thought i’d share.
i ate the fish alongside a baked sweet potato with chobani and some steamed asparagus. we are loving asparagus right now! it’s in season.
anyway, i went to bed not nearly as bloated as monday night. i felt fine, but i didn’t feel any different than every other night of the week. also, the cleanse wasn’t making me poop.
wednesday: day 3.
another day, another nasty morning fiber drink. it took me awhile to choke the fiber and oil down, actually.. if i sip on it, it takes forever. i have found i just have to chug it in one sitting and just get the job done. again, i didn’t feel any different or better.. but i was able to poop after work finally. definitely not as much as i should have (this is so weird to type about, you guys!) but hey, it was something. i went to bed last night with no pain, but i felt VERY, VERY full for some reason. i didn’t even eat a legit dinner, i had just snacked all night on things like crackers & cottage cheese, trail mix, a bagel with PB&J, and some milk. not sure why i felt sooo fullll.. but i did.
thursday: day 4.
today has been different than all the other days. why? because i was in a LOT of pain. the pain hit at about 2 PM and it is now 9 PM and my belly still aches. not as bad as this afternoon, but a dull ache is definitely present. my stomach is pretty distended but not as bad as monday. i am at a loss as to why i am in pain today but wasn’t any of the other days. i haven’t changed any of my regular foods that i eat, and it is the fourth day of taking the purify supplements.. and they didn’t cause pain the first three days. i am seriously stumped as to why i am in pain today, but i am.. and that’s that.
i am planning to follow through with the full 7 day cleanse, but honestly i am not sure it is doing anything for me. it may be a great weight loss product and it may be awesome for digestion for NORMAL people.. but i am anything but normal when it comes to digestion. the products do have a 30 day money back guarantee.. so i am thinking i might have to cash that in if i really see no changes in how i feel.
which brings me to my possible breakthrough.
deep down, i have never thought that my issues have to do with what i am eating. i have had the same problems with bloating, pain, and constipation for years and years and YEARS. i have eaten lots of ways through the years.. the fast food diet, the beer diet, body for life, low carb, and now just clean eating. no matter what i eat, i still have issues. there is no rhyme or reason to the issues and i don’t think they are related to food. after my many, many, MANY hospital tests, my GI doctor confirmed that i have no food allergies, but i do have a mild case of colon inertia, or a lazy colon. he suggested surgery and/or several medications, but i am confident that i can find a solution without going under the knife or relying on pills for the rest of my life.
i started seeking solutions in other avenues, like colon hydrotherapy and changing up my diet, but i haven’t found a solution yet. i have a reader, niki, who has been nothing but amazing since i started rambling about my gut back in september. she had a lot of similar symptoms that i have been dealing with and has given me a lot of information about how she figured out her problem and found a solution. niki kept bringing up something called motility testing—specifically, an anorectal manometry test. this is where your muscles are tested to see if you have the natural reflexes for normal bowel movements (which i clearly do not!) you can click the link if you care to read more about the test.
niki went to the mayo clinic in minnesota where she was diagnosed and treated. in a nutshell, she went through therapy and used biofeedback to retrain her muscles. i had never even HEARD of a manometry test, biofeedback, or pelvic floor therapy. once i started looking into it, i saw that chronic UTIs were also a symptom of these muscular disorders.. something i have dealt with since i was a little girl. i went to several urologists over the years and they could never pinpoint my issue and said it had nothing to do with my urine. but the fact that it could have everything to do with the way my muscles function makes TOTAL sense! my body doesn’t eliminate (urine or stool) when it is supposed to.. and it’s been this way for the majority of my life. and things are just getting worse as time goes on.
SO. the next step? i need to get this anorectal manometry test. my awesome sister, marisa, is a google sleuth extraordinaire and found a couple doctors who can do it here in utah (AND are on my insurance, score!) so i am going to try to get into one of them ASAP. i talked to my GI and he is trying to get me into one of them sooner rather than later.
if this is the solution to my problems, then i cannot wait to find out. my gut tells me (hah—literally and figuratively!) that this really could be what my problem is. i kind of want to cry and jump for joy at the same time because if i didn’t have this blog (and if i didn’t open up and ramble about my poop habits) then i would NEVER have known about this possibility. in addition to the wonderful niki, i have had a few people email me about motility issues and raise my awareness about possibly treating the issues with biofeedback and therapy. this is not something my doctor EVER mentioned to me.
so, again, thank you all for your helpful advice! i know, this has been another rambling post, so if you made it this far.. thanks for reading.
i promise to try to have some lighter posts soon. i know most of you don’t care to read about my GI issues, but for the select few that do.. i think it’s important to get the word out. especially right now, when someone else could need to read exactly what i have just written.
friday tomorrow! yippee!
xo. janetha g.