Full Review: Be Well CleanseAngela | November 12, 2012
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was about to embark on a two-week wellness cleanse called “Be Well” by Dr. Frank Lipton.
I have reviewed cleanses in the past, but never a cleanse that requires you purchase more of a “system,” and never something that lasted for more than a couple days. Two weeks is a long time to commit to anything, much less a fairly strict eating routine, but I was game. I can be iron-willed when I put my mind to something, so I wasn’t too concerned about the length of the commitment.
Since I figured out I have a mild to moderate (depending on who you ask) hypothyroid condition, I have been reading a lot and trying to sort out my plan to address it in the most logical way. I think most folks would go straight onto a hormone replacement like Synthroid – and that makes the most sense for a lot of people. But, since I am sort of on the cusp of needing treatment, I decided to try my odds with diet and exercise first. This is not to say I’m ruling out Western medicine – I’m just trying to see if I can make some lifestyle changes first and maybe not need the medicine. This cleanse was step one in my self-experimentation project.
So, with that lead up over with, let’s get into the nuts and bolts of this cleanse. It should be noted that I have no affiliation with Dr. Lipton, nor was I provided any discount or free product. I did my research, decided on this cleanse, and purchased it.
What it Is: A 14-day eating and supplement plan designed to provide targeted nutrients to energize the detox organs, boosting your body’s natural ability to heal.
What You Get:
The photo above is very representative of exactly what you get – it’s quite a lot of stuff.
- 14 days’ worth of protein shake packets (you drink 3 per day)
- 14 days’ worth of digestive enzymes and herbal supplements
- A bottle of L-Glutamine (90 capsules)
- A Blender Bottle (I love Blender Bottles! They are BPA-free.)
- An “Instruction Manual” with a shopping list (note, the shopping list is more like an allowed foods list, you don’t have to buy everything on the list)
- Access to online information and cleanse-ready recipes
Cost: $199 US with Free Shipping. This breaks down to about $14.25/day, but you also need to buy food, which will likely cost you less than usual because you are not buying any pre-packaged foods
What You Do:
- Drink a protein shake in the early morning, mid-morning, and mid-afternoon. I found it tasted best with Zico coconut water, but is completely palatable with just plain water. There is a provision for how to mix it with fruit to improve the taste even further.
- Eat a lunch that fills you up, from the approved foods list (AKA Shopping List), along with the supplements
- Eat a dinner that fills you up, from the approved foods list, along with the supplements
- Exercise lightly – yoga and walking are great choices
- Drink plenty of water to help flush your system
- The L-Glutamine is included to help curb sugar cravings in between meals. I didn’t feel the need to use it, so after the first couple days, I stopped.
That’s it. Honestly, it is a fairly simple and straightforward system that is laid out and explained very well. The food is not crazy at all and can be found at just about any supermarket. Though I chose to buy mostly organic produce, that is not a requirement.
A side note: When I told 2Chili I would be doing this cleanse, his reaction was probably what you might be thinking, “Oh, does that mean you’ll be in the bathroom for two weeks?” This isn’t that kind of cleanse. It will definitely help your system operate more efficiently, but you will not be chained to the Loo. Not one bit.
How it Went for Me:
If I can do this, ANYONE can do this. We currently have no kitchen due to our ongoing remodel. This means I really had to plan ahead, and due to our dorm-sized fridge, shop a little more frequently for fresh food.
I made my meals and stored them in re-usable containers, and took those with me wherever 2Chili wanted to eat. It sounds odd, but it worked out well. I took the containers to work to wash them (really) because the only sink we have is a bathroom sink, and I am not so much on mixing food and bathroom sinks.
This turned out to be more of a raw food cleanse for me, though the recipes include a variety of cooked dishes to suit any taste or eating preference.
Though I regularly eat fairly healthfully with a lot of fruits and veggies, and had what I thought was a small caffeine dependency, the first day was very, very hard. It turns out I had more of a caffeine dependency than I thought! I had a decent headache for most of the afternoon and evening, and felt nauseous for a good chunk of that time as well.
The second day was marginally better, the third day was significantly better, and by the fourth day, I felt great! Not coincidentally, this aligned almost exactly with what the literature said to expect.
Each day became easier than the last, and I really had no urge to “cheat” and eat forbidden foods. After all, what would be the point in that, after shelling out two hundred bucks on a cleanse? I wanted to get the most bang for my buck, and that meant following the program to a T.
- You eat REAL food and the point is to feel nourished and satisfied, not like you are punishing yourself or starving
- Very easy to follow, with ample direction on what to do/how to do it/when to do it
- Developed by a medical doctor with desires to help people heal from the inside out, not necessarily by medicating – everything is very high quality
- Convenient and non-disruptive to other members of your family – the recipes are suitable for anyone, no need to make special meals just for yourself
- The system is expensive! $200 is quite a chunk of change – you could probably mimic it for less cash.
- The protein powder comes in these pre-portioned packets, so there is quite a bit of waste, and, the powder seems to “fluff up” when you pour it, making it easy to make a small mess
Overall, I am very pleased with this cleanse and its results. The great results could be for a lot of reasons, so I will slowly start re-introducing things like gluten to see if I have sensitivities I didn’t know about. That is one of the points of the cleanse – reset your system so you can see what common allergens affect you.
I am feeling very balance as a result of this cleanse. In fact, I feel so good and re-energized that I intend to keep eating this way for the foreseeable future (especially until we get a kitchen back). We are not made of money, so instead of the Be Well protein shakes in the morning, I’ll likely swap out for Vega One, Amazing Grass Amazing Meal, or some other quality protein powder shake, and keep everything else pretty much the same.
For what it’s worth, I had no trouble meeting daily RDAs of any of the nutrients tracked in MyFitnessPal during this cleanse, including calcium and iron – and this was from eating completely plant-based and almost raw! Eat the rainbow, as they say.
While Dr. Lipman recommends only light exercise during the cleanse, I kept up with my normal off-season triathlon training – running, biking, and lifting weights – and I really seemed to recover much faster than ever before. It was kind of spooky how fast I was bouncing back and ready to hit the gym again. This is 100% attributable to having a spot-on diet.
Would I do it again? Absolutely. I don’t think I would pay $200 again for the whole kit-n-caboodle, but the principles are something that will stick with me for sure.
Have you ever tried this cleanse? Are you thinking about embarking on a 2-week cleanse? Tell us how it went!