Why Cleanse? (Part One)

I casually posted the result of my 9 day deep cleanse never guessing how many people would be curious about it. I have since tried to get back to people individually through email, ramp up my IsaGenix website and send out a few links but I decided this was the best way to include all the information, answer frequent questions, give my first hand experience, and include outside research as well as IsaGenix information. If the thought of a cleanse piqued your interest at all, then I would LOVE to talk to you one on one. I was skeptical at first too but have truly been amazed at the results. After all, this is the type of nutrition our body is supposed to experience--not caffeine, artificial sugars, processed meals and fast food.

1. Why Cleanse?
In laymen's terms, our body is exposed to toxins everyday--our shampoo, our cleaning supplies, our food, our furniture, even things we think are good for us like anti-aging face lotion. All of them have chemicals that our body is not meant to process. Because of this constant and overwhelming exposure to toxins, our liver is in overdrive and working around the clock. This can lead to weight gain, exhaustion, illness, etc. I watched Forks Over Knives earlier this year in which a physician explained that our liver holds on to toxins because it never has a chance to catch up. These toxins hold onto fat, especially around our organs and midsection. No matter how much we work out, we will never release this fat as long as the toxins are there. (This kind of flipped me out.)
If you want more information, then rent Forks Over Knives or watch this short clip (a little cheesy but full of good info).
Typically when you think of cleansing, people immediately think of colon cleanses, diuretics, and juicing. The problem with these is that you are not getting all the nutrients your body needs to function properly. Yes, you are ridding yourself of the bad without necessarily filling it back up with good. Certain cleanses can also lead to stomach problems, hypoglycemia, and dehydration. While juicing can be a healthy way to replace a meal, you still have the concern of pesticides on the fruits and vegetables if you do not have access to all organic. This is an excellent article on how our food absorbs these poisons and how it affects our bodies. (More on this later.)

2. Why did I seek out cleansing?
For a lot of reasons I talk about above. I've always loved studying nutrition. With this knowledge can come an almost paralysis though. I found myself often asking "What CAN I eat?" and trying to choose the lesser of the evils or just flat giving up and reaching for my child's goldfish. Having a child though I think gives you extra drive to really seek out what is best for them. That coupled with just always feeling tired, I knew I really wanted to reboot my diet. Being tired can send you grabbing for caffeine and sugar and I crave sugar! So really I did this cleanse with three goals in mind--more energy, reboot my eating habits, and break the cycle of sugar addiction.

3. What was my experience?
I ordered the 30 day system but completed the 9 day deep cleanse to get started. The first day I had a slight headache but nothing major. Almost immediately, I experienced an increase in energy. Here is what I noticed:
- Increase in energy as well as an easier time getting up in the morning. (I am notorious for hitting snooze and I found myself waking up before my alarm!)
- Clearer skin by day 4. My sister was actually the one to point this out.
- Faster recovery from workouts. I take two pretty intense back to back classes on Mondays and always wake up Tuesdays barely able to walk. Since using these products, I wake up much more hydrated, still sore but with the strength to move easily--not a creaky, old lady feel.
- Lost 5 lbs and 6 in. This was a bonus I did not expect. What was different from other times I've lost weight was that I didn't look frail but more lean. And I actually had visible stomach muscles for the first time in 4 years. No more "mummy tummy"--that lovely pooch that hangs out after having a baby.
- I really never felt shaky, hungry or craved sugar. Sure I was ready to eat by the time meals rolled around but I did not have a growling stomach. 
- Did I mention I didn't crave sugar? I have never done a cleanse or fasted or changed my diet where I didn't feel like downing a box of Mike and Ikes at any point in the day. I found the shakes to be satisfying and the protein/carb/fat ratio left me full and satisfied.
I am sure there are other benefits that I am not thinking of but these were the main noticeable differences I personally experienced.

4. Why did I chose this over other options?
- I've tried juicing before. Don't get me wrong--drinking straight fruits and vegetables is excellent for you but unless you can buy all organic and have the time to juice every meal and clean up and drink it all before going bad--I don't have time to do that consistently. That is just me-- a lot of people love doing this and I applaud them for it!
- Some friends have asked about doing Atkins or low carb to loose weight. These diets consist of a lot of meat eating which can lead to higher cholesterol. You still have the concern of buying organic and worrying about the growth hormones and antibiotics in your meat and cheese. And I really do not like meat enough. 
- What about other protein shakes and meal bars? I looked and looked at Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Fresh Market trying to find a way to recreate the IsaGenix plan at home. After comparing what I had just finished, I could not find an equal product that had low fat, high protein, low glycemic index, all natural, plus no GMOs at a store. You can see comparison between the shakes and meal bars here and here.

5. Look at the products.
The shakes are gluten free, no GMO, organic whey protein from New Zealand (their standards are higher than our USDA), all natural, no artificial stimulants. Once you email me, I can send you specific attachments on products. 

Really there is something for everyone! It has nothing to do with weight or athleticism. We can all benefit from higher standards of nutrition (especially in our country). So whether you are an athlete, trying to fit into a wedding dress, hoping for more energy, wanting to assess your current eating habits; if any of this has interested you, please give me a call at 843-566-4391 or shoot an email to laurendasher(at)hotmail(dot)com. If you are local, let me know if you would like to come by for a taste test and further discussion. It can take as long or as short as you like. I would love to talk to you more specifically about what you are hoping to gain or loose by doing a cleanse. If you have already researched this, I can also get you signed up right away. No pressure though--after spending most of my working years at the ADA and selling insulin; I really just love talking about this and have such a passion for preventing long term disease and health decline. Don't think calling means you have to purchase--I really just want to get everyone thinking about our habits and what we are passing on to our kids.

Thanks so much for your time and interest! I appreciate you taking the time to look over all this info.

All the Best,



1,050 Miles (a recap of our Southern Tour)

Loulie and I finally returned from our trip late Friday night. It really was such a fun time together that I didn't even notice how exhausted I was until I fell asleep sitting up yesterday afternoon. What can I say?--traveling alone with a three year old, no matter how much fun, can wear you down. Here is a little recap of our 1000 mile trek.

MILE 265
We ended up stopping in Macon Friday night on our way to Newnan. It was kind of hilarious leaving Charleston on Friday before the 4th. We were the one lone car pulling onto 17 while the opposite lanes were at a standstill with cars pouring in for the holiday. But that is how we like it--get out of town on the busy weekend and out of Bert's hair for his most daunting work week of the year. Not far into our trip, we were hit with a monsoon like thunderstorm. After about the third stop for Loulie to take a break, my sister in law called and offered for us to take a little detour to stay with them. It worked out perfect--we were able to have dinner with them and see my nephew, William who even as a teenager is about the sweetest kid I know. He spent hours playing with Loulie and helped her build quite an impressive Lego replica of an ice house.
MILE 355
After one sleepless night, we packed up again to go to the 3rd annual family day at my college friend's farm in Newnan, GA. You want to talk about a beautiful spot--Heavenly Hollow basically speaks for itself. My friend and her husband are THE most gracious hosts you've ever met and invite all of our college friends and their families down once a year for a full day of swimming, fishing, hay rides, jump castles and grilling. It is like Disney for the kids and such a great opportunity for us to catch up. It has been over a year or more since seeing some of my college friends so getting to spend this time with them and their families was precious. It went by waaay to fast but I'm hoping this is a tradition we will keep up over the years. As we were pulling out, Loulie said, "Man, that was a good time there." I think this little Charleston girl liked her taste of the country. 
Loulie kept saying over and over "Mom, I really like our new friends." And each time I would say, "Loulie, these are my oldest friends." I don't know why but that just cracked my up. And it makes my heart practically explode to see our kids making memories together...
MILE 395
You don't just drive 300 miles, pass through Atlanta and not stop. So we planned on stopping by Atlantic Station to have a little lunch, walk through IKEA and hit up a few of my favorite stores. It was nice and calm on a Sunday morning and Loulie was a trooper. It's funny how we get used to certain things living in a flat coastal town. The one thing Loulie was fascinated by in Atlanta?--underground parking and escalators! After thinking about it, you really don't see either where we live. It also goes to show it doesn't take much to impress a three year old--it's all exciting!
MILE 609
We finally made it to Knoxville, where we spent the majority of our vacation. My mother's sister joined us for the first two days which was a nice surprise and made for some totally hilarious moments. It reminded me of when I was a kid and we used to do everything with my aunts and cousins. 
We decided to spend out first day there out on the river since it was such pretty weather. Not tn minutes before our float down the river did the sky fall out with freezing cold rain. Loulie reenacted Dakota Fanning's scream from War of the Worlds. I really think windows broke in some mountain houses. I don't really blame her--I kind of wanted to scream too if I hadn't been laughing so hard at out luck. We made it up to her with ice cream from this new little spot in Townsend. It is an old train car--you order at the conductor's window and then go to the back of the car where they open a door to hand you your food. Super cute and I would think a big hit with little boys. 
Most days we spent taking long walks, shopping cute stores around Knoxville and hanging out with my parents. We did try the best lunch spot, The Plaid Apron. All the food was locally grown with original entrees. I splurged on probably the best french vanilla macaroon I have ever tasted. 
For the fourth, we got to be a part of the Forest Brook 50th July 4th Celebration. Seriously, the cutest, most wholesome all-American July 4th you can imagine. My parents have been so lucky to have moved into this area and been surrounded by such nice people. Loulie and I have more fun each year. I actually got to attend the adult party this year while the most mature 11 year walked over to watch Loulie. I kept begging her to come back to Charleston with us. Louie participated in the parade on her own this year and despite a little crash at the end, was so proud of herself and her decorations. We left the picnic twice only for her to decide that she didn't want to miss out and headed back to the party. My mom and dad finally made her go home at dark. 

MILE 841
Unfortunately, we had to leave my parents Friday morning. What was already going to be a long and painful drive in vacation traffic became a little longer when I missed my exit ramp in Asheville and drove to Charlotte instead. Our stop here was brief--long enough for me to silently cuss my GPS, buy Loulie and ice cream and contemplate getting a hotel room. 

MILE 1050
In the long run, I decided that unpacking the car again would be more than I could handle so we crossed the entire state of SC to finally arrive home late Friday night. Saturday we celebrated being home by staying close to the water and cool breeze and taking a long walk downtown. It was the perfect family day. It feels good to be home.