The post-holiday 9-day recovery cleanse

The holiday season: the phrase is synonymous with overindulgence. We eat a little too much, drink a little too much, and have a little too much fun. Really, it’s what this time of year is all about.

As we recover from the holiday hangover, however, we start to set our sights on the new year and make our resolutions. For many of us, they’re going to be health related (sign-ups for gym memberships skyrocket this time of year): some of us want to get back into the gym and some want to eat better. Nevertheless, we all want to be healthier.

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How do we kick off 2018 and put our best foot forward for the year? I recommend a cleanse.

I’ve covered this topic before in an earlier post (you can check that out here).

With this post I’ll tell you why a 9-day cleanse is the perfect way to start off your new year and how to execute a good cleanse (using an example).

The What and Why of a cleanse

Before you start planning your New Year’s cleanse, you should first know what a cleanse is and why it’s going to benefit you. So, I’ll briefly take you through that here.

A cleanse is a type of nutritionally supported fast. In other words, you cut out all extra crap from your diet for a short period of time. This break allows your body to re-energize, it supports good health, and it promotes healthy weight management. After the cleanse is over, you return to a normal diet – the healthier your normal diet after the cleanse the more long term you’ll experience.

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The overall goal of a cleanse: significantly limit calories for up to two consecutive days per week while receiving nourishment from a cleanse day snack option.

For people who are familiar with cleansing, it’s not all that complicated. If you are new to it, however, it can be an adjustment.

It’s important to remember that cleansing is not about starving yourself: cleansing is about letting your body rest, recharge, and recuperate.

That covers the what. The why?

Cleanses like the one I’m going to be talking about shortly have been shown to benefit the body in four important ways compared to a standard “heart-healthy” diet:

  • 56% greater reduction in body weight
  • 47% greater reduction in body fat
  • 2X more reduction of visceral fat (fat that’s stored further underneath the skin than belly fat)
  • 35% greater reduction in oxidative stress (a form of stress caused by reactive oxygen species that can damage cellular machinery and disrupt function)

Try tell me that’s not an exciting, inspiring reason to start your new year off with a cleanse.

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Now that you’re pumped to start a cleanse, there’s just one thing left to get to: the nuts and bolts, or the ‘how to.’

How to do a 9-day cleanse

Step 1

Get your cleanse day nutrition. There are a lot of different options on the market; you want to choose one with meal replacement shakes, supplements, snacks, and a well put together guide. A company like Isagenix puts together a really good, well-rounded package (the rest of the article will use their 9-day cleanse system as an example).

Step 2

Two days of pre-cleansing. Before you start the actual cleanse, you want to prepare you body first.

With the Isagenix system, this includes taking 1 to 2 oz of the “Ionix Supreme” supplement and replacing two of your meals with an “IsaLean” meal replacement shake – I’ve seen the best results replacing breakfast and dinner.

For lunch, have something healthy, high fiber, and low fat that’s approximately 400 to 600 calories.

Repeat this routine for two days.

Step 3

Now you’re ready to start the actual cleanse; this is day one of the nine-day schedule.

Day’s one and two are your cleanse days. On these days you drink 4 oz. of “Cleanse for Life” four times a day. You can also eat up to six of the supplied Isagenix snacks. These snacks will help keep you feeling full throughout the day: they’ll also help control your blood sugar and cravings.

Starting on day one, and continuing for the entirety of the cleanse, take the “Natural Accelerator” capsule twice a day – one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

Again, two days in a row of this.

Step 4

Now we’re into days three to seven of the nine-day schedule. Similar to the two pre-cleansing days, replace breakfast and dinner with “IsaLean” meal replacement shakes and have a 400-600 calorie lunch.

On days three to seven you can also satiate any hunger you may feel by having up to six Isagenix snacks.

Step 5

Do two more cleanse days just like Step 3 on days eight and nine.

Things to remember to do throughout the 9-day cleanse

For the nine days that you’re on the cleanse, exercise for at least 20 minutes per day (do cardio centered activities like swimming, hiking, cycling, and jogging).

Drink plenty of water: aim for about three liters. Water helps dilute impurities as they are removed from your body and it helps prevent constipation.

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Kicking off 2018 with a cleanse is the perfect way to get yourself feeling great right out of the gate. And if you feel good, it makes your other health related goals that much easier to achieve.

Isagenix’s 9-day cleanse is just one of the options out there. Please contact me to learn more; I’d love to help you out.

Have you tried a cleanse before? Let me know what you used and how it worked for you in the comments and be sure to follow Healthy Wheys on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. That way you’ll get instant updates about new content on the site.


Meal replacement shakes – your best option for weight loss and weight management

If there is one universal truth in the weight loss and weight management industry, it’s this: Nutrition is key.

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It doesn’t matter how hard you work out, how many hours you spend in the gym, or how many calories you burn at spin class, you won’t get the results you’re after without proper diet and nutrition.

Another truth: Nutrition is often the biggest struggle. Most of us don’t get enough fruits and veggies as it is. Never mind trying to do so when you’re cutting calories.

And when you’re cutting calories and not getting enough nutrients, good luck feeling full and satisfied. You’re going to feel hungry all the time. And then you start snacking blowing all of your efforts to hell.

If this sounds at all like you, meal replacement shakes might be exactly what you have been looking for.

They work for a lot of people.

Read on to learn the differences between meal replacement shakes and protein shakes, how meal replacement shakes compare to heart healthy diets for weight loss and weight management, and how to get the most out of meal replacement shakes.

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What’s the difference between meal replacement shakes and protein shakes?

The difference between the two is quite simple, but very important.

Protein shakes are formulated to supplement your protein intake. Meal replacement shakes are designed to replace entire meals.

Protein shakes contain little to no carbohydrates, fat, or other essential nutrients. They are also low in calories.

Meal replacement shakes, on the other hand, have a wide range of essential nutrients, are rich in proteins, and contain carbohydrates. They have everything you need to replace a meal.

For weight loss, meal replacement shakes outperform a regular “heart healthy” diet

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A study conducted in 2014 by Dr. Krista Varady of the University of Illinois at Chicago of Applied Sciences did a direct comparison of meal replacement shakes versus whole food. Each was combined with a dietary plan of caloric restriction and intermittent fasting. The results of the study were published in Journal Nutrition.

The study consisted of two phases. The first phase was a two-week maintenance period. The second was an eight-week weight loss period.

The results of the study were astounding.

The participants drinking the meal replacement shakes lost more body weight, more fat mass, and more visceral fat than the group that did not.

Meal replacement shakes also decreased a lot of factors associated with coronary heart disease. Low density lipoprotein (LDL) and total cholesterol levels went down. And so did heart rate, insulin, and homocysteine levels.

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The results of the study highlight a few things.

1) A quality meal replacement shake is essential

For optimal weight maintenance or weight loss you need a meal replacement shake that is going to give you everything you need.

That means the shake has:

If you’re skimping out on these things regularly you’re going to experience adverse health effects and you’ll constantly be hungry.

Some meal replacement shakes on the market are very high in sugar and use various mixtures of artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners.

You don’t want these ones.

Too much sugar can urge you to eat more because of rapid spikes and drops in blood sugar. It kind of defeats the purpose of using meal replacement shakes to lose weight or maintain weight in the first place.

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  • Good protein sources

High-quality proteins are highly digestible and contain all the essential amino acids your body needs to build and maintain muscle. This is critical, especially if you’re training and exercising.

2) There is no substitute for planning

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A major reason why the study conducted by Dr. Varady was such a success is because of the regimented dietary schedule.

Meal replacement shakes are part of the equation. Not the whole answer.

In this study, the shakes were used in combination with calorie restriction and intermittent fasting.

Both experimental groups consumed a calorie restricted diet for the first 6 days of the weight loss phase. On the 7th day, they fasted.

There are many ways to combine intermittent fasting and calorie restriction. This is just one. Contact me and I can tell you more.

3) Ease of use is huge

Meal replacement shakes work in part because of the convenience factor they are associated with. They fit really well into the fast-paced, busy lifestyles most of us have these days.

During the course of the study, Dr. Varady noticed many of the participants enjoyed the meal replacement supplements because of their convenience.

The prep is minimal, cleanup is virtually non-existent, and you can be confident knowing you’re supplying your body with everything that it needs while also cutting excess calories out of your diet.

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As Dr. Varady said, “If a diet is hard to do, people aren’t going to do it for very long.”


In a lot of cases, meal replacement shakes are healthy alternatives to satisfying your appetite with junk food. And they’re a lot better than skipping a meal altogether.

Whether your find yourself too busy to sit down and have a real lunch or you’re looking for a good weight loss solution, a meal replacement shake is a good option. You don’t have to worry about nutrients and caloric intake, you can just down a shake that will satiate your hunger and you know contains everything you need to fuel your body and help you get, or stay, lean.

Let me know what you think about meal replacement shakes in the comments.

If you’d like to know more, please contact me, I’d love to help you out.

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Pre-workout supplements: What you want and what to avoid

There’s no better feeling than the one you get after a good workout.

Your emotions are running high, stress is low, you’re on top of the world.

But, maybe you find yourself in a bit of a rut right now.

Either you’re up early, out of bed before the sun rises or you’re getting there after a long day of work. Sometimes it feels like there just isn’t enough motivation in the world.

And getting to the gym is only half the battle. Real progress is only made when your workout is intense and long enough.

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To break yourself out of a rut or to make sure you get the best bang for your buck when you are in the gym, a pre-workout supplement could be the answer you’re looking for.

A pre-workout supplement will help you up your intensity and grind out a difficult workout. It could help you get you the gains you want.

Where do you start? What separates the good from the bad? What ingredients do you want in your pre-workout and which ones do you want to avoid at all costs?

I’ve got you covered. Read on and find out everything you need to know.

What are pre-workout supplements?

Pre-workout supplements are supplements taken before you exercise. That’s really all they have in common.

The ingredients in each one can vary quite a bit depending on the brand.

Pre-workout supplements generally claim to increase:

  • Energy
  • Strength
  • Endurance
  • Lean muscle gains

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But, not all of them can effectively do this.

What you want your pre-workout to have

Ingredients that prime the mind for exercise

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Your mind is your most powerful ally when it comes to a good performance in the gym. It can also be your biggest enemy.

You want a pre-workout supplement that gets you in the right mind space to crush it.

Pre-workout supplements can help you get there by priming your brain for increased mental focus and activity. Supplements that do this have a moderate amount of caffeine in them.

Caffeine before exercise has been shown to increase overall performance, make the workout seem easier, and make it more enjoyable.

I say moderate amounts of caffeine because there are some pre-workout supplements on the market that contain way too much. These ones, which I can tell you from firsthand experience, leave you with the jitters and battling a major energy crash.

Ingredients that prime the body for stress and recovery

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Alongside ingredients that prime the mind for exercise, good pre-workout supplements also prime the body to withstand the stresses of exercise and to recover from it.

I’m talking adaptogens, creatine monohydrate, Nitrosigine, and citrulline.

For more on adaptogens, please check out this article.

Adaptogens are part of the nutritional support your body needs to handle stress.

And exercise is a form of stress.

Not in the negative sense you probably think of when you say you’re “stressed out”. But, in a positive way. Exercise stresses the body and the body adapts by growing and becoming more efficient. The stress from exercise is what makes you stronger.

Adaptogens help reduce and resist the effects of stress and improve the body’s capacity to perform under stressful circumstances.

Other ingredients a good pre-workout supplement has are creatine monohydrate, Nitrosigine, and citrulline.

Creatine helps you work out longer and harder by increasing the amount of energy available to working muscles.

Nitrosigine is a combination of the amino acid arginine and silicon. Together, they increase blood flow and improve delivery of oxygen to muscles.

Citrulline helps support better blood flow too. And it helps protect against muscle soreness.

When you have all three of these ingredients working together in the same supplement, you have a combination that increases your power output, decreases fatigue, improves blood flow, accelerates muscle gains, and improves performance.

A supplement like this can be boosted by with the addition of caffeine and the right combination of adaptogens.

What you don’t want your pre-workout to have

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You don’t need any unnecessary fillers.

A lot of the ingredients you find on some pre-workout supplement’s labels have zero scientific support. These are things like maltodextrin, artificial flavors and colors, and other stuff that won’t help you when you’re exercising.

You also don’t need artificial sweeteners or “proprietary blends”.

To be on the safe side, sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose should be avoided.

“Proprietary blends” are a mixture of ingredients whose specific amounts do not have to be stated on the label. Just the total amount of the “blend” has to be listed. Manufacturers often do this to keep their competitors from knowing exactly what is in their product.

But, that means you also don’t know exactly what you’re putting in your body. Don’t waste your time.

Lastly, check out the reviews.

One of the best ways to nail down a good supplement is to read the comments of people who have actually tried it.

A few negative reviews on a supplement isn’t something to get worked up over. But, if it has a grocery list of complaints from everyone who has tried it, move on to something better.


Pre-workout supplements are designed to prepare your body for better strength and power before exercise. Taking a pre-workout supplement before you work out gives your training a boost.

Pre-workout supplements that contain ingredients such as nitrosigine and citrulline deliver nutrients and oxygen to working muscles. Creatine, which is also an ingredient in many pre-workout supplements, improves your performance and reduces fatigue.

Caffeine can give you the mental boost you need to focus and adaptogens provide your body with the nutritional support it needs to handle the stress of exercise.

If you’d like to know more about pre-workout supplements, please contact me, I’d love to help you out.

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