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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

**REVIEW** Fiber Challenge (with a personal story)

I am going to review my Benefiber challenge, but I'll give you the personal story first. Warning: this involves TMI...

I recently had my first ever colonoscopy. My doctors insisted. It's recommended that people have this done at age 50. I had enough other stuff going on with my health for a while so I managed to delay the procedure for 5 years. It wasn't as big a deal as I expected.

If you have ever been a big fan of Jeff Foxworthy (as I am), you may have heard that the worst part of a colonoscopy is the preparation. That involves cleaning out your colon so that the way is clear for the scoping part of the procedure. When the docs talk about cleaning out your colon, they are serious.
Image result for moviprepThere are different laxative treatments prescribed to prep people for the scoping. I was given something disgusting to drink called MoviPrep. Perfectly named. I was certainly moved and prepped. That stuff cleaned out my colon and the soul of my colon. I am not kidding when I admit (rather shamefully) that I literally lost 4 pounds. I'm pretty sure that half of that weight was from the calories I burned just making it to the bathroom. I haven't moved so fast since I was running from a childhood whipping.

Once I was good and cleaned out, I still couldn't stay away from the toilet. Maybe it's just my reaction to the MoviPrep, but I continued having the sensation of needing to "go". That lasted up until they gave me the sedatives for the procedure. I actually learned something interesting about this from the prep nurse. She said that I was having the weird sensation because, even though I'd emptied my bowels and colon, the body continually produces enzymes. I guess I was sensing those enzymes needing to come out of me! By the way, I will now forever refer to the laxative I took as "MoviPoop".
Image result for funny colonoscopy meme
I was really worried about having an accident on the exam table, but the sedatives I was given solved that. I wasn't knocked completely out by the drugs but I went into a bit of a Bobby McFarin haze of 'don't worry, be happy'. (Okay, I was still slightly worried, but that's just my nature.)

Let me just say here that I think there should be a law that certain doctors should be either really, really old or really, really unattractive. The doc who did my procedure was neither of those things. Thank God he kept chatting and eye contact to a minimum. That's the only kind of bedside manner needed for this kind of thing.

My procedure went okay and I have nothing to be concerned about. However, I was advised (strongly) to get more fiber in my daily diet. That's what brings me to this review of Benefiber.

If I was just going to be using something for temporary constipation, I would probably have gone with a chocolate-based product. Or maybe some of those new fiber-loaded cookies. I could also do a big change in my overall diet. Because I am really happy with my keto regimen (and am finally seeing results resume!), I chose Benefiber powder.

PRO: Benefiber is priced really well against other brands of fiber products. I was able to get a large size (200 servings) at Costco for around $14.

Usually, when I pick up a super-sized item, I end up regretting it because I don't use it up fast enough or I find that I really hate the product. This time, I'm glad that I got a big container. I am using more than the suggested daily dose of the Benefiber because I'm not getting much fiber from my food. Since I have gone keto, I get a lot of oils and fats (helpful to the bowels) but not as many fruits and greens.

PRO: What I like most about Benefiber is that it's easy to incorporate into my daily life. Also, it's totally tasteless. Perfect. Best of all, it forces me to up my water intake.

I add the Benefiber to my morning coffee and water. During the day, I add the product to my water bottle. One of the warnings about fiber supplements is that they can cause constipation if not taken with enough fluid.

While you can add Benefiber to food, I haven't done that. On a daily basis, I am down to about one meal a day - fish and steamed veggies or something 'cheesy and greasy'. Other than that, I stick to water and coffee.

CON: I drink more sparkling mineral water than I do flat water. Benefiber does not mix well with carbonated.sparkling beverages.

OBSERVATIONS:  It's been 20 days and I am starting to feel and see a difference since upping my fiber intake. For the first six/seven days of taking about 30 grams each day, I didn't notice any changes in my, um, movements. I continued with that dosing for another couple days and I mentioned that to my best friend. She thought that I should be careful to not overdo the dosing because I can be so lax (hah) about drinking enough clear water. I did go up to 40 grams a day though. By the middle of the second week, I started seeing some daily action.

Now that I am getting more and more clear water (not sparkling), I have been rotating my dose of fiber: 40-50 grams on the days when I drink less water (about 3 16-oz bottles) or 50-60 grams when I drink more than 3 bottles of water.

RESULTS: Here's the good part. I am losing my stubborn pot belly. I thought that was fat, but I think it must have been all bloat. On my keto diet, I had been losing the weight in my legs and butt and couldn't understand why I had that pudge-gut. It was very discouraging. The higher intake of fiber did make me feel flatulent for the first week. That has gotten better. Maybe I was just full of hot air, huh? LOL

                                               Image result for funny fiber

Anyway, I have heard from others that some people actually use Benefiber specifically to lose weight. That makes sense when you think about it. Fiber is filling and the fuller you feel the less you eat. In my case, I like that this fiber is helping to flatten my tummy. I just hope that as I do lose weight, I don't go back to a pancake-flat behind!

Finally, I don't think that it will hurt any of us to get more fiber. Benefiber is great for anyone who wants to keep it simple and just can't get enough food source fiber. This works well for me and I will be going back for refill of Benefiber in about 3 weeks.

Here is the Benefiber site, or just check out the FAQs. If you want to get an idea of how much food source fiber you are getting, this is their handy calculator.