A friend of mine did the Advocare 24 Day Challenge, which prompted me to do a personal challenge of 7 days of Soylent only. In order to be able to compare the experiences, I decided I’d like to also now try to do “some of” the Advocare challenge. This thread is to document my comparison between the two experiences.
I will say right up front that these two products/plans have very different goals and formats. Everyone here knows what Soylent is about, so here’s what the Herbal Cleanse from Advocare claims as it’s Key Benefits: Helps rid the body of toxins and waste*, Supports improved digestion and thorough internal cleansing*, Provides 10 grams of fiber per day, Helps remove impurities from the body*, Supports healthy weight loss*, Recommended every 90 days.
So my first experience with Advocare is price related. If I remember right, it was about $25 for the Herbal Cleanse package. This package contains 7 packets of herbal cleanse pills, 7 packets of probiotic restore pills, and 6 packets of Fiber Drink. The 24 Day Challenge is divided into two phases, the Cleanse Phase which is 10 days long, and the Max Phase which is the remaining time. I am only doing the Cleanse Phase, because I’m just trying to compare what the body feels like “a few days in” since I very strongly felt the effects of Soylent only on the 3rd or 4th full day. The Cleanse Phase includes utilizing these pills and fiber drinks on a specific regimen (cleanse pills at night for the first 7 days, probiotics in the morning for the last 7 days, and fiber drink for the first 3 and last 3 days.) It also involves eating right (there are a bunch of guidelines to follow), drinking plenty of water, and exercise. I’m not going to do the exercise beyond what I normally get in my life because I didn’t do it with Soylent either and I’m trying to make a baseline comparison.
I was very impressed at first because I saw a day-by-day chart explaining what to eat and when, but then I realized it was home-brewed by someone and didn’t actually even adhere to the guidelines given in the official materials, it was far more strict, being a very low carb diet, below what I think is healthy. So I started looking through the official materials, and it turns out that eating according to their recommendations seems extremely tedious and vague. There are some guidelines on serving sizes, but no real explanation of how many servings of what to eat for each meal… so here’s the best I can figure it out:
Protein = 4 to 6 oz per serving of Chicken Breast, Eggs, Beef or Turkey (Extra Lean), Fish (Tilapia, Red Snapper, Cod, etc.) Salmon, Tofu, Tuna (fresh or packed in water), Turkey Breast.
A protein item is included in Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner every day during the cleanse phase.
Vegetables = 1 cup raw or cooked (somewhere else it says 1/2 cup cooked), or 2 cups of leafy green vegetables. They recommend Asparagus, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumber, Dark Leafy Greens, Eggplant, Green Beans, Onion, Peppers, Salad Greens (spring mix, romaine, etc), Tomato, Zucchini/Squash.
A vegetable item is included in Lunch and Dinner every day during the cleanse phase, but somewhere else in the materials it says to eat “eight to ten servings each day of vegetables and fruits.”
Complex Carbs = Beans, Lentils, Oatmeal, Quinoa, Potatoes (any variety), Whole Grain Rice, Pasta, or Bread. An item of complex carbs is included in Breakfast and Lunch every day during the cleanse phase, and in dinner “if needed.” The home-brewed stricter version I saw lacked complex carbs entirely, (except on one odd day when they had sweet potatoes listed.)
There’s a fruit item specified during the Breakfast each day during the cleanse phase. Under a section labeled “Snacks/Other” there’s a subheading of Fruit that lists these: Apple, Banana, Berries (strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, blueberry, etc), Cantaloupe, Citrus Fruits (orange, tangerine, grapefruit, etc.), Grapes, Kiwi, Mango, Lemon, Pear, Pineapple.
I’m not sure if that list is supposed to be the list of fruits eligible for breakfast, or if it’s just a list of ideas for snacks consisting of fruit.
There are three meals and three snacks listed each day. The snacks seem to be left blank/undefined aside from the Snacks/Other section which also lists healthy fats and dairy (both to be used in moderation) and under “Other snacks” it suggests Edamame and Hummus as well as another Advocare product which I don’t have
So the way I take this, i’m supposed to take the probiotic (during the last seven days only), the Fiber Drink (first three and last three days only) followed by a glass of water then breakfast. After this I have a mid-morning snack. Lunch. Afternoon snack. Dinner. Evening snack. And at Bedtime I take the herbal cleanse caplets (first seven days only.) The exact content of these meals and snacks, while vague, is based on the lists given in the guidelines.
I’m also supposed to avoid several things like fried foods and sugar, no problem.
Compared to Soylent, which is the epitome of simplicity: a single product that I mix with water and consume, this is almost enough to make me feel like I’m studying for a college course. I want to go shopping in the morning to prepare for this, but I am definitely confused about what exactly to buy. I thought this would be a scientific experiment but I don’t think it’s exact or reproducible. I will assume I’m going to be spending about $50 in groceries, getting things like eggs, lean meat (chicken, turkey, or beef), tuna canned in water, a plethora of vegetables, some fruits and berries, some whole grain rice or pasta.
I worry that there are too many factors at once going on here. I wish I knew what the herbal cleanse, fiber drink, and probiotics did to me without also altering my entire diet at the same time. I also wish I knew what altering my diet in this way would do to me, without the use of the Advocare products to go with it.
So let’s project that it might be $75 total for the groceries and the Cleanse box, for 10 days, that’s $7.50 per day, compared to Soylent’s $9.00 per day. Not too big of a difference. I’m pleased that it seems to be cheaper, but I will admit that at first the Herbal Cleanse package for $25 felt very expensive, since it’s approximately the weight of a single pouch of Soylent.
The Cleanse will be giving me:
Vitamin C (2000%)
Vitamin B-12 (500%)
Panthothenic acid (400%)
It also has Inositol (5mg), Taurine (800mg), and “System 343 Herbal Concentrate” (1140mg per serving) which consists of cranberry fruit juice powder, extracts of burdock root, Silymarin (from milk thistle leaf), senna leaf, astragalus root, schisandra fruit, beet root powder, oderless garlic bulb powder.
Of course the majority of my vitamins and nutrition will come from the foods consumed during this Cleanse Phase, not from the product itself. They also recommend taking an Omega-3 product (not included in the Cleanse package.
I wonder if I could use Soylent as any of the meals during the Advocare challenge? Does it count as equivalent to a meal of Protein + Carbs + Vegetables?
So many questions and thoughts.