Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Trader Joe's Complete Body Cleanse Review

My BFF Jennifer and I decided to jump start our year with a cleanse. The system we chose is a two-week kit: the Trader Joe's Complete Body Cleanse. Jennifer asked if I was going to blog about it. I imagined that I would have several interesting posts about being on a cleanse since most of the magazines are full of articles about detoxing, dieting and cleansing in their January issues and my email inbox is flooded with jump-start healthy ideas from other blogs and websites. The results we experienced were certainly positive, but largely uneventful on a day to day basis. Therefore, this is one single review about the Total Body Cleanse with notes from two individuals.

We love Trader Joe's for so many reasons, but mainly because of their own promise:
  • NO artificial flavors, colors or
  • NO genetically modified ingredients
  • NO MSG
  • NO added Trans Fats

It was easy to decide to do a cleanse with all natural ingredients. The Complete Body Cleanse kit comes in a box with three bottles containing fiber, a digestive supplement and a liver supplement.

Week 1
Fiber: With a large glass of water (and you may need a refill!) take four fiber formula pills in the morning. Take four fiber pills at night too.
Liver: Take one liver pill at night.
Digestive: Three of these at bedtime.

Week 2
Fiber: Repeat of week 1, four in the morning, four at night.
Liver: Take one liver pill in the morning and one at night.
Digestive: Two of these at bedtime.

I personally only took half of the dose of fiber for the first two days. So my Day 1 is actually Day 1/2 part 1 + Day 1/2 part 2. Part of why I didn't take the full dose of fiber is because I was already eating a lot of vegetables and bean soups that particular week and was a bit of a chicken about what would happen with too much fiber in my system. Within two hours of taking the fiber, I felt very, very full. Uncomfortably full.

Christmas dinner.
What I cut out and what I didn't
Some really ambitious cleanse diets or detox diets recommend cutting out caffeine, sugar, alcohol, dairy, wheat and meat. Whoa! I think I've only accomplished a few days of that kind of lifestyle when I had my wisdom teeth taken out. I call it the sleeping diet!

This kit does not come with specific diet recommendations, but I decided to cut out meat.* No reason, other than I had eaten quite a bit of meat during December (see giant hunk of steak above) and felt like a break. I cut out beef, chicken and pork, but still ate a little fish.

This low meat diet was not actually helpful for weight loss for me. When I mentioned this, Jennifer pointed out that I was probably not eating enough protein. Last weekend I went back to eating more fish and lean meats. I'm still okay with taking a break from meat, but I'm pretty sure meat missed me as much as I missed meat.

Jenn's approach to adding fresh foods and avoiding sweeteners
I focused this two weeks on avoiding anything unnatural, so I tried to eat a lot of fresh foods and stopped using Splenda in my coffee, drinking diet coke, etc. I have also been drinking a lot of water. And for the first time, I’m beginning to actually enjoy drinking water. I think the less diet soda I drink the better water is beginning to taste.

So what happened? Lori's results.
Well, honestly, not a whole lot for me after the first few days. Day 1-3, I experienced a major headache each morning. It was unexpected and I didn't relate it to the cleanse because I hadn't cut out my morning coffee with skim milk and sugar. That's something I would expect from cutting out caffeine. I do not plan to discuss cleansing part of this as it relates to bowels in detail, but the summary is I had nothing to fear. This is an extremely gentle cleanse that made me very regular with no "emergencies."

Lentil soup with fresh vegetables.
The routine of taking morning and evening supplements does cause me to really think about what I should eat to maintain a healthy focus. I experienced no weight loss, except one pound. Given my slight increase in exercise, I'm sure that's the cause of the small drop. 

What happened? Jenn's results.
As someone with a very sluggish digestive system (to put it as elegantly as possible), this cleanse really helped my body “function” more consistently. I’ve tried other cleanses that have created “emergencies” and/or discomfort and I feel like this one is very gentle but still effective. After about the first week, I felt more energetic overall and have continued to feel healthier this week. I plan to continue to avoid artificial ingredients as much as possible and continue eating more fish and vegetables.

Bottom line
Overall we are happy with the Complete Body Cleanse. It's a good way to focus on what you're eating for a doable, two-week period. If you've had a particularly indulgent week filled with holidays, a vacation or maybe you need to bounce back after a bad break-up. Use it to ease back your normally healthy intentions with the gentle cleanse from Trader Joe's. However, don't expect weight loss simply from doing the cleanse. 

*Update/note - an anonymous user commented that the side of the box recommends avoiding alcohol, processed foods, etc which I should have noted in my review. I do my best to avoid highly processed foods, but other than that meat is in my diet and so is dairy. I have since done the Trader Joe's Complete Body Cleanse two more times since this initial experiment and will continue to use it as a kick start or when I feel the need to cut back after a vacation or lots of celebrating.


  1. I am about to do this cleanse and am kind of nervous about it and thinking when would be the right time because I am already taking a lot of supplements daily so I am not sure if there is a such thing as taking too many supplements. Also a huge factor in why I want to do this is to get all the toxic waste out of my body and hopefully have it clear up my skin. A nutritionist told me that a lot of what you put into your body effects the condition of your skin and too much toxic foods can cause acne and make it worse. Do you know if this is a benefit to doing a cleanse..having it clear acne?

    1. Just my personal opinion since I am not a certified nutritionist or anything, but I'd probably consult with a doctor or a nutritionist before adding more supplements. I feel like the Trader Joe's cleanse was really gentle, has natural ingredients, etc, but wouldn't want you to combine supplements that might cause stress on your body while you are trying to achieve a detox effect.

  2. Just came across your blog on the Trader Joe's Complete Body Cleanse... While taking this cleanse do you still eat? Does it cause you to constantly having to use the bathroom? My concern is being at work and not knowing how this cleanse will take off.

  3. I just started this cleanse a few days ago. I am already a vegetarian so I eat pretty healthy most of the time but we just got back from vacation (which I did not eat healthy during) and I wanted to do an easy cleanse to get back on track. It does not have anything in the kit about changing or restricting your diet. I haven't given up coffee or red wine during the cleanse but I am trying to eat vegan for the most part & cutting back on sweets. I have to say it is a gentle cleanse and I already feel so much better. A lot of the bloating/gassiness I feel most of the time is gone. I agree the pills are a lot to swallow but I break the larger ones in half and it does help get them down a lot easier.

  4. Read the side of the Trader's box at the bottom as it does say what to reduce and what to avoid diet wise. Alcohol, processed foods and caffeine are listed as things to avoid among others.