What you get is a large box which contains 5 smaller boxes - one for each day - plus a water bottle. I wish there was a way to not keep getting water bottles when you repeat the program, but that would complicate their packaging. You’re not allowed to switch foods between days, but you can eat a given day’s foods in any order you prefer, despite there being suggested meals. The only additional things you are allowed are one cup of coffee or tea per day, additional herbal teas, and some herbs and spices to adjust the flavor of the soups, which are the mainstay of the program.
Day 1 is a transition day and is pretty easy. For breakfast, you get what they call an “L-bar.” This is the same thing that they sell in packages as “fast bars,” and is nut-based. The dominant flavor is coconut, but it also has almonds and macadamias and pecans. It’s quite tasty and surprisingly filling. You also have herbal tea (spearmint or lemon and spearmint) and algal oil supplement, which is a vegan source of omega-3 fatty acids. The first day, I found it helpful to have a cup of coffee, rather than going cold turkey on caffeine. Basically, this is what you get for breakfast every day, except for the algal oil. You get two packets of that on Day 1 and one on Day 5 and none on the other three days.
Lunch always consists of a vitamin supplement they call NR-1 (2 packets on day 1, 1 packet on the other days), a packet of powdered soup, which you reconstitute with water and can either microwave or cook on the stovetop. (I prefer the latter.) You also get either a packet of olives (either salted or with garlic) or kale crackers. On Day 1, you get both olives and kale crackers. The kale crackers are absolutely delicious, which I admit is something I never thought I would say. The Day 1 soup is tomato, which is just okay. I find that adding some basil and oregano improves it a lot.
There’s an afternoon snack - herbal tea and, on Day 1, another L-bar. Dinner is a packet of powdered minestrone, which is stovetop only, not microwaveable, and a half-size chocolate flavored L-bar. The minestrone is rather bland, but adding a little cayenne helps a lot. I also find it better to cook it a bit longer than the packet says, so it’s a bit thicker.
Overall, Day 1 is a reasonable amount of food, though less than what I would normally eat in one day, I didn’t feel particularly hungry when I went to bed, I didn’t sleep especially well, but that is mostly because I drank a lot of water throughout the day so needed to get up in the night more often than I normally would.
But then comes Day 2, when the calories drop from roughly 1100 to about 800. The big menu addition for Days 2 through 4 is something called L-drink, which is flavored vegetable glycerol, that you dilute in that water bottle. The amount you use is based on your weight. It comes in two flavors - citrus and berry, both of which are improved by steeping a bag of hibiscus tea in the diluted liquid. (There are two bags of hibiscus tea, in addition to the spearmint teas,) The lunchtime soup is mushroom, which is my favorite of the ProLon soups. You get a packet of olives to have with the soup for lunch and another packet of olives to have as a snack. No kale crackers, alas. Dinner consists of minestrone and quinoa soup, which desperately needs the enhancement of some cayenne and cooking it down to thicken a bit. You also get one of those half-size chocolate flavored L-bars to have for a sort of dessert. Presumably because I decided to forgo caffeine, I had a slight headache much of the day.
Day 3 was the hardest. We’re back to tomato soup for lunch. While there are kale crackers to have with it, I found it better to save them for the afternoon snack, which would otherwise just be tea. And there is nothing except the minestrone for dinner.
Day 4 was essentially the same as Day 2, with vegetable soup instead of mushroom soup for lunch. And Day 5 was the same as Day 3, except for adding a packet of algol oil. By those days, I felt remarkably little hunger.
While they don’t include Day 6 food, you’re supposed to stick to light and small meals for the first 12 hours of the transition day. They suggest juices and soups, but I admit I really had no desire to see more soup for a while. I had a fast bar for breakfast and made a blueberry and mango smoothie for lunch. For dinner, I had salad and some pasta.
But what about results? I did feel a bit more energetic at the end of the program, which was the case each time I did it. Over the course of four cycles (i.e. since October), I’ve lost about 15 pounds and my blood pressure has improved a bit. And my blood sugar has been more stable. I’m due for more blood tests (related to my iron deficiency anemia) this month, so will see if there is anything else.
I do think ProLon is a good kickstart to eating better. But it is pricy (about $200 but you can find sales and get boxes of fast bars included). I am also concerned about the amount of packaging they use.
I should also note that they have a new second option for soup flavors and I bought a box of that version, which I will do some time in the next couple of months.
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