I once got this comment from one of my classmates that went something like, "I bet you have a six-pack, don't you?"
I couldn't blame her (or a couple of others who made similar remarks over the years) for suggesting this. I was often running before class, racing a lot, and drinking vegan smoothies in class because I didn't like the smell of real food while trying to learn. But most of the time, I'm a desk-jobber, lazy weekend person who gets tired easily and has an unfortunate love for sweets and distaste for ab exercises (THIS being an exception). So... of COURSE I don't have a six pack (and that's what I tell people who ask), but that's not to say I don't like my abs at all. On the contrary, I think they stay relatively flat considering my less-than-stellar eating habits and lack of crunches. But this is generally only in the morning or when I haven't eaten anything in a while. Once I put anything in my mouth, I start resembling Santa Claus.
I've alluded many times on this blog that I am intolerant to lactose. I still eat dairy, but I take supplements or implement other strategies, as if my affairs with cheese and other products is a game that I often wind up losing. And then there are times when I avoid dairy entirely and still end up with similar belly-upsetting episodes where I think, "WTF is wrong with me? Why can't I be like a normal person?"
I've heard a lot of buzz about probiotics and that they can help with this. According to the GoodBelly website (and most other places that concur), "Probiotics have proven to be an extremely important factor in human health. They’ve been found to improve core digestive health and support the immune system." I've tried getting my dose from yogurt and kefir in the past, but these things were getting expensive and started bothering my stomach after a while.
Then I caught wind (no, that wasn't a pun!) that GoodBelly has a 12-Day Challenge that told me that I'd start feeling better in 12 days or my purchase would be refunded. They even supplied some coupons so that the 12-day supply came in at around $15 (I got the heavy-duty kind, so the lesser-grade ones are probably cheaper). All I had to do was take one per day, preferrably in the morning with breakfast, through my 3 containers' worth. The prospect of "feeling better" was already worth $15 to me given daily discomfort. (Plus, each carton has a $1 off coupon.)
The GoodBelly shots I got are called "Big Shots." These contain more probiotics than their other shots and are geared toward people who are feeling particularly bad. Fortunately, any "unneeded" probiotics would be flushed out of my system, so why not try the higher dose (besides the fact that it was the only one I could find)? These are made of oat milk, while their normal onces are more juice-based. But they are all vegan, which is a stark contrast to the other ways I was trying to get probiotics before.
Each little "shot" has 50-60 calories and looks like that smiley thing you see below. Basically, you drink through the mouth. I had to wipe off the "face" before taking a photo because it had little bits on it... I'm assuming those are the probiotics. I can't say the flavor was thrilling; perhaps I don't like lemon/ginger in general. But this was drinkable and portable enough to throw in my bag if I was running off someplace.
Yes, that's the container smiling... at me!
Days 1-2: I had a cold during this time and wasn't eating that much, yet I remember asking myself at one point, "Do I really eat this much food?" Sorry about the TMI, but hey, if you're reading this review, then I'm sure you'd want the truth! But I did not get any stomachaches or real bloating the whole first couple of days on this, which could also be from not eating as much as usual. Also, props to the fact that I took one shot before running 18 miles, and it did not upset my stomach.
Days 3-4: I had some bloating after drinking some boba drink even though I'm pretty sure it had no dairy? Also, I bloated a little the next day, though less than usual I suppose, but still I wasn't eating like usual.
Days 5-6: No real bloating, even though on Day 6, I had some Greek yogurt, which sometimes sends my stomach expanding like crazy! While I keep wishing I got a different, better-tasting flavor so that I don't have to hold my breath while drinking this, I think I'm starting to subtly "feel better."
Days 7-8: Not really noticing anything different at this point. At least my digestion seeems regular, though some nights, my stomach is a little bloated though a tad less than usual.
Days 9-10: Same as Days 7-8. I need to stop thinking that I can consume dairy just because I'm adding probiotics. However, I do notice the effects are less marked.
Days 11-12: Had more Greek yogurt (when will I learn? but I had a big tub at work I've been slowly working on) and doing pretty well.
At the end of 12 days, GoodBelly sent me more coupons to "keep me going" (pun?). I'm going to take them up on them and take advantage of a sale I saw at a local store (which I think would be much cheaper than Whole Foods) and give it 12 more days with the juice form of this stuff. I can't say I feel like a new woman, but I have noticed a slight improvements, especially in the first couple of days.