What if you could say goodbye to your medications?
Debbie Rodriguez of Granville did just that after starting a 30-day transformation kit, part of the Yoli Better Body System, in hopes of getting her diabetes completely under control. She had already eliminated one diabetes medication, but was dependent on another.
“I wanted to totally detox my body and get myself pH balanced immediately,” she said.
What she found was an increase in energy and mental clarity after just two weeks in the program, which includes making dietary changes as well as taking supplements containing alkaline minerals and probiotics.
“Before I started, I felt like a lump,” she said. “I had no energy, no ambition. Now, you can’t keep me down.”
Rodriguez was able to discontinue not one, but four medications she had been taking regularly. After 2½ months in the program — and conferring with her doctor — she no longer requires medication for diabetes or high blood pressure, and she has not had symptoms of acid reflux or asthma. In fact, she was grabbing her old pill bottles to show the NewsTribune when she came across her inhaler and realized she hadn’t needed it in months. She forgot she had asthma.
“I was always having bronchitis several times a year,” she added. “I have not had bronchitis (since beginning the program in November).”
Those are just the prescription medications; Rodriguez also no longer depends on over-the-counter allergy medicine or even Ibuprofen.
“I lived on Ibuprofen,” she said. “I just ached. I ached everywhere.”
“I don’t even own a bottle now. They all expired.”
The dietary changes boil down to something called “clean” eating.
“It’s just getting the junk out,” Rodriguez said, “getting the processed foods out, getting the artificial out — and the sugar.”
Now she drinks protein shakes instead of coffee and eats plenty of fruits and vegetables. She keeps a chart handy when planning meals to make sure the majority of the food she and her husband consume is alkaline — the opposite of acidic.
“We eat cucumbers and avocados like they’re going out of style,” she said.
Rodriguez said she was a “yo-yo” with weight loss all her life, but recently came home from the first vacation on which she did not gain weight.
“I would never go off of this way of eating,” she said. “I just feel too good.”
According to Rodriguez, her family has benefited from the program as well: Her husband’s cholesterol is down 40 points, one of their daughters lost 15 pounds even without using the protein shakes, and their son-in-law no longer suffers from debilitating migraines.
“It’s amazing what changing your diet can do for your body,” she said.
Why worry about pH?
Dr. Smith’s perspective
Dr. Ryan Smith of Advanced Chiropractic in Peru was approached about selling Yoli products last year, but did not get on board until January, after doing some research.
He had begun studying nutrition, and when he looked at the ingredients in the products Debbie Rodriguez has grown to love, he was impressed.
“The products were really good,” he said, noting they are all natural and gluten-free. “And the whole philosophy of reducing pH in the body goes with everything I learned.”
The other thing that struck him was the litany of conditions from which people claimed to have found relief by using these products. He noticed a lot of them were caused by inflammation.
“Acidity and inflammation go hand in hand,” he said. “This is the same stuff I’ve been helping with as a chiropractor, so it’s good to have two avenues to help people.”
In addition to chiropractic adjustments, cleaner eating can help reduce inflammation, Smith said. The body needs pure fruits and vegetables. When it gets processed foods and chemicals instead, it doesn’t quite know what to do with that.
“Inflammation is your body’s way of freaking out, in a way,” Smith said.
The most common conditions resulting from inflammation include migraines, asthma, acid reflux, arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation and fibromyalgia.
Smith said he has seen patients find relief from these ailments using Yoli’s products coupled with a change in their diet.
“With Yoli, a lot of it is losing weight too, because fat cells store acid,” Smith said. “That’s how you gain weight.”
Reducing the acidity of the body makes it easier for the body to burn fat, he said.
Smith takes the supplements himself and said he noticed less soreness after exercising or lifting weights.
“I can do more, and I can lift more,” he said.
Smith said that is because the soreness is caused by lactic acid build-up, and the supplement he takes helps reduce acid in the body.
Yoli’s pH-balancing supplement contains three ingredients: calcium, potassium and magnesium.
“Those are the three minerals that we’re most deficient in that will help alkalize the body — bring down that acidity, bringing it more to a normal pH,” Smith said, “then you don’t have as much inflammation going on.”
Those minerals also can be found in fruits and vegetables, but Smith said most people don’t eat enough of them. Even if a person does get enough fruits and vegetables, it may be difficult to avoid another factor that increases the body’s acidity: stress.
Smith noted the supplement by itself would not be as effective as also making an effort to add fresh, organic fruits and vegetables to the diet.
“Realistically,” he said, “to get the best results you would want to eat healthier.”
How selling makeup led to healthier living: Kelly’s story
Kelly Duttlinger of Oglesby previously sold cosmetics for Arbonne. When the company began adding nutritional supplements to its product line, she was contacted and offered some samples.
The Arbonne system includes an emphasis on cleaner eating, as well, with one major difference from Yoli: Arbonne’s products are vegan certified.
According to Duttlinger, all of Arbonne’s nutritional products are made from alkaline (rather than acidic) ingredients.
After trying the products, Duttlinger said she lost 20 pounds in one month and began running after age 50.
“When your body is alkaline, you have more energy,” she said. “Your mental clarity is off the charts.”
The Arbonne program includes an emphasis on education.
“We teach whole food — how to use food as fuel to heal your body,” she said. “We have coaches who coach you into health and wellness through the use of our supplements and whole foods.”
The Arbonne 30 Days to Fit program starts by eliminating “toxic foods” and eating “clean.”
“We ingest so many toxins throughout the day,” Duttlinger said. “Your body becomes acidic, and disease thrives in an acidic environment.”
Toxins can get into the body through the skin, she said, noting that artificial ingredients in lotions, soaps and perfumes can introduce harmful chemicals into the body.
“Sixty percent of what you put on your skin is absorbed into the blood in 26 seconds,” Duttlinger said. “Your liver has to clean that out.”
The cosmetics that initially attracted her to Arbonne are “clean” and natural.
Arbonne’s protein shakes are made from yellow peas, cranberries and brown rice.
“Those are all alkaline-forming ingredients,” Duttlinger said, “and I think that’s the key.”
She was on the verge of needing medication for her blood pressure, but since starting the program and giving up coffee: “It’s just not even an issue.”
Now, Duttlinger said, she uses the “80-20 method,” aiming to eat 80 percent “clean.”
“You learn foods that are triggers,” she said. “It becomes more of a way of life rather than a supplement.”
A place to start
Kathye Wrobleski of Oglesby used to buy makeup from her friend Kelly Duttlinger. That’s how she learned about Arbonne’s nutrition program. She had heard about “clean” eating and wanted to avoid processed foods, but didn’t know how to start, so she tried Arbonne’s 30-day Detox.
“Initially I did it to lose weight,” she said, adding she lost 8 pounds in the first month. “But what I noticed was that I was sleeping better and my joints didn’t hurt as much.”
Kathye said she thinks she may have been on the verge of developing arthritis, because every morning she would wake up and her joints would be swollen and achy.
“I really just stayed on it because when you use it, you just feel better,” she said.
The Arbonne system was easier than any other diet plan she had tried because of the simplicity of choosing whole foods. But she also did herself a favor by following the “80-20 method” that Duttlinger uses: sticking to “clean” eating 80 percent of the time. That way, if she is out with friends or a special occasion arises, she doesn’t feel bad having one glass of wine or an ice cream treat. She just considers that her allotted 20 percent.
“I think the hardest thing is having to make those healthy choices all the time,” she said.
As easy as the system was, she got away from it for two weeks. But then she came back.
“My body missed it,” she said, “and then when I came back on I feel so much better.”
She now drinks Arbonne’s protein shakes, which are full of alkaline ingredients, instead of acidic coffee. She still allows herself a cup of coffee now and then — remember the 20 percent? — but it is not an everyday thing for her anymore.
If she strays too much, she notices stiffness and aches in her body.
“When I stay focused on this I don’t hurt as much,” she said. “Overall I just feel better.”