This article is sponsored by VSL#3. All opinions are my own.
A few weeks ago, I talked to you about a 3 week challenge for IBS that I was embarking on with VSL#3, a high-potency probiotic medical food that’s clinically proven to help manage irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcerative colitis (UC) and ileal pouch. I’ve dealt with IBS my entire life- since I was a kiddo and I wrote about my journey here in case you missed it. The reason I accepted this (really fun) challenge was because throughout the last 10 years of my chronic health journey, I never did a trial with just probiotics to see what the results would be. I always tried new probiotics while I was on other supplements and doing a ton of other protocols to keep my gut healthy. Hence, I never really knew if the probiotics were the ones helping me. It was tricky and as I’m sure many of you who are on your own journey to taking back your health know, the process can seem quite daunting and exhausting because it becomes a game of trial and error. Although I took careful steps with incorporating new supplements, it never dawned on me that perhaps the probiotics I was taking weren’t working or weren’t doing the job they needed to be doing because I was doing so many other things. Make sense? So, when VSL#3 reached out to me to try their product, which I fell in love with after I had colitis when my gut was in really bad shape), I was super excited and couldn’t wait to see what I’d discover. Today, I’m sharing with you what I did discover throughout the last three weeks and why I love taking VSL#3’s unflavored powder packets rather than pills! Now, before we dive in, I want to mention one thing about the importance of choosing the right probiotic based on your condition. Many people think they can waltz into a store, pick up a probiotic and start taking it. Au contraire, my friends. You’ve got to know what’s going on in your gut and to work with your Functional/Integrative M.D. to determine what strains of bacteria are best for you.
If you suffer from serious digestive conditions like IBS, UC or ileal pouch and have tried general probiotics found on the pharmacy shelf without success, you may want to try a serious probiotic, such as VSL#3. VSL#3 is kept refrigerated behind the pharmacy counter, which preserves and maintains the high potency and vitality of the carefully designed probiotic that’s loaded with 450 billion bacteria in each packet. And the best part for many of you is that VSL#3 has been clinically demonstrated to reduce bloating/gassiness and discomfort in patients with IBS. I know so many of your suffer from gas and bloating so if you do, take a look at what I discovered on my three week journey below and then scroll down to learn more on how to get your savings.
Now, let’s talk about the last three weeks of my life. Talk about F-U-N. Yes, I’m a dork and I love being a guinea pig and doing research on myself. So, I pretty much had a ball taking notes and jotting down how I felt every day. I noticed a whole lotta changes that I wasn’t expecting so I’m going to share them with you today. And I’ve got a little video for you below with a clip from each week’s check in on how I was feeling. Let me know if you have any questions! I’m an open book as you all know and I’m always happy to share anything about my journey with all of you in hopes that it helps you on your journey to wellness, as well.
Okay, here we go. I thought it would be easier if I separated everything into categories below since there’s a whole lotta info that I want to share with you.
Convenience & Taste
VSL#3 comes in a capsule form and an unflavored powder form; I always opt for the powder because it’s easy to incorporate into some of my favorite foods! So, I keep the packets in my fridge and then take one out at breakfast, like my above fruit parfait, and I sprinkle the VSL#3 on top. I really like the texture and it adds a nice touch with my food. More on how I use it in my recipes below. I personally love the taste of the powder form but if you’re more of a pill person, then opt for the pill, which you can toss into your bag for work or if you’re traveling for the day. Both forms still need to be refrigerated but it’s just a matter of preference- are you a pill popper or a powder person? I’m a powder person. To me, it’s more fun and I feel like a kid again. That makes everything better.
How to Incorporate VSL#3 into Your Daily Routine
As I mentioned above, I love using VSL#3 in my breakfast (cold foods and drinks only though). I often sprinkle it on my fruit parfaits along with cacao nibs, coconut milk yogurt, fresh orange zest and coconut flakes. If you’re not in the mood for taking the VSL#3 at breakfast, you can opt for a snack, such as tossing it into your favorite hummus or guacamole or salsa and enjoy it with some homemade tortilla chips. To me, the powder is just so much more fun. But then again, I’m like a kid so I love to have fun when I eat.
How My Symptoms Changed
I wasn’t expecting to see the drastic results that I experienced. That’s for darn sure. As I mention in the video, my sleep and energy levels increased and I was less bloated after I ate, which is pretty fabulous- especially since summer is almost here and bloating + summer just doesn’t mesh well if you know what I mean, jellybean.
Lifestyle Tips that Helped
I also started getting into bed earlier instead of staying up late to read in bed, I tried to get myself in bed by 10:30 PM and got up earlier, as well, around 7 AM. It’s amazing how different you can feel when you get your body on the circadian rhythm instead of going to bed at midnight and feeling like you’re dragging the next day. I also started enjoying walks outdoors since the weather warmed up. So, I’d go for walks in the morning down by the water to meditate and clear my mind before I started my day. It was an easy and super beneficial way to let myself start the morning on the right foot.
Overall, I was amazed by this three week journey and I can’t thank VSL#3 enough for letting me be a part of this fun campaign. I’m really excited that I discovered so much about my gut health and I can’t wait to keep going!
For more information on VSL#3, you can visit their website here. Join VSL#3 on Facebook for giveaways and exclusive offers on Facebook. Check out their series of videos including helpful info about managing IBS & UC on YouTube.
*VSL#3 is a high-potency probiotic medical food and must be used under medical supervision.
This is a product-provided, sponsored conversation that contains affiliate links. All opinions, text and experiences are my own. VSL#3 is a high-potency probiotic medical food for the dietary management of IBS, UC and ileal pouch and must be used under medical supervision. Please speak with your healthcare provider for any specific questions. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. The product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.