By Renee Woodruff
November 08, 2011

As you may recall, several months ago I shared some insight into my private gastronomically-challenging life and provided a few tips on products that have helped me regulate some of the issues that I frequently experience. If you have gastro issues, you know that this isn't a problem that is solved overnight and from what I understand, will be something we'll struggle with trying to balance for the rest of our lives.

In a continual effort to find a more normal, less gassy way of life, I decided to give GoodBelly's 12-Day Challenge a go*. The reason I opted to try this product is because it's not dairy-based (I have some intolerance to lactose, so this was a selling point). In fact, "GoodBelly is a line of natural and organic fruit juice blends that deliver a powerful daily dose of Lactobacillus plantarum299v, a patented probiotic strain that promotes healthy digestion." **

Before I started the challenge, I did my homework. I wanted to know what made GoodBelly so different from any other probiotic on the market and I found the answers to my questions pretty straight forward and simple.

* It's always dairy-free, soy-free and vegan.

* GoodBelly tastes delicious, which makes it a great option for those who have a difficult time taking pills.

* Unlike many ‘live and active cultures' found on the market, GoodBelly's probiotic strain survives the stomach's acidic environment in order to reach the rest of the intestinal tract.

* While Lp299v is widely available in Europe, GoodBelly is the only beverage in the United States that offers this patented probiotic strain (interesting, right?).

Some of you still may be wondering what's so special about this so-called Lp299v probiotic. I think you'll find it just as fascinating as I did to hear that "Lp299v was first identified in 1986 as part of a study in Lund, Sweden. It was tested with intestinal surgery patients, with the hypothesis that its introduction would help them recover more quickly from procedures. It has since been studied for safe and effective use on numerous populations and has been recognized as a thoroughly researched and impactful probiotic strain with more than 16 human research trials and 17 years of documented safe and effective use."

So how was the challenge? It was an insightful experiment. I took a little chilled straight shot of GoodBelly each morning (that was the easiest way for me to remember to do it) and I lived my day like normal. I enjoyed the Mango, Blueberry Acai and the plain flavors that I tested. I ate, drank and worked out as I normally would. I didn't want to make any drastic changes to my diet or daily routine that would alter the way my body responded to this new addition.

At first I couldn't really tell that much of a difference, but over the next few days of the challenge I noticed that I was having less gas (normally I'm an unfortunately gassy human being), and I also noticed that my bowel movements started to become much more solid than normal (something for which I throw small celebrations in my bathroom on occasion). I have to admit, I did experience some bloating and cramping. I also experienced some mild diarrhea, which doesn't necessarily correlate with the GoodBelly probiotic, as I was having a stressful day and that always affects my bowl movements in a runny kind of way (if you know what I mean). If you decide to take the 12-Day Challenge yourself, keep in mind that some people occasionally experience some bloating and gas when beginning any new probiotic regimen, but this should only occur in the first few days and is simply the good bacteria working to balance out the system- so don't fear!

In summary, I'm a fan. I actually just purchased another supply of product tonight during my weekly grocery trip to Whole Foods. If you are interested in trying The 12 Day Challenge, you can find more information on GoodBelly's website.

Signing Off With a Better Belly,


* As part of the GoodBelly 12-Day Challenge, I received product for free. I am not affiliated with GoodBelly in any way. All opinions, experiences, and comments are my own and are not endorsed by GoodBelly.

**Some studies suggest that GoodBelly's probiotics may help balance bacteria in your gut when consumed daily as part of a nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle. GoodBelly is a food product and not a treatment or cure for any medical disorder or disease. If you have any concerns about your digestive system, you should consult your healthcare professional.

Renee blogs about travel, food and living life to the fullest on Follow her on Twitter or see what she's up to on Facebook!

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