About Me

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Technically speaking, I'm a dietitian, but I see myself as a listener, a motivator, coach and teacher of nutrition. I prefer to end a busy day with a glass of red wine while chopping vegetables. Lover of almost anything pickled and fresh baked scones just not at the same time. I'm happiest when I'm cooking for people I love. Why am I so into food? Because I KNOW how much eating well can change your life. What you eat every day is going to impact your body and your mind. It's a confusing world out there - full of diet and food advice that always leaves you feeling like it's that one next diet that's going to be the weight loss answer. Stop waiting for that magic diet, and begin to take one step at a time in the right direction. I'm here to help you on your life-long journey, there's no better time to start!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Your body is a detox program: A Review of Kaeng Raeng

Thanks for asking what I think of the popular detox program, Kaeng Raeng:

 Let me start by saying I really don’t promote detox drinks or detox supplements for many reasons, but primarily because I feel that feeding the body “less toxic foods”in the first place is a better place to start. However, I am always committed to doing some honest investigating into any product before I make a statement about how I feel it stands up nutritionally. I understand and respect that everyone leads a unique lifestyle and I’m not here to judge a person’s choices be it food, drink or a detox formula. I did not try the product, but wrote my opinions based on information available on the website.

Whats in it:  Freeze-dried fruit with soybeans, fiber and some added sugar from cane juice.  Why not just blend some frozen berries with 1/2 cup of organic tofu, soymilk or yogurt and a couple tablespoons of ground flaxseed? They claim is has probiotics in it. Most live probiotic formulas need to stay refrigerated to maintain effectiveness, and there was nothing written about how many live probiotic strains are present in the freeze-dried powder formula. That raises a few questions in my mind.  You can eat some kefir or yogurt and get your daily dose of probiotics.

As I browsed the website, I have to be honest that right off the bat, I’m scared. The website has 3 levels of detox. They suggest you start at the beginner level... stating it’s “Our most gentle formula”. I worry about what is in the “Master” level for regular detoxers. In my opinion feeling your best shouldn’t put you through harsh or uncomfortable experiences. Also - might exercise be a little challenging when going through your detox? They recommend stretching and low impact weight training but don’t mention aerobic exercise.

It also stood out to me on the website they recommend to do a detox when you feel “fatigued, bloated, or just plain gross” from your usual diet. This is subjective and very vague. I would rather see someone make changes to their lifestyle to prevent feeling bad in the first place. There are really effective ways of improving energy, and removing excess fluid retention than a detox formula. What are these, you ask? Try drinking more water, reducing dietary sodium, drinking tea, exercising, and meeting nutrient needs with minimally processed, balanced meals, and sleeping.

There is nothing spectacular, or particularly “detoxifying” about this shake. In fact, you would be better off blending your own shake and saving your money. Most people won’t feel very satisfied just drinking liquid all day for a week. If a plan isn’t realistic or sustainable, it likely is not going to result in the kind of changes you might be looking for if you’re feeling low energy. 

The plan suggests 6 detox drinks a day which only provides 1200 calories - so sure it will promote weight loss, but is a recipe for rebound weight gain immediately after stopping the regimen! Keep in mind 1200 calories can be too low for a lot of people, putting them at risk for lean tissue loss. If someone were to do this every month, I would be concerned that they might cycle up and down with quick weight loss over the course of a week (fat, water and muscle weight) and then put on some rebound weight gain once normal eating is resumed. I also can’t ignore the possibility that a person might feel deprived on their detox and overeat, overindulge at the end of the week.

The bottom line: Eat a balanced, varied diet that includes fruits, veggies, protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats such as olive oil, avocado, nuts, fish and flax. The best way to detox is to limit the amount of added sweeteners, refined sugars, saturated fat, alcohol and trans fat in your daily diet. Exercise, healthy sleep patterns and adequate nutrition will allow your body’s liver and kidneys to do all the detoxing you need.  We are fortunate to have bodies built to sustain all that we put them through for as long as they do.  Be good to yourself, eat well daily and move. You will be amazed at how great you can feel in just a few days once you turn to a lifestyle that promotes health. 

Thanks for asking! ;)  -Sumner


  1. Hi Sumner,

    I'm the founder and CEO of Kaeng Raeng and wanted to say hello and you have a great blog.

    Please disclose that you did not actually try Kaeng Raeng as part of your "review." Also note there are inaccuracies in what you've written - we do disclose the amount of probiotic cultures and their source on our packaging. The program encourages eating raw foods with the shakes, which are only 3 times per day, not 6 times per day.

    We encourage honest, open reviews of our product from nutritionists and health professionals. However, we ask for ethical reasons that you only post a review if you've tried the product. You have a lot of great opinions - but please remove the inaccurate things you have written about Kaeng Raeng.


    Lindsay Reinsmith
    Founder and CEO
    Kaeng Raeng Inc

  2. Lindsay -

    Thanks for your information. I absolutely want readers to have all the accurate information, and did not mean to give the impression I had tried it. I was not trying to create an experience review, but wanted to provide my professional opinion from a nutrition science perspective. I was referencing the option for those "who are trying to lose weight" which suggests 6 times per day on the 'About Kaeng Raeng' page. With regards to the probiotic count, as with all supplements, I need my readers to know that supplement facts, as they are not regulated by the FDA, are not guaranteed to contain everything they state on the label. I am not, by any means, claiming that your product does not contain what you claim, but I do know that people are sometimes not aware of this fact. There are some disadvantages to freeze-drying probiotics such as limited survival of the probiotic which results in unsuccessful colonization in the gut because of damage caused by the freeze drying process, although no manner of providing probiotics is 100% perfect. I feel that I provided an honest, open review of your product. I consciously intended to avoid recommending or not recommending this product, as I mentioned, that is for the reader to decide. The person who asked me to provide my opinion never asked me to agree to try the product. She simply asked me for my opinion without any stipulation that I try the product. I will add that to my blog to clarify.

    On a final note, I do appreciate and respect your desire to improve wellness of individuals. It is important that we all work together to support our mutual intentions - better health.


  3. Ok I'm sorry but this product isn't used to lose weight. I did it to get rid of all the toxins in my body. It says on the website that its a way to jumpstart weightloss. I had NEVER done any kind of cleanse before so I was pretty scared. I felt GREAT while I did it. The shake made me feel full and I had lots of energy. I lost 5 pounds doing the 3 day cleanse.
    While I appreciate your evaluation and opinion, I can't trust it because you say you haven't even done the cleanse.

  4. Laura, thanks for reading! I hope you continue to feel great and stay toxin-free! As I mentioned in my comment above, I was simply re-stating what the Kaeng Raeng website says about weight loss and the product. I was asked by a Kaeng Raeng rep what my opinion was, and it appears that there are individuals who did not want to know the truth about that opinion. As a registered dietitian, it is my responsibility to do my best to provide accurate and factual information to the public. You are certainly entitled to your opinion.


  5. Hi Sumner,

    I think you have a lot of good things to say here and I totally agree with you about a lot of the things you have to say. But allow me to play devil's advocate for a minute...

    Not everyone has the time or the money to be a saint when it comes to eating a perfectly balanced and healthy diet. I work ridiculous hours and sometimes I just can't fit in that trip to the gym or home cook a great meal. Sometimes I have to suck it up on and eat on the go.
    I'm one of those people who strives to be as healthy as possible--but there are going to be days when I want to eat a big fat hamburger and fries or the holidays are going to hit and I could choose to sit back and not touch any of the sweets or drinks that come my way. But I know myself and I'd be pretty miserable if I didn't give in once in a while. Thus resulting in a big binge fest...

    I have been an occasional detox user for about 3 years now and have found its helpful every once in a while to give yourself a reboot. I hate those lemonade diets because you don't get any nutrients and you immediately gain the weight back. I lasted all of 1 day on the Master Cleanse and said "screw it"--it's just not healthy!
    I tend to go raw vegan for a week at a time to give myself a reboot. But it gets expensive and it's definitely an inconvenience with my work schedule.

    I think this product looks like it's got a lot to offer and I fully intend to give it a try after having read through the website.

    There were a few things you left out that I think are worth considering. I hope I'm not overstepping here...

    Although it's only about 1200 calories a day I was reading through the nutritional information and it looks like it's got your bases covered pretty well... there is 15g of protein, 13 g of fiber and a ton of other vitamins in addition to the fruit it contains. That sounds like a pretty healthy combo, right?

    I went ahead and emailed the company and asked about the difference between the level of detoxes and they got back to me pretty quickly to let me know that the only real difference is the amount of fiber contained. So, it seems to me that the medium or advanced levels aren't that more intense if it's just the fiber, right?

    Lastly, the website suggests eating a raw vegan diet along with the shakes if you get hungry. Although it seemed to me from reviews on the site that most people were pretty full from the shakes themselves... we'll see about that, because I'm a snacker...

    I'm just curious about giving it a try. I think it might be a good healthy option. I don't believe in starving yourself and I am 100% with you about not wanting to burn lean tissue and possibly rebound with binge eating after. My hope is that it keeps me feeling satisfied and full so I can get back to making healthier choices.

    I'll let you know how it goes! :)


  6. P.S. Sorry for the novel I just wrote! ;)

  7. Hi Renee! Thanks so much for writing. let me address some of your points:

    1200 calories (with additional from raw foods) can be healthy for some people, yes. It's not going to be enough for a lot of people and there's where you run into the lean tissue loss and risk of compromising body composition.

    You're very right - it says it provides a sensible balance of protein, carbs and fiber; however, it is missing one very essential and critical macronutrient for good health - Fat! Mono and Polyunsaturated fats are absolutely necessary for proper cell health, managing inflammation and protecting heart health. Also, please keep in mind that this is a SUPPLEMENT and it is a fact that there is no regulation on supplement ingredients - you never know what you're really getting. Many products contain fillers, sugar, and sometimes even heavy metals.

    Different levels: so the more fiber it contains the more time a person is going to spend in the bathroom. This can be shocking for the digestive system to a person who is not adjusted to a high fiber diet. Even when coaching clients about improving fiber intake, an RD will suggest upping your intake by only about 5 grams per week. The body will adjust gradually with no risk of diarrhea or dehydration as a result.

    This is a company that has no nutritional or medical expertise. I have seen so many people make simple, realistic changes (without eating like a saint...(I don't know anyone who does)and they feel great with balance and some nutritious foods.

    My 3 take-away messages to you are:

    1) In a couple days of just cleaning up your diet (which you have to do on Kaeng Raeng anyway, right?), eating out less, drinking water and exercising sensibly, you can feel great!

    2) There are a lot of marketing schemes out there and I want people to be well informed on how they're spending their money and what effects products might have on them. I haven't been able to find anything that says KR has been third party tested (to tell us in truth what is in it). Many supplement makers require this is on their product to ensure consumer safety and efficacy.

    3) Nutritional science does not show us that a raw vegan diet is better than eating cooked foods or animal products - essentially with raw and vegan you have to be very aware of your food choices and eat mindfully - the very thing I work on with my clients every day! You're right, there's nothing crazy, dangerous, or "bad" in the shake - I just think, why not blend your own? Im sure you've read the ingredients - they are simple. Freeze dried fruit, fiber, genetically modified soy and sugar (evaporated cane juice).

    Good for you for doing research ahead of time and thinking about what the best option for you is. Nutrition should be a priority every day (don't confuse this with a time suck) - It will be important for you to stick with KR for a full week - so envision putting that same energy into basic, easy, clean eating on your own when you're done!

    I hope you have a very Happy New Year and please feel free to email me at Sumner@notonadiet.com anytime!


  8. It's so refreshing to find sane information amidst the untruths about detox diets and cleanses -- thank you for this article! Our bodies have built-in detox programs, and with a little help from us via eating more wholesome foods, they work extremely well. No shakes or cleansing drinks or extreme diet needed!
    I'm going to share with my readers too.

  9. Thanks Amelia, We love your blog too ;)
    Happy New Year! Sumner

  10. Hi Sumner!

    I wanted to follow up with you regarding my experience with Kaeng Raeng.

    I just completed the 6 day veteran program two weeks ago and I still feel amazing! I lost 6 lbs and it hasn't come back.

    Since completing the program I have been on the best health kick of my life.
    I'm drinking a lot more water (I suppose it became a good habit while on the program) and I'm eating a lot more fresh fruits and veggies in my diet.
    I'm not sure if this is due to Kaeng Raeng or the change in my diet, but certain processed or high sodium foods actually taste too salty or chemically to me now.

    Like I said before I've always tried to maintain a relatively healthy lifestyle, but it gets hard sometimes with my hectic work schedule. This program has really given me the tools I needed to make better choices.
    I am proud to say that I have found myself stocking up on fruits/veggies from the grocery store and packing them as snacks when I'm on the go!

    I was a bit nervous at first when you mentioned the possible side effects of the increased amount of fiber in my diet. But honestly, it ended up being a major blessing. I have had a lot of digestive problems over the past few months(probably due to an unbalanced diet) and I think it was just the thing I needed to get things moving again. Not to be too graphic, but I didn't end up with any diarrhea--my movements were actually solid and normal for the first time in a long time. It's nice to not have to worry about being backed up all the time.

    I love your blog and I am so grateful that you brought this product to my attention. It has REALLY helped to set me on a good path again!


  11. Hi Sumner!

    Wasn't sure if this interested you...
    I just wanted to let you know I've been following this company on facebook and Dr. Melina Jampolis from CNN health recently gave Kaeng Raeng a positive review after having tried it. It seems to me that she sees it more as a meal supplement than a detox or cleanse...

    Pretty cool!