Tuesday, January 16, 2007


I was invited to be someone's date at a chili "cook-off" on Sunday night. I think I was a pretty good date, because I was complimentary without being fawning, polite without being stuck-up, and attentive without being cloying. I think I was all these things because my date was a platonic girl friend. I am always at my best when stakes are low! I even danced to a number of songs that came up on Oh! Air Karaoke (yes, it was That Kind Of Cook-Off), and after four bowls of chili that is no easy feat.

Now, this wasn't really a chili "cook-off". I mean, the chili was provided and cooked by only one person, and unless he was competing against himself (which he may have been; some people strive for excellence in all that they do), there was no real element of competition. Which isn't to say the chili wasn't top notch! 'Cause it was!

There were four kinds: White Chicken, Veggie Beef (which means that the "beef" was soy, not actually derived from a moo-cow), Spicy Vegetable, and Southwestern Chicken. The White Chicken was my favorite, but only because any savory food that tastes like a hot bowl of spicy ice-cream is tops in my book. What I mean by that is the White Chicken had a lot of dairy (cheese and sour cream). I made the bold choice to mix the White Chicken with the Veggie Beef (inspired by Vodka Sauce -- Red + Creamy = Pink and Dreamy), and this "bold choice" was rewarded with an even bolder tummy ache. Or maybe it was because of all the corn in the various chilis? I ate a lot of chili, therefore I ate a lot of corn. Oh Man, it was good, but Man Alive! I was Feelin' It later.

Which leads me to my next subject: Activia. Activia is Dannon's newest yogurt product, and it claims to "help naturally regulate your digestive system". I'm not sure what that means, but my mother is. She bought me a case of the stuff at Costco because my mother -- like your mother, and all mothers since the dawn of mothering -- is EXTREMELY concerned about the intestinal health of her offspring. And so, I've been put on a 14-day regimen of Activia because it will help me clear out toxins and, and according to my mother, "roto-rooter" my system. I'm not sure I even need to "roto-rooter" my system, but, then again, it couldn't hurt, right?

I took my first one today. I say "took" like it's medicine, but I didn't "take" it, I ate it. It's yogurt! It was peach flavored. Tasted like yogurt! So far, so good. I do harbor the slightest fear that I will have immediate and explosive diarrhea on the subway sometime today, but, if that's what it takes to clear my intestinal clutter then it will be well worth it. Sorry in advance, F train!


Anonymous Brendan said...

I did the activia regimen for a little while, and my only gripe with it is that the container it comes in are about the same size as a shot glass. Two spoonfulls and done. The reason I did it was to try and repopulate my guts after doing this lemonade fast called The Master Cleanse.

1:36 PM  
Blogger Tony Powell said...

I'm as pro intestinal microflora as anyone. And the Activia I ate tasted great. But I still have to wonder-- Aw, what the heck; we've needed this for five million years and now we finally have it!

2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a long comment but I feel that I have to fully explain for people who may have the same problem that I have. I suddenly started having constipation troubles before being diagnosed with having Fibroids which were removed in 2004. Fibroids cause constipation. I still have 1 Fibroid remaining which the doctor didn't remove because I want to have a child and the doctor didn't want to cause damage to my Fallopian Tube. If I get pregnant, the doctor will give me a C-Section and will also remove the remaining Fibroid at the same time. I still suffer from constipation, only having 1 BM or less per week. When I did finally have a BM I had a lot of cramps while it was moving out of my system which should be expected. Especially before my menstrual cycle which was a time when my bowels always finally cleaned out. The cramps always go away when I'm done with the BM and I always feel so much better afterwards. No longer feeling lethargic with no energy at all. I started eating Activa on Saturday, 4/7/07 after not having a BM for about 5 days which was before my menstrual cycle. Only 1 Activia in the morning after a cup of coffee. Easter Sunday I was tired and bloated as usual due to the constipation but on Monday, 4/9/07 in the afternoon I had a small cramp and a small BM. Then on Tuesday, 4/10/07 in the afternoon I had a large BM accompanied with the same cramps that I suffer before my menstrual cycle which is when I always have a large BM. Afterwards I felt so much better. Then again in the evening on 4/10/07 I had another normal sized BM and another normal BM today Tuesday, 4/11/07 in the morning. I finally feel that my bowels are totally cleaned out and I seem to be getting back to regular BMs after eating only 3 Activia's, the 4th one I ate this morning, 4/11/07. I can't wait to see how regular I am after 14 days of eating 1 Activia in the morning. To have 1 BM everyday will be wonderful. I won't be so irritable and bloated. I already notice that my stomach doesn't look so bloated. Some family members actually asked me if I was pregnant which I'm not but hope to be soon. I also think that being constipated all the time hindered my becoming pregnant bacause when I was ovulating I also haven't had a BM for almost a week before ovulating and Intercourse was always uncomfortable. When me and my husband had intercouse last night to try for a baby again it was not uncomfortable at all after the large BM that I had earlier in the afternoon. I also felt hungry this morning with a feeling of an empty stomach which I haven't felt for quite a while due to being constipated all the time. I feel that if you do not have problems with constipation/slow digestive system then you probably shouldn't use Activia because for me it seems to have speeded up my very, very slow digestive system. Maybe that's why some people suffer diarrhea. I did not have diarrhea or get dizzy or nauseas. As far as the name Bifidus Regularis, who cares if it was made up. I will make another comment when I finish 14 days of eating Activia.

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a 49 year old healthy, active woman who has suffered from constipation for about 20 years. It was so bad that I actually went on a new drug a couple of years ago called Zelnorm to try to regulate my bowels which on the average had only emptied about once per week. AFter 2 years I no longer take this drug and it has recently been pulled off the market due to bad side effects. Two weeks ago my mother told me about Activia and although I have always disliked yogurt I thought I'd give it a try. Almost immediately I had relief! And there is no discomfort at all - it finally feels like my body is functioning the way it is suppose to. I imagine if you ate Activia (I prefer the regular NOT the Light), and did not have constipation problems it could cause excessive gas, cramping or diarrhea problems. But for my system it is a GODSEND! Thank you Dannon :-)

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It took over 14 days for the Activia to kick in but now I love it. I start my day with it. I lost about 4 pounds and was concerned until I noticed on other blogs people had mentioned this. I've had a mild aching in my abdomen and thought that it was a gyn problem but got a clean bill of health there. I'm guessing it's just mild cramping that others have mentioned. I hate to stop using it to see if it goes away since I feel so good otherwise.

12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I started the Activia thing 8 days ago and have been suffering stomach cramps since day one. Its good to hear I'm not the only one. Does it go away? Is it really worth the trouble?

7:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Careful with the Activia. I have eaten many other brands of yogurt with active cultures. I thought Activia sounded like a good idea so I did the 2 week thing. I don't know if anyone else had this problem, but those flora really produced gas (we're talking really foul, stinky gas) in my system). Was awful - no matter what I ate there it was! I was only free of it after I went on an antibiotic regimen for a sinus infection did it go away. I ate regular Dannon and Mountain High as well as Yoplait after I finished the antibiotics and no problems. No more Activia for me!

12:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I presume most of the comments are posted by women. I'm a guy married to one for some 30 yrs. She tries things on me. She's kinda an herbalist. A great cook. We grow stuff. Activia is the tryout now. The boss gave me the carton thing. It says "by helping reduce long intestinal transit time." I need it to reduce the time... all at once; not the 2-3 times before I feel my bowels are clear and can move safely thru the day. Well, maybe I'll think of/remember to check out updates between Megan (who also just started a 14 day regimen), and myself.

9:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Justaguy again. Mar'd some 30+ yrs. I chk'd out 'The Tree of Life' and saw Lactobacillus casel ... went from pediococcus to streptococcus. No regularis. In fact the whole B. animalis thing might not be right. But... I love my baby. I'll try it for awhile.

9:39 PM  
Blogger Bela said...

I started with the activa program this past saturday because it's a long weekend and I wanted to see if there was going to be diarrhea and would be close by my own facilities most of the time. So far it has helped. My bm's are not as painful (due to constipation and hemmoroids) and I do feel like I am flushing out more than usual. I've also only had gas when it was time to go. So after 3 days I'll give it one thumbs up with hopes that this is what will work for me. Good luck to the rest of you..

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you want to know more about yoghurt and intestinal microflora (of course you do) there's an interesting site at www.bifidusdigestivum.com (apparently that's the way they say in the UK - you say tomayto and I say tomarto...)

4:01 PM  
Blogger mistydabrat said...

I named my dog bifidus regularis..seriously

8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080124/danone_080124/20080124?hub=Health should give you pause for thought.

9:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

watashi wa hidoi geri desu.

yes. i have terrible diarrhea. and it's all your fault. it was explosive on the subway. i sprayed the 6 train with a stream of brown across the windows and doors. the smell was insidious. the rest of the people on the train were feasting on the misery -- *my* misery. the beaners on the subway playing their mariachi music stopped and gave *me* money they felt so bad. but i had them all beat -- my explosive diarrhea was a curse brought on by the hell that is dannon activia.

besides, bifidus regularis is a misnomer. the bifidobacterium found in the yogurt is none other than a combination of bifidobacterium lactis and bifidobacterium animalis, both of which occur naturally in the human body. in fact, your appendix is responsible for harboring and regrowing these bacteria after a traumatic intestinal event. if you've ever had appendicitis or had your appendix removed, you probably have a hard time regrowing these bacteria in your intestinal tract. believe me, it's much better to take the over-the-counter live culture pills rather than succumb to the hell that is the explosive anal blast which has sprayed the 6 train. i expect that car to remain uninhabited by anyone but bums for quite some time.

put *that* in your mouth.

10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been eating 2 pots of activia a day now for the last 5 or so days , and at times i have been in work and hard to run to the toilet quick and this has lasted for a few hours a day, so yes feel less bloated though spent most of my day in the loo and have not been able to keep my food for long in my system ... not nice , also been feeling dizzy. not to sure if will keep eating them possibly just on the weekends. when i am in the comfort of my own home.

5:37 PM  
Blogger Linda Everett said...

Whoa - these comments sure do run the gamut! I just started Activia today, having just had surgery and needing a loosener. I guess it's a good thing I'm housebound for at least another week. I'd hate to blast off at the office or enroute.

2:42 PM  
Blogger James said...

The Activia gimmic is really working well for Dannon in the sales department but if you do some basic research whether online or at a good local health food store you ill find out that taking a regular supplement of lactobacillus acidophilus will work much better towards restoring your intestinal flora and fauna without all of the horrible side effect of the Activia mess. If you are so inclined you can also take a combined supplement of bifidus / lactobacillus acidophilus. As I'm sure most of you may be well aware these bacterium are nothing new, I've been taking acidophilus for almost 20 years now.

3:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've thought it quite amazing that a little marketing spin by Dannon, by calling the probiotic, bifidus regularis, really works and people buy it. Probiotics has been around for ages, and Dannon along with others has jumped on the bandwagon of our everchanging healthy lifestyles. The term bifidus regularis is a tradename they are marketing under. Rather than make these conglomerates richer, go to your little local health food store and help keep them in business.

1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've tried Activia. It caused agonizing gas pains in my intestines! I mean open groaning, almost unable to move kind of pain. No spoonful will pass my lips ever again. I tried it because my regular kefir brand was not immediately available. If you haven't tried it folks, kefir is far preferable from a probiotic view. It doesn't just flood your system with a single engineered bacterium, but has a balance of probiotic bacteria. I recommend the Lifeway brand (and no I don't work for the company).

2:42 PM  
Anonymous Christie said...

I'm gluten intolerant and have a problem with diarhea, not constipation, but Activia works well for me. When I DON'T use it I have problems, even if I don't eat anything with gluten in it. (I suspect that there is gluten
"hiding" in a lot of foods.)When I DO use Activia I can even enjoy some wheat products daily with no problems. I have bloating, gas and diarhea without it, so I will continue to use it. I was really surprised that some have said it caused these problems - it eliminates them for me.

10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am new to this site...I find the same results as far as more function for cleaning out the intestines...but curious if anyone else has had any changes in menstrual cycle from taking this Dannon Activia product??? I was pretty much done with menstrual cycle as I am going through the change, but now am having regular periods again after taking Activia for several weeks...anyone else with these changes? Thanks Chris

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the last post on menstrual cycle: I have been eating one Activia every day for one week. I was scheduled to start my period on Wednesday (and I am always VERY punctual) and did not start my period until Friday morning. It is very light (which is also unusual) and I have really bad cramps (I never get cramps). I am not pregnant so I can only consider that Activia has adjusted my menstral system in some way. I am a little nervous honestly! It seems like Activia may be effecting some women on a hormonal level. Anyone else with this issue?

12:13 PM  
Blogger sew hot said...

boy, bring up "poo" and everyone has an comment no matter how inappropriate. No matter how anonymous no one is interested in your poo habits.

7:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm a 23 year old african american female. i just thought Activia would be something good to try i mean other than shit what do i have to lose. it helps me go and i even noticed a decrease in my appetite. no cramps and jus a little gas since i'm lactose intolerant anyway

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

boy the comments here are all over the place. Here's my two cents.

I suffered for 4 years with increasing cramping and diarrhea. It got so that almost everything I ate caused this problem. Protein, sugar, dairy - whatever.

Finally a dr. suggested I try Activa. Almost immediately it began working. Yes, I do get some nasty gas (but I had that anyway), but I can actually eat more or less normally without spending my night on the toilet.

Almost normal bm's - what a pleasure.

and no, i don't work for the company or own their stock.

11:06 AM  
Blogger optimal_pooper said...

Been eating Activia for about a week now. Seems to speed things up downstairs just as others have claimed. I have experienced some gas and one bout of the runs, but am not sure I can attribute it dirrectly to the Activia.
I was a little concerened this evening when I noticed in the tiolet that the carrots I ate for dinner 5 hours earlier where already "leaving the building" by the back door. They say that speeding up transit time in the colon is a healthy thing, but how fast is healthy and is there such a thing as "too fast"?
I mean (I pay a lot of attention to what come out of my body) and transit time for food items used to be 24-48 hours. Now its 5 hours!? Im thinking maybe thats too fast for the food I eat to do any good. It may be affective for weight loss though. I'm just not real sure about how healthy it is though. Any comment would be welcome!

4:29 AM  
Blogger andrew61663 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:08 PM  
Blogger andrew61663 said...

Boycott Activia on principal.
Buy CHOBANI yogurt instead - it has more than twice the amount of protein, half the sugar, and ALL five of the desired live active cultures: S.Thermaphilus, L.Bulgaricus, L.Acidophilus, BIFIDUS, and L.Casei.
Oh, and it tastes good, too. But if it’s not sweet enough for’ya: by all means - add another 12 grams of sugar to it. You pay a little more than other yogurts, but you’d have to eat twice as much as the other yogurts to get the same benefit as ONE Chobani yogurt.

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy moly! After eating 2 cups of Activia (because I like the stuff) on Tuesday night, I exploded (and I mean exploded) on Wednesday afternoon: horrible cramps and diarrhea. Today is Thursday and I still have agonizing cramps. Be careful, very careful, with this stuff!

9:58 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

Bifidus Regularis. It sounds like Wile E Coyote to me. Is Dannon really a front for ACME?

9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I started eating Activia or the store brand (whichever was handy and had a flavor I liked). Wasn't sure it really made a difference but figure, it can't hurt. Didn't think much of it till I went on a vacation where I did not have access to the probiotic yoghurt. Within a few days I really had diarrhea to the point of needing Imodium. When I got home and went back on the bifidia whatsit, no problems. I thought, it' gotta be the water. But again a few months later I was traveling & too lazy to carry it with me/rent a car and go buy some. Same results...and again when I did drive to a store and start eating it again, problem resolved. So I found out the hard way that this particular probiotic IN MY CASE works well. I understand it may not for everyone.

1:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have suffered all my life from chronic constipation,which I've definitely inherited from my mother, and the difference is huge! I was suprised to read many negative comments of people who experienced cramps, diarhea or even vomits, no offence!! To me is marvellous, the solution I've looked for, and beleive me, I'd tried
a lot! Though my opinion may sound like publicity to any paranoid, I sincerely recommend it to people who have had serius problems with constipation for a long time, believe me, no more need for disguisting senna leaves tea or dangerous laxatives. And the taste is GREAT! Who cares for some more calories when your belly is finally flat and you feel normal again. Of course, if you have regular bowel movement, you don't need to use the product, as your body is regular by itself; no wonder you may have side effects! it's like being full, and still eating, and then complain that you feel like you gonna throw up :)
Anyway, to cut it short, THANK YOU DANONE!!

6:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tried Activia and it worked for me right away reducing my constipation. I'm so much more regular and feel like it will help me with reducing my weigth combined with exercise. I'm not having any of the side effects that others have reported. Tastes great and works great!

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