Charting The ZOE Journey - A Personal Experience

Charting The ZOE Journey - A Personal Experience

Over the past year myself and a close friend had been considering embarking on the Zoe program with a view to finding out information about our own gut health, whether it was looking good or bad. After all, there is no true way of knowing without some kind of testing. The cost of the program is by no means cheap and so this a commitment of both finances and time. Before starting the program, we spent a lot of time reading up, and absorbing information both online and via social media. Come the new year, we decided to just quit the procrastination and go for it!

Having completed their online questionnaire, selecting period of time to have membership and registering, we were in the queue - awaiting confirmation of our kit arrival and start date.

What Is 'ZOE'?

"We take a holistic approach to understand how your body works.
We use the most advanced tests and cutting-edge science available to help you understand how your body works so you can reduce dietary inflammation and improve your gut health naturally.
Based on the tests used in PREDICT, our at-home test kit can provide comprehensive insights into your biology, covering the gut microbiome and your blood sugar and blood fat responses.....

Ever wondered how a specific food or meal impacts your body?
We combine artificial intelligence with data from thousands of participants in our studies to generate personalized scores for any food or meal you eat. These scores are delivered in real-time through our app, which has hundreds of thousands of foods and thousands of meal suggestions for you to choose from..."

Source: ZOE Website 'Why Zoe'

The ZOE program itself falls into two parts; Part-1 is using the test kit and part-2 is ongoing membership to the program.

Once the testing kit arrives you set your DAY1 start date within the Zoe App. This is the day you need to keep as clear as possible in order to eat the test cookies at the right time and complete the tasks.

On the day before - if you are eligible for the Blood Test kit, this is the day to apply your monitor and set up the additional blood sugar testing app. So I recommend being prepared on these two days, and give yourself enough time and breathing space to get things set up and to do the tasks.

Applying the blood test monitor - in actual fact despite my initial dread it was all straight forward and easy. The instructions are super clear and best of all - it really didn't hurt. Once applied to the back of your arm, you use your smart phone to scan the monitor and the readings are downloaded to the app. You need to do this at least once every 8 hours to make sure the data keeps downloading and saving. It's easy to do and I found that it becomes addictive! Wanting to know my readings :)

Day 1 starts with a string of instructions popping in to the App. Again it is all super clear, and logical and I didn't find anything difficult to understand. Having fasted over night ( min of 8 hours ) it was time for the early morning breakfast cookies. These need to be consumed within a short time frame and then the time of consumption recorded on the app. This was the same with the infamous blue 'lunch cookies'. These had to be consumed at a set time after the breakfast cookies - the app tells you what time that should be.


Zoe Blue Lunch Cookies

The infamous 'Blue Lunch Cookies'

Zoe Breakfast Cookies

The Breakfast Cookies

I don't want to put anyone off  but I will just say I was glad when this day was over. The cookies were not for my liking, nor my friends. We both felt pretty dreadful during the day ( probably due to the fats and sugars contained within them ) and so anyone embarking on this journey we would recommend you choose your day 1 as a being an at-home day!

Also on day 1 are the poop and blood sample tests both of which need to posted on the same day. Zoe provide you with pre-paid boxes for the samples, you can just drop them straight into a post box. Job done!


COMING UP In next articles

> After initial tests completed and posted - Zoe week 1 continues
> About Coaches & Nutritionists

Via the app you are able to contact a Zoe Coach / Nutritionist. During the first couple of weeks I had several questions I needed help with, either technical with the App or help with foods & tasks, and I used the chat function to ask my questions. Within a very short period of time one of the team got back to me. I cannot praise them highly enough! Every team member that assisted me was extremely helpful & informative and dealt with my queries. In fact they were all super lovely and tremendously helpful. 
When I first booked the program, I didn't fully appreciate the assistance that would be available during the whole process should you need it -  2 weeks in, and I began to really appreciate this.