Now that the Reset is in the rear view mirror, I want to share some thoughts. I'm going to review what it is, why I did it, how I felt during each phase, my honest thoughts about the program and next steps for me and my family.
The Ultimate Reset is a 21 Day cleanse that is designed to rid your body of harmful ingredients like sugar, alcohol and processed foods, and put back in the good stuff. Think lots of organic veggies, fruits and whole grains. There are natural supplements that come with the program that are designed to support digestion, immunity and offer extra vitamin support through the journey. The nutrition piece is based in clean eating, and the program comes with a comprehensive recipe guide and plan for daily meals. The first week meat protein is allowed in minimal portions, the second week follows a vegetarian plan, and the third week is vegan. The program is specifically calibrated to make you body as efficient as possible, and believe it or not by the third week, fruits and vegetables only is really not that bad!
I did the program for several reasons. This year I'm embarking on a Clarity Project, which is basically my quest to "get clear" in every area of my life. As of early January, I was feeling mentally clouded, sluggish all the time and increasingly irritable. As a mom of 3 young boys, this is NOT a fun way to be, trust me! My nutrition had fallen a bit off track, and I was eating too much of the processed goodies and drinking alcohol versus the good stuff - FRESH foods. I've been clean eating for about 2 years now, and have been following the EXACT same type of plan all that time. I know now that I was getting burnt out and it was time to change things up. What may have worked for me two years ago, was no longer working as well.
Phase 1 was without a doubt the hardest. I had some detox symptoms the first few days (headache, lower back pain, irritability) and my bad habits became very obvious! I loved the food the first week, and thankfully found that I was not hungry. I will say that the food preparation and shopping piece is significant. I cooked a new meal every day, but luckily there is a fast track option that cuts down prep time quite a bit! The first week was a bit overwhelming on this front, but as I got into a routine it became much easier. Meal highlights included black bean tacos, greek salad with chicken and eggs and toast on the first day.
On Days 6 and 7 I really started feeling better. Better as in GREAT! I felt mentally clear, had more energy was not as irritable. I did yoga each day of the Reset, which also helped with soreness that I continued to feel - a common detox symptom! Phase 2 is about "release", so think focus on digestion. I was relieved to find it was NOT an aggressive cleanse in this way, and the supplements also support that. I did find myself quite hungry at the start of this phase, and just added back in a few calories and grains. My goal was NOT weight loss, so this was fine for me and I suspect the reason why I was so hungry.
By the time Phase 3 rolled round I really felt in a groove with the meal prep and new way of eating. By this time I was down to smaller portions, no meat and few grains. Meals that seemed laughably boring because fun and delicious, not to mention filling! I know that sounds hard to believe, but it's true! I had some cravings throughout the process - mostly for alcohol and this weekend was difficult with both a family birthday party and the Super Bowl. I managed to persevere! Phase 3 was a bit repetitive on the food front, but it went quickly and I found it to actually be easier than I expected.
So, how do I feel on Day 22? I feel AMAZING! My bloating has gone WAY down and my jeans fit comfortably again..dare I say that are a little loose? I feel mentally clear and I"m not quite zen mama yet, but my patience and calm have increased. Perhaps most importantly, I really feel motivated now to cook this way going forward! The program gave me a new appreciation for simple, real food. What may seem boring, comes alive with the proper spices and seasoning! In short, I'm feeling clear, inspired and thankful to have gone on this journey.
Was it hard? Yes, it was. Here is how I feel about that. It's all about perspective. Chronic disease is hard. Being so overweight you can't work out is hard. Not fitting into my pants is hard. Needing to nap while my children play around me is hard. This, by comparison wasn't hard. It was certainly uncomfortable at times but it's true...truly the very BEST things happen when we let ourselves get a little bit uncomfortable. I would recommend this program to anyone! We all have different biologies (bioindividuality) which means that one way of eating that responds to me may not respond to you. The only way to know is by doing something like this. I know now that my body responds very well to a plant based diet and (sadly) no sugar or alcohol. I won't be cutting those things about completely, but am going to take a more moderated approach.
Going forward I'm going to be a little bit less strict with myself. If I'm hungry, I'll eat. If I want fat, I'll have fat. If I want sugar, I'll have it. However, it will be in moderation and whenever possible i'm going to seek out the most responsibility produced food, with as few ingredients as possible. In the end, I believe in moderation and balance (as I always have), but am going to try to stick closer to my believe that REAL food, close to the earth is where the magic is.
So that's it! I can't wait to share new recipes with you and take you along as we adjust our eating to reflect this new way of life. Comment below if you have any questions or want to share your own cleanse experience!