I hear it all the time, “why would you do a cleanse if you already eat healthy & exercise regularly?” I get it, I do! But have you ever felt your energy dip, your food cravings taking complete control over you or maybe that feeling that your body isn’t working as effectively or efficiently as it should? Sometimes it’s just not enough to work out and eat right; we also have to find a way to cleanse from the inside out. I’ve thought about doing the Ultimate Reset for over a year now and there was always an excuse or reason NOT to go through with it. Perhaps it was a party I knew I couldn’t restrain myself at (who can pass up and hors d’oeuvres plate?!) or a vacation coming up where I knew there would be indulgences (tropical beverages come to mind here). I could just never find a three week window that would work. But honestly? Life is crazy and unpredictable and you are always going to have obstacles. I saw a window coming up with minimal interruptions (i.e. holidays, vacations, social gatherings) and decided now was the time. I’m a little bummed out about those treats I allow myself during Sunday football get togethers or fall tailgates but if my excitement for all those events revolves around food, clearly I need to mind reset!
So what exactly is the Ultimate Reset? It’s a 21-day, three-phase program designed to totally reset your body from the inside out. When you think of a detox or cleanse the first thing you think of is starvation or having to sit next to a bathroom all day, right? I can assure you the Reset is anything but. It teaches you to learn and to listen and be conscious of what your body really needs through three phases:
Phase 1: Reclaim
In the first week you Reclaim your body, accessing its inner chemistry and prepare for change. You gradually remove foods such as red meat and dairy, which are known to place stress on the digestive system, from your diet for the duration of the Reset.
Phase 2: Release
In the second week you begin to Release unwanted compounds that have been holding your system back and start the detoxification process. This phase includes a gentle colon cleanse and digestive support. You eat a fully vegan diet.
Phase 3: Restore
In the third week you’ll help Restore your digestive system, along with other internal processes, to maximum efficiency, putting nutrients, enzymes, and pre- and probiotics back into your body. You’ll cut back further on grains and will be eating mostly fruits and vegetables.
Now do I expect this to be easy? Absolutely NOT! There is a reason that it took me nearly a year to decide if and when I was going to do this. I love food! I love cooking it, I love eating it and I don’t like anyone telling me when and what I can and can’t have. But, you know that saying? Nothing worthwhile ever comes easy? I do believe it. I have heard nothing but life-altering experiences from those who have done this program and now it’s my turn. You can do anything for 21 days, right?!
I woke up feeling slightly disorganized. Fresh off a 5-day leadership retreat with my coaching team, I got back and jumped right into mom/family life at full speed. The extent of my prepping for this, despite fair warning, was going to the grocery store to get all the stuff on the grocery list for Week 1 but I did not follow the prep tips that were recommended. My advice? Do this and save yourself a bit of time! Fortunately, though, I work from home so taking the time to prep each meal wasn’t a huge deal but I had more than a handful of things I wanted to get done that didn’t involve hanging out in the kitchen!
Breakfast was honestly a breakfast I would normally eat but instead of throwing some greens and eggs in a pan together, I had to steam the spinach separately. The extra step caused a groan or two but in reality, it took no extra time. By mid-morning I was hungry and felt a headache creeping on. I’m pretty sure the headache was from the lack of coffee in my day. I’m not a huge coffee drinker so the headache was fairly low-grade but I could only imagine how debilitating it must be for avid coffee drinkers! My tip if you are a big coffee drinker would be to slowly cut it down in the weeks leading up to the Reset! I was also exhausted which I am going to chalk up to nearly a week with 5-6 hours of sleep a night.
I made miso soup (if you can boil water you can make this!) and got all the veggies cut up for my lunch salad ahead of time. I’m not a napper but I knew if I was going to make it through an afternoon on mom-duty, I’d never make it without a little shuteye. I do not nap well and when I try I usually end up resting and listening to the sounds around me but low and behold, I passed out cold for 45 minutes and thankfully I set an alarm! I got up slightly disoriented and had my afternoon supplements and the optional afternoon snack to carry me through the afternoon. I don’t know if it was one or the other or the combo but I felt a world of difference for the rest of the day!
What surprised me the most was that I wasn’t overly hungry as I made dinner for the kids and even more surprising? I DID NOT pick off their plates as I made dinner! That cute little pumpkin-shaped pasta (have you seen them at Trader Joe’s?!) were calling my name but I held out and I feel like I sat down to eat dinner later and really tasted it and enjoyed it. Quite often my afternoons end up being one snack after the other and it was nice to finally feel hungry for dinner. A totally new feeling.
Final thoughts on Day 1? I can do this. It’s three healthy-sized meals a day and one snack. The way I SHOULD be eating anyway. I’m not craving sugar though I do see pictures of food I can’t have and feel a little sad about it. I’ll be interested to see if those feelings dissipate over the course of the next three weeks. So here we go!