As I mentioned last week, Em and I are in the middle (actually now towards the very end) of a little health reset. We did a similar ten day regiment with eye-opening success back in April and felt like it was time for another go around. I hadn’t planned on going into much detail because in large part, I didn’t think everyone would be that interested. But over the last two weeks, I have had more interesting conversations and more inquiries all surrounding two fundamental questions: What the hell is a reset? And why should I do it?
Look, if you want to read scientific literature and/or breaking news findings on the health benefits of this, that, or the other, this is not the place. It’s not that Science can’t teach us a ton, but rather, that Science hasn’t caught up with all of us in terms of communication. Right now people are being bombarded with information, and the net result is not education, but rather confusion. Even still, the notion of removing wheat, meat, dairy, eggs, caffeine, and added sugar from your diet is no random collection of denials.
I plan to focus on the day to day health factors here to avoid getting into a crazy debate on heart disease, diabetes, and more. Those are topics that I won’t claim to be an expert on. So, for now, I’m asking one simple question: How do you feel today?
Ironically, this time of year, people are flocking to the gyms, surviving only on juice, and vowing to lose those few pounds. If you focus on weight, you’re doomed. If you starve yourself, you will fail. But if you pay attention to one key component of your daily health, this reset is where it all begins. Your ENERGY is a huge indicator of how healthy you are at any given time. Which is why I’ve always thought the expression “you are what you eat” makes no sense. Although sometimes I do wish I was an Italian Hoagie. But in reality, we should be saying “You feel what you eat”.
This notion really became apparent a few years back when a friend of mine started an anti-inflammatory diet to aid in his recovery from a broken back. I decided to go along for the ride as a curious supporter and within days I was feeling different. In large part, I had removed wheat from my diet completely. It was a challenge. A huge challenge to go away from bread, pasta, and so many more of my favorite foods. But the end result was pretty drastic.
Since then, I’ve done by best to live by the general guidelines of eating to feel good. I’ve reduced the amount of meat I eat, I cut back substantially on bread and pasta (although I go in waves here for sure), and in large part, I eat a ton of vegetables. But as a young and pretty healthy individual, I still eat what I want, when I want it. I shouldn’t have to mention that Italian Hoagie again, should I? The beauty however, is that my experience with the anti-inflammatory diet put the effects of my food front and center. I know what foods make me feel good, and I know what foods make me feel lethargic and stiff.
This is why the reset works so great. For ten days, the reset attempts to remove any and all sources of inflammation/allergens while providing tons of fiber, vitamins, and balance. By the third day it’s hard not to feel fantastic. People have asked, about this effect, and wonder how much of it could be mental? The irony, is that this question is posed as a bad thing, or even as a means to dispute the value of making changes in your eating habits. I’m more than happy to chalk up 20% of that added energy and overall good feeling to a mental effect. Why wouldn’t you?
But if you aren’t eating meat, wheat, dairy, eggs, caffeine, and added sugar, what the hell are you eating you might ask? Well that’s why I’m here to help!
One of the other re-occurring topics from my last few weeks of conversations is that the premise of the reset sounded worthwhile but the actually preparation of meals seemed daunting. And I get that. Particularly if you aren’t in love with your kitchen, preparing meals to keep the ten days interesting and worthwhile can be a huge hurdle. So over the next two weeks or so, I’m hoping to provide a really good blueprint for success. Breakfasts, lunch, and dinner (and a few damn good snacks) will be much easier after going through this little guide and should be a great starting point if you are interested.
The last thing I’ll say is that the guidelines I’ll propose are in large part a combination of previously existing diets, advice, and personal experience. I won’t take credit for any of this and most importantly, I won’t say you are wrong if you choose to do something differently. Choosing to reset your system, and to become more in tuned with your food, is all about you. Do what makes you feel right and you can’t go wrong. All I know is I see value. I feel leaner. I have more energy. And this second time around has been a breeze!
Pass on the link to anyone you feel might be interested and I hope you enjoy!