I never thought I would ever try a food RESET. It’s been in the back of my mind as I’ve read articles about it, but I was always hesitant in trying one. After reading Food Freedom Forever by Melissa Hartwig, I realized a reset was the next step to optimize my health.
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What is a RESET and why is this important to me?
You may or may not be familiar with Melissa Hartwig’s Whole30 program. It is designed to eliminate foods that impact your cravings, metabolism, digestion and immune system for 30 days.
During the 30 days of elimination, the focus is to pay close attention to these following areas and see if there are any improvements – “Energy, Sleep, Digestion, Mood, Attention Span, Self-Confidence, Cravings, Chronic Pain or Fatigue, Athletic Performance, and Recovery and any number of other symptoms or medical conditions”. Once 30 days are up, the foods eliminated are re-introduced in a systematic way to determine which ones are problematic. With the knowledge which food has a negative impact, it’s up to the individual to decide whether or not it’s worthwhile to eat the ‘unhealthy’ foods given the consequences without the guilt.
The Whole30 is one example of a reset program. Other types of reset are further discussed in Food Freedom Forever. It’s up to you to select what type of reset that will work for you best. What attracted me to a reset is because for the past several months, I’ve been feeling something is off with my body. It could also be relegated to stress (which is another topic for a future post) but if I can optimize the way my body responds through proper nutrition, then why not give it a try?! It’s only for 30 days.
I made changes to the way I ate a couple of years ago when I surprisingly found out I was borderline pre-diabetic. You can read more about it in My Journey of Change. But I’ve never done a complete elimination reset so it should be interesting to see the results.
Benefits of a Reset
If you’ve contemplated a reset before, there is a myriad of benefits that might convince you to try it. And none of them have to do with weight loss at all.
During the 30 day reset, the scale is off limits! The emphasis is on what is termed as ‘non-scale victories’. There is a downloadable list of 100 non-scale victories on the Whole 30 website found here https://whole30.com/downloads/whole30-nsv.pdf. After looking at the list, it’s no wonder so many people have gone through this reset.
One problem I’d like to resolve is knowing if a certain type of food is causing adult-onset acne. (Yes, I can’t believe at age 41 I would be dealing with acne like I did back in high school). Other benefits I’d like to gain from the reset revolves around Mood, Emotion, Psychology – handle stress better, less anxious – as well as the Inner Physical functions -less fatigue, less lower back pain to name a few.
The Reset Plan
I decided I will follow The Whole30 reset with a few add-ons. Here is the list of ingredients I would need to avoid as part of the program:
- ADDED SUGAR
- LEGUMES (including peanuts and soy)
- MSG, CARAGEENAN, SULFITES
- NO BAKED GOODS, JUNK FOODS or TREATS with the approved ingredients
I’m adding nuts to this list because I think I may have developed an allergy to certain types of nuts like cashews and possibly pecans. So I will also be nut-free for 30 days.
The most challenging for me would be to avoid grains (and nuts) but the rest seems doable since I rarely consume them nowadays.
Create Healthy Habits
Melissa Hartwig specifically wrote the book Food Freedom Forever to those who have a difficult time adjusting to the aftermath of the Whole30 program. It’s about having a strategy so you’re in a place where you feel in control of your decisions of what you put in your mouth.
This is how Melissa defined Food Freedom:
..it means finally feeling in control of food, instead of food controlling you. It means indulging when you decide it’s worth it, savoring the experience without guilt or shame, and then returning to your regularly scheduled healthy habits. That’s real food freedom.
Are you ready to set your own food freedom? Have you tried a reset before?