Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Ultimate Reset - Week 3...and results

I am sorry for the delay in sharing my Ultimate Reset week 3 experience, and final results.  As many of you know, it is nearing the end of the school year, and things are CRAZY in our house!!  Nevertheless, I am here now, sharing with you :).

OK, so week 3 was a little harder that weeks 1 and 2.  During week 3, in addition to the vegan eating plan, I removed grains from my diet.  My daily breakfast consisted of a plate of fresh fruit...I didn't take daily pics of my breakfast.  Lunch was usually a salad, sometimes accompanied with soup.  Dinner varied from roasted veggies, to soup, to stir fried veggies.  This last week was the ONLY week, I really found myself having cravings.  They were not big cravings (I wasn't feeling deprived), but just missing some foods.  I REALLY started to miss my coffee.  Victories for the week - I took my son and his friends out to dinner at Steak 'N Shake and a movie, to celebrate his birthday...and I DID NOT EAT A THING!  I had my Shakeology before we went to dinner, and had all of my dinner food prepped and ready to go for when I got back home.  Then on my LAST day, we were invited to a friend's house for dinner.  I brought my own food with me!  My friends are super understanding about my commitment to my health and completing the reset.  They were not at offended.

Ultimate Reset RESULTS:  I am down a total of 10.4 pounds, 3.5 inches off my waist, 2 inches off my hips, 2 inches off my chest, and 3 inches off each of my thighs!  My before and after pics do not show a huge change to me, because my brain focuses on my problem areas, and I don't SEE a lot of change there.  HOWEVER, you can definitely see the difference in my face.  I feel great.  I have lots of energy, and I am sleeping well, and waking very well rested.  

What I have learned after completing the reset....  

  • I can do ANYTHING for 3 weeks.
  • There are more ways to eat vegetables than steaming them and having as a side dish
  • I don't NEED meat (although I do enjoy it, and have no plans to give it up)
  • I am not eating enough healthy fats in my diet
  • My food digests better when I do not drink water (or any other beverage) within 15 minutes BEFORE and 30 minutes AFTER eating.  Seriously, this was a HUGE thing.  When you drink during a meal, it dilutes the stomach acids, which hinders your body's ability to digest food properly.  Give it a try, and you will notice a big difference.
  • I need more meditation and calmness in my life.  I really have this need to just be one with nature. 
  • I have a true appreciation of how my environment affects my health.
  • I LOVE baked sweet potatoes.  
  • I LOVE beets.
  • coffee is an important part of my life.
  • I miss my workouts.  I am ready to start lifting again.  
  • My family needs to eat more of these veggie dishes
What now?   So coming out of the reset, I am taking my time.  I do not want to undo all of my hard work.  I also want to avoid the inflammation of unfamiliar foods in my diet (specifically with foods that I typically eat, but have taken out of my diet for the past 3 weeks).  I am slowly reintroducing foods back into my diet.  This week, my goal is to increase my calories, and add grains and legumes back into my plan.  Next week, I will be adding in meat.  I am going to continue to avoid dairy, and processed carbs, and I plan to keep the sweets and treat low.  I will also continue drinking my Shakeology.  Once I am back up to eating enough calories to sustain my workouts, I am going to do another round of Hammer and Chisel.  Now that my body is prepped and ready to go,  I am ready to build muscle and sculpt my body. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Ultimate Reset - Week 2 DONE!

The 2nd phase of the Ultimate Reset is called Release.  The idea is that in this week, is that you release all of those toxins from your body.  During this week, many folks may experience fatigue, body aches, even acne.  It is all because the toxins that have been hiding deep in the body are trying to make their way out.  Fortunately, I only had a bit of fatigue (not as bad as last week).  I did however, suffer from some bloating and constipation.  I know TMI.  But, I have to be REAL, and let's face it, going to the bathroom is part of healthy digestion.  OK, so , this week, all dairy and meat were eliminated from my diet.  I was still able to enjoy plenty of veggies, healthy fats, and some whole grains (rice, quinoa, millet).  In addition, a detox (high fiber) drink was added to my supplements before each meal.  One would think that such a drink would cause more"release" rather than constipation, but this particular detox drink is designed to slow things down just a bit, so the intestines are better able to absorb the nutrients from the food I am eating.  So, now all of my cells are getting some high quality nutrients from REAL food, and those nutrients are helping to create new, healthy cells in my body (because you truly are what you eat), that will work hard to help my entire body function better.  My gut is healing from the stress of working so hard to digest foods that were not pure nutrition.  I just can't express to you how much better I FEEL.

There is something about doing something extraordinarily HEALTHY for your body, that just makes you FEEL amazing.  I think a lot of that can be attributed to the body's ability to function better.  Imagine that you are a person that wears glasses.  Now imagine that junk food and processed foods are like trying to look at the world without your glasses on.  You can kind of see things, but stuff isn't very clear, and the details may be too hard to make out.  Now, when you put your glasses on, everything is much clearer.  You can make out the details, and probably see things that you didn't notice before.  Putting those glasses on, is similar to how the body responds to healthy REAL food.  What do I mean by REAL food?  I mean the stuff that nature made.  When you go to the store and buy a box of something that is labeled healthy, that is not REAL food.  REAL foods are your fruits, veggies, healthy fats, whole grains, even lean meats.  It is the stuff that people ate BEFORE the invention of factories.  It is the stuff that you buy fresh, and will not keep as long in your refrigerator.

I embarked on this program as part of my journey because my body NEEDED to be reminded that food is a means to fuel my body and help it function as efficiently as possible.  Although I enjoy the taste of sweets and treats, this REAL food can also be made to taste AMAZING.  I had forgotten that some of the meals in this program are so delicious...and not at all difficult to incorporate into my daily eating.  My biggest struggle is that I don't like to cook.  I know how to cook, and I can make amazing dishes, but I just don't enjoy taking the time to do it.  The beauty of a program like this is that you have to take time to prepare your food.  For someone like me, it gets me into the habit of prepping ahead of time.  That is something I am not very good at.  However, it is something I need to practice more.      

I know you are waiting to hear my week 2 results.....

This week, I lost 2.5 inches in my waist, and I am down ANOTHER 4 pounds!!!  Wow!!  That is 8 pounds total in 2 weeks.  I never really expected to be dropping the pounds this quickly.  There are folks posting in my support groups that have lost 10 pounds in a week.  My body has never really worked like that.  Typically, I lose VERY slowly, and only about every other week.  FYI - I DO NOT weigh myself daily.  I have only been stepping on the scale once a week for my Reset.

The food continues to be delicious.  I am getting a little tired of salads, but at least the plan is mixing them up a bit.  I didn't take as many food pic this week because, many of the meals are similar to last week, but I will still share.  My FAVORITE meal of the reset is the Mediterranean roasted beets.  They are good hot or cold, by themselves, or topping a salad!  YUM!!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Ultimate Reset - Week 1 DONE

This is not my first time doing the Ultimate Reset.  I did it in February of 2014.  While I really loved the recipes, and the experience, I did feel that it was extremely rigid.  I had great results, and learned a lot, but all of that strictness with the timing of supplements, and food just had me stressed out.  I am sure that is what has prevented me from repeating this program again.  This time around, the experience is VERY different.  Over the past few months, I have been trying to do something similar with my eating all on my own.  It just wasn't working out for me.  I needed to be on a plan that would keep me focused and really steer me away from cheating.  I am so glad I decided to do the reset!  This is EXACTLY what I needed, EXACTLY when I needed it.

I am 1 full week in (and a few days), and I am surprisingly down 4.6 pounds.  It is sorta funny because I have hardly lost any inches...in fact, I have gained a little in the inch department.  THAT NEVER HAPPENS to me when I start a program.  It's all good though.  It is all part of the process.  The first week, Phase 1:Reclaim, is sort of a prep week.  During this week, you are starting to change your eating over to a vegan diet.  You phase out meat and dairy, and by the end of the week, you will be eating all vegan.  This is also the phase where folks will experience some detox side effects,  caffeine withdrawal (if you are a regular coffee or soda drinker) ...YUP, I experienced that one!  Going strong with NO COFFEE for 9 days now! Along with the headache, I had some crazy nausea.  As with any detox, your body will go through changes. The purpose of the Ultimate Reset is to do just that, "Reset" your body.  Part of that process involves getting all of the toxins out of the way, so your body can run more efficiently.  It isn't just a physical detox either.  Often times individuals will feel an emotional detox too.  For me, I am just feeling very zen about the whole program.  I don't know that zen is the right term, but I just feel a sense of calm.  I am embracing this program and seeking that change in my body and my mind.  I think with all that I have learned about food and what my body really needs to run smoothly (and get me healthy), that I just needed this program to set the tone.  I don't see having to cook two meals (one for myself, and one for my family) as a hassle or an inconvenience.  Typically, I would, but I am really enjoying my meals, and I am actually enjoying cooking for my family too (don't tell them that).  as strange as it sounds, I am NOT feeling at all deprived.  Although the food that I am eating is fairly low in calories (between 1200-1400 calories per day), it is super nutritious.  Besides a salad that starts with 3 cups of lettuce, is no small salad!  One of the best parts of this program that I truly enjoy (and also enjoyed when I completed it a few years ago), is the quality of my sleep.  I truly sleep like a baby.  I feel so relaxed, and wake up feeling like I truly got a good nights rest.  Even with the great sleep, I have been plagued by fatigue during this week.  It's not the 'I'm sleepy' sort of fatigue, but the 'my body is so tired that I can't seem to make it move across the room' sort of fatigue - on a side note, I went to my Doc last week, and she is testing me to see if my Epstein-Barr is having a flare up, among a bunch of other blood tests.  The fatigue is much better this week.

OK, So I know you are wondering what kind of food is on this plan.  Well, no need to worry...I took pictures!  This plan is set up with 3 meals per day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), and an optional snack.  Shakeology is allowed on this program, but is recommended that you only have it a few times a week.  Since I committed to 366 days of Shakeology at the beginning of this year, I am making the program work for me, so I don't lose sight of my commitment and goals. Sometimes I have my Shakeology for Breakfast or an afternoon snack, using the special recipes provided for the program.  Other days, I have my Shakeology for an evening snack, using only 1/2 a serving and mixing with only water. That is not part of the plan, but one thing I have learned throughout my journey is that plans have to be adaptable to your specific situation.  Every plan will be different for every person that tries it.  Just because you follow it to a T, does not mean you will get the same results as your best friend that did the program with you.  Our bodies are super complex, and respond to things differently.  So, you have to be flexible when it comes to your plan.

With no further adieu, here are some food pics :)

This certainly was not ALL of my meals for 7 days, but it gives you a great idea of what delicious things are in this plan.  Best part...no guess work.  The Ultimate Reset comes with shopping lists, and the recipes for how to make each meal!