I am three weeks into my RESET DIET!
What does that mean? I am trying to reset my body by resetting my diet.
I’ve been eating Paleo for the entire year so far. I have loved it. I don’t miss grain and there are lots of alternative desserts to keep my sweet tooth happy. As the year has gone on, I have lost some weight and have felt a lot better. I have experienced improvements in three main ways.
1. I am not controlled by blood sugar rises and dips. I removed everything that caused my blood sugar to rise, not just the obvious sugars, but grains as well. Your body reacts the same way when you eat a piece of whole grain bread as when you eat a donut. Insulin doesn’t know the difference, it’s just all glucose. If you do any reading about the Paleo diet, you will learn that insulin is a huge contributor to fat storage. So when you remove the foods that cause your insulin to react, your body can start burning some of that stored fat. Then, since your body is burning fat for fuel (like it’s supposed to do), you no longer experience those sugar highs and lows. I love not having my body crash in the middle of the day sending me to the kitchen to eat more.
2. I feel more satisfied with less food. Since I am eating nutrient dense foods, I need less of it. “Fat makes you fat” is wrong. More and more studies are being release proving how incorrect this idea is. The entire low-fat movement is based on bad science, or at least bad interpretations of that science. I eat a lot of fat. Of course, I have gotten pretty picky about which fat I consume. When I started eating Paleo back in January, I threw out all vegetable and canola oil. I threw out all of those tubs of margarine that Chris loved to buy. I stopped using olive oil for my high temperature roasting (Olive oil doesn’t withstand the high temps. It’s best used on salads or added after cooking is completed.) I have replace all of these oils with coconut oil, which I LOVE! (I also use avocado oil and macadamia nut oil.) Ok.. all of this talk on fat is just to say that fat keeps you satisfied longer. I add good healthy fat to every meal. I’m not eating that much more protein, but I am eating more fat. So... I don’t eat as much.
3. My palate has broadened to find enjoyment in a more diverse selection of healthy foods. I am not a “foodie”. I don’t have the refined palate that can distinguish between different types of salt or which vegetables go best together in soups. I trust the good recipe creators for those suggestions. But when I look back on my life, I see a picky eater. The only veggie I would eat was CORN. (not a veggie at all!) I ate chicken and beef and some pork. But now, I am willing to try anything. I have been forced to find new additions to my meals or else I would be serving grilled chicken and roasted asparagus everyday. When I removed those plate fillers, such as rice, potatoes, or pasta, I needed something else to fill me. Now, I serve a good quality protein and about 3 different vegetables (covered in good fat). I have found that when you take sugar and all of the junky preservatives out of your food, you learn what they really taste like. You develop an appreciation for FOOD, not just the junk we put on it.
Well.. my Paleo journey was going great. Then came summer. With the torrent of activity our household has experienced in such a short amount of time, I fell off the wagon. I held off pretty well for a long time. First, it started with me indulging too much on the “Paleo approved” sweets, such as dark chocolate and grain-free desserts. (I was providing support for my very pregnant daughter... right?) Then, as we kicked into full party mode in the week before the wedding, I lost my mind completely. As I consumed more and more breads and sugars, I saw all of my progress thus far drift away. By the time the wedding arrived, I was puffy, bloated, and sick to my stomach. Thus... the RESET DIET.
This version of the Paleo diet is called a couple different things. Some know it as “The Whole 30”. Others call it an “autoimmune diet”. Chris Kresser is the one who refers to it as the “Reset Diet”.
The idea is to remove everything out of your diet that has the potential to be problematic to your body. For me, I knew I wanted to work on improving the lining of my gut and work on fixing my thyroid/adrenal issues. Yes... I wanted to loose weight, but I believe I need to work on the underlying issues first and wait for the weight to fix itself. I needed to simplify my digestion and allow my body to correct the things I have done to it by eating horribly.
So, to the list of things I had already taken out of my diet (grains, bad sugars, bad oils, beans) I removed several other things.
ALL sugar (even stevia and honey)
nuts (including almond milk and almond butter)
eggs (super hard)
night shade veggies (which for me really just meant tomatoes)
DAIRY!!! (I’ve failed with this before)
CAFFEINE !!!!! (Oh... Coffee... oh so sad)
All of these foods can cause issues with your gut. I had to take them out for a short time and then add them back in slowly to see which ones my body is okay with. Like I said, dairy was a hard one. Not because I live on cheese, it’s the cream in my coffee that I couldn’t live without before. That is why I had to take out coffee.
So basically, I turned into a ZOMBIE for about 3 days. I was so exhausted, I couldn’t even stand up straight. My body was screaming at me to provide it with some artificial energy in the form of sugar or caffeine. But after the headaches subsided, my energy returned and I have felt great ever since.
Sure... I crave dessert. I already have a mental list of the things I want to bake when I finally add sugar back in. But usually, a good satisfying meal removes the cravings. The only thing that literally makes me sad is the absence of coffee. I no longer crave the caffeine, I just want to sit on my porch slowly sipping that beautiful black nectar of the gods. I honestly don’t know how much longer I will hold off.
I have another week before I start adding things back in. I originally thought that eggs would be the first thing added in, but I may need to try cream and coffee first. We will see.
In the last 3 weeks, I have seen that puffiness disappear. I am fitting back into my clothes better. I am sleeping better and waking up with less effort in the morning. (This was my main reason for removing caffeine.) My blood sugar levels are... well... level. My energy stays consistent throughout the day. I just feel great.
In the future, I hope to do this 30 day reset at least once a year. I will continue on a basic Paleo diet otherwise. I love eating this way. And... I love feeling this way.
It’s a win win!
Here are a few links to helpful sites. I suggest you do a lot of reading and studying to see if this may work for you.