Today I can say that I officially completed the Ultimate Reset. The program that used to intimidate me more than any other health or fitness adventure I’ve tried. I’ve been a coach for three years, and for 2.75 years I told everyone that I would NEVER try this thing. Well, the Biebs had one thing right: never say never!
They call this thing the “reset” for a reason!
These last 3 weeks have reset my entire life. My habits, my energy, my nervous system, my confidence, my body. How I feel, think, act, eat, treat myself. I live for ME now. I'm out of my head and connected to my body and breath. No more anxiety, second guessing, self doubt, and my relationship with food, fitness, and my body is the most positive and loving it’s ever been. This was a beautiful culmination to a giant and rollercoaster chapter of my life!
What the heck is the Ultimate Reset?
It's a 21 day nutrition based program with a commitment to plant based eating, designed to help your body reach an optimal pH balance, heal any gut issues, and absorb and assimilate nutrients. Along the way you lose sugar cravings, lower your stress and cortisol levels (which calms your nervous system), establish a new relationship with food, phase out animal protein, and allow your digestive system and organs to cleanse and detox themselves!
Oh, and you CAN'T WORK OUT! Because all your energy goes to healing your gut, not repairing torn muscle fibers. This was one of the biggest challenges for me, although not gonna lie -- it was pretty awesome to have an excuse to veg on the couch (literally, no pun intended) for a few weeks.
I loved the idea of this program because it seemed like the opposite of juice cleanses or restrictive quick-fix "slim downs" that only lead to disordered habits and binging.
With the Ultimate Reset, you eat all whole foods (TONS OF FOOD!) with different supplements at specific times throughout the day to optimize your body's natural cleansing process.
We put so much emphasis on working our external bodies and muscles, but it's just as important to take care of our insides too! Our digestive systems are designed to detox themselves. Kind of like your vagina. Yup I'm going there. We all know that douching is bad...same thing with your digestive system! It's simply not necessary to drink juice or crazy cayenne pepper to strip "toxins"… you can detox with FOOD! Yumyum.
I also love how this program is plant based, especially since so many popular elimination diets these days are meat-centric even though meat is hard for our bodies to digest and process. This program is very gentle.
We live in a world of constant stress: emotional and mental stress from the demands of a fast paced life, and we don't realize we're putting our bodies through stress by hard workouts, living in an environment full of toxins and eating foods that are hard to process like meat, alcohol, caffeine, and sugar. It was nice to take a temporary break!
The Ultimate Reset nutrition plan is definitely a temporary program, not a lifestyle diet like the 21 Day Fix, but it does help you set certain habits to carry on into the rest of your life.
The 21 days are broken into 3 weekly "phases."
In Phase 1, you RECLAIM your body, accessing its inner chemistry and preparing it for change. In Week One, you'll gradually remove foods such as red meat and dairy from your diet, which are known to place stress on the digestive system.
In Phase 2, you begin to RELEASE unwanted compounds that have been holding your system back and start the detoxification process. This phase includes additional supplements, including a gentle colon cleanse and digestive support. In Week Two, you'll now be eating a fully vegan diet.
In Phase 3, 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. In Week Three, you'll now be eating mostly fruits and vegetables.
Why did I decide to pull the trigger and try the Ultimate Reset?
It was a perfect storm of timing and all signs were pointing YASS.
- I was inspired by a few of the coaches on my team who did the program this winter. Each and every one came down from with rocking bodies and such a spiritual high, it was like they’d just attended an exotic 21 day Zen retreat. What can I say, the FOMO got to me!
- Additionally, I've spent the past 10 years on a non-stop fitness bender, building so much strength I never knew existed inside of me. But I hadn’t taken more than 2-3 rest days in a row FOR A DECADE. I knew my body could use a break, and I also knew that I wasn’t a fan of the stress eating and night time sugar addiction I’d picked up over the winter.
- The more my own health and wellness journey evolves, the more I've been researching nutrition and the effects that our diets have on our long term health and wellbeing. I read the book Superlife by the creator of Shakeology and the Ultimate Reset and learned why things like gut health, acid/alkaline balance, hydration, and plants matter.
- My 30th birthday is April 26th, and I want to head into this new decade feeling my best from the inside out!
- Perhaps most importantly, I’ve reached a place in my relationship with food and my body image where I knew this program would be safe for me. I wasn’t doing it to lose weight or look good (although obviously I was looking forward to those side effects!). I wasn’t doing it to control my food or have “perfect” nutrition. I knew that once it was over, I wouldn’t go down a crazy binge-fest and could trust myself to continue to eat healthy and respect my body. I'm proud to say I’ve healed my “all or nothing” mindset around food!
I don’t keep a scale in the house anymore and didn’t take any measurements because this program wasn’t about the physical results or seeing how much I could “lose.”
But a picture is worth a thousand words so here are my results!
Three weeks of no workouts and tons of veggies. Abs really are revealed in the kitchen!! I'm never feeling guilty for taking rest days ever again.
I'm blown away by the fact that I didn't lose muscle mass and saw these changes in my body by eating a high carb, high fat, plant based diet with no workouts. And all the sweet potatoes turned me orange! J/K, I went a little cray with the self tanner.
In case you're thinking "she looked great before!" or "you are too skinny, Anna!" I want to emphasize that I was EXTREMELY proud of my body in that before picture. I’d just finished P90X2, am in the best shape of my life, and could honestly say I loved my body although I knew I'd feel my BEST if I was a little leaner, less bloated, not addicted to sugar, and most of all not dependent on using food and snacking to cope with negative emotions like boredom or stress.
NOW, I feel like me. Like I just took a giant exhale.
The whole thing was a lot easier than I expected, helped in a large part by the fact that I work for myself and have control over my schedule so I could clear the decks and minimize stress, although I did have to navigate a baby shower and Easter to navigate!
Newsflash: there's never going to be a perfect time to embark on a new adventure or life change.
Confession: I splurged on a small glass of prosecco and YOLO homemade Danish meringue cake on Easter but other than that I stuck to the plan 100%. I loved all the recipes, loved giving myself permission to spend 3 weeks on myself, and discovered how much healthy eating has become second nature to me.
My favorite takeaway was that I'm now able to actually process and breathe through my emotions instead of numbing them with food or distracting myself when I feet uncomfortable or anxious!
Some of my new go-to NON FOOD self care practices:
- nature walks with no destination, no phone
- quiet time // meditation
- taking my time to transition… no more rushing
- cooking delicious food
- meal planning and prepping
- time with girlfriends or biz besties
Coming off of this program feels like such a deep emotional and spiritual RELEASE.
MY ULTIMATE RESET JOURNEY
Read on for the full experience, taken straight from my journal!
WEEK ONE - RECLAIM
Day One: Was a lot easier than expected! I had a very light headache in the afternoon and evening, but since I don't drink caffeine I think I dodged a very huge caffeine withdrawal bullet. Obsessed with all the food. Drank a gallon of water, and herbal tea in the evening. Surprised by how I didn't feel deprived.
Day Two: Harder! Struggled with low energy all day and felt really emotional/on the verge of tears. Did a 30 min easy yoga flow in the morning. Low blood sugar mid-morning so I sipped on some coconut water (about 1/2 cup). I started a cleaning shift at my local yoga studio so I think the mental/physical exertion of meeting new people, learning new tasks, and cleaning wore me out. Felt FREEZING in the afternoon esp after eating salad and my smoothie. Used a full scoop of Shakeo. Hangry and grumpy in the evening. Sleeping about 9 hrs/night. Realizing that I use food as a crutch when I am bored or stressed. Had to stop myself from instinctively taking a sip of Ben's beer, or tasting his Shakeo in the morning. Bites here and there add up!
Day Three: Woke up starving and low energy. Skipped yoga, had 2 pieces of toast w/ coconut oil and spinach eggs for extra energy. Realizing that this DETOX is a chance for me to slow down, tune in, and really reset my entire LIFE from the inside out. Lunch: quinoa salad, veggies and hummus. So many veggies! I could barely finish this and it kept me full. I even had enough energy to go to a hot yoga class, and feel amazing this afternoon! Energy returns, yay! Slowing down was a good idea. Slow my roll. Set lower work expectations. Do what feels good. Spent some time today prepping din's and lunches. PREP IS KEY WITH THIS PROGRAM!!! Saves time and energy. Note to self: prep more of week 2 this weekend.
WEEK ONE RECAP
Feeling amazing and in my groove! I'm a little bloated (I've never eaten this many veggies in my LIFE) and not noticing any drastic physical results yet but MAN so many non scale victories!!!
- Sugar cravings are gone.
- Energy/blood sugar crashes gone.
- I can be hungry without HANGRY.
- I don't automatically reach for food or sweets when I feel bored/stressed/after dinner.
- I can go to a party and be present instead of numbing my social anxiety with food and alcohol.
- I have so much non-anxious energy.
- I feel CALM!!!!!!! Mentally and physically. My energy has completely shifted and this is the most exciting change for me so far!
- I can live without sugar and animal products without feeling deprived.
The only thing I really miss is wine 😂
I always teach my clients to measure progress by photos and feelings, not numbers and I FEEL like a completely different person. I went from working out 40-60 mins/day to nothing except walking and yoga. It's true that nutrition is EVERYTHING! I'm learning to use food as nourishment, not something that controls me and it feels amazing and free. I'm so glad I decided to commit to this program and invest in myself.
And I still have 14 days left to go!
WEEK TWO - RELEASE
Day Eight: On to Phase 2...this week is "detox week." AKA allowing my body to detox itself by eating tons of plants, fats, and fiber. A little nervous but here we goooo! This week I transition to a fully vegan diet (had Greek yogurt, eggs, and salmon before) and start taking a detox supplement to gently allow my body to release all the toxins and crap in my digestive system. I think I'm going to end up releasing a lot of mental and emotional baggage too, kind of excited 😊 I'm starting to think of this program as the "Anna diet" because it literally incorporates all of my fave foods. All that's missing is wine... Giant fruit salads are on the menu for breakfast now! I'm getting used to eating 3 big meals instead of constantly snacking all day long, and my energy feels so much more stable.
Day Nine: Not sure if it's the detox kicking in, full moon, retrograde or what but I was an emotional wreck today! Releasing so much. Some days you just have to skip your workout (even if your workout is yoga) and feel the feels. Early to bed!
Day Ten: Officially halfway done with this Reset! You ever feel like the universe gives you an opportunity at just the right time, even if it doesn't make sense at the moment? This program has been like that. Yes I am physically feeling great but most of all it's been a chance to slow down and really focus on prioritizing ME. As a chronic overachiever/oldest child/workaholic I live in a constant state of hustle, trying to fill the gaps where I see myself lacking...which puts me in a chronic feeling of anxiety and inadequacy that has only gotten worse since I've quit my job to be a full time coach. Yup, the entrepreneur rollercoaster is real!! Luckily I love rollercoasters. Over these last couple of weeks I've been able to tune into what I need, open myself up to receive support, and am being challenged to surrender to God's plan and trust that amazing things are coming. My energy has been so calm and steady. I've been processing a lot of emotions and feeling ALL the feels which has not been easy, but I know that challenges make us stronger. Everything that you're going through right now is happening FOR you. Whatever you're struggling with is not a curse you're meant to bear for your entire life--it's just your learning curve right now. It won't last forever. 10 days until wine!!! Not that I'm counting
Day 14 (Easter Sunday): Saying lots of little "no's" or "not right now" so I can give myself a BIGGER yes. Bringing my own food to Easter din. Passing on the bubbly cake and treats at church. It's not easy but I know that my life will include plenty of bubbly and sugar…this isn't the only or last chance. In the meantime I can practice saying no. Explore my inner strength and experience what it's like to have a weekend or a holiday or party where I don't wake up with a sugar or booze hangover and no regrets. Staying connected to my BIGGER WHY. Motivation: pleasure over pain. Not to lose weight. If my motivation was to lose weight I'd have given in. I'm doing this for me. It's ok to be hungry. It's ok to not numb social anxiety with booze We have to be vulnerable and open ourselves to ALL emotions to be happy too…when we numb ourselves we numb the good and the bad. This week I've experienced a full range of emotions!
Day 15: Oh my gosh where do I even start? Well for one, it does feel pretty amazing to come off a holiday weekend and road trip feeling even lighter than I did before! Week 2 of the Ultimate Reset is focused on detox: letting your body detox itself by giving it lots of veggies, fiber, and digestive enzymes. And because I know you're wondering, NO I did not have any scary poops and no real physical detox symptoms at all except for a couple breakouts. What I DID experience was a massive emotional detox. I cried so much last week you guys! On calls with my biz besties, at yoga, late at night, on walks, and it felt really good to release and let go of all the stress and pressure I put on myself. It's ok to cry! I'm learning how to feel the feels instead of numbing them with food. And learning that when we numb our stress, boredom, anxiety, we are also numbing our happiness and joy because you can't selectively choose your emotions! If you want to feel happier than you've ever felt, you need to prepare to feel the most vulnerable and sad as well. Yin and yang! I'm learning that I LOVE and crave veggies. The only things I miss are wine, decaf coffee, and my sweaty workouts. But I'll get them back! I'm learning that I can commit to myself and do something challenging and rewarding for ME, and see it through no matter how many obstacles or temptations come my way. I'm learning how to celebrate weekends and holidays without alcohol or eating junk food. I'm learning that it's ok to love yourself and want to change all at the same time. One week to go!
WEEK TWO RECAP
Who does a vegan cleanse during a holiday?? 🙋🏼 Questionable life choices, Anna. When I scheduled this Reset I was only concerned with finishing before my birthday (4/26) and I totally forgot about Easter, whoops! But you know what? If we wait until things are "perfect" and life is completely open before trying something new, it's never going to happen. So I made it through a road trip and family holiday weekend!! I brought baked squash and broccoli for dinners in the car. And a DELISH spiced lentil/quinoa pilaf with avocado and cucumber tomato salad for Easter din. Had my giant fruit salad for breakfast and Shakeo for snacks. I honestly didn't even feel deprived to have to pass on the lamb and potatoes. Although I did stray off plan and have a small glass of champagne and piece of meringue cake with fresh whipped cream ... YOLO! No regrets. Did not feel sad passing on the candy and sugar hangover. I'm learning I can celebrate holidays without stuffing my face, it's about so much more than the food. Also did some yoga with my brother and got out for a long walk in the sunshine with my mom 💗 Super excited for this week!
WEEK THREE - RESTORE
Day 16: My body has gotten so used to thriving on veggies and I've been surprised at how NOT hungry I've been! One of my fave things about this Reset-it's so gentle and gradual and eases you into things, letting your body detox itself. "Where is the protein?" The question that all vegans hate 😂. Plants have lots of protein and our bodies recycle protein too. We don't actually need as much as the food industry tells us. Plus I haven't been working out so I've felt just fine! I haven't craved meat at all and the thought kinda turns me off, but I know I'll add back dairy and eggs after this especially when I get back to workouts. It's fun to turn your body into a science experiment!
Day 17: Not gonna lie, today was not easy!! My mental and physical energy went MIA...so I chilled on the couch almost all day with my laptop.
Day 18: This week is FLYING by!! And that's ok with me. Fruit salad, avocado salad, smoothie, supps, and my fave garlic veggie stir fry with sweet potato. I've loved this experience but I'm definitely ready to transition back into normal life ;) I miss my decaf ☕️, wine 🍷, and going out to eat! In the meantime my tummy will be full of plants and probiotics.
Day 19: This week has been challenging! Not in a totally bad way but I have limited energy, miss my workouts, am ready to get back to normal eating, and to top it all off I've caught a cold even though I've been a hermit for the past 3 weeks!! But instead of letting it all get to me I'm using this downtime to do some major journaling, reflecting, and integrating alllll the crazy personal growth I've gained from this cleanse too. It's important to listen to our bodies and REST when we need to rest. Also feeling stoked that there is nothing on our weekend agenda. Can't wait to soak up the April flowers and close out my 20's before my bday week.
Day 21: Last day of my 21 Day Reset!!! 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🤗🤗🤗 This program has pushed me out of my comfort zone in so many ways, including in the kitchen. I've loved trying new recipes and foods. Like this huge plate of beets with coconut collards and tempeh!
Can't wait to start working out again, fitness is a huge part of my lifestyle now and I don't feel like my best without it, which was cool to discover. Haven't lost any muscle tone though! It's ok to rest.
The more health conscious you are before starting this program, the easier it will be. I didn’t experience a fraction of the physical detox symptoms a lot of other people suffered. No headaches, no digestive upset, no aches or pains. My main side effects were emotional!
Feeling relaxed, lean, and more like myself than I ever have. It's like all my insecurities and mental hang-ups have gone POOF ✨. Calm, strong, and confident going into my 30th birthday this week and that's exactly how I wanted to feel.
Watch my journey via Instagram Stories:
If you’d like to try the Ultimate Reset or learn more about my accountability groups, I’d love to support you and coach you through your own journey!
As an Independent Team Beachbody Coach, I receive a small commission when you order the UR or a program from me and I stand behind this company and these programs 100%. However I'm not a registered dietician, nutritionist, or medical professional. Be smart and obviously consult your doctor before making changes to your diet or health routine.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.