My reset story
“Hi, my name is Michael Abbott and I’m a sugar addict…”
Many of you are already aware that almost 3 months ago i started a gut health reset protocol to cleanse my digestive system, change my taste buds (read the first line again) and encourage my body to use a different energy system. I lost 9 kilos in 14 days and want to share with you how i did it, why i did it and how you can do something similar for yourself. But first, let me share a bit about what gut health is and our western diets.
Almost everyone has some imbalances in their gut flora, this complex community of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract starts off in perfect balance at 1-2 years of age. Through out your life the composition of your gut flora changes, when the diet changes, and as overall health changes. An explosion of research is discovering just how influential the health of this system is on every aspect of your being from mental health, to obesity, to cancer and almost every type of disease and syndrome in between. The gut is even been dubbed the “2nd brain” for how pervasive it’s influence is on our being.
It’s almost impossible to be as vigilant as we should about what we consume these days, we have almost no connection to how our food is grown, prepared or stored. Even more challenging than that, is to decide to actually care in the first place! As a society we’ve become accustomed to this modern disconnect with our food sources and happily grab stuff off the shelves because the packet looks good or simply based on how something tastes.
However, in recent years things are starting to change, deep down most of us now know we probably shouldn’t drink coke or eat donuts, we know that packaging has a nutritional guide, usually showing multiple ingredients we can’t pronounce! So why do we do it?! A few reasons, firstly, social pressure, those around you will try to get you to indulge along with them, pointing out that you’re being weird or missing out on enjoyment or any number of other ploys. Secondly, our brains are wired from an evolutionary point, to seek out high concentrations of fat, salt and calories. Lastly, I blame our bodies, they are absolutely amazing machines that can adapt and overcome almost endless amounts of abuse so we don’t pay for the indulgence… at least not in a direct cause/effect way and not immediately.
So here you are, a forward thinking person who’s realised the way we produce and consume food is probably broken. But to change, you need to swim against the current so to speak, which is difficult! Im sure you’ve heard the phrase “nothing worth having comes easy”, yep, it definitely applies to a clean diet too. Having to explain to people why you don’t want a piece of birthday cake or endlessly walking up and down the isles trying to find products without added sugar definitely isn’t the path of least resistance! A poor diet breaks down the body, causing inefficiencies, deficiencies and all manner of issues, this happens gradually as the body begins to lose its ability to maintain homeostasis (balance). Just like the frog that will sit in a pot of slowly boiling water without jumping to safety, we don’t recognise the slow loss of energy, mental clarity, restful sleep or general sense of happiness and so, continue on boiling just like the frog!
Enough doom and gloom, here’s the good news, the body will never stop fighting, it is always craving to return to a place of full efficiency and health. Many people are astounded at the positive changes they experience when they remove the toxins, waste and negative influences they let get into their system in a normal day. Your body immediately stops having to fight with one arm tied behind its back and can begin to repair whatever is needed!
So, like many of you reading this i was fully aware of what i should and shouldn’t be eating but was quite happy sticking to moderation. The problem was, over time, “moderation” crept towards “common place” and i began to feel lethargic, edgy, moody and tired, more commonly than not.
I’m not the type of person who likes to do things in halves, i dream big and come up with all sorts of crazy plans, just ask my wife! This way of approaching things motivates me to work hard and leads to great journeys and adventures, although not everyone is the same, for me, it works. Keeping this in mind, i will describe the plan i followed, not with the intention of setting out a recipe for others to copy, but as an example. Firstly, I’m a big believer in finding someone with the knowledge and experience you want and paying them for that wisdom. I found Dominic through instagram and, after researching his philosophy, background and methods, i reached out and signed up for the full program of coaching with him.
We started with a ridiculously long questionnaire filled with questions i would never of thought related to my diet, something my later research confirmed just how many areas of your life gut health can effect. Also, it made me aware of just how disconnected i was with what i consumed and how it effected my body. I was more determined than ever at this point.
After a few FaceTime calls to discuss my results and life in general, i was sent my program which had been uniquely tweaked for me. I had to choose when to start so that the fasting period coincided with a time i could rest without much physically or mentally required of me but more on that later.
Part 2… It starts
I drove to the largest organic produce store in Perth and spend a bunch on the ingredients for the cleanse, it is possible to use non organic but, when trying to remove toxins and impurities from the body, it is obviously a lot better to go organic wherever possible. For the first 3 days i consumed only lightly steamed vegetables, upon waking, a glass of water with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, as well as a glass of kombucha somewhere during the day. I also had to consume a tablespoon of Psyllium Husk so i just added that to the vinegar, i was on a mission and smashed through these days with full excitement.
Following the 3 day vegan prep to remove all animal products from the system and begin to introduce some healthy bacteria, i moved onto the 5 day juice cleanse. I had 1 juice for breakfast, lunch and dinner proceeded by 1 orange or grapefruit. The fibre from the fruit helps the nutrients be assimilated into the system. 2 of the 3 juices each day included a teaspoon of papaya seeds and a tablespoon of flax seeds. The only difficulty i found during this time was the lack of chewing (it’s amazing how common this struggle is) and trying to include the spiralina powder when required. It’s just plain nasty and i couldn’t do it, i even threw up my attempt to skull the tablespoon in half a glass of water one day since i couldn’t stomach the taste in a full juice!
During this period i noticed a considerable lull in my motivation to do much and a constant mild headache. From what I’ve read, having more energy is more common than my situation but it depends on your level of detoxification, the headache is very common, and again, is a by product of the body eliminating toxins.
Following the juice period was a water fast where i didn’t consume anything except water for 3 days. This may seem excessive but there is a lot of research around fasting for extended periods that show a myriad of health benefits. The body begins to “eat itself” which, sounds bad but in fact, is what you want to happen. Your body eats all the old and damaged cells throughout your body, especially your white blood cells, when you come out of the fast the body replaces all the cells it removed and you get a big boost to your immunity. During this phase i had a tough time emotionally and energy wise. I begun to realise how heavily i relied on food as a mechanism to alter my emotions, :had a crappy day – eat some biscuits and drink some jack daniels, had a awesome day – celebrate with a kebab and chips”. I didn’t like how difficult it was to just sit with those feelings and process without outside influence, more than that, i didn’t like how reliant i felt to do so. This was much harder to face than what i was actually consuming. I also suffered stomach cramps and what i would call a pounding headache, however, i don’t get headaches and have no tolerance to suffer them so it probably wasn’t that bad!
Throughout the 2 weeks the weight loss was steady, approximately half a kilo a day and a little more over the last 3 days. I was 93.2 kilos the morning i began and was 84.1 kilos on the 15th morning. Many people have suggested it was water weight but i only gained back a kilo once i had finished re-feeding over the next 3 days. I then lost another half a kilo in the following week as i begun to adapt to a intermittent fasting & keto based diet.
More than the weight, i feel SO much better, i don’t crave sugar anywhere near as much and i have a much better understanding of how different foods effect me. Have a continued along perfectly? no, does messing up effect me as much? definitely not. I am blown away at how quickly my body was able to heal itself in this short time!
PART 3… Your turn
As i mentioned earlier, this cleanse was specifically tailored to myself and a depth my body could handle. It is always worth consulting your doctor if you have ongoing medical issues before starting any program, in my experience all doctors will encourage you to remove the processed food from your diet and include more vegetables and fruit. Kristen, my wife, and Carol, my mother in Law, both completed a slightly gentler version of a cleanse that was spread out over 21 days. They lost 3.5 kilos and 6.5 kilos respectively which represented almost as much of their body weight as my 9 kilo loss even without a water fast portion. Kristen also felt full of energy and had a few comments from those around her highlighting that she looked rested, bright and fresh. Carol stopped napping in the afternoons and felt a major lift in her general mood.
They both did this as a trial of the cleanse we are offering all our clients starting May 8th. The program is so simple to follow as everything is laid out for you including shopping lists, what to eat, when to eat and how much. All you need is access to a blender, a juicer and a desire to feel better!
We will host a closed Facebook group for all participants to encourage and motivate each other along the way, and perhaps to b*tch about the lack of coffee and wine too! It’s only $39 because we wanted to make it accessible for everyone. You can join in by clicking the yellow button below, so that we can handle all the questions and help everyone it will be limited in space so please don’t delay if you are interested. There will be heaps of tips and helpful information to help make some better choices and continue the positive work done following the cleanse as well. There will also be bonus instructions for a 2 day water cleanse add on and how to properly come out of it for those willing to go that bit further. Don’t worry though, the spiralina powder has been removed…
– Michael Abbott
ps – you can also hit the email button below and say you want in or ask any questions!