My Health Journey

31 Day Health Reset & Day 5 Report

Here we go again.

No… I’m really not trying to start this post with a negative vibe, but this is NOT the first time I’ve attempted a health reset (you can see the evidence in my past posts).

I open with this because I’ve struggled for years to stick to a way of eating that will keep me feeling good in my own body, and one that will lead me to optimal health and a weight that is suitable for me. At 57 years old, I want to finally get on track with the healthy life I want to live.

It’s important to acknowledge that it can take many attempts to try and stick to a healthy diet (or many attempts to quit smoking/drinking, etc.).

I know I’m not alone, so I want to make my struggle clear. So many of us struggle and feel defeated when we fail.

Although I’ve had some major lows when I wanted to give up on me because I was mentally exhausted from the up and down cycle of my weight, and my efforts to eat well, I will NOT GIVE UP.

I am worth it.

I am worth the continued and repeated effort to develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle, long term. And so are you!

So here I go again.

By the way, if you want more of the nitty gritty story of what’s going on for me, check out yesterday’s Youtube video about getting your health on track before your 50’s.

Health Reset

This health reset is a way to kickstart my goal of living a healthy lifestyle. I don’t have a specific goal of losing a certain amount of weight (the goal is health), but I will lose weight, for sure.

I have what I guess is about 40 – 50 lbs to lose in the long run.

I plan to continue with a healthy lifestyle after day 31, but I’m going to estimate that after 31 days I’ll lose about 10-15 lbs. That might sound like a lot, but I know from past experiences, that eating a whole-food, plant-based diet (without added oil and without alcohol) creates great weight loss.

The weight loss will happen quickly in the beginning, and then it will taper off and happen more slowly.

Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022 was Day 1

  • For 31 days, I will eat whole, plant foods that are not processed (except for the occasional condiment or processed plant-based food product), avoid added oil (except for a tiny bit) and I will not eat any animal products (meat, dairy, eggs).
  • For 31 days, I will not consume any alcohol. I will allow for an occasional non-alcoholic beer.

Those are the two big things.

I will also focus on drinking lots of water each day, and I will aim to add in some of Dr. Brooke Goldner’s hypernourishing green smoothies as well. I also plan to eat before 7 pm.

In addition, my husband and I just joined a gym, where I plan to take yoga classes and then start strength training with weights. He is joining me on this health reset as well.

Lastly, I am tracking 3 things during my 31 Day Health Reset: my weight, average resting heart rate, and my sleep quality (heart rate and sleep quality are data from my Fitbit).

Day 5 Report

  • I have stuck to my two big things of avoiding alcohol and eating a whole food, plant-based diet. For one meal, I had a small piece of a plant-based cake, but other than that, my food has been whole, and not processed.
  • I had added oil in a salad dressing for one meal, and I added a bit of sesame oil in another meal. Other than that, though, I have stayed away from using added oil in my food.
  • I have been getting in about 1-1.5 liters (34-50 oz) of water each day. I would like to get in more.
  • I intended to make a green smoothie each morning, but I haven’t done that yet. That’s ok….what I’m doing is working, and I don’t want to make so many demands of myself that I feel overwhelmed and give up.
  • This week, I took a gentle yoga class, as well as a Yin hot yoga class (Yin yoga focuses on your deeper tissues, like your joints, and is where you do stretch poses that you hold for a longer period of time). I walked everyday too.

My Results

Weight Day 1: 188 lbs Weight Day 5: 180. 4 lbs

I am down 7.6 lbs since the morning of Oct. 11. Pretty darn good for four days! Of course, the first couple of pounds usually come off quickly and represent mostly water loss.

For me, my health is my number one focus; the weight loss is an indicator I’m eating right for my body at this time. The weight loss IS a motivator for sure, but it is not my main focus…it is mainly a sign I’m moving towards optimal health.

I have felt a bit tired this week and had lower energy. I think it’s because of a knee injury (pain started last week…don’t know what caused it) as well as the cloudier weather we’ve been having. Also, because I’m eating so clean, my body is clearing out a bunch of toxins, fat and other crap that don’t belong there. Detoxing can make you feel tired.

What My Days Looked Like, and What I Ate

Most days, I’m not hungry until around noon.

From Monday to Friday, I leave the house at 7:10 am and drive to my granddaughter’s house (she is 7). I walk her dog for 30 minutes, and then I take her to school (this week we drove, but sometimes we walk, which is 15 minutes there, and then 15 minutes back for me to return to my car).

The first thing I consumed (between 9 and 10 am) for the first 4 days of my reset was a decaf coffee with homemade cashew milk (raw cashews, water, 2 dates, alcohol-free vanilla). If I feel the need for a little something in the afternoon, I’ll make another decaf coffee.

On two of the mornings, I had a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks (oat milk, half-sweet, decaf & no whip cream). The pumpkin lattes were a nice treat, and to be honest, I’ll, probably keep having them for a while, because they are around for only another 6 weeks or so (one of my weaknesses).

I focused on eating filling foods that satisfy me. Mainly, that is potatoes.

I love potatoes, and although they get a bad rap (omg…carbs!), potatoes are filling, satisfying AND yes, help you heal and LOSE weight!…as long as you don’t add a bunch of fatty, unhealthy stuff on top.

If you’ve been fooled to believe potatoes, rice and other starches make you fat, I highly encourage you to read The Starch Solution, by Dr. John McDougall.

The Starch Solution Dr. John McDougall

Most days I ate 2 meals each day, and usually, I was finished eating before 7 pm. I generally don’t snack, but on a couple of occasions I had a snack (red grapes or banana with a bit of peanut butter).

Here’s what those 8 meals were:

  • sautéed asparagus and mushrooms (sautéed in water, soy sauce, garlic and a touch of sesame oil)
  • steamed cubed yellow potatoes with horseradish (store-bough with some cream/oil in it) and salt and pepper & a small piece of a plant-based chocolate cake (store bought)
  • 1 huge russet baked potato with homemade “cheese” sauce (cauliflower, carrots, veggie broth, nutritional yeast, garlic, onion powder, homemade cashew milk, soy sauce) and salt and pepper
  • big bowl of steamed cubed yellow potatoes with homemade “cheese” sauce
  • 1 banana
  • big bowl of salad: greens, veggies, capers, with lemon garlic dressing (store-bought, with oil) & steamed cubed yellow potatoes with vegan gravy (recipe from High Carb Hannah)
  • big bowl of steamed cubed yellow potatoes with homemade vegan gravy
  • big bowl of brown basmati rice with homemade mushroom sauce (mushrooms, homemade cashew milk, veggie broth, nutritional yeast, garlic, onion powder, soy sauce) and parsnips and spinach & a non-alcoholic beer

By the way, for each meal I ate as much as I wanted until I felt full.

No measuring or portioning or calorie-counting!

That’s about it.

I keep my food simple, and I make sure to have cooked potatoes and rice in the fridge at all times. I also try to have a homemade sauce for the potatoes ready to go in the fridge, but if not, I use horseradish. Although I did not use salsa and beans/veggies on my potatoes this week, that is another thing I often eat.

It’s so FAST & EASY to microwave potatoes and throw on tasty sauce for a convenient meal. You can take it on the go, too.

Did you know there’s a guy in Australia who ate only potatoes for a year? He lost a TON of weight.

If you want to reset your health (and lose weight if you have weight to lose), don’t bash carbs and potatoes.

Your body NEEDS carbs, and THRIVES on carbs….whole food carbs (NOT refined or fried carbs). This means potatoes are in, but French fries and potato chips are out. This means corn and rice are awesome, but highly refined corn or rice flour (tortillas, crackers, etc.) are out.

As I mentioned earlier, I’m also tracking my average resting heart rate for each day, as well as the quality of my sleep (according to my Fitbit data).

heartbreaking to squash our efforts to lose weight

Starting Resting Heart Rate (from full day before start, on Oct. 10): 63 bpm (beats per minute)

After 4 Days (Oct. 14’s recorded rate): 57 bpm

When at rest, my heart is not working as hard to pump all the blood around my body. My heart now has to pump 6 fewer times per minute than it did four days ago.

In terms of my sleep quality, it can be compromised when I go to bed to late, or if I spend too much time on my phone right before bed, but over time, I’m hoping to see it improve. I won’t share the sleep data here because there are too many other factors involved.

Thanks for joining me on my 31 Day Health Reset….until next time,

Live your True Life,

Alison Carrey

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