We’ve watched them all. Food Matters, Forks Over Knives, Hungry for Change, The Future of Food and of course Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, the inspiration for our recent reboot. All of the movies have been helpful in taking our diets to the next level. Educating us to create more nutrient dense meals and in effect shedding extra pounds that our bodies didn’t need anymore. About a year ago, we both went completely plant based and since then have experienced more sustained energy levels, mental clarity and happiness overall.
We decided to do this reboot quite quickly over a breakfast conversation last Friday. We decided that we’d start on Monday, ironically this day just seemed to make sense. We believed that we already had an extremely healthy diet but we are always curious about fine tuning our health. The purpose of this reboot was to show us if what we thought we knew was actually a truth.
Day 3 was yesterday and our reboot is now complete. As I sit in bed this morning sipping my steaming hot cup of decaf coffee and savoring every last bite of my millet bread with honey and homemade peanut butter, I feel so grateful for this experience. Here is our closing thoughts and lessons learned from our 3-Day Reboot with Joe.
Let’s get the easy part out of the way. The food was really no problem. As I mentioned in my previous recaps, I found a slight urge to chew over but survived that craving without much effort. If there was a challenge at all it was yesterday when I was working at home. Normally I will blast out my words then find myself contemplating in the kitchen over a snack. I simply replaced hand to mouth with juice to mouth, problem solved. Holding out the extra hours made this morning’s toast all that much better. As an added bonus, and absolutely not the intention of this reboot, I lost 7lbs. I am back to my racing weight and it feels like a nice restart for my training.
Now the hard, or rather uncomfortable piece of this reboot, caffeine detox. This unexpected source of pain hit me hard. It was an element I didn’t expect but in hindsight makes so much sense. For many years I have gone on and off coffee with no problem. I didn’t give it a second thought that I would experience detox symptoms or adrenal fatigue until of course it started.
Monday about mid-morning the haze appeared. I could almost hear the fog horn in my head, a low grade headache started to show its face. Then it shoved its face in my face, behind my eyes, encompassing my forehead, getting louder and louder as the day went on. By 8pm Monday night I couldn’t focus my eyes, turn my head or talk without excruciating pain. It was so painful that I took an anti-inflammatory (kept on hand for emergencies) so that I could rest. The headache persisted through Tuesday but on a much more manageable level and the sun started to burn off my haze.
Day 3 was everything that everyone told me it would be; sheer bliss of energy, aliveness and feeling of light overall. My symptoms disappeared, training resumed and writing flowed. What I realized as the day ensued was that all of this bliss I was feeling is actually how I normally feel but this time without the caffeine. Lightbulb moment! I don’t need the caffeine to achieve the natural energy levels my body exudes on a given day. Actually I started to think that the caffeine may have been hampering my ability to thrive. Over the last few months I have consumed more coffee, more regularly, than ever in my life especially since diving into my writing. I believe that unconsciously I was resting my laurels on my past experience with coffee withdrawal or lack thereof. I’ve never minded decaf coffee. For me I love the smell, the taste and ritual of my a.m. brew. I’m not one to say never, ever so I’ll just say this, from now on it will be one conscious cup at a time.
In closing, I do recommend this reboot for those looking to make big changes, small changes or just to see if what they think is truth. You will survive and it helps to have a buddy. Blessings for all on the journey to health, you are totally supported and stronger than you think. Namaste.
Complete! Yes, we survived the 3-day reboot. Not that I am surprised, but it was more difficult than I thought it would be. Especially the lack of coffee. But I just finished up a strong morning workout in the pool and treadmill, and feel GREAT! I was so looking forward to this morning where I had my first cup of coffee in 3 days. Just one cup, because it hit me instantly. And there’s nothing worse than being on a coffee high in the pool, at least for me.
Day 3 was the best of them all, finally feeling myself again. Drinking the juices was not a problem, although again I was wishing I could chew some food. The ginger/lemon tea in the morning was a good routine. You can actually chew on that ginger that’s in there. My cold feeling continued, but less extreme. Although I had the heat cranked at work, a fleece jacket on, and my heating pad on high…plus, a steady cup of hot water. Topped off the day with a hot yoga class at Newport Power Yoga with Jess, which was a great way to cap off the reboot. All we had to do after this was drink dinner, and DESSERT! More on dessert in a bit. I was unsure if my hydration was up enough to sweat out what comes off in a hot yoga class. But made it through with a little coconut water. All my aches were gone…until I got home. Then the aches came back, all lower body again. It could have been the 20 or so wall sits I’ve been doing between my trainer rides, or just that I’m feeling more of the workout and it’s not masked by any caffeine.
So looking back, here’s a few things I’ll take away.
- Caffeine – I was probably a bit addicted to caffeine on a daily basis. And lots of it. That first day being off the coffee was tough. Headache and lack of energy throughout the day. Stepping away from it made me realize I need to adjust my intake, consider decaf during the day, and everything in moderation. I was sleepy, tired, had a foggy haze and lack of concentration at work the first day at least. But realized you can go day in and day out without it. You just need to try.
- More Difficult than Anticipated – Coming from a strong plant-based diet, I knew this wouldn’t be that much of stray from our normal routine. But found myself craving food and chewing. Reaching for nuts and seeds and when cutting up the watermelon to juice, I just wanted to eat it. I definitely struggled more mentally than I thought I would. I couldn’t do my workouts on day 3 because I just was too fatigued, and it would be a stretch to get them in. Instead I let my body recover and repair throughout the day, only to have killer morning workouts today – the day after the reboot. I can’t imagine how someone coming from the standard American diet can dive straight into this reboot. I give those people a hell of a lot of credit for having the capacity to will themselves to drink juice. For those that fall into this group and are juicing, you should be so proud of yourself and the journey you have chosen for the next 3 days, 5 days or however long you are rebooting.
- Dessert – Found a new dessert that is just killer. The purple passion I think Joe calls it. Grapes, mind and blueberries (we used frozen), blended up in our Vitamix, and was delicious. Hard to believe just these few foods could make something so tasty. Will be working this into our dessert routine when we have friends & family over.
- I lost 7 lbs. Weight loss is never a goal of mine, I’m at a healthy weight that I have maintained for years now being on a plant-based diet, and find my athletic performance proves that it works for me. But it’s a good reminder that all these diets and freaky food plans are not necessary. You can just juice for 3 days, take in all the nutrients you need from REAL FOODS, and drop a few lbs.
Will I do this again? For sure. Maybe not during Ironman training, but soon after to reboot the system and step outside myself to see what patterns I’ve fallen into, and what I can improve upon. Thanks Joe for the Reboot guidance, and best of luck to all those still working towards their goals – whatever they may be.