Just 21 days and the results will speak for themselves.

21 days without some of your favorite foods,  having to explain to others why you are doing it. This might seem hard, but for most it is easy after the first couple of days if you recognise that you will heal your body; you will learn new things about how, why and what you eat; and you will ultimately feel so much better than you do right now.

It’s not hard if your mindset is on the benefits! Here are some benefits that you are likely to find on your 21 day journey:

  • You will enjoy more consistent energy
  • You will sleep better
  • You will wake up feeling more alert
  • You will have improved clarity of thought throughout the day
  • You will have less digestive stress
  • Relief from auto immune symptoms
  • You will have a taste bud revival and enjoy food more
  • You will feel the difference between emotional appetite and real hunger
  • Your skin will be brighter
  • People will comment on the way you look!
  • You will work out what works for you, stop dieting and just eat!

Gut Health

Gut health is essential to healthy living. It is essentially a system which uses bacteria to break down food into nutrients which can be absorbed as vitamins, minerals and macro nutrients. Without a diverse range of bacteria or a rich diversity of food intake, our energy and health will be compromised.

Poor choice of food which irritate the gut can also lead to poor health as they can lead to a “leaky gut” where bacteria and toxins escape our digestive system and simply poison us. Common symptoms include constant headaches, unexplained aches and pains, bloating. Leaky gut has been identified as a cause for many auto-immune illnesses.

The Solution

  • Avoid excessive and constant carbohydrate, especially processed simple carbs.
  • Avoid or minimise foods which are known irritants of gut distress like processed sugar, grain flour, dairy if lactose intolerant.
  • Ensure regular intake of prebiotics and probiotics to assist in building healthy bacteria in the gut.
  • Periodise carbs by having periods (daily, weekly and monthly) when glucagon is created and your body can burn fat. If you have not done this before it may take a couple of weeks before your body re-learns to burn fat efficiently.
  • Ensure you have calm periods in your life to regulate cortisol, again daily, weekly, monthly and annually. Limit white light (Screen time) especially in the lead-up to sleep.
  • Embrace good stress leading to learning and growth, avoid bad stress related to “what if”, worry and uncontrollable events. Be at cause, not at effect!
  • Participate in a sustainable exercise regime at a minimum of 2.5 hours per week. Ensure 80% of this exercise is at aerobic intensity, at a heart rate of “180 – your age” or at a level where you can breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth with relative ease. The remaining 20% can be high intensity intervals in sessions less than 45 min in duration.

“Nutrition, gut, hormone and stress health are essential to a healthy life style. Take care of a balanced life in nutrition, stress and exercise and your weight will take care of itself with a lot less will power than habitual dieting!”

The 21 Day Reset Rules

  1. Eat real food.
  2. Avoid sugar, grains, unhealthy fats, beans/legumes.
    • Grains, sugars, sweetened beverages: Processed carbohydrates drive excess insulin production, which can lead to lifelong insidious weight gain. Even if you don’t have excess body fat concerns, a high insulin-producing diet promotes systemic inflammation, fatigue, and burnout. Grains might be the most offensive foods in your diet because they also contain “anti-nutrients” that may cause health problems beyond just gaining weight. Sweeteners are worse than sugar, the body’s insulin response is the same as sugar, however with nothing to process it leads to an irrepressible hunger which leads to gluttonous eating eventually.
    • Industrial and polyunsaturated oils: Trans and partially hydrogenated fats (from heavily processed snack or frozen foods); deep-fried menu items (from fast-food joints), assorted packaged snacks and baked goods (chips, crackers, cookies, etc.), margarine-type spreads, and bottled vegetable oils (canola, corn, safflower, etc.) promote oxidation and inflammation, setting the stage for cancer and heart disease.
    • Beans and other legumes: Beans, lentils, peanuts, peas, and soy products contain anti-nutrients that compromise digestion, immune function, and general health. The highly touted fiber in beans is problematic, and the carbohydrate content in all legumes is high enough to warrant cutting or eliminating them in the interest of moderating insulin production.
    • Dairy: Most commercial dairy products are unhealthy for everyone – laden with hormones and other impurities. Butter and heavy cream are the preferred forms of dairy, should you be lactose tolerant.
  3. Align your carbohydrate  intake with your weight goals and activity levels.
    • Protein: Average 0.8 – 1.8 gram per kilogram of lean body mass/day – depending on activity levels (more at times is fine). Lean body mass is your weight in kilograms less body fat percentage (Weight – (weight / 100 * body fat percentage)
    • Carbs:  50 grams/day (or less) = accelerated fat loss. 50-100 grams/day = effortless weight maintenance. A heavy exerciser can increase carbohydrate intake as needed to replace glycogen stores on big training days.
    • Fat: Enjoy freely but sensibly for balance of caloric needs and high dietary satisfaction levels.
    • Calculate your baseline requirements here.
  4. No Alcohol.
    • 21 days of no alcohol is a big commitment for some, the bigger the commitment required, the more you need to do this!
    • Alcohol is a toxin and is prioritised by our digestive system  to process ahead of vitamins, minerals, other macro nutrinents in order to get it out of the system first.
    • When alcohol is in the system, all other macro-nutrients consumed are stored as fat
  5. Sleep. 
    • Adequate sleep is essential for health, helping us solidify memories and learn new skills, allowing muscles to grow and fat to burn, and maintaining the circadian rhythms that govern our immune system and metabolism.
    • Commit to at least 8 hours a night. Limit artificial light at night to avoid disruption of your sleep cycle.
    • Try these tips to ensure the best sleep possible.
  6. Mindfulness.
    • Take a quite 10 minutes, soon after waking, to shut out the world, be calm, think of the world as it should be for a moment.
    • After 5 minutes consider what you will not react to during the day, and how you will simplify and “quieten” your world for you and your associates.
    • This is your protected time to see the world as it should be, then go out and fill that space.

Post Challenge Assessment

After the 21 day reset I have no doubt you will be feeling on top of the world and replaced the “How do I motivate myself?” question with “How do I avoid burn-out as I have too much to do?”

Living with the 21 day plan is possible and very healthy for all, but difficult in the modern-day social environment. My recommendation is to identify the factors that are impacting your life the most and managing these closely. To do this we reintroduce elements in stages and monitor the reaction. If you were strict in the 21 days you may intuitively know the culprits. For me it was alcohol!

  • Day 22 – Reintroduce non-gluten grains (Rice, Quinoa, Oats, Corn). These are not essential, but if you are a grain fan these are the best choices!
  • Day 26 –Reintroduce Alcohol if favored . Keep to social only, two standard drinks per day maximum.
  • Day 30 – Decision time! reflect how you felt on day 21. Decide what you need back and monitor. If your vitality slips, jump on it and adjust while it is fresh!

Some sample meals

21 day Challenge shopping list

Vegetables

Artichoke Cucumbers Parsnips
Arugula Eggplant Peppers (all kinds)
Asparagus Endive Pumpkin
Avocados Fennel Purslane
Beets/Beet Greens Fiddlehead Ferns Radishes
Bell Peppers Garlic Romaine Lettuce
Bok Choy Green Beans Rutabaga
Broccoli Jerusalem Artichokes Sea Vegetables
Broccoli Rabe Jicama Spinach
Brussels Sprouts Kale Squash
Cabbage Kohlrabi Swiss Chard
Carrots Leeks Tomatoes
Cauliflower Mushrooms Turnip Greens
Celery Mustard Greens Watercress
Celery Root Olives
Collards Onions
Cassava Sweet Potatoes Yams
Potatoes Wild Rice Taro

Fish

Anchovies Mahi Mahi Salmon
Bass Monkfish Sardines
Cod Mullet Tilapia
Eel Northern Pike Tuna
Haddock Orange Roughy Walleye
Halibut Perch Any Other Wild Fish
Herring Red Snapper
Mackerel Rockfish

Shellfish

Abalone Lobster Scallops
Clams Mussels Shrimp
Crab Oysters
Crayfish Prawns

Meat and Poultry

Beef Goat Pork
Chicken Lamb
Game Meat
Alligator Emu Rabbit
Bear Goose Snakes
Buffalo Pheasant Turkey
Caribou Kangaroo Venison
Duck Ostrich
Elk Quail
Organ Meats
Hearts Liver Sweetbreads
Kidney Bone Marrow Tongue

Eggs

Chicken Goose Roe/Caviar
Duck Pheasant Other Bird Eggs
Emu Quail

Nuts and Seeds

Almonds Pecans Sunflower Seeds
Brazil Nuts Pine Nuts Walnuts
Hazelnuts Pistachios Derivative Butters
Hempseeds Pumpkin seeds
Macadamias Sesame Seeds

Healthy Fats/Oils

Avocado Oil Macadamia Oil Unprocessed Palm Oil
Butter/Ghee Olive Oil Walnut Oil
Coconut Oil/Milk Sesame Oil
Lard Tallow

Fruit

Preferred
Blackberries Boysenberries Gooseberries
Blueberries Cranberries Raspberries
Other Fruits
Apple Honeydew Melon Pears
Apricot Kiwi Persimmon
Banana Lemon Plums
Cantalope Lime Pomegranate
Cherries Lychee Rhubarb
Coconut Mango Star Fruit
Figs Nectarine Strawberries
Goji Berries Orange Tangerine
Grapefruit Papaya Watermelon
Grapes Passion Fruit All other fruits
Guava Peaches

Spices and Herbs

Anise Cumin Peppermint
Basil Dill Rosemary
Black Pepper Fennel Sage
Cayenne Pepper Ginger Stevia
Chili Pepper Mint Tarragon
Cilantro Mustard Seeds Thyme
Coriander Seeds Nutmeg Turmeric
Cinnamon Oregano
Cloves Paprika

In Moderation

100% Full Fat Cream
Cheese
Coffee
Yogurt
Honey