Here we go again... I've been putting it off for far too long. Two and a half years ago, give or take, I did my first 28 Days to Health Cleanse; I wasn't sure what to expect, but what happened blew me away.
I had always been pretty active and healthy. I live the "Chiropractic Lifestyle:" I eat right (mostly), exercise and keep my spine healthy with weekly chiropractic adjustments. I was forty five at the time of my first cleanse and felt pretty good for my age. FOR MY AGE! What does that mean? Either you feel good or you don't, right?! I had occasional hip pain from a nagging hip flexor and I was getting headaches multiple times per week, even though I would rationalize they weren't that bad. I also had the occasional achy joint here and there. But I thought, "you're forty five years old, isn't this what you're supposed to feel like?".
Kendra, a personal trainer and dancer who was also a patient of mine asked me to try this new cleanse program. I thought, "cleanse, what do I need that for?" She said it's also a weight loss program, "Uh Oh, I thought I was hiding my love handles under the scrubs better". After a quick pinch of my side I said what the heck, let's give this a try.
She set me up with the proteins, cleanse products and a nice manual to let me know what I could and could not eat. Let's see, for starters no coffee. CRAP! Over the last ten years I had just developed a nice cozy habit since I having my first child. Secondly: no alcohol. What!? I just learned the art of sniffing and slurping, twirling and tasting wine. Wow, what else. No Gluten. What the heck is gluten? Then I looked at the list of food containing this substance known as gluten. Wait a minute. Isn't everything good made out of gluten? Rolls, pasta, crackers, pizza, cake! What's left to eat??? And finally: No dairy. Ok, this is looking like it's going to be impossible. I was just starting to become a great nightly wino with my BevMo club card, 5 cent sales, wine tasting on Saturdays, cheese and crackers to go with the wine, bagel and cream cheese in the morning with my coffee to help me wake up from my bottle of wine the previous night; not to mention my afternoon cup(s) of coffee after my gigantic Chipotle burrito. This was going to really cramp my style.
Kendra told me to just do it. It's not as hard as it seems. I told her I would make the commitment, so I got my mind set and started my journey for 28 Days. By day two the caffeine withdrawals were really kicking in and my head was pounding. I wasn't sure I was going to make it. By day 4 I started to feel pretty good. I didn't get tired after lunch and my energy actually went UP by 3pm. At the end of the first week I felt really good and I had already lost six pounds.
By this time I was getting used to the program and started learning how to replace flour with gluten free brown rice flour to cook and even bake with. Our kids didn't even know when we replaced the pasta with brown rice pasta. Maybe Kendra was right, this wasn't that hard after all.
By the third week I was down over twelve pounds and felt like I was eighteen again. Seriously, I mean it! I was out throwing the football around with my son and actually diving for the football. DIVING on the grass to catch passes. My energy level was through the roof and I seriously thought I had discovered the fountain of youth. Anyone who knew me back then can tell you I wouldn't shut up about the cleanse. Our first official cleanse class at the office had about twenty people sign up. My energy was contagious and I felt unstoppable. The best thing to witness was other people in the classes started having similar results. By the end of my cleanse I had dropped twenty pounds and was wearing the same pants size I wore in college.
So let's come full circle. Over this past year I started slipping. I started eating whatever I wanted. I mean I still ate pretty healthy meals, still did my protein shakes in the morning, but in between I was eating spoonful's of cookie dough, pizza too many days per week and even started drinking coffee again. I still felt pretty good, well, honestly I felt just ok. Thankfully I wasn't getting fat, at least not according to the numbers on the scale. But my energy was not great. In fact, I noticed I was again starting to become dependent on coffee or tea I was drinking every day. To tell you the truth, I started feeling my age. Or what I imagined a forty eight year old should feel like. So I did my first day weigh in and found out that even though I didn't weigh that much in pounds I had the highest percent body fat that I have EVER had in my life!
Well, I'll tell you what! I am 7 days into the cleanse again and I already feel that 18 year old waking up again. It's hard to explain unless you feel it yourself, but without the coffee, sugar, gluten or whatever, my energy is starting to go through the roof again. It's a natural high that I just can't explain. I am writing this blog as a way of being accountable. When I am done, I will follow up and post a picture to this blog. See you on the other side!
Yours in Health,
Dr. Brian Heller
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