My First Time: A Nutritionist-Approved Reset

  • Written By:Anjali Kumar
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I am about 70% cheese at this point. The other 30% is largely red wine and mezcal. I am not certain if that is the exact percentage breakdown, but probably close. While I had been doing pretty well on my Ayurvedic program up until about mid December, to say the wheels came off during the last 3 weeks of holiday cheer would be a gross understatement. The car crashed into a 10 car pile up of camembert and Côtes du Rhône. But as they say in France,Je ne regrette rien.

I spent all of January being bombarded with "New Year, New You" messaging from all sides — Instagram, my email inbox, the book store, my friends doing various detoxes and cleanses. If I am being honest, I love a cleanse. I am good with following rules. But (as Bobbi can attest) the second I am done with the three week deprivation, I tend to go right back into my old habits.

So this time I am determined to do it differently. No punishing cleanses. No “detoxes” only to “retox” a few days later. But I don't quite know where to start...so I start by dialing an old acquaintance, nutritionist Meredith Geller.

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Meredith is a holistic nutrition and lifestyle consultant who combines nutrition, mindfulness, movement, and other holistic modality recommendations to assist clients in reaching their goals. I told her my predicament (one she has undoubtedly heard before) and mentioned that my birthday was coming up soon too and I would love to enter this next stage of my 40s with a more sustainably healthy approach. I had a few health scares this past fall and it made me realize just how much I take my wellness for granted. But no more. My body is a temple and I need to treat it as such. Or least as well as I treat my living room and wipe my shoes off before I go inside.

As we discussed meal planning, I asked Meredith to provide me with a combination of things I could buy ready made and make at home so that I didn't have to do hours of complicated meal prep. Things were getting hectic at work already and I wanted to make this program easy for myself. Meredith sent me an email with a simple to follow meal plan for Day 1 to begin the next morning.

Our first exchange ended with a cheerful note from Meredith:

"Text me daily with updates!!!! OH! We need to talk about pooping, too. If you aren’t going daily, DEF let me know, k?"

Um, ok?

Day 1:

My alarm went off at 6:25 am and I did one minute of breathing as prescribed by Meredith before getting out of bed. It was a nice change from the usual grab my phone and check the time/email/Instagram habit I usually have. I went to the kitchen to drink two big glasses of water, and then cut up some fresh ginger to steep in hot water to drink as a tea after my morning meditation.

I had a big headache (blame it on a combination of the heat in my apartment being up way too high, and the mezcal I drank last night in anticipation of cleaning up my act for a few days starting the next morning) and the ginger water wasn't doing much to relieve it. After a cool shower proved not much more effective, I popped two Tylenol and had an espresso. I texted Meredith later in the morning to ask whether coffee was permissible, she suggested I skip it. I felt the need to confess that I already had some, to wash down Tylenol. And she said she would rather I skip the Tylenol and drink the coffee with a non-dairy milk if needed. I decided to interpret that as "an espresso a day is fine,” but I suspect that isn't what she means so I promised myself to try to cut coffee for the next four days.

The rest of the day was so busy that I didn't have a chance to pick up my morning green juice til after 2 pm. I drank half of it and didn't have time for lunch, heading straight into more meetings. For dinner I ate a baked sweet potato, steamed broccoli, pitted olives, a serving of kimchi, all drizzled with some olive oil and felt pretty good. Although an hour later I was wishing I could have a piece of chocolate.

Meredith’s program was simple and easy to follow, consisting largely of things readily available in a local grocery or health food store.

Day 2:

I was more organized having gone to the grocery store the night before to gather all the ingredients I needed for the day's meals. Being organized seems to be key to getting this right.

I came home after the gym to make the (optional) morning green smoothie and heat up and blend a vegan soup to carry on the road so I wouldn’t end up not eating all day like on Day 1. Worked well and felt pretty sated all day, although I was late to my meetings because of the mess I made trying to pour the smoothie into a too narrow mason jar. Note to self: mason jars have smaller openings than Instagram wellness bloggers would lead you to believe.

Day 3:

Felt good and not bloated after eating for the first time in weeks. All this kimchi and blended soup is suiting me better than I would have expected. I am not hungry until late at night when I am working, when I snacked on a spoonful of raw almond butter which admittedly tasted a bit like paste.

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Day 4:

Meredith texted me an idea for my sweet tooth that involved coconut flakes and tahini. I think I am in love with this combo or I have been on this Nourishing Reset too long.

Day 5:

I woke up with amazing energy levels and am pooping like a champ (TMI? Meredith and I have been having daily text exchanges about my bowel movements so it felt like fair game to share with all of you). I marveled to Meredith that I didn’t know a general level of stomach discomfort didn’t need to be my baseline state of being after meals. She responded: “Feel like going for 5 more days?” And in my excitement (Meredith’s encouraging texts are infectious) I said, “Yes let’s keep going! I feel great!”

And I did. Who would have thought I wouldn’t have called in for pizza on Day 6. New Year, New Me.

The Verdict:

Meredith’s program was simple and easy to follow, consisting largely of things readily available in a local grocery or health food store. Her work focuses heavily on theories of food combining, which is something I now want to learn more about. And the Nourishing Reset plan she developed for me is something I will lean on regularly as my baseline way of eating (and certainly for the days following an overly indulgent weekend or vacation).

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