I received this question last week, and with the many 30-day programs that have cropped up over the past few years and the greater interest in them, thought it would make a great EP topic!
So the question/comment was: “I am on the last week of a 30-day reset, and once it finishes, I’m not sure what to do.”
This is a great question, and in my experience, and a very common place to land finishing a reset/plan/elimination diet. Often times, there are pretty specific rules offered along with these, and perhaps even daily meal plans.
This can be great starting out, because it takes the guesswork out of everything; which can be a valuable asset when making changes or trying something new. If not instructed or guided though, I find it can also take the INTUITION and INNER TRUST out of the experience as well.
So to answer this question, I am going to offer a question, or a few questions to consider throughout this process, as the answer for one person will likely differ from the next.
Question 1: What was your intention in undertaking the reset?
Question 2: What have you noticed throughout the process? (write it down!)
Question 3: What is important to you NOW?
This may feel like a lot to consider (and a little deep!), and IT IS. Food IS deep. It is one of the first and the longest relationships we’ve had throughout life. Food is often with us in the highest of highs and lowest of lows. People have created tribes and cultures around food, and staked a lot of identity on it, too. And often, in the food and diet industry, along with the meal plan is an implicit promise: this is THE thing that will get you everything you want- love, belonging, beauty, health, harmonious relationships, confidence, and full self expression. This is an impossible promise because no one and nothing can give this to you unconditionally except for yourself. YOU get to decide that you are worthy of love, compassion, patience, caring, success, and health, and you decide the TERMS, too. If you decide that your life can only be lived at its best when you are X pounds, then you make it so. Conversely, if you decide that you are UNCONDITIONALLY worthy of love, and are willing to BE THAT SOURCE OF LOVE for yourself, always, nothing can stop you, and from this space decisions can be made with unwavering love for yourself.
That unwavering love may lead you to undertake a reset or cleanse or any number of health changes that, from the outside, may look the same, but will FEEL very different than coming at it from a place of not good enough, and needing this thing (and then the next and the next) to make you whole and complete.
From this space, what feel important to you, right now? Many elimination/reset diets are enacted with the guidance of health practitioners for the purposes of providing the widest amount of food variety with the greatest amount of health, energy, and vitality to be channeled into all the areas of life.
So as one comes near the end of a reset, I would encourage taking note of all of the changes mentioned above, and then slowly begin to re-incorporate the food/s that were eliminated that you’d like to re-incorporate. That may be all foods, that may be some. There may be a few foods that you feel better without, most of the time; that’s great awareness, too! If you are interested in re-incorporating foods that may be connected with symptoms you’ve experienced in the past, I would recommend working with a health practitioner, who can guide you on when/how to re-incorporate foods in a way that works best for you. Commonly, this includes reincorporation of one food at a time, for at least three days, taking note of your experience, and then adding in another food, sticking with it for three days, taking note, and so on.
One of the beautiful opportunities of closing out a reset, is that often the body has a greater sensitivity. What this means is people often find that when incorporating a food or beverage back in, they know pretty quickly whether it feels good in their system or not. This is not always the case, and not with every food. But it is my hope that if you are embarking on or closing out a reset of some sort, whether it be with food, exercise, or technology, that you’ve set a clear intention for why it is that you are taking the action, that you’ve given yourself space to check in and be with what you are noticing, and that you come away with greater awareness of yourself and confidence in what works well for you and where your threshold lies with things.
If you are not feeling that way, if you feel worse, or feel even more confused about what foods are “healthy” for you, please ask for support. I am a practicing Health Coach and I specialize in helping women who feel lost confused, or stuck on their health journeys to get very clear on which diet and lifestyle patterns will serve them best right now, and how to navigate that change in a way that feels BALANCED. I would love to support you, so if it feels aligned, please reach out to email@example.com with the subject line: "I’d Love to Receive Support!"
As always, hoping that this conversation serves you, and if you have a specific topic you’d like to see covered on the Empowered Patient, please comment below!
Thank you and sending you so much love,