WHAT MAKES THIS PROTOCOL DIFFERENT?
The Rebalance Protocol is entirely plant-based, giving your system the opportunity to fully rest and fuelling your cells with an overflow of easily assimilated nutrition. It also offers blended food/salad as a means of cleansing, usually unavailable or not encouraged on a typical juice cleanse you might purchase. Whilst there is nothing wrong with these types of cleanses, I feel they do not instill sustainable habits you can integrate into your life post cleanse, are less appealing and enjoyable meaning compliance is low, and are often unrealistic for those still working and exercising during this time.
A whole food, vegan lifestyle is the most effective way we can avoid or reverse many chronic conditions. As a society, we have moved so far away from the way we are naturally intended to eat. A plant-based diet allows us to use food as preventative medicine and work with our bodies natural healing processes, not against them.
Biologically, we are designed to eat this way (if you look at our teeth, our digestive enzymes and our GIT), and it just so happens to support the health of the environment and the welfare of other beings. These foods are anti-inflammatory, nutrient-rich, and come as a package-deal with water and fibre as well.
Initially, some people describe discomfort with a plant-rich diet, but that is not the plant-foods fault, that is from years of improper eating, stress, environmental toxins, medication etc. We can get back to the way we were designed to eat, with ease and enjoyment. Animal-products are more acidic and complex to break down, and bring a host of unwanted additions, e.g. heavy metals and toxins in their fat, hormones from the animal and excess saturated fat. A well-planned vegan diet can meet all nutrients requirements (except vitamin B12, which must be supplemented), with fewer adverse health side effects. Once you optimise your digestion, you will find you actually absorb and utilise nutrients better too. Protein deficiency is actually extraordinarily uncommon, and so long as you consume enough calories, you should meet requirements.
Most fad diets and trends are much more restrictive and extreme. This type of real food diet, food from mother nature, in its most basic form, just becomes an easy way of choosing the right foods for your body, and your taste buds and cravings quickly adjust.
WHO IS THIS PROTOCOL APPROPRIATE FOR?
Anyone looking to challenge themself, trial or transition toward a plant-based diet, free up energy, clear up skin, improve sleep, steady mood and appetite, banish cravings, lose and maintain a healthy weight and improve their overall quality of life. If you identify with more than 2 of the following symptoms, this protocol might be the right fit for you:
- Constipation or loose stools/diarrhoea;
- Thick coating on tongue;
- Bad breath;
- Cravings, sweet or salty;
- Low energy, particularly first thing in the morning;
- Poor sleep or insomnia;
- Poor immunity;
- Skin rashes;
- Difficulty focusing;
- Brain fog;
- Mood swings/irritability;
- Acne/skin congestion;
WHEN TO DO IT AND FOR HOW LONG?
Now, tomorrow, next week! This protocol can begin when you feel ready. You can simply do Phase 1 or Phase 2 in isolation, or you may choose to do a few days of each.
You can use it as a three-step program regularly for a few days a month, at the start of a new season, or a few weeks a year. The possibilities are endless and are yours to realise. I just recommend you modify your activity level, really tune into your hunger and energy signals and check-in with how you are feeling throughout. Of course, if you come straight off the back of a fast-food diet or something similar, you might experience more extreme symptoms, in which case please be realistic with yourself and ease into it accordingly. Consulting with a healthcare professional is advised if any serious side effects are noticed.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM EATING THIS WAY
During the Rest Phase, it is likely you might feel more hungry than usual. Depending on your goals, you might wish to eat more than the allocated portions, i.e. if you don’t wish to lose weight. Don’t be afraid to eat a little more regardless, a piece of allowable fruit, a handful of nuts, or a warm latte won’t be the undoing of your Rest! You will still experience immense benefits. When it comes to hunger signals, I invite you to tune in—sometimes it is boredom, thirst or comfort we seek. Honour this with the appetite control strategies as well as mindful eating tips, and work out what you truly need.
In any phase, however more likely the Renew, you may experience some digestive symptoms—bloating, changed bowel habits, more frequent urination. Please monitor these, however don’t be too alarmed. Nothing too out of the ordinary should occur.
Sometimes we feel worse before we feel better. As your systems heal, things bubble to the surface, and inactive pathways take a little while to reawaken. You may experience:
- Poor sleep/heating up in the middle of the night;
- Brain fog;
- Appetite changes;
- Bowel irregularity.
What this can be due to is the increased quantity of plant-foods and therefore fibre and water. This is a good thing in the long-term, but can create minor discomfort or changes in the short-term. We are designed to process these foods, so this transition is all about letting your body re-adjust to its new way of eating. Further to this, often when we have had a highly processed diet, our body becomes lazy at recognising and digesting real food. It may take a while for our digestive enzymes and stomach acid to rebalance. Finally, detox symptoms can be a bit nasty at times, so keep this in mind. The key here is to remember that these should be short-term. If anything persists, please contact a qualified natural health practitioner. You should be filling out your symptom diary and/or worksheets as you go along, so monitor symptoms and act accordingly. Do your best to work through minor shifts and changes, and speak to your doctor if symptoms continue.
WHAT DO I DO AFTER THIS PROTOCOL IS COMPLETED?
After Phase 1 of this protocol, I always recommend transitioning for at least a few days with Phase 2. Ideally, you will do at least two weeks of Phase 2–3. If you find yourself extra hungry at any phase, you can always ‘bulk up’ meals with more of the same foods. Both Phase 2 and Phase 3 can be maintained longer for a well-rounded, plant-based diet. Please look to the 7 principles (in eBook) to follow as a guide when looking to implement more long-term habits and rituals.
DO WE REALLY NEED SUPPLEMENTS AND CLEANSES/ DETOXES? IF WE EAT WELL, SHOULDN’T THAT BE ENOUGH?
I hear you. And I wish this were the case. And maybe one day it was… but we live in this modern world where stress is rampant, financial and emotional pressure common, pollution in the air we breathe, depleted soil quality, hidden toxins in our food, drinking water and household products that we don’t know the full effects of yet… there is so much outside of our control. This brings about compromised digestion and most importantly absorption of our nutrition, and adds a heavy burden to our body. In order to combat these challenges, even whilst stringently sticking to a clean diet and conscious choices, good quality supplements are beneficial and necessary. And so too are regular clean outs and resets in order to optimise our health. We can minimise these outside influences through things like stress management, buying organic, only using natural products… but the truth is, we are not zen yogi’s without demands to meet, living in a clean and pure world.
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