The 3 Day Refresh is a simple and accessible way to break negative food patterns, mend digestion, increase energy and jumpstart weight loss. Once you have gotten the ball rolling toward a healthier path you don’t want to veer off on Day 4! What are the ways to maintain and build on your 3 Day Refresh results? I’ll share some ideas here.
As I said in my previous post, I think the first thing to do is make sure you are focused on how you feel, not just on the scale. Weight changes can be fleeting but improvements in energy, digestion, regularity, taste preferences, desire to cook your own food – these are the things that will lead to lasting change (including longer-term weight management)!
The planning and preparation you practiced before and during the 3 Day Refresh can be one of the most important habits to carry forward! My suggestion is: don’t start Day 4 without a plan. What will you eat on Day 4? What aspects of your Day 4 menu can you prepare ahead of time to help things go smoothly? If you need help with this, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Remember, your coach is your lifeline for the Refresh and beyond!
Should you go right back to your “normal” diet on Day 4? Probably not. In my experience my digestion was still adjusting until Day 5. You may want to ease back in by sticking to foods that are easy to digest and aren’t gas producing. The vegetables, fruit and healthy fats you had on the 3 Day Refresh plan are great of course! Add some healthy protein and feel free to increase portions if you are hungry. Here is a sample day 4 menu:
Lunch: Shakeology or Spinach Salad (from 3 Day Refresh Dinner Recipes – see Program Guide) with grilled chicken or salmon
Snack: Raw veggies with hummus or apple with almond butter
Dinner: Veggie Stir-Fry (from 3 Day Refresh Dinner Recipes – see Program Guide) with stir-fried beef or tempeh
These are examples of foods that are more difficult to digest. You may want to steer clear of them on Day 4 or add them back in over time. Pay attention to how you feel after eating them and decide whether you want to permanently eliminate foods you don’t tolerate as well. It is also helpful to continue keeping a food journal so you can learn which foods make you feel best. I’ve listed things in red that we all benefit from eliminating altogether (or at least 80-90% of the time).
- Grains, especially those that contain gluten (if you choose to add grains back in, consider starting with sprouted grains which many people find easier to digest/tolerate)
- Dairy products (if you choose to add dairy back in, consider starting with kefir or yogurt…again, these may be easier to digest)
- Beans (easier to digest options: lentils, mung beans, adzuki beans)
- Nuts (to improve digestibility: soak nuts in clean water for 6-24 hours, rinse thoroughly & dry)
- Peanuts/peanut butter
- Potatoes (except sweet potatoes/yams)
- Artificial sweeteners
- Soy (except fermented soy such as miso & tempeh)
- Processed/packaged foods
Daily Detox Habits
Even if you’re not doing a formal “detox” there are ways to promote your body’s natural ways of cleaning house on a daily basis. Here are some examples:
- Morning cleansing drink – 8 oz of room temperature or warm water + juice from 1/2 a lemon + 1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar (can also add 1 tsp raw honey or stevia, 1/2 inch fresh ginger, pinch of cayenne pepper). Even if you don’t add the other ingredients simply starting the day with 8-20 oz can help awaken digestion, release toxins and boost energy.
- Eat your greens, greens and more greens! Lettuce, kale, spinach, swiss chard, dandelion greens, and the list goes on and on. Eat them raw, cooked or blended into your Shakeology!
- Nightly fast – try to stop eating 2-3 hours before bedtime. Letting your digestion rest and do its natural nightly deep clean can do wonders for your energy and health!
Extending Your Refresh
If you would like a more formal way of building on the progress you made in your 3 Day Refresh (whether it is a specific eating plan or just some extra accountability to continue the ways of a clean eater) here are some ways to keep going!
- Ultimate Reset – a 21 day whole foods program (you can read about my experience with the Reset here)
- Online support & accountability groups/challenges
- One-on-one or group nutrition coaching – contact me for more information
- Expand your nutrition education – here are some of my favorite reads!