Alternative Wellness: Start anew with a 21-Day Reset
As Hippocrates once said, “let food be thy medicine”
Editor’s Note: The Vail Daily’s Tricia Swenson searched the valley for alternative wellness modalities that are lesser-known and have proven benefits. Follow this series and take steps to improve your well being and see which offerings work for you.
It was the beginning of the new year and I figured, ‘why not get a fresh start?’ I had heard of Profound Wellness and Christine Pierangeli’s 21-Day Anti-Inflammatory Reset and was willing to give it a try. Pierangeli is a Certified Master Nutritional Therapist and I had done cooking videos with her in the past and loved her healthy recipes. My diet had taken a downturn and started to become centered around pre-packaged, convenience-based and preservative-heavy foods and I knew I wanted to add some new go-to recipes to my world and get on a better track.
Pierangeli will often do the 21-Day Anti-Inflammatory Reset with groups, particularly at The Athletic Club at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa in Avon. But you can also do the program on your own at any time. The plan includes an introductory package to get you started, three weeks of tips and recipes, a Facebook accountability page and support and education along the way from Pierangeli.
Pierangeli has always been interested in how eating right and making healthy lifestyle choices impact health in a positive way. Her interest became a passion and she enrolled in the renowned Nutrition Therapy Institute (NTI) in Denver and began her new education journey. Pierangeli’s dream came to fruition when she delivered her thesis in November of 2015 and received her certificate as a Master Nutrition Therapist. She went on to become Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition in 2017.
“Nutrition therapy focuses on how nutrition and lifestyle impact our health. My education helped me understand that profound wellness is not achieved by trying the latest diet craze. Profound wellness is achieved when we respect our body’s innate wisdom and incorporate a whole-foods diet and make healthy lifestyle choices. Just eat real food and move your body. It really is that simple,” Pierangeli said.
Support Local Journalism
The premise of the 21-Day Anti-Inflammatory Reset is to eliminate sugar, dairy, gluten and bad oils from your diet. It sounds extreme, but once I started making the recipes, I really didn’t miss those things. Doing this reduces systemic inflammation, fine-tunes daily eating habits and determines potential food sensitivities in order to achieve profound wellness.
Pieranglei does recommend you reduce the amount of caffeine and alcohol while you are doing this reset as well. Moderate alcohol consumption is two to three 5-ounce glasses of wine a week or one to two mixed drinks a week. Although caffeine has health benefits in moderation, Pierangeli spelled out just how many milligrams you should aim for. A moderate amount of caffiene a day is 200 to 400 milligrams. To put that into perspective, a Starbucks tall size coffee has 260 milligrams. A typical 8-ounce home brew has 100 milligrams and an espresso also has 100 milligrams.
To get started, Pierangeli gives you several forms to look over, from a blank menu planning template to recipes, food suggestions and a sample grocery list to get your pantry ready for the challenge.
Pierangeli also sets up a different challenge each week. One week I was supposed to try new foods. This was fun because it got me out of my comfort zone and my regular picks at the grocery store and forced me to eat something different. I never realized how juicy and delicious pears were and now I eat them all the time. Kimchi was another new one for me that I would have never tried had I not been challenged to find new foods.
Pieranglei also assigned a list of videos to help participants learn more about what really goes into our food these days. These are free to watch on Youtube, Netflix or Amazon Prime and provide so much insight. I watched the documentary, “Fed Up” which is narrated by Katie Couric and talks about obesity and how sugar has taken over our food supply and how it impacts our health. Another good film was “Supersize Me” which shows what happens when every meal is eaten at McDonald’s for 30 straight days.
In addition to making changes in the kitchen, the 21-Day Anti-Inflammatory Reset also encourages participants to improve sleep patterns, drink more water and practice mindfulness.
“When we are truly dialed into our health and wellness, we can easily recognize the symptoms of systemic inflammation like low energy, overweight, brain fog and joint pain. Because inflammation is at the root of all chronic diseases, this plan is powerful in improving heart health, cancer prevention and preventing autoimmune disorders,” Pierangeli said.
The biggest challenge I had was finding the time to grocery shop and cook the meals, but I will admit, I don’t like to grocery shop and I burn water, so I am not very adept in the kitchen and it takes me a long time to cook a meal. Once I got a few recipes under my belt and even froze some of the leftovers, I was on my way to having a variety of healthy meals at my fingertips.
I started to crave the new recipes and I even made meals for others. Recipes like curried chicken salad, zucchini “noodles” with bolognese sauce, a sweet potato breakfast hash with pork and a chicken pot pie without the pastry crust – that’s been my favorite! It’s an amazing meal with chicken, butternut squash, coconut cream, peas and seasonings and it’s become a crowd-pleaser.
After the 21 days, Pierangeli gives you a re-introduction plan so you can see the effects of adding sugar, gluten and dairy back into your diet and gauge how you feel. I decided to stick with the meal plan for the most part, but I will admit I did add cheese back into my diet because I love cheese, but I’m trying to be mindful of what kind of cheese I buy and how much I consume. I’ve felt like I had more energy, didn’t quite feel so sluggish in the afternoons and my ski pants fit better all season!
I think it’s an eye-opening and attainable challenge where everyone can learn something from it and this awareness can put you on a pathway to better health. And, hey, if I can tackle the recipes and master them in the kitchen, anyone can. To learn more and to sign up for the 21-Day Anti-Inflammatory Reset, go to ProfoundWellness.fit.