Awhile back I posted on social media that I was really excited to try the Adrenal Reset Diet. The concept of the book is to “strategically cycle carbs and proteins to lose weight, balance hormones, and move from stressed to thriving.” Sounds great right? It certainly did to me. I’ve heard about carb cycling and have been wanting to give it a try, so I thought this book would be the way to go based on the reviews and descriptions of the book.
Because I was so excited to start this diet, I read the book quickly. Also we were on vacation and I was not posting on social media, so I had a bit more free time than normal, lol. As someone who has been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, I was definitely curious to see what this book is all about. My mindset was positive from the get-go. There were, however, a few things that concerned me pretty much right away.
First, “fructose” is labeled as toxic. Yes, high-fructose corn syrup in processed foods is absolutely toxic. However, fructose in actual fruit and honey are definitely not toxic! The author didn’t spend much time pointing that fact out. Not a big deal for someone who is educated about food, but I could see that as being very confusing to someone who is just learning about nutrition. While fruits are allowed on this diet, the list is a very short one that left off some of my favorites (like berries!). Second, he doesn’t really explain why the proteins gluten, casein and albumin are considered toxins other than to say they can cause immune system reactions. Luckily I already knew why gluten (as found in wheat, etc.) & casein (in cow’s milk) are bad for the immune system. The albumin one was new to me, so I wanted a more detailed explanation – I need more information before I simply give up a staple food like that. It literally took me years to accept that dairy was bad for me and to cut it out. So, a statement like “they can trigger immune reactions” is vague. Most people, myself included, want more specifics before they cut something out of their diet. Third, there is no mention of re-introducing anything into the diet. Like I said before I already avoid gluten and dairy and have no plans of starting again. Mostly I was curious to know about my eggs, fruit and honey. I’m doing fine while eating them so I want to know how long I was supposed to avoid them.
Regardless of those concerns, I decided to go ahead and give it a try. So I took the “Learn Your Level” quiz to determine whether I was “stressed”, “wired and tired”, “crashed” or “thriving”. My quiz put me in the “wired and tired” category, though I identified more with the “stressed” symptoms. Based on my results I decided to follow the recommendations for the “wired and tired” category. There are other factors besides food, such as exposing yourself to light, resetting your sleep schedule, etc. and each category has its own set of interventions.
I started the diet/lifestyle protocols on a Monday. By Friday, I actually felt “wired and tired” when I didn’t before. The wired and tired category advised you to take Ashwaghanda at night, which I started doing even though I already take ashwaghanda in Shakeology in the morning as my breakfast. I suspect that had something to do with me feeling wired and tired. Not to mention, I could no longer take the taste of my hot tea with stevia – I had to go back to my honey. That Sunday my husband and I had our usual breakfast of eggs and hash browns.
The bottom line for me:
– The food portion of this diet was not explained in enough detail (why exactly are these proteins considered toxic? Only a vague, general reason was given)
– The exercise prescriptions do not fit into my schedule (I teach classes in the evening, vigorous exercise is to be done in the morning)
– Because of my schedule, having larger portions of carbs in the evening doesn’t work.
– Lack of timeline for reintroducing certain foods (berries, honey & eggs)
– Taking ashwaghanda at night in addition to my morning Shakeology was too much for my body to handle. And I rely heavily on having a quick breakfast, so changing when I drink Shakeology isn’t an option.
– I really liked the lifestyle prescriptions such as when to exercise, when to drink caffeine, sleep management, light exposure, etc.
Do I feel that I wasted my time reading this book? Even though I quit the diet after five days, the answer is no. There are some really great ideas and recipes in the book. Trying this diet made me realize that I have already found what works for me. Since I went back to my normal healthy diet, I feel great. I’ve also made habits out of some lifestyle modifications suggested for the “stressed” category (since those are the symptoms I was experiencing): exposing myself to bright light within 30 minutes of waking by opening the blinds in our house, and drinking my tea before 9 am. It’s definitely worth reading and finding out if you can make the lifestyle modifications work for you.