Last September I completed the USANA Reset program, which completely changed my life. Now, if you know me I can be very skeptical about these types of things.. and if you don’t know me, why are you reading my blog? haha just kidding.
The reason I was skeptical was that it sounded like a diet, and I didn’t need a diet. I already knew a lot about what was good for my body… even if I rarely put it into practice. Today I am SO glad that by some miracle I decided to do it, because it didn’t take very long for me to realize that a whole different set of reasons would prompt me to turn this 12 week reset program into a life long health journey. 
 Here’s the thing- I have always loved exercise. It makes me feel good and more often than not I come home from a run or a swim to tell my hubby “ I just had an awesome workout!” On the other hand, when I have tried to diet or ‘ eat cleaner’ I have NEVER felt the same way or told my hubby just how awesome I feel.
While I knew that bowl of ice cream after dinner was not scoring points with my thighs, I had always found it easier to add more intensity to my exercise routine than give up my favourite treats. I think mentally I cope better with an addition to my life (exercise), rather than a subtraction.
For these reasons I was concerned I couldn’t last a whole 12 weeks and would go back to my regular eating habits, thus wasting my money. However, the more I got into the challenge, the more I realized it wasn’t anything like a diet. I was, in fact, ‘adding’ to my life in all sorts of ways. The program requires you to eat at least one serving of fruit and one serving of veggies everyday, so I learned to get creative with my menu planning.  I added fruit to my muesli in the morning or replaced my breakfast with a spinach, coconut and banana shake. Instead of snacking on protein bars I kept carrot and celery sticks in the fridge at work.
Another big change I made was switching my exercise routine to the morning so that I had more time in the evenings to cook and experiment with new vegetable based recipes. This was fun, and unlike any other ‘dieting’ experience I have had. Perhaps my most favourite part of the challenge is that I can look back at the food journal I kept during those 12 weeks and when I count the amount of things I ate that came out of a packet instead of the ground, it barely hit the double digits. Even the items I consider as ‘packeted things’ such as – organic muesli, canned tomatoes, canned chickpeas and lentils, organic yogurt, curry paste and oyster sauce are all really healthy.
On top of learning to really love my food and enjoy the eating process here’s what I gained from the 12 week Reset:
Energy. In my 4 1/2 years of teaching I have come to expect that 3:20pm last period slump. To deal with this in the past I have either gone into my classroom to lie under my desk for a few minutes (so sad, but true), or willed myself to keep my eyes open long enough to plan for the next day.  However, after a few weeks of adding more vegetables into my diet and taking out some of the crap my body didn’t need, I found I could still work efficiently right up until home time at 5pm.
I learned to listen to my body. When I started the challenge I decided that I would stop eating processed sugar. I have travelled this road many times before and it is always hard. One of my favourite food bloggers calls sugar“ dietary crack”, and that’s exactly what it is for me. A drug.
There is nothing in the USANA Reset program that tells you to eliminate sugar, so I easily could have had some if I wanted to, but what I came to learn is that my body didn’t really want it at all. I’m not saying I didn’t crave something sweet, I did, but my body did not miss the taste of processed sugar. My baking repertoire expanded to include ingredients such as agave nectar and cacao powder, which provide that rich sweet taste minus the harmful effects. The best thing about using so many whole, natural ingredients in my baking is that my body knows when it has had enough. Last week I made raw brownie, and unlike brownie I have made in the past, it was impossible to overeat it.
My pants were looser. When I started the challenge I told myself I was going for optimal health, not optimal size so the weight loss didn’t matter. However, there is so much motivating power in being able to actually SEE results. After Week 2 I noticed that my blue dress trousers were really baggy. I looked ridiculous but I LIKED it.
I continued to follow the program to a T and while I didn’t loose as much weight as I would have liked, I know that scales do not measure fat. The amount I had when I started the program or the amount I had lost through changing my diet. Instead of worrying so much about the number on the scales, I focused on all of the positive things I gained from the experience- and the true meaning of the challenge which is health.
I can honestly say that I was happier at the end of those 12 weeks than I was before I started and it has changed my life since.  I gained so much knowledge about what is good for my body and more than anything, the challenge gave me greater respect for my body. Since then I have continued to eat clean and teach my family about the benefits that come along with that. My sister tried the Reset a few months after me and lost 10 kilo’s! The best part of it is, that it is totally maintainable and she has kept that weight off since.
So, if YOU are wanting to hit the “reset” button on your eating habits, or know anyone who might benefit from what I have talked about above then please get in contact with me. I would LOVE to help you feel great and begin your own journey towards true health!

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