• Jennifer

It's time for a diet reboot

We just returned home from a family getaway over Spring Break. This is the first time we’ve gone away as a family (that wasn’t connected to something medical) since summer 2015. We made our way to a house in the mountains care of Believe in Tomorrow and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to chill with my favorite people.

Here is our band of misfits in front of our cabin

Along with vacation time, we’ve also spent a lot of time in the hospital over the last month. The impact of less than stellar eating habits while staying in the hospital (the hospital is one of the hardest places to eat healthfully) and “fun” eating on vacation has taken a physical toll on me. I’ve decided that it’s time for diet reboot. I can always feel when it’s time for me to tighten the reigns again. Specifically, this time I’ve started feeling:

  1. Poor digestion and bloating. I’m having heartburn more often and can tell that the food is just sitting in my belly for hours after I eat. Not fun.

  2. Sugar cravings and need for more caffeine. My draw to the Justin’s peanut butter cups has been a little out of control and I notice that I’m craving something sweet after every meal. I’ve also been relying more on a second cup of coffee more often lately (not normal for me). I also know very well that sugar feeds my anxiety. I don’t need to be artificially anxious since I’ve got enough “real” stuff to cause anxiety.

  3. Less than great sleep and poor energy. This is easily connected to increased sugar intake and decreased intake of good foods.

  4. General laziness and complacency when building my meals.

Just like I recommend for all my clients, I have built a reboot diet for myself. It is roughly based on Whole 30, but fine-tuned to the foods that I know I tolerate well. It is also as much about the foods that I include as it is about foods that I eliminate. When I talk about a reboot diet, I refer my diet as the construct of foods that I eat, not a plan of deprivation. Although I technically “deprive” myself of certain foods for a period of time, that’s not how I look at it. I know that certain foods (that I’m eating too often) are making me feel less than optimal. That’s when it’s important to pull back on those foods and be even more diligent to include the foods that fuel me best. I am planning to follow this for around 30 days (although hubby’s birthday is in a few weeks…I’m willing to relax a little for that). My reboot looks something like this:

  1. No added sugar or alcohol. I must slay this sugar dragon pronto and unfortunately, any alcohol makes me feel pretty gross now.

  2. No gluten or dairy. Gluten makes me bloated and dairy makes me bloated, congested, and feel generally blah.

  3. No chips, fries or other fried foods. These are major stress cravings for me and I have no self-control around them.

  4. Include salmon or sardines in my diet at least 3 times per week. Get those omega-3 fatty acids from the best source possible.

  5. Include 9-10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day (with only 2 servings of fruit). The more fruits and veggies I eat, the better I feel. It’s easy to become complacent, though, and not get this much daily.

  6. Drink a matcha latte (instead of coffee) on mornings spent at home. Coffee has started bothering my stomach more often. I also suspect that I am not metabolizing the caffeine as well. Matcha is a green tea that still has caffeine, but it is absorbed more slowly. I do not get jittery with it and it’s much easier on my stomach.

While I am not specifically eliminating grains (per Whole 30), because I’m aiming to eat 9-10 servings of fruits and veggies daily, they will mostly be eliminated (because of substitution of one for another). I will also still include small amounts of legumes in peanut butter (works much better for me than almond butter) and a smaller amount of beans. I am not aiming for a low-carb diet, but it will certainly be on the low-er side.

Here is this week’s meal plan. Plan goes through Thursday since I usually do a short plan for the weekend:

Breakfast will be some combination of:

Salmon patty or chicken sausage

Sauerkraut or greens


*Breakfast is hard for me. I can’t eat eggs in the morning (they sit in my stomach for literally hours) and my smoothies don’t seem to be enough anymore (I’m hungry again right after). This breakfast menu is a trial. It includes two things that I want to get more of: omega-3 rich fish and fermented foods.


Leftovers (there is rarely enough anymore) or chicken salad over greens.

*Chicken salad recipe is pretty traditional. Pulled chicken (from J&L Green Farms) with apples, celery, pumpkin seeds, mayo and lemon juice.


Monday: Instant Pot barbacoa bowls

Served over cilantro lime cauliflower rice

With sautéed chard and avocado

Tuesday: Pizza baked potatoes

Baked potatoes with hamburger and pepperoni

Pizza sauce (no sugar)

Sautéed onions and peppers


Wednesday: Bahn mi bowls

Served over (again) cilantro lime cauliflower rice

Baby spinach

Quick pickled carrots and cucumber

Sriracha mayo

Thursday: Instant Pot (rice) pasta with meat sauce

Served with big ol’ salad

My family is not required to follow this with me, however whenever I eat like this, their diets get better by default.

You may notice your body asking for this kind of reboot 2-4 times per year, especially around change of season or after holidays. Do you have a reboot diet? With spring finally here, maybe it’s time for one for you, too!