Ditch the detox. Here’s why this version of the ‘Anti-Inflammatory Dietary Reset’ is highly effective
Do you frequently feel tired? Is brain fog a problem? Or do you just feel like you’re not firing on all cylinders mentally (or physically, for that matter)?
Or are you suffering from skin irritations, rashes, or allergic reactions?
All of these are an indication that something in your system is inflamed.
But rather than forcing your body over the edge with a detox, Singapore based Functional Medicine practitioner Jennifer Lewin, LAc is a strong believer in using her version of the ‘30-day Anti-Inflammatory Dietary Reset’ to get your body back into a healthy state.
“Many people don’t have the capacity to dump the toxins that an active detox process brings out of hiding,” says Jennifer. “Whereas this is more of a reset. I get great clinical results from this, because you’re resetting or normalising various systems within the body.”
A US trained and licensed Acupuncturist, Herbalist, Functional Medicine practitioner and Integrative Manual Therapist with over 20 years of clinical experience, Jennifer works at Balanced Living Wellness Clinic here in Singapore to support people in restoring and maintaining their health.
If you want to understand more about why an active detox might not be the right path for you right now, you can read our article about it here.
For now, we’re going to focus on Jennifer’s Anti-Inflammatory Dietary Reset. Read on to find out what this programme is, why it works and how it can be customised for everyone from vegans to those with autoimmune conditions.
What is it?
The Anti-Inflammatory Dietary Reset is a nutritional strategy that involves eliminating inflammatory foods from your diet, ideally for 30 days, alongside bringing in whole foods that are nutrient dense (naturally rich in vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants).
Inflammatory foods include (but aren’t limited to) gluten, dairy, grains, alcohol, coffee, processed and refined sugars, vegetables in the nightshade family (tomatoes, eggplant, white potato, capsicum, peppers). Cutting these out for a period of time can significantly reduce inflammation in the body.
To be clear, “Inflammation is a normal immune response,” says Jennifer. “It helps us heal from acute conditions, tissue damage, infections, toxins, irritants. But inflammation becomes problematic when it’s longstanding and/or chronic.”
Inflammation can be local, regional or systemic (whole body), says Jennifer.
Some of the causes of inflammation include poor diet, genetic susceptibilities, gut imbalances, nutrient deficiencies, toxic load, poor sleep, stress, overuse of medications or drugs, autoimmune issues, and/or chronic infections such as long Covid.
Why do this health reset programme?
“It’s a great gift to yourself” says Jennifer. “Most of us have very numb reactions to food. So, when we give our system a break for 30 days, our natural feedback mechanisms start returning.”
“This reset is like cleaning the windshield of your car. If your car has a dirty windshield and you get more dirt on the windshield, it doesn’t move the needle enough for the driver to notice. Whereas when you have cleaned your windshield, you’ll notice if you get a bit of dirt on it, which will help you see what’s causing the inflammation in your system,” says Jennifer.
From here, Jennifer recommends reintroducing foods in a slow and systematic way. Through this process, it becomes more obvious which foods you react to and which you don’t. It can be helpful to work with a practitioner for this phase.
“As well as helping you identify problem foods, this programme rests and resets your digestion, which in turn supports your immunity. “Because about 70% of the immune system resides in the gut,” explains Jennifer.
“Everything gets a break when you do this type of reset. When you quiet the internal noise with a reset like this, it allows your body to go into self-corrective mode. You start seeing these beautiful shifts.”
How will I know it’s worked?
According to Jennifer, possible changes include increased mental acuity and noticeably better focus and concentration on the dietary programme. Many people experience improved energy, and lots more of it – without the help of caffeine.
Many people lose weight; for a lot of people, it’s simply about losing inflammatory related fluid we’ve been retaining. “In some cases, people lose body fat too,” says Jennifer.
Other potential changes include changes in mood; better sleep; improved digestion; better immunity. In addition, irritated skin can calm down, as can allergic responses.
Who can do it and who can’t?
Anyone can do Jennifer’s Anti-Inflammatory Dietary Reset! The wellness programme can be tailored to suit vegans, vegetarians, people who want to lose weight or who are on low carbohydrate diets, including those who follow a Ketogenic diet. The 30-day health programme can also be customised for people with autoimmune conditions.
Jennifer recommends going all in on doing the reset, and doing it for 30 days, “because it’s long enough to change habits and to see a difference. You can do a shorter version for 14 or 21 days, but the people who see the most benefit are those who do it in its entirety.”
Key takeaways from this story
- Food is a massive contributor to inflammation in our systems, and, alongside other stressors, the ‘wrong’ foods can lead us to feel like we’re not operating at full capacity – or that we’re flat-out unwell.
- Jennifer Lewin suggests a 30-day dietary reset to flip the switch on a lot of the symptoms of inflammation.
- By eliminating inflammatory foods for 30 days, you reset your internal systems and your body will go into self-corrective mode.
- This Anti-Inflammatory Dietary Reset can lead to, among other things, better mental acuity, more energy, better sleep, improved digestion and it can shift people out of acute emotional reactivity.