It has been an indulgent summer, to say the very least. I'm having the time of my life and am truly happy. I really feel that I've hit my stride. That said, all of that indulgence started to take its toll on how I was feeling physically. To the tune of tummy aches almost every day and perhaps not feeling as energetic as I would have liked. Also, I found that letting myself have carte blanche all the time definitely made me physically unwell. I wasn't unbearably unwell, but it was enough that I noticed. But despite that, I struggled to find a way to scale back on my own. So, I turned to an expert to help me detox. He goes by the name of Dr. Charles Passler. The man is relied up by scores of VS models like Sara Sampaio, supermodels Carolyn Murphy and Amber Valetta, as well as Bella Hadid, to keep them healthy, happy, and looking their best.
I stopped by his office to discuss my impending cleanse, and I got a lot more than I bargained for, let me tell you. Dr. Passler isn't just concerned with the goodness we nourish ourselves with, he wants to know everything about your wellness down to how we breathe. One of the first things he did was hook me up to a machine that measured the effectiveness of my breathing. The bad news? I wasn't breathing properly. The good news? Now I know that in order to really let my cells do their jobs properly, and live a more pleasant life, I need to learn how to breathe—properly, that is.
Body Fat Measurements
The next thing we did was measure my body fat, which honestly, I did not want to confront ever. But now that I did, I'm really glad that I know. At around 118 lbs, I am roughly 25 percent body fat, which was only disheartening because it meant that I had less muscle mass as I originally thought. And by extension, I'm not as strong as I thought, but now I'm equipped to make the change. Dr. Passler and I discussed this, and while I'm not trying to lose weight, he said my physical strength would benefit from losing perhaps 5 percent of my body fat, which would still leave me well within a healthy body fat range.
And then for the cleanse! Dr. Passler set me up with his Pure Change program What did that entail? For seven days, my diet consisted of two protein shakes, one protein bar, and two servings of steamed veggies at regular intervals throughout my day. No coffee, no alcohol. Detox supplements? Tons. Probiotics and magnesium at night? Mandatory. But here's the thing—it was way easier than I thought.
I really loved the shakes. Given that it was boiling in New York last week, having two healthy shakes that were filled with protein, fiber, and tasted yummy (so much so that I bought more to continue with after the cleanse ended) was actually pleasant. I admittedly have a sweet tooth and loved the Pure Change nutrition bars. They have minimal ingredients and are packed with fiber.
And the two servings of steamed veggies? After about day three, I really grew to look forward to them, even though they were garnished with a touch of olive oil and no salt. But the best part was that none of the tummy issues I suffer from on a day-to-day basis presented themselves. No acid reflux, no indigestion, no gassiness.
This for me was bigger than the fact that I felt more svelte. And while not being bloated was great, but the quality of life increase was infinitely more valuable. Yeah, smelling pizza as I walked down the street was difficult for a week, but identifying that maybe my body was struggling to process some of my indulgences was really worth it. And even though I wasn't guzzling coffee, I was still able to shoot right out of bed with a pep in my step.
For now, I plan on continuing to incorporate Dr. Passler's Pure Change bars and shakes into my diet, not just because I want to perhaps achieve a little bit more lean muscle mass, but also because I want to learn how to nourish myself in a way that is compatible with how my body processes food. What does that mean? Identifying the specific triggers for physical discomfort—perhaps dairy or red meat—and addressing how I can make small changes that don't involve eliminating part of my life that I enjoy.
Other benefits that I noticed? My skin is super clear in spite of being due for PMS. It could be a coincidence, but I think that if hitting the reset button really did make me feel that much better, there might be something to it.
I'll keep you posted!
This article originally appeared on InStyle U.S.