the-well
October 5, 2021

Gut Health-Well’s 15-Day Gut Reset

Gut Health is something that needs our utmost attention and we often fail to understand its needs.
The FDA and FTC have taken legal action against companies selling detox products that contained harmful ingredients or made false claims. The body naturally cleanses itself. The liver breaks down harmful substances like alcohol and then the by-products are expelled into the blood or bile, which is then removed via feces, or urine. We would need to seek immediate medical attention if our bodies were contaminated with “toxins”. To sum it all, the best way “cleanse” your body would be to change your lifestyle. Avoid smoking and drink less. Move more and eat nutritious, unprocessed food.

After a year of drinking and snacking, and a holiday season that was joyous, my sceptical attitude toward cleanses changed a bit. I felt lethargic and in need of some rest. A request for a cleanse was sent to me by The Well, a state of the art wellness facility in New York, which got me intrigued. Cleanses are not my thing, but this “15-day full body reset” program seemed less like a scam and more like a modified approach to eating and drinking.

Dr. Frank Lipman (chief medical officer at The Well) designed it. The plan promises to improve your sleep quality, energy, brain function, nutrition, skin health, and other areas where I have seen a decrease in the past year.It also includes introducing gut-supporting supplements, no alcohol, and some changes to your eating habits. The best part is that you don’t have to restrict your diet during this time. Instead, you can rethink common ingredients such as artificial sugars or trans fats, which may cause inflammation, and replace them with healthier alternatives. My husband even agreed to join me for the two-week commitment, which made it even more manageable.

THE WELL CLEANSE

WHAT IS IT: A gentle, whole-body reset that lasts 15 days designed to improve the health of your microbiome (aka gut)

WHO IT IS FOR: For the improvement of gut health, nutrition, sleep, stress management

CLAIMS: This product helps users improve their gut health, function, sleep quality, energy levels and skin health. It also promotes weight loss and better digestion, which means less bloating.

PRICE: $249

IT INCLUDES:

  • Gut Complex Supplements ($88 Value)
  • Clean Green Protein ($77 value)
  • Branded blender bottle
  • 30-minute health-coaching session
  • Printed program guide
  • Unlimited access to coaching for health during the program (via email).
  • A centralized web page that contains educational content (blog articles), recipes and well-vetted brands.
  • Maintenance guide (to support you after the program has ended).
  • You can access a text support service which sends daily tips for your gut health.

How It Works-Well’s 15-Day Gut Reset

It’s a good idea to go through the entire program guide before you start. It’ll help in understanding the important foods that the body needs. Low-sugar fruits such as berries, green apples and lemons are permitted, while high-sugar fruit like bananas and pineapple are considered “skips.” Wild-caught fish and seafood should only be harvested sustainably. Farm-raised fish may be exposed to antibiotics and could be contaminated by pollutants. Organic and pasture-raised meats should be allowed, while high-sugar fruits like bananas, pineapples, and peaches should be avoided. There are many great substitutes for dairy products, including dairy-free options (cheeses included) that are approved by the program. Variety of gluten-free breads and snacks won’t let ou feel bored or deprived. I even made a pizza once!

  • Drink 16 ounces water as soon as you get up.
  • Breakfast: A smoothie, shake or shake with Clean Green Protein.
  • Lunch: This is a Cleanse-approved meal. They recommend that you eat 3/4 of your meal with colorful, non-starchy vegetables. The other 1/4 can contain a healthy fat such as avocado, a protein or meat-free option, but it’s okay to make your own meals. Be mindful of portion sizes, too heavy a meal will cause digestive problems. You should take your Gut Complex before you eat, as it contains digestive enzymes that will help you digest your food.
  • Snack: Choose from a handful almonds, a green Apple with a tablespoon almond butter, or grain-free chips and guacamole.
  • Evening: Similar to lunch but with a Gut Complex packet.
  • Late evening: You can have a cup of herbal, caffeine-free tea (optional).

My Favorite Meals-Well’s 15-Day Gut Reset

A mix of berries and almond milk, Clean Green Protein (which tastes similar to vanilla protein powder), and a sprinkle chia seeds was my favorite breakfast shake. For lunch, I air-fry chicken, then place it on greens with avocado and carrots. A handful of almonds, or a green apple with almond Butter was enough for me to eat until dinner. For dinner, my husband and I often made wild-caught salmon marinated with coconut aminos (a delicious soy sauce-like substitute), garlic and ginger. We made roasted tomato soup with dairy-free, gluten-free, and grilled cheese from scratch one night. It was a huge hit.

Pros and Cons-Well’s 15-Day Gut Reset

This program is not for lazy meal-preppers. You can’t use pre-made sauces or condiments. This means you must make everything from scratch. Although it was time-consuming, I found that this was worth the effort to be able to control what was in my body. This made it difficult to afford our weekly groceries. Although this is true, the 30-minute session with a health coach, unlimited email support, and the assurance that you are eating healthy foods without any unnecessary additives make it worth the investment. This program is an investment. However, it isn’t widely available or inclusive of all incomes.

Perhaps the greatest “pro” was the fact that my body felt more balanced after the 15-day cleanse. We celebrated the Cleanse’s end by enjoying pizza and wine on Day 16. However, I felt like a complete mess by the end. I felt sick after drinking more than one glass of wine, beer, or milk.

These symptoms were totally welcome, though–my body had gotten so used to giving it nourishment, that introducing it back to the inflammation-inducing items I used to fill it with gave me an adverse reaction. Raj Barker, a health coach at The Well, says that this was not a case of me being delusional. “If you had been drinking wine regularly before the Cleanse, it could have been a candida-type condition. This could have led to cravings.” The Gut Complex would likely have treated candida in this case and the cravings would have decreased by the end. Some people may feel nauseated by the increased sugar intake from wine after Clearance. Remember that alcohol addiction is a real problem. You will crave it more the more you drink. The Cleanse will reduce your tolerance to alcohol, sugar, caffeine, etc.

What I Learned

I didn’t realize how many sugars or trans fats were hidden in sauces, dressings, condiments, and dressings. It was shocking to see how many I was consuming on a daily basis. Cocnut aminos has improved my diet a lot lately. They add great flavor to meats, vegetables and are far more nutritious than any pre-made marinade.

Eating that much shocked me as well. Barker, my health coach, told me that a typical meal should contain 70% unrefined carbohydrates (fruits and veggies) and 30% healthy fats (avocado olives, unsweetened coco products, etc.) along with 15% protein. He also states that this is an approximate estimate and that it can change as you go through the cleanse. Barker tells me that the only way to know how much you eat is by how you feel. “It’s not so much a cleanse that focuses on measurements–certainly not on calories or anything like that–but more about how the meal leaves you feeling.” Before the cleanse I would eat seconds of pasta, even though I was full. By recalibrating my portion sizes during the cleanse I was able calculate how much I needed to feel satisfied.

My body was in stress because of my schedule. On the Cleanse, it’s best to eat dinner at 6 or 7 p.m. so your body has enough time to digest and process your meal. Barker says that most of our energy goes into digestion during our waking hours. When we go to bed, we want to have an empty stomach and be able to shift from that state to allow us to concentrate on healing and repair. Barker explains that eating too close to bedtime can cause us to “rip ourselves off” of the repair cycle. I did it myself. Working late, eating dinner at an unreasonable hour and feeling bloated when I woke up the next morning. It was a game-changer for me to force myself to shut down my computer and eat earlier.

Results

Although weight loss was not my main goal, I noticed that I had more muscle definition. This was due to fat loss through the cessation of refined sugar and alcohol intake. It also allowed the muscles that I’d developed from regular Pilates classes to shine a little more. Barker says, “You are really focused on flooding you body with positive nutrients. That’s using food to medicine which can have a pretty dramatic effect quite fast.”

The Cleanse made me feel much more energized and less tired. I found that eating better and giving up alcohol helped my body, and it taught me how to be nicer. While it was great to have a few cocktails after work and indulge in sweets, the long-term effects were having serious consequences on my body.

The best thing about the Cleanse is that it has become a way of life. I am more aware of what I am putting in my body, and how often. I cook differently now, using fresh ingredients whenever possible and making healthy snacks instead of eating a bag of chips when I feel hungry. This program has taught me so much about food and digestion. I don’t think you can get that information from commercial cleanses. This cleanse is expensive, but the return on investment for my health when combined with true nutrition education is priceless.