Journal Entries: Weight-Loss & Detox Program, “a Patient’s Experience”

Dr. Shalviri’s Naturopathic 8-week Weight-loss & Detoxification

Adryon Hutton, RMTWritten by: Adryon Hutton RMT, Legacies Health Center

Prologue:

There are a number of reasons why I wanted to begin working with our new Naturopathic doctor at Legacies. The biggest one, however, was I was curious about why I was physically reacting to certain foods and not others. Secondly, was that I was having difficulty losing that last 10 pesky pounds of baby weight and the third reason was that I wanted to fit into my fab skinny jeans again! I had never seen an N.D. (Naturopathic Doctor) before but had always wanted to see what they did and how they could help me. I had tried every weight loss method in the book and nothing was working. Perhaps a tailored program might do the trick and perhaps Dr. Shalviri could be that answer.

Day 1: Consultation.

Our first appointment together was a 75 minute consultation. Dr. Shalviri asked me many questions about my health history (especially focusing on “input” and “output”).  She went over what naturopathy was as a practice and profession and also explained her educational and practical experience.  We discussed the 8 week weight loss program in detail as well as any supplements I was to take, their effects and reasons for taking them to achieve optimal success.

8 WEEK PROGRAM: Every week, I’m to be given a daily diet plan to follow. The diet lays out all meals and snacks as well as proper portion sizes and even recipes. Every week also includes a diet diary to keep account of every meal (to keep me accountable and keep track of plateau’s in weight loss, we’ll know what to change). I’m recommended several different supplements to take during the course of the program.  Dr. Shalviri also goes over what to expect in each treatment.  Throughout the visit, there were ample opportunities to ask questions (Which I took FULL advantage of).  She gave me a prep order for the BIA test (explained later), took blood sample (Optional. See FAQ) and off I went, really excited to get started!!

If you really decide to take on this program, you WILL be successful. Here’s a few ways to help it along and stay motivated:

  1. Have a visual reward: This isn’t just about taking before and after photos (although you should anyway, it’s an incredible motivator and pat-on-the back when you’ve completed the program) but find an old shirt or pants that you’ve wanted to wear again for years. Mine was a pair of jeans I haven’t been able to fit into for 6 years. Hang it by your bed and wake up raring to go!
  2. Prep your family. Be clear this is something you want to do and you’ll need their support.
  3. Rid the pantry and fridge of your go-to snack items. Outta sight, outta mind.
  4. Arrange a reward! Book an hour-long massage, pedicure or date night to celebrate your accomplishment when you’ve completed the program!

WEEK 1:

Our appointment this week was the kickoff of the program.  We began with a BIA test (standing for …?) which sends a painless electric current from your hand to your foot and measures toxicity levels, BMI, metabolism, fat content, water retention and cell membrane health. This will be your initial measuring point to gauge progression. Two more BIA tests will be taken throughout the program at the halfway mark and the last treatment at 8 weeks.  Dr. Shalviri will explain clearly what all the numbers mean. In my case, I’m weighed in at 161.4lbs for a 5’5’’ frame. That means my BMI (Body mass index) is slightly overweight at 26.2 and my ideal is 23-24 for my age and height. The water levels in and out of my cells were the best she’d ever seen (YESS!!) at a 10 mark when the average is 7. One less thing!

Then it’s acupuncture time! Normally, any acupuncture I’ve had is done in the back, this time it was all in front. Several needles were placed in my legs, feet and abdomen and correspond with stimulating the digestive tract. A few were put in my ears to aid with cravings and emotional eating and there was one placed in my third eye (forehead) and crown to aid in relaxation. Then I laid there for 20 minutes. Very relaxing! After the acupuncture, I turned over on the table and Dr. Shalviri did a technique called cupping on my back. Essentially glass suction cups stuck to my back in various places. This aids in detoxifying the body and it feels SOOOO good!! After a shot of vitamin D for energy we’re then going over my diet plan for the coming week.  With the exception of the BIA test, most of your weekly visits will look exactly like this. There will be some modifications (some will choose to omit or add techniques or treatments) depending on your individual plan and goals.

Week 1 of the program is a detoxification week. It is pure vegetarian. Most people could suffer from headaches, nausea, extreme cravings and fatigue as side effects.  Remember that this is very common for the first week as your body is working hard to remove toxins and reset your system. Drinking lots of water is paramount this week! I was very lucky. I felt some fatigue on the first day, got a good night’s sleep and was ready to rock!

WEEK 2:

Down 3 pounds!! Felt great all week with the exception of the first day and now seeing the numbers drop increases my excitement! I’m told, however, that at the beginning of the program, the numbers will fall quickly and could start to slow down a bit. Acupuncture, cupping, Vitamin B shot and go over next week’s plan. MEAT! I get to add some chicken and fish back to my diet. Only 3x per week do I get to re-add animal protein but you know what’s funny? I didn’t really miss it. Still feeling great about the program and beginning to feel my energy rise!

WEEK 3:

Down another 4 pounds!! Dr. Shalviri expresses that she’s pleased with my progression and diligence following the program. Need to pick up the exercise a little bit though. By exercise, it certainly does NOT mean you need to begin training hard on this program. It is important to maintain some muscle so your detoxing body doesn’t get confused and shed muscle mass instead of fat mass. Exercise can be as simple as a 45 minute walk, 30 minutes of yoga or a run around the neighbourhood.

It’s nice to have her support! Not that family isn’t supportive, but dinners and events can be very challenging when you’re the only one on a restricted diet.  As a result, this week was bad for the return of cravings.

WEEK 4:

Down 4 pounds! That’s 11 pounds so far!! *Insert happy dance here*.  It was SO worth bypassing the week of cravings to see that extra pound come off! This week, however, The good doctor taped a mustard seed to the acupressure point associated with cravings and emotional eating. It worked like a dream!

WEEK 5: (a challenging week for me)

This week, the whole family headed to cow country Ontario over Halloween. Trying to find quinoa and organic berries in October proved rather difficult.  Found I was eating a lot of the same meals daily as ingredients proved more difficult to find. Lost 5 pounds this week.  Dr. Shalviri was understanding but upped calories slightly for following week to make up difference.

WEEK 6: (an even more challenging week for me)

Family member passed away and I had to return to Ontario for funeral rather short notice. Did manage to find diet sensitive café and ate a lot there! Wish I had found it last week!

Acupuncture treatment painful this week although location of needles was unchanged. Dr. Shalviri explained that heightened emotional states and stress can cause this to happen and that it was a normal response. I lost only 1 pound this week.

WEEK 7: GOOOAAAALLLL!!!!!!

Down 3 Pounds and HIT MY GOAL!!!! WOOO!!! At the start of the program, Dr. Shalviri will give you an ideal body weight to maintain optimal health according to your BIA. Mine was between 138-142 and I hit 141 today!!! YES! What a feeling!! I go home immediately after the treatment and throw on my reward jeans! They fit like they were made for me and NO fat bulges!!

WEEK 8: DONE AND DONE!! 23lbs GONE!!!

Down the final 3 pounds to have hit 138lbs. I haven’t been this size since I was 19. I feel amazing!!! Dr. Shalviri has officially cut me off from losing any more weight. It’s so awesome to have a Doctor tell you to STOP losing weight when you’re used to hearing the opposite advice.

Final Thoughts:

This was the easiest program to follow because it was simple. It makes sense. Your body is not your friend’s body and what works for her won’t work for you. A tailored, genetic, individual program with clean eating, proper portions and realistic exercise is the only way to lose weight in a healthy manner. Dr. Shalviri put this program together based on “The China Study” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_China_Study_(book) ). This study centers around a long term study of poorer villages in China who could not afford to eat animal proteins regularly and had a plant based diet. The study showed that this poorer demographic suffered less from chronic digestive issues, coronary heart disease, diabetes and cancers.

This diet change comes so easily now that when I find I am faced with a former craving or second helping, I can wave it off without much thought. The compliments on how I look are wonderful, but the best part is how I feel! My energy is full! I don’t have the 2pm crash anymore, I don’t want to sleep after a meal, I’m more positive, I sleep better and my weekly food bill is halved. Because this plan is completely individualized, natural and medically supervised, you WILL be successful if you follow the program.

 A HUGE thank-you to Dr. Shalviri for patiently dealing with ALL of my questions and for creating this program. I am so grateful!

If you have any questions at all, please email me at adryon@legacieshealthcentre.com

 FAQ:

How much?

It depends. The basic program is $650 for the full 8 weeks and that includes all of your appointments, meal plans, diet diary, acupuncture, cupping and BIA tests. This cost can be covered by most extended medical plans. The supplements and additional tests are not included in that price but are provided by Legacies at the most cost efficient price possible.  Dr. Shalviri can also discuss alternatives to help lower the cost if needed by suggesting alternative programs.

Is the program difficult to do?

No. As mentioned, all the meals and portions are written out for you every day. This eliminates all guesswork!! If you follow the mealplan, you are guaranteed success!

Can my family eat the meals too?

Of Course! Many of the recipes are made for up to 8 people. So you can share with your family or freeze the extras! I found that my family preferred many of the recipes on the plan to the ones I’d cook separately for them.

How restrictive is it?

 Remember that the portion sizes in this program are designed for optimal, healthy weight loss. If the plan feels restrictive, it’s probably because the portions you’re used to eating are a little too generous.

Were you hungry? Were there side effects?

 I wasn’t hungry once during the entire 8 week program. In the initial detox week, some people may suffer from fatigue, nausea, cravings or irritability. This is because their body is clearing out toxins. It is totally normal and short lived.

Do I have to eat like that forever?

NO!! Once the program is over, omitted foods (usually dairy, meats, etc…) can slowly be introduced back into your daily eating. However, you may feel like you haven’t missed them at all and want to continue eating as you have the previous 8