Although there are many reasons why someone reaches out to me, one question is as certain as getting a ticket when you forget about your city’s street sweeping day: Rene, now that you make me eat a lot healthier, how fast will I feel better?

My honest answer
Eating healthy focuses on the long-term rebuilding of health, not on the short-term suppression of symptoms. It takes time to restore normal function of cells, organs and systems. The fine tuning of hormones, improvement of digestion, elimination of toxins and the strengthening of your immune forces also come with its own challenges. Perseverance and commitment are required. We are all influenced by our own chronic stressors, therefore the breakthrough can be achieved quickly for one person, while it may take significantly longer for others.

And here is how you’ll experience the whole thing
Relatively shortly after the start, almost everyone feels much better. More energy, more optimism, more better. I call it the “view of Mt Everest.”

It’s like seeing the majestic peak in the distance for the first time, rising in the blue sky. That’s where your journey could take eventually. This feels exciting. Dreams seem possible at once.

Then it happens. Clouds cover the sky, the peak disappears from view. All what’s left is a long, dusty road through a seemingly endless, hilly landscape with a high risk of setbacks due to scary river crossings and arduous climbs.

I’m talking about new symptoms popping up, while other symptoms disappear. You see, any change first of all means additional effort (also for the body). Even a change from something bad to something good. During this transitional phase, the body adapts to the new situation. During this phase, such “healing reactions” are usually a sign of adaptation. Don’t get discouraged and keep pushing through.

I am also talking about temptations when eating out, socializing with friends and the setbacks when you’re fallen off the horse and couldn’t resist the entire pack of chips or chocolate chip cookies.

The most important thing in these moments is to accept such a crash, and move on. Get back on track as quickly as possible. I always reminded myself of that first glimpse of the summit and how great I have felt. It’s there, I’ve seen it!

Along the stony path, the clouds will open for you occasionally and you will see the summit again. Every time it will be closer than last time. And at some point the actual climb begins. The blanket of clouds becomes more and more transparent, and now, with the summit in clear sight, it almost pulls you up magically. Due to the cumbersome journey you are strengthened and the way to the top feels easier than ever guessed.

At this point, making a u-turn is hardly an option and the joy of what you’ve accomplished acts like high octane fuel. It feels great. You are fulfilled and realize how most complaints are now an almost forgotten thing of the past.

This is my personal story. And many of my clients experience a very similar journey.

Here’s a summary of the most important things when using real food therapeutically:

  • You’ll experience relapses. Old patterns will take over. Approx. 6 times over a period of 2 to 3 years. The time periods between the relapses vary greatly. Even later in the process a relapse can happen after only a short period of time. This does NOT mean that you did not progress.
  • Don’t blame yourself after a relapse. It happened, so what?! The magic happens when you get back on track as soon as possible.
  • All of a sudden you’ll know you’ve made it. It’s like learning how to ride a bike. You try, and try, and try but you crash every single time. Until one day when you magically get it. You don’t know what you did different this time, but right at this moment you know that you just mastered bike riding.

Finally, a quote that has helped me to this day.

  • Winning is not about how hard you can hit. Winning is about how much you can take and still moving forward. That’s how winning is done!

Thanks for reading.

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