by Glen Depke, Traditional Naturopath

I really love to use my own real life situations to make a point and I have a perfect one today.

Two weeks ago my wife and I purchased a new home. We had a move in date of August 1st which meant we had 11 days to complete a 3 week rehab job. We did the bulk of the work ourselves with some help from other professionals. This was tough, physical work with long days. We tore up carpets, took up ceramic tile (the concrete floor came up with it), we painted every room and ceiling, took down cabinets to repaint, raised a ceiling, busted up soffits  in both bathrooms, laid porcelain tile, put down new laminate flooring, laid carpet and so much more to list. On top of this we had to pack, move and are in the processes of unpacking. To get this done in time both myself and my wife worked 12 to 16 hours on this for 11 straight days. I’m exhausted again just writing about it!

The results of this hard work is “The Rehab Diet.” In the 11 days of home rehab with the long grueling, exhausting work I lost about 12 pounds. Yes, 12 pounds in 11 days or more than and average of 1 pound per day. So this is the next best diet plan right. I can see the marketing now, come join us for 11 completely exhausting 16 hour days and you too can lose 12 pounds in 11 days! I think not…

This is not exactly the optimal way to lose weight.

Yes, it is most often good to drop a few pounds, but not in this way. You have to respect those that go out every day and work to this capacity in some level because this is tough work. I often found that I could not sleep well at night because my knees were constantly throbbing. I am sure a blew out my adrenals and my diet was very inconsistent. Yes, I lost weight but paid the price.

So let’s look deeper at the price that is paid for this time of punishment to the body.

First off is the inflammatory response. After slugging a mallot around for 3 days busting up tile and unfortunately some concrete with this, I have not been able to get my wedding ring on the proper finger as of yet because my hands are so swollen. My wife and I joke that we both have sausage fingers. The constant up and down stairs and up and down from bending to work on the floor levels was grueling on the knees, ankles and low back, all areas that are very tight and inflamed right now. Add to this that there is one other gift that always comes with inflammation, and that gift is pain. The pain is a natural response with inflammation that is there to provide a “clue” to disengage from the activity that is creating the inflammation. With our time frame, we did not have that luxury.

The second issue is what this does to adrenal function. Put together long hours, tough physical work, poor sleep at night an inconsistent diet  and the overall mental/emotional stress of the whole process, it a recipe for disaster for adrenal function. These are the type of situations that can push anyone into deeper adrenal fatigue and actually blow out the HPA axis. This is the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal axis that assists our bodies in recovering from stressful events. Lose this and you lose the ability to functionally balance and heal.

When you put these two together, inflammation and adrenal fatigue, this is one of if not the most significant underlying factor tied into any chronic disease state. Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, autoimmunity, neurodegeneration and the list goes on.

Now thankfully this was only 11 days and now both my wife and I will be undergoing some therapies to recover. We’ll put our focus on these areas for the next couple of months.

  • Anti-inflammatory meal planning
  • Adrenal testing and proper protocols for adrenal stress
  • Anti-inflammatory protocols
  • Massage
  • Chiropractic adjustments
  • Stretching
  • Cold water baths to promote faster healing
  • Plenty of rest
  • Hydration
  • Add in plenty of play and fun

I know, at least we don’t have to focus on weight loss, because after all, we did complete “The Rehab Diet.”

While I know our situation was a bit extreme, these are the events that occur to people on some level with regularity. This is often leading to the same challenges with adrenal fatigue, inflammation, pain, poor sleep, stress and more.  On a less intense level of an inflammatory response I would recommend another article “Is Silent Inflammation Taking You Down?

So in the end, I do not recommend “The Rehab Diet” and I personally hope to never put myself in the position to undertake this again. But at least we can all learn by this situation and understand that if you end up in this position on any level, make sure you take the steps to recovery. Without proper recovery, you set up a path to chronic ailments, which I trust that none of you are interesting in.

If you have any comments or questions in regard to this article, please leave below and we will respond personally.