Has your 2022 gotten off to a great start, dumplings? I have been filled with motivation mentally, but unfortunately I’ve been struggling with various health issues for weeks now. I have had a cold sore, allergic reaction to a new skincare product, then a cold. All of this led to a bout of insecurities despite knowing that normally I’m a healthy and balanced person. So when Daniella Hunter’s team reached out and asked if I would like to participate in her New Year Reset Phyto Cleanse program, I immediately said yes.
Daniella Hunter is the wellness entrepreneur behind her world-famous boutique hotel Sanara in Tulum, as well as the Real Coconut restaurant at the hotel and a line of gluten-free, grain-free tortillas and chips sold in the U.S., U.K., and Canada. I also love the fact that Daniella is a passionate wild bird rescuer, as you can see on her Instagram. After suffering from asthma and health challenges growing up in the U.K., Daniella discovered her healthy place in tropical climates, scuba diving and eating a fresh, gluten-free diet. Now she considers her diet plant-focused, with an emphasis on coconuts, plantains, leafy greens and other vegetables, and fruits. Her Nourish Yourself, Nourish the World cookbook gives you all you need to know to thrive on this digestion-friendly diet. The Phyto Cleanse program is based on the cookbook, as well as Daniella’s star wellness essential, Phyto Vive Marine Phytoplankton powder.
I was excited by this array of fun detox products, including oil pulling oil, Revitalizing clay face mask, bamboo toothbrush, mushroom powder, and cookbook.
My package came with a shopping list. My organic groceries for the three-day program came out to $38.
Each of the three days in the program began with a Zoom check-in where we discussed how we were doing and set intentions, meditated, received sound healing, and did vocal activation exercises. I loved waking up to these morning sessions, lighting a candle, and listening to Daniella’s calming directions about how to connect with your body *and* spirit through this cleanse. Afterwards, I did my first Daily Dose: a 1/2 tsp of the phytoplankton powder mixed with pineapple juice. Yes, the vivid cyan powder does have a distinctive algae taste—if you like the taste of toasted seaweed, this is similarly savory. Once mixed in with pineapple or orange juice, you don’t taste it very much. I felt instantly energized and bright-eyed after taking this drink.
This was followed an hour later by coconut yogurt with fresh berries. So far, so good. A couple hours later, you’re supposed to drink a cup of veggie broth, which I skipped. Another daily dose later, (around 2–4 p.m.) you get to dig into a soup from Nourish Yourself, Nourish the World. The first day was an exciting green Broccoli Soup (check out the recipe).
After the soup, I felt very full and satiated for my early evening. As always happens when I do a cleanse program, I enjoyed not feeling tied to the routine of cooking, cleaning, and figuring out what I’m going to eat next. It made me feel more focused on my work the rest of the night, and my body felt pleasantly, healthily fueled.
The next day was the same routine except the soup was a roasted cauliflower soup. I did wake up feeling hungrier than usual, and cheated by having a couple bites of kimchi (it’s probiotic!). I missed chewing more solid foods. Daniella advised that it’s around this time that you can start to get a headache, and that it’s okay to give yourself permission to take things slow and gentle. By day three, I did have lower energy level from taking in a lot fewer calories than normal. Plus, I’d been starved of my normal hot chocolate and massive amounts of sugar, and it was making me psychologically a little deprived. Still, I couldn’t believe the wonderful changes in the mirror: Actually, I noticed the benefits to my skin on day one, but by the last day it was even more apparent that the detox was helping. My skin looked clearer, calmer, and more radiant than it had in weeks, and the whites of my eyes also looked brighter.
My digestive system had been working well before the cleanse, so I can’t say that it made a huge different to my GI. But I definitely felt lighter in my core and my digestive system definitely appreciated getting a break from all the heavy stuff I throw in its way. It made me question the value of all the foods I eat without even thinking: vegan mac n’ cheese, hot chocolate, vegan sandwiches from my local diner—and rebalanced my palate. I feel way less inclined to reach for hot chocolate, and much more to drink juice with phytoplankton powder. This powder is one of the best takeaways from this experience. I could tell that it’s packed with bioavailable vitamins and minerals, and the only natural vegan EPA out there. (I take vegan omega supplement that’s from marine algae, so this is like going straight to the source.) I look forward to doing this reset for 24 hours every once in a while, and to continue taking the Phyto Vive powder as a part of my healthy routine.
Would you try the Phyto Cleanse program? And how cute is this photo of baby birds that Daniella rescued?
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Photo: Peaceful Dumpling