on February 19, 2008
My husband and I did the first week strictly as described in the book. He lost 8 lbs. and I lost 3 lbs. (I'm not overweight). We've been following the guidance in the book for about a month now (gradually adding back in different foods) and he's lost 17 lbs. and I'm still maintaining. We feel really good.
Benefits for him:
Within a few days his snoring was nearly gone. I really don't understand why, but it was clearly noticeable. He also was able to stop taking his Prilosec for heartburn.
Benefits for me:
After a few days, I had much more energy than usual. The sugar cravings go away after a couple of days as well.
What's hard about it:
The first week might be hard if you're a big coffee drinker or someone with a sweet tooth (like me!) It'll be worth it if you stick with it though.
What we did to make it easier:
We bought Trader Joe's organic vegetable broth instead of making our own. Most grocery stores stock Pacific or Imagine brands vegetable broth in the health food section too. Way easier. We also used Uncle Ben's Instant Whole Grain Brown rice - you can microwave it and it's done in 10 minutes instead of 40. We bought frozen berries from Costco for the shakes - Costco also had bulk containers of rice protein and flax along with many other foods we needed for the program. Between Costco and Trader Joe's it was easy to find what we needed.
Experiment with the shakes. Adding a little bit of almond butter and half a banana makes them taste really great.
It's going to take a little effort to get into the routine, but once you do, it's easy and you'll feel wonderful.
on September 29, 2010
I was recommended this book by a friend who also introduced me to organic, natural foods and body products. I really needed to do something for myself because my skin was breaking out bad and my energy was really low. This diet worked wonders for my skin and energy....but I'll have to admit, the first few days were excruciating for me. I had an addiction to sugars, caffeine and starches, so when I had to basically go "cold turkey" with the caffeine and sugars, I had major headaches and I felt extremely irritable and sluggish (detoxing!!).
After the third day, I was feeling much better and my skin was glowing and more supple and moisturized, didn't need lotion! My acne was gone (except the scars, but no new blemishes!), the dark circles under my eyes were gone...by day 7 I felt like a completely different person. Clean, fresh, healthy, and energized (without caffeine!).
The reason I gave this only 4 stars, is because of the cost of all the foods and the fact that it doesn't offer alternative suggestions for people who don't have a large income. It is fine if you have extra money to spend and invest...but if you are like me (mid-20's, college student, living pay check to paycheck...it's un-realistic).
My friend had done the diet before, and this is what she suggested to save money -
1. Instead of making the broth from scratch, you could substitute with an organic, all natural vegetable broth mix - I made the broth the first time, and it is really good and worth the cost, but really, it's just vegetable broth...you could also just buy some of the approved vegetable to add to the pre-made broth.
2. Skip the supplements and laxatives- except for maybe a multivitamin. I didn't take them, and I don't think I missed out on anything. The lemon/olive oil and smoothie with flax works wonders for the bowels, you shouldn't need a laxative.
3. I was nervous about the olive oil/lemon combo in the morning, it was really disgusting at first. But after awhile I loved the taste (it's basically strong lemonade with a hint of oil), the result made me feel better, and it actually gave me energy! So I looked forward to the morning ritual. Also, it didn't make me feel like I had to RUN to the bathroom...it's just a regular "bowel movement" type feeling...definitely no laxatives needed.
TIP- Make the smoothie at the same time as you prep lemon/olive, Just chug it like a shot of vodka and have the smoothie ready to drink right away if you do feel sick.
4. I HATE brown rice, but when you make the brown rice, make it with vegetable broth instead of water - It's delicious!!! I LOVE brown rice now :)
5. I think the only thing worth spending money on is the smoothie, it is sooooo good. The almond butter is cheaper if you buy it fresh at a co-op, so that you can scoop/pour it yourself in smaller containers, the jars of almond butter are ridiculously expensive. I only used the following ingredients in my smoothies - almond milk, frozen cherries, frozen strawberries, 1 whole banana, almond butter, brown rice protein powder and ground flax.
Yes, this diet is hard...at first. You have to stick with it and just keep thinking about what you are doing for your body. Coming from a person who has a major sweet tooth and is a coffee addict, this is possible and do-able, once you get the concept of detoxing, living organic, and learning what your body needs, you could totally adapt this diet to your needs financially.
on July 21, 2007
I lost a pound-a-day my first week and I'm now starting my (optional) second week.
Catchy title, but no hype. Written by an M.D. who has worked with hundreds of obese individuals. Straight-to-the point book. No hunger. No enemas required. Nothing complicated to buy. Sure, some stuff he recommends I never heard of, but I didn't let my lack of knowledge stop me (after all it was my ignorance or know-it-all attitude that got me fat in the first place).
Yes, its inconvenient living in a small town to find the health products--but it's a lot more inconvenient walking around each day with this weight on my body. I simply bought a couple of things I needed online, that's it. Some products appear to be expensive, but the contents will last a long time, and it sure beats the price of medication my doctor wants me on if I don't do something about my weight. And it's cheaper than the groceries I buy for the week anyway, with a lot better nutrition. (So I did not listen to my negative voice that wants me to stay fat and depressed.)
Be sure to read some sections of the book over a second time, so that you understand exactly what the minimum it is he wants you to do and to understand your options. Don't throw up your hands and say this is impossible. Personalize it. Change this plan in places he describes so that you cannot fail and so that you enjoy yourself and so that you can stay on the plan as long as you desire.
For example, there's an "UltraShake" he recommends for breakfast that tasted better and better the more I played around with the additional ingredients he suggests. (So if you blow-it the first time, don't give up, just alternate the ingredients a bit here and there and it will taste delicious.) The good news here is that this breakfast shake can be one you have the rest of your life. It's that good.
Another example is his "UltraBroth". He offers a couple of ready-made products as an easy substitute over making your own. So that's what I did.
Also, there is an "enhanced plan" included in this book, but I just did the basic method - it's plenty fast for me. I tried only the basic method because I did not want to be too overwhelmed. I might do parts of the "enhanced" method another time.
Some of his information I have heard before, in other books, but this is by far the easiest way I have found to simplify the science so that I can reach my goal weight (I need to drop a total of 30 lbs. I am 1/3 of the way there.)
I'd gladly give up 3 weeks so that I can drop this weight and transform my body for life.
When I say I no longer eat meat, dairy, gluten, sugar, nightshades or citrus, people ask either "What the heck is a nightshade?" or "What the heck is left?" This book answers those questions, so I recommend it, with one major caveat.
The laxative regimen Dr. Hyman suggests is probably something most people should probably not undertake. Anybody could lose seven pounds in a week dosing themselves with laxatives, but they are also likely to end up with cramps or worse. Laxatives are nothing to fool around with, and the potential for abuse is well documented. If you follow this diet, you are going to be eating so much healthy fiber and vegetables, the last thing you are going to need is a laxative, and you'll get great results without 'em.
The other thing that is weird about the book is that it refers you several times to online tools which do not seem to exist anymore. When you go to the links, they take you straight to Dr. Hyman's site which is mainly about selling you his vitamin packages. There are some articles there, but after many tries I was unable to register to receive the additional materials or to find them anywhere online. He offers a phone number you can call but I didn't take it that far. The main material I needed was in the book.
The Kindle edition may differ from the physical book. At least, I hope so. The edition I read repeats pretty much verbatim the information for day one for each of the seven days or whatever of the diet. This seems like an egregious waste of paper if that is the case.
I have never followed a diet regimen before, but for some reason this one intrigued me so I downloaded the free first chapter, and when I finished that I bought the book. One of my friends has subsequently pointed out that she got everything she needed to know from the free first chapter, so if you're interested you might want to check that out.
Some reviewers have complained about the expense of this diet, so I will point out the changes I made to make it not only affordable but downright cheap. I did not buy any of the supplements he recommends. As a vegetarian, I use a good quality protein powder in my green drinks and smoothies, and I always take a good multivitamin and a calcium/magnesium supplement recommended by my primary doc. I also take an Omega-3 supplement, so I had all these on hand and didn't have to lay out money for those. There was no way I was going to buy a magnesium citrate laxative, which is the stuff you have to take before a colonoscopy, shudder. The UltraBroth recipe is worth the price of the book, and it is not expensive to make considering how much you are saving by skipping the meat and dairy aisle at the grocery store. I used to use Trader Joe's Organic Vegetable Broth as the basis of all my soups, but it is loaded with sodium. This broth recipe makes a super nutritious facsimile thereof, and I add no salt to it except what's in the sheet of nori I throw in towards the end. I have made four or five batches so far, and it is fantastic to have on hand. My family loves it. It's fast and easy to make because it's not like you're carefully slicing and dicing for a beautiful vegetable soup. You toss most of the ingredients into the soup pot whole or whacked roughly into chunks, and strain it all when the cooking time is up. Speaking of ingredients, I omitted the garlic, onions, daikon and ginger because the idea is you make a big vat of this soup and have it around for a few days, and those flavors can get kind of acrid in storage. The broth is perfectly delicious without them.
Something else you get to enjoy frequently is brown rice with steamed vegetables. I make several different combinations I think call Buddha Bowls, and this is where you can get really creative and have fun. I bought a Sanyo Fuzzy Logic rice cooker here on amazon earlier this year, and it is a real lifesaver with this diet, because you are gonna eat a lot of brown rice and this cooker makes it effortless to prepare. I throw two cups of organic brown rice into four cups of water in this cooker every few days to make sure we have a fresh supply around for these Buddha Bowls and for the brown rice burgers I'm making about once a week. If you try this diet, your life will be a lot easier with a rice cooker.
One thing you will notice on this plan is that you are never hungry. By eliminating low-quality carb-harboring gluten products, you are dismantling the mechanism that makes you go around hungry all the time. Have you ever noticed how about an hour after you eat a big bowl of cereal with milk you are starving? High-quality, nutritious food keeps you full much longer. He recommends a plan of small meals and snacks that will keep you feeling this amazing not-hungry EVER feeling, perhaps, if you're like me, for the first time in your life. I used to be hungry all the time, but this was like flipping a switch. I haven't been hungry one minute since starting this plan three weeks ago. Incredible.
Inflammation plays a huge role in the development of so many of the painful and debilitating conditions that make our lives miserable, especially as we get older. This is an anti-inflammation diet that works, and there is no downside medically to at least trying it out. I have been trying to manage chronic pain and multiple allergies for years, and was astonished to see them all disappear within a few days of beginning this diet. Nightshades are strongly suspected to be the culprit in causing arthritis and other inflammatory conditions, but there has never been a major study of this because there is no pharmaceutical company that will fund it. There is no money to be made in telling the millions of people who suffer from arthritis that if they would cut out tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants and green peppers that they could life pain-free, though survey-type studies based on patients' own reporting indicate that up to 90% experience complete remission. I have been in pain for decades, and now I'm totally 100% pain-free. My countless allergies have vanished, and my spring pollen allergies never even showed up. Nightshades contain nerve toxins, and just because you don't go into anaphylactic shock when you eat them doesn't mean you're not allergic. I'm never going near them again.
Though I can't report the seven-pounds-a-week weight loss that some have experienced, alas, I'm happy to be losing a steady half pound a day, almost every day. I have been trying to lose weight for ten years with little luck. I didn't gain, but I didn't seem able to dislodge a single pound, and since I could hardly walk some days, a vigorous exercise routine was out of the question. A steady weight loss like this would have seemed impossible a month ago, but then again, so did life without pizza. Now, I honestly don't care if I never eat pizza again. I'm THAT over feeling horrible all the time.
I could prattle on like this for hours, but then you might think I am some kind of dazed, blissed-out hippie health food chick with nothing better to do than lecture passers-by about my latest whacky path to nirvana, so I won't. But I really am urging all my friends to take a look at this diet, because it really is simple, cheap, effective, and maybe even life-changing. One of my docs said she is going to try it herself. I gotta go stir my soup. Peace.
on August 2, 2009
This book is an advertisement for the website. Every page has a prompt for you to "download the companion guide" to learn more. Rather than simply stating information he constantly makes you have to refer to another part or the book or the guide, that doesn't print properly once downloaded. It's disjointed, and hard to follow. It's a simple idea that has been overcomplicated by disorganized writing. I believe this book could have been 40 pages long with no online guide. That would have made it worth the money. The online guide just makes it more complicated. Even the "shopping list" that is supposed to make shopping easy doesn't list the vegetables, it makes you refer to the book. It's just plain stupid. A usability nightmare. I would like my money back, and would like to submit a bill for the time I wasted trying to understand how this thing was organized. It's sad because I think he's got some great ideas, but he needs an editor and some serious help organizing the content.
on May 8, 2007
I love this book, as well as Dr. Hyman's other books. I did not need or want to lose weight, I bought this book as a detox guide, as well as to find out if I have any food allergies. I did end up losing a few pounds without trying to. This is a great way to start Dr. Hyman's UltraMetabolism plan, which is a whole foods lifelong way of eating more healthfully, not a diet. But if you want to lose weight it is an easy way of doing so, and you will not be hungry! There is one caveat to this "diet": it is only a 7-day diet, however there is one week of preparation where you eliminate sugar, caffeine, flour, hydrogenated fats and alcohol. Dr. Hyman also strongly suggests slowly re-introducing foods after the 7-day detox, which takes several more weeks. After the 7 days though, you will probably feel so good that you will want to continue with his plan.
The book gets into some very important aspects
of weight loss; namely the elimination of
gluten, inflammatory foods, sugar, coffee
and white flour. The author should opine on
Toxins cause weight gain and these should be
eliminated. Junk food is out. Olive oil and
lemon juice will help to flush the liver.
Broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower,
garlic, celery, parsley and ginger are added
detoxifiers which help to support a high
The detox herbs are ginger, dandelion root and
green tea . Eggs are a good breakfast detox food.
Milk thistle, nacetylcystein, taurine, glycine,
alphalipoic acid and bioflavenoids (grape seed)
are excellent detoxifiers also. Milk thistle
is utilized for liver detox programs.
The author gets into the sources of hidden
infections; such as, dental, Hep C, molds,
bacteria and yeast in the gut (endotoxins)
which impair the liver and thyroid. The
fatty liver can be non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.
Glutathione is an important detoxifier. Toxins may
be sweat out during rigorous exercise.
IgG or food allergies are due to dairy, gluten,
yeast, eggs, corn and peanuts. Sometimes, the
elimination of food allergies may cause withdrawals;
such as , itching, constipation or fatigue.
2000 mg. of Vit. C will help to support or
potentiate a detox program. The author should
opine on the use of Ester C. In any event, coffee,
sugar and white flour should be eliminated.
The diet program consists of veggies, broth, ultra-shakes,
fish and water. Sample menus include baked cod with thyme.
The book would be a good purchase for medical people
and the general public. Health buffs will enjoy the
presentation immensely. The acquisition would be a
treasure chest of information for nutritionists.
on May 6, 2007
I read about Dr. Mark Hyman's programs and books in a well-respected health and wellness magazine, Experience Life, and I decided to purchase both Ultrametabolism and The UltraSimple diet based upon the recommendations. This past week (from April 29th - May 5th, 2007) I followed Dr. Hyman's one-week program. Within a day of starting the program, I saw and felt results. My skin was more hydrated and moisturized, and my hair was easier to manage. I awoke each morning feeling well-rested and calm, ready to face the day. I had energy after a long day at work. These changes were also followed by 5 lbs of weight loss, and several inches of toning in my midsection.
The beauty of this program is the variety. I tried many new vegetables, and I was able to spice up each meal with new seasonings. Every night, I prepared my meal for the upcoming day - grabbing my prepared food before I left for the office. It was easy to incorporate the program into my daily activities, and by the end of the week, it was already part of my regimen.
Dr. Hyman's program works! If you can commit to this program, you will undoubtedly see the results that he promises.
on December 5, 2012
I just completed the one week program and, while I'm quite happy with it, I'm only giving the book 3 stars b/c anyone who didn't do the research and was expecting a truly simple plan would be hugely disappointed. "UltraSimple" in no way, shape, or form applies to this book. In fact, if you are to follow the plan completely, you would have to take a week off of work. I don't think anyone would find the following "simple":
*Making your own broth from 8+ different vegetables (yes--he gives you an out with store bought "if you must")
*Practicing yoga at least 2x/day
*Journaling for 30-60 minutes a day
*Multiple different supplements--some taken before eating, some with meals, some at bedtime
*Midday walks or naps
*Broth "snacks" throughout the day
*Preparing gobs and gobs of fresh vegetables in order to consume a minimum of 4 cups/day
I skipped the yoga and journaling, but pretty much followed the rest--and I really did enjoy it. That said--I work from home and it's not a busy time for me now--so I had the time and energy to dedicate to it.
I was already at healthy weight and eat quite healthfully to begin with--but coming off the holiday--and a regular habit of plenty of wine and caffeine--seemed to still leave me with plenty to detoxify. The first couple days I felt like crap. Lightheadedness, lack of focus, killer headaches, body aches, and difficulty sleeping. This was odd for me b/c every other time I've done a fast or cleanse I've felt like a million bucks. I can't help but think that this program actually did more to detoxify than others--and I felt it. I think that the (kind of gross) shot of olive oil and lemon juice in the morning really might have be cleansing my liver and gall bladder. I stopped talking my OTC allergy medicine in the spirit of "cleanse" and I thought THAT was contributing to my headaches. By the 3rd day I was about to give in and start taking it again, but. . . I started to feel better. I noticed that my headaches were gone, body aches gone by day 4-5, and my allergy symptoms weren't bothering me--despite no meds. So, in a nutshell, after one week:
*Lost 5lbs (even though already at "ideal" weight--though not MY ideal)
*Lost 2 inches total in waist and hips
*Puffiness and heaviness around eyes gone (I was actually thinking about blepharoplasty prior to this program--but now that I see what I look like without the effects of alcohol and caffeine--and other dietary "inflamers", bright-eyed and younger looking--it took that offer my list of To Dos)
*I've not had any real mood/emotional problems--but definitely can get "edgy" and irritable. I feel very Zen now. Very calm and relaxed. (Must admit I don't know if it's chicken-or-egg)--am I just calmer b/c I chose a time in my life/schedule to do this program when I knew I wasn't going to be busy--is it just a coincidence of less stress?)
* My Quiz score went from 48 to 18.
If you're up for the dedication that this plan requires--go for it. You'll feel virtuous for having done it, if nothing else. I'm actually sticking with it as the holidays approach. I'm slowing introducing eliminated foods back--which means the whole process (including the "pre" diet) is actually 4-6 weeks, not 1.
on August 31, 2007
I went on this diet because for most of the year I've suffered bouts of bronchitis and sinus infections. Medication for allergies wasn't helping. I read in a magazine where readers who had tried the diet eliminated quite a few of their allergy symptoms so I tried it!
It worked. My worst diet days were the first and second days, giving up caffeine was hard!! On the third day I woke up with more energy and a clear head-no stuffiness, no itchy eyes or throat. It was bliss! I also lost almost ten pounds the first week which was a surprising bonus. I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, and have had nearly 75% of my thyroid removed, I expected to lose -at most- three or four pounds. Losing weight is no longer a goal of mine, I suspect I will never reach the weight I was when I first became sick, my metabolism just doesn't work the same anymore. The first ten pounds has given me hope that I might come close. My current goal is to be healthy--and I have never felt better then I do at this time.
I've remained on this diet, bringing back into it my favorite veggies while continuing to avoid the common allergen foods as much as possible. I do have the occasional slip, and the scale has slowed its downward trend (but its still moving down). The benefits I've received are phenomenal-I no longer suffer from sinus infections, I have energy and most important to me, I am off the medication I took daily for allergy symptoms.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who is questioning if they have an undiagnosed food allergy or who just wants to feel healthy again.