Well, here we are. It’s the end of another year, and one that pulled us all to the edge of our known capacities, and beyond. I feel like I both barely blinked my eyes, and also lived 5 lifetimes over in the last 12 months. My stronghold for survival was, and usually is, finding strength and resilience through gratitude, purpose, and keeping my eyes on the road ahead, not the speed bump immediately in front of me that I perhaps forgot to slow down for. It’s typically a fairly successful approach for me, but the world of mental health in 2020 threw us some curve balls as we adapted to new ways of life, lack of connection, and challenges maintaining optimism through the hot loneliness that comes with any form of isolation.
Through the early months of COVID I was in many ways fortunate that my fitness business was forced to pivot to virtual, and as a byproduct, I was leading classes (from my home) almost daily for the first time since I had moved from Charlottesville to Charlotte in 2018. I knew I had missed the regular routine, and certainly knew that my body was craving the consistent sweat and movement that always, always, provides me with palpable upticks in my physical and mental wellness; what I didn’t realize was just how much I needed to take a beat to consider what else my body and mind needed, and apply the principles I already knew about gut health, and supporting the gut/brain axis as a starting point — not an after thought.
It wasn’t until after we closed the doors to the business in September and I was faced with the reality that I no longer had the accountability of owning and operating a fitness business, and I was (for the first time in decades) having to establish my own wellness routine, agnostic to any brand, obligation or a single focused prescription. I made it about two weeks in my new ‘unattached’ way of life before I texted my friend Dana, with an overly dramatic SOS text, to help me get to the bottom of why I was still so exhausted and feeling so sick all the time. I had been following Dana’s own mental wellness journey through her partnership with Amare for a while, and drilled down a little bit deeper to understand what the company was about, and how it was different from other brands in this space.
Over the years, through both my own athletic career and leading wellness through the businesses, restriction and elimination were often the primary focus of the nutritional programs that were dominant. From paleo to Whole 30 and Keto, everything started with eliminating certain foods and having restrictive or deprived eating; and don’t get me wrong, there is a strong foundation in real foods and clean (unprocessed food) programs that I strongly believe in and will always root into, but I’m not interested in depriving my body of key nutrients and supplements which had never been deeply contemplated in the food focused programs.
Dana walked me through some of the more specific questions I had about the products that Amare offers, her experience with it, and what she believed would be best for me in my lifestyle, having known me for almost a decade in this food and wellness space. I didn’t need a fundamental education or overhaul of my relationship with food or the way that I pair or use ingredients when I cook; what I needed was a reset of my insides and a new foundation within my approach to gut health, then complimented by my love for food and knowledge of my own body.
We started with the Amare Reboot, a 3 day supplement infusion with a vegetarian / vegan diet to simply allow the body to flush and reset itself, free of preservatives or Irritant. I dragged a friend through it with me, and despite his hesitance, couldn’t deny just how transformational the reboot was for just how he was feeling inside, in his gut and within his mental space.
Following the re-boot, we both signed up for the fundamentals monthly subscription, which is just basically a daily pairing of supplements, of course with add-on options if you have specific areas you’re focused on like sleep, mood, or energy.
I cannot put into words exactly what is different, but in an attempt to do so I can tell you that my insides feel light, my ability to focus is so much better, and overall resilience mentally has been so much stronger. I would not call the closing chapters of 2020 easy, certainly not any easier than the rest of the year, but my ability to adapt and rebound has been so much greater even through my depleted Surge Capacity, and for that I am endlessly grateful.
I’m going to be doing another re-boot following the holidays, and then running through a more focused program on intuitive eating and real foods with no specific program or restrictions to speak of. At this point in my life I’m here for anything that makes my life better and is a value add to my overall wellness; being able to show up fully, eyes and heart open as I travel the paths of 2021 is really all that I’m looking for.
If you have questions about Amare and want to ask me specific things about my experience through the reboot, or just the day to day supplement program, ask me; this is not a sales pitch or an evangelistic approach to any one way of life, but it really did help me and as a believer and advocate for the axis between mental and physical health. I’m sharing this as a product that I’ve learned to love in the most honest, researched, and personally tested way that I can.
To follow more detailed updates on all of the above, and what is coming next from a wellness perspective here, follow the fuel sweat grow instagram account (and not my personal to spare you an overwhelming & simultaneously underwhelming influx of dog and coffee pictures).