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Take your New Year’s transformation to the next level with nutrition expert Chelsea Axe, DC, CSCS, and trainer Jamie Eason Middleton, the dream team behind Clean Eating and our sister publication Oxygen’s first-ever joint online health and wellness challenge. Our experts explain in their own words why you’ll get in the best shape of your life with their winning formula and dish on carb cycling, staying active, finding time to make healthy choices and pushing through motivation plateaus.
Chelsea and Jamie got on the phone to chat about their upcoming challenge.
CHELSEA: Hi, I’m Dr. Chelsea Axe, and I’m here with Jamie Eason Middleton to talk about our new online challenge, The 60-Day Metabolic Reset.
JAMIE: I’m super excited.
C: I’m so excited, too. I think the content we have put together so far is amazing, and I can’t wait to see how it all comes together in the end.
J: I want to hear all about the carb-cycling portion of the program. I know we eat similarly, and neither of us is into gimmicks, so I want to hear about what you are going to do with it.
C: I love carb cycling. When I tried it for the first time, it was one of those last-ditch efforts. I was a bit intimidated, but I thought, “I’ve tried everything else. I’m going to see how this works.” It ended up being something I’ve done for the last two years straight. I love it! You have energy so you can get through intense workouts, but at the same time, you are burning body fat and leaning out. It’s so rare that you find a diet you can actually stick to and use as a lifestyle, not so much a short-term thing. And it’s actually sustainable. I’m super excited to teach people how to incorporate it into this program. On the low-carb days, for instance, you’ll be utilizing days when you have higher-intensity workouts planned, you’ll up the carbs to keep your body fueled.
J: You know, I’ve used carb cycling a lot. When somebody calls me and says, “Hey, we want you to shoot for a magazine,” I go right into carb- cycling mode because I know that it works. A lot of people just start counting calories and go into a deficit, going lower and lower, but it backfires. It just doesn’t work! I really want people to think of this as a doable approach. That being said, I want to know some of the recipes! Can you give us a few?
C: I have over 80 recipes for the program right now, completely brand new. We’re going to have everything from protein pancakes to salads – there’s even an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe in there, if you really need a snack.
J: Oh, yes!
C: They’re recipes that you won’t feel deprived eating. This shouldn’t feel like a diet – I hate the word “diet.” A diet is just a short amount of time that you go all in and then you jump back into real life and go back to how you were doing things before.
J: I know, I know! And while you’ve been cooking up the nutritional component of the challenge, I’ve been doing the workouts to make sure they are awesome.
C: I’ve seen some of the stuff you sent over, and it is spicy! We’re going to feel it.
J: It’s hard, you know, but it’s also really doable.
C: When planning the fitness portion of the program, how did you make it effective and challenging?
J: Well, I wanted to make this for everybody, but I also had to keep in mind that I only had 60 days. For me, it was about making sure I chose exercises that would have the highest caloric cost.
C: Love it.
J: The other goal is to maintain muscle, since muscle is what supports your metabolism. I wanted to include some weight training, but I also wanted to do some fun, no-weight exercises because some people may not be used to weights, and because it’s a little different. I like to change things up every two weeks because, for me, that keeps things exciting.
C: Love that.
J: So, I don’t know if people know that you are Dr. Josh Axe’s wife. You guys have been living this lifestyle for a long time and you make everything fun together – I see you doing lots of things on your Instagram. How do you guys stay balanced?
C: To keep a balance, we make it a lifestyle, and quality time for us is about being active. We’re down in Florida a lot, and when we are, we make it a point to go paddleboarding, or we go hiking here in Nashville with our dogs on the weekends.
J: We do that with our kids – try to make things more about activities.
C: I don’t have kids yet. Did they change your approach to fitness?
J: Big time. I used to be that trainer that was like, “This is for you! You’ll find the time!” And then I had a baby and I wanted to punch my former self in the face.
C: [Laughs] So honest. I love it.
J: Your priorities change because your kids become your priority, and you are happy about that, but the hard part is you lose your motivation, because you are motivated to serve them in every way. What I want to ask you, getting back to food: I think eating well is so intimidating for a lot of people. How do you help them overcome that intimidation about eating right?
C: It can be super intimidating when there are so many changes at once. But I think that’s also a lie – you don’t have to make all changes at once, especially when you are just getting started. One of the things I recommend is that you start by changing your breakfast. If you just change that and maintain it for two weeks, that’s 33% of your meals. That’s a big portion!
J: I think that’s great advice. What do you eat for breakfast?
C: Every morning, I do a bone broth protein and collagen smoothie. Every single morning, without fail – I, like, have to have it.
J: That’s awesome! I have one more: Are there any cool ingredients that I need to know about?
C: One thing I have been doing is that I’ve been using a lot of fresh herbs in everything.
J: I love fresh herbs. Basil – you can’t kill it, either. My kids will go swimming in the summer, and my three-year-old will get out of the pool and eat basil off the plant.
C: That’s amazing. When you cut fresh herbs in the kitchen, it’s like [Inhales] ahhhhhh…
J: So, if somebody wants to use more herbs, what would your top tips be for that? Should they grow them, or should they just buy them?
C: You could start with buying. Like you said, basil is super easy to grow. You can just cut them off in your kitchen and chop it up and add it to your salad. You know, I throw a couple of leaves in my water sometimes to infuse it, and that’s really good too.
J: Oh yeah. It’s so, so good. And rosemary is one I think you can’t kill either. I’m all about what you can’t kill, because I honestly don’t have time to deal with it. [Laughs]
C: I do too, because I don’t have time and I do not have a green thumb. The plants I try to keep alive? [Shakes head] No. No. And the ones I don’t care about, they just stay.
J: I could ask you questions about food all day long. It’s one of my favorite topics – and one of my favorite activities is eating. [Laughs]
C: Well, this has been so fun. I love catching up with you.
J: I’m so excited for this to come together. We both believe in the techniques we’ve put in this program. For everyone out there, we can’t wait to meet you!
Join Chelsea and Jamie for this life-changing challenge Improve the way you look and feel in only 60 days with our double-duty challenge.
WHAT YOU GET
- A complete 8-week workout and nutrition plan that utilizes the research-backed power of interval training and carb cycling – no matter your fitness level or culinary expertise, Chelsea and Jamie will walk you through it, every step of the way
- Easy ways to make this plan unique to your body and schedule
- Tons of video cooking tutorials, plus a recipe manual and customizable meal plan with more than 80 recipes
- Online support from your fellow challengers and coaches
- Exclusive access to bonus digital content
- More energy and a slimmer, happier you – in just two months!
This program is available exclusively for Outside+ members. Already a member? Click here to start the program.
If you’re not yet a member, there’s never been a better time to join. Sign up today to enjoy this class, plus our entire Outside LEARN library and so much more.