The Adrenal Reset Diet Book Review

The Adrenal Reset Diet by Dr Alan Christianson Review

I’m so excited to be able to share an amazing resource that I’ve had the advantage of knowing and using for several months. My doctor, Dr. Alan Christianson NMD, is releasing his book The Adrenal Reset Diet.

I interviewed Dr. Christianson on my podcast and his interview was one of the most popular episodes! He is a wealth of information and has personally helped me find answers to my own health problems and has helped thousands of others do the same.

The Adrenal Reset Diet

The first time I heard Dr. Christianson explain the concept of his adrenal reset, it explained all of the health problems and rising rates of obesity we are seeing today.

He used this metaphor: Imagine that your health is like a bathtub and that you can fill it with many things. You could put in water, or sweet potatoes, or shoes or really anything, but no matter what you’ve put in it, it will overflow when it reaches the top. This is how our health is. Our body can handle a lot of challenges from a lot of different sources but when the combination of all of those things reaches our limit and causes our tub to overflow, we will experience a health crisis of some kind.

Dr. Christianson explained that while any of us who have carried extra weight at any time are told to just eat less or exercise more, these can actually make the problem worse! In fact, animals in the zoo and in the wild are experiencing rising rates of obesity as well, even on calorie controlled or native diets.

The reason? Their bathtubs are overflowing as well and they are experiencing a variety of factors like increased chemical exposure, light pollution and declining food quality that are contributing to the problem.

Just as with humans, the body sees these as a danger and prepares for an upcoming famine or crisis by storing extra energy (fat). What do we do as humans when we gain weight? We eat less to try to lose the weight and we reinforce our body’s idea that a famine was coming, causing it to want to store even more!

Ever heard that most people who diet actually end up weighing more in the long run? They have trained their bodies to store fuel more efficiently and to hang on to weight.

Finally, an Answer!

The part I loved the most about Dr. Alan’s explanation in the Adrenal Reset Diet is his solution to obesity and hormone problems.

Instead of caloric restriction, lots of exercise and stress, he recommends creating an environment and schedule that encourage the body to naturally drop the weight and balance hormones because it no longer expects a famine.

He uses a unique combination of food timing, stress reduction, light exposure and sleep management to help balance your hormones naturally so that you not only reach your goal weight but have more energy and sleep better too!

My Own Story

I started working with Dr. Christianson about a year ago. Within the first months of working with him, I dropped close to 15 lbs of baby weight that I’d been holding on to since my last baby was born.

I used his Adrenal Reset protocols to nourish, relax and reset my body and to maintain my energy levels and health. I often get asked how I manage to “get it all done” each day including cooking real food meals, homeschooling my kids, maintaining my home and running the blog. Following the Adrenal Reset protocol has really helped me have the energy to keep up with everything and manage my stress levels.

If you struggle with adrenal issues and want some solid answers, this book may be just the thing to help you out!

Have you ever struggled with adrenal problems or hormone imbalance?

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Reader Interactions

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Reader Comments

  1. Awe! No shipping to Canada? 🙁 do you know if this will come out in an ebook?

    • I saw it listed for pre-order on Amazon in Kindle addition for about $10.

  2. Hi Katie, Just wondering how this compares to your auto-immune protocol. Your protocol has been working very well for me – I’ve been on it since October 1st, and I’ve lost 18 lbs. I have added a few things back in since, but the core of my diet has stayed in sync with your food list.
    But my adrenals still need help (according to the flashlight test) so I think I need this book. Just wondering if the diet is close to yours or totally different… Thanks for all of your help!! 🙂

    • They can absolutely work together. His protocol adds timing foods and eating carbs more at night and protein in the morning but it can be done within the guidelines of the autoimmune protocol as well. He also has some lifestyle suggestions about light, sleep etc that work great along side it 😉

  3. But what if I don’t need to lose weight? I have extreme adrenal fatigue and subsequent thyroid problems, etc. I’m following a protocol from my doctor, and it’s been 2 months, but I don’t feel much improvement. Is this still for me even if I don’t need to lose weight?

    • It helps you get back to a healthy weight, even if that means gaining weight, since some people lose weight when they have cortisol issues.

      • What I mean is my weight is at a great place. It isn’t something I struggle with. I just want to feel better and heal my adrenals. Is this primary a weight loss book or an adrenal healing book? Thanks.

      • I am so excited for this information. I am underweight because of extreme adrenal fatigue. Katie, your blog has been such a wonderful blessing to me . I appreciate all of the efforts that you put into empowering others with information!

  4. Every time I click the link for the book I get brought to a blank page. Can you please help?

  5. Light exposure and Sleep patterns are all very well, but what about the percentage of population that are shift workers? I get so very frustrated with all these so call simple solutions to all these health issues, but what about the rest of us? I can create a routine, but for a day, And for that day only. The next day will have to be a different routine, and the next and the next. There must be other people out there like this, Id like to hear their answers and what has worked for them if at all possible.

    • Karlie I am so sorry about your shift work issue. It is never easy being outside the norm for a work schedule, and it is even more of a struggle to address your health issues because of that. I wish you the best luck, and I wish I had a magic pill for you 🙁 Merry Christmas.

  6. I ordered the free book with shipping cost of $9.95, but there is an additional ;charge from the same company for $51.95. I am positive I did not order anything else as I wanted to check out this book first and become more educated on the matter.

    • I have the same charge on my account even though I didn’t order anything else. I’ve emailed them about the problem.

      • I was told they had a glitch in their system that only lasted for a few minutes and they have refunded anyone accidentally charged. They’re also sending out a free gift to anyone this happened to. If it hasn’t been corrected on your account yet reach out to them so they can correct it.

  7. I ordered the book but somehow they charged me and extra 51.95. I emailed but there is Jo phone number on there site. Can you help me with this?

    • It was a glitch in their system. They have refunded it and should be in touch to give you a free gift for the confusion.

  8. Hi – Do the recipes contain a lot of FODMAPS? I need to avoid these as well as gluten, dairy, soy, and sugar. The book sounds really good but I don’t want to buy it if I can’t use it. Thanks!

  9. I want to try this book esp because of all the success that you have said you have had on it. I have been dealing with leaky gut for 3 years now and my health has deteriorated substantially — i have gained so much weight, my adrenals were a mess, I’ve become allergic to almost everything -not been an easy go. I have been working with a number of healthcare professionals (natural and medical) and have gotten a few things under control. I am still however gaining weight and not feeling myself. My question for you is how would one use this book/the recipes when I seem to be allergic to almost everything? I found AIP some what easy to follow because it removed a lot of the nuts/seeds/veg that I was having issues with, and I have been on a 4 day rotation diet for a bit…I just want something to work and you said so positively that it’s been working for you….Just wanted to know what your opinion was regarding getting the book – if you think it’s worth a shot?


  10. The link doesn’t work, it says the webpage is unavailable.

  11. I ordered a copy of the free book, Dr. Christianson is giving away free copies of his Adrenal Reset Diet. I paid nearly $10.00 and have not received any type of acknowledgement or confirmation. What kind of business is this?

    Kelly Janneck

    • When I placed my order, there was a message on the screen thanking me for my order and stating that the books would be ready to ship out after December 30th. I have not received any email about the books, but I’m sure we will be sent a shipping notice on or around the 30th. The emails I have been sent are videos preparing us for what the book is all about. I’m not worried about it…yet! 😉

  12. I was able to order a free copy of the book and just paid the shipping, but I never received any sort of order confirmation (though the charge did come through on my credit card). Do you happen to know when the books will be shipped out?

    • I am sorry to say I do not, but you should hear from them soon.

  13. Katie,
    I love your website. It’s often the first place I stop when I need a natural health solution! I was wondering how your avoidance of grains fits in with Dr. Chritianson’s protocol? He thinks grains and beans are good. That the amount they would rob your body of nutrients is insignificant. He is my doctor too and I wrestle with what to do in that area. How have you handled it? Also very curious how to deal with his view of vitamin K2? He says we get it from leafy greens! Huh?!
    He’s so smart that I wonder if everything I thought I knew is wrong!! Help!!

    • I think he is brilliant too but I personally know I feel much better off of grains and beans so I still avoid them (and I think there is compelling evidence to back that up too). I also know that I have problems breaking down many nutrients and that I was low in K2, so I do supplement that as well. Even with the best docs, we have to take responsibility for ourselves and find the specifics that work 🙂

  14. I had (and still have) high hopes for this book. I have adrenal dysregulation and have been at the ‘crashed’ level for nearly two years. After previously being on the Paleo diet and seeing some improvement in my energy levels, I switched to the ARD to reset my circadian rhythm. Granted, it’s barely been a week since I introduced grains, but I feel so much worse already. What gives? Katie, do you have any insights, or know if there’s a way I can direct my question to the author? I am truly at my wits end here.

    • Do you feel worse, or sleepier? AS a tired mama with bad sleep patterns, I couldn’t sleep well before this. . I quit coffee and since I did that was reading about adrenals and that’s how I found this book. . .and this blog. I feel much much sleepier after eating this way. This is a good thing, since now I’m getting sleep! But if I wasn’t sleeping, I would probably feel worse. I think a lot of what he’s trying to do is just get you to sleep! Also, I think it works even better if you are taking magnesium (Something I’d figured out I was deficient in before even quitting coffee due to to tingling in my arms and legs that no doctor seemed concerned about). If you take it before you go to bed, it does help you sleep better. I had run out and did not feel as good on the diet as I did when taking magnesium.

      Also, if you figure out what stage you’re in. . his recommendations do vary for each stage.

  15. what is the difference in following the book and buying his adrenal diet for $97 ? I’m hypothyroid and can’t not lose this 20lbs been trying for almost a year now, so frustrating when I’m eating clean and exercising 5-6 days week – does his book give you a diet to follow along with supplements to help ? i have read his blog and would love to lose inches off my waist, been a struggle for me 2014, bound and determined to make 2015 my year, any feedback would be great, !

    • I’d start with the book. His course is awesome, but the book has a ton of great information and would definitely give you enough info to get started.

  16. ok great thanks! does it contain supplements that may help as well ? what did you find most that helped you with losing the weight you mentioned in this post ? i just really want to get this weight off not sure if i have an adrenal problem i mean weight is the biggest factor for me right now but i don’t have any trouble sleeping or don’t have any cravings which is why I’m not sure if its a adrenal problem but could anyone benefit from this diet, I’ve tried carb cycling before could you tell me how his is different ?


  17. Hi Katie, I bought this book and am enjoying the parts about carb cycling and sleep/stress but I have to say I disagree with him so much on what he recommends nutritionally. He seems to go against so many things that you recommend as well, like he claims that butter is bad for you but recommends Canola Oil as one of the fats you should use. As well as his feelings on grains and legumes, and fats in general seem to totally go against what you usually preach as healthy eating. I wholeheartedly agree with YOUR nutritional advice, so I was pretty surprised to see this in a book that you recommended so highly. I was just wandering how you feel about the nutritional recommendations in the book?

    • I follow an autoimmune diet (much different than his) because it is what I’ve researched and what works best for me. I feel like his light/sleep/carb and protein stuff is really important though and that those are key as well. I should have made that more clear in the post… thanks for the reminder.

      • Katie,
        what do you use at night as carbs if you dont use his bean/grain recommendations? I also wondered about the fats – I just dont think I am going to avoid my grass fed butter – in your opinion – is that too much dairy?
        I really want to heal my adrenals (they are flatlined – I have been told that Addisons is next – and that was from a traditional doctor!) but I have to admit, I am struggling with some of the food advice in the book. Though he has had much success with so many clients..
        Just praying about it and seeking wise counsel 🙂

        • Sometimes I do wish there was someone that could just tell me what to eat when – like a total meal plan! I guess I just get overwhelmed sometimes just thinking about trying to get things on track – he did mention that in his book though 🙂

        • I disagree with some of the food advice as well. I think his fat recommendations are because many of the patients he sees have trouble digesting fats, at least in the beginning. I use sweet potatoes, winter squash and occasionally white rice at night and eat healthy fats. Hope you feel better soon!

          • Thanks so much! I was thinking sweet potatoes.
            I also see that the Whole 30 folks are saying white potatoes are ok now. Since I am nursing I am thinking that white or red potatoes would be ok a couple times a week.

  18. This book does not go into the underlying causes of AF, it is very simplistic. His diet also made me gain more weight, of which I didn’t need. This is another doctor writing a book about something of which he has no personal experience. He doesn’t address the root causes of AF. Glad I only paid 10 dollars, although that was still too much for this book.

  19. I was disappointed to see a lot of bad nutritional advice (i.e. use of canola oil, Mrs. Dash’s seasonings, canned beans, Better than Boulloin base <== why not just use bone broth?, etc…) However, I can see his carb/protein cycling would be beneficial to restore circadian rhythm and in turn, heal adrenals. I got the gist of his diet and plan to incorporate my paleo aspect of it, with good ingredients of course.
    I guess for someone coming off the standard American diet, his diet isn't bad but when you've been soaking and sprouting your legumes and eating cultured grass fed butter – this would be a step back for me.

    • Regarding the bone broth, Dr C told me that for unknown reasons that bone broth has elevated levels of lead. Anyone who knows Alan realizes that he is practicing his true passion and has lived the accumulation of this book. He rewrote this book some 4-5 times to make it succinct prior to handing it off to the editor. Weight control is merely one great benefit of resetting ones health and immune system. We are just now scratching the surface of understanding the circadian cycle of humans ~ there appears to be much exciting revelations forthcoming as we discover more of this daily rhythm.

      • I wonder if that is from bone broths made in crockpots since crockpot inserts have been shown to have lead……

        • Good point.
          Or from animals that aren’t 100% pasture raised?

  20. I’ve been following the carb cycling portion of the diet (I still eat eggs, don’t use vegetable oils, I drink broth twice a day), and it has improved my sleep quantity and quality dramatically. I’ve struggled with various types of insomnia for the last four years, and I am finally getting sleep and staying asleep! Last night my son came in our room 3 or 4 times with an upset stomach, and even though I got out of bed to help him, I went right back to sleep every single time. Before this it would have meant a few hours before I went back to sleep. I’ve also incorporated a snack around 8:30 or 9 so blood sugar crashes don’t wake me at 5 am. I had no idea that was the cause of my early morning waking (and staying awake). This is life altering for me. I’ve been sleep deprived for 4 years. I don’t have a weight problem, and my weight has stayed the same, which is fine with me. My almost 7-year-old has had terrible sleep patterns for a few years. He was lying awake at night and then waking up at 5 am. I’ve basically been carb cycling the whole family, and he has been sleeping until 6:30 or 7. This is amazing too bc he was just so tired all the time. Not only that, but when he woke early, he would go wake his brothers, and they would come upstairs and be noisy and wake us and their sisters. Now everyone is sleeping until about 6:30. Mornings are much nicer. Thank you! With the improved sleep I feel like my adrenals will finally start to heal. I’ve been doing all the dietary changes my doctor has recommended, but no matter how hard I tried, sleep was my enemy. Now it’s not!!

    • What sort of snack do you have before bed? Protein and fat? Or is this the time that you add carbs in, too? I was just wondering if carbs were mostly for dinner or if you add them at bedtime, too? Your sleep patterns and that of your kids sound like mine right now! I wake up at 3 a.m. a lot of nights and can’t get back to sleep.

      • Typically apple slices with almond butter. Some carbs and some fat to sustain me through the night. I have no scientific basis for this. It is just the snack I like to eat, and it is working for me.

  21. Has anyone had problems with any of the recipes? I just made the “fudge” and it wasn’t even close to looking like the picture. First, by putting everything in the food processor you will have crumbs. Secondly, I had to press the crumbs into a pan and it was very flat. Nothing like the picture. Was there an ingredient missing in the recipe?

  22. Can someone simplify the carb cycling for me please? I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue via a saliva test a few months ago and have been following the Weston Price model of eating i.e whole, organic foods and thought I was doing the right thing. I looked at the Adrenal Reset Diet book and was surprised by the food choices. Plus I eat organic eggs, yogurt and some amount of milk and don’t want to give them up. Can I carb cycle and still include these foods? And not eat so many beans and grains?

  23. Ok I looked at his stuff and he promotes a loooottt of beans and even vegan stuff. Dude beans mess me up so bad!! What do I do to make this Paleo?

    • I would do potato or sweet potato as my carb or fruit instead of beans … that’s what I’m doing for a majority of the time.

  24. Katie,
    Is there anything that would need to be added or changed due to breastfeeding in his protocol? I was looking at the tonics he has for the different stages and have had conflicting information on the safety of some while breastfeeding. Thanks!

    • I would definitely check with a doctor before taking the supplements, but the lifestyle, food and sleep protocols should be great while nursing

  25. Hi there, I’m really interested I learning more and possibly buying the book. I read your article before about Leptin resistance and I think I have an issue with that. Will this book and diet help with that, or will I need to work on that separately from this?

  26. Katie, have you continued to eat this way over the year? Any updates? Thanks!

  27. I used this book and lost weight, but I also got a cavity, which I don’t usually get, because I wasn’t eating eggs, milk or bone broth due to the the book, so I had to rush and consume lot of milk, cod liver oil, bone broth etc to try to help heal my cavity. I think a lot of it is helpful, but make sure you are getting fat soluble vitamins and minerals

    • Why can’t you do bone broth on this diet?

  28. Hi Katie!
    Are you familiar with Nerium EHT, brain recovery, and if so you thoughts please on the efficacy and safety of the product?
    Thank you,
    Becky Green

  29. Hi, can you help me get in contact with Dr. C, either an e-mail or phone # as I have a quick but pressing question for him. I would be extremely grateful.

  30. I’m so confused! You said this book just came out but it looks like it’s been out for awhile? I just want to make sure I have the right copy! My new doctor, a DO, actually recommended this to me and I’m starting today – hope I have the right one!

    • This is an older post (originally published in December 2014) so the book has been out for a while now, but the link to the book should still work…

      • Okay awesome. I’m on day 2 today – my body is still adjusting but I feel good about my food choices and I hope that I can finally lose some weight!!!!