Welcome back to our next exciting Blog on Chapter 5, ‘Design Your Own Diet!’ Now that we have assimilated our REAL raw materials and figured out what went wrong in our gut health, we can roll up our sleeves and start customizing our delicious REAL meals! 🙂
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the REAL deal!! It’s time to reset your body and Build Your Own (BYO) diet. The elimination and reintroduction diet protocol is the most effective way to design a diet that will best treat your symptoms. You can get tested for food sensitivities, but these tests are expensive and inaccurate. If you have a leaky gut, the results are likely to suggest reactions to dozens of foods.
If you want your digestive health to improve, you need to first address your intestinal permeability by healing and sealing your gut (Blog#2). Then, you need to work on balancing your gut flora to optimize your digestive health. Most people sense an improvement within a matter of weeks by following this approach. Many food sensitivities can resolve over time if we treat the underlying causes of gut inflammation, intestinal permeability, and gut dysbiosis.
The goal of the elimination diet is not to eliminate foods, but to eliminate your symptoms.
Ready to give this a try? Let’s first clean your kitchen. Remove as many processed, canned and UNREAL and UNSAFE foods as you can. E.g. bread, cereals, crackers, pasta, commercial yogurt, beers, soy milk, dairy, corn, sugar. And stock up on REAL food. This means, it’s time to visit the farmers’ market or grocery store to purchase fresh vegetables, fruits, tubers (healthy carbohydrates), animal protein, and healthy fats. If it helps, feel free to refer to the list of REAL foods in our third blog (chapters 3 & 4). Not every purchase has to be organic. Some produce such as onions, broccoli and cabbage are not as contaminated and can be consumed non-organic.
Now, here’s the magic formula for your BYO diet (servings are per meal):
Animal Protein: 4 to 8 oz per meal (120-240 g)
Traditional Fats: 1 to 3 tablespoons per meal (15-45 ml)
Safe Vegetables: ¼ to ¾ cup per meal (60-175 ml)
Safe Seasonings: Salt + others (e.g. herbs) as desired. Aim for ½ to 1 tsp (2-5ml) of salt per day.
The serving sizes are just a guideline. Don’t eat less than the lower range, though, even if you are trying to lose weight. It’s the minimum food you need to get the basic nutrients to heal, and some people might even need more. Of course, adding natural, and preferably home-made, fermented foods (e.g. kimchi, sauerkraut, home-made yogurt) substantially improves your meal quality by giving you some natural probiotics. Here are some great healing aspects of your BYO diet: it is REAL and unprocessed food, easy to digest, low in irritants and allergens, anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense, carb restricted, and customized to your body. 🙂
Still not sure what you may eat? Here are some quick ideas:
- Chicken or vegetable soup with zucchini, salt and chives
- Salmon salad [salmon + cooked spinach + olive oil + lemon juice + salt]
- Lamb stew [lamb/beef + green beans + ghee + salt + rosemary]
- Puréed carrots mixed with cinnamon and coconut oil
Follow the elimination diet for a minimum of three to four weeks and be mostly symptom free for at least five consecutive days before you gradually start reintroducing foods you haven’t eaten for weeks.
While being on the REAL diet, if you start experiencing headaches, dizziness, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, difficulty in concentrating….your body is likely going through withdrawal from addictive unhealthy foods including starches, sugars, caffeine, dairy, and other processed ingredients. Please don’t give up. There are wonderful ways to alleviate the transition before you are fully detoxed. 🙂 For example:
- Take Warm Epsom Salt Baths for at least 15 minutes. Epsom salt is a form of magnesium that helps release toxins and metabolic wastes through the skin, and provides a calming and relaxing effect.
- Try Activated Charcoal Capsules. Activated charcoal has been long used to treat poisoning, and helps by absorbing and eliminating toxins from your body.
- Eat Enough. Many people make the mistake of not eating enough. It is impossible to sustain a low-carb AND a low-fat diet at the same time. Your body still needs the same amount of energy, and fat is the safest way to provide it during the elimination protocol without causing digestive issues.
- Hydrate properly. Your body needs enough fluids to help it detox, normalize bowel movements, and prevent constipation. Also, make sure there is adequate unrefined salt in your diet. Electrolytes are just as important as fluids are.
- Rest. Taking rest is very healing. A simple walk in the neighborhood, a chat with your best friend, listening to your favorite music, or even watching your favorite TV show are all great ways to relax and destress.
Reintroduction phase is the fun part! Make sure, when you start reintroducing foods, serving sizes are initially small. The small sizes will help you assess whether your body is able to tolerate the foods you missed. You don’t have to keep trying new foods every 3 to 4 days! If you’re happy with your food variety, there is nothing wrong with sticking to that diet. When you reintroduce, choose foods you miss the most and that will help you make your diet more enjoyable and easier to follow. The best way to ensure being symptom free is by having REAL or clean foods and safe drinking fluids. Also, don’t forget your daily right probiotic! The probiotic will help strengthen your immune system and keep you healthy.
“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.”—Dr. Ann Wigmore
Thank you for reading this blog. We hope you enjoyed building your very own customized diet. Please feel free to post questions, comments or thoughts. Every post is truly valuable, and we are here to help. 🙂
Have a wonderful week!