So far we have avoided the most common culprits when it comes to additional stress on our body. At this point we are going to “allow” reintroduction of certain things (and with some restrictions). Remember that it is still up to you to keep up the great progress you have made so far and be in control, with a bit more flexibility.
“At home I serve the kind of food I know the story behind.” ~ Author Michael Pollan
Below you will see a few things we took out in phase I, that we are now reintroducing back in. There will also be a limit on how much you reintroduce as we want to go slow and steady when it comes to these things. Remember as we discussed in Day 12 that it is still important to focus on quality as well.
So here are the things you can start working back in again on your own schedule (or you can continue to go without them as well, it is your choice)
Diary - Cheese, yogurt, whole milk (not skim…if you are worried about saturated fat, then please read this article on fats as well). Add back in small quantities, not more than 1 meal a day to start.
Alcohol – Beer, wine. Limit consumption to 2-3 drinks (normal serving sizes) a week. Note that a 40 oz mug with draft beer does not count as 1 drink.
Free Meal – Once a week, add in a meal of whatever you enjoy in normal portions (this is not a pass for a binge fest). This could include dinner and/or dessert.
We would still like you to continue to eliminate (outside of the one free meal a week) the big culprits of processed foods, sugars, wheat, breads, cereals, vegetable oils and fast food.
No, I don’t mean that you put all your meals on a “lazy susan” and spin them at dinner (I knew someone has this joke ready, so beat you to the punch).
By rotation we mean that you can alternate what you eat on each day including different kinds of meats, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats. What it also means in our case for the foods we are reintroducing is to make sure you are not doing them day after day, especially after we have taken a break from them.
The benefits to eating with a rotational plan can include:
Allow more variety in your eating (including amounts and types of vitamins/minerals)
I mean honestly if you want to eat chicken and veggies every meal on every day, then that is your call. I would get tired of that personally. But once you start adding back in the more allergenic foods especially wheat/gluten and dairy, then you can start having compounding issues over time. Having it on occasion may be one thing your body can handle, but everyday may start to turn things for the worse.
Here’s my own personal strategy (ongoing even pass this challenge). Along with rotating foods, I’m also going to use my Intermittent Fasting days(we talked about the benefits of IF on day 10) as my own official “detox” days. On those days I will not have any dairy, wheat, alcohol, nuts or anything else outside of basic meats and veggies. So even if I have “allowed” back in more things than I should, then at least every IF day (2x/week in my current schedule) will be a day off to allow the gut some additional healing time. This is also an effective way to help keep calories under control on those days as well.
Today’s Task: Reflection
I want you to take a couple quiet minutes to reflect back on the first 2 weeks of the challenge (well done for getting this far!). Ask yourself if you feel any different, better or worse. See what foods you “used” to crave in the beginning but maybe no longer crave. Really become aware of how you feel/look today based on what you have been eating and drinking for the last 2 weeks. This is very important, as true understanding will keep you on track down the road.
Going forward also make time to do the same reflection. See if your health, energy, weight loss take a turn for the better or worse. See what foods may have been reintroduced and could be part of the problem. This is key to getting and keeping control of your life and health.
Here are some of my own reflections with this challenge so far:
No alcohol and really don’t miss it as I thought I might miss an occasional beer. So I’m going to keep going till the end of the challenge with no alcohol.
No more bread (as pizza is my weakness and it was creeping back in too much). I don’t crave it and will certainly keep an eye out on it in the future.
I really crave more fatty meat like whole eggs, fish with scales (sardines), and even some ground bison (grass fed). I don’t find the thought of any no-fat meat (skinless chicken breast for example) appealing whatsoever.
I’ve forced myself to become more creative with meals and focused on better quality foods. No more excuses to not make time for good food.
I even unplugged the TV as a distraction and don’t miss it one bit. I still watch some episodes here and there on www.hulu.com.
All in all I am very happy with how things have turned out and look forward to keep going!
So please share in the article comments, what did you find out about yourself during the first 2 weeks of this challenge? What do you see yourself doing going forward?