EYWIP WEEK 15: How to Reintroduce Eliminated Foods
Posted Apr 13 2014 2:31pm
Here we are in the final week of our Ease Your Way into Paleo plan. During this last week you are to eliminate all alcoholic beverages. Although this is your final week of the plan, it actually marks the 1st week of what some would consider strict paleo. As I’ve said in many a previous post, there are no shortages of rip-the-Band-Aid-off approaches to changing your diet. You know those diets where you eat the way you always do on one day, then the next day you completely change your diet 180°. Some people do well on those approaches and some do not. The EYWIP plan was designed to eliminate potentially problematic foods slowly and one at a time. Well right now you could literally jump into one of those plans and not even bat an eyelash. Monday could be the day you decide to take on a Whole30 , a Lurong , a 21 Day Sugar Dextox , try auto-immune paleo , or any other plan you know of. Or you could just finish out the week strong and plan out your reintroduction period.
Wait, did I just say plan out your reintroduction period? As in I want you to deliberately eat the foods I’ve been telling you to eliminate for the past 14 week? Um, actually yes because that is when you truly learn how these foods affect you if you haven’t figured it out already. Some people end up feeling so good when they eliminate certain foods that they never reintroduce them. Maybe their skin clears up with the removal of dairy or their “seasonal allergies” go away with the removal of gluten. Or maybe they just never knew what it was like to truly feel good and now that they do there’s no way they want to go back to their old way of eating.
How to reintroduce foods
Foods can cause adverse reaction upon reintroduction either immediately or after hours of ingestion. Maybe you eat something for breakfast and a few hours later you find that you’re not feeling well when it comes time for lunch. Or it could take even longer. You have something for breakfast and feel fine all day, but then you wake up the next day not feeling well. For me, I find that I react immediately. If I eat something that contains gluten, dairy, or legumes I get bloated & start to feel sick within 30 minutes. That’s how I know I am intolerant to those foods. But I also can have a delayed reaction to dairy (if I have enough of it) because my skin breaks out a few days after consumption.
Eat only 1 new food per three-day period: This means exactly what it says: one new food, not the entire food group. So let’s say you reintroduce cream in your coffee (dairy), don’t then go one to have a bowl of ice cream (dairy, sugar, & possibly gluten). You won’t know what actually made you not feel well.
Keep a food diary: It will be hard to remember what food made you not feel well if you can’t remember exactly what you ate. Writing it down & writing down how you felt before and after will really help pinpoint which food was the culprit. If you have a reaction to a certain food, wait for your body settles down (usually 1-3 days) before trying it again.
Circumstance is important: Maybe you are able to eat certain foods when you are well-rested and feeling good, but eat those same foods when you are stressed out and sick and you have a reaction. Your body may not responds well to a certain food if it’s already inflamed due to illness.
Here are some common signs and symptoms of food reactions:
Gas, bloating, changes in stool frequency or consistency, acid reflux, skin rashes, itchy skin, acne, anxiety, depression, fatigue, malaise, muscle or joint pain.
If you are looking for a more information about taking a basic paleo/whole foods diet to the next level that is more customized for your specific needs, I highly recommend reading Chris Kresser’s Your Personal Paleo Code book. The reintroduction guidelines I presented in this post come directly from his book. Chris does an excellent job at organizing the book into 3 steps. The first step is called “reset your diet” which is really just another way of saying paleo challenge. Since you are in the last week of the EYWIP plan, you basically are done with the reset phase.
Step 2 is called “rebuild your life” and this is where you are now. You are to reintroduce grey-area foods (like dairy, grains, & legumes) and see how your body reacts to them. Chris also takes this a step further by giving you clear and concise tips on how to exercise based on your goals and current lifestyle. I like how at the beginning of each new chapter there are quizzes you take to see what your personal paleo code should be. This basically means where you should focus most of your energy. The remainder of the chapter talks about topics that most don’t even think about when it comes to our health. Most people know that exercise and diet are very important when it comes to getting healthy, but how many focus on sleep, stress management, increasing joy & pleasure in life, spending time outdoors, and playing? I really enjoyed those chapters because it’s presented so simply.
Step 3 is called “revive your life” and this section teaches you how to customize your eating based on your health, activity level, goals, the season & the climate. Chris guides you in how to figure out how much carbohydrate, protein, and fat you should be eating. I really like that he keeps referring to these as guidelines while emphasizing that you need to see how you do eating this way. What works for one person may not work for another. There is also some information on superfoods and supplements.
Hopefully you have enough information to create a game plan for this week and next. I want to say thank you for giving this plan a try. I truly hope that you were successful and that I was able to help you on your wellness journey. Let me know if you have any questions and enjoy your week. I start April vacation on Friday and I am so excited!