We all know how frustrating it is to be on the millions’t diet and still not fit into the new bikini or the old speedo. For every kilo lost, 3 are gained after diet cessation and the constant self-restriction interferes with every mealtime: food has become your enemy and just looking at a piece of cake piles onto your hips. You might not have noticed up until now, but your nightly after work beer doesn’t only make your pants tighter, it might also cause a lot of those daily aches and pains we get so accustomed to. Apparently being part of getting old, we just accept the increasing padding and decreasing flexibility along with sore joints, a tight neck and the customary, occasional headache. Be it weight issues, skin issues, digestive ailments, seasonal allergies or fertility issues, your symptoms might be directly related to the foods you eat. In oder to find out what could be affecting you,
Exclude the usual suspects involved in allergic or gut-disrupting reactions.
These inflammatory food-groups unbalance your hormones and disrupt your bodily homeostasis – in other words – you are way off balance and your body will show you that it’s not doing all that well by getting bigger, being sore and clouding up your head. If you’ve ever had one of those days when getting out of bed already needs convincing, getting your limbs into gear without pain takes about half an hour, your eyes won’t open up widely enough to spot the most recent pimple and it’s hard to remember where you’ve put your cup of coffee, it’s time to try Eat this. Eliminating certain food-groups will allow your body to heal, recovering from the otherwise constant fire you were feeding: systemic inflammation.
Combating systemic inflammation will change your life.
Your metabolism isn’t slower than somebody else’s or you weren’t genetically blessed with a faster one, everyone can optimise their metabolism according to their own needs. This will change your relationship to food, your own body, your habits, your sleeping patterns and your mood-states – not just because you look all ripped and pimple-free, but because your brain chemistry is set on positive, high volume capacity again.
Sounds great, where’s the hitch?
We’ll be honest here. First of all, eliminating certain food-groups doesn’t sound all that difficult, particularly to someone who has been through the cabbage soup only regimen, but most of the food-groups to be cut are those most of you are extremely fond of such as your beer, bread or the double thick greek yoghurt. Ironically, most of the potentially inflammatory food-groups are also the most addictive ones, on account of a high hidden sugar content or based on an adrenaline ‘craving’ caused by the allergic reaction to it. So here’s the deal. If you do decide to give this a try, you must either be frustrated and sore or sick enough to do this or really want a change for the better. There is no trying it halfway or having a little sip of beer. THE FOOD-GROUPS EXCLUDED ARE NOT TO BE CONSUMED AT ALL. Not even a tiny little piece, 30 days long. Secondly,
30 days seems all right time wise, but, in actual fact, you are meant to carry on with this forever. After you have ‘reset’ your body within those 30 days, you can reintroduce singular items into your eating plan to see if and how your body reacts.
It will all sound a little weird right now, but after 30 days you will actually find that you can hear your body again. It will all of a sudden tell you what it really feels like eating, food will taste and smell different and overall you will be far more in tune with your ‘inner’ self than you ever were. A lot of patients of ours have admitted to not liking pizza anymore or finding the taste of coke disgusting, after having had at least three per day for the past 15 years. So what we’re actually saying is: expect to change. After this, you might not like pizza anymore.
Eat this. Protocol
Although the low fat, ready-made meat lasagne might sound like real food – NO – it’s not. We’re talking about fresh meat, seafood, tons of vegetables, and fat (yes, the right fat is incredibly good, actually assisting in losing weight and combatting inflammation) from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. The more unpronounceable the food ingredients list gets, the less you should eat it. Unprocessed and natural means no ingredients at all, you are the only one processing here. In order to reduce systemic inflammation, regain your metabolism and be able to figure out what does you harm there is a host of foods you shouldn’t even look at:
What NOT (none, nada, not even a crumb) to eat:
NO added sugar of any kind, especially NOT artificial sweeteners.
No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, Splenda, Canderel, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc.
Reading labels is a must, sugar is hidden in forms that are unrecognisable at first.
Yes, you’ve read right. No little sip of champaign cause its your friends birthday and no quick beer watching rugby with your buddies. It will make it easier for you not to smoke either (yes…NO tobacco either). You will be surprised to see how many ‘choices’ control you and not the other way around.
Such as wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. For Eat this. purposes, corn has been added to grains. Please, read your labels. Wheat, corn and rice are added into most foods in one way or another called starch, germ or bran etc….
Sorry, no peanut butter. No beans of any kind: black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc. No peas, chickpeas, lentils or peanuts. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways soy is sneaked into foods, e.g. lecithin.
Be it from a cow, a goat or from sheep – completely off limits. No cheese, no cream, no milk, no kefir, no yoghurt, no sour cream, no butter. This also goes for products containing milk solids such as milk chocolate.
No MSG, Sulfites or carrageen
Avoiding processed foods will help you avoid these. Read your labels carefully.
In order to improve the hormonal impact of your food choices, leave white, red, purple, Yukon gold and fingerling potatoes off your plate.
No paleo-ifying desserts
As ‘paleo-approved’ as some recipes might seem, stick to your NO-Gos from this list, as tempting as the coconut, almond flour muffins might be. Basic, natural and unprocessed: no nut-flour, no coconut milk anythings.
Eat this. aims to optimise your systems functioning and is not to be measured by a daily kilogram loss. We suggest weighing yourself once at the onset of the program and once after the 30 days.
Body Fat analysis, especially verbally from your bathroom scale, will only confuse and comparative measurements cause nothing but stress. This is meant to change you and not just your hips. Do not over-focus on one element only.
Exceptions to the rules
Clarified Butter or Ghee. Clarified butter or ghee is the only source of dairy allowed. Plain old butter is NOT allowed, as the milk proteins found in non-clarified butter could impact the results of your program.
Fruit juice as a sweetener. Added orange or apple juice as a sweetener.
Certain legumes. Green beans, sugar snap peas and snow peas. Technically being a legume, these are far more “pod” than “bean,”
Vinegar. White, balsamic, apple cider, red wine, and rice. No vinegars with added sugar, or malt vinegar, which generally contains gluten.
Processed foods. Minimally processed foods: canned coconut milk, applesauce, tomato sauce, chicken broth or canned olives, etc– but avoid guar gum, carrageen, MSG or sulfites.
The best time to start is
Now. Mark 30 days on your calender. Read our post ThinkFood Beginners Guide to clean out your kitchen, bedroom and your life. Print out your No-Gos and put them on the fridge and in your wallet. Go to your local supermarket, farmers market or grocery store and stock up so that you can organise a couple of days in advance. Don’t worry about weighing portions, count calories or looking at the fat content, start with making the right food choices and prepare yourself for situations that might be difficult. If possible, do the organic, grass-fed thing but if not, focus on the right food choice for now.
Eat this. will only work on 100% compliance. No licking the mixing batter spoon, no quick chips on the go or a handful of peanuts because there was nothing else around: prepare yourself. It’s good for you. A splash of milk in your coffee is enough to set your 30 days back onto zero. No special occasions, no cheats. We’re not trying to be mean, we just want to keep you from unnecessary disappointments. A tiny amount of inflammatory food is enough to break your healing cycle forcing you to start over. Don’t sell yourself short. Thirty days is all it is.
What will happen?
Decades of poor eating habits won’t disappear overnight. Your body will revolt against the deprivation of sugar-driven energy spikes, processed carbohydrates and flavour enhancing chemicals, much the same as when ridding yourself of an addiction. Slight headaches, irritability and difficulty concentrating are not unusual, but normally subside after the first two weeks.
Contrary to expectation, you will not starve, and the protein&veg combo will sustain you much longer than any refined carbohydrate ever has. Try and distinguish between hunger and plain craving, it will make your choices easier.
You will start to see significant benefits and changes within one month. Whether your energy levels stabilise and increase or your body composition changes, you’ve slept properly for the first time in months… more will continue to happen: feeling less bloated, conditions, aches and ailments improve, recovery after exercise or a hard days work is quicker and easier, mood stabilises, weight balances, skin clarifies, sinuses clear,etc. You will actually be able to fall asleep when you want to and get up ready to sing in the shower.
Learn to say NO. Take it seriously enough not to cave into social/ peer pressure. Instead of seeing yourself as deprived try turning it around and think of how much better you will feel the next morning. The worst will probably be your own head, screaming at you for want of a beer or a a quick delicious smelling cheese coated bacon and egg roll from vida. NO. NO. NO. NO. and NO.
Feel free to contact us for more advice or if anything is unclear. Food is our business. ThinkGoodFood.
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