So, it’s the New Year and you’re thinking about the New You.
You think you want to go Paleo or Primal or Ancestral. They basically are all the same with only slight differences. Here are 6 steps to reach your goal of eliminating the bad foods. Although some people may want to jump in all at once, there may be problems going too fast.
For example, research has shown that refined sugars may be as addictive as cocaine. You could have intense cravings for refined carbohydrates during the first few weeks. It also would be reasonable to expect some withdrawal symptoms like headaches, sluggishness, or a little “brain fog” after eliminating these from your diet. Going slowly may be the best thing for you.
Others might have uncomfortable body reactions because already-stored toxins could be released too quickly and bad bacteria could be overwhelmed too quickly. These reactions might manifest in various ways like acne, diarrhea, nausea, stomachaches, bloating, gas, muscle or joint aches, or headaches. For these reasons, some people may prefer to take it slowly.
There are some people who may not have made up their minds that a new program is right for them. They might prefer to test the waters by taking baby steps.
Here is a progressive program that eases you into a healthy eating lifestyle over the next 12 weeks – one step at a time. Remember, this isn’t a diet; it’s a lifestyle change. Of course, you don’t have to take it slowly; you could jump in 100% on day ONE.
Step 1: Eliminate unhealthy oils and fats
For the next 14 days, remove all vegetable and seed oils, chemically produced trans fats, and partially hydrogenated fats from your diet. The reason: these oils and fats are toxic to your body. The only oils you will put on salads in moderation are macadamia oil or extra virgin olive oil. When it comes to sautéing, the only fats you will use will be saturated fats like coconut oil, butter or ghee from grass-fed cows, or other saturated fats like tallow from grass-fed and grass-finished cattle or lard from pastured pigs. You will completely avoid such liquid polyunsaturated oils as canola oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, soybean oil, etc. If you are eating processed foods, you will need to investigate the ingredient lists of these foods to see if they contain any forbidden fats or oils.
Step 2: Eliminate all grains
For the next 14 days, remove all grains from your diet. The reason: these carbohydrates will damage the lining of your gut, will change your gut bacteria to produce more harmful microbes, and will interfere with your normal hormonal balance. Grains include all cereals, breads made from wheat or other grain flours, pasta, crackers, cookies, cakes, muffins, bagels, pretzels, popcorn, rice biscuits, and anything on a label that includes any grain product. If you eat foods from grain-fed animals, you ultimately will be eating grain that was incorporated into their meat and fat.
Step 3: Eliminate all added sugars and artificial sweeteners
For the next 14 days, remove all added sugars and artificial sweeteners. The reason: refined and artificial sugars eventually stimulate your hormones to function poorly creating cellular damage as well as damage to your gut lining and to your healthy gut bacteria. Look at labels on processed foods. Many are loaded with sugar and sugar aliases like high fructose corn syrup, agave nectar, cane juice, dextrose, etc. Artificial sweeteners consist of aspartame (NutraSweet), sucralose (Splenda), Saccharine, etc. If you need a sweetener, you sparingly may use local, raw honey, which is a whole food.
Step 4: Eliminate all legumes
For the next 14 days, remove all legumes from you diet. The reason: legumes contain antinutrients that prevent certain minerals being absorbed through your gut and damage the lining of your gut. They include peanuts, black beans, garbanzo beans, pinto beans, lima beans, soybeans, lentils, etc.
Step 5: Eliminate pasteurized and homogenized milk and milk products
For the next 14 days, remove all conventionally processed milk products that include all pasteurized and homogenized products. The reason: these milk products have been physically, chemically, and biologically altered in such a way that it may be damaging to your gut lining and your hormone balance. Also, many people are lactose intolerant and/or sensitive to the casein protein in milk, which can mimic the gluten protein. Raw and non-homogenized milk and cheeses from cows and goats are OK if you can tolerate them.
Step 6: Eliminate most processed food products
For the next 14 days, remove processed food products. The reason: these generally contain chemical additives, preservatives, artificial ingredients, genetically modified foods, excess unhealthy salt, unhealthy fats, refined sugars, acellular carbohydrates, and various elements that may be toxic to your body over time. If the processed food only has healthy ingredients you recognize, then don’t be concerned. But if this food product has ingredients you cannot pronounce or obvious offenders as I have described, avoid it.