This week is all about assessment! Taking a slow, strategic approach to reintroducing non-21DSD foods will help you make a smooth transition to a sustainable healthy-eating lifestyle instead of feeling like you are always either “on” the plan or “off” the plan. It also helps you find out which foods you’re better off cutting out completely. We all want to find that balance that works for us in the long term, where we can make healthy choices the vast majority of the time without getting derailed when we occasionally make a choice that isn’t as healthy. When you know how your body responds to certain foods, it’s easier to navigate which choices are worth it and which aren’t.
For example, I don’t experience any digestive or skin-related issues as a result of eating goat and sheep dairy, but I do when I eat cow dairy. So while I avoid cow dairy, I actually enjoy my meals more when I add small amounts of goat and sheep dairy to my plate—it feels less restrictive, so I don’t feel like I want to rebel by eating unhealthy foods.
Possible reactions to newly reintroduced foods can include low energy, fatigue, brain fog, feeling low or unhappy, skin reactions (acne or a rash), digestive upset (gas, bloating, diarrhea, or constipation), trouble sleeping, increased menstrual symptoms, or a sense that something is “off,” that’s you’re not quite yourself.
The self-awareness that comes from testing how you feel when you eat certain foods will fuel a sense of peace and calm around eating off-plan foods—you won’t be worried about possible effects or feel guilty, because you already know what works for you.
The Dish from Diane:
Dying to reintroduce wine? Or maybe some gluten-filled foods? Please be very slow and deliberate about these choices. I don’t want you to throw away the hard work you’ve done in dropping them cold turkey without thinking hard about it and evaluating how they really affect you, physically and emotionally. Wine and gluten-containing foods specifically can be problematic, much more so than sweet fruit, because they can become a crutch—something that we turn to when what we really need is emotional support. Be thoughtful about reintroducing them, and pay close attention to how you feel both physically and emotionally during and after consuming each food you reintroduce. Remember, the long-term goal of the 21DSD is to help you learn how your body feels with and without these foods so that you can make healthy choices for a lifetime—so instead of feeling like you constantly need to come back to the detox as your baseline, you can find your own new “normal.” More on this in tomorrow’s lesson!
- Take notes on how you’re doing with the food you reintroduced yesterday.
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