Food intolerances affect 75% of us, which means you don’t have to have a full blown allergy to one of the avoids to suffer the side effects. Out of the hundreds of clients with whom I’ve worked over the years, all but one have felt and looked better after just a few days of avoiding the seven main avoids. So what are these offenders?
7 MAIN AVOIDS:
COMMON SIDE EFFECTS OF EATING ONE OR MORE OF THE SEVEN AVOIDS:
Inflammation which can lead to:
Each week for the next seven weeks I’ll address one of the avoids, starting with Gluten.
I'm starting with gluten because millions of unsuspecting people have difficulty digesting it and as a result, suffer from one or more of the above side effects.
WHAT IS GLUTEN?
If you don't know what gluten is, you're in good company. Most people, including many of my gluten-free clients don’t know what gluten is, but they know they feel and look better when they avoid it. Check out Jimmy Kimmel Live’s hilarious “What is Gluten?” video, in which none of the gluten avoiders interviewed could explain exactly what gluten is.
Gluten is a type of protein naturally found in wheat (including spelt, kamut, farro, and bulgur) and other grains, like barley and rye. Gluten is what gives flour its doughy elastic consistency and what makes it chewy. Gluten is also in many other products from salad dressings, seasoning mixes, vitamins, body lotions and more, so a truly gluten-free diet is a major commitment and can be challenging.
According to Neurologist and best selling author of Grain Brain, David Perlmutter the benefits of avoiding gluten can even help stave off Alzheimers and other more serious diseases associated with aging. So as far as I'm concerned, avoiding as much as you can as often as you can, is a good idea.
GOING GLUTEN FREE-MY RECOS
I've found that sometimes the easiest way to go gluten-free is to go cold turkey. Since most of the foods that contain gluten are nutrient deficient, caloric and generally not good for you-bread, pasta and cookies for example-you won't be missing anything from a health standpoint. Take a look at the below guidelines and choose the amount of time you think is best for you.
Minimum Amount of Time = 7 Days - Some inflammation, bloating and water retention will be reduced and you will be feeling and looking better already.
Recommended Amount of time = 23 Days - This is the recommended time for an “elimination diet” and the best way to find out what foods you’re most sensitive to. Antibodies, which are the proteins that your immune system makes when it reacts to foods, take around 21 to 23 days to turn over, so if you don’t quit things to which you're sensitive for at least that time, you won’t get the full effect of eliminating them.
Optimally with this and all the 7 Avoids = 66 Days. According to some research, it takes this long for your neural pathways in your brain to change and for a new, healthy lifestyle habit to take hold.
In my Mind Body RE BOOT program I reco that participants avoid ALL the seven avoids for at least 23 days. I realize this seems like a formidable task, especially if you don't have a support system set up. But it's actually easier than it sounds when you follow the steps below and use my suggested recipes. And I promise, it is the quickest way to drop unwanted weight and gain more energy.
WHEN & HOW TO GET STARTED
You will be most likely to succeed in avoiding your avoids, as with all new, desired habits, if you follow the 3 Critical P’s:
Plan-Set aside a week where you have the fewest social commitments
Practice-Like with all desired new habits you want to string together as many consecutive days as possible. It's easier to stay the course, avoid cravings and to make healthy food choices when we're well rested and hydrated. So get to bed by 10PM whenever possible and drink approximately 2/3 of your body's weight in ounces each day. Green juices and herbal teas count.
Persistence-Promise yourself you’ll do your absolute best but remember, this is a process and as with any new habit, it can be uncomfortable at first and it can take time before it feels natural. So manage your expectations and if you’re not wow’d after five days, hang in there, keep going. Re read the reason why 23 days are highly recommended.
WHAT TO EAT & DRINK INSTEAD
Do eat unprocessed, organic whole foods and lean proteins that are humanely and naturally raised.
A SAMPLE GLUTEN FREE DAY:
Click HERE for more easy your whole family will love. Most of these avoid all the above allergens. We even have yummy alternatives for your fave gluten-filled comfort foods.
BE CAREFUL-Just because it’s gluten-free does not mean it’s healthy! Many gluten free products contain several of the other food avoids like corn and sugar. Stick with the above recos of a whole foods diet to feel your best.
*The amount of weight you lose will vary and depends upon many different factors. Regardless, the initial 7 pounds are likely going to be mostly water and waste. The main intention of this blog is to give you tools on how you can feel your best mind and body in the quickest amount of time. Losing unwanted fat and inches is a bonus but I like to focus on how you feel and how clothes are fitting as opposed to a number on the scale.
HOW TO REINTRODUCE GLUTEN AND/OR ANY OF THE AVOIDS:
After at least 23 days, pick one thing you eliminated—like gluten, OR corn OR dairy—but not more than one, and eat it. Best to eat 3 servings within 24 hours. Notice how you feel-any bloating, itchy skin, sluggishness, etc.
Continue to check in with how you feel over the next 48 hours. If you have no reaction after two days, eat that same food again, and for a second time, notice how you feel.
If you feel fine after eating the food and it’s up to you whether or not to re-incorporate that food into your diet on a regular basis.
Once you’ve reintroduced your first food, after two days you can pick another one and follow the same steps.
NEED HELP-DON'T WANT TO GO IT ALONE?
I'm here for you. My next Optimal Mind Body group program is July 9th. Until then, I'm working with individuals one on one. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Organic Avenue (my favorite juice vendor) calls me the "Juice Fairy" and in a lot of ways I am, but I'm more of a juice zealot. For over 25 years I've been juicing veggies and preachin' the benefits of drinking greens to anyone who will listen and I'm still tweakin' recipes and discoverin' new stuff every day about the best ways to get my greens. Two green juices or smoothies are an essential part of my daily routine and my Optimal Mind Body food plan. They give me energy, loads of essential nutrients I might not otherwise get from my salads, help curb my cravings for processed food, enhance my digestion and I actually think they make me a better person or at least a nicer person to be around. My saying is "two juices a day keep the doctor, the need to diet and the depression away."
Thanks to friends and juice pioneers like Doug Evans, Jill Pettijohn and Joe Cross, this country's in the midst of a juice revolution. Now we can find (or have delivered to our door) fresh green organic juices in more places than imaginable-even at Starbucks.
Unfortunately most (more than half) of the juices or smoothies you'll find in stores or that we make are surprisingly high in sugar. While the sugar found in fruit is not bad, too much sugar, even fructose, the sugar found in fruit, raises your insulin levels and leave us wanting and needing more sugar to feel better and more energized. Ultimately too much sugar also leads to insulin resistance which can lead to a whole host of health problems, including diabetes.
To keep calories, body fat, sugar cravings and inflammation at bay, as a standard recommendation, just as some of my fave functional medicine doctors like Dr. Mercola, I strongly advise keeping your TOTAL fructose consumption below 25 grams per day. A small apple has 15 grams of sugar, a big apple, 23 grams and there are a whopping 47.8 grams in one cup of blueberries. See below for more info on highest and lowest glycemic fruits.
This is why when it comes to drinking green juices, I suggest 80% green veggies: kale, chard, cucumber, celery, cilantro, parsley, etc. and only 20% low glycemic fruit: 1/2 avocado, as much ginger & lemon as you like and only 1/2 an apple or pear. And if you buy a juice, 12 grams of sugar or less per bottle, not per serving.
To help you decide whether to make or buy your green juices and smoothies, I've answered some of the FAQ's about the benefits of drinking your greens, the differences between pressed and other juices, the pros and cons of juicing versus blending, blender recos, etc. in a previous blog post.
HERE ARE MY FAVE WAYS TO GET THE HEALTHIEST LIQUID GREENS IN YOUR LIFE:
1. BUY THEM:
Mellow Love : 6 grams of sugar
Stand and Deliver: 4 grams of sugar.
Simple Green: 8 grams of sugar.
Essential Green: 12 grams of sugar.
Unfortunately, I could not find a low in sugar green juice at Whole Foods. I tried Suja, it was great but it had 20 grams of sugar. For juices higher than 8 grams of sugar (per juice), my suggestion is to drink 1/2 in AM & 1/2 in afternoon, to avoid a sugar rush or pour half in a water bottle and fill both with water OR get a Multigreen Kombucha which is delicious, low in sugar AND good for your digestion/gut health. Swap one green juice out for one Kombucha and do 1 of each per day if you get bored with just green juices.
The Whole Foods and Starbucks juices are bottled with a special process that allows for a longer shelf life-up to two weeks! So if spoilage is your concern, choose these:
Reach for the juice furthest back on the shelf. Those are usually the freshest. Look at the expiration date. Organic Avenue says that you can wait 1-2 days after the expiration max although to maintain the best quality, consume by the expiration before or on the expiration date.
For a great NYC Juice Roadmap check out this awesome blog by Well and Good.
2. MAKE YOUR OWN JUICES OR SMOOTHIES
It really doesn't take more than five minutes to make a delicious juice or smoothie, if you have everything you need. I'm partial to my MB Green Smoothie because all you need is a blender, it's yummy, it has avocado and fills me up.
TIPS: Keep organic frozen veggies stocked in your freezer for your juices. All Whole Foods have organic frozen kale, spinach and lots of other frozen yums, you can keep on hand to reduce the amount of waste that comes from unused fresh veggies.
3. STIR THEM INTO YOUR WATER:
I use Innate Green Powder from Mountain Health Products for when I'm traveling to a 3rd world country or other places, where it's hard to find organic green veggies. I also use it to supplement my juices back home.
IF YOU WANT TO DO YOUR OWN JUICE CLEANSE CLICK HERE FOR MY FAVE MB CLEANSE SCHEDULE. You can use an combination of store bought or homemade green juices or smoothies. But I recommend you add a vegan protein shake and a salad or soup as well.
Need more guidance, want someone to customize and guide you through your own juice cleanse or just don't want to go it alone? Schedule an appointment for a consultation.
It’s that time of year where we’re all wanting more energy, to feel lighter and more peaceful. If you can’t retreat to your favorite resort to get that revitalized feeling, create your own spa at home with my favorite ways to cleanse mind and body. These five favorites are also flu fighters and cold busters.
WATER AND LEMON first thing in the morning hydrate get your blood more alkaline and get your digestive juices flowing start your day with my new Good Mornin’ Mixture:
Don’t want to make your own… Organic Avenue now has a little shot called D that is similar but has garlic. Powerful stuff - Whew!
TIP: Make a big batch and sip throughout the day. If you can’t stand taste of Oregano, leave that part out. Keep a bottle of the Stevia in your bag or at office and put a drop or two in each of your waters throughout the day.
GOURMET TEA INSTEAD OF COFFEE Instead of that cup of Joe which can tap those adrenals - lead to more
fatigue, dehydrate and interfere with sleep , try making a yummy tea. The health properties of tea have long been known but what some people don’t know is just how
different the quality and therefore your experience can be between ok and excellent tea. While it’s chilly outside, get some good ones to have around home and office and make sippin’ on teas a part of your routine. May help keep you from snacking as well. Three of my new faves:
GREEN SMOOTHIE: While everyone knows how much I love my juice.
I definitely recco a green smoothie over juice for breakfast as it will fill you up longer and keep those afternoon sugar cravings at bay.
Here’s my smoothie recipe and instructions on how to makelink to RYB juice article. For an awesome green juice recipe from Joe Cross Director of "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" (one of my fave documentaries).
Watch the Premier Episode of The Joe Show juice segment starts/ends 9:22-11:44.
INTERVAL WORKOUT ON THE REBOUNDER
SAUNA talk about the benefits of the dry sauna, particularly the infrared
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