As we start this very busy and for many of us celebratory weekend- here are a couple of more things to think about for the start of the program next week. Now that you have identified all the sources of sugar in your life, the next to go for next week is yet another form of sugar- the starchy carbohydrates. These are the breads, cereals, rolls, cakes, cookies that are mostly processed and very easily converted to sugar once eaten. Especially when they are made of refined, processed white flours! You don't need to say goodbye to breads and other grains forever - except for these white, highly processed ones, but for this first month we will be cutting these out. In addition, white rice and white potatoes are in the "out" category for now. The removal of the breads, etc and most grain products will greatly reduce the gluten load in the diet. Now- most of us are not truly gluten sensitive - but for this period it will be worthwhile seeing how you feel without it!
And- one other thing - alcohol. This is something else that will be added back- especially in the form of red wine- up to a glass (5-6 oz)/day - but for now it will be helpful to try for a month without it at all! So everyone please enjoy your holidays - whatever you celebrate- and look toward next week!
This is going to be a pretty busy week- for just about all of us. Good Friday and Passover are next Friday, Easter Sunday follows on April 1. And our Spring Cleaning starts one week from today on Monday April 2. No worries if you can't really start that day- feel free to jump in at any time! During this week I will be posting things to start thinking about to get ready for the next weeks- the main foods to avoid and the main ones that will become a large part of our diets for a few weeks! The types of foods to think about eliminating entirely are foods that promote gut dysbiosis, blood sugar swings, and general inflammation. One of the main culprits is sugar- in all its varied forms. Although sugar in and of itself is not bad- it has become so very prevalent in our current diet that the average American consumes on average 150 pounds of sugar each year! Yikes- that is a LOT of sugar- and this is not just the teaspoon of sugar added to coffee but in the amount of added sugars to so many processed foods. When you read labels of a wide array of processed foods it may surprise you to count the numbers sugars in different forms- from cane sugar, to evaporated cane sugar, brown rice syrup, and on and on. And then of course there are the artificial sweeteners- not sugar but as food for our unhealthy bacteria they are a virtual feast! All this excess sugar contributes to blood sugar swings and can lead to insulin resistance, prediabetes, metabolic syndrome and nonalcoholic fatty liver. Think about your current diet- look through your cupboards- read your labels and plan to get these foods out of your life for these uupcoming weeks!
It may be hard to imagine- but we all have trillions of microorganisms that live within us - in our digestive systems- mostly in our intestines- comprising a genuine "garden of life". These microorganisms make up the Gut Microbiome, a complex and varied community that function in many ways to interact with our metabolism, our mood, our immunity. These various microorganisms- all with very long names- are nourished by what "foods" we deliver to them as byproducts of the food we eat. Just as with any garden- proper nourishment results in a healthy garden- and this promotes our health. However, poor nourishment and "neglect" compromises the healthy balance and just as in any garden, the negative flora or "weeds" can dominate and have very negative effects on our health. Such gut dysbiosis results in obvious problems of gas, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, but also can also contribute to obesity, metabolic syndrome, non-alcoholic fatty liver, as well chronic fatigue syndrome, and depression. Pretty amazing, right?
Recently I have been thinking more and more about how an unhealthy gut microbiome might be affecting a wide array of conditions I have been seeing in people I work with. And although this is no "magic bullet" - there is good reason to believe that resetting from a lifetime of gut imbalance could be a key!
I'm inspired by all the research studies I have been reading in this field, as well as by a recent book on the subject: Gut Balance Revolution by Gerard E. Mullen, MD. It is now available in paperback I think worth a read and re-read. And I am inspired to start this Spring Clean Your Gut 4 week program- starting Monday April 2!!! During these upcoming 4 weeks - we will flush out our existing microbiome - gain energy and lose weight- and get ready to replant for a healthy balance!!
Follow this page for more information and meal plans/recipes!!
What do you think? Post a comment and let me know if you are in- and have any questions!