The Reintroduction Process
Reintroduce Gluten and Dairy over 7 days while staying on the Cleanse Diet
The Reintroduction process is the last stage of the Clean Cleanse. The purpose of the process is to identify your Toxic Triggers. Toxic Triggers are those foods that cause inflammation, irritation, and digestive upset. Most likely, you were consuming some Toxic Triggers before starting the cleanse without realizing it.
One of the key reasons you feel better on the Cleanse is because you’ve removed the most common Toxic Triggers, and given your digestive and immune systems a reset.
Now, the goal is to discover your specific Toxic Triggers by following a seven-day testing period. If you simply go back to your normal diet immediately after the Cleanse, without knowing what your Toxic Triggers are, you may feel “off” and not know why.
Let’s take a moment to understand what a Toxic Trigger is.
Toxic Triggers are foods that often taste great but leave you feeling terrible. They can cause mood swings, digestive upset, bloating and fatigue. Toxic Triggers will undoubtedly improve your health and prevent your mood, weight and energy from yo-yoing up and down. During your Reintroduction process you will focus on the two most common Toxic Triggers, gluten and dairy.
STEP 1: Test
Introduce one food from the Elimination Diet’s “exclude” list into your daily meals. Start with the food you miss the most. For instance, if you really miss dairy, have some milk for breakfast or some cheese with your mid-day meal. Avoid mixing two or more excluded foods. For example, a bowl of cereal wouldn’t be the best choice because it includes both dairy and wheat. The goal here is to isolate one excluded food at a time to determine if it is one of your Toxic Triggers. If you have cereal in the morning and notice that it doesn’t sit well with you, it won’t be clear whether it was the dairy or the wheat that was the Toxic Trigger.
Once you’ve chosen your first excluded food and introduced it into your diet, notice what happens over the next twenty-four hours. Sometimes the effects of an excluded food don’t show up right away. This is why it’s important to notice how your body responds over a twenty-four hour period. The following questions will help guide you:
• Right after: Does anything happen shortly after eating it, such as a runny nose or mucus in the throat (typical of milk), or fatigue, bloating, or a headache (typical of wheat)?
• Energy: How are your energy levels? A bowl of wheat pasta at night, for example, may make you feel very tired immediately after eating it or upon waking the next morning.
• Bowels: How are your bowel movements the next day? As frequent and as easy to eliminate as they were during the Cleanse?
• Sleep: Did you sleep poorly? Did you have intense dreams or nightmares? Did you wake up in the middle of the night?
• Emotions: How do you feel emotionally the next day? Are you angry, moody or irritable?
STEP 2: Retest
Sometimes the effect of an excluded food on your body is very apparent. Let’s say your first excluded food is dairy. You might notice within a few hours of drinking a glass of milk that your nose is a little stuffy, or you might notice no reaction. Whether you have a reaction or not, testing an excluded food once is not enough. To be sure that your results are accurate, it is important to retest.
You can retest an excluded food by simply following the same guidelines as your initial test. Take the same food and have it again the next day without combining it with any other excluded foods. Using dairy as an example, simply have dairy again the following day and notice how you feel for the next twenty-four hours.
Test & Retest Example Calendar
|Test food 1||Retest 1||Eat Clean Foods||Test Food 2|| Retest 2
|| Eat Clean Foods
||Reflect on reactions to foods 1 and 2|
Step 3: Identify
The next step in the Reintroduction process is to identify your excluded food reaction. Which one of these statements best describes your reaction?
No reaction: I had no reaction at all to the excluded food.
Example: I felt fine. I didn’t notice any changes in mood. I felt energized and awake. Overall, I felt good.
Mild reaction: I had a noticeable reaction to the food.
Example: I felt bloated and gassy. I felt tired. I felt dehydrated. I felt itchy. I felt uncomfortable. My sleep was off. I felt foggy.
Strong reaction: I had a strong negative reaction to the food.
Example: I felt sick. I developed a lot of mucus. I had a strong headache. I became flushed. I became very constipated. I developed a rash. I had trouble sleeping. I felt cold or flu-like symptoms. I developed diarrhea. I became very angry or upset.
Step 4: Eliminate or Rotate
If you’ve identified an excluded food as a Toxic Trigger, you now have two options: Eliminate or Rotate.
Eliminate: If you had a strong negative reaction to an excluded food, your body is trying to tell you that this food is currently a Toxic Trigger. It is important to remove these foods from your diet completely or minimize them greatly. We know that removing a favorite food from your diet can be challenging, but the long-term benefits outweigh short-term gratification. Many people have completed the Clean Program and dramatically improved their health by simply removing their key Toxic Triggers.
Rotate: If your reaction to the foods you test is mild but still noticeable, it may not be necessary to eliminate them forever. However, you will benefit greatly from reducing the of your frequency of exposure to these foods. Rotate your choice of foods in such a way that you don’t eat the irritating ones more often than once a week.
Our team of Wellness Coaches are here to help you determine your Toxic Triggers and support you practically and emotionally in the process of removing them. You can book an appointment with a Wellness Coach online to discuss your specific Reintroduction process.
NOTE: The most common toxic triggers are dairy (and by products), eggs, wheat (gluten), industrially-farmed meat, soy products, corn, and processed sugar.
This process of investigating your Toxic Triggers may sound complicated at first. It’s not. It just takes a little commitment. Your opportunity to maintain the benefits you accomplished during the program and avoid returning to old symptoms is unlimited.
There is no need to be a purist for the rest of your life if you enjoy wine, beer, cheesecake, or chocolate. Have them and enjoy them, bringing your awareness fully to the present moment with each bite or sip. There’s nothing worse for digestion than guilt. What’s most important is that you notice the strong connection between what you eat and how you feel. Take your time to explore this process. Your relationship with food wasn’t created overnight, and it won’t be reset overnight either.
There are thousands of theories about diet, lifestyle, and stress management. On top of that, it seems everyone has their own opinion on how you should live and what you should eat. But, nothing is more real than your first-hand experience. Completing the Reintroduction process empowers you to listen to your own body and make your own decisions about which foods work best for you.