How does the Clean Gut Reintroduction Process work?
The Reintroduction Process is seven days long (minimum). Here’s how it works:
MON - Gluten
TUE - Gluten
WED - Gut Diet Only
THU - Gut Diet Only
FRI - Dairy
SAT - Dairy
SUN - Reflect
Step 1: Reintroduce gluten, 2 to 3 times a day for 2 days
On the first and second day of your Reintroduction week you’ll be introducing gluten into your diet. Eat gluten two to three times a day, for two days, and then notice how you feel over the next forty-eight hours. You’ll still be eating from the Gut Diet, the only difference is that you’ll be adding in gluten to see if it is one of your Toxic Triggers.
Reintroducing gluten by itself is simple. Try adding bread to your breakfast, and then some pasta for lunch or dinner. Don’t include any dairy or other excluded items yet. The goal is to isolate one excluded food at a time to determine if it is one of your Toxic Triggers. For example, a bowl of cereal with milk wouldn’t be the best choice because it includes both dairy and wheat. 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.
Step 2: Record your reactions in a journal
Use a journal to record any reactions you might have to gluten. This may include bloating, skin breakouts, foggy mind, or constipation. Not everyone will react to gluten in the same way. Some people may notice their reactions immediately. Others might notice their reactions the next day. That’s why it’s important to test gluten over the course of two days.
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? Were they as frequent and as easy to eliminate as they were during the Gut program?
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 3: Eat from the Gut Diet for two days
After you have reintroduced gluten it’s important to return to the Gut Diet. For the next two days eat three meals a day exclusively from the Gut Diet.
Taking two days to eat from the Gut Diet gives you a clean slate and sets you up for testing the next possible Toxic Trigger, dairy.
Step 4: Reintroduce dairy, 2 to 3 times a day for 2 days
For the next two days you’ll be reintroducing dairy into your diet. Eat dairy two to three times a day, for two days, and then notice how you feel over the next forty-eight hours. Once again, you’ll still be eating from the Gut Diet, the only difference is that you’ll be adding in dairy to see if it is one of your Toxic Triggers.
To reintroduce dairy try having a glass of milk in the morning and a few pieces of cheese with your lunch or evening meal. It’s important to avoid having dairy in combination with other excluded foods.
Stay away from cereal, ice cream, or baked goods. These foods contain other excluded foods like processed sugar, gluten or preservatives. If you have a reaction, you won’t know which excluded ingredient was the cause.
Step 5: Review your journal
Now that you’ve tested both gluten and dairy, it’s time to review your journal. Your goal here is to figure out whether gluten and/or dairy are Toxic Triggers for you. The way you determine this is by understanding how strong your reaction was to these foods.
Let’s review the possible reactions you may have had during the last few days.
No reaction: I had no reaction at all to the excluded food.
Examples: I felt fine; I didn’t notice any changes in mood; I felt energized and awake; I felt good.
Mild reaction: I had a noticeable reaction to the food.
Examples: 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.
Examples: 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.
Take a look at your journal. What types of reactions did you have to gluten or dairy? If you had a mild or strong reaction to one or both of these foods, chances are they are a Toxic Trigger for you. Discovering that either gluten and/or dairy are a Toxic Trigger is an amazing find. What this discovery means is that this food may have been affecting you without you knowing it. Not anymore. You’re back on top. So now what? What do you do once you’ve gotten clear on the fact that gluten or dairy is a Toxic Trigger? It’s time to create a game plan.
We can’t stress enough how important it is to identify your Toxic Triggers. It really is the foundation of living Clean for Life.
Step 6: Remove and rotate
Creating a game plan starts when you decide whether you need to Remove or Rotate your Toxic Triggers. Let’s take a look at both options.
Remove: If you had a strong negative reaction to a Toxic Trigger, this is your body telling you that it’s important to eliminate this food from your diet completely for a period of time. We know that removing a food from your diet can be challenging, but the long-term benefits outweigh the short-term gratification. Many people continue to become healthier simply by removing their key Toxic Triggers.
Rotate: If your reaction to a Toxic Trigger is mild but still noticeable, it may not be necessary to eliminate them forever. However, you will benefit greatly from reducing 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 than once a week.
Also see this article about going forward after your Gut Cleanse.