Reintroducing “suspect” foods, and Food Freedom 3-Step Plan

If you’ve been following me on Facebook, or Instagram you know I’ve been leading a group of people through the Whole30.  This is a 30-day elimination program to decrease inflammation and identify which foods may be triggering your symptoms.  I started the Whole30 at the end of February and through the month of March.  I’m now in the reintroduction stage, and I’ve chosen to do the Slow Roll Reintroduction of foods.  Essentially this is adding one suspect food over a couple of days, and tracking my symptoms.  Then continuing to eat Whole30-ish for several days before adding in any other food.

The first thing I personally tested was corn–this is the food that I wanted to determine IF this would be a Yes Food, a No Food, or a Sometimes Food… I already know that there are many foods that I will not choose to reintroduce.  For me those No Foods are Gluten, Soy, and Nightshades.  It turns out that corn and dairy, and alcohol are Sometimes Foods.  These I can consume, on occasion, in a limited quantity, and over a short duration.  For example it is ok for me to have a Gluten Free Pizza, eat it for dinner, and for lunch the next day. In this instance, this includes dairy, and non gluten grains or legume flours in the crust.  Eating Sometimes Foods doesn’t through me into a big inflammatory response.  One caveat is that alcohol always gives me a headache, so I always ask myself–“Is it Worth it?”  One margarita makes the cut on occasion… but is always followed by a headache (my hangover, usually by 9pm), and I tend to have restless sleep and wake with the headache as well… not “worth it” on a regular basis!

In Melissa Hartwig Urban’s book Food Freedom Forever, she outlines her 3 step Food Freedom Plan:

  1. Reset your Health Habits and Relationship with Food (the best strategy for this is to do the the Whole30, 30 day reset).
  2. Enjoy Your Food Freedom (choose what you want to eat, and when).
  3. Acknowledge when you are starting to slip (the tricky part) and repeat.

I appreciate this framework.  There is no judgment in it.  You are in the driver seat–every turn of the road.  The challenge is learning to identify suspect foods, especially when we really LOVE one of them, and want to include them in our regular way of eating.  Melissa’s favorite question to pass to yourself:  “Is it Worth it?”  Sometimes it is.  Sometimes it is not. The answer is different for everyone.

The foods on my No List (are always a No Thank You).  I have learned through enough trial and error that it is Never Worth it for these foods.  I dance around the edges of other foods (and drinks with friends), trying them on occasion, and in moderation, and that is Food Freedom.  I’m and adult, I get to choose–IF it is worth it.  It may be worth it to celebrate an event with a few bites of cake, and a glass of wine… or you may prefer to find other ways to celebrate that don’t trigger your symptoms, and through you into an inflammatory cascade.

If you have done the Whole30, or some kind of elimination and reintroduction and you still have questions, feel free to comment below.  I’m always interested in sharing stories, challenges, and successes!

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