Let’s face it, our grains are not your grandmother’s grains. Our grains are highly processed, nutritionally void, and chock full of gluten (one reason why diagnosed gluten intolerances and issues are on the rise).
Grains have always been hard on our gastrointestinal system, causing bloating, diarrhea, constipation, weight gain, skin issues, etc., depending upon the person. Many of today’s grains are highly processed, usually contain a lot of gluten and lack nutrition.
Most people can understand when you turn down a doughnut, but sometimes we will like we've become 'one of those people' when we ask for your burger to be wrapped in lettuce instead of a whole wheat bun. In order to give you the proper tools and understanding of the "WHY" wheat and grains are not allowed during the Challenge and not recommended in general, here is a simple run down. Next time the conversation comes up you will be prepared to enlighten others.
A very large percentage of people in our practice have some type of issue with gluten, such as inflammation and intolerance. Inflammation caused by grain intake is not conducive to weight loss and can ultimately lead to illness and disease. That is why grains don’t fly in this challenge, and really should not be something you be eating once the challenge is over. Helpful grain substitutes are Almond Flour, Almond Meal and Coconut Flour (see the Is a Food Legal section for more information).
A byproduct of highly processed grains is a high carbohydrate load and ultimately fat storage as it breaks down into sugar. Speaking of sugar, it is another big category that is off limits in this challenge (and in life after the challenge). High carbohydrate and sugar intake can lead to obesity and diabetes, two of the biggest medical issues facing our society.
So what should we eat? For this challenge, we recommend a steady mix of lean meats/grass-fed meats, veggies and healthy fats, with a mix of nuts in moderation. Fresh fruit is also beneficial, but be careful on over-consumption due to the sugar content found in most fruits. Because many people today have sensitivities to dairy products (even if you are not even aware), we suggest avoiding dairy intake for the challenge (it can be re-introduced after the challenge if your body lets you know that it is not sensitive to dairy).
The key is learning what you can and cannot tolerate. Over time, we have become so used to eating certain foods that we are no longer consciously aware that we are intolerant to these foods. They still have negative effects on our bodies (weight gain, bloating, irregular bowel issues, etc.), but we are simply used to it. Use this challenge as an opportunity to avoid certain foods (such as grains, dairy and legumes). After the challenge, slowly attempt to incorporate certain foods back into your diet and monitor how you feel – i.e. did they cause GI issues, did they cause bloating, did they make you feel different, etc.