The mindful eating reset diet - video 1 taking things back to basics and energy or prana in natural vs processed food,
Reset recommended foods chart explanation
Why I advise removing certain foods from your diet during your reset
It is important for the reset that you understand why some foods are less healthy and have a heavier energy than others and why I recommend avoiding eating them as often.
Please read the information below to gain understanding why it may be best to avoid some foods during your reset.
I will also be suggesting some alternatives to replace them with. Focus on all the nourishing foods you get to add into your diet rather than on the things your going to be avoiding!
Remember there are no 'BAD' foods ... you are not depriving yourself. You have all foods available to you. You are simply making informed choices to eat foods that make your physical body feel good and that nourishes your soul rather than foods that make you feel sluggish and tired.
Dairy products have been thought of as a healthy addition to the modern diet for hundreds of years. Unfortunately, the way dairy products are produced today is completely different to just 50 years ago and the vast array of products means they are consumed too often and in a processed form that makes them unhealthy for our bodies.
Many dairy farms give high levels of antibiotics, hormones and other drugs to their animals which can be passed onto us through the milk and the pasteurisation methods and other production methods used removes much of the beneficial part of the milk including some enzymes and probiotic bacteria.
Non-organic cows milk contains contains insulin-like growth factor-1(IGF-1) one of the most powerful promoters of cancer ever discovered! To top this off many dairy products like yogurt then have high amounts of added sugars and flavors.
Eating a lot of dairy can be inflammatory for our bodies so it is best avoided for those with inflammatory or autoimmune conditions such as arthritis or autoimmune hypothyroid (Hashimotos), ulcerative colitis and a vast array of other medical conditions.
Dairy can cause excess mucous to be produced so those with sinus or chest problems or other respiratory conditions may benefit from reducing dairy.
The hormones we may receive through the milk can also interfere with our own hormone cycles and the inflammation caused in many cases can also have an effect here. If you have any problems with your menstrual cycle it is worth considering reducing or removing dairy from your diet.
If you are lucky enough not to be intolerant to dairy (you can be intolerant either to the milk protein or to the lactose which is the sugar) and you want to include it in your diet, remember to go for only the best quality products. Organic butter and ghee are a good source of nutrients and if you can source raw unpasteurised diary products or at least organic products then these are nutritionally better and are beneficial additions to the diet for some. Goat and sheep milk products are also an option for some, they are easier to digest and the animals are often kept under better conditions. For the purposes of the reset however I advise that you avoid all dairy other than organic ghee and butter which contain less of the milk proteins and sugars that for the duration.
After the recommended 4 weeks you can test how your body reacts to eating other organic dairy products to see if they are right for you such as cheese, goats cheese and yogurt. Remember to use your 'How am I feeling' technique to help you. Your body can also change and heal over time so even if dairy isn't right for now now it doesn't mean that you can't test it again a few months later.
For those of us who feel better without dairy don’t panic, there are more alternatives today than ever before, including dairy free milks, yogurts and ice cream and even chocolate! Be aware that if you decide to remove dairy from your diet you must also pay attention to added milk products in baked goods and other processed foods.
There are so many different milks available and they are all different tasting. It is worth trying a few different ones to see what suits your taste best.
When choosing a milk:
Try to use a dairy free milk with only natural ingredients if possible
Avoid soy milk, go for almond, coconut or hemp milks instead.
Check for added sugar.
Here are some of my favourite brands of other alternative products to try:
Milk (this one is great in coffee and smoothies)
Milk - mild taste great for most uses
2) Gluten Grains
Grains have long been a big part of the traditional human diet. Since we were able to grow grains as crops we have made them into bread and other products. Today however grains are often overused, over processed, improperly prepared and genetically modified. For this reason many people struggle to digest them efficiently.
Gluten is a protein found in some grains including wheat, spelt, rye and kamut. Gluten can be a problem for some people causing digestive distress and damage to the small intestine. Gluten grains are found in most bread, cakes, pastries, pasta, biscuits, couscous, ready meals and many sauces and other prepacked foods.
A lot of people are sensitive to gluten even if they are not Coeliac. I recommend that all my clients aim to reduce gluten grains in their diet if they are eating them daily. Even if you are able to eat gluten with no consequences, these grains when highly processed, contain very little nutrients.
I recommend avoiding gluten grains for your reset to give your body a rest and enable you to understand how your body reacts to them.
After your reset you can try adding gluten grains back into your diet and see how your body reacts to them. Often better quality and less processed gluten products such as fresh organic sourdough bread are well tolerated when reintroduced and can make a healthy addition to the diet. Home cooked bread and cake products are also a better choice as they don't have added sugars, vegetable fats and preservatives. The other added ingredients, preservatives and high level of processing is just as much of a problem if not more for many peoples tummies.
Don't fall into the trap of just heading to the free from section in the supermarket and pick up every gluten free product on the shelf! These products are designed for people with Coeliac disease and are not a healthier alternative in most cases. If you know you are sensitive to gluten then yes using these products on occasion is ok, however I do not recommend including them in your diet daily. They are often full of added thickeners, sugars and binders that are not going to make you feel good. Instead choose mostly naturally gluten free alternatives such as rice and oats for the majority of meals. See the links below for some other good alternatives.
I really like this company who also make bread which is suitable for use during your reset.
https://www.artisanbread-abo.com/…/gluten-free-organic-brea… by far one of the best quality and healthiest gluten free bread alternatives I have found. They are a little pricey but eat in moderation and they are so worth it
3) Beans, nuts and legumes
Although natural foods I am mentioning these because they are difficult for the body to digest and should be used in moderation if you experience digestive difficulties and symptoms.
Beans and legumes are all forms of plant seeds that are found in pods such as peas, chickpeas, fava beans, black eyed peas and peanuts (the list is much longer!). Legumes can be really useful source of fibre and protein in your diet. However there are a few things to be aware of.
They all contain high levels of lectins which are a substance produced by the plants as a defence mechanism against being eating. They can interfere with how we absorb other nutrients like vitamins and minerals through the gut. They also resist being digested by the enzymes in our gut which can cause digestive discomfort. Soaking legumes overnight can help to reduce these compounds as can sprouting your legumes which makes them more digestible and increases the nutrient content.
They can still be quite difficult to digest and can cause digestive symptoms for some. For this reason it's best to start your reset including minimal amounts of legumes and always ensure they are soaked.
For most people nuts can be a useful addition to the diet as they provide insoluble fiber as well as healthy fats (particularly
macadamia nuts). They can be helpful for vegetarians and vegans these can be important sources of protein and other nutrients.
Any problems with nuts usually happen when they are overused, I like to think of them more as a condiment for example a few nuts as a topping or a little nut butter in a smoothie. Avoid eating them several times a day or in large quantities and go for natural raw versions rather baked or salted.
Nuts can be great as additions to breakfast such as a little almond butter https://www.ocado.com/…/Meridian-Organic-Smooth-…/407473011…
or try buying activated nuts like these https://www.ocado.com/…/Linwoods-Active-Organic-…/398007011…
Remember variety and diversity is key so vary the types of beans, nuts and legumes you eat.
During your reset I advise keeping consumption of beans and legumes to no more than 2 small servings daily. Add them into your diet slowly and if you experience gas note this down. Try a smaller amount next time or try a different type. Some people who suffer from gas and bloating regularly may have to restrict these foods for longer than the the reset programme.
Try to soak overnight before use. This will help to make them more digestible and reduce the substances that they contain which can reduce the amount of nutrients absorbed.
Use nuts in small quantities and monitor how your body deals with them and stick to raw rather than roasted.
4) Fats and Oils
Not all fat is created equal. Over the years fat has received a lot of bad press and in some cases rightly so, many of the fats in our food today are highly processed unnatural fats that can cause inflammation within the body and are best avoided. These are usually the fats we find in margarine, vegetable oils such as sunflower oil and in many processed foods. It is mainly the manufacturing and alteration of oils that can make them so dangerous. Words such as hydrogenated spring to mind here!
However the myth that we should reduce all fat is not true. Our bodies needs fat to make the outer layer of every cell in our bodies. This layer is called the phospholipid bilayer. If we don't have enough of the right fats in our diet these walls can become rigid and stop our cells from being able to carry out their functions effectively. Rigid cell walls also can't release toxins as easily leading to a build up of toxins within the cells.
When heating and cooking with oils we should be very careful to select oils that are stable and do not change in structure when heated. The safest oils to cook with are coconut oil, butter or ghee and avocado oil. You should never use vegetable oils, flax oil or other nut or seed oils for cooking particularly frying. Olive oil is ok if only heating to low temperatures such as a slow cooker or slow roasting.
For using cold in dressings, drizzles and smoothies you can use a wider range of oils and you should vary them if possible.
- Virgin Olive Oil
- Cold pressed nut and seed oils such as sesame oil, walnut oil etc.
- Avocado oil
- Flax oil
Most of these oils are available from good supermarkets and health stores.
Here is my recommend stockist for flax or linseed oil https://thelinseedfarm.co.uk/ this is great to use in smoothies, particularly if you suffer with constipation or slow bowel movements.
This is also a great mix of cold pressed oils which can be used in smoothies and on salads https://naturaldispensary.co.uk/products/Ultimate_Oil_Blend_Organic_250ml-6330-0.html
1) Buy coconut oil, ghee or avocado oil to use for cooking.
2) Buy a few other high quality cold pressed oils to use on salads and in smoothies, store these in the fridge.
3) Throw out any margarine, vegetable or processed oils.
5) Sugar and artificial sweeteners
We all know that sugar is bad for us, nobody thinks that going out and eating a load of sweets is going to make them healthier. However many people are eating far more sugar than they should without even realising it. It is carefully hidden in all sorts of shop bought products and some innocent looking foods are totally laden with both sugar and artificial sweeteners.
Sugar is the most common reason for weight gain - not fat as we are led to believe. Of course some fats are better for us than others (please read the fats and oils section to find out more about this) but sugar is usually the worst offender when it comes to weight gain particularly for women. Eating sugar causes a rapid increase in blood sugar and the release of the hormone insulin which is responsible for moving excess sugar in the blood into the cells for use as energy. Any that isn't used is stored as fat. This is one reason that sometimes we may fail to loose weight on a low fat or calorie controlled diet.
Another side effect of our blood sugars rising rapidly is that they then start to fall again quickly. Our body is super efficient at moving the sugar into our cells and often releases more insulin than is needed to do the job when we consume more sugar then we need. This causes the blood sugar to drop sharply leaving less sugar available for energy. The side effects of this is feelings of tiredness and hunger, cravings and lethargy. Que reaching for the biscuits at 11am....and 3pm....
Refined sugar is added to most commercially packaged goods including yogurts, snacks, cereals and even ham and bacon! If possible avoid buying packaged foods and cook your meals yourself as much as possible. Even foods marketed as 'health' foods like smoothies and juices can be exceptionally high in sugar, I advise only consuming freshly squeezed juices and homemade smoothies (see recipe booklet for smoothie ideas).
During your reset I advise avoiding refined sugars including ordinary table sugar, corn syrup, glucose syrup, fructose and maltodextrin which are commonly added to packaged foods. You can replace refined sugar in your cooking at home with natural sugars such as honey or a high quality organic maple syrup.
Fruit is high in natural sugars but as this is accompanied by fiber, the release of sugar into the blood is slower. Even so it is advisable to limit your intake of fruit to 3 portions daily and preferably lower sugar fruits such as berries.
Starchy foods like bread, rice, sweet potato, potatoes, grains and other root vegetables also convert to sugar relatively quickly. Include a smaller portion on your plate. You can add more lower starch vegetables like green vegetables instead. These lower starch vegetables will provide your body with the carbohydrate it needs for energy but with a slower and more steady release which will help you to prevent a spike in blood sugars. In addition they are also higher in fibre which will improve the quality of your bowel movements and feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut.
Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame should be avoided altogether. They can alter gut barrier function(the passage of nutrients from the gut into the blood stream) and effect your good gut bacteria.
Multiple clinical studies have shown many health risks associated with the consumption of artificial sweeteners and they also cause digestive disturbances in many individuals. There is little evidence that consuming artificial sweeteners in replacement of sugar helps with weight loss. In fact in many studies the opposite has been shown, with the consumption of artificial sweeteners confusing the bodies hunger and satiety hormones causing you to crave sugar and essentially consume more calories overall. You can try stevia as a low sugar alternative, this is a more natural and safe sweetener, which is safe in moderation.
Since the increase in sugar tax we are now given artificial sweeteners as standard for example in fizzy drinks. Please ask for the non sugar free versions if you are going to consume these foods as the artificial sugars are even more damaging than sugar.
KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER:
1) Remember to check packet labels for sugar content and artificial sweeteners. Try to cook from scratch whenever possible.
2) Purchase alternative healthy sweeteners such raw honey, organic maple syrup or stevia for occasional use in home baking or sweetening drinks.
3) Don't overdo your consumption of fruit.