Friday, 26 January 2018

Why I Am Doing Chris Kresser's 30 Day Paleo Reset

It has been nearly two weeks since I decided to really work on curing my acne holistically. To say I feel the best I have in a while is an understatement really which has just pushed me to take it to the next level, really strip it back to basics and get to the root cause of my skin problems!

So, where am I at after 2 weeks? 

I've taken myself off the contraceptive pill. This might seem really strange because it does make my skin slightly better than when I'm off it but I just feel like a complete phoney if I'm working so hard at putting the right things into my body and then pumping fake hormones in at the same time. Chris Kresser has a great way of describing natural medicine compared to the medicine from a traditional Doctor.

He says that if you had a stone in your shoe, a traditional Doctor would often prescribe you with painkillers to stop you feeling it but he would aim to remove the stone from your shoe (hence, find out exactly what is causing the problem and cure it). My skin most probably will get worse before it gets better when coming off the pill as it usually does but I would much rather that happen and then work at curing the route of the issue than just mask it short term.

What have I been eating?

I've generally got into the habit of having yoghurt, banana, chia seeds, flaxseed, organic desiccated coconut, cinnamon, ginger and pure maple syrup. It's very yummy and it's keeping me full for a long period of time so I've been quite happy eating it. I did start off with smoothies but I just wasn't full enough and by the time lunch came around I was ravenous!

For lunch, I tend to have a salad or pea pasta (you can literally buy pasta made of only peas in Waitrose) or some form of rice noodles and veg. To be honest, I just shove a load of veggies together for lunch and I really enjoy it.

Tea hasn't been too dissimilar to before. I've been having some sort of meat or fish and having it with vegetables, rice or rice noodles. Pretty simple but very tasty. I'm really into taking meals that I liked before (ones that may have gluten or sugar in them etc) and working to find paleo alternatives that are usually better in my opinion!

That leads me on to my paleo baking which I have been really enjoying. It takes a bit of time to get used to baking with paleo ingredients. For example, I've made a few really stodgy cakes because you need the smallest amount of coconut flour and a couple of my coconut milk buttercream creations have gone lumpy.

On a positive note, I've completely nailed two of my favourite sweet treats - millionaire's shortbread and carrot cake! What's really mad is that people that can tolerate gluten and sugar and 'normal' baking love my paleo versions and can barely taste the difference! I'm going to publish all of my recipes to this blog (when I get the time) and work on building up lots more of my favourites paleo style!

Have I been exercising?

I've actually started running (I really hated it before). I've been going with a group in my local town and it's so motivating and nice because everyone is so lovely and supportive. I can feel my stamina for steady, long distance running (well, long distance for me) building and I'm actually really starting to enjoy it!

I'm also really looking forward to re-introducing some HIIT style workouts next week as I really used to enjoy them! I've also really been working on just getting active in general and doing fun activities that don't feel like you're working your body because it's just enjoyable and not structured. Tom and I went to a trampoline park last weekend and this weekend we're going to a climbing wall. They're really great ways to get active and just feel like you're having fun!

So, what is the 30 Day Paleo Reset?

Let's get to the title of this post. I am going to start Chris Kresser's '30 Day Paleo Reset'. This is a form of elimination diet where I will be basically be eating very strict paleo for 30 days. It's meant to cure any inflammation and basically 'reset' your body ready for when you want to introduce new paleo foods like dairy, dark chocolate and alcohol (THANK GOD).

After I've completed the first 30 days, I plan on using Chris's book 'Your Personal Paleo Code' to guide me through introducing new foods and seeing what works and what doesn't work for my body.

It works in 3 phases. Phase 1 is the 30 day reset and phase 2 and 3 are slowly introducing new foods to see what your body likes and doesn't like.

Here is a list of foods I can and can't eat on the 30 Day Paleo Reset (thanks to Rubies & Radishes for the list):

Eat Liberally:
  • Meat and Poultry – organic and free-range is preferable
  • Organ meats (especially liver)
  • Bone-broth soups
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Starchy plants – yams, sweet potatoes, tapioca, yuca, taro, lotus root, plantains and breadfruit
  • Nonstarchy vegetables
  • Fermented vegetables and fruits
  • Traditional fats – ghee, coconut oil, red palm oil, palm kernel oil, macadamia oil, lard (rendered from free-range pigs if possible), duck fat, beef tallow (from free-range cows if possible) and olive oil (preferably extra virgin)
  • Olives, avocados, and coconuts (including coconut milk)
  • Sea salt and spices
 Eat in Moderation:
  • Processed meat- sausage, bacon, salami, etc. Make sure they are gluten, sugar and soy-free. Organic/free-range/grass-fed is preferable. Two to four servings a week is fine.
  • Whole fruit – up to four servings per day, depending on your blood sugar balance and type of fruit. Choose a wide variety of colours. All fruit is permitted but favour low sugar fruits.
  • Nuts and seeds – limit yourself to a handful per day.
  • Green beans, sugar peas, and snap peas – Though technically legumes, they are usually well tolerated. 4 -6 servings per a week are allowed.
  • Coffee and black tea – limit to 1 8 ounce cup a day.
  • Vinegar – may be used in small amounts every day as part of a salad dressing or sauce.
Avoid Completely:
  • Dairy – including butter, cheese, yoghurt, milk, etc. Ghee is permitted because it contains only trace amounts of dairy proteins and lactose.
  • Grains -including wheat, rice, oats, pseudo grains and nongluten grains like sorghum, quinoa, buckwheat and so on.
  • Legumes – including beans of all kinds (soy, black, pinto, etc.)
  • Sweeteners, real and artificial – including paleo friendly sweeteners, such as honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, etc.
  • Chocolate – including dark chocolate. Although dark chocolate is a nutrient-dense food, many people who are intolerant of gluten are (unfortunately!) also intolerant of proteins in chocolate. Don’t worry! You can reintroduce it in Step 2.
  • Processed or refined foods
  • Industrial seed and vegetable oils – Soybean, corn, safflower, sunflower, rapeseed, peanut, cottonseed, canola, etc
  • Sodas, including diet sodas and fruit juice – Coconut water is fine, but limit yourself to half a cup a day. Plain soda water or mineral water is fine.
  • Alcohol – In any form
  • Processed sauces and seasonings
 After my first week, I'm going to post what I ate that week as a sort of meal plan/inspiration for anyone else who is interested in trying it so keep your eyes peeled if you fancy 'resetting' your body and getting it healthy and thriving again!

I'd also really recommend reading Chris Kresser's articles if you are suffering from acne, like me, or any skin issues, weight problems, fertility problems, stress problems (honestly the list is endless)!

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