You’ve made it! You followed the Clean Program for 21 full days and you are feeling amazing. Congratulations! Chances are you want to keep this energized, light and healthy feeling as long as possible. One of the keys to achieving this is by staying away from your unique sensitivities to keep inflammation at bay, your digestive system at it’s best, and your immune system strong.
While there are common food sensitivities that cause inflammation, irritation, and digestive upset in the majority of people, it is important for you to find which ones really offend you, and which ones don’t. Remember, these are things like gluten, dairy, soy, corn, alcohol, caffeine, sugar, peanuts, eggs, nightshades, citrus, bananas, strawberries, artificial sweeteners and processed foods.
So how do we identify our personal sensitivities or allergies? On day 22, pick just one thing you eliminated — like gluten, or dairy, or eggs — and eat it. See how you feel over the next 48 hours. If you have no reaction after two days, eat that same food again, and for a second time, notice how you feel. Now you can identify what truly makes you feel good. Use a journal to record any reactions you might have. This may include bloating, skin breakouts, a foggy mind, or constipation. Once you’ve come to a final decision on the first food you reintroduce, pick another one and follow the same steps.
Once you have completed this process, follow these steps to keep feeling your best ever:
Get the Maintenance Kit
This is one of the easiest things that we can do to keep our good health intact. The Maintenance Kit includes the Daily Shake, Vitamin D3, EPA-DHA, and Probiotics. The Daily Shake is one of the simplest ways to get easily-digestible, powerful nutrition into our diets. Whether we have it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, the daily shake helps fuel our bodies with the energy and nutrients they need. It’s also so incredibly easy to do consistently. The included supplements help optimize our health and cover any nutrient deficiencies we have. Probiotics breeds good bacteria in the gut, which helps with our digestion, mental clarity, immune system and encourages proper nutrient absorption.
The Twelve-Hour Window allows the body to clean house during the night. The body sends the signal to go into deep detox mode approximately eight hours after your last meal. Then the body needs another four hours to do a deep clean. Whether you’ve done the Clean Program or not, this is a simple habit you can easily incorporate into your daily life. Your digestive system will thank you (also expect to sleep better!).
Drastically Reduce the BIG triggers
We call sugar, caffeine, and alcohol “the big three” because they are often the trickiest foods to get under control. Removing them all at once helps us see how these foods are actually affecting us and gives us a few weeks to learn how to live without them. These foods tax our adrenals, mess with our blood sugar levels, promote fat storing and increase inflammation. We’ve put in hard work to break the dependency that we have with these foods, so don’t jump back into old habits. Make sure to reduce these foods in addition to steering clear of your determined unique sensitivities.
Keep up with Quality
Eating quality food is one of the most important actions we can make long term for our health. We are what we eat, right? While it’s not necessary to follow the Clean Program food guidelines forever, it is a solid base to start from and go back to whenever you are feeling off. Choose whole, nutrient-dense foods that are organic and local whenever possible. You probably realized while on the program that the produce section and outer aisles of the grocery store are the best places to find quality fuel. Keep your shopping here. The inner aisles are filled with preservative-filled, man-made products in boxes, not the vibrant food we want in our systems.
Keep the Awareness
We often eat because we are bored, angry, annoyed, or feeling off, not because we are hungry. Over time, we numb our feelings with food. When we do the Clean Program, we get a chance to remove these foods and work through our emotional eating. This is deep, spiritual and emotional work that you have done. Breaking bad habits and/or food addiction can be incredibly difficult. Don’t throw this work away!
The 21 Day Program
The 21-day Clean Program is a powerful health reset button. Now that you have done it and experienced the positive effects, know that this is a powerful tool that you have in your toolbox. Feel free to do this once or twice a year, as you need it. We all do our best to keep our good health intact, but sometimes life just gets in the way – tons of traveling for work, the loss of a loved one, a new project, etc. The 21-day program is the perfect tool to get your physical health and mental strength back on track.
There is no need to be a purist for the rest of your life, it’s unrealistic to think that we can live the rest of our lives without ever touching these foods again. Life should be lived and enjoyed, including attending birthday parties, trying the cuisine in new countries, and having a friend’s night out with wine if we so choose. Have these foods and enjoy them – there’s nothing worse for our health than guilt. What’s most important is that we notice the strong connection between what we eat and how we feel. Congratulate yourself for making it through these 21 days, and feel confident that you know how to take on the many days ahead.
Written by Hannah Aylward