FAQs about foods on the challenge
Thank you for all the emails and questions. I’ve had many and most of the questions overlap, so I’ve answered those here. Keep asking. I like knowing you are interested in what you are eating (or not eating) and why.
1) Why no eating dairy?
Dairy is known to be a common allergen for many people, so why not cut it out and see if you feel better. You will read and hear many pros and cons of dairy. My personal experience is that I do much better without it. Lots of studies have shown growth and hormonal benefits of dairy, but those are mostly only needed when we are younger (infants drinking breast milk). The choice to eat dairy or not can get complicated. You can get all the calcium you need from strength training and non dairy foods such as spinach, kale, bok choy, seafood, and meat. Lastly, my naturopath has had many clients experience great relief from acne, allergies, and even asthma when they cut out dairy, so why not try it out for yourself. If you do eat dairy, be sure to choose only high quality sources and not the “non fat” processed kind.
2) Why should we cut out or limit coffee consumption?
Its everything we add to coffee that makes it unhealthy(cream and sugar). Also, coffee is acidic and creates a lot of “work” on your adrenals. Although coffee offers some great health benefits such as antioxidants it can also create an increase in cortisol (the stress hormone), interfere with sleep, increase anxiety and irritability. If you must, keep your intake below 8oz a day and drink it black. Consider switching to tea which has a lower acid level.
3) What is the difference between simple and complex carbs?
Carbohydrates are divided into two types, simple and complex. The classification is based on the chemical structure and reflects how quickly sugar is digested and absorbed.
Simple carbohydrates are also called simple sugars and are chemically made of one or two sugars. A simple sugar can be just what the name implies, the sugar in your sugar bowl. Things like candy, syrups, and soda pop are also straightforward examples of simple carbs. They are absorbed quickly — just think how fast sugar-based candy melts in your mouth.
Simple carbs also include foods such as fruit. These are better sources of simple carbs because they contain vitamins and fiber, and also important nutrients that your body needs.
Complex carbohydrates are also known as starches and are made of three or more linked sugars. Grains such as bread, pasta, oatmeal and rice are complex carbs, as well as some vegetables like broccoli, corn legumes such as kidney beans and chick peas. They take the longest to digest. Complex carbs from vegetable and bean sources are your best choices.
4) Is honey ok?
Sugar is sugar is sugar. Whether its white sugar, agave syrup, or honey….they all contain that sweet taste you crave. Often times, this leads to overconsumption with no nutritive value. The artificial and so called natural sugar alternatives are basically taking the product sugar and making it “less bad” Like coffee, enjoy sugar in moderation. The less you indulge in unhealthy foods, the healthier you’ll be.
5) What’s wrong with Alcohol?
I think you all know the answer to this question:) It should seem pretty obvious why limiting your alcohol to two days during the challenge (and beyond) is a good idea. Alcohol has no redeeming health qualities. Well, red wine actually does have some health qualities, but you must limit your intake. Alcohol is addictive and addiction is defined as : promoting desire even in the face of negative consequences, tolerance to the effect of the substance, and withdrawal symptoms when use is reduced or stopped.
Alcohol is an empty calorie (it does have calories, but those calories provide ZERO nutrition).
Those were the questions that came in. If you have one and its not answered here, please leave a comment and ask me. If you are interested in learning more about my responses to the questions above, I highly recommend the book “It Starts with Food”
Good luck and keep it one day at a time. As you follow the nutrition guidelines and daily challenges, you will start feeling better and notice more energy. I’ll be back tomorrow with snack ideas and recipes.