Basically, all foods that contain toxins, potential allergens and inflammatory substances, and other nasties are not allowed, eg:
- No Alcohol
- No Caffeine
- No Wheat and other gluten products
- No Dairy products
- No Eggs
- No Soy and soy products
- No Sugar and sugary sweet foods
- No artificial sweeteners
- No Products containing refined carbohydrates
- No Processed foods
- Low glycaemic index (GI) fruits and vegetables only
- and certain vegetables and fish / meats that contain potential allergens or inflammatory substances.
The information pack gives a large list of the foods allowed such as: low GI fruit and vegetables, quality protein (certain lean meats, fish, beans and pulses), certain whole grains and wholegrain cereals that don’t contain gluten (rice, quinoa, buckwheat), good fats and oils (olive, flaxseed, walnut and coconut oils) and nuts and seeds – as much as you want, no calorie counting here! If you can, its best to eat organically so as to reduce your exposure to unwanted pesticides, chemicals and antibiotic residues etc. I will be discussing organic foods in more detail in a later post. Plus it’s also advisable to prepare things from scratch, even foods such as houmous and pesto (believe me - it's very easy to make and so much nicer than the shop bought stuff), that way you will know exactly what is in the foods that you are eating!
But what about tomatoes and other ‘healthy’ foods not on the list
Looking at this list, there were a couple of healthy foods that have been left out such as tomatoes and red peppers (aren’t they full of vitamins and phytonutrients?), some types of oily fish (what about all those omega-3s), oats and rye (aren’t they gluten free?), eggs (surely a great source of quality protein?) and fruits like bananas – why???? The reason is that these foods tend to have potential allergens (eggs, and oats, corn and rye – these grains still have (albeit small) amounts of gluten and other potential gluten like allergens), toxins (PCBs and other toxins in larger oily fish like tuna) and inflammatory substances (tomatoes, potatoes and red peppers which are all members of the nightshade family), whilst some fruit and vegetables, such as bananas, have high amounts fructose (naturally occurring sugars in fruits).
As suggested I have started to gradually cut down on my sugar, caffeine and alcohol intake, so to reduce the possibility of getting caffeine withdrawal headaches and the sugar withdrawal shakes and dizziness. I have also started to plan my meals for the next couple of weeks – remember preparation is the key to the success of this programme, and I’ve had a huge shopping spree at my local health food shops (picked up all sorts of nuts, seeds, quinoa / quinoa flakes, buckwheat flour, rice noodles etc), and have augmented my weekly local vegetable box delivery with some more organic fruit and veg – if you don’t have one already I would thoroughly recommend getting a veg box, as these are a great way of getting a variety of fresh, organic and seasonal fruit and vegetables delivered to your door every week.
For those of you living in and around Edinburgh, there are many health food shops and local veg box companies. Plus don’t forget the local farmers’ markets in Stockbridge (every Sunday), Castle Terrace (every Saturday) and Portobello (every 1st Saturday), and also Holland and Barrett stores and the big supermarkets (especially Waitrose and Sainsbury’s who have really upped their game recently when it comes to ‘exotic’ sounding nuts and seeds and ‘free from’ products.) I have put together a list of these which can be found on my Local food Heroes web page. Happy shopping!!