So, as you might have read, I am currently on a 21 day elimination diet with The Clean Program. I want to start off by saying that this post is NOT at all sponsored by The Clean Program. I will be very honest with my experience on the program on here.
I'm on day 3.
SO what is the Clean Program? Basically, the Clean Program is a glorified version of the elimination diet. The standard elimination diet means eliminating "toxic trigger" foods such as gluten, dairy, soy, coffee, sugar, alcohol, and other inflammatory foods for 21 days. These are foods that many people find to be the cause of many of their symptoms. After the 21 days is up, you slowly and scientifically re-introduce each food at a time so you can figure out the culprit. Most people feel amazing on the elimination diet and continue to eat this way (in general) for their lives. But sometimes, those things sneak back in and symptoms can return.
My past experiences with elimination dieting: I did an elimination diet last year, which is how I figured out I was banana intolerant. You can read that whole post and experience here. Most functional health doctors and integrative nutritionists recommend doing at least 1 elimination diet per year. This helps in resetting the system, giving your digestive tract a break, and identifying triggers for a number of symptoms. I had a really positive experience with my elimination diet. During those 8 months I didn't want to go near a banana in fear that my brain fog and bloat would come back. But one day, my body craved a banana. So I started small and had 1/4 of one. No symptoms. I was so happy! This is just an example of how the elimination diet can help heal your gut so you can enjoy the foods you want.
Why are you doing the CLEAN PROGRAM? Last year, a few friends of mine did the Clean Program and had amazing experiences with it. It helped them kick their coffee addiction, sugar addiction. This year, I wanted to try it out! Doing the Clean Program also means no honey, maple syrup, banana, agave, peanut butter, black tea, corn, nightshades, or alcohol. I normally eat along these guidelines on a day to day (save for PB), but in Mexico City, I ate gluten, dairy, and soy, (sometimes all together) and this whole week my torso has been in hives and super itchy. I have also been experiencing loss of concentration, digestive issues, and some low energy. So I, along with my functional health doctor, decided to get to the bottom of things, and have decided to embark on this program! Taking my health into my own hands feels amazing!
Aside from my own symptoms, there are a lot of reasons why people may choose to do a Elimination Diet. Some of them are:
- trouble sleeping/staying asleep
- acne, redness
- gas, constipation, diarrhea, IBS
- acid reflux
- loss of concentration/focus
- dependence upon coffee, sugar
- allergy symptoms such as runny nose, itchy eyes
- other skin issues like eczema
In this round of elimination dieting, I wanted some variety in my morning shake, so I came up with 4 delicious and different different smoothie recipes, all which contain no banana, gluten, dairy, soy or other inflammatories. These can be enjoyed for breakfast, as an afternoon snack, any which way you choose! I hope you enjoy them!!
1. Toasted Coconut Carrot Cake
- 2 tbsp toasted coconut flakes (to make, simply heat coconut flakes over medium heat until fragrant)
- 1 cup fresh carrots
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp all spice
- 1 tsp nutmeg
Blend and top with another healthy dash of cinnamon.
2. Blueberry Dream
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 3 frozen strawberries
- 1 1/2 tbsp cashew butter
- 1 heaping tbsp flax seeds
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder of choice
3. Kale 'N Chlorella
- 2 leaves green kale
- 1 tsp Sun Potion Chlorella
- 1 large handful spinach
- 1/2 cup cucumber
- 1/4 cup raw fennel
- 1 tbsp flax seed
- 1/3 avocado (frozen or fresh)
- 1/2 cup nut milk
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder of choice (optional)
Blend and enjoy! Garnish with chia seeds and a sprig of fresh mint.
4. Ashwagndha Coffee Cacao
- 1 tsp Dandelion Mocha Teeccino
- 1 tbsp cacao powder
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 cup hemp milk
- 1 tsp Sun Potion Ashwagandha
- 1/4 cup filtered water
- 1 scoop chocolate protein powder of choice (optional)
- 1 pinch sea salt
- garnish of cacao nibs
Blend and enjoy! Garnish with some cacao nibs for crunch.