As we move towards the end of January I hope you have been kind to yourselves with regard to your health goals and resolutions if you made some. From my previous posts you know that I personally like to reflect often on little changes I can do on a daily basis to support how I want to feel. Last week I decided my body was telling me to go easy on dairy products. My body uses my skin to gentle nudge me when it’s time for a reset. I get spots on my face and especially my neck when I eat too much dairy.I love my butter, cream and goats cheese! Over Christmas I was having all of these in bigger quantities and more often. I knew my skin was acting up a little but I was enjoying these foods so much I didn’t mind a few spots.

I felt the time was right last week to do a clean sweep and cut out dairy for a few weeks. I call this the ‘Reset’. I get prepared by making sure I have plenty of the foods I do want to eat and mentally get ready for letting go of the dairy for a little while. Last May I did a 30 day clean eating plan called the Whole 30. I’m not a fan of restricting myself and creating rules around food as I did this for many years when I was younger to deal with emotional issues.

I decided that I was in a better place and did the whole 30 plan because I appreciated my body, wanted to feel even better and learn. It was an interesting challenge and experiment. I also knew I would pass on my experience to others. It was from these 30 days I learnt that dairy and I didn’t go well together. Within 4 days my skin was clearer than it had been in ages and my left ear that gets slightly blocked totally cleared. My energy was great and mind clear. The plan focuses on real food, lots of vegetables, some fruit in it’s whole form, healthy fats and good quality protein. No grains, dairy, sugar substitutes in any form even honey and no processed foods. In general I don’t eat many grain anyway as I know they reduce my energy and make me feel heavy. Dairy and ‘grain free snacks’ were a challenge to give up for the 30 days.

I found it a great way to not just reset my digestive system, but also habits. I don’t think I would do a whole 30 again but from what I learned I like to do mini-resets so a whole 7 or 14 :-). At the moment I’m enjoying simplifying my meals and experimenting with new recipes. If you decide to try an elimination of a food like wheat or dairy be ready for some withdrawal symptoms especially with wheat.Wheat breaks down into heroin like molecules during digestion, which are able to enter the brain and cause cravings and an increase in appetite. Taking this substance away can cause symptoms like headaches, fatigue and low mood. These should pass after 5 days. If you decide to give up a few foods at once like all grains and dairy then it may be longer before you feel the benefits. I would recommend at least 2 weeks without the foods but 30 days is ideal. Introduce one at a time and be aware of how you feel after the food. You may feel different towards the food as you broke the habit of eating it and will now be more sensitive to it. Focus on wanting to feel well and appreciating your wonderful body, make a decision from here whether the foods will stay, go or be reduced. Enjoy the journey.

Good resources: