By Be Well Health Coach Kerry Bajaj
Every week, I speak to people who have finished the Be Well Cleanse and they feel fantastic. They have lost weight, they’re sleeping like a rock, waking up refreshed, their skin is clear and digestion is improved. People say things like: “I haven’t felt this good since high school!”
So the big question is – how to continue feeling this good after the Cleanse?
The good news is that the Cleanse is not meant to be a crash diet or a quick fix. Instead, it’s a kick start to a healthier way of eating and new habits for the long term.
What diet do I follow now?
The Cleanse diet is an elimination diet, which means that we remove all the foods that cause allergies, sensitivities and inflammation.
After the Cleanse we recommend transitioning over to the Daily Living eating plan.
You will see that this diet is more flexible – you’re adding back in the oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, grapes, banana, tomato, potato, eggplant, pepper, eggs, grass-fed beef, shellfish, fermented soy (like tempeh and miso), some dairy and best of all – dark chocolate!
You’ll also notice that this diet still avoids the Big 3 – gluten, sugar and most dairy. By steering away from them, you should be able to continue feeling as great as you did on the Cleanse. We have lots of Daily Living recipes on the website too.
How to re-introduce foods
When you start to re-introduce foods that you avoided on the Cleanse, don’t do it all at once. You should re-introduce foods into your meals one at a time, every 2 days, to test your reaction to it. When testing a food, have a substantial serving of it for breakfast and lunch, and monitor your reactions. If possible, take notes in a food journal.
This process takes some patience, but it’s important if you’re trying to identify foods that you are sensitive to or that may have been causing you digestive problems.
Note that women should not try food testing right before their periods or during pregnancy because they are likely to be extra sensitive then.
Most food reactions will occur within a few hours of eating what you add back, although it can occasionally take up to two to three days for reactive symptoms to appear. The beauty of this test is that if you are reactive to a specific food, you are usually extra sensitive to it after you have initially cleared it from your system – so it should be easier for you to notice how different foods affect your system.
If you have a food reaction, such as nausea or a stomachache, take two tablets of Alka-Seltzer Gold or a tablespoon of buffered vitamin C powder in water.
Which foods tend to cause the most issues
I’ve supported hundreds of people going through the cleanse and here’s which foods tend to cause the most problems:
Gluten by far has the biggest impact of any of the foods we eliminate on the detox. People have more energy, fewer digestive problems, less food cravings, and skin rashes go away. Taking out wheat and other gluten grains for 2 weeks can be really eye-opening. And when someone “cheats” and eats a piece of pizza they usually experience pretty noticeable discomfort. Gluten affects all of us differently, but I see consistently that people feel much better when they avoid it.
Sugar is another big one. People often figure out that by eliminating sugar for just a few days, something amazing happens – sugar cravings go away! They’re able to see the addictive nature of sugar, how when you have a little bit you want more.
Avoiding dairy usually helps if you have digestive problems, skin issues, congestion, sinus problems or allergies. It depends on the person, but we notice that many people are able to tolerate having some goat cheese, sheep’s feta or buffalo mozzerrella, but do better staying away from cow products. Some people are able to have yogurt, but can’t have any milk. You can experiment and see what works best for you.
With the nightshade veggies (tomato, potato, eggplant, pepper) I notice that removing these can help if someone has stiff, achy joints or arthritis. Most everyone else feels fine when they start eating them again.
I’ve been surprised how many people identify that they are sensitive to strawberries on the Cleanse! They may get a scratchy throat when they start eating them again.
Listen to your intuition
When people tell me they feel great after the Cleanse, I always ask, “What do you think made the biggest difference?”
In other words, if you had to identify one change you made on the Cleanse that made you feel better, what would that be?
Some people say gluten, others say dairy, or cutting out alcohol, or coffee. It’s different for everyone, and such an important question to ask. This gives you an opportunity to tap into your intuition and your deep knowing of your own body. After all, you certainly are the #1 expert on your body!
What’s for breakfast now?
Many people fall in love with having shakes for breakfast on the Cleanse. It’s quick, convenient and a good way to get protein. If you like having the shakes for breakfast, here are some options that you can use after your Cleanse:
SUSTAIN: Dairy-Free Protein Shake
Made with dairy-free, gluten-free, non-GMO pea protein, SUSTAIN is a delicious meal replacement shake. This is similar to your Cleanse shake, but has a little more protein, a little less fiber and the taste is a bit sweeter (it’s sweetened with stevia).
GREENS: Nutrient-Rich Vegetables to Boost Immunity
Super-charge your daily diet with phytonutrients from organic fruits and veggies. You can have GREENS alone or add it to the SUSTAIN shake for an extra boost. I like to add greens to coconut water for an afternoon snack.
RECHARGE: Whey Protein + Greens Shake
RECHARGE is a blend of whey protein and nutrient-dense greens designed to boost energy and immunity and revitalize your system any time you are feeling exhausted or depleted. This is great if you work out since it builds lean muscle mass and promotes post-workout recovery.
And if you’re looking for daily supplements, you can try Daily Dose:
DAILY DOSE: Essential nutrients for overall health
DAILY DOSE supplements support optimal health and wellness by giving you key nutrients that Dr. Lipman recommends people take every day — a multivitamin, fish oil, probiotic and vitamin D3.
Congratulations on finishing your Cleanse and taking this big step for your health and may you continue to feel energized and vibrant going forward!