Many of you have come to us asking why some certain foods are not allowed on the challenge. Here we will address all of those foods that are considered healthy by the general public and why we will be without them for 21 days.
Gluten free has definitely been getting a lot of buzz in nutrition circles recently. In my opinion this is the number one category that you should eliminate from your diet for the 21 days. There are numerous reasons to eliminate grains, but among them:
- They are super easy to over consume. Not only can this lead to a large increase in calories; you will also experience large blood sugar spikes which can lead to numerous hormonal problems.
- Refined grains have lost many of their original nutrients and are simply not nutrient dense when compared to both fruits and vegetables.
- Difficulty digesting proteins from grains. Gluten is chief among these proteins. They can difficult to digest and can also cause inflammation in the gut.
Try your best to eliminate wheat and gluten from your diet for the entire 21 days! Many people are amazed by the results that they can get just from this simple change. If you are CrossFitting 3-4x a week and active outside of the gym consider replacing those carbohydrates with sweet potatoes, squash, or wild rice.
Living in Wisconsin, this may be tough for you guys to give up completely. If you have never gone without dairy for an extended period of time before I recommend you give it up completely for these 21 days. Many people have either an intolerance for the lactose or casein protein in dairy products. These can lead to bloating and gastrointestinal distress. After eliminating these many people also get less acne and have had allergies or asthma clear up.
Full fat dairy from a high quality source is allowed on this challenge. That means ghee, grass fed butter, or heavy whipping cream in your coffee is an option. These options are free of most lactose and casein proteins. Fermented full fat dairy such as yogurt or kefir is also allowed. However, make sure to check labels. If they have special flavors they also probably have a bunch of added sugar.
Bottom line, try to avoid dairy but if you really want some get a full fat source from a happy cow!
While legumes have a reputation for being a healthful food and a good way to get some added protein into your diet; alfalfa, beans, lentils, peanuts, peas, and soy products are to be avoided during the 21-day primal challenge. Legumes definitely offer a decent serving of protein and fiber, but along with that they contain high levels of anti-nutrients called lectins (read more about lectins and what they do to your body here). Along with the anti-nutrients, beans often produce a gassy reaction in most people caused by the fermentation of indigestible carbohydrates indicating that we are having an issue processing them.
This one is almost too easy but do not eat products with added sugar for the duration of the challenge. Sugar promotes an unhealthy hormonal response, is almost entirely devoid of vitamins and minerals, and can cause numerous problems and inflammation in your gut. The beauty of eliminating added sugar is that after a few days you will notice the cravings for it drastically decrease. The first couple days may be hard, but by Day 21 you will wonder how the sugar demons ever had such a hold on you!
If you guys have any questions or want some further information about any of these make sure to leave a comment!