That is the question:
We have 54 members coming to the completion of a 28-day CrossFit & Paleo Team Challenge. Congratulations! Right now some of you will be considering whether you want to, or even should, reintroduce specific foods to your diet.
Essentially a 28-day Paleo challenge is a detox period allowing your body to eliminate the effects of foods less healthy for our body, and reset it’s set point based on your new nutrition and healthful habits such as improved hydration and sleep, post workout meals/recovery and so on. Immediately after a period of strict adherence to new ways, it’s socially expected that you’ll go right ahead and re-introduce and even binge on these foods and habits that you eliminated from your life. Friends will even sell you this idea as your post challenge “reward”.
Many of us buy into this despite the tangible evidence that your new lifestyle and nutrition has done you a wealth of good; increased your energy, improved your sleep, improved your physical performance, made your eyes brighter, eliminated bloating and water retention. reduced or eliminated inflammation, improved skin conditions and/or asthma, increased muscle growth, allowed you to shed unwanted fat… and all the other good stuff you’re enjoying.
I’d like you to consider why you took on the challenge in the first instance, or perhaps even more importantly what you personally achieved and how you benefited from these changes in your lifestyle. Consider:
- Are you better off now than you were before?
- How has it changed your life?
- What does it mean to your future if you continue with the new habits you’ve worked so hard to embed over the past four weeks?
Now that you’ve reflected on that, are there foods that you believe you just cannot live without; foods that have tested your resolve throughout the 28-day challenge?
If you feel you must re-introduce any foods to your diet, we recommend that you ‘test’ each food exclusively over a period of two weeks. Reintroduce the food and pay attention to how your body feels and responds for a week. Notice how your gut feels, your energy levels, your exercise performance and whether your sleep is affected. Did any symptoms return? In week two, eliminate the food once again, and notice how your body responds. During this period – do your research!