The purpose of the Re-Introduction Phase is to identify potential food sensitivities and intolerances.
These are foods that may have been causing you toxic reactions before starting the cleanse without realizing it. One of the key reasons you feel better on the cleanse is because you’ve removed the most common irritants and given your digestive and immune systems a reset.
Common Irritants and Intolerances
• Refined sugar + alternatives
Admittedly some of these irritants taste great but leave you feeling terrible. They can cause mood swings, digestive upset, bloating and fatigue. Getting clear on which foods trigger toxic symptoms will help you steer your health.
During this phase you will focus on reintroducing the two most common irritants: gluten and dairy.
Step 1: Re-Introduce Dairy, 2 to 3 times a day for 1-2 days
Eat dairy two to three times a day, for one to two days, and then notice how you feel. To reintroduce dairy try having a glass of milk in the morning and a few pieces of cheese with your lunch or evening meal. It’s important to avoid having dairy in combination with other excluded foods.
Stay away from cereal, ice cream, or baked goods. These foods contain other excluded foods like processed sugar, gluten or preservatives. If you have a reaction, you won’t know which excluded ingredient was the cause.
Step 2: Record Your Reactions in a Journal
Use a journal to record any reactions you might have to gluten. This may include bloating, gas, skin breakouts, foggy mind, or constipation. Not everyone will react to gluten in the same way. Some people may notice their reactions immediately. Others might notice their reactions the next day. That’s why it’s important to test gluten over the course of two days.
The following questions will help guide you:
- Right after: Pay attention to how you feel shortly after eating it. Do you have a runny nose or mucus in the throat (typical of milk)?
- Energy: How are your energy levels?
- Bowels: How are your bowel movements the next day? Were they as frequent and as easy to eliminate as they were during the cleanse or do you feel cramping, pain or gas, constipation or diarrhea?
- Sleep: Did you have difficulty falling or staying asleep? Did you have intense dreams or nightmares? Did you wake up in the middle of the night?
- Emotions: How do you feel emotionally the next day? Are you anxious, angry, moody, depressed or irritable?
Step 3: Eat from the Cleanse Diet for 2 Days
After you have reintroduced dairy it’s important to "clean the slate" and set your body up for testing the next possible irritant: gluten.
Step 4: Reintroduce gluten, 2 to 3 times a day for 2 days
Consume gluten two to three times a day, for two days, and then notice how you feel over the next forty eight hours.
You’ll still be following the cleanse diet, the only difference is that you’ll be adding in gluten to see how your body reacts to it.
How: Try adding bread to your breakfast, and then some pasta for lunch or dinner.
Don’t include any dairy or other excluded items yet. The goal is to isolate one excluded food at a time to determine if you are intolerant or sensitive.
Step 5: Review Your Journal
- No reaction: I had no reaction at all to the excluded food.
- Mild reaction: I had a noticeable reaction to the food. Examples: I felt bloated and gassy; I felt tired; I felt itchy etc
- Strong reaction: I had a strong negative reaction to the food. Examples: I became very angry or upset; I had sharp stomach pains; I felt nauseous etc.
Take a look at your journal. What types of reactions did you have to gluten or dairy? If you had a mild or strong reaction to one or both of these foods, chances are you have an intolerance or allergy.
Step 6: Further Re-Introduction
If desired, extend this phase, slowly re-introducing other common irritants one by one, starting with processed sugar, then caffeine, then alcohol and recording your reactions.