The following are answers to some of the questions we hear the most from The 30 Clean™ challengers. While there may always be a more individual reason you experience something during the 30 days, these answers will help you have a better understanding as to why.

If you would like to dive deeper into creating a more personalized experience and have guidance in choosing a meal plan best suited for your goals, The 30 Clean offers one-on-one coaching services. We have amazing and knowledgeable certified health coaches ready to help you at anytime! If you still feel confused on one of the topics or have a specific question, please contact us via email at: [email protected]

Can I have coffee on this program?

You may drink ONE cup of coffee per day. However, if coffee is one of those things that you couldn’t imagine giving up –If you do want to enjoy one cup of coffee it should be enjoyed black, with an alternative nut milk or with our 30 Clean Creamer.

Water, water, water . . . what else can I drink?

We understand that plain water seems like a jail sentence to many people in the beginning. While it is easy to tell you that will change, I know it is hard to believe. In the meantime, you can flavor your water with any fruits & herbs (lemon, oranges, strawberries, lime & cucumber plus mint!) Check out our infused water infographic! If that doesn’t quench your thirst you can drink pure coconut water in moderation (it has a lot of sugar,) herbal teas both hot and iced & kombucha (again in moderation and check to make sure there is no ADDED sugar in the ingredient list.)

Can you help me understand portions?

Here are portion suggestions, which may be adjusted a bit depending on your activity level:

  • Protein: The size of YOUR palm.
  • Vegetables: Think half of your plate. You may need to ease into this if you are feeling bloated due to a sudden shock of naturally provided fiber and nutrients to your system.
  • Fats: The size of your thumb for oils. Olives 6-10. Avocado 1/4-1/2 depending on size. Nuts approximately ¼ cup.

Like the guide says, you want to eat a palm-size portion of protein: the bigger the palm, the bigger the portion :-) Part of what is so great about this way of eating is you don’t have to be a slave to counting calories anymore! If you want to weigh a palm-size portion of protein just to know, then by all means go for it, but don’t feel like you need to be weighing it out every time. As for veggies, more is better! Load up you plate with them. It will help you stay satisfied between meals and you get a lot of bang for your buck with all the nutrients! Fat is a little trickier. Some people need more, while others need less. You want enough to ensure that your meals hold you over, but not so much that you feel stuffed. I recommend starting with more, and from there you can reduce a bit and see how you feel. I suggest eating the starchy carbs last. You don’t want to fill up on those and miss out on the protein and veggies. Most importantly, be mindful. If you’re overeating you won’t get the results that you’re looking for. But at the same time, I want to make sure that you’re eating enough to keep you energized, happy, and feeling great! And lastly, unless you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or doing intense exercise, you shouldn’t need a mini-meal. Your 3 meals, combined with lots and lots of H2O should be giving you everything you need! Phew, that was a lot of info, but hopefully you understand your portions now!

How much fruit should I eat?

A serving size of fruit is approximately 1/2 cup berries or 1 small apple/banana/nectarine. However, if you’re eating fruit after your meal to help with a sweet fix, you may want to re-think that mindset. Fruit basically equals sugar, which releases an “Oh so good” feeling in the brain. If you do have a sugar addiction, consuming fruit is only going to add to the addiction. During The 30 Clean we’re really trying to help you get in control of your cravings rather than your cravings control you. We encourage you to watch your fruit intake and not use fruit to substitute for sweet cravings. The goal is to balance out your hormones and re-boot your metabolic system. You will see a BIG difference if you take this advice. But ultimately it’s your body, your decision, and you know what’s best.

Greens at every breakfast?

As far as greens go, they are amazing for pH balance and are, of course, nutrient dense! However, for breakfast we know this can be tough for some to swallow at first. Experiment and try any veggies in the morning. I personally think dark leafy greens are easy and tasty in the morning, plus they pack a powerful nutritional punch! You may find you prefer non-green vegetables…remember, any veggie is better than no veggie. Get them in as often as you can!

I’m not a huge fan of veggies, but I love my green juice. Does that count?

There is no doubt that there are some great nutrients green juices, but there are even greater benefits from eating the whole fruit, i.e. the skin and the meat. The whole fruit contains fiber, which slows down the absorption of the fructose (sugar in fruit) which is key in stabilizing blood sugar. We ask that you keep juicing to a minimum, if at all, for the next 30 days. However, if you do consume green juice, be sure to partner it up with a good protein, like a hard boiled egg or some clean breakfast sausage. And don’t forget to add in some healthy fats, like avocado. A balanced meal will keep you feeling satiated and fueled much longer.

Which oils should I use?

It is important for you to understand why vegetable oils and seed oils are not the best options. They both have very high levels of omega-6 fatty acids and lower levels of good-for-you omega-3s. Many vegetable oils are hydrogenated, producing unhealthy transfats. Seed oils are vulnerable to oxidation and rancidity. We are subjected to this most often when we eat out, meaning if we can avoid having these oils in our home and not eat packaged goods, we will be better off in our quest to decrease systematic inflammation. The goal on The 30 Clean is to better your health so the reduction of these oils is pretty important. Some great options for healthy oils and cooking fats are: olive oil, avocado oil, ghee, coconut oil, red palm oil, and even beef, duck or pork fat. Rotating these high quality cooking oils and fats will ensure maximum benefits!

Do you have a quick list of to-go ideas?

Yes, we can certainly rattle off a few right here, but don’t forget to refer back to the Start-Up Guide for a lot of mini-meal ideas and our pinterest page. All of these ideas are either quick if prepared or easy to pre-make and store in the refrigerator: Egg muffins or veggie frittatas, chia pudding, hard-boiled eggs, turkey burger patties, fresh cut veggies, avocados, sautéed & steamed veggies, baked chicken cut up for salads, canned tuna, green apples, fresh berries, raw almonds, individual packets of nut butter, and mason jar salads… just to name a few!

Nuts breakdown

1-2 servings per day is the recommended amount during the Challenge. It’s important to watch your nut consumption, for several reasons.

  • They are relatively high in Omega 6, which can throw off your Omega 3:6 ratio and cause inflammation
  • They contain phytic acid, which is an anti-nutrient that blocks our body’s absorption of nutrients. (Keep reading for a breakdown on phytic acid!).
  • They are TOO easy to OVERconsume! We often don’t think about how they all add up- between the whole nuts, almond milk, and almond butter, that’s a whole lot of nuts! They tend to be a “snacky” food, and many people are used to grabbing a handful here and there. While that’s certainly a healthier choice than reaching for a bag of Doritos, it’s still something to me mindful about for the reasons provided. As a reminder, a serving of nuts is approximately ¼ cup (and that’s NOT much!).

What is Phytic Acid? It is mentioned a lot!

Many of the foods we eliminate on The 30 Clean, like grains and soy, are foods that contain phytic acid. Phytic acid is an anti-nutrient that interferes with our body’s ability to absorb the good nutrients that we need. They are also difficult to digest. It provides protection for the plant while it grows in nature but can be tough on our systems when over consumed. Legumes (and nuts/seeds as well) fall into the same category. It’s not that these are “bad” or “unhealthy” foods. But if your body is already having digestive issues and inflammation, giving it a break from these foods will help it heal. Soaking and sprouting legumes can minimize the effects of the phytic acid. Likewise, legumes are high in fodmaps, which also cause digestive distress in certain individuals. Those with a history of IBS should be very careful with legumes.

Will the program work if I do partake in an adult beverage on the weekend?

BEWARE OF THE “ADULT BEVERAGE! I know some of you think you can barely live without your wine, but also know that your interest in sticking to your eating plan may diminish with each glass you drink. It starts with a little nibble, and then two, and then before you know it, you’re waking up the next day frustrated with yourself for letting your guard down. As if that isn’t bad enough, you will most likely have a headache and cravings for un-healthy food! Yikes! If this sounds like you, then I strongly encourage you to skip the allotted 2 adult beverages on the weekend during your Challenge. If this is not you,I’d still ask you to consider how important they are on your quest to getting healthy and break habits that no longer serve you. The choice is all yours. You’ll absolutely get no judgment from us – we just ask that you make your choice with eyes wide-open!

Can I combine the Standard and V Clean?

We strongly encourage you to choose either the Standard Clean or the V Clean to get the best results from your Challenge . If you do eat some animal protein, eggs and/or seafood, The Standard Challenge is probably the best choice. We would love for you to experience how 30 days grain free can feel for your body. You certainly don’t have to eat meat at every meal. The important thing is that you are getting enough protein at every meal to ensure that your getting adequate nutrients like all of the essential amino acids, B12, iron, etc. Protein also stabilizes blood sugar and increase metabolic rate. While animal sources are the easiest way to be eating a complete protein, it for sure is not the only way. So, if you truly prefer not to eat animal products, then just stick with the V Clean and eat healthy fats, increase your high protein veggie intake (i.e., peas, broccoli and kale), and eat plenty of well prepared beans/legumes (eggs are okay too on the V Clean) with your non-gluten prepared grains. Remember to rotate – rotation is key to reduce inflammation in the body.

3-Ingredient Pancakes – I am obsessed!

Okay, okay, they are not IHOP pancakes, but you do have to admit that they sure can hit the spot when you are tired of eggs and smoothies. Keep in mind, if you are making your pancakes with nut butters, you are already getting 1 serving of nuts in your meal. If you are adding more nut butter to the top, you have now gotten 2 servings of nuts in your meal, which means no more nuts for the day. Additionally, if you are making your pancakes with a whole banana, you already have your fruit inside your pancake and you should not need any more fruit for the top. If you were having these items a la carte, would you have a whole banana PLUS a big pile of strawberries? Probably not. This is another reason why we don’t like clean makeover foods, because it is easy to forget what is already inside. Now if you are using sweet potato instead of banana, go ahead and add some fruit – and by some, I mean 1/2 of a serving. Remember, the sweet potato, while it is not as sweet as a banana, still has sugar in it, too. Oh, and get your greens in!

What is this kombucha that everyone speaks about?

Kombucha is a fermented tea and a good choice for some people as a digestive aid and a healthy beverage alternative to soda. It may act like a probiotic for many; however, some people do have a reverse reaction and may feel bloated or gassy after drinking this potent drink. If you do try kombucha, I encourage you to do so in small quantities – 1-2 oz at a time – to see how your body reacts.

I feel bloated/constipated/gassy – what is going on?

Yes, it may happen to you in week one of your challenge. As you move from eating less processed foods, possible more protein (which requires more water for digestion) and more fibrous veggies – your intestines may be going through a little shock of their own. You will find this to be gone soon, but here are some suggestions to help make week one as comfortable as possible.

  • Be sure you are not OVER consuming your nuts. Overconsumption of nuts, seeds, and even legumes may lead to unwanted side effects of gas, bloating and constipation.
  • Eating less fibrous veggies in the beginning of the challenge and slowly working your way up to enjoying them, constipation free, will also be helpful. Think slightly steamed veggies instead of raw.
  • If you are experiencing some constipation, you may want to take a gentle magnesium supplement to help relax the colon and intestinal track. Natural Calm is a magnesium powder that we recommend on The 30 Clean. Another option is to drink a cup of warm tea a few times throughout the day.
  • Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha, may also decrease symptoms for some people.
  • And remember, water is very important. Drink half your body weight in ounces – daily!

I feel like I am getting sick! Now what?

Being sick sucks! But there are two possibilities that are happening here. First and most probable, you are feeling the flu-tox! The flu-tox is what we call it when you start to detox all of the unclean things in your body. Most likely your body is craving the sugars it is accustom to having as well. All of these things can lead to what feels like the flu. Don’t worry it will pass. Continue to drink water, push forward and know there is bliss on the other side. We will cover this in one of your Daily Digest emails, so be sure to read them all.

The other possibility? You are actually sick. Not fun, but you can fight your sickness and still stay clean. We recommend drinking some bone broth (homemade or bought from a health food store), or even plain old chicken soup – which you make at home. Drink plenty of water and warm herbal tea with lemon and ginger, add garlic to you meals (it’s an anti-microbial), and of course, rest as much as you can! Ginger is very powerful; add it to everything.

What do I do post Day 30?

Great question! We definietly address this on the Challenge and help you with suggestions for re-introducing the eliminated foods back into your diet.

The quick answer – you don’t have to live the 30 Clean Challenge guidelines 365 days out of the year, but you should learn what foods do and don’t work for you so you can live with energy and be pain free all year! We created a program to systematically eliminate inflammatory foods from your diet, which if followed, will do a lot to heal your digestion and decrease inflammation. So, you must also systematically re-introduce these foods in order to maintain what we’ve accomplished and biohack your own personal health code! Reintroduction should be slow and mindful.

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