The Commitment – Whole foods as much as possible. Zero Gluten. At some point, a one month sugar detox
Gluten (which is found in wheat, barley and rye) is ubiquitous in the American diet. In a most unfortunate inversion, the USDA's famous food pyramid recommends that we eat more servings of gluten-laden foods than of any other food group. The problem is compounded by the fact that foods containing gluten are delicious: it’s hard to beat a chocolate chip cookie, blueberry muffin, or a bowl of bucatini all'amatriciana. I first tried reducing my gluten intake a few years back after reading books by Gary Taubes on why we get fat. Since then I have read more compelling books about the problems caused by gluten, and have managed to limit my intake. The evidence from my experimentation is clear: without gluten in my diet I have more energy, I sleep better, and my mind is considerably sharper. A full year of strict abstention will likely work wonders. For very comprehensive information about gluten and the foods that one must avoid, visit this site.
The case against sugar is clear: it is more like a toxin than a food. “Sugar” would include table sugar, cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc. Sugar intake is linked to Obesity, type II diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and cancer. Even more so than gluten, sugar tastes too good to avoid all the time. I couldn’t give up dark chocolate (which is made with sugar) or other similar foods for an entire year. Instead, part of this element will be to do a full 30 day sugar detox, using The 21 Day Sugar Detox as a guide.
The talk by Robert Lustig below thoroughly addresses the dangers of sugars. Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes and Wheat Belly by William Davis outline why high carbohydrate and gluten rich diets lead to weight gain and myriad health problems. On the topic, I've also enjoyed Peter Attia's blog/website The Eating Academy and Mark Sisson's blog Mark's Daily Apple.