Here are answers to common questions asked by Equilibrium Dieters while transitioning to the diet.
- When can I eat “fruits” like tomatoes and avocados?
What really matters for getting the timing of when we eat certain foods correct is the glycemic-index of the food (or the amount of sugar or carbs the food has). Yes, tomatoes, avocados, limes, lemons, and unsweetened cranberries are all technically fruits but they have such little fructose (fruit sugar) that we can treat them as non-starch vegetables and so can have them anytime of day, both before 2pm and after.
2. What about vegetables like beets, sweet potatoes, acorn squash, potatoes and corn?
All of these are high starch vegetables and so should be consumed after 2pm. Different people have affinities for different foods and handle them differently. So one person might be okay with a little corn before 2pm but might have a total glycemic crash with just a few bites of potato before 2pm; another person could be the total opposite. Once you get established on the Equilibrium Diet, have a piece of corn or a baked potato before 2pm and see how you feel to experiment with what works best for your body–just be sure to stay below that 18% carb-count.
3. What about pork?
Pork is a really long amino acid chain so it’s relatively difficult to digest. A lot of people switching over from the Standard American Diet, or with candida overgrowth or thyroid problems will have low stomach acid and it won’t be able to properly digest pork. I recommend most people avoid pork for the first year or so to get their stomach acid back up. But once we have the digestive rigor to handle it, organically raised pork with fermented veggies is fine for most people. Pork was traditionally eaten in many Pagan societies and stereo-typically, it was eaten with sauerkraut or pickled beets–those fermented vegetables provide the enzymes needed to digest pork properly without taxing the pancreas. Some people avoid pork because it’s sort of the bottom-feeder of animals, but as long as it is organic and preferably pasture-raised I have never experienced or observed problems from it. For people of Eastern European descent (and other traditionally pork-eating societies), pork can be an important protein-source once stomach acidity is optimized.
4. I have the “proteins before 2pm” part down but why do I have to have 3-5 different sources of protein and can they all be meat?
This is a really interesting part of proper food-timing; because if you just have a steak, broccoli, and salad for breakfast without other protein-sources you will probably be hungry about 4 hours later even if you eat a ton of steak. But if you combine a 4 ounce steak with roasted almonds and a cashew truffle and some raw goat cheese (plus the broccoli and salad), you are going to be full for 5-7 hours (or more–some people start out just eating one meal a day because they are so satiated). Quantity does matter but so does the variety–providing 3-5 different protein sources ensures the liver is given most (if not all) of the 22 different amino acids. This means the liver doesn’t have to make any amino acids to balance out the ones it has received–the liver just takes those amino acids and goes to work which is really really efficient and enables you to feel full longer (another way of saying this is that you are burning less energy to digest your food when you combine 3-5 sources of protein). Note: only one of the protein sources should be a meat (ideally), this provides the best balance (or diversification) of amino acids consumed.
5. I ate my first Equilibrium Breakfast and I couldn’t eat the rest of the day, I was too full, what should I do?
This is really common. When we eat with proper timing our body is getting more nutrients out of one meal than it would in an entire day (for most people) and so we hit our satiation point after breakfast. That’s okay, keep at it–even if you just eat breakfast Equilibrium-style and nothing else you are getting scores of nutrients AND your liver is getting to clean the body when it’s not digesting. Over time, your body will realize it can use more nutrients and you will be able to eat lunch again, or dinner again. Many people realize that they feel best on two meals a day – breakfast and lunch. Others eat just fruit or salad for dinner. And people who are really depleted, growing, or burning a lot of energy will need 3 meals a day unless their livers are in cleanse mode (which can happen when beginning the Equilibrium Diet).
6. Help! I just ate meat/fish at night for the first time after switching to the Equilibrium Diet and I woke up sick in the middle of the night and feel hungover–what is going on?
So you have been following the Equilibrium Diet for 4 weeks, 6 weeks, 6 months, and you end up eating meat at night – maybe because you are in Puerto Rico (I was), or at a restaurant with friends, or at your parent’s and your mom made your favorite meal – yep, it happens, and it usually happens once because once your liver gets into the pattern of cleaning all through the night, that is what it wants to do and that increases your body awareness and stabilizes the pH-cycle of your body so when you go to eat meat at night, your liver is NOT a happy camper. We all have to try it once and most of us wake up with stabbing pains in our abdomens and then feel hung over. I know it sucks but it’s actually a big milestone when your body awareness hits that level because you are finally able to feel the stress you have caused your body almost every day for your entire life (unless you are a vegetarian). To minimize the symptoms, support the liver with activated charcoal, NAC, milk thistle and coffee enemas. These will provide the fastest relief. You may not have an appetite until your liver clears out all of the waste that was created from improperly digested proteins which could be 1-3 days.
7. What about the following foods?
- Salsa and trader joe chips? – Read ingredients, some of Tj’s salsas are okay but they shouldn’t have any added sugar, and chips should be 100% organic corn which TJ’s does have (blue corn is GMO-free so far)
- Plain goat milk yogurt? with fruit… no fruit? Goat yogurt is great but no fruit unless it is pineapple/papaya but you can add some maple syrup/agave/raw honey
- Parmesan reggiano cheese from trader joes? If you are having cheese, make sure it’s organic – cow dairy is really inflammatory for almost everyone, goat’s is MUCH better, sheep is in between. Butter is fine but at some point its’ good to cut out all cow dairy for 6 weeks and see how you do and then try a little and see if you react. It took me 18 months to do that and some people never take that step but it is SO SO hard on the body.
- Butter yes other oils ok? Organic butter, yes. Avocado oil, yes. Coconut oil, yes. Seasame oil, yes. Try to avoid: canola, vegetable oil, sunflower seed oil.
- Balsamic vinegar? I would cut out for a while and then try it to see how you feel. I can have it once in a while but couldn’t for the first several years.
- Salad dressing recommend? Foods Alive off of Amazon.com – see link on products page
- Chick peas and hummus? Yes, just read all ingredients, some hummus has high fructose corn syrup among other things.
- Cottage cheese with fruit? – No fruit except pineapple and papaya – you could use sprouts, olives, raw honey, tomatoes, carrots, celery if you are still eating cow dairy.