ReNew Food Plan
Dietary plans are provided with permission from the Institute for Functional Medicine.
Renew Food Plan
The ReNew Food Plan prescribed by a Functional Medicine practitioner is a therapeutic, short-term approach followed for a specific amount of time, often used as a first step in:
- Ridding the body of the most common foods that cause inflammation
- Identifying food allergies, sensitivities, intolerances, and triggers
- Eliminating foods with potentially addictive and harmful components
- Providing nutritional support for the body’s detoxification systems
The following questions may help to determine if the ReNew Food Plan is right for an individual:
- Do you routinely consume and crave fast food, packaged foods, and processed foods with sugar or flour?
- Do you consume fish or shellfish regularly? If so, what kind and where does it come from?
- Do you regularly eat fruits and vegetables that are nonorganic?
- Do you eat fewer than five servings of fresh fruits or vegetables per day?
- Do you consume lots of animal products every day (e.g., meat, milk, cheese, and eggs)?
If a person answers “yes” to one or more of the questions above, he or she may have an addiction to sugar or processed foods, may be exposed to a high level of potential food triggers or allergens, or may have a high total body burden of toxins. The ReNew Food Plan focuses on removing processed foods with sugar, grains, and dairy—the main sources of most food allergies and intolerances (also referred to as food sensitivities)—as well as artificial sweeteners and processed chemicals. As a result of eliminating these foods and chemicals from the diet, the body will be better able to repair tissues and eliminate toxins.
A Functional Medicine practitioner may also suggest a gut restoration or healing program for patients who present with intestinal permeability (leaky gut). In this stage of healing, an assessment of digestive function may identify sources of gut bacteria or pathogens that create imbalances within the gut microbiome.
One of the most important aspects of the ReNew Food Plan is the emphasis on consistent intake of foods that help optimize function of the primary organs of elimination and reduce stimulation of the immune system. The gut needs to work efficiently to provide one to two well-formed bowel movements daily. Without proper movement of the bowels, fewer toxins are excreted from the body. Some of these excreted toxins are processed by the liver and are released through the bile. Adequate daily dietary fiber intake (at least 35 grams daily) from colorful, phytonutrientrich, non-starchy vegetables also aids in elimination of endotoxins in the stool. Some converted toxins are also eliminated through urine, which is why proper hydration is essential for optimal detoxification.
The ReNew Food Plan is designed to support not just the gut, but also the liver, the hub of detoxification processes. When neglected through lack of nutrients or overburdened by an increased toxic load, the liver’s capacity to detoxify becomes compromised. By implementing this food plan, an individual will decrease toxin intake and experience better digestive function, improved immune function, and enhanced liver detoxification.
Some individuals may need to follow this plan (or a variation of it) long term. A Functional Medicine practitioner can personalize the plan, advising individuals on how to add certain foods back into the diet while maintaining exclusion of others.