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What is ReNew Food Plan?

The ReNew Food Plan is a nutritional pathway to health for those who have autoimmune, gastrointestinal, neurological, and other chronic health conditions. This plan is designed as a “whole systems reboot” to set an individual on a renewed path to wellness. It helps support healing by removing common food triggers that are contributing to metabolic dysfunction while providing the essential nutrients that are needed for health and vitality. The ReNew Food Plan is a way of eating that reduces intake of all sweeteners and processed foods, lowers inflammation, and improves the body’s ability to eliminate harmful substances. It places a strong emphasis on eating clean foods for life and avoiding those foods that impair the body’s ability to  function properly. 

Features of ReNew Food Plan


Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a certain way to cook cruciferous vegetables to maximize their impact on detoxification?


Raw cruciferous vegetables can be difficult for some people to digest. Additionally, active goitrogens (thyroidinhibiting substances) are found in raw cruciferous vegetables, but are inactivated by cooking, so people with low thyroid hormone levels should cook these vegetables. Also, the enzyme myrosinase, which converts broccoli compounds to anticancer substances, is typically destroyed with about 10 minutes of cooking). Lightly steaming cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, for about 90 seconds (to the point it becomes bright green) is best for digestion and for liberating active compounds in the broccoli, yet will avoid destroying beneficial compounds

How much fish should be eaten per week?


The Environmental Protection Agency makes the following recommendations regarding fish consumption:


  • Do not eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish because they contain high levels of mercury.


  • Eat 12 ounces (two or three average meals) a week of a variety of fish that are low in mercury. Some of these fish are listed in the ReNew Food Plan, but a more detailed list can be provided by a practitioner.


  • Five commonly eaten fish that are low in mercury are sardines, anchovies, salmon, pollock, and catfish.


  • Check local advisories about the safety of fish caught by family and friends in local lakes, rivers, and coastal areas.


Are there any other foods I should avoid?


In addition to the major allergens, there are compounds in certain vegetables and fruits that may cause food intolerances in certain individuals. These compounds include histamines, oxalates, salicylates, and nightshades. Practitioners may choose to have their patients avoid foods that contain these compounds if there is reason to think that these foods are causing symptoms. Nightshades and foods high in histamine are highlighted on the food list to help individuals for whom these foods are a concern. If symptoms are observed when eating foods from these categories, patients should notify their practitioner.



Histamine is a key mediator in inflammation. It occurs naturally in many foods and is also produced by the body during times of stress and allergy. Histamine is made and stored in mast cells and is released during allergen exposure, causing dilation of blood vessels, increased mucus production, and broncho-constriction. The release of histamine results in symptoms such as itching, sneezing, asthma, headache, and rash. Additionally, certain foods and food additives prompt the release of histamine from mast cells. In general, foods to avoid on a low-histamine diet include bananas, chocolate, strawberries, tomatoes, egg whites, pork, sauerkraut, cheeses, fermented soy products, sausage, spinach, ketchup, eggplant, alcoholic beverages, smoked meats, vinegars, and canned fish, coffee and tea, leftover meats along with certain food additives and preservatives such as tartrazine and other food colors, benzoates, BHA, and BHT. You will note that few of these foods are part of the ReNew Food Plan. The histamine content in foods varies markedly according to storage and maturation; protein foods that may normally be low in histamine will have increasing amounts of histamine as they age (e.g., leftover beef) or ripen  (a green tomato vs. a ripe tomato). Leftover foods, especially those containing protein, should be frozen immediately. It is generally advisable to eat only food that has been freshly prepared.




Oxalates are naturally occurring molecules found in plants and in the human body. Becaues the body cannot process oxalates, they are usually eliminated through the stool and urine. However, certain health conditions (like predisposition to kidney stones) may require oxalates to be limited or avoided. The leaves of oxalate-containing plant typically contain higher oxalate levels than the roots, stems, and stalks. High oxalate-containing foods include: blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, currants, kiwifruit, Concord (purple) grapes, figs, tangerines, plums, spinach, Swiss chard, beet greens, collards, okra, parsley, leeks, quinoa, celery, green beans, rutabagas, summer squash, almonds, cashews, peanuts, soybeans, tofu, soy products, wheat bran, wheat germ, cocoa, chocolate, and black tea.



Salicylates are derivatives of salicylic acid that occur naturally in plants and serve as a natural immune hormone and preservative. Salicylates can cause health problems in anyone when consumed in large doses, and must be avoided by those who are salicylate intolerant. The bark, leaves, roots, and seeds of certain plants store salicylates, preventing them from rotting and protecting them against harmful insects, bacteria, and fungi. Many common foods, such as citrus fruits, berries, certain vegetables, herbs, spices, tea, and flavor additives contain salicylates. Chemically related to aspirin, salicylates may also be created synthetically and can be found in many drugs other than aspirin: analgesics, muscle relaxants, cough mixtures, antacids, cold and flu medications, and acne lotions. Certain perfumes, pesticides, and preservatives also contain salicylates. People with nasal polyps and asthma may have a particular susceptibility to salicylate-containing foods. 



Nightshades are a botanical family of plants known as Solanaceae. This family has more than 2,000 plant species, most of which are inedible or poisonous. The edible plants can cause adverse food reactions in individuals with certain autoimmune diseases and are especially troublesome for people who are sensitive to lectin, saponin, or capsaicin. Common edible nightshades include the following and their varieties: ashwagandha, bell peppers, cape gooseberries, eggplant, garden huckleberries, goji berries, hot peppers (e.g., chili, jalapeno, habanero, and scotch bonnet, as well as chilibased spices like cayenne, chili powder, crushed red pepper, and paprika), naranjillas, pepinos, pimentos, potatoes (except sweet potatoes), tomatillos, and tomatoes. 

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