The last three weeks, I have been on an elimination diet. Bummer, right?
I started it to help out some family members and from there it grew into a mini experiment.
Before I get to that I want to first go over what is an Elimination Diet.
- It’s where you eliminate certain foods for a short-period of time to see if you have a potential allergy to certain foods or even food groups.
- These foods and food groups that you are to eliminate vary by source, but my recommendation closely follows JJ Virgin’s Protocol. The list is gluten, dairy, soy, corn, sugar, caffeine, alcohol and peanuts. Note, some elimination diets even remove eggs. Removing all of these food categories means that processed food is a no-go by default.
- You would need to remove these foods for at minimum 21 days, but ideally it would be 30-60 days so you can get all of the build-up of toxins out of your system.
- After that time period, you would SLOWLY introduce these foods/food groups back into your system by adding one per week to see how your body reacts.
- If you feel symptoms when you add these foods back into your system then you want to eliminate this food completely from your normal routine.
- Note: Symptoms can be anything from bloating, gas, constipation, skin issues, headaches, joint pain, heart burn and the list goes on and on. You may not feel these symptoms immediately, but rather experience them a few days later, which is why we only add one food or food group back each week.
- If you do not have a reaction then most likely your body can tolerate it. With that said, there are certain foods listed above that all of us react to in varying degrees especially on a cellular level so that does not give you free reign per se.
- Repeat this exercise once a year. As we age, so do our bodies and what we can and cannot tolerate so this exercise helps us to make sure we are being mindful and listening to our bodies.
- Note, if you deal with chronic pain and inflammation I would highly recommend excluding nightshades, as well as all grains, including healthy ones like quinoa and brown rice. You will be amazed at the difference this can make in your pain levels in addition to cutting gluten, dairy, soy, corn and sugar.
I know what you are thinking if I remove everything you listed, WTH can I actually eat then?!
That’s what I thought too when I first tested it out. I thought it was crazy, absurd and to be honest I was skeptical. Was I really going to feel better just from eliminating foods or food groups? I focused on the foods that I had to remove and thought only about what I was missing and/or craving. This made my experience MISERABLE! I hated it and it was a struggle every single day! Though the end result is that I did end up feeling better and I did learn more about my body.
Stay tuned for my next article where I give you tips on how to think about this type of experiment in a different light so the experience is actually more enjoyable.
In the mean time, let me know if you have ever done an elimination diet and how it went in the comments below.