Elimination Diet – Difficult but worth it.
An Elimination Diet is designed to clear the body of foods that you may be allergic or sensitive to, at the same time improving your body’s ability to process and eliminate these substances.
My first experience with an elimination diet was during my second year of Naturopathic Medical school it was recommended to me by one of the fourth year interns. I figured what do I have to lose, plus if I’m going to recommend this to patients, I better have tried it on my own.
My first elimination diet experience was very intense, especially the first of the three weeks I followed the diet. I experienced fatigue, headaches and sleep changes. After the first week my energy level skyrocketed, motivation was high, and the pesky congestion, I had experienced for as long as I can remember was gone.
I’m not saying it is an easy process but now midway through my fourth elimination diet experience, its not that bad.
Food preparation plays a huge role, as well as ensuring that you have enough protein in your diet so that your energy levels stay stable.
Here is a sneak peak at what is typically in avoided in an elimination diet. I often work with my patients at developing ideas for food substitutions during the diet, or making modifications for people who find the diet overwhelming.
Elimination diet involves removing foods that commonly cause sensitivities in individuals.
Gluten (a protein found in wheat, spelt, kamut, barley, and rye)
Dairy (in all forms)
Nighshade Family (tomatoes, peppers, yams)
Citrus fruits excluding lemons
When making any dietary changes it is important to make sure you are maintaining the correct ratio of carbohydrates, protiens and fats.
Carbohydrates should be primarily of the complex variety, while avoiding refined carbohydrates that will cause unwanted spikes in blood glucose
Proteins should be primarily vegetarian sourced during the elimination diet, with some lean poultry, and fish.
Fats from expellar, or cold pressed vegetarian sources are ideal.
Next post I will share some of my favourite elimination diet friendly snacks.For some individuals who find the thoughts of an elimination diet overwhelming, or want a more specific look at food sensitivities, I often provide laboratory test using a blood spot sample to measure immunoglobulins in blood to certain foods. This is a specific diagnostic tool to help establish a correlation between foods and physical symptoms. For more on food sensitivities check out this previous post.