What is an Elimination Diet and what is the purpose?
Well, that tiredness, bloating, skin rash or brain fog you've been experiencing could be the result of food intolerances. These discomforts we tend to write off as normalcy can be directly related to what you're eating, and the way to know for sure if what you’re eating is causing you trouble is to try an elimination diet.
To make it simple, an elimination diet consists of you avoiding certain foods for a few weeks. After you get these foods out of your system, you'll begin reintroducing them to your diet one at a time. If you have kids, it’s much like starting them on solids and watching for any symptoms of sensitivities, but in reverse.
Food Sensitivity Symptoms
Intolerances aren’t always a major allergic reaction with a swollen tongue and puffy eyes. In fact, the majority of food intolerances present themselves as common discomforts such as dry skin, itching, bloating, digestive upsets, headaches, fatigue, migraines, and achy joints and pains. You might only have one of these or a combination of them.
Yes, it sounds like just about every other illness, but you might find that with an elimination diet, you’ll pinpoint the source of that mysterious bloating and actually be able to do something about it, finally! You’ll feel more like yourself, and you’ll be aware of what foods cause inflammation for you.
Of top importance is getting rid of any chronic inflammation you may be dealing with. Over time, it can cause significant damage and lead to illness. Don’t panic if you only feel these symptoms once in a while, but if you feel like this daily, for example, fogginess when thinking, small aches, skin issues, or bloating, you should definitely try the elimination diet to see if you can get back to feeling like yourself.
How to Do It
Want to get started? The elimination diet has 2 phases. The first one is about eliminating while the second one is about reintroduction. You should keep a rigorous journal to help you spot any changes, good or bad.
- The Elimination Phase
During this phase, you must eliminate any foods you think are triggering symptoms for about 2 or 3 weeks. Most of these are things like dairy, citrus, corn, nuts, eggs, shellfish, pork, gluten, wheat, and nightshade vegetables. Generally, you’ll notice your symptoms clear up which will mean you’re ready for the next phase. If nothing changes, that can be an indication of an imbalance and more detective work should be done, and I can help with that.
- The Reintroduction Phase
Next, you’ll slowly start bringing those eliminated foods back onto your plate. Only introduce one food group at a time over a period of 2 to 3 days. Be watching for those symptoms we mentioned. If anything you reintroduce sets off your symptoms, then you know you need to eliminate it.
One word of caution though: some of you may find several groups of reintroduced food to bring your symptoms back. Should that happen to you, schedule a checkup with your doctor or contact me so we can dig deeper and create a plan to help you get the right nutrition while avoiding the foods that trigger your symptoms.
I was surprised by the food sensitivities I discovered after doing a 14-day food cleanse. The cleanse had me eliminate food culprits without thinking about it. When I brought the foods back into my diet one-by-one, I discovered symptoms that I didn't even know were symptoms, such as dry eye, excess mucus, ear wax, dry skin and subtle joint aches. I had lived with these for so long, I didn't realize they were symptoms and that I could actually eliminate them. I thought it was just part of my genetic make-up or just part of getting old.
I invite you to try an elimination diet to discover your symptoms. All you need now is the willingness to devote the time. You will be saving yourself a lifetime of discomfort, and the time you invest is absolutely worth it.
Are you interested in doing a 14-day food cleanse to find your food sensitivities? CLICK HERE