How to Follow an Elimination Diet?

Elimination diets don’t exactly sound like the most fun thing in the world, but if you’re struggling with digestive issues, they can change your life. How do you get to the root of an issue if you can never pinpoint the cause? You don’t. That’s why millions of people live with illness unnecessarily every day. Because they never took the time to discover that perhaps their thyroid problems would improve by removing gluten from their diet. Or their IBS might get significantly better with a dairy-free diet.

It’s important to take responsibility for your own health if you want to feel good, and the elimination diet is the foundational journey you must take to decipher what works and what doesn’t.

How to do an Elimination Diet?

Certain foods trigger more negative reactions than others. The elimination diet gets rid of common food allergens for a month. Typically the foods you don’t eat for that time frame include…

  • Gluten
  • Grains
  • Dairy
  • Sugar and sweeteners (except stevia)
  • Processed foods
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Citrus fruits
  • Nightshade vegetables (tomato, peppers, and eggplant)
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Soy
  • Meat with nitrites

Not all elimination diets are the same and you don’t necessarily have to remove all these foods.

Once you’ve eliminated these foods for a month you start to reintroduce them into your diet one by one.

By adding a new food back to your diet every 1-3 days you can get a clear idea of how that food is affecting you.

Writing about your physical and emotional reaction in a food journal will help you track what works and what doesn’t.

By the end of this process,  you should have a good idea of the foods that trigger or exacerbate whatever health conditions you’re dealing with.

Doing an Elimination Diet will help you have a good idea of the foods that trigger or exacerbate whatever health conditions you’re dealing with. Click To Tweet

 

Negative Reactions to Watch For

  • Soreness/joint pain
  • Digestive distress ex. Constipation, bloating, diarrhea etc.
  • Insomnia
  • Mood changes
  • Brain fog
  • Trouble breathing
  • Excess mucous
  • Headaches
  • Breakouts/skin problems

Who Should Do an Elimination Diet?

It is recommended by most healthcare professionals that everyone should do a type of an elimination diet at least once in their life. Many people don’t realize that they have symptoms of an illness until they experience what it feels like to live without them.

For example, you might think that your frequent headaches or acne breakouts are due to the fact that it runs in your family, but after doing an elimination diet you might notice these symptoms decrease or even disappear when you make changes to the foods you eat.

 

People who can especially benefit from doing an elimination diet include:

  • People with skin irritations, blemishes, and rashes
  • People with low energy levels despite eating a “healthy diet”
  • People who struggle with autoimmune disease or metabolic syndrome
  • People with body aches and pains due to inflammation
  • Anyone with known food allergies who is still experiencing symptoms (one type of allergy, like gluten, can be linked to other kinds of sensitivities, such as dairy)

Best Foods to Have During an Elimination Diet

  • Probiotics and fermented foods: help replenish good bacteria and crowd out bad bacteria in the gut. They contain organic acids that balance intestinal pH and reduce acidity and inflammation. Try sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha and natto.
  • Bone broth: contains collagen and the amino acids proline and glycine that can help heal your damaged cell walls.
  • Cultured dairy: Contains probiotics and a healthy source of amino acids that can help heal the gut. Pastured kefir, yogurt, grass-fed butter are some of the best.
  • Coconut products: The MCFA’s in coconut are easier to digest than other fats and nourish a healing gut. Try coconut oil, coconut flour, and coconut kefir (which also contains probiotics and protein)

If you’ve been wondering what’s going on with your body, I would definitely suggest an elimination diet to start with. Before you create a route to get to your health destination, you need a map.

If you’re seriously interested in doing an elimination diet and have someone to guide you on the process, I’m here for you. Check out my 1:1 coaching programs HERE. During my program, I guide you thru an eliminations diet and together we will uncover those foods that are not good for you body. We will be restoring your digestion and boost your energy. I include suggested meals plans, a ton of delicious satisfying recipes as well as strategies that will help rebuild your intestinal flora. Sign up HERE for a FREE strategy session and let’s get started!

 

 

To your wellness,

  • Great post. I want to try eliminating coffee and sugar for a month but it’s the thought of doing it that is worse than actually doing it! I love the idea about recording the physical and emotional reactions in a journal – it’s easy to think a cause is related to something else but it might be just a particular type of food. Thanks!

    • I totally get it Gem. Lifestyle changes are not easy! Try to make it gradually, like putting half the amount of sugar in your coffee, for example, each week. BTW, coffee is not really unhealthy if it’s in moderation, the unhealthy part is the sugar, so getting that out and you can still drink coffee in moderation.