I would like to introduce a diet that has changed my life and is beginning to change the lives of many others.
In October of 2015 I entered the hardest month of my life….I was experiencing gut/intestinal pain, severe acne, adrenal depletion, an overloaded liver, depression, warts, fatigue and an inability to sleep.
To sum it all up, everything hurt physically, mentally, and emotionally. I was distraught that my body was preventing me from showing up in the world the way that I truly wanted to. I didn’t want to eat, cook, be productive, blog, go out, go to school, any of it!
Two months went by like this until I went to see a local naturopathic doctor. It was suggested that I go on what is called an elimination diet for 3 weeks.
This diet was probably the most amazing thing I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. For three weeks I challenged myself to get completely off of:
Dairy Gluten Sugar Soy Nuts Caffeine Alcohol Corn Legumes Nightshades White Potatoes
So what does that leave me with? Basically milk substitutes like coconut or rice milk, fruits, gluten free grains, meat and vegetables. I’ll admit that it was tricky. I began by taking out the things that I was already impartial to and didn’t mind taking out such as caffeine, alcohol, white potatoes, nuts, corn, legumes, and gluten. For me, all of those things were easily substituted. A couple of days went by like this and then I began to take out nightshades. Then the hardest part came: Dairy and sugar. I am completed addicted to both of theses things so it was incredibly tricky to get off of them. I gave myself the space to have my cravings and just started by decreasing my intake. Another week or two went by like this until I was able to finally get off of both of them.
Five days went by with out eating any dairy for the first time in 4 years and I could hardly believe what I saw:
- my acne was gone (for the first time in 4 years)
- my energy was back
- my gut didn’t hurt
- nausea, diarrhea, gas — gone!
- depression subsided
- warts disappeared
I had my life back and it felt so good to know that the power was in my hands and it was something as simple as a shift in diet. So here I am at the end of my 3 weeks and I have amazing skin, energy, and vitality to show for it.
UNDERSTANDING THE DIET
The Elimination Diet is great for anyone with any kind of food sensitivity or GI disturbances as well as arthritis, ADD/ADHD, narcolepsy, migraines, issues with the kidneys, cardiovascular disease, allergies, asthma, and others. It’s best if the diet is adhered to for a minimum of 2 weeks. Big dogs like gluten and dairy should be eliminated for 28 days.
It should also be understood that these dietary changes are not permanent and that these foods can be reintroduced. It is recommended that you begin to introduce one of the eliminated food groups for one day and then notice your symptoms for the two following days. If you show no symptoms or reactions you can introduce another food group. This process can take up to 5-6 weeks. At the end of the process you will know a great deal about your body and your allergies. I learned that I was allergic to dairy and nuts, I could tolerate gluten and sugar, and appear to have no symptoms concerning soy, beans, nightshades or caffeine.
Consult your physician or registered dietitian if you find that there is a certain food group you’d like to introduce, but have an allergic reaction to.
Here’s my advice for trying it yourself:
- Give yourself space to do it at your own pace and don’t beat yourself up when you “relapse”
- Understand that you WILL go through withdrawals and that they WILL pass and you WILL make it
- Consult your doctor or physician if you have any questions or concerns
- Find a community or a friend to support you in your process
- Switch to organic foods
- Get on a Probiotic, Multivitamin and/or a B Vitamin complex
- Supplement with essential fatty acids (i.e. EPA or Fish) and CoQ10
- Remove other toxins that your not digesting such as perfumes, chemical fragrances, artificially scented lotions, cremes, shampoos and conditioners.
Tips and Tricks for getting through the withdrawal symptoms:
- Epsom salt and lavender essential oil bath
- Charcoal (to bind toxins being produced in the body during detox)
- Broccoli Sprouts
- Getting body work at least once a week (ex: yoga, massage, chiropractor, acupuncture, etc.).
- Don’t keep what you crave in the house and resist the urge to buy them when you shop.
- When a craving appears, drink a large glass of water and wait 30 minutes. Often, the craving will go away.
- Don’t let yourself get too hungry. When you get hungry you’ll want to eat what you crave, so try to keep an emergency snack or meal prepared.
Check out this link for more information about the Elimination Diet, what to eat, how to reintroduce, recipes, and for more general information:
For literature on the Diet I suggest exploring: