Ok, so if you haven’t already read part 1 on elimination diets, then I suggest you begin there. For those of you already up to speed — in part 2, we’re going to discuss how to go about doing an elimination diet.
To start, I suggest setting yourself up for success. Rather than focus on what I can’t eat during an elimination diet, I’ll focus on what I can eat. For example:
- All the fruits and veggies my heart desires (except for those listed in Part 1), fresh or frozen. I usually make a huge pot of veggie soup to get me started.
- High-quality animal proteins like wild fish, free-range chicken, organic eggs
- Beans and legumes
- Grains like quinoa and brown rice
- Nuts and seeds
- Smoothies made with almond milk and the fruit of your choice
- Water, green tea, vegetable juices
A big “don’t” that is not on the elimination list: Sugar. It’s not on the list because people typically don’t have intolerances or allergies toward it, but it will kill you. Don’t hate me. But it really doesn’t make sense, does it, to be eating so cleanly, and then wash it down with a Pepsi?? Or to eat a ton of candy?? So lay off the sugar as well. Sorry.
Your first assignment? Implement the above guidelines for no less than three, and optimally, 4 weeks.
Keep a daily diary of how you feel on a scale of 1-10, specifically addressing any complaints you have on a regular basis. Note also quality of sleep and energy levels. Please know it is not unusual to feel a little crappy during your first week or so.You may be dealing with hunger issues, or just plain crankiness from missing your favorite foods. Hang in there.
Dr. Oz has a great little elimination diet cheat-sheet which I highly recommend.
This is a lot to digest (pun intended). Wrap your head around it. Make a shopping list. Try some new recipes. And mostly try to embrace it — you’re making strides for your own personal well-being.
Stay tuned for Part 3, when we’ll talk about when and how to reintroduce forbidden foods.