+41 78 614 6830 audrey@lotuspowerhealth.com
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Embrace Your Diet

The word “diet” has gained quite a negative reputation. It is often associated with a unsustainable and unenjoyable way of eating, such as calorie restricting or cutting out entire food groups long-term.

However, when diets are administered in a maintainable manner, they can be incredible tools. In particular, the elimination diet is structured to gain a better understanding on how your body reacts to certain foods. It is a short-term eating plan that eliminates certain foods that are common in causing bodily distress. Then you reintroduce these foods one at a time to truly uncover how your body responds to them.

At first, it may seem intimidating to eliminate many foods from your diet at once, but experimenting with your diet is one of the only ways to understand how to properly nurture your body!

 

The Elimination Solution

A food allergy is defined as, “an unpleasant or dangerous immune system reaction after a certain food is eaten.” More than 170 foods have been reported to cause allergic reactions and many people around the world suffer from at least one food allergy.

In contrast, food sensitivities are not an immune reaction, but have a wider range of repercussions on the body.

The tricky part is that food allergies and sensitivities manifest in a number of different ways and while they are usually self-diagnosable, they can be easily misinterpreted.

Do you suffer from (list is not exhaustive):

  • Digestive Distress
  • Respiratory Issues
  • Rashes
  • Water Retention
  • Acne
  • Migraines
  • Congestion
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Brain Fog?

The culprit very well might be on your plate, but there is no way of knowing without isolating the offender.

It can be difficult to do alone, that’s why I’d often lead my client through a Seasonal Hormones Reset / Detox Program or an Intolerance Testing Program so that we get the help of science to get them to feel results very fast.

Step 1: Preparation phase: Document your symptoms

List down everything. Take photos for comparison if you need to. Start from you head to your toes and document every change you may have noticed in your body. List down your skin reactions, bloating, gas, and even mood swings. This is a great starting point to the elimination diet.

 

Step 2: Elimination phase: Remove common allergens from your diet for 23 days

Why 23 days? It takes 23 days for antibodies, which react to food, to turn over. If you reintroduce the foods that contain common allergens sooner than that, you won’t experience the full effect of eliminating them in the first place.

While you may choose only to eliminate the foods that you suspect are the culprits, it is advisable to cut out all the foods that commonly cause intolerances. If you notice that you end up with persistent diarrhea after you drink milk, you may choose to stop consuming any dairy products for 23 days.

Common suspects

The major food allergens recognized by the Federal Drug Associations (FDA) include:

  • Wheat and gluten-containing foods
  • Soy and soybeans
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Corn
  • Peanuts and tree nuts
  • Alcohol and processed sugars
  • Packaged/processed or fast food
  • Potentially: fish and shellfish

There are MANY other foods that cause adverse reactions in people, but these nine groups account for 90 percent of food allergic reactions. Many of the foods we eat are derived from these ingredients so it can take some real investigative work to sort through these!

How to spot allergens

Food companies have become quite skillful in hiding certain foods into our daily diets. Luckily, regulations on food labeling has made it much more accessible for the consumer to be aware of what they are eating.

The common food allergens listed in my last post are particularly easier to spot on an ingredient label as now it must be stated if ingredients are derived from one of these foods. For example, you may see “flour (wheat)” as clarification that the flour used in the product contains wheat. Additionally, at the end of the ingredient list, if there are any common allergens included in the product, you will see a bolded list of what the products contain.

Do you usually look at the ingredients label on the packaged food you eat? Have you ever noticed these allergen statements?

Foods to exclude

The list of foods to exclude during an elimination diet is comprehensive and may be a bit intimidating. However, it is designed to really help you understand how great your body is supposed to feel and what foods may be sabotaging your health.

Eliminate:

  • Wheat and gluten-containing foods
  • Soy and soybeans
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Corn
  • Peanuts and tree nuts
  • Alcohol and processed sugars
  • Caffeine
  • Packaged/processed or fast food
  • Potentially: fish and shellfish
  • Red Meat
  • Hydrogenated Oils
  • Additional foods as indicated by intolerance testing

Why these foods?

Everybody is different therefore the reaction people experience to certain foods varies widely. Up next, I will be going over the “why” behind most of the foods eliminated in the Elimination Diet.

Why 23 days?

The optimal time to keep these foods out of your diet is 21-23 days. (This is very important because it is unlikely that you will notice a difference if you reintroduce these foods back into your diet sooner!)

It takes approximately three weeks for the antibodies responsible for the negative food-related immune reactions to dissipate. Shortening this elimination period can affect the validity of this experiment. In other words, you will not experience relief from your symptoms if you do not give your body enough time without the foods that may be causing them.

What do I eat?

This diet requires some research on what to eat, extra time for food preparation, and some creativity.

One common mistake in participating in an elimination diet is focusing on what you have to eliminate, versus embracing the things you are still able to eat.

Foods to include in your diet while going through the elimination phase include:

  • Gluten Free Grains (rice, quinoa, amaranth, tapioca, buckwheat, teff)
  • Dairy Substitutes (almond milk, coconut milk, hemp milk, rice milk)
  • Vegetables (except corn)
  • Whole Fruits (fresh, frozen, or water-packed)
  • Lean and Clean Animal Protein (wild game, lamb, organic chicken, fresh fish)
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Beans and Most Legumes (except soybeans and peanuts)
  • High Quality Oils (coconut, avocado, cold-pressed olive)
  • Herbal Teas
  • Sweetener Alternatives in Moderation (honey, blackstrap molasses, brown rice syrup)
  • Spices!

When you focus on all the foods included in the elimination diet it doesn’t seem quite as challenging!

And if you’re looking for help and delicious recipes to follow, check out our Seasonal Hormones Reset / Detox Program or Intolerances Testing Program.

 

Step 3: Reintroduction phase

The structure of the elimination diet is just as important as the comprehensive “eliminate” list. After the 3 week elimination phase, you will transition into reintroducing the food back into your diet.

During the reintroduction phase it is imperative to pay attention to how each food makes you feel. This is done by reintroducing food groups one-by-one for 48 hours at a time.

You would pick one food to include into your diet again and take note of how it makes you feel for the next two days. Try the same process again for an additional two days. If you did not notice any issue for those 4 days, you can choose to re-incorporate that food into your regular diet.

Follow these steps with the remaining eliminated food groups. If any food seemed to cause any health issues, stop eating them and wait until any symptoms subside before continuing the process.

 

Extra Tips

Tip #1: Pan ahead!

Having food readily available that you can eat sets you up for success!

Tip #2: Read labels!

As mentioned before, a lot of potential allergens hide in many of the foods we eat everyday. Embarking on an elimination diet requires reading ingredient labels to ensure that you do not accidentally consume a food that may disrupt the results of the diet.

Tip #3: Stay hydrated!

It is common to confuse dehydration for hunger. Remembering to drink enough water throughout the day will help control cravings and satiety.

Tip #4: Write it out!

Keeping a journal to track your initial symptoms, how you feel while eliminating and reintroducing certain foods, and your overall experience with the elimination diet provides an incredible amount of information on your health and potential food intolerances.

Tip #5: Trust your body and your instincts

Be sure to pay close attention to your body throughout the entire diet and listen to your body.

At this point, you may be surprised by how much better you feel having cut out things like refined sugar and processed foods. You’re happier, lighter, and feeling less “blah.” Have you noticed that you have more energy or that your skin is glowing?

Allergy or not, no one said you had to reintroduce any of these foods back into your diet particularly if after 23 days you’re doing much better without them.

Tip #6: Get help!

Whether we’re talking accountability or help to make the right changes for you, it’s important to know you have someone who’s there to help you out when things are not going according to plan, so that you can comfortably pick up where you left off.  That’s what our Seasonal Hormones Reset / Detox Program or Intolerances Testing Program are about. Check them out! 😀

Take action:

Step 1: Write down 1-2 action steps that you are inspired to take after reading this article. Find time in your schedule to implement these, and assess after a few days what changes you're seeing.

Step 2: Check out our Start-Here Page for more resources to help you with your health.

Step 3: Schedule a 30-minute complimentary Optimised Health Strategy Call to discuss your health goals. Let's connect to get a strategy in place to help you optimise your health from the inside out. You’ll be sent a private access to a hormones questionnaire that my private clients get access to, I’ll review your questionnaire before our call, we’ll discuss your symptoms, your goals, get clear about what you should be focusing on to reach them. The call will be recorded and you’ll get access to the call recording, so that you may go back to what we talked about, and you’ll also get a short report outlining your results and some strategies to get your started. No pitch. But if you’re looking for support, then yes, we’ll explore if we’re the right fit to work together, as well as how this would look like. 

The value of this call is 250$, yours complimentary when you take action today!

Note: I only offer 5 of these on any given month!

Book your call here.

More about Audrey:

I believe that our genetic destiny isn’t fixed, and it can be edited, rewritten, changed. I am committed to finding the best tools to help you thrive, so that we can all lead a life that is more fulfilling and impactful, knowing that our health is there to support us. Epigenetics. Bio-individuality. Intolerances. Toxicity. Nutritional deficiencies. Gut health. And last but not least: hormones. Which is what started me on this path of health, and this career. In fact, I overcame a diagnosis of endometriosis and infertility, and I am now both pain free, and the mom to twin boys born in December 2016. I share through bi-monthly webinars my knowledge so that you can take action knowing you’re supported. When in need of more support, let's chat. I provide support through online courses, group coaching programs and more individualised programs, depending on your needs.

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