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Elimination Diet Plan

 

Diet Origins

Elimination plans have been used by Nutritionists and Physicians to help their clients and patients determine if they have any sensitivity to certain foods.

Diet Philosophy

Food sensitivity or intolerance can cause inflammation, stress, digestive issues, excess weight, behavioral issues and low energy.  By eliminating common trigger foods you will give your body the opportunity to begin to repair from any damage caused by foods that you may be intolerant of. 

Many individuals have food sensitivities or intolerances and be completely unaware.  A food intolerance may be as subtle as a stuffy nose or as obvious as stomach cramping after eating a trigger food. 

One school of thought suggests that the food consumed today is often highly processed and contains many ingredients.  Our bodies may be growing intolerant to the high levels of these trigger foods that are part of many foods that we eat every day. 

Diet Claims

Eliminating trigger food allows your body to heal and with that stress is reduced, there is less inflammation, weight and mood begins to stabilize and there is more energy.

Diet Structure

During the elimination diet plan you will remove common trigger foods from your diet for 21 days.  If during that 21 days you eat a restricted food you must begin at day 1 again.  It is essential that you allow your body to have the time to rest and recover from foods that may be causing problems.

After Day 21

When the 21 days are complete you will begin adding in foods that you have eliminated, one by one.  It is best to take a day or two with the new food before adding in another.  This will allow you to be able to tell if you have a sensitivity to the foods that you are adding back in. 

Start with a food that you miss the most.  Pay close attention (maybe keep a journal) to how you feel after reintroducing the food back into your diet.  Remember that intolerances or sensitivities are often subtle.  Some common symptoms of food intolerance or sensitivity are; brain fog, joint pain, acne, rosacea, headache, moodiness, gas, bloating, fatigue, sinusitis, digestive disturbances, hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder (ADD).

If you notice that you have symptoms after adding a food back into your diet you should consider removing that food from your diet completely.  You can safely follow this plan for the rest of your life.  It may be challenging at times, but a little planning can go along way.

Food Restrictions

During this plan you will eliminate gluten (wheat), soy, dairy, artificial wweeteners, added sugar and alcohol from your diet for 21 days.

Supplements

It is recommended to take a quality vitamin and mineral supplement daily.  You may also use a protein shake mix to add variety and ease in meal planning.  The shake mix should be gluten, dairy and artificial sweetener free.  These can be found at many health food or vitamin stores or online.

 It is not necessary to use a protein shake supplement to follow this plan.  The DIY plan will not include a protein shake example.  If you choose to use the 21 day plan there will be recipes for shakes included; you may just choose a whole food meal that appeals to you in place of the shake.

Diet Testing

Clinicians in many settings have been using elimination diets for many years.  Often time’s food sensitivity has been tested using an expensive laboratory test that many insurance plans will not pay for.  Following an elimination diet is a cost effective, non-invasive way to test for food intolerance.

About Calories, Portion Sizes, Snacks, Breakfast and Preparing Your Environment

This is not a calorie restrictive plan.  You should eat the amount of food that makes you feel satisfied and provides you with adequate energy.  Calorie counts will not be included. 

The portion sizes listed in the menu plans are suggestions and represent an average portion size.  If you find that you are hungry soon after a meal you may increase your portion sizes accordingly or add in snacks as needed. 

Snack suggestions are provided as examples, but it is not necessary to eat each snack.  If you have enough energy and do not feel hungry with 3 meals per day, there is no need to eat the snacks.  Do what works for your schedule, energy and hunger level.

Do not skip breakfast!  It provides energy and the foundation for healthy eating for the rest of the day.  Skipping breakfast may increase cravings causing you to eat a trigger food in a weak moment. 

If possible remove trigger from your home, office, car, etc.  The less contact you have with the foods that may cause you trouble, the better.  If you cannot remove these foods, be extra vigilant in not consuming them.


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