Elimination diets are tough!
But the fact is that nothing else really has the same impact. If food isn't helping you, it's hurting you. Eliminating gluten, dairy and sugar will make the most immediate difference whether your symptoms are weight gain, headaches, joint pain or depression.
My personal food landscape is pretty pristine: organic plants, clean pastured proteins, healthy fats and a few organic fruits. But I'm becoming more reactive to fragrances, moldy environments, cigarette smoke, diesel fumes, and even some real food that should normally be inoffensive: my heart races, my pulse quickens and I feel nauseated very quickly. I have an immediate immune response. An overly aggressive antibiotic treatment for Lyme Disease left my intestinal landscape barren and scorched.
Managing an autoimmune condition is no easy task but one that I've had to accept.
This week I had extensive allergy testing done and sure enough, some of the foods I’ve become suspicious of are now off my list for a while. Looking at this new list of foods to avoid made my head spin and my eyes fill with tears: potatoes, tomatoes, black pepper, eggplant, oysters, mushrooms, peanuts and corn, which for me means popcorn, my weekly thrill. I’ve already said goodbye to wine, but now it’s adios to my beloved apple cider vinegar too. It’s temporary I hope, but sad nonetheless. After a bit of wallowing, I decided to sit up straight and get it together.
What you focus on expands.
I didn’t make that up. I heard it on Oprah a long time ago, and it’s turns out to be true.
The longer I thought about what I can’t eat, the more I wanted to cry. So I put my big girl panties on and made an "EAT THESE FOODS" list so I can re-focus on the amazing variety of foods that are not causing me trouble right now. Of course, it’s important to keep that list of the avoid foods somewhere nearby too. I took the offenders out of the kitchen since my habit is to cook with everything within reach.
Simplify your cooking methods while you’re on an elimination diet.
Don’t reinvent the wheel and try to make pizza with a cauliflower crust unless you are a masochist or doing it to entertain yourself.
Instead, make soups, salads and omelettes (if you can eat eggs). Take a new look at cauliflower and expand the ways you eat it: riced, mashed, roasted, in a curry or soup, etc. Get acquainted with the many ways cabbage can stand in for pasta and almond flour for wheat flour. There are loads of recipes out there now because so many people have been there and done that. Pinterest can do wonders for your food love life.
I urge you to eliminate gluten, dairy and sugar for at least 3 weeks; this is enough time for you to see and feel a difference.
Consider and consult with your doctor about reducing or removing the prescription drugs from your diet. Yes, your diet. You are eating these drugs and they are polluting your biological landscape with plastics and poisons like we’re polluting the earth for the sake of short term convenience. Eventually, the party’s over and the clean up is tough. Symptoms are nutrient deficiencies and in many cases, there are harmless supplements that can help you in a more constructive way.
So, I get it. Life is already complicated before you have to micromanage every bite of food you take. Those of you struggling with food choices, I feel ya. But there is undeniable evidence to prove that your body will respond very quickly in a positive way.
If you want to feel better fast and show up for your life, remove the obstacles. I’ll meet you there!
Not sure if the foods you're eating are causing trouble for you? Keep a food diary for a week to find out.