A correctly performed elimination diet is the best way to identify hidden food allergies, sensitivities or intolerances that may be causing or contributing to your symptoms and health challenges. I’m not going to go into the difference between a food allergy, sensitivity and intolerance in this post. I’m just going to use sensitivity as a general term from here on out.
Food sensitivities are linked to many health concerns such as asthma, sinus congestion, autoimmune disorders, eczema, headaches, fatigue, joint pain and digestive disorders, to name only a few (we’ll go through more later in the Elimination Diet – Part 5 – Challenge Phase). Finding and removing food sensitivities from your diet can change your life! I can hear you now.. “But I’ll just do a food allergy test.” Wellllll…maybe. It’s complicated and sadly there is no consensus about food sensitivity testing. So if you want to let your body tell you then give the elimination diet a try. It will look something like this…
During an elimination diet common food allergens are entirely removed from your diet for approximately two to three weeks. During this elimination phase your symptoms will often improve (though they might not entirely disappear). You will then begin the challenge phase in which you reintroduce the foods, one at a time, while monitoring their effects to determine which foods are causing your original symptoms or other reactions. A complete elimination diet can take around 6 weeks (or longer) depending upon the number of foods you are challenging and your reaction to those foods.
If you feel a complete elimination diet is too overwhelming, you may choose to do a modified elimination diet in which you only remove a few foods that you think may be causing you troubles. Or you could cut out just one food such as dairy. Also don’t be afraid to get the help of a professional, it can make all the difference if you are unsure about your particular situation. What really matters is that whatever version of the elimination diet you decide to do it’s going to work for your life. You are aiming for successfully gathering info about your diet not getting overwhelmed half way through and giving up. You can do it! And remember even though it seems like a pain it will be worth it when you see how good you feel!
You may also be interested in these posts:
Elimination Diet – Part 2 – General Guidelines will give you guidelines to follow no matter what foods you decide to eliminate.
Elimination Diet – Part 3 – Tips for a Successful Elimination Diet will give you ideas to make your elimination diet more successful and much easier!
Here are some posts coming soon:
Elimination Diet – Part 4 – What to Eliminate? There are so many different foods people are sensitive to so where do you start? I am going to suggest a middle of the road approach by removing some of the ‘usual suspects’.
Here’s a Punk Rawk Labs Nutmilk Cheese side note – Alissa (the founder of Punk Rawk Labs) invented PRL nut milk cheese because she wanted a super clean and health replacement for dairy cheese that was increasing her inflammation and making her feel terrible. Who knows where an elimination diet can lead you?!?