Elimination Diets- what does it mean? Is it for me?
What does a reaction look like?
It be an upset stomach, a rash, a headache, dizziness, a change in energy levels or gas/bloating for example.
One common elimination diet is the Six Food Elimination Diet.
This diet excludes cow's milk, soy, wheat, egg, peanuts/tree nuts, and seafood. This diet is used commonly in patients being treated for Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) and has shown success in about 70% of those on this diet.
Sometimes additional food is eliminated based on patient’s symptoms. During the elimination phase keep a food diary. Things to take note of would be bowel movements, previous symptoms, headaches, mood, sleep, energy level and creativity, etc.
This is a great handout to use:
The thing about elimination diets is they can be very stressful on the patient!
I would make sure they are on an adaptogen during the process, meditating and drinking lots of water.
When reintroducing foods make sure to do it one at a time and continue to keep your diary. You can introduce a new food every 3 days and note if you have a reaction. If you have a reaction- continue taking that food out of your diet.
Here is an example of what to eat in one day on the SFED:
Gluten free oatmeal topped with fruit and coconut milk
Coconut yogurt with flax seeds. Brown rice cakes with sunflower butter and fruit. Carrots with dairy free dip.
Salad with olive oil and vinegar dressing topped with grilled chicken.
Steak, sautéed sweet potatoes, berries
Tea and coffee during the day!
Another more mainstream elimination diet is Whole30. Whole30 is when you take out gluten, dairy, alcohol all artificial coloring and preservatives for 30 days, then you add them back in slowly.
There are a lot of recipes online for this diet- it makes it easy!
Another thing you can do is try taking things out one at a time for a minimum of 6 weeks, then try to reintroduce them.
What is the best thing for you? It depends on a lot! What is going on in your gut, any dybiosis? What is your stress level- is this going to make it worse- cortisol is not good for healing the gut!
Talk with your doctor for the best plan!