What is an elimination diet?
Many people have been caught up in the fad of finding out what they might be unable to tolerate, food-wise. It can be very difficult to follow a very strict diet where you will have to cleanse your system from what is causing your symptoms to appear. Some diets could work while others not. You might resort to certain blood tests, but these might be costly.
Food intolerance is also called hypersensitivity that is not allergic. While allergic reactions involve the immune system, intolerances do not. You are never at risk when you are intolerant to food and you end up eating it. This is only the case with food allergies. Most people are intolerant of the following food: gluten, dairy, grains, beans or cabbage.
When you talk about food intolerance, this means that your symptoms will take some time to start appearing. This is one other difference from food allergies. Also, symptoms can vary a lot and might go unnoticed. Finally, some intolerance is due to lacking a particular enzyme needed to break down the food.
As far symptoms for food intolerances, there are many, and they range from mild to severe. You can think of the following:
- Water retention
- Weight gain
- a Cough
- a Runny nose
- Stomach ache
- Feeling tired
- Irritable bowels
The causes of food intolerances are many. Here are some of them:
- Lacking the needed enzyme that can help in digesting the specific food. The enzyme could be missing entirely or just not enough. This is the case with lactose intolerance.
- The exacerbation of chemical reactions like amines in cheese, coffee and tea
- Toxins that could lead to food poisoning. For example, under-cooked beans. This is the cause of having a weird feeling when you eat beans sometimes. Make sure you are cooking your legumes very well.
- Histamines that are naturally found.
- The presence of salicylates in certain foods like the ones found in plants, tomatoes, mint, fruits and veggies. This component is high in processed foods that contain additives like flavorings.
So, you might be intolerant to any one of these 6 food: lactose, wheat, gluten, caffeine, histamines or additives. For other types of regimen that could help you, you can have a heart healthy diet foods.
Elimination diet food list
Each phase will only last for 21 days; so, this type of diet will not put you at any risk of having deficiencies. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you still can follow the elimination diet. If you are following a high protein diet plan, you can still work it out with the elimination diet.
Here are the four phases of the easy elimination diet:
Phase 1: you need to focus on dairy, gluten, soy, and eggs. So, for the first 21 days, you need to stop eating any of these items or anything containing them. Following the 21 days, you start adding the food, one at a time. Every three days, you will add one item. First, reintroduce the dairy; then, add to it the gluten; then, add the soy and finally, the eggs. This way, over 35 days, you ended up testing for these four items
Phase 2: you need to focus on peanuts, shellfish and corn. So, the first 21 days, you will remove all these options. After that, you start adding them one at a time every three days. You will need 30 days in total
Phase 3: this phase targets tree nuts and fish. So for a period of 21 days you should not have any of the following food. After that you reintroduce tree nuts and three days after, you add the fish.
Phase 4: this phase targets preservatives, artificial sugars and artificial dyes. You need to read the labels carefully during this phase. You need to look for any additive in the label. Also, you need to stay away from alcohol and sodas. After the 21 days, you start adding the preservatives first; then the artificial sugars and finally the dyes. Each one will be added after three days of the first one.
Elimination diet meal plan guidelines
There is an amazingly simple way to know what is causing your food intolerances. It is called the elimination diet. One of the main steps of identifying what is leading to your food intolerances flare-outs is the food challenge. In this system, you add a certain kind of food and then you remove it. This is the gold standard and does not give you any false negatives or positives.
The elimination diet is simple but takes some time to identify your culprits. Theories explain that when you remove a food option for 21 days, you will end up feeling better. Following the 21 days, you will start adding the food choices, one at a time, every three days. If before adding the next food item, you felt bad, this means that you found one food option that you are intolerant to. When you have discovered your enemy foods, you can resume your normal eating habits and remove what made you uncomfortable.
The system is made of four phases and for each phase, you need to read the labels and be extremely knowledgeable about the food you are eating. This system is not a weight loss diet, so feeling hungry is not something you will go through. The diet only needs you to eliminate certain kinds of food. Throughout the phases, you are allowed to eat a lot of fruits and veggies. Also, avocados and coconut oil are always a good choice and allowed.
Here are samples for the diet that you can follow for each phase:
- Phase 1 meal: you will have oatmeal with some almond milk and berries and almonds for breakfast. You can also add a cup of tea. Your lunch can be a big salad with avocadoes, onions, tomatoes, peppers, hemp seeds, spinach, spirulina, with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. In the afternoon you can have half a cup of raw nuts and seeds with a cup of almond milk. your dinner will be some chickpeas stew with the same salad you took for lunch and some cooked brown rice. Your dessert can be two squares of dark chocolate with no dairy products in it. So, go for the extra dark.
- Phase 2 meal: you can start your day with a green smoothie where you mix almonds, coconut and rice milk, add to the mix some kale and spinach with berries and chia seeds. Your lunch can be a beans and spinach burger with cooked oatmeal, salt, cumin, onions and garlic. Mix the whole and make them as patties. Grill the patties and serve them with avocado on top and a green salad. Your afternoon snack can be some cashew nuts and a cup of coconut water. Your dinner will be some roasted sweet potatoes and veggies with a side of marinara sauce. Your night dessert will be some almonds butter oat balls mixed with dark chocolate chips.
- Phase 3 meal: egg and sprouts omelets with a side of berries and some green tea. This is a great way to start your day. Your lunch will consist of a salad containing kale, almonds, and apples, with a citrus dressing. Your snack can be some nuts and seeds. As or dinner, you can have a grilled Portobello mushroom with vinegar. Your dinner can be a gelato with some frozen berries and a cup of coconut milk. You can have it full-fat. You can always adjust the meals if you are a vegan.
- Phase 4 meal: this would be the last stage of your elimination diet menu. You can have a chia seed pudding for breakfast with some coconut milk, and chopped strawberries. You are free to add some almonds and keep them really cold overnight. Your lunch will consist of cooked mushrooms with tomatoes and peppers and topped with cheese. Your dinner is nothing but the tasty quinoa sautéed with mushrooms, kale and sweet tomatoes. For dessert, you can have the coconut flakes with some berries, lime juice and basil leaves. This day is an excellent diet for people who follow a vegetarian philosophy. Such recipes can be found in the Khloe Kardashian weight loss diet.
After following these phases, you will notice what makes your body unwell. For example, if you have figured out that gluten is your problem, then you will have to stop eating any food that can contain gluten and this includes wheat products. So, you will have to even ask restaurants if the meal you are ordering has gluten in it. You might allow yourself some baked goods every once in a while. Just because you are intolerant to gluten, this does not mean that you do not get to enjoy a sweet piece of cake every once in a while. Feel free to buy a diet book that could explain to you about intolerance or gluten-free food. And always remember that allergy is not similar to intolerance. If you are looking for weight loss pills, you can take a look at the Phentermine diet pills. Some might even have a preference to Adipex diet pills.
For those who are looking to have a healthy body, they can take a look at the carb cycling sample diet.
Elimination diet recipes and options
If you decided to follow the elimination system to get you to understand the food intolerances you have, then here is a little help with the possible recipes and different meal options. If you have kidney problems, you may want to take a look at the Renal diet plan.
- Quinoa bowl with berries, nuts, non-dairy milk, and maple syrup.
- Apple cinnamon oat bowl with peeled apples and some non-dairy milk
- Turkey and meatballs fried. This recipe consists of flaxseeds meals with ground turkey, onions, maple syrup, eggs, and coconut oil.
- Chai and buckwheat with dates and berries.
- Gluten free pancakes by using flax eggs, topped with berries and maple syrup
- Rice cake with almond butter
- Smoothie with almond milk, fruits and vegan powder.
- Avoca tuna salad with noodles made of zucchini
- Chicken bone broth with veggies like celery, coriander, onions, carrots and quinoa
- Rice cooked with broccoli, zucchini and some avocados
- Miso soup with added kale or spinach
- Spinach salad with snow peas and mushrooms. You can also add some olives
- Grilled salmon with a green salad
- Gluten-free pasta with veggie marinara sauce and meatballs made of turkey
- Grilled steak with side cooked veggies
- Pasta with avocado
- Guacamole with chips
- Avocado and chocolate pudding
- Nuts and seeds
- Almond butter with bananas
- Veggies dipped in some ranch that does not contain any dairy product