Wednesday, April 11, 2012

you are eliminated

typical breakfast
a few days ago i mentioned that i'm doing an elimination diet (/experiment) and many of you expressed an interest in hearing more about it.

so what is an elimination diet? basically you limit your diet to "safe" foods (ones you know you're not allergic or intolerant to) for a minimum of two weeks, or as long as it takes for your symptoms to subside. then you test one food - eating a little of it for breakfast, lunch and dinner on one day only. the next two days you go back to your limited diet before repeating the cycle with another test food. even if you did not have any problems or symptoms with a test food, you still have to keep it out of your diet throughout the challenge phase. it is important to keep a detailed journal each day regarding what you ate, how you felt, any symptoms you noticed, etc.

"they" say elimination diets can be helpful for autoimmune conditions, ibs, arthritis, skin rashes, and migraines, among other conditions.

disclaimer: i should mention that i did not consult a medical professional before beginning the "diet" (i don't really want to refer to it as a diet because i am not doing it with the intent of losing weight). i am also not certified at, well, anything. i googled it and sort of came up with my own procedure for doing it as there aren't any direct instructions on how to do an elimination diet. i'm sure i could have researched a few books and read up on it more, but i figured it's not rocket science.

with that said... here's how my elimination diet has been going:

my safe foods: rice (mostly brown), vegetables (no beans, tomatoes, potatoes), fruits (no citrus)

i've been eating these foods for over three weeks (with the exception of challenge days). rice or coconut milk is also allowed. so far, i've tested tomatoes, dairy and wheat/gluten. tomatoes tested ok, dairy failed (i'm heartbroken), and wheat/gluten i just tested yesterday so i still have to wait it out. i love dairy (cheese!) so i might re-test it again later, just to be sure of course.

lunch or dinner - rice, squash, carrots, broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower
snack - salted plantains
another lunch - asparagus stir fry, kiwi, rice
i've felt pretty good on the limited diet. though i imagine eating so many wholesome foods and drinking more water (can't have juice unless you jiy) will do that regardless. i realized how few greens/veggies i was eating prior to the diet; i had been in denial. i do want to add in quinoa in place of rice everyday, but i keep forgetting to buy some. obviously the cyclosporine is covering up my symptoms a good bit, but i was itchy on the day i ate dairy which leads me to think dairy failed.

the amazing mac and cheese i got to eat on dairy test day (rice noodles)

breakfast - banana/strawberry smoothie with rice milk
lunch or dinner - veggie soup
(organic veg broth, carrots, rice, collards, broccoli, etc)
the 'diet' and food challenges are far from over; i'll be doing this for a few more weeks as i continue to test and try to find foods my body doesn't agree with. it's a lot more inconvenient to eat such a restricted and clean diet, but i feel good in general from eating so clean.

elimination diets aren't for everyone, but i do think they could help some people and some symptoms because i believe that a number of health issues stem from all the crap that is in our food today. i hope i will find some results from this experiment without too much interference from the cyclosporine.

if you have any questions, leave them below and i will be happy to answer them!

just an fyi, some of the links i read about elimination diets:
the elimination and detoxification diet
whole life nutrition: elimination diet
elimination diet to detect and relieve hidden food allergies and to reduce stress on the immune system
allergy avoidance diet

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20 comments :

  1. I have a friend who has celiac disease and is also allergic to many foods. She's done this. It's a good idea, and I hope you can find some things to eliminate so you feel better! Your safe food meals made my tummy growl. They look pretty yummy!

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    1. I really think a test like this can help people with various issues that medicine doesn't - like a general blah or off feeling, tiredness, potty issues. But like I said, I'm no MD! Glad your friend found a similar test/diet to be a success!

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  2. You must be about 20 lbs after eating like that. I admire your strength to find an answer to this mess. Looks like you're getting closer and closer :).

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    1. Uhh, not exactly. I eat enough rice to feed China.

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  3. Ugh, I just wrote and blogger deleted my comment :(. Anyway, it was interesting to read about this, and good luck adding foods into your diet and figuring out what works (although I'm crushed that dairy didn't work). Hope you feel better soon!

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  4. Looks like a good diet - why would you want to add anything? :)

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    Replies
    1. Because I miss cheese! And spaghetti! And chocolate!!

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  5. Love that your smoothie comes out of your Dickey's cup. Same thing in our house. Hilarious!

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  6. One question: What is your protein source with this? How did you determine your "safe" foods?

    I mentioned that before, but just in case... I worked with this homeopathic, holistic, herb lady when I had IBS flaring up... I can't say I know what eventually did the trick, but I can give you her contact information, if you want to meet her. I remember she "tested" me for food allergies with a metal pen type thing poking into my hands and fingers (didn't hurt) and I had a whole lot of stuff, that I wasn't eating for a long time and saw improvements. Let me know.

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  7. You're doing so good! So proud of you!!

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  8. I think I might die without cheese :( I'm sorry about the cheese!

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    Replies
    1. Dairy-test day was my favorite... Even though I was itchy. Cheese is right up there with m&m's in my book!

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  9. They make a pretty good fake cheese. Uh, no they don't. I can't lie to you. Eat the real deal and save it for special occasions, how 'bout that?

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  10. Wow. This looks hard. Good for you for doing what you need to do to figure things out. I hope you do.

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  11. Such discipline! I can't get over the veggie bowl for breakfast! My understanding with milk is that pasteurization is the problem, so you may want to try some non pasteurized cheeses...I wonder if you can even find them in the US (I grew up with non pasteurized milk and cheeses). Have you ever listened to the endurance planet podcasts? They have a nutrition one by Ben Greenfield, with lots of great info on nutrition. Good luck!

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    Replies
    1. It does take a lot of discipline; I also avoid eating out so I won't be tempted to eat something I shouldn't. I haven't heard the bit about pasteurization, but I'll look into it! I have heard theories about it being the protein in milk/milk products. Thanks for the podcast recommendation too.

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  12. It is a lot of work but really...this is the best way to get to the bottom of everything. I never eat a lot of dairy so eliminating cheese was the final frontier for me. I eat it very sporatically...my guts don't like that.
    Kudos to you...

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  13. Sounds like a big pain in the ass but well worth it. I hope that you obtain the goal you are hoping for. I could have Mac and Cheese every day!

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  14. oh wow! what a tough, super tough challenge, but hope it helps you to figure things out. I've considered giving up dairy to see if my stuffy nose is better (mild stuffy, throughout the year) So far, I can't convince myself to do it (I live on yogurt, and LOVE cheese, chocolate, milk in my coffee, etc. etc.)

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  15. this is some serious discipline. or some form of turture. I hope cheese can remain in your life!!!

    do you love me still?

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