Full disclosure, I have to do an elimination diet. Well, I don’t have to but it’s been suggested. I won’t bore you with the details but I can strongly say that the idea does not appeal to me. As a Health Coach, I spend a lot of time coaching people to make small, sustainable changes to their diet (and other areas of wellness), so it becomes a part of their life. I have lived by this principle myself, reducing sugar intake to well below 25 grams per day, eliminating white flour, cutting intake of meat way back and making vegetables the center of my diet. I’ve done all of this slowly, over time and am proud of the changes. However it seems that I would benefit from something more drastic, and while I don’t want to do it, I’m also looking forward to what I will learn.
I’m going to be following the Institute for Functional Medicine Elimination Diet Plan, which calls for cutting out gluten, sugar, dairy, soy, corn, nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, potatoes etc.), coffee (WHAT?????) and alcohol. Ack, just writing that makes me tired. Over the years, I have eliminated some of these items one at a time, such as my monthly January sugar purge, pre-holiday gluten elimination or getting off of coffee for a time. But I’ve never done it all at once. The idea of an Elimination Diet is to remove all of these potentially sensitive foods for three weeks and then add them back in, one at a time, to see if any of them cause a reaction in the body. Many of these foods can cause inflammation in the body, leading to headaches, sinus issues, joint pain, digestive disturbances, skin conditions, depression and fatigue. By eliminating ALL of them at once, you re-set the body’s immune system and inflammatory pathways, calming everything down so you have a baseline to start adding back.
So….I start the diet on July 5th. As daunting as it is, I am certain it will give me some information that I can use to better my own wellness. I will keep you posted!! Reach out here with any questions about doing an Elimination Diet!