Yesterday we started day 1 of the Elimination Diet. Why? Because I've never actually officially done it! This is something I've learned and read about for how to teach others to do it, but I would not feel comfortable asking my patients to do something I haven't even tried myself. Of course, I've eliminated foods I "suspect" and retested them, but with so many other variables in my life and diet, I never knew 100% if such foods are really "offenders".
The elimination diet is not what you might think it is. You're not eliminating ALL foods, only foods that are most commonly irritating to people. But most importantly, INCLUDING foods that help heal the gut and reduce inflammation. After 2 weeks of elimination, individual foods are reintroduced while watching for symptoms. People do the elimination/reintroduction diet challenge if they suspect food sensitivities or experience symptoms such as fatigue, gas, bloating, irregular bowel movements, headaches, pain/inflammation, moodiness, etc.
If you experience any of these symptoms, please come see me in my practice! Participating in this challenge myself, I'll be able to provide you with meal plans and recipes to improve your elimination diet experience.
The first two days of the Elimination Diet is a detoxification phase intended to rest the gut, provide essential detox nutrients, and reduce inflammation. This means two days of: fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies, puréed vegetable soups, and herbal teas. I've got a lot of delicious recipes to experiment with during this time! In the photo below you'll see my refrigerator stocked with colorful veggies and soups. I prepped them all on one day since we have busy work-days.
My experience in phase 1:
The one thing I've noticed during this phase was that I felt pretty hungry the whole time even though I've been eating a lot, though it's only vegetables and fruits. I felt my body longing to drink the olive oil straight from the bottle, knowing it would receive some sense of fullness. It reminded me of the years when I ate a vegetarian diet. I thought it was normal to have to eat ALL the time to feel some kind of fullness. Once I switched to an omnivorous diet, I felt satiety for what felt like the first time.
I've also been experiencing lower perceived body temperature during phase 1. Though it is getting cooler outside, I noticed I didn't take off my vest and sweatshirt all day (even indoors). I perform a religious fast every March and these last two days I feel cold just like when I'm fasting. To help with this, I've been drinking a warming herbal tea with chai spices to keep me warm.
Though all the food I've been eating in the two days of this detox phase is very delicious, I am looking forward to eating full, balanced meals tomorrow.
Prepped soups, carrot cucumber ginger for juice and berry cabbage smoothie