Is an Elimination Diet Right for You?
Learn how this temporary eating approach - an Elimination Diet - can be your best tool to finally feel like yourself again! Even if it means taking a break (just temporarily) from foods you think you cannot live without.
Oh! That lovely Manchego. This is a pic of me in La Mancha, a region of Spain home not only to the infamous Don Quixote but more importantly the birthplace of one of my fave foods in the world…Manchego. Seeing how it’s made at this cute family farm about a year ago made me love it even more. ?
Are you eating for your body type?
You eat well and make good choices (at least most of the time), but for some reason, you still don’t feel right.
Maybe you spend way too much time feeling bloated and gassy, or suffering from diarrhea or constipation—or (gasp!) both. Maybe you constantly feel tired, your skin looks dull, you suffer from migraines, or your mood swings are out of control.
The deal-breaker? Those extra pounds—especially in the middle—that you cannot get rid of no matter what you do.
You just can’t put your finger on what’s causing all this, but you know you don’t feel like yourself and it needs to end. How am I able to paint this picture so well? Because I’ve lived it myself. Not fun. In fact, bloody frustrating.
Elimination diet to the rescue!
If you are familiar with my story, you know that at one time, I experienced many of these same symptoms. I struggled and searched for relief until I realized I really didn’t have to look too far to figure out what was causing me to feel this way.
In fact, I only had to look as far as my own kitchen. It sounds like a cliche but the truth is, “In food, I found my medicine.”
Through the magic of an elimination diet, I learned that the foods you eat, even ones you think are super healthy, can actually be making you feel sick.
What is an Elimination Diet?
It sounds incredibly final, but it’s totally temporary and a great eye-opening exercise you do once, and learn forever. You remove potentially irritating foods or groups of foods from your diet, and then reintroduce them one-by-one, in order to figure out which ones your body might not be able to tolerate.
By taking away common culprits (hello gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts, and nightshades, among others), and then slowly and strategically letting them back into your life, you are able to zero in which foods are kind to your body, and which are your own personal triggers.
If it sounds intimidating, not to mention super tricky, that’s because it can be. But done correctly, and with the help of an experienced nutrition coach (like yours truly ☺), it can be a major game changer.
Is an Elimination Diet Right for You?
An elimination diet may not be the answer to all of your problems in life, but it can certainly solve a lot of them!
After all, how can you truly commit to eating healthy without knowing which foods are actually healthy for you?
Some of the benefits of an elimination diet done right:
- End bloating
- Identify triggers of other gut issues, like chronic constipation, diarrhea, reflux
- Lose serious weight
- Relieve symptoms caused by menopause or other hormonal imbalances
- Feel more energetic
- End chronic migraines
- Have better skin
- Improve sleep
- Relieve joint pain
- Reduce stress
If you’re thinking there’s no way you can live without your favorite cheese, bread, cookie, or glass of wine, even if temporarily, no judgment! I felt the same way.
The thought of taking a break from my daily “Manchego fix” gave me heart palpitations. However, once I committed to it and started feeling so much better, so quickly, it felt less like a sacrifice, and more like a small price to pay to find relief.
(P.S. As it turns out, I can still have Manchego every now and then, and I have never enjoyed it more!)
How to do an Elimination Diet the Right Way
There’s nothing more gratifying for a nutrition coach than helping a client to reach that ‘aha moment.’ It is a joy to see them realize they don’t need to just accept living with their symptoms, and to figure out how to finally feel better.
Here are some of my secrets to elimination diet success:
- It is better to eliminate as many foods as you are willing to give up for a shorter period of time, rather than eliminating only a few for a longer time and repeating the process for other foods or food groups.
- If you have a bunch of yummy and healthy recipes on hand, you won’t feel deprived.
- Of the foods that are allowed, find the ones you love and stick with them!
- Use a food log to track your progress, be mindful, and find correlations.
- Work with an experienced coach to ensure success.
- Do the diet with a friend to add another level of accountability…and fun!
- Invest in yourself to do it once and well to get the answers you need.
A Yummy Day in Your Elimination Diet
Not feeling deprived as you do an elimination diet is key.
Here is an example of what a day would look like for someone who chooses a pescatarian approach. Not bad, huh?
- Breakfast: Lemon Ginger Tea, Spinach and Sweet Potato Egg Muffins
- Lunch: Slow-Roasted Salmon with Citrus
- Snack: Coconut Chickpea Blondies
- Dinner: Egyptian Lentil Soup with Caramelized Onions
And the beauty of a personalized plan when you work one-on-one with a coach is that you can make it vegan, choose to have white meat, include foods you love, and exclude those you don’t care much for. That’s the key to making it sustainable, so you can see long-lasting results.
If you think an elimination diet could be right for you, I’d love to chat! SCHEDULE a 20-minute complimentary Discovery Call with me to find out how I can help.
Want recipe inspiration? Most of my recipes are free from the top allergens I test with clients. Check them out on my blog.
Not ready to work with a coach yet but want to try a 10-day vegan or pescatarian meal plan? Check out my Zesty plans here.