Last week, I introduced the idea of an elimination diet and got a curious response as I spoke with people about it. What I didn't mention in last week's post, though, is that I am actually going through my own elimination diet right now. As I anticipate taking a number of my existing and perspective clients who show signs of food sensitivity through some form of an elimination diet, I decided it would be wise to put myself through the same experience first in an effort to grow in sympathy, experience, and creativity when switching over to a more limited diet. The main question I get when I tell people about the experience I'm going through is, "So...what DO you eat?"
I am a couple weeks into the diet, meaning I'm about to start reintroducing potential allergens, but here is a sample of my daily diet while I was omitting all six foods:
Breakfast has been: gluten free, vegan toast with coconut oil and fruit juice-sweetened jam, antibiotic and hormone free chicken breakfast sausage (because organic sausage is hard to find), a fruit salad of oranges, mint, honey, and coconut cream, and coffee with coconut creamer.
Here's a great example of how to accommodate the elimination diet while eating out! Lunch today was: gluten free, no cheese added pizza with olive oil, marinara, red onion, red pepper, kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, garlic, basil, and pepperoni.
Dinner: A high-protein, vegetarian salad of dark greens, avocado, organic corn, green beans, and a creamy tomato hummus dressing...I found doing at least one vegetarian meal a day helps with digestion. No dairy or eggs limits protein options and the easiest way to supplement is with meat, but there are plenty of veggies that carry high protein levels.
Dessert has been: tea and organic, soy-free dark chocolate (True confession: I've typically been consuming some variation of this picture closer to twice a day).
And here are a few things I may munch on between meals to stay satiated in the way of snacks: seaweed, fresh fruits or vegetables, and fruit leather. Oh, and water...my glass is never out of reach.
Ultimately, even when an elimination diet feels less than glamorous, I try to remember that its purpose is helping me (or my clients) find ways to eat that help us feel better! And the elimination of all six potential allergens is usually only temporary (except in extreme cases). With that said, I've found the diet to be very do-abe (because hi, chocolate). So there's some encouragement if you're timid about trying this natural method for taming digestive, mood, energy, or skin issues! Read more about the philosophy of an elimination diet in last week's post.