Some of you may remember that I began an 8 week elimination diet a couple months ago. I've successfully made it through the diet, targeting a couple of sensitivities I had suspicions about and feeling good about the rest of the 6 most common allergens. If you're new to this elimination diet idea, read more here.
My experience was overall positive. I will admit it became harder to stay dedicated in journaling toward the end, especially since my diet felt perfectly "normal" once I reincorporated dairy, eggs, and gluten. I mean...I could go without soy and seafood for a year if I had to. I did journal diligently at the beginning though, which is when I made most of my discoveries anyway. My only major sensitivity is toward nuts. I already knew I was allergic to walnuts and pecans, but I discovered that all nuts, excluding peanuts, irritate my mouth. I also realized that I cannot eat dairy right before bed like I used to be able to do. It creates too much phlegm in my sleep. Other than these sensitivities, I walked away feeling great about gluten, eggs, soy, and seafood!
While I didn't discover any majorly shocking sensitivities, the experience was still rather insightful for me. Particularly in the first two weeks when I was off all 6 common allergens, my diet was significantly limited and I noticed my body has certain "preferences". For instance, since I was off of dairy, nuts, and eggs, I was eating a lot of meat and bananas to bulk up by diet. My digestive system did not respond well to this! So the following week, I incorporated more plant-based proteins, like avocado, and less meat, which helped alleviate the issue.
I also discovered that I have a very sensitive mouth in general. In the past, whenever I would get a canker sore, I would convince myself I had probably consumed a trace of a walnut. However, I got a couple of canker sores during the first few weeks of my elimination diet, when nuts were strictly avoided. I realized that stress, biting my mouth (in my sleep possibly) and trace amounts of any nut (other than peanut) will cause a break out in my mouth, which, when followed by anything acidic (anything--chocolate, citrus, tomatoes, tangy salad dressings), gets very aggravated. Although I knew I had a canker sore issue before, the elimination diet taught me to be more vigilant about caring for my mouth by keeping stress in check and really evaluating if that almond granola is worth a week of pain...
Have any of you out there started experimenting with an elimination diet? If so, give a shout out in the comments below and let us know how you're doing! And if this idea of naturally targeting sensitivities hits close to home for you, please contact me. I would love to talk about what we could do to tackle any mystery symptoms in your life.