Hi there! Leslie here again. Today I want to talk to you about 3 reasons why you should do an elimination diet.
You might be wondering, what is an elimination diet? Let’s discuss that first.
An elimination diet is a diet in which foods that are known to cause inflammation in the body are removed for a specified amount of time.
For example, you would remove typical allergenic foods, such as wheat (gluten), dairy, and soy, from your diet. You would also remove any food and drink that contains inflammatory substances such as sugar, caffeine, and alcohol.
If you’ve ever heard of Whole30, that is a type of elimination diet.
Let me stop right here and say we at Alkaline Wellness don’t even like the name “elimination diet”. It sounds so negative!
And if something sounds negative from the get-go, you probably won’t have the motivation to do it. I know I wouldn’t.
So from here on out, I’ll be using anti-inflammatory plan interchangeably with elimination diet. The anti-inflammatory effects of this diet are also my #1 reason on why you should do it.
All of us, to some degree, have leaky gut. Leaky gut occurs when our intestinal lining becomes permeable due to poor diet, stress, and pollution in the environment.
This gut permeability allows the passage of various toxins, bacteria, viruses, parasites, and undigested food particles into our bloodstream. These substances then cause an inflammatory response in the body.
In the Functional Medicine world, inflammation is the root cause of all symptom and disease, and you can see here that the gut plays a big role in our level of inflammation.
How is this Diet Anti-Inflammatory?
Let’s take a second to think about the foods you typically eat. You can probably agree that for most of us, we eat similar foods each day. Meaning there isn’t much variety when it comes to our diet.
If those foods you’re used to eating are inflammatory, your gut takes a hit every single day. Overtime, leaky gut becomes worse and symptoms can develop because of it.
By following an anti-inflammatory plan (elimination diet), you give your gut the chance to heal by not having to come in contact with toxic, inflammatory foods.
As a result, the gut lining becomes stronger and not so susceptible to the passage of toxins into our bloodstream. Therefore, inflammation levels decrease.
Identification of Food Sensitivities
Also, for many of us, not feeling well after a meal has become normal. We might have bloating and belching, fatigue, diarrhea, headache, etc.
These feelings shouldn’t be normal! Most likely, there is a food you’re eating that is causing your body to react this way.
Good news is that an elimination diet is the gold standard way to diagnose food sensitivities without having to do expensive lab testing. This is reason #2 to give this diet a try.
You’ll remove the inflammatory and allergenic foods from your diet for at least 3-4 weeks, giving the gut a chance to heal.
After, you will begin the reintroduction process. This works by reintroducing one food at a time back into your diet and monitoring your body for any adverse symptoms.
If you get a reaction after reintroducing a food, you should continue to avoid it and allow your gut to heal more. Then you’ll reintroduce it again at a later date. If you don’t get any reactions, it is safe to say you don’t have a sensitivity to that particular food.
This process will be repeated for each food you eliminated.
Once you’ve completed the entire process, you’ll have a good idea of which foods agree with your body and which foods don’t.
Remember, using food as medicine involves eating foods that promote healing in our bodies.
Reset and Reboot
We live in a time where being busy is considered a status symbol. If you’re always on the go, you must be accomplishing so much and people see you as valued and worthy.
So being busy is a good thing right? Hmm maybe not so much.
Being busy usually means that our health takes a backseat. We start to eat more fast food because we don’t have time to cook. We sleep less hours at night so that we have more time to get things done.
After a while of this, you begin to feel sluggish and you see symptoms creeping up that you’ve never experienced before.
Maybe you start to gain a few pounds or you notice you’re getting headaches everyday.
This is the time to do an elimination diet.
Your body needs to reset and reboot. It’s craving healthy, whole foods that will supply it with much needed fuel so you can go back to feeling like yourself.
Also, an elimination diet requires strategic planning. This is not something you can wing and expect to be successful.
Taking the time to plan exactly what you’ll be eating, while trying to avoid foods that are inflammatory, allows you to slow down from your busy life and focus on the present moment.
You also start to develop a better relationship with food by thinking about what’s healing for you body and what’s not.
After a few deliberate changes in your eating habits, you’ll lose some pounds, experience a boost in energy, and start feeling better than you have in a long time.
It’s okay to be busy and get off track with your healthy habits every so often. What’s important is that you recognize when this happens, take some time to slow down, and re-prioritize your health.
We only scratched the surface of the elimination diet in this blog, so it’s normal to feel overwhelmed!
Also, making lifestyle changes is not easy. If you would like to start making some changes but you’re not quite sure where to start, I’m here for you!
Through our Alkaline Nutrition Therapy program, I would love to have the opportunity to get to know you, help you discover what your health goals are, and guide you on a path towards achieving those goals.
It’s never too late to prioritize self love and start a journey towards better health and wellness.
If you’re interested, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 678-335-5566 to schedule a consult.
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Thanks for reading!