Emily and I are going on an elimination diet. Starting tomorrow, for two weeks we’re restricting our diet to the most basic of foods – basically rice and vegetables. Then, we’ll spend several weeks slowly adding foods back into our diet, like a carefully controlled science experiment.
The goal is to identify any food sensitivities we have. I’m pretty sure dairy gives me gas, but it’s difficult to be sure and I’m not sure what other foods might be causing problems. Emily is pretty sure bread bothers her, but she’s not sure if it’s the yeast or the gluten.
We’re doing this on our own, without the help of a dietitian or naturopath. We’ve come up with a list of foods we can still eat by looking at a bunch of websites (1, 2,3, and 4). They each have a different list of what foods should be excluded during the cleanse phase of the diet, but we have come up with a list that works for us.
We’re going to cut out most processed foods, dairy, corn, soy, gluten, yeast, high-sugar foods, and common allergenic foods (like bananas and peanuts).
|Brown rice, millet, and quinoa||Gluten, yeast, and wheat – which excludes any breads or pasta (except rice pasta)|
|Most organic vegetables||Corn, mushrooms, and nightshades (eggplant, peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes)|
|Most organic fruit||Bananas, grapefruit, oranges, and strawberries|
|–||Dairy – cheese, eggs, milk, and yogurt|
|Raw almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and walnuts. Almond milk and rice milk.||Cashews, peanuts, and sesame seeds. Soy milk.|
|Black beans, chickpeas (mostly sprouted), green beans, and lentils||Soy and soy products (miso, soy sauce, tempeh, and tofu)|
|Olive oil and flax oil. Apple cider vinegar. Lemon juice.||Other oil (like canola) and vinegar (like balsamic)|
|Water, smoothies, and herbal tea||Alcohol and coffee|
After two weeks on the diet above, we’ll slowly start adding foods back to our diet (3 days on each food with at least two portions per day) and monitoring the results. We’ll also be keeping a journal logging what we’re eating, how we feel, and how our bodies are reacting. We’ll be looking out for foods that cause rashes, bloating, or fatigue.
It should be an interesting process. I’m curious how my body will respond to the cleanse. From friends I’ve talked to, some people experience really high energy levels and others just get lots of food cravings. I think chips and salsa will be what I miss the most.