Reduce inflammation, loose weight, and feel great!
Most people do not know how their immune system works. In order to better understand why a Food Elimination Diet will help you, we first must explain a few things. Most of your immune system is found in your gastrointestinal (GI) track more commonly called your stomach. Your immune system works basically by attaching to things that come into that environment and tell you if it is good or bad. This point makes complete sense to most people when they think of bacterial but we must break down these “bugs” and view them form a structural point of view. Basically bacterial are proteins i.e. their body parts, cell membranes, etc. Your body breaks the bacterial down the same way it does with food (with HCL and enzymes) into its most simplistic form—protein. Your body then attaches to these proteins and tells your immune system if this substance is good or bad. If the substance is good, your body will continue to break down the protein and utilized it for metabolic purposes. If the protein is bad your body will break down the protein and cause inflammation in the process. The body does this by increasing the immune response (usually IgG or IgE type 1 or type 2 reaction).
The purpose of the food Elimination diet is to: “Identify hidden food allergies that maybe causing some or all of your symptoms. During the elimination period, all common allergens are completely eliminated from the diet for two to three weeks. After your symptoms improve, foods are added back, one at a time, to determine which foods provoke symptoms” (1)
If you think of your body as a fire and food as a fuel you can gain a better understanding of how and why the Elimination Diet works. Your body always has a proper balance of the fire. It never lets it get two high or large. This is in ideal heath. But what seems to happen if you eat things that your body reacts to all the time? The fire gets bigger and spills over the brim causing more problems such as inflammation, headaches, lethargy, etc (2). With the elimination diet we seek to eliminate all foods that causes the fire to grow (via a clean diet). This is done by using those foods that 80% of the population doesn’t react to. We hence go back to a common diet that all our ancestors ate regardless of their environment. We use the simple Naturopathic Laws to archive health in this setting: give the body what it needs, remove morbid waste, and increase vitality. If one doesn’t follow the three weeks of elimination completely there will be a regression of symptoms. Remember the fire. We worked so hard to bring it back into balance. Well let’s say that at the end of week one you decide to eat a food you reacted to in the past, your body will instantly react to it. Much the same way if you place a piece of newspaper or wood on to a hot fire pit with burning coals on it (2). It is thus important to commit to the full three weeks (minimally).
How do I get started?
First off you need to commit to at least 3 weeks. Pick a good three weeks where you are not traveling or have any major family feasts. Eliminate: dairy products (milk, cheese, butter, etc), wheat (breads, pasta, etc), corn (and corn products), eggs, citrus fruits, coffee, tea, alcohol, refined sugars/refined food products, chicken, pork, or any other food you eat more than three times a week. Keep eating: organic free range beef, lamb, rabbit, venison, fowl (turkey, duck, quail, game birds), Any fish with fins and scales, any fruit except citrus, All the vegetables you want, beans, nuts, and seeds (talk to your doctor for more details) (1)(2). Follow this sticky for one-week eliminating all possible food allergies (clean diet). We will then begin testing each food that was eliminated one at a time over the course of the remaining two weeks. This advice works with the Genotype Diet as well.
**Please speak to your doctor before you start any diet/elimination plan**
Reintroduction of Food
So you made it this far. Congratulations! Now the next part of the puzzle–what’s causing your symptoms? Lets stir up the fire so we can get to the underlying cause and change your life.
At lunch of day 8 of your diet you are ready to begin the food challenge. Remember the example above with the coals. We are seeking to add one individual thing to the diet over the course of three days and see if the fire erupts i.e. symptoms come back. If symptoms come back you should stop eating that food for the time being. It is important that before you begin the food challenge that you are healthy. Make sure you are not sick or on the verge of getting sick or around sick people (1). The whole point of this test is to see which foods your body reacts to. Also remember you are testing one food at a time. That means one ingredient i.e. if we are testing wheat bread first make sure you don’t try to do this with a slice of pizza full of cheese, vegetables, sauce, etc (1). (This is another reason why processed foods are eliminated in the first week.)
How to Test
You woke up and feel great. You ate your breakfast according to the above “clean” food limitations for the past week. Now its time to start the elimination process. First sit at you table and rest without doing anything for 2 minuets. Take your pulse and record it. Now start off with taking one of you foods that might be causing your symptoms i.e. dairy and eat a moderate potion with one of lunches from the first 7 days. Note any symptoms and keep tract of them on your diet diary. Check your pulse after you are finished your meal and (if possible) at 20, 40, and 60 minute intervals (2). Record any changes. Do the same thing at your evening meal. Your first day should consist of 1-3 servings of your suspected food sensitivity. On the next day consume 1-3 servings again and record symptoms and pulses. On day three if there are no symptoms by lunchtime you will be able to reintroduce that food into your diet (about once every 3 days). Take the rest of day 3 and relax and eat your diet from the first 7 days. On day 4 its time to start the above process over again.
The Elimination diet
The elimination diet in this hand out will work for 80% of the population. If you cannot find a food sensitivity that does not necessary mean you don’t have one. It just means we will have to work as a team and modify your 7 day clean diet and try different suspected food sensitivity foods. Your Doctor can also run Blood work (IgG and IgE test), use the Vega Bio-expert, or a number of other methods/test to find the underlying cause.
Tips and tricks
1. Do not restrict your calories (1)
2. Plan your meals for the week and take a shopping list with you to the heath food store (1)
3. Ask questions when dining out about what’s in your food (1)
4. Normal Withdraw symptoms occur in ¼ people. Talk to your doctor if you are worried (1)
5. Its best to quit all foods “cold turkey” (1)
6. Do not test foods that you already know to cause symptoms (1)
7. Work with your doctor (1)
All information is from
(1) Gaby, A., & Wright, J. (2007). Nutritional protocols. Nutrition Seminars
(2) Scott-Mumby, K. (2011). Diet wise. Brainerd, MN: Bang Printing