Elimination Diet

KSN Ken at desk

My diet didn’t survive a weekend of traveling. For one thing, my wife didn’t cook like she usually does before we travel. She’s a bit…frugal, and usually doesn’t like spending money to eat out if she doesn’t have to. I had counted on that quality of hers, but this time she did almost no cooking before hand.

It wasn’t awful, but I started off Thursday night with fast food. No fries, no Coke. Just two sandwiches and water.

Our hotel room had a kitchenette, so I fried some bacon and sautéed kale for breakfast on Friday. Not bad at all.

Then there was the visit to the chocolate factory. And another higher quality, but still fast-food sandwich for dinner before testing.

I won’t confess dinner that night. It wasn’t my idea.

The rest of the weekend was fairly “kosher”. More bread and carbs in general, but no more fast food.

I’ve been roughly “Paleo” for the past few years. The toughest part about eating that way (no grains, legumes {beans, peas}, sweets, starches, or prepared foods) is the addiction to those foods. Eliminating them has been a struggle, not only because the foods are pervasive in our culture, but because my body wants them, not just my mind.

So, the past week or so, I’ve been easing into an Elimination Diet. My goal is to find out what foods my body is most sensitive to, and be able to avoid them. To do this, I have cut out everything that might cause problems, even if they seem innocuous to me.

This includes coffee, alcohol, eggs, grains, nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers), citrus, legumes, and dairy.

What’s left? Mainly pastured meat and leafy vegetables. Actually, lots of vegetables are okay. Squash, carrots, radishes, asparagus, sweet potatoes, and others are good.

So, really, the only part of my diet that survived intact was the coffee and alcohol part. I haven’t had coffee in a couple of weeks, alcohol (usually limited to wine in the evenings and a couple of beers throughout the week) in the past week. I have had a cup of tea in the mornings to stave off the caffeine withdrawal, but I’m weaning myself off that as well.

The idea is to find foods, if any, that your body might be sensitive to. If you avoid those for a time, then your gut can heal and the foods might be able to be added back in to your diet, either wholly, or maybe as an occasional indulgence.

My sister-in-law, Sara Ring, mentioned that we shouldn’t really be allergic to any foods. If we ate the right way and minimized our environmental toxins, we should be able to eat any food that we wanted to. I kind of agree with that, but the problem is the damage that some of this engineered food and antibiotics have done to our guts.

I won’t go into all the details here, but evidence shows that some GMOs are doing damage to our guts, contributing to Leaky Gut Syndrome and other maladies. With Leaky Gut, undigested food can make it into the blood stream, triggering an autoimmune response from the body. Essentially, through no fault of its own, a food can be seen as an invader by the body and cause an inflammation response as the body attempts to get neutralize it. This inflammation response can become chronic and lead to joint issues, weight gain, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, etc. It also taxes the immune system, leading to more illness.

By finding the foods that cause inflammation and eliminating them, we remove some of the burden from our immune system and allow healing to take place.

Want to know more? Here are some links.

The Paleo Mom: Autoimmune Protocol

Dr. Oz: Elimination Diet

WebMD: Elimination Diet and Food Challenge Test for Diagnosing Allergies

 

As I begin the “Challenge” portion, where you reintroduce foods to see what response your body gives, I’ll write more. I’m hoping to get back to my bacon and egg breakfasts relatively soon. :)


Agree? Disagree? Want more information? Let me know.

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