Sit tight, this first post in this series will be a long one. But you will be rewarded with multiple recipes at the bottom. I won’t even care if you skip right ahead to them. (I will continue to work on getting recipes linked into the daily food at the bottom. And I apologize for the photo quality of some of the dishes…I didn’t have the best lighting conditions)
The What: The elimination diet is basically a diet where you stop eating almost every food group and frequently eaten items, then after a 2-3 week period you being adding items back into your diet one at a time, waiting a few days in between each addition. The goal is to identify any food sensitive or allergies.
The Why: I have been feeling very sluggish and sort of off in the past few weeks (maybe months). Up until now I have sort of chalked it up to a combination of bad days, laziness, weather, pushing myself a bit to hard exercising one day (achy joints or extreme soreness). Then I spent 2 weeks really watching what I was eating and exercising 5-6 days a week. While I was doing that I really just kept feeling worse. Which did not seem normal. Typically, I may not feel the desire to work out, but I want to do it, then when I do I feel better and I am glad I did. I tend to feel lighter, energetic, and fit, if that makes sense. But I did not. I felt heavy, bloated, and pretty much not better in every way. I was getting plenty of sleep, but dragging myself out of bed in the morning (or relying on the boy to make sure I was up after I hit snooze 3-4 times). Finally, I made a list of all the random health/mood problems that have bothering me for the past few months and realized that perhaps they could be connected.
This led me to the terrible world of ‘internet diagnosis’, which always leads to cancer in like 4 clicks. But it did give me a few things to consider; mainly the fact that my diet could potentially be the root cause of all these symptoms. And by my diet I mean that I could have an intolerance or allergy of some sort. There are some other possibilities based on family history, but they don’t seem to quite match. (fyi, I have also made an appointment to see a dr. so don’t think I am totally trying to diagnose fix things myself.) I will include some links at the bottom.
The elimination diet was something I could do right now to see if there were any foods that might be causing some problems for me.
The Elimination plan:
2 week full elimination. Then begin to add groups back in 3 day intervals, check for any negative reactions.
No List: eggs, dairy, corn, gluten, legumes, nuts/seeds, sugar, beef, pork, mushrooms, vinegars (except apple cider vinegar), condiments, nightshade family (tomatoes, pepper, potatoes – le sigh)
Limited: fruit, starchy root veggies
Free Reign: lamb, turkey, chicken, basically all vegetables, grains (quinoa, millet, oats, buckwheat), avocados
At first I look at that short list and was a little freaked out. What could I possibly eat!!? But, so far with some planning it has not been too bad. In fact, I have made some good dishes that I never might have come up with.
Now, I am not going to say it is easy or even fun. Not yet anyway. It requires time to cook and time to plan. I suppose less time if you just eat basically the same few dishes for the 2-3 weeks, but I like to make things more difficult. To be fair I ate a number of leftovers during the week.
DAY 0 – Prep day
Make rice porridge, roast extra carrots and zucchini with dinner for leftovers, prepare and bake tuna quinoa patties.
B – creamy brown rice porridge w/blueberries
L – Tuna quinoa patty, roasted zucchini, carrots, green salad (mache, cress, arugula) w/avocado dressing.
S – Smoothie
D – Creamy Coconut Chicken Soup. Mixed greens, avocado, cucumber avocado dressing
B – 1/2 serving creamy brown rice porridge w/blueberries. Tuna quinoa patty w/broccoli
L – Creamy Coconut Chicken Soup w/brown rice. Mixed greens, cucumber, avocado dressing
S – Smoothie
D – Zucchini, cabbage, turkey skillet w/brown rice and mango sauce
B – Leftover Zucchini, cabbage, turkey, brown rice
L – Creamy Coconut Chicken soup w/brown rice. Mixed greens, cucumber. Avocado dressing
S – Smoothie
D – Salmon baked with fresh herbs and onions, sweet potato w/cinnamon, roasted broccoli
B – Tuna and quinoa patty, sweet potato, broccoli.
L – Turkey, zucchini, millet, cilantro. Greens w/avocado dressing
S – Tuna salad
D – Zucchini sauce over rice pasta
Morning snacks: rice cakes w/avocado, or carrots and celery
Smoothies: different every day. a little fruit, unflavored whey protein powder, spinach, sometimes rice milk.
(these are just links I found while searching for information. I know nothing about the sources)