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7 Basic Things about an Elimination Diet You Need to Know ...

By Heather

An elimination diet consists of eliminating foods that pose allergens in many people. The most allergenic foods are cut from the diet, along with foods that increase inflammation, or increase symptoms in the body that cause pain, bloating, poor digestion, consiptation, acne, etc. Many people use elimination diets as a method to cleanse the body, while still eating whole foods. After 21 days on an elimination diet, most people only suffer a few days of withdrawals, and end up feeling like new people by the end of the diet. Since the body isn’t receiving any potential problematic foods, energy levels are higher, digestion is perfectly seamless, and nutrient absorption is higher. Check out the main food and beverages you’ll need to get rid of when going under an elimination diet. Even if you just cut out the following 7 foods and beverages, you’ll see immediate improvement. Instead of these foods, you’ll be eating all organic lean sources of protein, tons of leafy green vegetables, root veggies, fresh raw fruit, organic nuts and seeds, and dairy alternatives such as almond milk, coconut milk, etc. You can make whole meals, or smoothies using these ingredients as well. For recipes and tips, feel free to check out the sources at the end of this article.

1 Nix the Caffeine

Nix the CaffeineCaffeine is one of the first things you’ll be getting rid of on an elimination diet. Caffeine exhausts your adrenal glands, causes sugar cravings, and can send your blood sugar all over the place. A little is probably okay each morning, but the problem with caffeine, is it is harder for your body to detox during this diet even if you’re still having a little. Instead, opt for decaf green tea or another caffeine-free herbal tea. You’ll also need to ditch all those energy drinks too. I recommend juicing as a replacement to caffeine. You’ll never feel more alive in your life compared to how you feel after drinking fresh green juice! It sends your energy levels soaring and even for a coffee lover like myself, it takes away my cravings for coffee. Obviously, you’ll need to quit drinking soda, which isn’t allowed on this diet either. Only water, herbal teas and veggie juices are allowed as beverages, along with whole food smoothies using approved ingredients.

2 Get Rid of Gluten

Get Rid of GlutenI’m sorry, but you’ll need to say bye to that whole wheat bread you’ve got in your cabinets, along with any cookies, chips, or anything else that contains gluten. Gluten is in any food that contains enriched flours, wheat flours,wheat, barley, rye, couscous, kamut, cereals ( unless labeled gluten-free), muffins, baking mix recipes, etc. Almost all processed foods that contain grains contain gluten. If you eat oats, be sure to buy gluten-free. Gluten is protein found in the above foods that creates a glue-like effect in the intestines. It can even cause leaky gut syndrome, which ends up releasing toxic ingredients into the blood stream, resulting in poor nutrient absorption of other foods. Gluten tears small pieces in the intestinal wall, and over time, can aggravate the gut. Most people see their weight drop, digestion improve, acne go away, bloating disappear, wrinkles improve, energy levels soar and cravings go away once they get rid of gluten and sugar in their diet. If you must have bread, opt for gluten-free varieties that still have at least 3 grams of fiber per serving. Better yet, each whole, gluten-free grains instead such as brown rice, wild rice, black rice, quinoa, amaranth and millet. These are all alkaline and help nourish the body without containing an ounce of gluten. They’re also so tasty!

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3 Ditch the Dairy

Ditch the DairyDairy is one food you’ll need to get rid of ASAP on an elimination diet. Dairy may have certain health benefits found in organic sources, but it is highly acidic, inflammatory, and can cause digestion issues, even if you don’t realize you’re sensitive. Opt for non-dairy varieties instead such as coconut oil for butter, non-dairy milks, yogurts and creamers, and say no to sour cream, cottage cheese and any other dairy foods for now. Your skin will glow, digestion will improve and your muscles will probably suffer less pain as well.

4 Say so Long to Sugar

Say so Long to SugarAll processed sugar shouldn’t be a part of your daily routine anyhow, but on an elimination diet, they’re absolutely forbidden. Besides promoting weight gain, sugar is terrible for your teeth, your heart, your skin, your digestion, your muscles, and it has no benefits whatsoever! Instead, opt for zero calorie, organic stevia extract. Or, you may use a bit of organic, raw honey or maple syrup, but only in small amounts.

5 Sock out the Soy

Sock out the SoySoy is a highly allergenic food, despite its many health claims. Even if it does contain certain nutritional properties, overall, soy causes allergenic reactions in people, even if they don’t know they are sensitive. Getting rid of soy can increase the function of your thyroid, which helps improve your energy levels, and your metabolism. There are tons of other foods out there that can give you protein besides soy. Even if you’re vegan! Ditch the tofu and use hemp seeds, or instead of soy protein, use hemp protein. Hemp protein is the most non-allergenic protein; it is high in Omega 3 fatty acids, rich in protein and all essential amino acids and has a delicious nutty taste. Also, you should be avoiding processed foods overall, but especially avoid any with soy ingredients in them. These are often GMO sources of soy, and highly toxic and allergenic.

6 Get Glowing with Greens

Get Glowing with GreensGreens are going to be your glory foods here on this elimination diet. Greens are rich in detoxifying properties and their nutrient content will satisfy your body, calm inflammation, give you energy, increase your beauty, improve your digestion and help keep you full. Juice with greens, throw some in a smoothie, saute them with some coconut oil and veggies for a healthy side dinner dish, make a huge raw salad using leafy greens, or use them however else you like. Any way you eat greens is great! I love organic romaine, spinach, kale, collards, arugula, Swiss chard, beet greens, parsley and cilantro the most. All leafy greens are beneficial, but try to buy organic when you can to avoid pesticides.

7 Pump up the Protein

Pump up the ProteinProtein is essential on an elimination diet, as are healthy fats like avocado, nuts and seeds. Protein helps keep you full, so be sure to get enough in your diet. Eat healthy proteins from nuts and seeds, pastured eggs, grass-fed organic meats, organic poultry and wild-certified sources of fish. These foods will keep you satisfied longer, and they help support your body during this detox time so you don’t suffer energy crashes or low blood sugar. They also help to fight detox headaches that can occur as well.

Feel free to load up on veggies during this time! All are game and sweet starches like sweet potatoes, squash and fresh fruits can cure your sweet tooth when it kicks in from sugar withdrawals. You’ll also need to avoid alcohol, legumes, all processed foods, added sugars of all kinds, corn, and citrus fruits. These foods aren’t necessarily “bad” foods, but they can be problematic for many people. For more information on the elimination diet, please check out The Clean Program’s elimination diet information, which is excellent and created by a medical doctor who practices holistic health. You can find the website here: cleanprogram.com

Have you ever considered an elimination diet?

Sources**:** nourishingmeals.com, cleanprogram.com, cleanprogram.com

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