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8 Steps to Transform Your Life with an Elimination Diet

Krysta Shannon
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The foods that you eat each day are not just intended to fuel your body. If you eat foods that aren’t right for your body, you could be corrupting your health and even negatively impacting your longevity and quality of life!
 
Even if you make healthy eating choices, the foods you eat each day may not be the best choices for you. Your body responds differently to foods and sends various messages to your brain.
 
Food can cause inflammation, gas and bloating, irritable bowels, allergies, low energy, moodiness, acne and a plethora of other bodily functions and reactions.
 
An elimination diet is just that – it’s a short-term diet that eliminates all foods that may be causing you issues, then reintroduces them one by one to identify the culprits. If you suffer from bodily ailments or potential food intolerances, consider an elimination diet. You might be surprised at what you learn about your health.
 

Here are 8 tips for a successful elimination diet:

 

1. Prepare

To prepare for an elimination diet, you will want to keep a journal of your observations before and during the diet, documenting how you look and feel inside and out. You will also want to have recipes on hand that include approved foods.
 
If you don’t trust your own willpower, you might want to do a pantry purge of non-approved foods, so you won’t be tempted during the month-long process. Don’t forget to go shopping for healthy and nutritious foods on the approved list.
 

2. Self-Assessment

Take a long, hard look at your skin, digestion and bowel movements, sleep, pain or inflammation, mood and body before and after eating. Evaluate every nook and cranny from the top of your head to the tip of your toes. Consider your skin, joints, digestion, cognitive clarity, energy and mood, and take note of any issues or complications.
 
Observations such as skin irritations or bloating, for instance, may be a sign that you suffer from food allergies or sensitivities.
 

3. Eliminate common allergens

Now, you are ready to start eliminating common allergens from your diet. These include alcohol, soy, eggs, dairy, gluten, and fast and/or processed foods (i.e. hot dogs).
 

Eat for your health, and you will experience a more healthy, happy life.

 

4. Eat clean

What you can eat is clean, unprocessed foods, such as organic meats (like turkey), fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, milk substitutes (almond or coconut milk) and gluten-free grains such as quinoa and rice. Also integrate healthy fats in your diet, like coconut oil, olive oil, ghee and avocados.
 

5. What not to eat

Avoid “healthy” prepackaged foods that are high in sugar. Also try to avoid eating a lot of processed gluten-free foods just because they are available. Refined carbs are refined carbs, and gluten-free does not mean healthy.
 

 
You might also want to eliminate foods that are acidic or more difficult to digest, such as soy, corn, beef, pork, chicken, beans, caffeine, condiments (e.g. ketchup and mayonnaise), nightshade veggies (e.g. potatoes and tomatoes) and citrus fruits.
 
You may want to read: How to Be Gluten Free On a Budget
 

6. Time is on your side

New habits take time to set in. During your month of clean eating, you may find that you now feel great and don’t want to reintegrate those potential trigger foods at all.
 

7. Self-Assessment part II

Before you draw this experiment to a close, take another close look at your body and assess how you feel. Now that you have eliminated common allergens and other foods that are known to cause digestive upset, do you notice better quality sleep, digestion, energy, skin or allergies?
 

8. Reintroduce slowly

After a month, pick one food at a time, such as dairy, and reintroduce it into your diet. Then, monitor your symptoms for the next two days. If you don’t notice a change, try that same category of food again and observe how you feel. If you feel the same, you can choose to reintegrate it into your diet. If you notice any complications reemerging, you might want to consider eliminating it from your diet permanently.
 
Once you have determined if that first food type works for your body, move to the next that you eliminated, until you have assessed all eliminated foods. At the end of your elimination diet, you will know a lot about your body and your digestive system and how it responds to the food you eat.
 
An elimination diet addresses your body’s unique needs and helps you to find a healthy eating lifestyle that works best for your unique body and gastrointestinal system. Elimination diets help you identify food sensitivities and empower you to take your gut health in your own hands.
 
A word of caution: The more foods you eliminate, the more you may find does not work for your body. However, you just may find that your body and mind is performing more optimally after your elimination diet. Who cares if you can’t have that cup of the coffee in the am if you feel energized without it?
 
Eat for your health, and you will experience a more healthy, happy life.
 
Have you done an elimination diet? What were your findings? Are you considering trying an elimination diet but have questions? Please share in the comments below!
 

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Krysta Shannon

Krysta is a staff writer and product review guru at YogiApproved. She believes in the powers of healing crystals and essential oils, and never leaves home without them. Krysta is a true Jersey girl (in the best sort of way) who embraces a non-toxic and all-natural lifestyle.

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