By now you should know that I totally hate diets and food rules!
When I recovered from my lifelong battle with bulimia, I made a promise to myself to never follow any type of crazy diet or weird food rules again.
And here I am, on a 3-month elimination diet.
And man, I tell you, it’s not easy every day!
Before we move further into this topic, I want to stress the fact that anyone who is still in the early stages of recovery should avoid such diet for the simple fact that it will get you back in the binge-purge cycle even stronger because it will activate your survival mechanism.
So let’s first have a look at what the elimination diet exactly is.
The elimination diet is a recognised and proven method to identify food sensitivities and intolerances.
First of all, it’s good to understand that foods sensitivities and food allergies are 2 very different things. Food allergies involve a strong immune system response, which pretty much means that they will make you sick. So food allergies are clear and obvious. No doubt possible!
On the other side, food sensitivities are not triggering any obvious reaction, which makes them very difficult to detect. However, the impact on your general health is usually quite important despite the fact that you might not feel anything special. They will create gut’s inflammation and will disturb the digestion. That not only means that your body won’t properly absorb the nutriments you need but also that some things you don’t need will actually manage to enter your blood stream.
Sounds pretty bad, right?
So to resume: food sensitivities and intolerances – contrary to food allergies – will create a type of ‘silent’ gut inflammation that is pretty difficult to detect by yourself. Despite the fact that you might not feel anything special, your digestion will be disturbed and might cause long term issues such as malabsorption, lack of certain essential minerals and nutriments, IBS, leaky gut syndrome, etc.
The only way to pin-point which food is creating the inflammation is to get on the elimination diet and remove everything that is inflammatory. And boy, there are many inflammatory foods in our modern diet!
Here is what I need to avoid during 3 months:
The obvious inflammatory food groups:
- Cashews (yes, apparently peanut and cashews are the most inflammatory nuts. The rest is all right, phew!)
- Too much watermelon
And many grains including white and brown rice, spelt, buckwheat and oats.
Removing these foods from my diet will allow the inflammation to heal and my gut to get back to optimal function again. At the same time, I am on a special cure of Probiotics, Kombucha and Aloe Vera. 3 of my favourite things to increase your gut’s health and heal inflammation (more on that in the following weeks ).
To help me in this process, I am working with the Dr. Adolf Brown from the Gaia Clinic. Adolf is a Holistic Chiropractor and Kinesiologist trained in Chinese Medicine and Intuitive Energy Therapy. Working with a Holistic Practitioner is a real pleasure and I have to say that he was able to give me a concrete explanation about what was happening with my body and health that no one was able to give me before.
In 3 months, I will progressively add the eliminated foods back into my diet. I will then carefully observe my body responses and keep testing myself for food sensitivities with Dr Adolf. This will allow me to define which food is creating the inflammation and ban this bummer from my real diet (I am praying every day that it’s not cashews by the way. There are so many amazing raw desserts made with cashews in Ubud, it would be a shame having to avoid them forever, lol.)
Even-though food sensitivities and intolerances are difficult to recognise without the elimination diet, here are a few symptoms that you want to be aware of: mood swings, diarrhea, constipation, pimples, headaches, stomach cramps, pain in the lower abdomen, feeling sluggish, bloated, tired… might all be caused by food sensitivities and intolerances.
So if you are regularly experiencing some of them, it might be a good idea to consult your own health care provider to determine the best options and treatment for you
Here is also a little food intolerance checker that you might find helpful.