Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Elimination Diet Experiment



I was recently approached by a doctor from The Ohio State University who works with individuals who have intolerances and allergies to certain foods and ingredients. He asked me how much I knew about elimination diets, to which I replied, "I know the basics, but not the details."

T
he main purpose of an elimination diet is to restrict all of the foods and ingredients to which many individuals tend to have allergies and/or intolerances. After discussing the diet details for a while, the doctor asked if I could be a resource for his clients who are trying to figure out how to eat on this diet (the diet typically lasts between 14 and 28 days). He then proceeded to ask me if I would try out the diet myself in order to learn firsthand how to eat on this highly restricted diet. You will probably think I'm crazy (since I already have a fairly restricted diet), but I agreed to try it. In reality, this is something I should have done a long time ago, since I have always had stomach and GI issues. I'm only trying the diet for one to two weeks. Who knows, maybe I'll feel even better!




**If you would like to read more about elimination diets, please check out this link, which explains them very well.**


I cannot provide the list of foods which must be eliminated (since people pay money for the actual details and support!), but I will provide examples of some of the foods I will be eating in the next week or two. And in case you were wondering, I am still following the low FODMAPs diet at the same time....



(the above photo is the list of foods I can and cannot eat)


Here are some of my staples on this diet:



Almond butter

Black beans

Quinoa

Gluten-free oats

Brown rice flour

Plain rice cakes

Veggie chips

Butternut squash

Spaghetti squash

Not included in the picture: Daiya cheese, organic chicken, and coconut milk kefir


I'm starting on Monday. I'll be keeping you updated as the week goes on.....


The things I do for work, my goodness. Wish me luck!!

Question: Have you ever tried an elimination diet? If so, did you learn about some foods to which you were intolerant or allergic?




28 comments :

  1. I've never tried an official elimination diet, but I've basically cut dairy out of my diet and I'm trying to eat as little soy as possible. Both seem to bother me although I'm sure there is dairy and soy in some of the processed foods I eat (thankfully I don't eat much). I look forward to hear how this goes for you.

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  2. I've personally never tried an elimination diet but I have followed patients on the diet. Compliance was a huge barrier with my patients. Looking forward to hear about your experience!
    Have a great weekend :)

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  3. This is fascinating, Gina! I'll be eagerly following your progress over the next few weeks. Elimination diets are something that I know little about, so I'm looking forward to learning more from your experience! The FODMAPS diet is something else I'm fairly unacquainted with, so I can see that I have a lot to learn :) I'm impressed you're taking on this experiment, but I'll bet this experiment will teach more than just reading about elimination diets!

    Have a great weekend, Gina!

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  4. I like your list of staples...I think I could hack that diet if need be, although I'd definitely miss my share of peanuts and peanut butter. Daiya cheese is great, and I just had my first glass of Kefir on Thursday...quite tasty!

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  5. I saw that list and you are a better woman than I! I could do it, just not long term. But I hope you can find maybe another link to your symptoms! It's worth a shot, and regardless, you'll be able to talk the talk after walking the walk :) Thanks again for last night! I know OSU plays next Saturday night - you guys are welcome to come over then, or any other night game, or whenever! :) We'd love to have you, just let me know what works for you guys!

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  6. I really should try one if these elmination diets. I just need a kick in the rear to get going!

    I'll be interested ti follow you along....

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  7. I think it's awesome that you're trying out the elimination diet first-hand so that you can really understand it. What a great RD;)

    I'm definitely okay with all those staples as well!

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  8. i am loving your experimentation! can't wait to hear how it goes :) can i tell you i've been LOVING rice cakes with pb&j lately :) and rice cakes with laughing cow & pb is good toooooo

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  10. I have never tried an elimination diet - I have enough food allergies that automatically eliminate many foods from my diet already.

    Good luck with it - I'm sure you will gain some interesting insight!

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  11. I have never had a need to do an elimination diet but as an RD I have worked on the other side and recommended this with RD and MD monitoring for potential allergens. Really it makes sense if there are a lot of possible offenders. It is best to test and know for sure than just go through life assuming. Good luck on your trial run.

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  12. This is a really good idea- especially because when you have clients who need to try it, you'll be able to say you have done it and offer advice on foods they can eat :)

    I really should try one of these sometime so that I can learn what bothers me once and for all. I think my biggest problem is that something will bother me one day and then not the next. I think my stomach is so much more tied to my stress level than the foods I put in it (to some extent, a big piece of cake and I'm going to be in trouble no matter what haha).

    I'm guessing you'll have to get up ice cream for the week, what about your nightly popcorn? I'm on a total popcorn kick right now!

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  13. i haven't tried it but its quite common in the UK for crohns disease just as a worth a try

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  14. I've never tried an elimination diet. I've been blessed with an allergy-less body when it comes to food...knock on wood :)

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  15. I will definitely be checking out that link. Thanks for posting this. I am curious to see how you do.
    I only know the basics as well.

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  16. interesting! my girlfriend had to do this due to a bunch of stomach problems, but other than her, i haven't heard too much about this. it'll be interesting to see how this pans out!

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  17. Good luck! I've never needed to try the elimination diet because I eat rather simply but I do know that my body does not love dairy or high fat (greasy foods)...so I limit those suckers in my diet.

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  18. I've never gone through a strict elimination diet, just limited my dairy because it upsets my stomach. I'll be interested to see how it goes for you. I can only imagine it being pretty challenging.

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  19. My naturopath put me on an elimination diet for 3 weeks to determine what foods were causing my acne. It ended up being dairy.

    I actually didn't find the diet to be too difficult at all. What was kind of annoying though was my family who would keep commenting about how tough it must be to restrict my diet like this.

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  20. The elimination diet is a big part of functional medicine. I've tried it a few times, just for a week each time. I think it's a great non-invasive way to help people with stomach issues.

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  21. this sounds so interesting! I'd love to know details about it and what you find after trying it! :)

    it's so funny that it's part of your job!

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  22. Any diet like this would benefit if you collected data on measurable results prior and after: objective markers of what feeling "better" means. Track your energy level every day from 1-3, or sleep, or concentration levels, BM...something that is definitive so you can track objectively. Unfortunately, docs don't even require objective markers to determine a diet's "success"

    I did this when I upped my protein to at least 40 grams during one week...and really figured out that increased protein didn't make me more energetic. What did? more carbs during the day. But it took data to track that and not a placebo effect

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  23. I've never tried an elimination diet, but recently since becoming more informed about FODMAPS (thanks to you!), I've experimented a bit and believe that wheat can give me troubles.
    I was curious what that doctor thinks of the LEAP MRT test? I've been really curious about that.

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  24. I'm really curious to see how it'll go for you. I have some "digestive issues" that I suspect are not entirely related to my gallstones, and I think an elimination diet may actually be helpful to figure out what's truly going on with me.

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  25. Hey Gina! I had to do an elimination diet 3.5 years ago after I had a skin prick test to help determine to which foods I was allergic. It was actually a really interesting experience for me! If you have any questions, I'd love to answer them. I don't know if you are planning to actually follow through and add each eliminated food in one by one. If you do, keeping a food+symtpoms diary is really helpful! Good luck with the experiment. It is always an interesting experience to see things through the eyes of the client!

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  26. I am in the midst of an elimination diet right now following Fodmaps. First week no lactose, then fructose, fructans, galactans and now this week polyols. I felt the best the week I eliminated the fructans--which kills me cause I put garlic and onion in everything! Also thinking that wheat may be a culprit. Thanks for posting what you ate during your elimination diet and the post on Fodmaps! It has been 2 years since I started having digestive issues and I'm ready to get down to the bottom of this (no pun intended)!

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