Monday, October 25, 2010

Elimination Diet; Day One

Today is Day One of my 1-2 week long elimination diet! I plan on posting updates a few times throughout the week because really want you to know what I'm going through and how I'm feeling, just in case you decide to do an elimination diet yourself one day.

Early Morning

7:00am: The first thing I typically do is eat a bit of granola and drink my coffee (pre-workout snack). Well, I couldn't enjoy my granola because of some of the ingredients (mainly peanuts), so instead I created a new (peanut and gluten free) granola, which I really enjoyed.

Granola: gluten free oats, almond butter, molasses, almonds and walnuts

I'll just go ahead and admit that caffeinated coffee is not supposed to be included in this elimination diet. However, I'm just not able to go from drinking it, to not drinking it, overnight! It's almost like telling a nicotine addict that they have to stop smoking cigarettes, tomorrow. I can give up every other delicious aspect of my diet, but the coffee is here to stay. So you might think I am cheating, and that's fine, I won't deny that. I typically ingest about 300-350 mg caffeine a day (300 mg is the max for health purposes, I'm working on cutting back), but this morning I only made about 220 mg worth of coffee. So I am clearly trying to cut back for the purpose of this diet (who knows, maybe I'll stick to it)!

As I went to take my Flintstone multivitamin, I noticed it has aspartame, which is not a part of this diet. I still took the vitamin because I'm not about to go buy a special vitamin for this diet. I've already spent $100 more on groceries this month!

Mid-Morning Breakfast

9:30 am: After my workout I ate my gluten free oats, using almond milk instead of water. I also mixed in pumpkin puree and almond butter. I typically sprinkle some Truvia on top of my oats, but since Truvia contains sugar alcohols, I bought Stevia to use instead. I really don't like it as much as Truvia :(

Mid-Afternoon Lunch

1:30 pm: I didn't have to work today so I had the ability to put together a fairly substantial lunch.

I made a salad with organic spinach, organic chicken breast (marinated in rice and balsamic vinegar prior to cooking), butternut squash, and Daiya "cheese".

Have you seen or tried this stuff before? It's awesome!! I hear it melts really well too. It definitely tasted like cheddar cheese, in my opinion (I'm not sure Nick would agree though).

Here is my only problem with this "cheese":

No calcium!! Ok, so it's not supposed to be a replacement for cheese, but still, is it really that hard to fortify with a bit of calcium?! For once I'm begging for fortification.

I also had some of these veggie chips, which I purchased at Market District. These things are so addicting. They are made with a bunch of dehydrated squashes and green beans.

Late Afternoon

I'm getting most of my calcium from almond milk and cultured coconut milk. I chose the cultured coconut milk so I could get some probiotics and prebiotics each day (I typically rely on kefir and/or yogurt for these). Did you know that this cultured coconut milk has 30% DV of magnesium (great for diabetics!) and 35% DV of B12 (great for vegans!!!!)?! And, it tastes pretty delicious. Buy the original flavor if you don't want a bunch of added sugars.

I also snacked on more granola, more veggie chips, a bit of quinoa, and some almond butter throughout the afternoon.

Evening Meal

7:00pm: I'm allowed to have fish on this diet, so I stocked up on salmon, cod, and tilapia. Tonight I had some tilapia. I simply baked it in the oven with a bit of EVOO on top, and some simple seasoning (garlic free).

I ate my carrots and broccoli with some balsamic vinaigrette. Typically I use blue cheese dressing, but there are ingredients in the blue cheese dressing that I have to eliminate.

Some Things I've Learned Thus Far

- I have two addictions; chocolate and caffeine. I will say, however, I am very proud of myself for surviving my first day with about 100 mg LESS caffeine than normal! And I'm feeling pretty good. As for the chocolate, I typically eat a piece right after dinner. I literally have nothing sweet to eat right now. It's rough (especially since we have 5 bags of Halloween candy in the closet....).

- I miss condiments! Three times today I wanted to use a condiment, but couldn't (Red Hot, blue cheese dressing, and soy sauce). I need to find something I can use instead of these.

- It's really hard to get enough calcium without being able to eat dairy and soy! The almond milk is fine, but the coconut kefir is something I need to watch because I'm not supposed to have coconut on my low FODMAPs diet. I think the coconut flesh is worse, but coconut milk may still cause problems. So far, however, I'm fine.

Stay tuned for another update as the week progresses. I hope you are all having a wonderful week, so far!


  1. Sounds like you had a successful first day!!

    I think I would definitely miss condiments and dairy.

  2. That sounds like hell lol I LOVE my coffee. Just the smell can make my day 1000x better. And NO chocolate? No thats a huge problem for me! haha I am not sure how long I would be able to do what you are doing!! Especially since I just created a chocolate almond cranberry nut bark the other

  3. Good job cutting back the caffeine-- I think you're smart not to try to go cold turkey!

    I've tried that Daiya cheese, and I wasn't crazy about it. I think I just don't like cheese substitutes...there are a couple (including Daiya) that most vegans rave about, and I just don't like their taste!

  4. it's so interesting to see what you've learned- I'm sure there are so many habits in my eating that I've never noticed!

  5. You've got some serious willpower! I'm curious to see how this goes for you. I've thought about doing an elimination diet in the past, but never got past the "thinking about it" stage. I ended up just going to an allergist and getting tested...but with all my allergies (and my son's) this is probably a really good idea, since there are so many cross-reactions, and intolerances that wouldn't show up with allergy testing.

  6. For extra calcium, how about collard/mustard greens (is this bioavailable?) or sesame seeds (I LOVE THE TOASTED ONES ON EVERYTHING!!) and/or canned salmon/sardines with the bones?

    [I don't know about the sardines but I used to buy the canned (wild caught; no salt added) salmon with bones for my kitties as treats and was totally grossed out by it at first. But then I was desperate one day for something to make for dinner and used a can in a salad with chopped veggies and mixed greens and olive oil and lemon and fresh ground pepper and WHOAAA!! it was really good!]

    Good luck...this is really fascinating!

  7. You know... now that I think of it, I'm probably pretty calcium deficient. I'm interested to see how you supplement.

  8. You are doing great so far! I don't think I could survive without the caffeine and chocolate!! I really just need to eliminate gum since that is what bloats me but I am an addict haha. Hope this diet helps you!

  9. I'm the same about caffeine, whatever diet I do, I just can't give up caffeine! I don't really know how much mgs of caffeine I'm drinking per day. How do you measure it?

  10. I tried that cheese last week...not too shabby! Expensive but a good sub for dairy in a pinch.

  11. Sounds like an interesting and challenging experiment so far! I think you'll definitely have a better perspective of what it's like to follow an elimination diet after it's all over!

  12. Lots of interesting "things" so far. I was kinda taken aback at the extra $$ you had to spend to do this! YIKES! I really enjoy the So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk but we don't have it in Canada so I only have it handy after a trip to Buffalo. I don't do much dairy (maybe a yogurt here and there) so Almond Breeze is what I use. And I hear ya on the issue of coffee. I don't drink loads of it, but I like it in the morning! LOL

    I'm eager to hear more updates from you!! :)

  13. Sounds expensive! You're doing great so far :)

  14. Thanks for sharing what you are eating. I can only imagine how limiting it must be...and expensive like you mentioned.
    I didn't know that the cultured coconut milk was a good source of B12. Good to know!

  15. What condiments/sauces are you allowed? You can't have soy sauce? Can you have Braggs liquid aminos? I put braggs on almost everything.

  16. I'm glad you are sharing :) Isn't it funny how being forced to eliminate foods makes you a lot more creative. I know you already knew that though. Good thing you only have to do this for a week, yikes!

    I actually gave up caffeine when I was first diagnosed with IBS- I switched to green tea first and then eliminated it completely. I only miss it now on days I am particularly tired :)

  17. It is awesome that you are able to give such a detailed account and see the ups and downs for someone on an elimination diet. I do think it was wise not to give up the coffee altogether. I can't believe the daiya has no calcium. I have not tried this before, but seeing as I eat a lot of alternative products (being a vegetarian and all), I think I would like it.

  18. So Delicious Cultured Coconut Milk is the tastiest way I've found to get healthy probiotics into my diet (and my kids' diets, too!)

    But I sincerely hope you toss those Flinstone vitamins in the trash, where they belong. Aspartame is extremely toxic and has been linked to everything from migraine headaches to blindness, and even death. I'd sooner consume arsenic than anything containing aspartame. More info here:

  19. I completely agree with the comment from Anonymous above. I used to consume aspartame everyday and suffered with debilitating migraines for years, before I discovered that the aspartame was causing them. As soon as I gave up aspartame, the migraines stopped! This prompted me to do further research and write about aspartame. My 1997 article, "A Tale of Two Sweeteners" still appears online:

    The kindest thing you can do for your body right now is to get this highly toxic chemical out of your diet. And be aware that it now lurks in products that also contain sugar and is no longer limited to the sugar-free category of foods. If you pick up an item, whether it's toothpaste, chewing gum, juice, or multi-vitamins, drop it like the toxic time bomb that it is, and choose something with more natural and wholesome ingredients.

  20. Very informative! And I couldn't give up my coffee overnight either! Great job on cutting back!