You want me to eliminate WHAT!

What to do when your ND recommends a food elimination…..

I know, I know.  We ND’s are famous for prescribing food “elimination” – sugar, dairy, gluten, corn, soy, eggs…etc.  I am fully aware that this is your least favourite part of the process.  I know its tough, I know it takes preparation, time and effort, and yes – gluten-free bread will never be as tasty as the “real stuff”.

So why do we do this to our patients you ask?? Is this torture really worth it??

You bet it is!

There are a variety of reasons for eliminating certain “allergenic” foods from the diet; big ones being digestive concerns, chronic fatigue, chronic skin conditions, chronic pain, and stubborn weight among others.  When we eliminate particular foods, we help to take stress off the digestive tract, give the liver a little TLC, decrease the sensitivity or “overactivity” of the immune system, and reduce inflammation throughout the body.  Elimination diets can also serve as both treatment, and diagnosis; it is a great way to really tune into your body and feel the difference that certain foods are making – good or bad. Depending on your specific goals, or health concerns – the duration of the food elimination may vary.  Generally speaking, removing foods for about two weeks is a good place to start.  For more information on food sensitivities vs. allergies and intolerances, check out a previous blog post I wrote here.

So the benefits to this dietary madness are certainly there  – but how the heck do I actually make this happen.  What do I eat???

First off, let me help you out!  I provide my individual clients with personalized meal plans and recipes.  You can check out my blog and follow me on Facebook for regular foodie posts too.

There are lots of great resources out there – websites, blogs, books – that can really help make the process enjoyable and delicious!  Here are some of my personal faves:

www.nourishingmeals.com  This website has a plethora of fantastic recipes and meal ideas – and they are largely all gluten and dairy free. Check it out and scroll through their recipe archive for ideas.

Joyous Health.  This is the website of a Toronto-based Holistic Nutritionist, Joy McCarthy. She has a lot of great recipes on her site as well, well categorized so that it is easy to navigate.

“Delicious Detox” Cook Book by Carol Morley, ND.  This book is a great one to invest in – the recipes are simple, tasty and well-balanced – and she includes sample meal plans and shopping lists in the book. It can be ordered online here

Here is a sample menu plan for a elimination of  dairy, gluten, sugar and caffeine:

Breakfast:

  • Quinoa “oatmeal” with almond milk, pumpkin seeds, chopped apple and pear, cinnamon and some local honey
  • Green tea to go

Mid-morning Snack:

  • Hard-boiled egg with some chopped up veggies             Dietary Counselling to figure out what foods to eliminate
  • Homemade granola
  • rice cakes or rice crackers with some almond or hazelnut butter and sliced apple

Lunch:

  • Squash soup with 1/2 avocado and mary’s gluten -free crackers
  • Cabbage salad with a serving of chicken or turkey, or fish (usually leftovers for me)
  • Sweet potato with black beans and/or chicken, avocado, chopped peppers, salsa, and daiya “cheese”

Snacks for mid-afternoon sweet tooth:

  • Raw “energy balls” or homemade almond and chocolate protein bars. Get the recipes here.
  • A quick smoothie made with pineapple, spinach, coconut milk and a handful of hemp hearts for protein.
  • Sliced fruit with nut butter and cinnamon
  • A nice mug of herbal tea (there are so many out there now) can surprisingly satisfy your craving for food and keep you hydrated.

Dinner:

  • Homemade roasted chicken or fish with pesto and olives, gluten free pasta, and a big side of steamed greens
  • Turkey or vegetarian chili
  • Frittata ( a great way to use a variety of veggies, proteins, herbs and spices) with a big old green salad or steamed veggies
  • Spaghetti squash tacos with beans, sauteed peppers, salsa, guacamole, and vegan cheese

There truly are a lot of options out there; if you do a bit of research, head to the store with a list and plan, and are willing to try something new – you can make a dietary elimination much more doable.  Please be in touch with questions, and check back here regularly for new healthy eating inspiration!

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