Our daughter developed some health issues over the past couple of months that suddenly became worse about a week ago. She became concerned and went to see a doctor. He feels that it could be a food intolerance and put her on an "Elimination Diet".
We've decided to go on this diet with her to support her and see if removing any of these items might improve our health as well. The elimination diet is NOT easy. So many things have to be eliminated and it leaves so few choices that planning meals and shopping have become a very big challenge. The foods that are eliminated are common allergens or can cause inflammation in body. The things we have to eliminate are:
Red meat, processed meats, eggs and egg substitutes
Strawberries and Citrus
Canned or creamed soups
Coffee, tea, alcohol, citrus drinks, sodas, caffeine
Margarine, shortening, butter and spreads
Brown sugar, sugar, honey, fructose, molasses, corn syrup
The "allowed items" are...
Meat - chicken, turkey, lamb or cold water fish
Non-dairy "milk" - rice or nut
Fruits and veggies (except corn, strawberries and citrus)
Breads and cereals - made from rice, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, teff, millet, potato or arrowroot
Soup - clear, vegetable based
Beverages - unsweetened fruit or veggie juices, herbal teas, filtered water
Oil - cold/expeller pressed, unrefined light shielded canola, flax, olive, pumpkin, sesame or walnut
Nuts - almonds, cashews, pecans, flax, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower seeds and butters of these nuts
Sweeteners - brown rice syrup, fruit sweeteners
The frustration we've run into is that just about every food label we read has at least one of the elimination items in it. That basically leaves a few kinds of meat, most fruit and veggies, and very few other things that we're lucky enough to find that fit into the limitations of this diet. Even gluten-free items often have eggs, dairy, yeast or corn products. And, many other products that seem like they'd fit into the rules, don't. We were label readers before but this puts a whole new spin on things.
We're also running into road blocks with finding recipes. Even in our vegan cookbooks and our Forks Over Knives cookbook, which is all plant based, aren't helping much. We've been searching on the internet too. Many of the recipes we've found on there have items we can't have. DD tried to bake some muffins from one of the recipes she found yesterday. They were edible but were dense, didn't rise, and didn't have much flavor. We'll keep searching for recipes and trying though. Our meals aren't always fabulous but they're healthy and we're figuring more and more things that we can cook.
We've been on the diet for a week now. DD just started feeling a bit better yesterday. Hubby said he's feeling a lot better and his weight is going down. My weight has dropped below my goal (I was close before we started) and my psoriasis may be improving. After two weeks, we'll go through a process of adding one food back for a day, removing it, waiting a couple days, and removing another one. Hopefully, we'll know in a few weeks if we need to remove anything for good. We're hoping we won't have to eliminate anything that's a big part of our normal diet that we love or that's an ingredient in lots of things. The doctor also advised that DD take probiotics. I'm hoping that will be the thing that helps her. It would be so much easier than having to remove something like gluten from her diet.
Have you ever been on this diet? How did it work out for you? Or, do you know someone who did this? What was the outcome? I'd love to hear from others that have experienced this.