Elimination Diet: Re-Introduction Phase
What is an elimination diet?
As the name implies, this diet is designed to temporarily avoid certain foods for 2 weeks (this is called the elimination phase), followed by a period of systematic reintroduction of certain food groups. People with severe digestive issues may be asked to remain on the Elimination Phase for a full month before moving on to re-introduce. It is essential to give the body time to heal and repair so you can have the best results. This latter phase is called the reintroduction phase and may last for up to 9 weeks.
Is all this REALLY necessary?
According to current research, food sensitivities can cause or contribute to a vast array of problems including: fatigue, anxiety, depression, insomnia, food cravings, obesity, recurrent colds and other infections, chronic nasal congestion, postnasal drip, fluid in the ears, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, gallbladder disease, high blood pressure, arrhythmia, angina, acne, eczema, psoriasis, canker sores, hives, muscle aches, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, migraines and otherheadaches, numbness, asthma, frequent urination, teeth grinding, bedwetting, and infantile colic. Most of the above disorders have more than one cause, but food sensitivity is relatively common and a frequently overlooked cause. Often this sort of exercise helps one get out of “food ruts”. This plan hopefully encourages you to try new foods. Daily repetition of the same foods is thought to be a major contributor to the development of food sensitivities. Also, a diverse diet is typically healthier because you are more likely to get a comprehensive intake of valuable nutrients.
• Create a daily food journal to record any changes either physical or emotional
• This program provides all the nutrition that you will need while your body cleanses and heals itself.
• Eat until you are full, but not engorged. It is better to eat several small meals throughout the day rather than 3 large ones
• Do not drink with your meals, as this dilutes the enzymes in the stomach needed to properly digest the food eaten. Drink liquids ½ hour before or 1 hour after eating
• Continue to take nutritional supplements and herbal medicines unless otherwise directed
• You may initially (1-5 days) experience cleansing symptoms which could include: headache, fatigue, increased food cravings, irritability, or an aggravation of a symptom you already have. This is due to your body detoxing. Doing a colonic during the first week is key to minimizing and even avoiding these symptoms.
For the next 9 weeks, food groups that have been eliminated will be progressively added to your daily diet. This systematic reintroduction of potentially allergenic foods will allow for the identification of any hypersensitivity you may have. In general, first reintroductions should be in small portions so as not to induce non-specific responses. This re-introduction phase can be shortened, especially focusing on the key food triggers in your diet. But this is best done through consultation with your naturopath or nutritionist to get the best results for you. Obviously the slower and more precise the longer it takes but the more clear your answers as to what foods to avoid and enjoy.
Please follow the reintroduction protocol. Document any observations in your food journal.
It is crucial to follow the re-introduction phase one week at a time to really let your body try the foods and respond. The Elimination phase set the stage for your body to clean and heal. Now we will see what foods have been causing you the symptoms that have been holding you back from an energized vibrant life. You will have also learnt about many new food choices, food groups and recipes for your new way of life with foods. And yes you will lose weight and be able to keep it off if you stay away from those irritating foods. Eat to Live, Don't Live to Eat.