elimination diet: my experience
Updated: Aug 23, 2018
At the start of 2018 I made a commitment to myself that I would really tune in to my internal health and figure out what the heck was going on. I was eating a relatively balanced diet with lots of fruits and veggies and yet I could feel there was something not right. No matter how much I exercised, slept, drank water, etc. there was still a lot of skin and digestion issues happening! I decided it was time to do an elimination diet and commit to figuring out what triggers my system.
Let me start by saying, up until the point I ate no red meat, white meat very very rarely, minimal wheat products, and was never a coffee drinker. This definitely made it easier to transition to an elimination diet but I don’t want to minimize my self control because it took a lot. I didn’t tell many people I was going to do an elimination diet because usually when you bring up food, people around you take it personally and get irritated quickly. Also, if it did come up and I told people what I was doing, they usually down played it and said that must be “easy” for me because I already have a healthy diet and don’t drink coffee. The lack of support was something I really didn’t want or need so I quietly did it! I only told people who it would directly affect (close friends & family). This is one of my top tips if you are planning on doing it.
It’s important that you do it FOR YOURSELF and not for others because it is a very personal journey.
So what did I do?
I started by using the Clean Program 7 day cleanse. I did this for a few reasons:
It was nice to have breakfast and dinner already planned out (smoothies using the Clean Program cleanse packets).
They give you supplements to support your internal systems so you don’t shock them.
It made me hold myself accountable during that first week because I was spending good money on the program and didn’t want to give up!!!
After 7 days, I followed their protocol without the cleanse packs or supplements. I still had a smoothie in the morning but used the Clean Program protein powder instead of the cleanse packets. For lunch and dinner, I had fish, chicken, or turkey with a salad or other veggies.
How did I feel?
More awake in the morning
No brain fog throughout the day
More aware of what is going into my body
Day 1 & 2 were challenging to break my normal patterns. 3:00 was a very difficult hour because I wanted to snack on chocolate & salty snacks.
Day 3-6 were very easy and I got the hang of things quickly.
Day 7 made me nervous because I didn’t know how I would do without the routine.
NOTE: I did bring my blender with me if I wasn’t staying at my apartment so that I was ready to make my smoothies in the AM or PM :)
Day 8-10 allowed me time to really think about what was going into my body and made me aware of how good I felt when I was eating clean!
Day 11-20 were fairly simple and I was able to stick to eliminating the major foods. I will say that weekends were a lot more challenging because my routine was not always set. I did my best to compensate and make mindful decisions about what I was eating.
What did I learn?
I am triggered by potatoes, corn, sugar, and dairy.
I feel best when I eat my main meal for lunch.
Social eating is very difficult to navigate.
I’m strong enough to stick to this and figure out how to heal my gut!
Do I recommend?
YES. This was an amazing experience and I plan on doing it often. I will say that you need to really dedicate your time to an elimination diet in order to set yourself up for success. It may mean that you need to turn down plans or eat BEFORE you go out with friends but it is SOOOOO worth it. I figured out a lot about myself and am able to make mindful decisions with purpose and love for my body. I plan on doing the full 21 day program soon!