The idea is really very simple in principle: exclude foods that could be wreaking havoc on your system until your body is cleansed, then reintroduce foods one-by-one to see if there are any culprits. It’s the execution part that gets tricky.
I’ve been tossing around the idea of doing an elimination diet again. My wife and I tried one a few years back to see if we could identify the cause of some respective chronic issues, but we only lasted a week. Even that was difficult. Depending on which cleanse you do or what you’re reading, they say to keep it going anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks. That latter number isn’t going to happen, but that first number is within the realm of possibility. We’re thinking we might have given up too soon the first time around.
With so many toxins and chemicals in our food and environment these days and so many debilitating, chronic symptoms without an obvious source, an elimination diet seems like a relatively simple — and inexpensive — option.
It’s just a matter of sticking with it. There are all sorts of cleanses out there, some that remove certain foods, some that remove others, and some that use supplements to help the entire process. The idea is to aid two of the body’s key functions, digestion and detoxification. Many practitioners believe a lot of our current-day ailments are the result of stresses on and inflammation of our digestive and gastrointestinal systems.
To remove these stresses, most elimination diets remove the main culprits: gluten, dairy, sugar, caffeine, soy, corn, pork, beef, alcohol, nightshade vegetables, and processed foods. Some go further and remove high-glycemic fruits, nuts and seeds, eggs, grains, fungi, and beans and legumes.
So what’s left, you ask? Well, there’s most organic vegetables, hormone and antibiotic-free turkey, wild-caught fish with low mercury content, low-glycemic fruits, coconut, noodles, and herbs and spices, among other things.
True, it’s not the most appetizing menu in the world. But if it can make you feel better and provide some hints as to what’s causing your chronic issues, well, that’s the best kind of addition through subtraction going.