Have you been experiencing headaches or bloating? Struggling to get through your day because your energy is so low? If you’ve had these symptoms — or others like skin conditions, joint problems or anxiety — you most likely have also tried cleansing or maybe a Candida diet. You were probably feeling better for a while, but eventually some or all of those symptoms returned as you returned to the foods you had eliminated.
If this resonates with you, I feel your frustration! I have dealt with unrelenting headaches, bloating and adult acne myself. I have felt what I have called “vaguely unwell” for years. This is especially frustrating because I already eat a mainly healthy diet, free from processed foods!
But now I have discovered a solution that is working for me. It is the Elimination Diet. Don’t be afraid of the word “diet”; in this case, it is something to be followed short term and is not necessarily a permanent lifestyle change. If you follow the Elimination Diet properly, it should take about two months. This may seem long, but it is worth it in exchange for ridding yourself of a lifetime of symptoms that may only worsen if nothing is done.
We are all different
Maybe you have read that you should cut out sugar; next you hear dairy and grains should be out too. Where should you start? What is the truth? This nutrition stuff can be confusing! Here is something important I want you to remember: There are seven billion beautiful people in this world, so there should be seven billion different diets! We are all different from one another, and even different from ourselves three years ago. Doing an Elimination Diet helps you discover an eating plan that is tailored specifically to your body and your sensitivities. Many experts state that it is more reliable than food allergy and sensitivity testing.
I have your attention, now how do you follow the Elimination Diet? It is broken into three phases: detox, elimination, and reintroduction. Ideally, you begin with a three-day detox that includes specific vegetables and fruits only. Download a food list for phase 1. This gives your digestive system a much-needed rest from aggravating and irritating foods. Did you know that digestion is the most energy-intensive process in the body, requiring a third of our daily energy? This motivates me to support my hardworking digestive system by relieving it of these aggravating foods and focus on the complete digestion of non-aggravating foods.
For me, phase 1 was a difficult first hurdle – as is any change in diet. I came into it from a period of extended holiday meals that were rich in carbs and sugar, and a pattern of over-eating in general. My frequent headaches were increasing and now hitting me on a daily basis. This was not a fun place to be and I was irritable.
But as my belly got used to eating a more appropriate amount of food and I acclimated to the increase in green, leafy vegetables and fresh fruit, my headaches disappeared completely. In fact, it happened almost immediately, which is not always the case for me. If you experience headaches, you will fully understand the glee in my heart and the bounce in my step. Yes, my cravings were still there (we’re only on day three here people!) but I could handle this in exchange for the absence of headaches.
After this three-day detox phase, you head into the elimination phase. Next time, I’ll share with you how this next phase works. Follow along with me as I navigate the highs and lows on my journey to feel better!
Jessica is a store employee and a registered holistic nutritionist. Visit Jess’ facebook page for more tips!