The Elimination diet is a therapeutic approach to adverse food reactions. It focuses on reducing inflammation and toxic burden and promoting a healthy microbiome through the implementation of a gluten-free, dairy-free diet that is rich in phytonutrients. Without any calorie restriction, the Elimination diet promotes the identification of food triggers and awareness of our body’s reaction to food.
The Elimination diet is known to have various benefits, but on the downside, is a restrictive diet in which common foods are avoided. Therefore, providing information about food alternatives to your patient is essential for the patient’s compliance.
|FOODS TO INCLUDE|
· whole fruits: blackberries, blueberries, kiwi, pomegranate and raspberries, apples.
· unsweetened fruits
· frozen and canned fruits
· diluted juices
· rice milk
· oat, hemp, almond, sunflower, hazelnut, and coconut milk; unsweetened coconut yogurt or kefir; read labels to ensure substitute is lactose/casein-free
|Non-gluten grains and starch:
· potato flour
· fresh water-packed or canned fish
· wild game
· organic chicken and turkey
· split peas
|Nuts and seeds:
· pine nuts
· flax seeds
· All raw, steamed, sautéed, juiced, or roasted vegetables.
· cold-press olive
· filtered or distilled water
· decaffeinated herbal teas
· seltzer water
- Try to do a little meal prep. Don’t leave your fridge empty, instead prepare for the week to come with some extra cooked rice or quinoa, chicken strips, a vegetable soup, or leafy salad
- Buy your groceries in advance: you might want to get stocked with gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free products. Remember to taste them first, instead of buying bulk. Be a responsible buyer.
- Keep a food journal. The elimination diet focuses on body awareness. Therefore, if you write what that food made you feel, you can go back with this information to your healthcare giver and tailor a better diet with that information.
- Eat at least 3 servings of vegetables a day. Try to vary the cooking method, and don’t forget to eat at least one raw serving of vegetables a day.
- If you are a caffeine lover and want to start an elimination diet, I would recommend slowly reducing coffee per day.
- Buy organic when possible, but if you don’t have this option. Focus on buying fresh produce.
- Spices are included in the Elimination diet. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory effects, as well as herbal teas and aromatic leaves. I would recommend buying the No- sugar added type when it comes to ketchup and Dijon mustard.
- If chili, pepper, cayenne are triggers for your body, limit them or avoid them. Remember, you are the one who knows exactly how to feel!
Ana Paola’s Chicken coconut curry recipe:
1lb chicken breast
¼ cup cilantro
2 tbs coriander
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp ginger
2-3 red or green bell peppers
1 can of coconut milk
3 tbsp curry or curry paste
3 tbsp coconut oil
- Start by adding the coconut oil to a big pot.
- Slice the onion and add it to the pot.
- Add the garlic and the ginger.
- Chop the chicken breasts into medium to small pieces and add them to the pot until brown.
- Cut the bell peppers into medium chunks and add them to the pot.
- Add the curry and coriander and stir until all the chicken is covered with the spices.
- Lastly, add ½ to 1 can of coconut milk. This depends on whether you like the creamy version of chicken curry or not.
- Close the pot until it boils.
- Serve with rice and top it with cilantro.
Extra advice: Whenever I cook this, I try to make double the portion. This way, I can have an extra meal or leftovers for another day. – Ana Paola Rodríguez Arciniega. Master in Clinical Nutrition.
Diet, Anti-Fungal. “Specialized Diets for GI Healing 1: Choosing the Right Diet Liz Lipski, Ph.D., CCN, CHN/Institute for Functional Medicine 2012 Comprehensive Elimination Diet: Inflammation/Leaky Gut/Food Sensitivities/Autoimmune.” Multiple sclerosis 16: 17.
The Institute of Functional Medicine. “Elimination Diet Comprehensive Guide.” IFM (2020)