This is the third part of our three part guest blog series on the Elimination Diet. Please visit here for tips on preparing for the Elimination Diet and here for an outline of rules, recipes and tips for successfully completing the first 12 days of the diet.
After completing the first 12 days of the Elimination Diet, you are ready to continue into the re-introduction or “challenging” phase. This is where you re-introduce the eliminated foods and monitor your symptoms to see which could be your potential trigger foods. Continue with your written record of symptoms during this phase.
If your symptoms have not improved in two weeks, stop the diet and talk with your health practitioner about whether or not to try it again with a different combination of foods.
Here we go!
- Add a new food group every THREE days. It takes three days to be sure that your symptoms have time to come back if they are going to.
- On the day you try an eliminated food for the first time, start with just a small amount in the morning.
- If you don’t notice any symptoms, eat two larger portions in the afternoon and evening.
- After a day of eating the new food, remove it, and wait for TWO days to see if you notice any symptoms.
- If the food doesn’t cause any symptoms during a challenge, it is unlikely to be a problem food and can be placed back into your diet. However, DO NOT add the food back in until you have tested all the other foods on your list.
- A great way to keep organized is to plot this information on a calendar. For example, re-introduce foods on Mondays and Thursdays. Groups include citrus fruits, soy, eggs, red meat, wheat/gluten, dairy, shellfish, yeast, peanuts, caffeine, nightshades, and corn.
Don’t forget about environmental allergies as a cause of your symptoms! Look for suspect allergens in your workplace and home. Be aware of household cleaning agents, laundry detergents, fragrances, and environmental irritants. Visit the Environmental Working Group’s website for more details.
Thank you so much to Short Stacks for hosting this series on the Elimination Diet! I hope it has been a helpful tool for narrowing down your own food sensitivities, or those experienced by your children.
Any questions, comments or experiences? We want to support you during the Elimination Diet, and help you feel confident while undertaking it. Ask a question by leaving a comment below. Also, feel free to contact Ashley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bio: Ashley’s interest and passion in holistic health developed from a personal experience with chronic and widespread eczema for nearly a decade. After investigating through holistic health practices, she was keen to learn more about the inner workings of the body and their connection to nutrition, supplementation, and the mind/body/ spirit connection. During this journey she decided to obtain her Registered Holistic Nutritionist designation from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in Vancouver. She complements her love for nutrition with an interest in cooking and gardening.