I finally finished my elimination diet. It felt like it took for ever, and I’m pretty sure I know why. When it was time to add in nuts…I didn’t really want them. When I added a food back in, I would try to eat it three times a day, but I kept forgetting (maybe accidentally on purpose?) to eat nuts. Therefore…I couldn’t reliably make conclusions right away. I stuck with it, and then moved onto other foods eventually.
The end result:
- no issues with dairy (and I tested that one majorly because it was a big suspect–no problems!)
- no issues with chocolate/cacao/cocoa
- no issues with chicken or beef
- no issues with citrus
- issues with raw unsoaked nuts – headache, stomach ache, breakout
- I’m not adding in the following (because I wasn’t eating these things before and I don’t intend to regularly): corn, soy, lentils, beans, grains
- During the elimination phase, I didn’t cut out caffeine, nightshades (I meant to, but I know they snuck in here and there), eggs, or pork (but I don’t think I eat that enough to have it really make a difference)
My take on the results:
I’m surprised slightly by the dairy, but I’m really happy because I love aged cheese and I hope to find a good source for raw milk. I feel much better when I don’t eat a lot of nuts in general. I previously suspected they may be an issue —but I never could pinpoint nuts as the cause specifically. I’m not cutting them out, by the way, I’m just going to limit them and try to stick to mostly soaked/dehydrated nuts. The reason for this is on the days I added in just a tiny bit of nuts, I was fine, but when I ate them three times a day, I felt yucky. Also, I am going to take an educated leap and say that the issue has two parts. One, nuts are hard to digest (post on that soon), and two, nuts are often high in omega-6 fatty acids (which are good, but if the intake of 6’s are out of balance with omega-3’s, this can cause skin issues). I often get a headache when my stomach feels off—traditionally, I just call it rot gut, and hope I sleep it off (that has been happening for decades until I cut out grains and sugar). My gut, brain (fog), skin, and general puffiness are my weak points—they are my signals letting me know when I’m doing something I need to change.
My bottom line: Stress/anxiety (which I’m managing very well these days thanks to yoga and mind-body medicine practice), too many nuts, sugar/simple carbs, and grains make me feel and look blah.
I feel great about what I learned from the elimination diet. I customized it for myself and based on what I already know about myself (and I did intend to cut out coffee but then I decided I wanted to have 1 cup a day and just risk that it could ruin my “study”).
I probably eat a lot differently than the average American, but I really don’t care. I love the way I eat: lots of fat, protein, and moderate amounts of veggies. In fact, over time, I have changed so much in the way I eat that most of the things I ate five years ago sound awful to me (including things most people like—-pasta, for one).
Obviously, one of my newest obsessions is coconut flour (although, I’ll admit to a recipe fail in the kitchen today, which is why I’m writing this post. ha). Now that I’ve found so many great things to eat, and I can afford them and spend the time I want to preparing food, I just feel like I’m in my groove.
I’m thankful for that!
News and Notes:
I spent all weekend doing American Power Yoga with Kurt Johnsen, and aside from being pretty sore (basically from my chin down), I’m feeling very blissful about it. For the last few years, I’ve been focusing on learning more about Anusara yoga, which places great emphasis on anatomical alignment (my inner exercise scientist eats that right up!). But when I shifted my focus to that, I began to neglect my previous more vigorous yoga practice. I’m going to blend it back in again, and just get the best of both worlds. I feel like that’s what I do in most areas of my life and the things I’ve learned about health—pick and choose what works and just blend it all together.
Do you think you could learn something useful from an elimination diet?
Have you changed anything in your routine or challenged yourself lately? Maybe if we challenge ourselves positively on purpose, the universe won’t challenge us as much with stressful things…or maybe we’ll just learn to handle those things more effectively?