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 What is the Elimination Diet? 

For many, the Elimination Diet is like entering an alternative universe of eating -- you remove most of the foods that you regularly eat and, instead, focus on foods that may be a little foreign to you.  After three weeks of following the prescribed diet, you begin adding foods back in one at a time to see if they are contributing to your chronic symptoms.

I have created three separate Elimination Diets that take all the guesswork out of a complicated process for you, and simplify it into a workable plan.
1.  The Standard Elimination Diet consists of most fruits and vegetables, nuts, nut butters, beans, seeds, gluten free grains like rice and quinoa, fish, lamb, wild game meats, organic turkey, and lots of water.  It actually sounds more restrictive than it is since there are hundreds of foods to choose from -- they're just foods you're probably not used to making the mainstay of your diet.

2.  The Grain-Free Elimination Diet is simply The Standard Elimination Diet without the grains and starches.  It's kind of like a Paleo Elimination Diet without the high animal protein.  This focuses you more on plants and plant-based proteins while keeping the starches out.

3.  The Allergen, Salicylate and Histamine-Free Elimination Diet is a much more restrictive diet that focuses on eliminating all allergens as well as chemicals,  both natural and artificial. 

Recipes, meal plans, menu ideas, name brands, shopping lists, troubleshooting tips and more are all included in each of the guidebooks to help make this a smooth process.  See The Programs page for more information and who may benefit from each plan.

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 How long it lasts

The Elimination Diet can take anywhere from 8 to 10 weeks to complete, depending on how you react to foods.  The first 2-3 weeks is the first phase of the diet where all potentially allergenic foods are removed.  You then spend the next 4 to 6 weeks reintroducing foods back in one at a time to see how you respond to individual foods. 

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 The Benefits

The experience of the Elimination Diet can reap many rewards:   
*  About 90% of the hundreds of clients I have supported through the Elimination Diet have experienced a significant improvement in their symptoms.
*  Weight loss is a common side benefit to the diet -- I have seen weights drop by anywhere from 5 to 25# on the first three weeks of the diet.  Weight gain can also happen for those who have difficulty gaining. 
*  Once they adapt to the diet, people love the food, and many adopt the principles of the diet long after the Elimination Diet is over.  This especially true for those on the Standard and Grain Free Elimination Diets.
*  The diet fully throws you into a 100% healthy, all natural, chemical-free diet, and teaches you how to make it work for yourself, despite your busy schedule or lack of experience in the kitchen.

*  Emotional eating often reduces or disappears. 

*  You feel amazing, your symptoms often subside and you learn a new way of eating.  It's a wonderful way to change your way of eating permanently.

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 The Challenges   

Any diet has its challenges, but the Elimination Diet has its own unique set:
*  Its restrictiveness can make it difficult to stick to. 
*  It requires more time and energy for preparing foods in the kitchen.
*  Eating out is generally not recommended since it's hard to know what restaurants are putting in their foods.
*  Family members may be affected, so it's important to discuss with those you live with.
*  Socializing out of the home can be hard, especially if you go out a lot or to other people's houses on a regular basis. 
*  Traveling is not recommended during the diet given limited choices on the road. 
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 How to do an Elimination Diet?

I usually recommend doing a diet with a nutrition professional in your area who specializes in Elimination Diets and who can advise you on how to both follow the diet and reintroduce foods back in.  Since the diet must be adhered to 100% for about two months, and many of the foods eaten aren't your typical foods, it can be a challenging process and I recommend a great deal of support so it can run as smoothly as possible. 

If you do not have access to a nutrition professional in your area, the guidebooks I have created make a challenging process as easy as possible. 

The Elimination Diet Guidebooks

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  Who shouldn't do the Elimination Diet?

If you have the following conditions, you need to take great care when considering whether to proceed with the diet:

*  Those with history of anaphylactic shock.  Reactions are unusual, but if you choose to do the diet, you will want to ensure you have an epi-pen available for every food challenge.

*  Those with a history or anorexia or bulimia.  The restrictive nature of the diet can stimulate past or present issues with food.   If you are confident in your recovery and want to proceed, do so with awareness around emotions that may arise.  I recommend us working together  in this instance via telephone sessions.

*  Those who are taking Coumadin should proceed with care, and maintain their Vitamin K intake at consistent levels to maintain protime. 

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 What about blood testing for food sensitivities?

In my experience, testing blood for food sensitivities has given me more headaches than has proved helpful.   Often a client will bring me their results ordered by a practitioner, and I have found three possible results:  Either the tests are right on, or they are only partially right, or they are completely wrong.   This doesn't give me much to work with and I often find that clients are frustrated by results.  That said, they can be a tool to hone in on sensitivities to specific foods that are often allowed on the Elimination Diet such as rice or celery.  If you have blood work done, do not take it at face value.  I recommend doing the full Elimination Diet in addition to removing other foods to which you have reacted positive to cover all bases.

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