Elimination Diet - The Reintroduction Update
The reintroduction phase of the Elimination diet is well underway. So far I have successfully reintroduced the following back into my diet with the effects descried below:
I had absolutely no problem with the reintroduction of most of these, tomatoes were a joy! I never realised how much I missed them and they tasted so sweet! I am absolutely delighted to have these back! I also introduced red peppers and these were a lovely addition too! White potatoes, whilst I enjoy them, I didn’t feel as great after eating them as I do with sweet potato. My digestion was ok, but I could tell for sure my body did not respond as well so moving forward these will not be a regular feature in my diet.
This is an interesting one, as prior to starting the Elimination diet I had started to eat a largely plant based diet which included a lot of legumes. After the 23 days of elimination, the only digestive distress I have experienced was a little discomfort and bloating with legumes! Probably obvious hey! Everybody know that beans are associated with excess gas! However, after removing these again for a few days I have had no problem. I introduced butter beans, chickpeas and kidney beans. My body probably digested kidney beans the best, but I have realised that legumes should not be a staple of my diet, every now and then I will allow them into my meals but they will most certainly not be a regular occurrence as they were before I started the Elimination Diet! This is something I am glad to have found and provides some awesome direction for my future diet.
Not only did I introduce some chicken eggs, but a good friend treated me with two huge goose eggs! Crazy hey! So, I had to try them and they were unbelievable. So rich and the yolk was deep orange. I have experienced absolutely no problems with eggs so I am glad to say that these are here to stay!
Luckily, I do not have a nut allergy, but I did eliminate peanuts as they are associated with inflammatory affects in the body. I reintroduced these in a sweet potato, satay and peanut salad. It was delicious and I had no concerning reactions after the consumption of peanuts for a few days. Peanuts are good!
I wouldn’t say I eat much soy, it has never been a staple in my diet so I included it in the Elimination Diet mainly because I knew it would not be too hard to cut out! I reintroduced it with a sauce on a super amazing salad and had no effects. Soy is back in but I am not sure that I will be eating it too much going forward. It is just nice to know I don’t need to avoid it!
This is the latest food group I am introducing back into my diet. I hope that it doesn’t cause any digestive distress as I love citrus fruits, so far today they have been absolutely fine, so we just need to wait and see how the next day or two goes!
So, that is the low down so far, I am blown away by the Elimination Diet and how powerful it is as a tool to take control of your own individualised nutrition and own how you feel and perform. Since starting my energy has increased, I do not flatline and feel like I ever need to reach for a caffeine or sugar hit to get me through the day. I am sleeping well and I finally feel like the fatigue I was experiencing after over-training at the end of 2017 has reduced. I am motivated and pumped to get back into my training and the next physical challenge! However, I still have a couple more steps to complete and the big boys are still to make an appearance!
The next stage of the reintroduction phase is to introduce shell fish, once I am sure citrus fruits are ok, I will move forward with this. Then it is on to the big guns and the reason I started this whole journey in the first place! My suspicion is that I am most definitely intolerant to dairy. It may just be cows milk, but I will test and adjust as I move forward to work out what dairy products (it may be all dairy) cause a reaction. Gluten is the second big player, closely related to dairy due to the molecular structure of dairy and gluten which appear very similar to our bodies. I therefore have strong reasons to believe this may be another food group I have an intolerance too.
My aim is to find the nutrition plan and guidelines that work for me. I may need to readjust and redefine these guidelines each year or every couple of years, but the aim is to fuel my body so I can achieve optimal health, which in turn will support my fitness goals and help me to be the best I can be for those that I love and care for.
The last couple of food groups are caffeine, alcohol and refined sugar/processed food. I have to admit I am partial to a green tea or the odd coffee but this will not become a regular occurrence in my diet moving forward, the same rules go for alcohol! It would be wrong to say I don’t enjoy a drink but I am well aware that this will only be on the odd occasion and not a regular thing.
Refined sugar and processed food is one food group that has absolutely no benefit for my health or anybody else's for that matter. Any food that comes in a packet or a box, created by man and not by nature will contain chemicals and will have been created in factories and labs with ingredients to target our taste buds and get us addicted to want more! I am only human, so I would not say I will never consume these products again, but I will say that I do not wish to reintroduce them into my diet regularly! A treat every now and then maybe!
Hippocrates says ‘Let Food Be Thy Medicine’, this quote could not be more true! What we put into our body is what we will get out of it. If we want to be the fittest we can be, stave away illness or take control of our mood and our emotions we need to feed the body and heal the gut. You have the power to do this, everybody does! It is all about commitment and making the right choices.
‘If you want something you have never had, you need to do something you have never done’