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How To Do An Elimination Diet? {Functional Nutritionist}

Elimination diet, functional nutrition, holistic living, natural healing

How To Do An Elimination Diet? {Functional Nutritionist}

Have you toyed around with the idea of doing an elimination diet? Are you confused about it? Wondering if you should do it? The purpose of an elimination diet is to help a patient figure out food intolerances and reduce dietary induced inflammation. Elimination diets can look different for each person, but generally speaking, it involves removing particular types of foods from the diet for a specified period of time.

After the elimination period, there is a reintroduction period to assess any reactions toward that particular food. This reintroduction period can also be known as a challenge period. This is known as the gold standard for identifying food intolerances and sensitivities. Many health conditions benefit from a food elimination diet. This includes autoimmunity, allergies, asthma, gastrointestinal issues, headaches, low energy, mood swings, depression, skin irritations, such as eczema and acne, joint pain, stubborn weight gain and more.

What Do Elimination Diets Look Like + How To Do An Elimination Diet?

You can use elimination diets to eliminate only certain foods they suspect have adverse effects on them. Alternately, you can use elimination diets to avoid common food sensitivities, such as corn, wheat, dairy, soy, sugar, eggs, nuts, legumes, grains, and so on. You can even avoid foods, such as nightshade vegetables or citrus fruits. Most foods that aren’t excluded from an elimination diet are vegetables, fruits, animal proteins, seeds, and herbs.

An elimination diet focuses on consuming a broad spectrum of phytonutrients that come from fruits and vegetables. A diet of this type can also encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone in terms of what you usually eat. This can get you to be more adventurous with vegetables and get creative in the kitchen. An additional advantage of the elimination diet is that it does not focus on caloric restriction. Rather, it emphasizes food quality rather than quantity. 

Each elimination diet schedule will differ depending on the health issue, but the standard is to eliminate foods for three weeks. Once the three weeks are complete, you can reintroduce one new food every two to three days and assess how you feel after eating it. If a food produces a negative reaction, either physical, mental or emotional, it is paused for another three to six months before another attempt at reintroduction.

There may need to be some additional gut healing before the reintroduction period. The end goal of an elimination diet is to create a diverse and sustainable diet. This is often a step overlooked. But, if you’re struggling with a lot of food intolerances and food sensitivities, it’s important to acknowledge the underlying issue – usually gut health!

After An Elimination Diet, How Should I Feel?

Inflammation should decrease with an elimination diet, since food sensitivities provoke inflammation. Inflammatory symptoms or diseases can improve as well! Leaky gut can occur from chronic low grade inflammation by consumption of foods that you’re sensitive to. Leaky gut happens when your intestinal junctions become porous and allow undigested particles to pass through and leads to an activation of the immune system. Pathogens such as bacteria and environmental toxins can also pass through the intestinal lining in addition to food particles.

After an elimination diet is complete, intestinal permeability (aka leaky gut) can improve. Elimination diets are a great place to begin + build off of. It’s a journey that you don’t want to do alone + we are THERE for ya! If you’re ready to take back your health with a customized approach, your first step is to book a free 15 minute call with our team to see how we can help you!

Lahana Vigliano, CCN
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Lahana Vigliano

Lahana Vigliano is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist and CEO of Nuvitru Wellness. She has her Bachelor's Degree in Nutrition Science and Masters Degree in Nutrition Science and Functional Medicine. She is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in Clinical Nutrition. Lahana and her team help support women who struggle with weight loss, hormonal imbalances, digestive issues, chronic fatigue, and many other lingering issues that leaves women not feeling their best. She uses food as medicine, as well as herbs and supplements when needed, to support her clients. She looks at the whole body holistically making sure women are understanding how nutrition, sleep, stress, and their environment impact their health. Connect with her on Facebook + Instagram (@nuvitruwellness).