Why You Should Try An Elimination Diet

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That tiredness, bloating, skin rash or brain fog you’ve been experiencing could be the result of food intolerances.  These discomforts we tend to write off as normal can be directly related to what you’re eating, and the way to know for sure if what you’re eating is causing you trouble is to try an elimination diet.

To make it simple, an elimination diet consists of you avoiding certain foods for a few weeks.  After you get these foods out of your system, you’ll begin reintroducing them to your diet one at a time. If you have kids, it’s much like starting them on solids and watching for any symptoms of sensitivities, but in reverse.

Food Sensitivity Symptoms

Intolerances aren’t always a major allergic reaction with a swollen tongue and puffy eyes.  In fact, the majority of food intolerances present themselves as common discomforts such as dry skin, itching, bloating, digestive upsets, headaches, fatigue, migraines, and achy joints and pains. You might only have one of these or a combination of them.

Yes, it sounds like just about every other illness, but you might find that with an elimination diet, you’ll pinpoint the source of that mysterious bloating that isn’t during your period and actually be able to do something about it, finally!  You’ll feel more like yourself, and you’ll be aware of what foods cause inflammation for you.

Of top importance is getting rid of any chronic inflammation you may be dealing with.  Over time, it can cause significant damage and lead to illness. Don’t panic if you only feel these symptoms once in a while, but if you feel like this daily, for example, fogginess when thinking, small aches, skin issues, or bloating, you should definitely try the elimination diet to see if you can get back to feeling like yourself.

How to Do It

Want to get started? The elimination diet has 2 phases. The first one is about eliminating while the second one is about reintroduction. You should keep a rigorous journal to help you spot any changes, good or bad.

1. The Elimination Phase

During this phase, you must eliminate any foods you think are triggering symptoms for about 2 or 3 weeks. Most of these are things like dairy, citrus, corn, nuts, eggs, seafood, pork, gluten, wheat, and nightshade vegetables. Generally, you’ll notice your symptoms clear up which will mean you’re ready for the next phase. If nothing changes, you should schedule a checkup with your doctor as soon as possible.

2. The Reintroduction Phase

Next, you’ll slowly start bringing those eliminated foods back onto your plate. Only introduce one food group at a time over a period of 2 to 3 days. Be watching for those symptoms we mentioned. If anything you reintroduce sets off your symptoms, then you know you need to eliminate it.

One word of caution though: some of you may find several groups of reintroduced food to bring your symptoms back. Should that happen to you, schedule a checkup a friendly holistic nutritionist (aka me 😊) to help you get the right nutrition while avoiding the foods that trigger your symptoms, so you don’t become nutritionally deficient.

All you need now is the willingness to devote the time.  You will be saving yourself a lifetime of discomfort, and the time you invest is absolutely worth it.

Simple Ways to Liven Up Your Leftovers

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You had the best intentions of using up those leftovers from the weekend.  At first, your Meal Prep Sunday seemed like a dream idea.  You’d prep food for the week, have it all stored and ready, and you’d have a home cooked meal every day without much effort.  But by day three of it, your family is giving you the side-eye, and you can no longer bear to eat the same dish again.

I feel you. It happens to us all. We all want to make use of our leftovers, but we get bored, and food goes to waste instead. Instead of forcing yourself and your family to eat the same things day in and day out, try these leftover tips that will help you liven things up and reignite the spark that makes you excited to dig in.

  1. Add avocado

Leftover brown rice and sautéed veggies? Eh. Leftover brown rice and sautéed veggies with fresh avocado? Now you’re talking! Drizzle on some sriracha too for a spicy hit and facelift on your leftovers.

  1. Add some crunch

Sometimes, we just need more texture to make things interesting.  Adding a crunch to your meal can spice it up quite a bit.  Try adding it to your leftovers any way that makes sense. Look in your pantry for walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almond slivers or anything else that might add a crunch along with a nice dose of healthy fats that are good for you, too.  I even love having crispy onions or crispy jalapenos atop a salad when I want something different.

  1. Top on some greens

Or even layer them below. Sometimes that leftover shrimp tastes excellent warmed up over a bed of fresh kale, spinach or lettuce. Or you can make some quick brown rice or zucchini noodles and mix it all together to create a new dish that tastes like takeout without the cost (or the heaps of calories).

  1. Reheat it on the stove

A fresh re-preparation tends to bridge the gap of meh to marvelous, doesn’t it?  The microwave can zap the freshness right out of your food, so skip the microwave when warming up leftovers.  Toss your items in a pan and sauté it fresh with a teaspoon of olive oil.  Add some new, fresh herbs and spices, and you’ll have to remind yourself you’re eating leftovers.

  1. Try a new condiment

Salsa and sriracha can each help dress up leftovers.  If your refrigerator looks anything like mine, your shelves are lined with different condiments and sauces to choose from.  Experiment with them to create new dishes by adding a few drops of different flavor.  It can make all the difference and completely change the taste of your meal.

Give these a try and see if you’re making better use of your leftovers. Remember to freeze big meals so you can pull them out another time to make on a busy night. You’ll appreciate them better when you do!

So, spill the beans.  Are you a leftovers person or do you struggle with eating the same meal twice?  Hit reply and let me know.