Should You Do an Elimination Diet?

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Should you do an elimination diet?

Maybe. Here’s why I think it’s more complicated issue than a simple yes, even from someone (me) who is seemingly having some success with it.

Before I started going to Doc, I had done a lot of cleanses. One day, one week, three weeks. Some would focus on one thing (no gluten, or no sugar, or no booze, or no caffeine). From time to time, they’d encompass most food categories (Crazy Sexy Diet, for example).

And while those may have had a positive impact, the results were always very short-lived: usually, I’d end a cleanse with a meal that I’d fantasized about over the course of the cleanse, complete with a glass or two of wine and dessert to reward my virtue and restraint.

Inevitably, within days I’d be back to my same old eating habits. And, because underlying issues were never identified, nothing was ever really healed from these cleanses. I didn’t change long-term, so neither did my health.

When I did the elimination diet under Doc’s watch, along with cutting out a ton of stuff, he also put me on supplements that I’d never have known to take, for issues that I was essentially completely unaware of. For example, he put me on morinda, aka noni, and melia, aka neem, to combat the candida albicans overgrowth and a whole bunch of other imbalances in my gut. He also put me on Zypan, which is an enzyme supplement to help break down proteins (my pancreas and gall bladder weren’t working effectively, so neither was my digestion).

After a few weeks, he changed out some of the supplements — I stayed on the Zypan but he added glysen and zinc and took out the morinda and melia (apparently, my candida overgrowth was significantly better). Glysen helps my metabolism and insulin receptor sensitivity, which also means that my appetite normalized and reduced sugar cravings. The zinc is an anti-inflammatory and many people with gluten sensitivities, celiac and hair loss are low in zinc because of malabsorption.

And after the full course of the elimination diet, when I started to re-introduce foods, he continued to switch up or add a supplement, depending on how my body was responding.

I never would have done these things — taken these supplements or even known about them. I never would have continued to abstain from alcohol, caffeine, coffee, and sugar after the elimination phase if I hadn’t been going to Doc. In a nutshell, the cleanse would have been more painful (psychologically and physically) than it needed to be and the results would have faded in a day or two as I got immediately back into old habits.

Now, I’m about 14 weeks into this experiment, and I don’t remember ever feeling this good. I don’t miss alcohol (words I never thought I’d hear myself write) or coffee (ditto) or even sugar, anymore.

I know a lot of people think that cleanses are bunk, but I think it’s because we treat them as short-term terrors instead of making long-term changes. I’ve never had much success with cleanses, either, although I’d still pat myself on the back as I reached for a quart of ice cream when I finished one.

This is different, totally, completely different and much, much better.

So, do I think you should do an elimination diet? Yes, if you’re willing to do it as a prelude to a longer-term change and with the insight of a doctor or nutritionist. From my experience, that’s when the real benefits kick in: sustained energy from sunrise to sunset; the reduction or disappearance of joint pain; clearer skin; a clear head; mitigation of depression, mood swings and anxiety; great sleep; a sane appetite.

{Note: These are my own experiences with applied kinesiology, which clearly aren’t meant as medical advice for anyone else. But I know a lot of friends and family members are grappling with a huge variety of autoimmune issues and other ailments, so I’m happy to share my experiences. And if this is your first visit and you’d like to follow chronologically, click here. Otherwise, enjoy!}

{Photo credit: MADE WITH LOVE BY RYAN MCGUIRE, http://www.gratisography}


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