Food Triggers

Elimination diet guidelines:

  1. The purpose of an elimination diet is to determine if we are immunologically sensitive to any foods.
  2. Because those with compromised gut function and/genetic susceptibility often have multiple food sensitivities they will not detect benefit from eliminating one food at a time.
  3. We discover the most by starting with a "safe fallback" way of eating.
  4. One can more quickly determine what a "safe fallback" way of eating is for them by starting with 3 days of nothing but vegetables and a little fruit (suggestions below). Vegetables with the exception of the nightshades (tomatos, potatos, eggplant and peppers) have been shown historically to be hypoallergenic (little likelihood of adverse reactions in the human body). The nightshades which should be avoided initially may increase arthritic inflammation in some individuals.
  5. If you are taking prescription medications, they may be causing some side effects, but now is not the time to address them. Continue taking your medications as prescribed.
  6. If you are taking supplements, it is best to discontinue them initially since they may contain a component of one of your trigger foods.
  7. We become literally addicted to some trigger foods and may have intense cravings for them when we eliminate them. This happens because the inflammation that results from the consumption of these foods causes our brain to release endorphins and we get a "high". When that wears off we then look for more of the same. To greatly minimize these withdrawl effects and cravings, you can take Brain Reward. This supports the brain, preventing the craving and withdrawl symptoms, making the elimination diet much more comfortable.
  8. After 3 days on just vegetables and the Brain Reward formula most people feel substantially lighter with less inflammation. At this point you may add back in one food group every other day. Each food group you are able to add back in and not have an increase in symptoms for the following 48 hours you may add to your "safe fallback" list. Symptoms to look for are: headaches, foggy headedness, lack of concentration and focus, increase in arthritic pain, gut pains, constipation, diarrhea, increase in stiffness, increase in any chronic pain or syndrome, heartburn, autoimmune flare-up
  9. Because small amounts of a trigger food may not cause a substantial immunological reaction, you must eat a good amount of that food when you add it back in to know for sure if you can add it to your safe list.
  10. As I explain to my patients who report back how much better they feel after the initial stage of the elimination diet, you now know two things: #1 How much your diet has been contributing to your symptoms and #2 That you are now no more than a day or so away from feeling better at any given time. All you need to do to feel better is revert to you "safe fallback" way of eating.

Guidelines for Elimination Diet

For the first 3 days eat nothing but vegetables ideally cooked with little water in a waterless cooking pan. Have a variety of greens (kale, chard, spinach), carrots, celery, red cabbage, green beans and quicker cooking veggies: yellow summer squash, zucchini, peas, aspargus. Cook tougher vegetables separately from those that cook quickly. A small amount of low fat dressing is allowed at this stage. (avoid vinegars in dressings except for apple cider vinegar) Also include salads and green smoothies (see opposite). You may also have small amounts of low glycemic fruit (blueberries, grannysmith apples).

After the first three days add some white beans (cannellis, white kidney beans, garbanzos). Wait a day. If symptomatic by the end of the next day, plan to cut out beans from your diet for at least 6 weeks before trying again. (look for any signs of increased inflammation). If you do have some symptoms, and wait until they have gone away before adding the next food.

Going forward the procedure is the same with each new food or food group we add. As you get to more processed foods remember to look at ingredient lists. The following is the sequence of additions:

  • Fish
  • Rice ( Best to stick to Basmati rice, which is more digestible when soaked for several hours before you cook it) With this category you can also try adding dairy free, gluten free bread or waffles.
  • Oatmeal (Slow cooked rolled oatmeal with cooked apples, peaches, pears, plums, etc) Instead of milk add virgin coconut oil and organic jelly. (non-organic jellies are pretty toxic- after they finish cooking down and concentrating all the pesticides in the fruit)
  • Corn (this can be in the form of frozen sweet corn, corn on the cob, corn chips)
  • Soy (edamame, tofu, soymilk, soysauce)
  • Dairy (milk, cheeses, ice cream, cream sauces, butter)
  • (breads, pastas, wheat based cereals)
  • Red meat

    Green Smoothie ingredient suggestions if        you have trouble with raw food. These are just suggestions.  Go by your taste, but make sure to avoid all but fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits.

  • 3-4 leaves of fresh kale (if wilted it’s not fresh and has lost nutrient value)
  • organic celery
  • organic cucumber
  • 3-4 leaves of chard (red or green)
  • 1/3 bag frozen organic spinach
  • 1 cup carrot juice (organic if possible)
  • banana
  • frozen blueberries
  • Spring water to fill the blender close to the top
  • Frozen organic strawberries
  • ¼ cup black cherry concentrate
  • Other frozen or fresh fruits (Try to keep the ratio 4:1 leafy greens to fruit)
Spinach and strawberries tend to be more toxic with pesticide residue if not organic.

Blend the above in a strong blender or a Vita Mix for best results to make sure it's totally liquified. Usually ½ minute is sufficient.

This makes enough to split between breakfast and lunch, or breakfast and dinner. Blending makes the nutrients more bio-available and helps those with poor digestion.

The greens have the highest nutrient value per weight of the plant based food.

Research is showing that for NORMAL function an average size adult needs about 8 pounds of vegetables per week and 4 pieces of fruit a day. Ideally half of this should be raw.

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