Sunday, January 9, 2011

Elimination Diet - first two weeks

As you probably know, right after Christmas I started a 28-day elimination diet.  I wish it wasn't called a "diet".  I am really not a fan of the "D" word. 

An elimination diet is quite different the the diets you may be familiar with.  The goal of this diet (let's call it a plan) is eliminating all possible food sensitivities and allergies and slowly adding them back to see how they affect you - all while nourishing your body with tons of nutritious foods. 

I embarked on this journey for two reasons. 
1.  I really am curious to see if anything presents itself as a sensitivity - primarily dairy and gluten. 
2.  I hadn't been eating well over the holidays and I feel SO much better when I'm eating well.  This was like pressing the reset button for me with food.

I have completed the first two weeks, otherwise known as Phase One and Phase Two.  Phase One is the most restrictive and throughout the phases, foods are being added back slowly.  Tomorrow will mark the start of Phase Three for me.

The elimination diet begins with two days of a green smoothie fast - all of the green smoothies you want for two days.  I used ingredients such as:  spinach, mangoes, blueberries, raspberries, kale, flaxseed, hempseed, rice protein, and more.  I did not feel hungry during the first two days because I was diligent about making tons of smoothies.  The hardest thing for me was that I did miss the act of eating.  I wanted to eat even though I wasn't hungry. 

my first two days

Phase One begins on Day Three.  With that comes an approved list of foods from which to eat.  Believe it or not, Day 3 was the hardest for me.  Once I began eating, I wanted to eat EVERYTHING.  Eating from the approved list only was very difficult for me. 

Phase One Food List
Do you eat a lot of these foods now?  Have you heard of most of these foods?
brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, amaranth, teff, apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots, berries (except strawberries), cherries, grapes, figs (dried and fresh), mango, kale, collard greens, lettuce, spinach, dandelion greens, bok choy, cabbage, parsley, cilantro, sprouts (all types), brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, carrots, parsnips, winter squash (all types), yams and sweet potatoes, avocados, onions, garlic, and ginger, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, sunflower and pumpkin seed butters, pine nuts, mung beans, adzuki beans, lentils, wakame seaweed, kombu seaweed, nori seaweed, dulse flakes, fresh herbs, coconut milk, coconut oil and olive oil, kudzu, arrowroot (be sure its GF), guar gum (in small amounts), agave nectar and maple syrup

Once I got past the first three days, this has been a piece of cake!  I keep getting asked how it's going for me.  Truthfully, I tend to forget that I'm on some type of plan because eating from these foods has become second nature to me.  

This was my lunch today.  How could one complain about eating yummy food like this?

sunflower seed burger, sweet potato, sprouts, avocado

Actually, that's not all that I had for lunch.  
We can't forget to include the yummy spinach smoothie!  
I wake up craving green smoothies now in the way that I used to crave coffee.  
I am continuing to have at least two a day.

I need to tell you all something about this elimination diet plan so far.  

The changes I've seen in only two weeks are beyond belief.
*  My skin better than ever.  I wake up every single morning excited to look in the mirror because my complexion is better every morning than it was the day before.  I have a vibrancy to my face that is phenomenal. 
*  My nails are growing like crazy too.  I keep needing to file my nails because they are growing hard and strong and long and not breaking off like normal. 
*  My energy level has changed too.  Before I would have more extreme highs and lows (thank you, coffee, I'm sure) and the best way that I can describe how I feel right now is a peaceful evenness. 

I didn't begin this journey for beauty reasons, but I'm thrilled by them.  It just goes to show that the outside reflects the inside.  If only eating this way would magically shave my legs for me too!

One more perk:  Although we don't have the kids on this plan with us (yes, US... Baard is doing it too!) they are eating so much better by default.  Thankfully for the most part, they also really enjoy the food we're eating. 
As far as my two goals: 
Pressing the reset button:  I feel so amazing that I want to continue eating like this.
Food sensitivities:  I'm just not there yet.  That will become more evident over the next few weeks.

The ONLY downside (in addition to missing coffee) is that most people don't eat like this.  It's a little hard socially.  So if you are a friend that is reading this and we're going to see one another soon, just let me bring food to share, okay?

If you're interested in learning more, please visit the Whole Life Nutrition elimination page.


  1. How awesome! Congrats on sticking to your plan! I'd love to know more...where did you find the plan?

  2. I just saw your link...thanks!

  3. Shelley,

    You're doing great! I'm impressed that you have been able to do so well but I'm sure that feeling so much better has got to be a strong reinforcement. I'll be interested to see if any food sensitivities present themselves.

    My family would not be as willing as yours to give it a go so I'd have to do it on my own I'm afraid. Well, maybe my eldest daughter would do it with me.

    After I saw your glowing recommendation I did purchase the Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook. I was just looking at it yesterday morning. I think I'm going to find a lot of good recipes in there, especially for my SIL who's on the Lyme's Diet.

    Keep us posted on your progress, I'm interested in hearing how it's going!

  4. I will be following on the edge of my feet! Can't wait to hear more. I have got to get up enough courage to try it myself. :)

  5. It amazes me how eating this way seemed so foreign and almost impossible to me. You are so right when you say you can see and feel the results. It is so worth it. Thanks for sharing your journey.

    Would this be a good thing for weight loss as well? I don't believe in dieting but I do believe in eating a healthy diet.

  6. Okay...I will admit...I freaked out a little ! :) I totally laughed when I got to the end & saw that little disclaimer :)

    I was thinking of serving sweet potato fries-using only olive oil to prepare, Asparagus (again olive oil) some berries (I saw not strawberries;), & chicken whatever you want different bring along but otherwise I will have these for us. What are ya thhinking :) ?

    You are doing awesome though Shel!

  7. P.S. Kate & I were both like, "i wana try her smoothies but I am scared :)" So I might have her over sometime soon to try it...thanks for the inspiration!

  8. Leiden is a very beautiful city. The garden Botanica is amazing. Perhaps you have seen it years ago....
    Have a happy happy Tuesday xxxx

  9. Hi Shelley,
    Nice to meet you (again) today, and thanks for speaking to our MOPS group! My daughter and I have done spinach and kale smoothies since she was young, and she loves them. I have enjoyed getting some new smoothie recipes from you and your adorable sons.

    Question for you: I buy the organic clamshells of spinach that are like $3.99 apiece (egads!), and that only lasts us like 2 or 3 smoothies. Is there a place where you find it cheaper or in bulk?

  10. Linked from Jill's. This menu looks good. We have some gluten issues in our family, so I may try this. But, no coffee?


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