Understanding the Elimination Diet (the foundation of my detox programs)
When deciding what to eat, how often do you listen to your own body instead of listening to the ‘media health experts’? Foods and supplements are like fashion in the media. Fashion comes and goes. 10 years ago margarine was the best choice, now butter is back. Eggs are good; eggs are bad; eggs are good again. Who can keep up? The problem with cookie cutter nutrition guidance is that some foods may not be good for your body. What might life be like, if you got back to the basics, and listened to your own body. Pretty cool in my experience.
One way to get in tune with your own body is to understand and implement the elimination diet. The elimination diet is one of the keys to creating a lifetime of healthy weight maintenance, healthy digestion and freedom from compelling cravings and the diet mentality.
Supporting the body’s detoxification processes with the elimination diet is your opportunity to find out what really works for YOU, your body and your circumstances. This is your opportunity to discover what actually fuels your body in a balanced way. As you commit to the process you will begin to understand which foods are quietly wreaking havoc on your digestive system, contributing to unnecessary weight, sleep disturbances and other chronic challenges.
There are levels of engagement with an elimination and detox protocol (which we'll talk about in another post). There are also phases to follow and they go something like this:
The Preparation phase:
During your prep phase you will begin to reduce and/or eliminate the foods on the foods to avoid list. These foods are all common allergens that cause many people unrecognized inflammation, leading to an increase in waste and toxicity to be held in the body that show up over time as other challenges in the body. Over these very important prep days you will begin to reduce and eliminate these foods to prepare your body for quality food that will relieve the burden of digestion and elimination and allow your body to rest as it resets. Shifting into a program gradually, also eases what we sometimes call ‘the detox blues’. This is a response that can happen when we remove foods that we habitually consume and are most likely addicted to. Things like, caffeine, fats (not all fat is bad) and processed sugar. If you experience a headache after you remove your favorite cereal from your diet, or even your “healthy” snack, do not worry. This is a positive sign that you are uncovering something that is not serving your body well.
The Detox Phase
After you complete the prep phase you will begin the Detox Phase. The detox itself is based on a list of foods you can eat (when you work with me you receive a collection of recipes that are chosen for their easy digestibility and organ supportive qualities). The time frame can be anywhere from a few days, to weeks to several months. The longer you are able to follow this way of eating the more information you’ll get about your body and the deeper the potential for transformation. It’s also very helpful to keep notes of what is coming up for you during this period including how you feel emotionally and physically. Our bodies store incredible information and when we bring awareness to this wisdom we give ourselves greater tools for engaging life fully by responding with more of our inner resources intact. It’s really cool stuff.
The Transition (to a new normal)
Do not skip this phase. Do not underestimate the power of transitional phases. The purpose of the Transition Phase is to reintroduce the foods on the ‘avoid list’ back into your diet one at a time, every 2 to 3 days. It is important to follow this schedule to allow for a period of time to notice any reactions (usually occur within minutes to 24 hours of taking a food in), identify mood shifts, and note any inflammation that occurs when the body releases histamines. Histamines are released in the body as a natural defense when the body treats certain foods as an allergen. A histamine response in your body results in water retention and bloat and congestion (for example).
In the next post, find out where you should begin.
“People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road does not mean they are lost."