Elimination Diet – Results
My husband and I finished up the elimination diet last Monday. We stayed on the diet for 3 weeks eliminating the following:
- Refined sugar and cane sugar
At the end of the three weeks we both had a little bit more energy. My dandruff was significantly reduced, but not completely gone. My husband’s belly fat disappeared. I didn’t notice this as it was a slow change, but his mother pointed it out and she was right. Not that he had a huge belly, but just a little one. Now I wonder if he was constantly bloated or if he actually lost weight.
We reintroduced a new item each day, the reactions we had were as follows:
- Wine gave us a horrible night’s sleep. This happened the first time and each time after that we consumed wine of any type. I’ll keep track to see if this continues long-term. Was it the alcohol or the sugar or who knows what other additives might be in there that caused us to sleep so poorly? I’ve heard there can be milk products and gluten as well as many other things. I’ve yet to have beer, but my husband has and he didn’t notice feeling any different afterwards.
- Gluten gave us different reactions. We both had a small handful of multigrain cereal one evening as a snack. It was late and we both went to bed shortly after, not noticing anything. The next morning we had a bowl full of different cereals containing gluten. I felt very groggy/sluggish and it was hard to get motivated. Eric felt light headed and out of it. It was about one hour after eating the cereal that we started feeling this way and it lasted for an hour or so. Now we’re trying to limit gluten, but not completely rule it out from our diets. It seems if we have a small portion, it’s ok, but something larger than a couple of crackers isn’t worth the risk.
- Sugar a non-issue for my husband, but the verdict is still out for me. I know that straight up refined sugar, like jelly beans, will completely zap my energy not long after eating them. Usually I’ll get a headache too. With baked goods, it’s less severe. Chocolate bars can be mixed. So, I had a dark chocolate bar with almonds, cranberries, and regular sugar, and milk. I felt awful the rest of the day….bloated, headache, no energy. Was it the sugar? Was it the milk, or something else? Not sure, but it probably wasn’t the milk since it was cooked milk, which apparently is easier to digest. I’ll blame the sugar.
We both know we cannot process a glass of cow’s milk without feeling a little bloated and sick, so when it was time to reintroduce dairy products, we had cow’s cheese and yogurt, but with no noticeable reaction. I was surprised. I really thought I’d have issues with all dairy, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
- Keep a journal. This was essential for the elimination diet. I documented how I felt each day during the diet and then how I felt after reintroducing certain foods. You cannot be too detailed. It’s really interesting to look back and find patterns you may not have noticed at first. This is also hugely important when managing eczema, allergies, or asthma in general. I keep a journal for Tristan noting when he has flare-ups, or gets really itchy. I document the foods he ate around then and I’m constantly noted when new foods can be added to his diet or something new bothers him and must be restricted. I also document when we test new creams and new treatments and therapies. It has been my lifesaver. My brain just cannot retain that much info.
- Refined and cane sugar is in EVERYTHING. Cereal that doesn’t seem sweet, salsa, relish, most alternative milks that are not the “unsweetened” variety, many nut or seed butters, etc. It’s insane and it’s really started disgusting me. I monitored sugar a bit before, but not much since it was one of the few things Tristan wasn’t allergic too. Now I realize that not only do I need to check the grams of sugar in each serving, but I also need to check which type of sugar the item contains. Most, but not all, the health food store products contained cane instead of regular sugar, BUT cane isn’t really any better than regular sugar. Same for raw sugar, not supposed to be any healthier. I guess you could debate maple syrup, raw honey, molasses, and agave, but I can’t completely rule out all sugar (I wouldn’t survive), so I’m sticking with these “healthier” versions. Oh, and don’t let the sugar alcohols fool you. Xylitol, maltitol, etc. They are not all they are cracked up to be either.
- If we eliminated ALL sugar I’m sure results would have been drastically different. But, I’m not willing to go there. Besides, would that mean eliminating fruit too? Pass.
- I’ll monitor the amount of sugar we consume and try to keep it as unrefined as possible. This will be hard due to #2, so I’ll have to start baking for us a lot more. I can’t live without a piece of chocolate or a cookie each day…ok, so it’s usually more than one a day…..
- We’ll start limiting our gluten intake.
- We’ll continue to monitor our dairy intake.
- Hemp milk is an acquired taste J Especially the unsweetened flavor.
- Coconut Bliss ice cream is dreamy good!
Since many of our minor health ailments are still present, we’ll be trying the following supplements.
- Primrose Oil – for reducing inflammation and hopefully helping with the dandruff, psoriasis, eczema, acne, and redness. Tristan, my husband, and I are all trying this. It can take up to 6 months to notice changes, so stay tuned.
- Homeopathy – my husband is taking a blend of homeopathy (R65) in drop format specifically for his psoriasis. It’s been one week and no change yet. This shouldn’t take too long to see a difference, so we’ll give it a few more weeks.
Check out the beginning of our Elimination Diet: