First Step to Optimal Health: Modified & Allergy Elimination Diet
Your transformation begins with a modified elimination diet. This allergy dietary plan is designed and been analyzed by leading health professionals to be the “gold star” of hypoallergenic diets. At which time you will begin your journey on a three week program specially designed to improve your health both in the short and long term.
The nutrients from the food we consume provide the building blocks that our body needs for proper and healthy bodily function.
Food: Food consists of material that is essentially protein, carbohydrate or fat. Proteins are a mixture of amino acids that are essential to the body to sustain growth and repair tissue. Carbohydrates are a combination of sugar and starches and serve a vital role in the process of furnishing energy to the body. And fat, found primarily in meat and dairy and used in the form of energy reserve, insulation for the body, as well as a transportation medium for “fat-soluble vitamins” and cell membrane support.
Herbs: Herbs include a variety of different plants that are used as a culinary spice and for medical purposes. Many vegetables are actually considered and used for their medical properties. They contain secondary chemical elements that function in the body in various ways. Some of these chemical classes include alkaloids, coumarins, flavonoids, glycosides, mucilages, phytoestrogens, tannins and terpenoids
Foods That Are Good Medicine
The foods below offer a special healing benefit to the body. These foods should be included in your diet and consumed regularly in your meals, even long after the detoxification program is over.
Beets: Eating beets is a safe way of alleviating constipation, supporting the liver’s function and enhancing fat metabolism. They contain betaine, which protects the liver from excessive toxins due to alcohol and chemicals. Overall, beets are beneficial to the blood, intestines and the liver.
Fiber: Fiber content treats constipation and decreases intestinal re-uptake of hormones, especially estrogen. One of the best sources to consume is freshly ground flaxseeds, usually 1-3 teaspoons a day.
Cruciferous vegetables: These include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and water crest. They contain a substance called indoles, which improves the liver’s function in detoxifying drugs, chemicals and pollutants. They are known to have anti-cancer properties in regards to balancing healthy hormone levels.
Green Barley Powder: The bioflavonoids found in barley powder are an ideal antioxidant and have been shown to counteract the negative effects of intestinal poisons. Barley greens also seem to help in dealing with mercury toxicity.
Jerusalem, Globe Artichokes and other Inulin Foods: Artichokes contain a substance called inulin. It acts as a powerful stimulant to the kidneys and the immune system. Artichokes directly help with the detoxification processes and historically have been used as a blood cleanser. Elecampane, burdock, Echinacea, and sunflower seeds also contain inulin.
ALLERGY ELIMINATION DIET
Purpose: To identify hidden food allergens that may be causing some or all of your symptoms. During the elimination period, all common allergens are completely eliminated from the diet for two to three weeks. After your symptoms improve, foods are added back, one at a time, to determine which foods provoke symptoms.
FOODS YOU MAY EAT
Cereals – HOT: oatmeal, oat bran, cream of rye, Rice and Shine. DRY: puffed rice, puffed millet, Oatio’s (wheat-free), Good Shepherd (wheat-free), Crispy Brown Rice Cereal. Diluted apple juice with apple slices and nuts go well on cereal. May use soy milk that has no corn oil added (such as some Eden Soy products; please read the ingredients carefully). Also may use almond nut milk. Most of these foods are available in health food stores.
Grains & Flour Products – 100% rice cakes, rice crackers, rye crackers: any 100% rye or spelt bread with no wheat; oriental noodles, such as 100% buckwheat Soba noodles; soy, rice, potato, buckwheat, and bean flours; rice or millet bread (as long as they do not contain dairy, eggs, sugar, or wheat); cooked whole grains including oats, millet, barley, buckwheat groats (kasha), rice macaroni, spelt (flour and pasta), brown rice, amaranth, quinoa. Most of these grains are available at health food stores.
Legumes (beans) – Includes soybeans, tofu, lentils, peas, chickpeas, navy beans, kidney beans, black beans, string beans, and others. Dried beans should be soaked overnight. Pour off the water and rinse before cooking. Canned beans often contain added sugar or other potential allergens. Some cooked beans packaged in glass jars, sold at the health food stores, contain no sugar. Read labels. May also use bean dips without sugar, lemon, or additives. Canned soups include split pea and lentil soup (without additives).
Vegetables – Use a wide variety. All vegetables except corn are permitted.
Proteins – Poultry and fowl, fresh fish, (such as tuna and salmon, packed in spring water). Shrimp and most canned or packaged shellfish (such as lobster, crab, oysters may contain sulfites and should be avoided. Canned tuna, salmon and other canned fish are OK. Beef and pork may be eaten unless specified otherwise. Lamb rarely causes allergic reactions, and may be used even when other meats are restricted. Also recommended are grain/bean casseroles (recipes in vegetarian cookbooks).
Nuts and seeds - Nuts and seeds, either raw or roasted without salt or sugar. To prevent rancidity, nuts and seeds should be kept in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. May also use nut butters from health food stores or from fresh ground nuts (this includes peanut butter if allowed, almond butter, cashew butter, walnut butter, sesame butter, and sesame tahini). Nut butters go well on celery sticks and non-gluten crackers.
Oils and fats – Sunflower, safflower, olive, sesame, peanut, flaxseed (edible linseed), canola and soy oils. Use cold-pressed or expeller-pressed oils (available from health food stores), as they are safer for the heart and blood vessels. Do not use corn oil or “vegetable oil” from an unspecified source, as this is usually corn oil. Soy and sunflower or safflower margarine are OK from an allergy standpoint, but we do not consider margarine a desirable food, as there is evidence it may promote heart disease. It is acceptable to use margarine during the elimination and testing period. However, if you are not allergic to butter, we recommend it instead of margarine, once you have completed food testing. Also suggested are vegetable and bean spreads, instead of butter or margarine.
Snacks – Any food can be eaten as a snack, any time of day. Also suggested are celery, carrot sticks or other vegetables; fruit in moderation (no citrus); unsalted fresh nuts and seeds; Barbara’s Granola Bars (from health food stores); wheat-free cookies (check ingredients).
Beverages – Herbs teas (no lemon or orange), Green tea and Mata tea: spring water in glass bottles or clear plastic, seltzer (salt free); Perrier; pure fruit juices without sugar or additives (dilute 50:50 with water); almond nut milk (Nut Quick); soy milk without corn oil (such as Eden Soy Plain); Cafix, Inka and Roma may be used as coffee substitutes. Tap water contains chlorine, fluoride and other potentially allergenic chemicals. In some cases, distilled or spring water in glass bottles is the only water allowed. This would include water used for cooking. If tap water is eliminated, it should be reintroduced as if it were a test food. Restrictions on the type of water permitted will be made on a case by case basis.
Thickeners – Rice, oat, millet, barley, soy, kuzu or amaranth flours; arrowroot, agar.
Spices and condiments – Salt in moderation; pepper, herbal spices without preservatives, citrus or sugar; garlic, ginger, onions; catsup and mustard from the health food store (without sugar); wheat-free tamari sauce; Bragg liquid aminos; vitamin C crystals in water as a substitute for lemon juice.
Miscellaneous – Sugar-free spaghetti sauce; fruit jellies without sugar or citrus; soaps such as split pea, lentil, turkey/vegetable, etc.
FOODS YOU MUST AVOID
Dairy products – Milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese, whey, casein, sodium caseinate, calcium caseinate, any food containing these.
Wheat – Most breads, spaghetti, noodles, pasta, most flour, baked goods, durum semolina, farina, and many gravies, etc.
Corn – Including any product with corn oil, vegetable oil from an unspecified source, corn syrup, corn sweetener, dextrose, glucose, corn chips, tortillas, popcorn
Eggs - Eggs and products containing eggs.
Citrus fruits – Oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes, tangerines and foods containing citrus.
Beverages - Coffee, tea, alcohol must avoid both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, as well as standard (such as Lipton) tea and decaffeinated tea. Herb teas are OK, except those containing citrus. (See above)
Refined sugars – Including table sugar and any foods that contain it; candy, soda, pies, cake, cookies, etc. Other names for sugar include sucrose, glucose, dextrose, corn syrup, corn sweetener, fructose, maltose, and levulose. These must all be avoided. Some patients will be allowed 1-3 teaspoons per day of pure, unprocessed honey, maple syrup or barley malt. This will be decided on an individual bases. Those restricted from all sugars should not eat dried fruit. Others may eat unsulphered (organically grown) dried fruits sparingly.
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Food additives – Including artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, texturing agents, artificial sweeteners, etc. Most diet sodas and other dietetic foods contain artificial ingredients and must be avoided. Grapes, prunes, and raisins that are not organically grown contain sulfites and must be avoided.
Others - Any other food you eat more than 3 times a week – any food you are now eating 3 times a week or more should be avoided and tested later.
Known allergens – avoid any food you know you are allergic to, even if it is allowed on this diet.
Read Labels - Hidden allergens are frequently found in packaged foods. “Flour” usually means wheat; “vegetable oil” may mean corn oil; and casein and whey are dairy products. Make sure your vitamins are free of wheat, corn, sugar, citrus, yeast, and artificial colorings. Vary your diet, choosing a wide variety of foods. Do not rely on just a few foods, as you may become allergic to foods you eat every day!
Do not restrict your calories! Start with a good breakfast of a whole foods based protein powered shake, eat frequently throughout the day, and consume at least 8 glasses of water per day. If you do not eat enough, you may experience symptoms of low blood sugar, such as fatigue, irritability, headache, and too-rapid weight loss. To ensure adequate fiber, eat beans, permitted whole grains, whole fruits and vegetables, homemade vegetable soup, nuts and seeds. Be sure to chew thoroughly, in order to enhance digestion.
Plan your meals for the week. Take a list with you to the health food store.
If your schedule is very busy and it is hard to think of what to fix, take some time before starting the diet to make a list of all of your favorite types of foods and possible meal plans. For ideas, look through cookbooks that specialize in hypoallergenic diets. Most meals can be modified easily to meet the requirements of the diet, without changing the meal plan for the rest of your family. When you go to the health food store, ask for assistance in locating “allowed” versions of breads, crackers, cereals, muffins, soups, etc. Some people find it helpful to prepare additional foods on the weekend, to cut down on thinking and preparation time during the week. If you need further assistance or ideas, talk with your diet counselor.
Dining out: Do not hesitate to ask questions or make requests. For instance, you could ask for fish topped with slivered almonds, cooked without added seasoning, butter or lemon. Get baked potato with a slice of onion on top. Order steak or lamb chops with fresh vegetables, also prepared without added seasonings ( with the exception of garlic & plain herbs). Use salad bars that do not use sulfites as a preservative, and bring your own dressing (oil and cider vinegar with chopped nuts/seeds and fresh herbs). Get into the habit of carrying pure water, snacks, seasonings, etc., wherever you go, to supplement your meals or to have something on hand if you start to get hungry.
Withdrawal symptoms: About one in four patients develops mild “withdrawal” symptoms within a few days after starting the diet. Withdrawal symptoms may include fatigue, irritability, headaches, malaise, or increased hunger. These symptoms generally disappear within 2-5 days and are usually followed by an improvement in your original symptoms. If withdrawal symptoms are too uncomfortable, take buffered vitamin C (calcium ascorbate – 1,000 mg in tablet form or 1/4 teaspoon of the crystals, up to 4 times a day) or 3/4 teaspoon of “alkali salts” (2 parts potassium bicarbonate, 1 part sodium bicarbonate) in water as needed, up to 3 times a day for several days. In most cases, withdrawal symptoms are not severe and do not require treatment. It is best to discontinue all of the foods abruptly (“cold turkey”), rather than easing into the diet slowly.