There are a few variations of the elimination diet. This one is through the Center for Functional Medicine of the Cleveland Clinic. Functional medicine means treating the underlying cause of symptoms, not just the symptom itself. For example, instead of taking antacids for digestive issues, a functional medicine doctor would look at the patient’s diet and lifestyle to determine what is causing the issue in the first place. Prescriptions and traditional medicine definitely have a role here too, but it’s not the only treatment option.
The elimination diet focuses on eliminating common allergens, inflammatory foods, or foods that your particular body doesn’t handle well. In general, the following is avoided for a 6-8 week period:
The list looks long and overwhelming, but it’s not as bad as you may think! Lots of good stuff is included, such as:
- Game meat
- Non-gluten grains such as rice, oats, quinoa, amaranth, etc.
- Fruits, fresh and dried (no sugar added)
- All vegetables
- Most fats and oils, except canola/vegetable oil
- Alternative milks, such as coconut milk, cashew/almond milk, etc.
There are no restrictions in terms of calories, macronutrients, or how many times per day you are “supposed” to eat. In that regard, it’s very freeing! Just focus on what you CAN eat and go from there. There are so many food options these days between Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Thrive Market, and other online sources.
After the 6-8 week period of following the elimination diet plan, the patient has a follow-up with her doctor and nutritionist to see how things went. Foods are slowly reintroduced, one by one, to determine how they are tolerated.
Contact me with any questions!