Elimination Diet

Hi everyone!

It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything on this little blog of mine, but I’m back after about a year to share my experiences with elimination dieting with all of you.

For many years now, I’ve struggled with some pretty annoying digestive issues, along with headaches after eating. I have always been afraid to do any sort of elimination diet- after all, I LOVE junk food! While I try to eat it in moderation, eliminating all of my favorite treats seemed overwhelming. Recently, my stomach- and headaches have been bothering me so often that I have become fed up and have finally decided to get to the bottom of my issues. Starting this Monday morning, I will be eliminating all gluten, dairy, egg, and soy from my diet.

I will be following this “Easy Elimination Diet” (easy- HA). The reason this plan is referred to as “easy” is that it splits the elimination process into four phases, rather than making the individual eliminate everything at once. The phases are as follows:

  • Phase 1 – Eliminate gluten, dairy, egg, and soy
  • Phase 2 – Eliminate peanuts, shellfish, and corn
  • Phase 3 – Eliminate tree nuts and fish
  • Phase 4 – Eliminate preservatives, artificial sugars, and artificial dyes

After three weeks of elimination in each phase, I will slowly re-introduce the foods one at a time. The diet starts with the most common “offenders” in the first phases, making it easier to find your trigger food early on. Basically, I’m hoping to find out what’s bothering me in Phases 1 and 2.

I think that the hardest parts for me will be breakfast and snacks. Lately, for breakfast I’ve been eating some sort of toast/bread with peanut butter, or eggs – neither of which I can have on the elimination diet. Right now, it looks like I’m going to be relying heavily on overnight oats for breakfast! I’ve also bought some Van’s Gluten Free Ancient Grains Waffles for busy mornings, but I’m trying to stay away from processed foods as much as possible (I’m still getting used to having to read ingredients on everything!)

Without further adieu, here’s what I have prepped and planned for week one of the diet:

SNACKS

10-Minute Chili Lime Almonds

IMG_5040

{please excuse the photos in this post – they were all taken on my iPhone in poor lighting!}

I know that I’ll be needing healthy, filling snacks to get me through the day, and nuts seemed like a great idea. I’m typically not a huge almond person, so I was on the lookout for a way to spice things up when I found this recipe. It adds enough flavor to liven the almonds up and actually make them enjoyable to eat! I’m also on a lime-kick right now, so it’s a serious win in my book. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to use up some almonds, I recommend this recipe.

Easy No Bake Energy Bites

IMG_5047

I’ve been making these for years! They are a perfect pre-workout snack. I usually have one or two when I wake up if I’m working out in the morning. I simply made sure that I used gluten free oats and dairy-free chocolate chips!

No Bake Peanut Butter Chia Healthy Granola Bars 

IMG_5044

Are you seeing the peanut butter theme yet? Ha! I like that this recipe is so versatile. I didn’t have millet and didn’t want to use quinoa, so I simply doubled the amount of chia seeds I used. I also added slivered almonds. I tasted a bite of the mixture when I was throwing them together, and I really like the flavor! It is extremely similar to the energy bites I mentioned above, but it adds cinnamon and nuts (and does not have chocolate).

Fruits and Veggies

I cut up strawberries, carrots, and celery to have on hand throughout the week when I need a quick snack, and to eat on the side with meals. I also have an un-pictured pineapple and some bell peppers that I need to do something with!

MAIN MEALS

Cilantro Lime Chicken 

IMG_5048

Baked Cajun Chicken Breasts 

IMG_5046

It’s looking like I’ll be eating a lot of chicken these next few weeks! The Cilantro Lime Chicken uses chicken thighs, which I’ve never used before, so I’m excited to try them out. I prepped both of these chicken recipes on Sunday and have yet to try them, so I’ll let you know how they turned out later in the week.

Slow Cooker Chicken Wild Rice Soup 

I haven’t made this yet, but I have all the ingredients on hand and plan on making the soup on Wednesday! Even though it’s getting pretty hot here in Arizona, I’ve been craving soup lately and this one looks so good! P.S. – I’m thinking that The Pretty Bee blog is going to be a lifesaver for me these next few weeks.

DESSERT

The Best Paleo Chocolate Chunk Cookies

IMG_5043

{they didn’t turn out as pretty as I had hoped, but I’m hoping they’ll still taste great!}

Oh, how I’m going to miss my desserts! While I know it would be best for me to cut out desserts altogether during this time, I didn’t feel like quitting cold turkey was realistic for me. I decided to bake up a dessert to have on hand and stumbled across these cookies from Ambitious Kitchen. I simply made sure to use dairy-free chocolate chips and subbed a flax egg for a regular egg.

Thoughts:

Ultimately, I feel like I will succeed as long as I am well-prepared. I spent about 5 or 6 hours Sunday cooking and baking to get ready for the week. Right now, I’m feeling strong mentally, but I know it will get harder as the days go on. I’m hoping that having everything prepared and ready to eat will lower my chances of giving into a craving. I’m feeling pretty excited right now because I know that feeling better will make the whole process worth it.

I did have to buy quite a bit of ingredients to prep for the weeks ahead. Here are some of the items that were on my grocery list this past week:

Well, there you have it! Thanks for bearing with me through such a long post! I most likely won’t be blogging every day, but I do plan on checking in a few times a week to let you know how my experience is going. I am so, so excited to get started on this journey to a healthier way of life!