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Elimination diet – to eat or not to eat for better health

Elimination diet or not? That is my latest personal dilemma. Should I strip my diet down even further to re-find out exactly what foods I’m allergic to? Put my sanity on the line? And my family on the fringe of this temporary hell?

Lots of people do an elimination diet to help identify food allergies. I think this technique is particularly helpful in pinpointing foods we may not test positive to in a blood allergy test. Blood allergy tests may not be that accurate, depending on the type of test (IgE v IgG) and whether the food is in your system at the time.

The elimination diet dilemma

Done right, an elimination diet takes a lot of self-discipline and constant monitoring. And I’m the type of gal who likes to keep life simple.

sliced veggies elimination dietI could think of the elimination diet as being real simple, especially if I eat the same few meals for 3 weeks before adding back in foods. And I could just plan to eat all my meals at home during this time – no going out or snacking thoughtlessly while on the run.

But we do have family birthdays and spring break coming up. Whoever celebrated those without cake and with a strict diet in place? My doc did say I need to take care of my own energy first, even if that means forgoing the cake. Ugh!

Plus, after 3 weeks, the diet is far from over. Then I would add back 1 new food every 3-4 days, so it may take 6 months or longer to do it right.

I could starve during this process. And morph into an intolerable bitch. I hate feeling hungry and having to be high-maintenance. And I hate not having a glass of wine when it’s my turn to cook, or a beverage for happy hour on my deck, especially with spring in the air.

On the other hand, I’ve already been doing a sort of elimination diet for about 4 weeks. No gluten, nuts, corn or barley – which includes beer and wine (sigh). Very minimal sugar and dairy. Still, I’ve had a stuffy nose, headaches on several days and irregular, um, irregularity all around. Except for the rather regular migraines!

Could it be due to my poor attempt at beginning yoga? The new GF crackers I ate about 10 of? The spinach? Avocado oil on my tuna? I could make myself crazy trying to pinpoint my food culprits – and healthy ones to boot!

My theory, based on several girlfriends’ and my own experiences, is that in our 40s, hormones mess us up in ways we will never understand!

The elimination diet verdict

Even my trusted doctor isn’t sure an elimination diet is the best idea right now, with spring airborne allergens likely to complicate my results.

However, I’m already 4 weeks into eating a bare bones diet of mostly lean proteins and veggies. If I stick to it, I could reboot my body before spring allergies strike.

Yet if I don’t get to feeling consistently uncongested, there’s not much point in adding foods back in 1 nut at a time, 1 cheese at a time, etc.

See my dilemma? So is doing an elimination diet worth it or not?

Only God really knows. And sometimes I think all this ambiguity is just another way God’s telling me he’s in control. That no matter how much I control what I eat, he’s in charge of how or if that works out for me.

What I’ve realized is that this is one area of life I’m still trying to fix on my own. Maybe I should go pray about it instead.

Stay tuned to my Facebook page for my verdict. Please feel free to post and share updates about your own elimination diet woes and successes. We can muddle through together.


*This blog is intended for use as a source of information and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice.