Doing an elimination diet is something that we believe that most people should do in order to find the best diet for their own optimal health. An elimination diet simply entails cutting out foods that can cause negative effects and irritation in a lot of people for a period of time, and then adding each food back, but only doing it one at a time, so that you can see which of them you respond negatively to.
The foods that are most often cut out during an elimination diet include processed foods, sugar, dairy, soy, trans fats, eggs, and gluten. The most popular diets like the vegan diet, carnivore diet, paleo diet, primal diet, ketogenic diet, etc. are also all types of elimination diets. The Whole 30 diet is probably the most popular elimination diet out there, which we highly recommend you take a look at if you are interested in doing this type of diet for optimal health.
The carnivore diet is probably the most extreme, and one which we have done ourselves. It is becoming more and more popular among people with autoimmune illnesses. In the carnivore diet, you eliminate all foods except animal products. Some carnivore dieters eat eggs, meat, and dairy products, while others only eat meat. If you really want to go extreme, you could even stick to only eating beef and salt like a lot of people do.
While it may sound extreme to only eat meat, remember that an elimination diet doesn’t have to be permanent, in fact, the main goal is actually just to use it to see which foods don’t agree with you.
The day after our wedding in September 2018, we started a month-long carnivore diet as a way to eliminate all foods that could cause a negative reaction in our bodies. Although every person’s experience on the carnivore diet will be different, we responded well to it, and it has helped us greatly in our journeys towards optimal health.
Here are a few benefits of doing the carnivore diet as an elimination diet:
You Get to Experiment More Afterwards with The Carnivore Diet
What we like about the carnivore diet is that you eliminate the most variables, which means that you can test more foods for negative reactions and create an even better diet for you.
Meat is Nutrient-Dense
Meat can be quite nutrient-dense, especially organ meat. In fact, liver is probably the most nutrient-dense food there is. It is high in protein, iron, vitamin A, and folate.
Meat is Delicious
Just eating meat for a month was actually quite fun. We enjoyed it. It made shopping for food easier, as we only had to walk to the meat section and did not waste time browsing the isles. We optimised our shopping while optimising our diet.
The Carnivore Diet is Satiating
If you choose your meat well, and go for options that have fat as well, then you will feel more satisfied. Meat that has a combination of protein and fat is very satiating, so you won’t feel as hungry as you would on a carbohydrate-based elimination diet.
We highly recommend giving the carnivore diet a try if you have health issues, and you do not know if certain foods could be contributing to your symptoms, or if you are just after optimal health. While we don’t exactly know what a good strict vegan elimination diet would be (maybe just eating nuts?), we do think that The Whole 30 diet is a good diet to follow for anyone who does not want to be that extreme.
Tips for Doing an Elimination Diet
Here are a few tips for following an elimination diet for optimal health:
Pick the Right Type of Diet for You for Optimal Health
You have to pick the type of elimination diet that you think you will be able to follow easily, otherwise, you will suffer more than necessary.
Decide How Long You Want to Do It
You can decide how long you want to eliminate everything you have decided on. It could be a week, two weeks, a month, or even three months. If you decide you want to do it forever, that is okay too. Optimal health is about finding what works for you and your body.
Add a New Food Every Two Days
Do not add two foods back into your diet at once. You need to allow enough time between adding foods for you to notice a difference. There is also an option of extending the length of time in between adding foods, but we suggest a minimum of two days.
Do It with a Friend
You can make your diet a lot easier if you do it with a friend. It could be your partner, co-worker, friend, child, mom, or cousin. After all, good relationships are also part of optimal health, as they have been linked to an increase in longevity.
Take Something You Can Eat to Social Events
Doing this type of diet can make it hard to eat at social events. If you bring a dish that you can eat with to the party, you are not only contributing to the party, but you ensure that you have something to eat, and do not have to go hungry or go off the plan.
An elimination diet can be the start of an epic journey towards optimal health. You could start to feel better than you thought possible. Your brain fog could disappear. Your excess fat might start to finally come off. You might start getting sick less often. Your inflammation could go down. Who knows what benefits you will experience and health discoveries you will make that will get you closer to optimal health?
What you have to also keep in mind is that your body can build up a tolerance to foods like those containing gluten. Even though you were able to tolerate the foods before, it does not mean that they were not bad for you. If you cut out a food for a period of time, and then add it back, you could have a much stronger reaction to it than before.
Also remember that just because you experience a negative effect, such as stomach cramps, from foods like dairy or gluten, it doesn’t mean that you could never have ice cream or a croissant again if you choose optimal health. It just means that you probably shouldn’t have it often, and that if you eat it, you have to be willing to accept the consequences. Perhaps the treat is worth it to you.