I am a big fan of doing an elimination diet if you have any health problems, especially if you want to see if there are foods that might be triggering some of your symptoms. For a chosen period of time, such as a month or even three months, you can cut out possibly inflammatory foods and then reintroduce them one at a time to see how the different foods affect you.
An elimination diet should ideally be free of sugar, dairy, gluten, hydrogenated vegetable oils, and soy. Luckily, this can be done deliciously if you make some healthy dessert. Your taste buds don’t have to know what you are doing and can still experience the pleasure they seek.
Years ago, I embarked on a basic elimination diet where I eliminated the foods I listed above to see if some foods affected my skin. Some of them did.
Later on, when my period didn’t stop for a year and a half, Jonathan and I went the extreme route and followed the carnivore diet as an elimination diet, where we only ate meat, salt, and water for a month. Afterwards, we added one ingredient back into our diet every second day to see how different foods would affect us.
There were a few surprises along the way. I no longer touch kale, but that was a very easy breakup. And now, I am at a point where I know what my body can tolerate, in small amounts or not at all.
I believe that people can learn a lot by doing an elimination diet. I discovered a great deal about which foods make my skin break out, as well as which foods affect my digestive system.
Right now, I am following an animal-based diet and mostly eat animal foods, but I will have some dark chocolate, fruit, and low-toxicity vegetables. I do not think I will do a full carnivore diet again, purely because I cannot have dessert while on it, and you really do not have to take the route that we did.
I am a big fan of diets that are high in animal foods and would say that my diet is about 60% to 80% animal-based. I eat a lot of meat but try to stick to options like the grass-fed stuff. My health has been a lot better since eliminating certain foods from my diet and learning that I feel best when I eat mostly animal foods.
I would not be where I am today if I didn’t start experimenting with elimination diets. Sometimes, you really do not know what it is that is causing your IBS symptoms, your joint pain, your acne, etc. If I have apple cider vinegar, my joints will start hurting. If I eat gluten or binge, I know my skin will break out.
It really is an individual journey, and no, you do not have to try the carnivore diet. You can just eliminate most foods that are known to cause inflammation at first. These are processed foods, the ones that are high in sugar, gluten, dairy, soy, vegetable oils, grains, etc.
You can decide what you want your elimination diet to look like, but if you are suspicious of certain foods, perhaps it is time to try and determine if and how they affect you.