Food allergies can be both physically and emotionally draining. In fact, having food allergies can alter one’s take regarding the word, “healthy.” Anything that’s healthy for one person can prove to be life-threatening to anyone with intolerance towards it. Some foods trigger inflammation which has nasty side effects. And this reason is in itself enough for one to be extra cautious about food intake.
It is essential that eating plans be designed accordingly for someone with food allergies. An elimination diet befits a person with such a condition. It is a quick gut check-up, and you can cheat once a week. Let’s see how you can do that.
01. Expert Advice:
First and foremost, if you encounter an allergic reaction to a food item, seek expert advice. Consult a physician, qualified nutrition expert to be sure whether or not you are allergic. Upon confirmation, one may even get a second opinion just to be entirely convinced and then learn about every item related to the category that might trigger an allergic reaction.
Go for tests so that your nutritionist gets a clear idea as to how to work out your diet plan if you plan to hire one.
02. Design a Plan:
Now that you know what food triggers the allergy, it is time to sit and craft a diet plan. Say, for example, you are allergic to eggs. In this case, look out for protein alternatives. Fish or beef can be incorporated into the diet plan, as both are a rich source of protein.
Also, make a list of your go-to markets to shop the ingredients from and restaurants so that when you are out, you already know which ones fit your diet requirements.
Before you fully jump into it, take your time and assimilate things to the fullest. Sit and reflect! Just experiment with different food items, products and recipes to know what is working best and then finalize things.
03. It Is Not a Weight Loss Plan:
Before you begin an elimination diet, please get one thing straight that it is not a weight loss plan. It is a healing process and not a crash diet course. This diet is only meant to determine what food item one is allergic and intolerant towards. An excellent elimination diet plan would exclude gluten, egg, dairy products, and citrus fruits for a short period of time to know which food item is being problematic. The eliminated item is later gradually reintroduced to determine and monitor the digestive reactions. That’s how elimination diets can identify food sensitivities!
04. What to Eliminate First?
Many times, it happens that you unknowingly become sensitive to a food item that is one of your staples. Therefore, the first item you must eliminate is the one you eat on a frequent basis. The more food items you remove, the more there are chances of you discovering the problematic ingredient.
Moreover, get rid of the processed, boxed items in your kitchen. They might have made your life easier, but they are extremely dangerous for your health. Hit the farmer’s market and stock up on some fresh vegetables and fruits, and you will see a major difference within yourself!
05. Keep a Track:
The key to success to an elimination diet is keeping track of any changes you may encounter during the process. We strongly recommend keeping a journal to record each and every symptom. From physical, mental to emotional, it is important to document every change that occurs within you.
For instance, if you suddenly encounter a positive change in your then troubled sleeping pattern soon after the elimination of one of your staple food items, it might be an indication that you got to remove that particular food item from your diet.
To further elaborate it, monitor your sleeping patterns, energy levels, and bowel movements. In addition to this, related symptoms are another thing you got to look out for. These include insomnia, diarrhea, joint pain, headaches or bloating. Also, keep a careful track of your water intake and stay hydrated.
06. The Pulse Test:
This is by far the most effective method to know the suitability of a food item for your body. Do a pulse test (the number of heartbeats that occur in one minute) prior the food intake and record it. Then do another test a minute later after having taken a bite or two.
The results may obviously vary on different grounds, but when seen in relation to the symptoms, you may be able to pinpoint significant information. Just to give an idea, a pulse rate that is faster by ten beats may suggest possible food intolerance. The same would be the case if the pulse rate were slower by ten beats.
In addition to this, you may retake the test by repeating the process as discussed above and then record, compare and analyze to confirm the results. If the outcome remains same, then there is a high probability of intolerance towards the given food item.
07. Be in Control of Yourself and Rotate:
It is only natural to have temptations in the reintroduction phase; such as to binge eat a pizza or a bag of popcorns. But make sure you don’t fall into the trap of unhealthy lifestyle. It is essential in a diet like this that food is exposed to the system individually to accurately pinpoint the item causing problems. Consulting a professional might help you in being control of the temptations and in overcoming the challenges, which are part and parcel of such struggles. Most nutrition experts have now incorporated telemedicine into their practice and you can contact using a laptop or smartphone.
Other than this, do not just stick to a particular item if it suits your body. This is in no way what an elimination diet is about. Try and make a four to five days eating plan incorporating different ideas for all the three meal times, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can then rotate them throughout the week as per your liking. And voila! You have a healthy, energetic and full of variety food plan in your hand.
Here you go! You have quite a comprehensive guideline here for you to tackle your allergies. When you decide to go on a particular diet, you have to be persistent and patient as nothing happens overnight. It is an on-going process and demands sheer determination.
Also, it is important to note that you might have to repeat an elimination diet. The food allergies do not die down completely and may shift due to environmental factors, or even body changes such as that occur during pregnancy.
To sum everything up, make sure your body is adequately fed. Do not starve yourself. Try and maintain a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat in your meals. Your allergies might cut one primary food group, so learn thoroughly about the substitutes and replace them accordingly.
Now is the time to go into your kitchen, put your chef cap on and get creative!
James Crook is a passionate blogger who loves to write on health and fitness related topics. Currently, he is a working as a blogger for a telemedicine app ‘Mend Family’. Follow @jamescrook911 for more updates.