It has been almost 3 weeks since my doctor put me on the Myers Way Elimination/Challenge Diet. Basically, you cut out the following for the first two weeks:
- Processed and GMO foods
- Sugar, HFCS, all sweeteners
- All citrus foods except lemons
- Nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers)
- Yeast (vinegar, baked goods, and all fermented foods)
I’m on the paleo protocol which also cuts out ALL grains and ALL legumes in order to help with possible candida and SIBO issues. I’m limited to 1 cup of fruit and 2 cups of starchy veggies a day. I’m not going to lie. It has not been easy. The first two weeks, I was missing carbs big time. The first few days on this regimen along with taking stuff to kill off any candida had me feeling quite ill!
I’m also taking a lot of different supplements to heal my leaky gut and candida. The plan is that after two weeks on this elimination diet, I add back one item for 3 days, go back on elimination for 3 days, and record ALL, if any, symptoms. My doctor has also run IgG food sensitivity tests on me (which I won’t get back the results for another 5 weeks until I see her again), but this is also useful.
The first thing that I added back into my diet was eggs. I didn’t seem to have a reaction to them after eating them for 3 days then going back on elimination for 3 more days. The next challenge will be peppers. My husband is also doing this elimination diet with me for support, and it is killing him not to put any cayenne pepper, curry, or seasoning salt on our food. He will be happy when we can add these back into our diet starting tomorrow. Unfortunately, you can’t add back all nightshades at once. You have to do them one at a time. The challenge phase of the Myers Way will take quite a while.
Fortunately, once you get through the first 2 weeks, you can add back in coffee, alcohol, and sugar. All of these foods can impede my gut healing so I’m not going crazy with them. I had a couple desserts this week (very tiny), and one cup of coffee. That is it.
A lot of people were interested as to what I eat in a typical day on this elimination diet.
This was breakfast one day. It pretty much used up my 1 cup of fruit for the day. The salmon portion was actually twice this amount. I just ate half of it before I remembered to take a pic.
This was a lunch: seasoned ground beef, 1/2 cup sweet potato with coconut butter, massaged kale salad.
Dinner one night: salad with cucumber, lemon/olive oil dressing, grapes, green onions and leftover ground beef with minced carrots, fresh herbs from my garden in half an acorn squash.
Another dinner: Salad, parsnip/carrot fries, herb chicken
As you can see, I’m not starving on this elimination diet. That isn’t the point, although most people do lose weight during the elimination phase. I’ve lost a couple of pounds so far, but 2-3 pounds on a scale is somewhat trivial due to water retention, daily BM’s, etc.
I’ve been picking up a juice every time I go to Whole Foods as well. It kinda sucks because they are so good, but they have FODMAP’s in them which means I need to be paranoid about my FODMAP consumption for the rest of the day otherwise my stomach would get upset. The one below had beets, carrots, and cucumber. The beets were high in polyols. ;(
More whole foods shopping. I swear, every time I go in there for 5 items, I leave with 20. It is kinda of like Target.
During the elimination phase of the Myer’s Way you really aren’t supposed to have cookies. I’m pretty sure these things are legal though. My husband spotted them at Whole Foods during one of our shopping trips, and we decided to give them a try.
They have coconut, sprouted sesame seeds, carrots, dates, nutmeg and ginger. There is no added sugar. Dates are high in FODMAP’s though so I will have to have a pretty low FODMAP day in order to enjoy a few of these.
Overall, my energy levels are slightly up more. Also, my constipation issue is gone. Crazy, eh? The bloating is still there, but I think it is b/c my insurance company is taking forever to approve the medication for SIBO. Until I can start taking that mediation, the bloating will be there, but it is no where near the level it was before I started the Myers Way. I’m excited and hopeful about my new doctor. She has already made a huge difference with my IBS-C WITHOUT the use of crazy laxatives or stool softeners. 😉
I will check in with you guys again through the challenge phase!!!
So, what do you all think about elimination diets? Have you ever done one? Do you think they are effective if done properly? If you have a delayed onset food sensitivity, it could take 3 days for any symptoms to show up. A lot of elimination diets out there do not take this into account, but that is why I eat the possible offending food for three days, then go back on elimination for 3 days. I then record all symptoms including fatigue, bowel changes, bloating, allergies, cold/flu-like symptoms, brain fog, etc.