The Elimination Diet: An opportunity to reset your diet for 2016

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Welcome to 2016!!  As I move into the New Year, I plan to get myself on track with an elimination diet and I invite you all to join me (see below).  In the world of Functional Medicine we are trained to approach our patients with two simple questions in mind:  (1) what does my patient need that she is currently not receiving? And (2) what does my patient have that isn’t serving her?  These questions can refer to food, movement, environmental exposures, love, and relationship – a whole host of inputs that create or distract us from health.  The elimination diet is a diagnostic protocol which allows us to explore which foods in our standard diets may not be promoting health.

None of us needs processed foods, preservatives, alcohol, refined sugars or caffeine to survive.  Some additionally have food sensitivities – reactions to certain classes of food which cause inflammatory responses and detract from our overall well-being.  The elimination diet helps us to clear the unneeded food products from our system and to begin exploring the possibility that we harbor food sensitivities. 

The elimination diet can also help us to visit the question of what we may be missing.  Because the meal plan is devoid of empty calories, the phytonutrient content is high when adhering properly to this program.  It is not uncommon for me to have patients who feel “so much better” on the elimination diet although they are never able to clearly identify any offending foods. The elimination diet simply creates the space for increased consumption of a wide variety of fruits, nuts, vegetables and healthy proteins.
The elimination diet is a 28 day program.  This restrictive diet is not intended to be used as a long term meal plan but rather as a process of inquiry and discovery.  After completion, food reintroduction occurs in a systematic fashion with attention paid to how specific foods alter our physiology.  The food add-back process can be challenging and for those using the elimination diet to answer a clinical question I highly recommend that add-back be done under the guidance of a health coach or provider who can help you process the information. For those of you who, like me, may elect to undertake an elimination diet to jump-start healthier eating practices and reacquaint (or acquaint) you with the organization and forethought to plan healthful meals, the food add-back process can be a relatively straight forward process of re-expanding your diet while maintaining a focus on the healthful and phytonutrient rich foods on the elimination meal plan.

Despite my wealth of knowledge about drugs and surgery, I am constantly amazed by the healing power of food.  In the past decade, I have seen many people restore energy and vitality to their lives just be being mindful of what they are consuming.  If you are not able to join us on Facebook for this culinary adventure, I suggest you try a mini-elimination of your own.  For 4 weeks avoid all processed and packaged foods, sugar, alcohol and caffeine, and be sure to consume a minimum of 7 servings of veggies and 2 servings of fruit daily.  You’ll likely be pleasantly surprised by how wonderful you feel, even in the dark days of the winter!


Kick-off 2016 with a focus on your health!

Join us on facebook for a group elimination diet.
 Send us an e-mail at  requesting an invitation to our facebook group.  The program starts on January 11th and we will be active in the next week preparing our bodies, minds and kitchens!

Copyright © 2016 Hygeia Optimal Health through Functional Medicine, All rights reserved.

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