I am so excited to be introducing Jessica Stopard, a Registered Holistic Nutritionist who is passionate about digestive wellness and smoothies, two things I am also really into as well. Jessica has written an in-depth post about the elimination diet and how it can be beneficial for you. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
So let’s jump right in, here is Jessica’s post.
What made me try the elimination diet?
I dedicated 2016 to the Elimination Diet because even though I was eating clean and healthy, I spent years feeling like crap and I wanted to figure out why. If you’re reading this blog, you know that Jaclyn is against traditional dieting, so why would she allow some redheaded nutritionist to write about something with the word “diet” in it? I feel you and I want you to know that I too am against crash dieting to look good.
I have done a handful of detoxes, tried different styles of eating and have been on the Candida protocol three separate times. While I am super appreciative of these detox experiences for stepping me towards a healthier lifestyle, at best they only made me feel better. I still had this lingering sense of feeling vaguely unwell. Even though my symptoms had improved, I knew in my heart that they could be eliminated.
I had discovered the Elimination Diet during my nutrition studies but it took me a year to realize I should give it a try and dive in for myself. To put it into perspective, it felt like I was preparing for the biggest “I’ll start on Monday” ever. After reaching a point of daily headaches, I knew I was ready for my Monday.
The Elimination Diet: What is it?
Before we get into why the Elimination Diet is different, let me share more about it. The Elimination Diet is a structured process that allows you to uncover hidden food sensitivities to build a personalized diet while also restoring your digestive health. The word “diet” in personalized diet represents the foods you eat on a daily basis.
The Three Phases of The Elimination Diet:
It is broken into three phases: detox, elimination, and reintroduction. Ideally, you begin with a 3 day detox that includes specific vegetables and fruits only. Download a food list for phase 1. This gives your digestive system a much-needed rest from aggravating and irritating foods.
Did you know that digestion is the most energy intensive process in the body, requiring a third of our daily energy?
This motivates me to support my hardworking digestive system by relieving it of these aggravating foods and focus towards the complete digestion of non-aggravating foods.
In phase 2 you expand on your foods from phase 1; yet still eat foods free from the most common allergens. This means no dairy, gluten, corn, soy, yeast, nuts, caffeine, eggs and more. Click here for a more extensive list for phase 2. This phase is followed for 11 days or until all of your symptoms have disappeared. For me this actually took nearly 4 weeks.
Once all of your symptoms are gone, you begin the final phase: reintroduction, sometimes known as provocation. This is arguably the most important part of the Elimination Diet. It is where your answers are found! By testing foods, one at a time, you discover which foods are not tolerated well by your own body. If you jump to this final phase before your symptoms disappear, you will not accurately know if an introduced food is causing your symptom or if it was leftover from before.
Digestion is the most energy intensive process in the body, requiring a third of our daily energy.
While I don’t think eliminating certain foods is a bad thing, it can be if it is done in the wrong way, at the wrong time with the wrong mindset.
It is so easy for elimination to feel like restriction and restriction feels like deprivation. You can only feel deprived for so long before you binge in some way or another. BUT if you are struggling with digestive problems that just don’t seem to have a solution no matter what you try, then elimination may be exactly what you need.
Traditional dieting is deprivational, both in what you eat and how you think. The main goal is manipulating your body (aka losing weight to look “good”).
The Elimination Diet is a temporary, intentional, restrictive “diet” that is the best way to discover which foods work with your body chemistry and which foods do not. The main goal is true and lasting health (aka to finally stop feeling so crappy).
Why The Elimination Diet is Different:
The difference here is that health is your motivation and NOT weight loss. Now, with this mindset, you won’t feel deprived and you won’t worsen your relationship with yourself or food.
The Elimination Diet is empowering. The other detoxes and protocols I mentioned earlier helped me to feel better and move towards a healthier lifestyle but I didn’t have a true understanding of why I personally felt better, like I learned on the Elimination Diet.
Jessica Stopard is an award winning, smoothie lovin’ Holistic Nutritionist with a decade of experience in the health food industry. Jessica’s focus is educating women on a whole foods based lifestyle, specializing in digestive wellness through smoothies and the Elimination Diet. She loves maximizing nutrition for the least amount of effort to inspire women to eat more real foods so that they stop feeling so BLAH: bloated, low energy, acne, and headaches. She is the creator of Reset to Real Food: 21-Day Online Seasonal Detox and offers a free smoothie cheat sheet to help you make nutritious, delicious and filling smoothies. See what Jessica is up to at http://jessicastopard.com and on Instagram at https://instagram.com/jessica