Elimination Diet


Or the post that should be titled “I really want a freaking cupcake for dinner but instead I’m going to begrudgingly eat brussel sprouts.”

Awhile back, I tried to go gluten free and did see a pleasant decrease in inflammation.  And then I got swamped with work, my flare got even worse, and everything completely overwhelmed me to the point that I was reduced to a grubby sweatsuit on my couch watching DVR’d episodes of Chelsea Lately and True Blood whilst stuffing my face with takeout.  And I wonder how in the world I gained weight…

I am slowly starting to decompress and return to a state of whelmed vs overwhelmed and am ready to take a stab at better nutrition again.  Ok, ok, ok, I’ll be completely honest that in addition to the better diet and benefits I saw while doing gluten free that I also want to jump-start the process of turning my flab back into fab.

I’ve never done an elimination diet mainly because I like eating and dislike being uncomfortable. 🙂 But after reading and talking to a couple of people who have, I thought it was worth trying.  I was more sold when I found out I could supplement with medical food so that I wasn’t as hungry and so that I could make sure I was getting all the nutrients that I need to get.

Step One: Eliminate refined sugars, caffeine, artificial colors & flavorings, and flesh foods. UGH.  All my favorites.

I love caffeine.  No, I NEED caffeine.  It makes me nicer.  Same goes for sugars.  It is common knowledge with my coworkers that I am bribeable and my currency is chocolate.

Hey Amanda, will you call our client who is mad at us right now because they don’t like xyz? When I talked to him earlier, he was cursing and spitting.  Please?  While you’re doing it, I’ll run get you Ben & Jerry’s!

Consider it done.

Step Two: Eliminate dairy.

No problems here.  I switched to soy years ago and eggs creep me out thanks to a college dining hall experience.

Step Three: Eliminate gluten grains.


Step Four: Eliminate remaining grains, nuts and seeds.

This sucks.  I always have a bag of pistachios on me.  Always!  And I found out the hard way that soy products were considered part of this too.  Boo!

Step Five: Eliminate legumes and nightshade vegetables.

Ok, I thought I’d have a harder time with this than I did but I made a lentil dish the day before that was so bad, it tasted like dirty feet smell.  And the smell lingered.  Au revoir legumes- good riddance!

I did have a little bit of trouble giving up nightshade vegetables…after I determined what they were.  I thought nightshades went on lamps.  Apparently, I was wrong.

Step Six: Also known as where I am now.  With not many options for food. I will slowly start adding different foods back in next week.

It’s not much fun right now.  But I will admit that if nothing else, I am sleeping like a champ which is something I don’t do when I’m flaring.  That was actually part of my strategy of getting through last weekend- you can’t cheat on a diet if you’re unconscious. 🙂 I also stopped having crazy cravings this week too.  I feel ’empty’ but ‘even’ if that makes sense at all.

So far, I can’t tell if there’s been a difference in my joints due to this or not.  I have had less inflammation this week but I don’t want to attribute it to this quite yet.

I should know more when I’m able to start adding back.

To be continued…..

6 responses »

      • I love food, but quite a lot of food doesn’t love me… so I do an elimation diet each year, starting in January then adding foods in after a month.

        I started this several years ago, under medical supervison, because I had a dairy intolerance and my consulatant thought I might have other food issues (he wasn’t wrong).

        It’s been a life changer for me, which is why I keep going back to it.

        The basic diet I follow allows me to eat the following:

        1) rice
        2) potatoes
        3) sweet potatoes
        4) squash (summer or winter)
        5) broccoli
        6) fish (not shellfish & not farmed)
        7) carrots
        8) pears
        9) olive oil
        10) fresh garlic
        11) fresh ginger
        12) fresh coriander
        13) salt & pepper

        and that’s it – for a month… eat as much of the above as you want, you’ll feel great and the weight will still drop off (n.b. requires creative cooking!)

        If you have problems with fish, you can eat lamb and/or turkey instead -as long as it’s not pre-processed.

        After a month – add in one BASIC food every four days – and see what happens. Just avoid anything that’s pre-processed – including supplement shakes…

        It’s dull as hell, but I guarantee you will feel great and look better- and you’ll never have felt so excited at the prospect of eating avocado / lemons in your life!!!

        One side effect is that you’ll need calcium / iron / zinc supplements while you’re following the diet. 3 months is the recommended limit but you should have a good idea of what you can and can’t eat by then.


  1. I thought nightshades went on lamps.
    LOL 🙂 What a great line!

    Tomatoes always seem to be on the list of foods to avoid when you have RA. This would be difficult for me. I’m told that as a toddler, my first temper tantrum was in the grocery store when my parents wouldn’t buy me any cherry tomatoes. Thankfully I outgrew that stage, but I want my tomatoes!

    Looks like maybe you’re allowed olives and avocados? They’d help you not feel hungry. Good luck!

  2. I think the longer you can stick with it, the better you will feel. I recently went off my clean diet and now my body really craves the good foods again. I try to do mostly large amounts of veggies for all meals with a little meat. Fruit with breakfast. I do eat almonds for snacks. Finding meal ideas in the beginning is hard but you can find things. Good luck! I hope it helps the inflammation. It seems you have been fighting these flares for a while.

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