(I intended this to be a video entry but I have yet to regain my voice following a bout of bronchitis. So, no pictures or video for the moment.)
This is the first post in our allergy elimination diet series.
One of my primary goals in starting One is Hungry was to provide information and encouragement for those struggling with their health as I did. Beyond sharing my own story, I’ve yet to provide any real information. I thought this would be a great time and place to start. Two years ago this month I threw myself, desperate and ignorant, into an allergy elimination diet. It was ultimately such a worthwhile experience that I have no regrets, but I do wish I had started out a bit more prepared and better informed. Because of that, for the next six weeks I’m going to be posting some in depth information for those looking for a.e.d. help for themselves or a loved one.
Week one will be preparation: we will discuss the reasons for and potential outcomes of the diet, determine a course for the next two months (deciding if you will be doing the a.e.d. alone or with family/friends), talk about the importance of an informed support system, learn what foods are and are not acceptable on our a.e.d. and do some pantry and fridge cleaning and restocking!
Weeks two through five (28 days) will be elimination: there will be suggested/optional menus with shopping lists, recipes and lots of encouragement on the great job you are doing from yours truly.
Weeks six and onward will be about reintroduction and evaluation, in which you will start slowly reintroducing the previously eliminated foods, evaluating you reactions to them, and using this information to, potentially, make some permanent diet and lifestyle changes.
However, before we get into any of that, the first thing to do if you are seriously considering an allergy elimination diet is to speak with your doctor, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or being treated for any health problems. For most people this diet will constitute a huge change in eating habits; depending on your specific condition this could have unexpected repercussions, and, anyway, it is best to keep your doctor in the know about the health and times of you! Let him/her know why you feel the need to explore this option and ask if they have any objection to it. If you decide to jump in without a doctors okay, well your are an adult (probably), bully for you, and don’t blame me if anything feels funny! This would also be the time to take a look at any over the counter medicines or supplements you take and see if the ingredients include wheat, gluten, dairy, soy, or food dyes, and if so, see if there are substitutions that do not contain these items.