Meal Planning on your Elimination diet.
Following on from healing your Leaky Gut and detoxing from Sugar we need to discover what foods might be causing a problem or intolerance – meal planning and appropriate shopping are important. The aim is to omit foods which can cause inflammation, slow digestion and blood sugar spikes, therefore Dairy foods, grains (gluten containing plus non-gluten) and cereals, sugar and high sugar/carbohydrate fruits like bananas and dried fruit are left out initially. The first couple of weeks on a detox/elimination diet are quite a challenge but if you plan ahead and are prepared to experiment a bit you will enjoy it. Quite often we get into a rut with our meals, with little time we throw something together at the last minute with whatever we have in the fridge. When you plan a change of diet it brings the food back into full focus and you can get more enjoyment out of cooking and trying something new. After 1 week I added in brown rice and sweet potato and had no trouble sticking to the diet because I felt so much better. Joint pain disappeared, no bloating after meals and much more energy.
Get your mindset right. The main idea being that we are trying to make it easy for the body to digest and assimilate the nutrients it needs.
Think protein and vegetables three times a day.
Breakfast usually causes us the most problems. No cereal, no toast, no sugar !
Do not try to go low fat as well, even if that is how you have been used to eating. You need those good fats because some of those essential nutrients are fat-soluble vitamins. You will lose some weight anyway because your body will adjust to the low carbs by boosting your metabolism.
Here are just some suggestions for Breakfast
- bacon, tomatoes and rocket
- eggs and spinach
- Herb omelette and bean-sprouts
- Mushroom omelette and asparagus
- Bacon and mushrooms with cooked spinach or Kale
- Miso soup with grilled fish and zucchini (courgette)
- Cashew nut yogurt or coconut yogurt(non dairy) these are available in some shops
- Coconut kefir
- Smoothies – there are hundreds of recipes but experiment with your own. I love Almond milk with fresh raspberries or strawberries and a teaspoon of coconut butter or a chocolate one with a hot cup of cinnamon or ginger tea, cocoa powder, a few nuts and coconut cream.
If it is texture you are missing try a few nuts – brazil, pecan, cashew, or walnut and keep a small bag of them with you when you are out and about and need a snack to keep your blood sugar OK.
Lunch – Protein of your choice and a large (and as varied as possible) salad.
Dinner – Protein of your choice and a large amount of steamed or lightly cooked vegetables.
I love stir -frys as they are quick and easy and you can make them varied and colourful.
There are times when you just feel like you need a sweet course. You could do a less liquid smoothie with frozen berries and a spoon of coconut butter and it will come out like a mousse. Generally it is better to have fruit in between meals and not immediately after so I prefer to leave a couple of hours between a main meal and fruit, it just helps the digestion. I have made my own Raw Chocolate slightly sweetened and with nuts or peppermint essence – it is so rich you only need a little! There is caffeine in it so anyone who is caffeine sensitive should be careful eating it in the evening.
Just enjoy trying new combinations of food end enjoy the vitality that comes from eating real, fresh food.
After the initial phase of the detox you can add more. We found good quality Lemon, Raspberry and Mango Sorbets and a gorgeous chocolate or vanilla coconut ice cream that was dairy free and no nasty additives. Also found lots of ideas and recipes on Pinterest under Paleo Diet which should be Grain and Dairy free.