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Lighten Up!

On Sunday, we celebrated the spring equinox, which is associated with new beginnings. This is the perfect time to focus on new possibilities and ways of being, while releasing what no longer serves you.

I encourage you to reflect on what you can clear out to make way for the new you. Some ideas are: cleaning, spending more time in nature, detoxing physically or emotionally, setting a timeline for the amount of time spent on social media (and/or removing the apps from your phone), or doing more de-stressing activities.

I'm in the last week of my personal 30-day cleanse, and Firefly's Spring Cleanse group kicked off on Sunday. While doing a cleanse may sound extreme, it's a great way to detox the body.

If you're not quite ready for a cleanse, an elimination diet is a great way to gain a better understanding of how your body reacts to certain foods. It is a short-term (21 to 23 days) eating plan that eliminates certain foods that commonly cause bodily distress. Then, you reintroduce these foods one at a time to uncover how your body responds to them.

Research suggests that approximately 15 million Americans suffer from some kind of food allergy, and many more suffer from food sensitivities. While a food sensitivity is not an immune reaction, it can have a wide range of repercussions on the body. The tricky part is that food allergies and sensitivities manifest in a number of different ways and while they are usually self-diagnosable, they can be easily misinterpreted.

Why 21 to 23 days? Because It takes approximately three weeks for the antibodies responsible for the negative food-related immune reactions to dissipate. Shortening this elimination period can affect the validity of the experiment. In other words, you will not experience relief from your symptoms if you do not give your body enough time without the foods that may be causing them.

Foods to eliminate during a short-term elimination diet are: dairy, gluten, soy, corn, eggs, refined sugar, peanuts, red meat, alcohol, caffeine, hydrogenated oils and processed foods. That might sound overwhelming, but here's a list of just some of the foods you can eat during an elimination diet:

  • Gluten-Free Grains (rice, quinoa, amaranth, tapioca, buckwheat, teff)

  • Dairy Substitutes (almond milk, coconut milk, hemp milk, rice milk)

  • Vegetables (except corn)

  • Whole Fruits (fresh or frozen)

  • Lean and Clean Animal Protein (wild game, organic chicken, fresh fish)

  • Nuts and Seeds

  • Beans and Most Legumes (except soybeans and peanuts)

  • High-Quality Oils (coconut, avocado, cold-pressed olive)

  • Herbal Teas

  • Sweetener Alternatives in Moderation (honey, real maple syrup, brown rice syrup)

  • Spices

At the end of the elimination period, it’s crucial to safely reintroduce foods back into your diet. This means reintroducing food groups one-by-one for 48 hours at a time. Pick one food to include in your diet again and take note of how it makes you feel for the next two days. If you don't notice any issue during those days, you can choose to re-incorporate that food into your regular diet. Next, follow these steps with the remaining eliminated food groups that you'd like to reintroduce. If a food seems to cause any health issues, stop eating them and wait until any symptoms subside before continuing the process. If you're interested in doing an elimination diet, but would like some support, let me know! Simply schedule a free 30-minute call.

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