Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Sensitive Seven

Being a vegan doesn't necessarily mean you're a model of good health. It's still important to understand how to eat so that you feel your very best. Lately I've wanted to ramp up my energy level, so a holistic and integrative doctor friend recommended I try a 21-day food sensitivity program. This cleansing program requires that you eliminate ingredients from your diet that are known to cause food reactions. The logic is that these foods/ingredients make up a majority of the typical diet and are, therefore, overeaten. As a result, we develop food sensitivities that manifest in all kinds of ways including lethargy, weight gain, weight loss, depression, mental dullness, forgetfulness, etc…

I’m a pretty healthy person. The main reasons I am willing to give this a try is:
1) Its only 21 days. I can do anything for 21 days.
2) I’d certainly like to lose a few pounds.
3) Increased vitality and mental clarity, who would say no to that??
4) The summer heat saps my energy. I don't want to be a slug.    

So here’s the list of foods that are considered the sensitive seven:
  • Eggs
  • Dairy
    (no worries, wouldn't touch the stuff.)
  • Gluten
  • Soy
  • Corn
  • Peanuts
  • Sugar

For sure, it won’t be easy. I love carbohydrates. There, I said it. If left to my own devices, I could easily turn into sugar and carb-crazed addict, so I try to *somewhat* limit my carb intake. As always, my main protein will come from beans & rice, quinoa, hummus – all high on the carb count. Thank goodness, I can have raw nut and seed butters (just not peanut butter). So that will continue to be a go-to food.

At the very least, it will be interesting.

Have you ever done an elimination diet? Was it a valuable experience?

Edited to include a better explanation:
This prompted a lively conversation and interesting questions in a social media group, so I thought more info was needed...

No doubt this will be a challenge but it is not a long term eating plan (necessarily). The concept is to eliminate all 7 foods for 21 days to allow them to clear your system completely. Then you start adding food back--slowly, one item at a time--and see if you have an adverse reaction. If so, eliminate that food again and move to the next. At the end, you will know what you can easily tolerate and what you should consume in moderation (or avoid completely).

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