When you're noticing symptoms that you believe might be related to food allergies, such as digestive issues or skin irritation, a logical first step is to visit a medical professional for allergy testing. However, if you want to understand your body a little better before you make this valuable appointment, it's worthwhile to consider going on an elimination diet. Doing so requires you to focus on eliminating common allergens from your daily diet to see if your symptoms clear up. Eventually, you begin to reintroduce these foods and notice how they make you react. An elimination diet can be challenging, but these tips can help you succeed.
Have Lots Of Healthy Foods Handy
One of the hardest parts of an elimination diet can be feeling hungry, especially if you're accustomed to snacking on foods that might not be in your best interest to eat. For example, if you're cutting dairy products out of your diet and you often enjoy reaching for a carton of chocolate milk or a bowl of ice cream, you might struggle with feeling hungry. Combat this issue by making sure that you have plenty of healthy foods available to eat. This can mean preparing individual servings of fruits and vegetables and leaving them in your fridge so you can grab something healthy to satisfy a hunger craving.
Skip Eating Out Altogether
People often devote three to four weeks to their elimination diet. Make a point of skipping eating out altogether during this span. It might seem like a sacrifice, but it can be a real challenge to find restaurant food that does not contain some of the common allergens -- and perhaps not marked on the menu -- that you're trying to avoid. Eating out can inadvertently expose you to one or more of these allergens, which can quickly negate the progress you've made so far. Make eating healthy food at home your priority.
Experience New Foods
Provided they meet the parameters of your elimination diet, now is an ideal time to add exciting new foods to your daily meals and snacks. Vegetables are something you'll eat a lot during this span, and you understandably might grow tired of carrots, broccoli and peas, for example. It's worthwhile to expand your horizons at the supermarket and find items that inspire you a little more in the kitchen. For example, trying veggies such as bok choy, eggplants and artichokes -- which might not be on your standard shopping list -- can make you more excited to eat healthy. Contact a doctor, such as Alidina Laila MD, for more information.