Well, folks, I am nearing the end of the most stringent part of my elimination diet! I am both very excited and very nervous. That is because what comes next is the reintroduction phase. Basically, my food-world will be revolving around three day cycles. On Day 1, I will introduce my new food item at breakfast. I will monitor over the next few hours to see what, if any, symptoms appear. If all seems well, I will have the item again at lunch and dinner. On days 2 and 3, I will return to my elimination diet and monitor any adverse symptoms.
Interestingly enough, overly positive symptoms-sudden increase in energy for example- can actually be a sign for an intolerance! There is one test called the pulse test. You take your pulse before and after the offending food item. If your pulse rate increases soon over ingesting the food (and it cannot be attributed to exercise or outside stimulus) it may be an indicator of any issue! I wouldn’t have expected that, but I found it pretty interesting!
I am still not quite sure the exact order in which I will be introducing foods, but we will be starting with the items less likely to cause migraines and less likely for people to general intolerances to.
Major offenders for migraines include all of the following: deli meats, anything with MSG, caffeine, nuts, hard/preserved cheeses, citrus, bananas, beans, avocados, yeast, artificial sweeteners, and chocolate. From past food diaries I have kept, I know nitrates (often found in hot dogs) and artificial sweeteners are major triggers for me! According to the European Food Information Council, the foods most likely to cause an intolerance are lactose (found in milk) and gluten. This will help form the trajectory of the reintroduction phase. I am hoping that by the time Thanksgiving rolls around, I will have been able to test twelve different items! I purposefully chose to start this Elimination Diet when I did because so much of the Thanksgiving meal is already elimination-diet friendly! I can eat turkey, sweet potatoes, green beans and pumpkin to my heart’s delight! My goal is that by Christmas, I will be able to go back to a more normal diet, as I will have tested over twenty items and hopefully identified a few triggers along the way.
As I said, I am very excited about this next phase. It will bring some old favorites back into my diet, even if only for a short time. On the other hand, I am nervous. I quite honestly feel great on this eating plan. I am not sure if it is just all the healthier choices I have been making since I cannot grab for a quick snack or always eating homemade meals or if I have a true intolerance. I do know that I feel awesome. And the reintroduction phase is all about finding the foods that make you feel not-awesome. I am purposeful setting myself up every three days to play Russian Roulette with my system. Am I ready for that?
I guess I better be, because I start tomorrow! Wish me luck!