Elimination Diet Results–Part I

July 14, 2011

eggs and cheese
Photo by Pixel Addict

I just completed my first ever elimination diet! It definitely won’t be the last. Mostly because, unfortunately, the results were somewhat inconclusive. And also because I think it’s a healthy reset button that can be beneficial every once in a while.

This is the third post in my elimination diet series – you may want to read the following first:

1. Elimination Diet, Paleo-Style

2. Elimination Diet Update

Without further ado, here’s how the re-introduction phase went…

Timing is everything..

I planned the elimination diet for the month of June because it was shaping up to be a very uneventful month. Boy was I wrong – my life very quickly and unexpectedly turned chaotic. I couldn’t have planned the elimination diet for a worse period of time if I had tried. It’s best to do the elimination diet when there’s not much going on in your life for a few reasons. One, it’s simply easier when you have more time, aren’t eating out much, and can focus on the diet. But more importantly, results are more clear when your life’s at a sort of status quo. Otherwise it’s hard to tell if what you’re feeling is due to your diet or various life stressors, etc.  Although I contemplated stopping the diet altogether and re-starting at another time, I decided to complete it. Mostly because I found the elimination diet quite limiting (which is sort of the point) , and didn’t want all the time I had already been on it to go to waste. And I figured I could still glean enough information out of it to make it worthwhile. I did decide not to re-introduce nightshades though, as they’re not a huge deal for me, and I didn’t really trust the results enough to bother. The elimination portion of the diet lasted 27 days, for no particular reason other than the fact that I was hoping to be off it in time for a few upcoming events.


As I blogged previously in my elimination diet update post, I didn’t really feel any different during the elimination phase. I did lose 8 pounds. But that’s about it. I figure the weight loss is mostly from a decrease in snacking.

Re-introduction Phase

Other than some symptoms of gassiness/bloating (more on that below), I also didn’t feel any different during the re-introduction phase. I am, however, taking into account that my life in the past month was more hectic than usual, and therefore allowing for feelings of tiredness/stress, etc. which I think was due more to circumstance than diet. I introduced the foods below one at a time, in 3 day windows (introduce food X, re-eliminate it until elimination diet is over, introduce next food 2 days later).

Eggs: The re-introduction was off to a bad start. The night before I had a stomach ache. I probably should’ve waited another day before trying eggs, since I wasn’t feeling 100% in the morning. But I figured I was okay enough, and tried 3 soft-boiled eggs. I was fine. But then a little while later I had a strawberry/coconut milk smoothie. I quickly figured out that it was the strawberries which had caused the stomach ache the previous night, and the frequent bathroom trips that ensued. Although I think the coconut milk may have been spoiled and probably didn’t help. Why did I eat the strawberries again? Because I had eaten the strawberries along with some other foods the previous night, and didn’t realize that it was the strawberries that were the problem. But of course when you re-introduce a food, you wonder if that was the true cause of any resulting issues. So I waited another 3 days before trying eggs again. That day I had 3 hard-boiled eggs in the morning and 2 sunny side up eggs in the evening. No problems. I haven’t decided if when I re-do the elimination diet I’ll eliminate eggs again. The strawberry fiasco gives me pause, but at the same time, I was completely fine the second time around. I tried the eggs both hardboiled and sunny side up to make sure I tested for both cooked and raw-ish yolks, which tend to be more problematic.

Butter (Organic Valley pastured butter): I slathered everything in butter, as well as eating some by itself. No problems. Thank goodness. Butter, how I’ve missed thee..

Cream (36% fat, organic heavy cream – no other ingredients): Smoothie in the morning (cream + blueberries + little bit of water). No problems. Smoothie in the evening (a lot more cream than in the morning + blueberries). It ended up being “cream with berries” rather than a smoothie, but blended so it was kind of a blueberry cream paste. I became very gassy, and that continued the following day. I also felt bloated. I don’t know if that was the dairy, or the fat. I don’t usually eat that much fat in one go, especially right before bed. And the bloated feeling could also be because the cream was in addition to everything else I had eaten that day – I didn’t leave anything else out of my daily menu. But then again, I could just be making excuses because I’m biased in favor of eating dairy..

Dairy: I had a fair-sized serving of full-fat plain Greek Gods Greek yogurt in the morning (I used to hate plain yogurt, but this stuff actually tasted delicious and almost seemed sweet). And sausages with feta cheese. And a few pieces of smoked applewood cheddar cheese. Before lunch I snacked on quite a bit of the cheddar. In the late afternoon I had a very large helping of triple creamed Brie and some more sausage with feta cheese. And I finished off the night with an extremely large serving of the Greek yogurt. I was fine all day, and then felt the effects of over-indulging in the Greek Yogurt in the evening  (gassiness). I again question if it was the fat or the dairy.

Stay tuned for Part II, where I’ll discuss my observations, conclusions, and some tips based on my experience…

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessie (Alexandria, VA) July 18, 2011 at 12:57 PM

Wow – I have to say I’m very impressed that you lasted to the end! I gave it a real try but, like you said, you need to have uninterrupted weeks dedicated to this. About halfway through, I had a family vacation that just pushed me right off track. Too difficult to maintain while I wasn’t at home.

Before that happened, I was able to identify some GI issues with eggs. So I plan to keep those out of the mix and test further. I also still haven’t reintroduced turkey because of my hives situation early on. Perhaps I’ll try that this week.

If nothing else, even just starting the elimination diet taught me to be more aware of how I’m feeling. And to recognize the impact of foods on my general sense of well-being and health. I’ll definitely try again. But probably not until wintertime!


[email protected] July 19, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Hi Julie. Thanks, i was disappointed it didn’t quite work out as planned, but that’s life. I’m sorry to hear yours was cut short – I was looking forward to hearing about your results! I have also been thinking that winter might be better. Except gotta time it right so that it doesn’t interfere with Thanksgiving and Xmas.. But really, you can only plan so much – sometimes life just gets in the way :p


Magda July 20, 2011 at 7:21 AM

Have you looked in GAPS? It’s a protocol very similar to primal/paleo but it includes tons of fermented foods and broth to heal your gut. There is a very systematic protocol for reintroducing foods like dairy. I’m currently on it and have been able to eat whey, ghee, butter, kefir and hard cheese without any issues. I’m going to try yogurt next, then on to soft cheeses and finally (hopefully!) raw milk and cream. Check it out: gapsdiet.com


[email protected] July 21, 2011 at 7:41 PM

Hi Magda. I’m a big fan of both fermented foods and broth. And I have heard of the GAPS diet, and think it can be a great, thorough approach for people to try. I was looking for something a little simpler for my first elimination diet, but I definitely would encourage people to check out GAPS. Glad to hear it’s been working for you, and that you’re doing well with the dairy thus far – good luck with the rest of your testing!


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