I started my elimination diet journey over 8 months ago, and what a journey it's been! I've learned a lot along the way, ple...

How to Survive an Elimination Diet: Part 1

I started my elimination diet journey over 8 months ago, and what a journey it's been! I've learned a lot along the way, plenty that I wish I'd known BEFORE I started. And so it seems only right that I share my knowledge with you for surviving your own elimination diet, should you need to. These may also be helpful for starting a "clean eating" program as well.
  • First tip is, DON'T do an elimination diet unless you really need to! Probably not what you were expecting me to say, but seriously it sucks, it's hard, and may not have the results you want. I'm not trying to discourage you completely, but if you're doing it because you think it's the next cool, fad diet, you are in for a world of hurt. It has a very important medical purpose, so if you do it, do it for the right reasons. 
  • If you have no medical reason to do this and are just trying to eat cleaner, then great! But I wouldn't recommend trying to eliminate everything all at once. Instead try making changes gradually. It will be a lot easier to manage and cause you a lot less stress.
  • If you have lots of food intolerances, this "diet" may take a lot longer than you think and will likely turn into a new way of eating for some time. My biggest mistake was in thinking I'd be all better in a few months, and I am not. I have made great progress, but it's not over yet.
  • Eliminating foods makes your body extra sensitive to them. I don't fully understand why and didn't think about that when I started. But after experiencing it, I feel like it's a good thing to warn you about. When trying to reintroduce foods, the symptoms I experienced were FAR worse than what I'd had before I started. 
  • Probiotics and digestive enzyme supplements are your friends. I didn't take this seriously until I became flat out ill when trying to reintroduce foods. Take them every day or at the least take the enzymes when you eat any food you didn't prepare yourself.
  • Be prepared to spend a lot of time in the kitchen! Not every meal needs to be elaborate, but you'll still have to throw it together yourself as finding prepared foods that will fit into your diet is extremely difficult and expensive (depending on what all you're eliminating of course).
  • If you have or have ever had an eating disorder of any kind, including chronic dieting, then be careful. Aside from pregnancy this has been the biggest challenge to my recovery. If you're in the early stages of recovery, do not do this or any restrictive diet!
I've learned so much that I will be writing multiple posts on the subject so stay tuned for the following, coming soon!