As a follow up to Part 1 , I thought I'd share some helpful tips on food avoidance and substitutions during an elimination diet. ...

How to Survive an Elimination Diet: Part 2


As a follow up to Part 1, I thought I'd share some helpful tips on food avoidance and substitutions during an elimination diet. And like the last post, these tips may also be helpful for starting a "clean eating" program as well. So whether you got your list of foods to eliminate from a blood test or just a generic elimination diet, everyone's list is likely to be a little different. I'll just go over a few of the more common ones I did.

What you'll find it in: most packaged baked goods including waffles and pancakes, pretty much anything breaded or fried
Baking Substitutes: ground or whole flaxseed, baking powder, bananas, or applesauce. There are lots of egg-free baking recipes out there which takes the guesswork out of substituting.
Breaded/fried substitutes: try coating your food in flour and seasonings and baking it instead. Not quite the same but a lot healthier and easier.

What you'll find it in: the obvious (milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.) plus a TON of packaged food, even things you wouldn't expect.
Milk substitutes: almond, cashew, and coconut milk. They're easy to make yourself even (recipes coming in future post)!
Cheese substitutes: not a lot of affordable, healthy ones, so I stick with leaving it out. For toppings use hummus or avocado instead. You can also experiment with goat cheese once you're feeling better.
Yogurt substitutes: doesn't matter if it's made out of dairy or a dairy-free substitute, most yogurt has too much sugar in it so I just quit eating it. In baking you can substitute with applesauce.

What you'll find it in: EVERYTHING, no joke, pretty much all processed food, and the obvious (soy milk, tofu, tempeh, edamame) and most "fake" meat and "fake" cheeses. It can also be in other ingredients, some obvious like soy lecithin or soy protein, and others not so obvious like natural flavors and MSG.
Soy milk substitutes: any nut milk
Soy sauce substitute: coconut aminos
Tofu/tempeh/edamame substitute: whole white, black, pinto, or garbanzo beans
Substitutes for all the processed food you'll find it in: gotta make it yourself or hunt around your health food stores for soy-free alternatives

Sugar cane:
What you'll find it in: EVERYTHING, just like soy.
Substitutes: honey, maple syrup, dates, applesauce, or coconut sugar BUT for healthiest results, seriously reduce the amount of sweetener you use in everything. For tea, go unsweetened and for coffee try a tiny bit of coconut oil, vanilla extract, and nut milk.
Substitutes for all the processed food you'll find it in: same as soy, hunt around or make it yourself.

What you'll find it in: Bread, flatbread, pita bread, crackers, pastries, donuts, broths or stocks, many vegan foods (nutritional yeast), alcohol (see below), and anything fermented (don't go too far down that rat hole though as there's yeast floating around in the air so you can't avoid it all)
Baking substitutes: baking powder or baking soda & lemon juice. I found it best to use recipes that are already yeast-free so I didn't have to worry about substituting.
Bread product substitutes: There are limited options of yeast-free tortillas and crackers, but for the rest you'll have to do without or make it yourself.

Alcohol. 😭😭😭
Even if yeast isn't on your list, I think most healthcare professionals will encourage you to eliminate alcohol for at least a few weeks so you can see if it was adding to any of your symptoms. (And here's the sad ending to that story, it probably is!)
What you'll find it in: beer, wine, and liquor
Substitutes: Moderation is your friend if, like me, you find it makes all your symptoms come back full force, you'll learn to keep it in very small amounts and not very often. The best replacement I've found for alcohol is marijuana so you're gonna want to live somewhere it's legal or get a medical card. Hahaha seriously though, let's go get high and think about all the food we can't eat. 😉😂