Elimination Diet: The Challenge Phase Begins

What a wonderful day!  The sun is shining, it’s 75 degrees, and I enjoyed espresso for the first time since J and I started the Elimination Diet two and a half weeks ago.  Above all else, I have missed coffee the most.  I “challenged” coffee first out of a long list of challenge foods because I believe it’s good for me (sense my defiance).  I didn’t take cream or sugar like I prefer (dairy and sugar are some of the last things we’re supposed to challenge) but I savored every drop.  And I feel great.

As I mentioned in a previous post, here’s how the challenge phase works:

  1. After being on the strict Elimination Diet for 2-3 weeks, we’re to consume the “challenge” food or drink (in this case coffee) 1-2 times on the same day.  The idea is to consume a hefty portion of the food or drink (e.g. I drank two double shots of espresso this morning 🙂
  2. Now I will deny myself coffee and wait two days (that means tomorrow and Monday I’ll be back on the Elimination Diet)
  3. If I notice no reaction before Tuesday (e.g. increase in constipation, gas, fatigue, congestion, headache) it’s Ok to go back to drinking coffee and live happily ever after.  I will then challenge the next forbidden food/drink/ingredient….I’m ready for CITRUS!
  4. If the gods are crazy, and I do have a adverse reaction, I’m supposed to stop consuming coffee… and my heart will break.

I chose to write about the Elimination Diet because I think it’s a good idea for anyone who wants to improve overall health.  This diet is like pushing the “reset” button on my routine.  Sure I eat well enough, but I indulge regularly, and eat and drink more than I need. On this diet, both J and I are eating more fruit and vegetables and living without crusty bread, cheese and alcohol and sugar.

Summertime is the only time of year I would attempt this diet because there are many delicious foods in season.  My CSA share each week has also made this diet easier.  The six pounds I’ve lost (about 2 lbs. per week) are an added bonus.  I feel like myself again.

Below are some dishes I’ve made in the last two weeks. The salads are my favorite.

A green salad with my homemade pickled wax beans, avocado, sugar snap peas, broccoli and these Indian style crunchy tidbits called muruku made with rice and lentil flour

I was craving a hamburger so I made broiled turkey burger over sauteed kale with brown rice and balsamic sauce. It was fine.

Vietnamese-style salads: one with poached chicken and the other with smoked salmon

Breakfast: Raspberry, blueberry, pear, banana, cherry and golden kiwi salad tossed with toasted Texas pecans

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