I generally ask my patients to do a 2-week detoxification and elimination diet and I always get asked what can I eat? They often focus is on what they can’t have rather than what they can. Yet the variety of foods they can eat is enormous, it’s just that people get in the habit of eating the same thing day after day. That’s when sensitivities develop.
The food most people find very tasty, and addictive are processed foods, simple carbohydrates, sugar and grains which are very inflammatory. The purpose of this kind of detox is twofold:
- To heal by decreasing inflammation, healing the gut and quieting the immune system after taking food away for 2 weeks,
- The second is to diagnose which food or foods that are causing inflammation by adding them back in one at a time in a systematic way.
Two weeks in most people is enough to make a significant difference and most people feel light, clear, lessened or total absence of symptoms such as headaches, aches and pains, bloating, gas, reflux, nasal congestion, acne, rashes and even more. Finding out what is causing inflammation gives you the opportunity to remove those foods, not limit what you are not sensitive to and to allow your body to heal, oftentimes, those foods can be reintroduced in limited quantities and frequency. However, people with autoimmune conditions are advised to stay away for much more prolonged periods or even permanently such as celiac.
Patients tell me it was easier than they thought but the meal they have the hardest time with is breakfast. Cereal, eggs, and yogurt are staples in the US, and they are often a source of inflammation. I want to share some different and tasty ideas to try even if you don’t have sensitivities or autoimmune conditions. The best thing you can do is to have a wide variety of food and rotate food. Most are quick and easy as well as vegan.
- Soak chia seeds in a non-dairy milk such as almond, cashew, hemp, macadamia nut, coconut (avoid soy, oat or regular milk)
- Pour a ½ cup of non-dairy milk to a mason jar or other container.
- Add 2 tablespoons of chia seeds and mix thoroughly
- You can add a sweetener such as stevia or a tiny bit of honey or preferably some berries, cinnamon, vanilla extract or other flavoring. There is 6 grams of sugar in 1 teaspoon of honey and most flavored yogurts have 12 or more grams. The purpose of elimination diets is to wean off sugar.
- Place the jar in the refrigerator for 2 hours or up to 7 days.
- You can eat it right away, but it won’t be thick. You will get the same nutritional benefits of fiber, healthy fat and protein.
- Be sure to drink plenty of water when eating chia seeds.
Blueberry Coconut Porridge
1 cup almond milk
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 1 oz. shaved coconut
- 1 pinch salt
- Set a cup of almond milk to heat up on a low flame.
- Add in flaxseed, coconut flour, cinnamon and salt. Use a whisk to break up any clumps.
- Heat until slightly bubbling. Add in vanilla extract.
When the mixture is as thick as you want it to be, turn off the flame and add in your toppings. We like to add fresh or frozen blueberries, pumpkin seeds and shaved coconut!
Oat less Overnight Oats
- In mason jar 3 tbs hemp seed, 1 tbs chia seed, 1 tbs ground flax, cinnamon, nondairy milk.
- Put in fridge overnight.
- Top w fruit, pumpkin seeds, coconut or topping of your choice
Dairy Free Yogurt and Toppings
I like using plain yogurt and adding my own things to it. Most flavored yogurts have a LOT of sugar in them, and I prefer less especially when doing the elimination diet. I also prefer sugar from fresh fruit.
- 1 container of yogurt about 5 ounces
- Add any or all of the following: berries, chia seed, ground flax meal, cinnamon, vanilla extract, nuts
- Sometimes I even add a scoop of flavored protein or collagen powder instead of or in addition to some toppings. I especially like adding Xymogen Mocha Latte Collagen powder to plain yogurt….yummy!
- Brands are:
- Cashew: Forager from cashew milk, buy plain since the flavors have too much sugar
- Coconut: CocoYo from coconut milk, even the flavored, types are low in sugar with only 1-2 grams. Chobani, CocoJune, Culina, Harmles Harvest, Siggi’s, and Oui are also from coconut milk- watch the sugar content
- Almond: Kite Hill also has Greek style yogurt, ricotta cheese, dips, cream cheese butter and sour cream that are dairy free and other brands such as Activia, Almond Breeze are found in most supermarkets
- Avoid soy or oats while doing elimination diet, oats can be cross contaminated with gluten.
- Choose a rice, pea or beef protein shake in the flavor of your choice
- You can add water or a non-dairy milk, or half water and half non-dairy milk, a little bit of fruit or ¼ of an avocado for creamy texture as well as chia or ground flax seed, a fiber powder or flavoring of your choice.
- Blend and drink right away, those that have fiber in them will thicken to a gel like consistency if it sits too long
Low Carb and Paleo Cereal
- 1/4 cup silvered almonds
- 2 tbsp flaxseeds
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp shredded coconut
- 10 grams cocoa nibs
- Unsweetened almond milk
Combine almonds, flax and chia seeds, shredded coconut and cocoa nibs in a bowl.
Pour your favorite low carb milk over top
Paleo Pumpkin Porridge
A big, warm bowl of porridge on a cold winter morning. Doesn’t that sound comforting? What’s even better is that this recipe has all the flavors of a pumpkin pie. Cozy up by the fireplace and enjoy a big bowl of this Paleo Pumpkin Porridge. It’s a healthy way to indulge in a warm breakfast.
- 1 1/2 cups full-fat canned coconut milk
- 1 cup pumpkin purée
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 4 cups cauliflower rice
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
Put a large pan over medium heat and add 1 cup of coconut milk, pumpkin purée, pumpkin pie spice, and cauliflower rice.
Cook your mixture until the cauliflower rice is tender, for about 8 minutes.
Once the rice is tender, divide the porridge into bowls and top with remaining coconut milk, maple syrup, and pumpkin seeds. Sprinkle extra pumpkin pie spice over the top if desired.
Sausage, Squash, and Spinach Hash
What sounds more enticing for breakfast than hash? It’s warm, filling, and full of flavor. Most hash recipes use pork, potatoes, and butter. But this recipe swaps out the not-so-healthy ingredients for butternut squash, turkey sausage (vegans can use Beyond Meat plant based sausage), and spinach for leafy green goodness. It’s the perfect way to make a classic breakfast recipe healthy without sacrificing flavor.
- 12 ounces uncooked turkey sausage, casing removed (vegans can use Beyond Meat Sausage)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups butternut squash cubes (chopped in 1/2” squares)
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups baby spinach
Over medium heat, cook the turkey sausage in a skillet. Break it apart as it cooks until browned. Once cooked, move the sausage to a plate.
In the same skillet, add in olive oil, squash, and onions and cook until the squash is soft. Add cooked sausage, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper to your skillet. Stir until combined and then add in your spinach.
Remove from heat and mix until spinach has wilted. Serve with hot sauce if desired.
Keto Raspberry Chia Pudding
- 1 cup coconut milk- canned/full fat (240 ml/ 8 fl oz)
- 1/2 cup water (120 ml/ 4 fl oz)
- 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries (150 g/ 5.3 oz)
- 1/2 cup whole chia seeds (76 g/ 2.7 oz)
- 1 tsp vanilla powder or 2-3 tsp unsweetened vanilla extract
Place the coconut milk, water and raspberries into a blender and pulse until blended. Reserve a few raspberries for topping.
Mix the chia seeds, raspberry milk, and vanilla
Let it sit for at least 25-30 minutes, ideally overnight in the fridge. Then, spoon into serving glasses. Serve with the reserved raspberries and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Makes 4 servings.
These are just some ideas for an AIP (Auto Immune Protocol), elimination or food sensitivity diet. There are many more recipes and ideas on what to eat and how eating healthy can be quick, easy and a lifestyle. If you want to experience what it is like to have less inflammation, lose (or not) weight, have more energy, clarity, focus, clear skin, less aches, pains, gastrointestinal, skin or other symptoms, reach out to our coach and fill out a free diet evaluation. For more serious conditions or to learn about your metabolic or hormonal blocks, consider a functional medicine evaluation.