I’ve been working with my naturopath to determine if I have any food sensitivities that trigger or worsen my asthma. Mid summer I went on a 3 week hypoallergenic diet which eliminated all foods that are known allergens. Included were caffeine and alcohol. The first few days were rough. I felt hungry and tired most of the time and had a headache which I think was due to caffeine and sugar withdrawal. I was also not used to so much water intake so I felt like I was living in the bathroom!!
By the end of the first week though I started to feel better. Clearer somehow. It was hard on the weekends because it was BBQ season and we had a lot of family get togethers planned! I continued until the 3 weeks was over and found out that I definitely can’t do dairy and I am choosing to stay away from gluten and caffeine as well as limiting my refined sugar intake. The diet made me more aware and now I read labels more carefully. It has really had a positive impact on my life. I have found healthier alternatives to the foods I used to enjoy that weren’t good for me.
A few friends at work also did the diet and we have come up with a few tips on how to make the 3 weeks (and thereafter) easier:
- Plan meals ahead of time – Most diets are broken when we are too hungry!
- Make sure to have leftovers – then you can take it to work or have available when rushed for time
- Buddy up – it is always easier to do something together with a friend – they feel your pain and together you can keep eachother on track
- Find your staple – ours was rice cakes, almond and apple butter. Always have it on hand for times you are starving - it will get you through so you can prepare a proper diet compliant meal
- Sea Salt in your purse/bag – I now carry sea salt with me in my purse. That way if I am out for dinner or at a friends, I don’t have to use regular table salt
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions – I found servers at restaurants really helpful when you ask questions or request modifications to your meal.
- BYOB – Bring Your Own Bread – I now bring my own gluten free bread/wraps to my favorite lunch spot. Since they don’t currently offer a gluten free option they are happy to accommodate me!
- Timing is everything – planned vacation time, BBQ season, holidays, teething toddlers etc. are NOT ideal times to be doing a diet. Pick a solid 3 week block where you know you will have the least distractions
- Your health food store is your new best friend – you will find a lot of things that you CAN eat there and I found that the staff are really helpful if you have questions
If you are struggling with your health or are wondering if you have any food allergies, I highly recommend this diet. You can find the hypoallergenic diet online or through your Naturopath or Doctor.