The Elimination Diet: Finding Out What You Are Allergic To

Over the holidays I got a lot of questions about my diet, because I generally have quite a few restrictions that I follow closely on a daily basis. Although during Thanksgiving all the rules went out the window when delicious pies and cakes were present. As I dug my fork into pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting I explained my paleo diet, why I chose to follow it, and how I came to learn my own allergies and reactions to specific foods: through an elimination diet.

Food that can be included in a RA-friendly elimination diet

When I first did that pesky elimination diet I was met with so much aggressive questioning I almost didn’t want to do it. The point of doing an elimination diet is it’s a way to find out what foods you might possibly have allergies to. Allergies for me meaning what foods might be associated with my joint pain. Though there are certain aspects of the meal plan that are questionable (the fact that throughout you mainly eat beans and rice – foods that could cause negative reactions themselves) I found it extremely effective.

I’m not gonna lie, it was ridiculously hard to do. There is an easier way to go about finding food issues – going to a special doctor who can run tests and find reactions through that fancy thing called modern technology – but this is a cheaper way. It takes a long time but through the process I found serious results: I have a definite correlation between joint pain and dairy products.

The sad thing is, all the best foods are made with dairy. What is wine without good cheese and bread? How can I enjoy my morning coffee without a splash of delicious, sweet vanilla creamer? How can I beat the heat without my favorite ice cream straight out of the carton?

All the best desserts are made with dairy. Sad face.

With the knowledge gained from doing this elimination I now look at food differently. I’m more aware of what I’m putting into my body and how it’s going to affect me. I don’t completely deprive myself of dairy, but now I know that if I finish this cake with frosting my knees aren’t going to be happy for the next few days. I know to be prepared. It’s another tool I can use to handle living with rheumatoid arthritis.

Through the next few posts I’ll take you through each stage of the elimination – or how I went through it anyway. There are a ton of other resources out there on how to do this. I recommend checking out what other people have to say about it ahead of time. What I write is based on my own experience and how I altered the already set stages to fit my lifestyle and make it easier for me. I am in no way a doctor or a nutritionist or anything fancy – just a girl with RA trying to find triggers and sharing my journey along the way. Booya!


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