Brenda Watson, Digestive Care & Nutrition Expert
Many people are dealing with health issues that stem from either food sensitivities and/or Candida overgrowth. I encounter people every day who are trying to get to the root cause of their health issues, but because they are dealing with so many symptoms, they don’t know where to begin. With these people I often recommend the elimination of foods which commonly trigger sensitivities, like dairy and gluten. In addition, because Candida overgrowth is a common underlying factor for many health conditions, I also often recommend a Candida diet. Many times I recommend both.
I understand these diets can be difficult to follow. Believe meóI know how it is. I have been there. With these diets it can seem like there is nothing left to eat. But I also know how these diets can heal. And I know that with time it becomes easier to avoid offending foods, and to find many delicious foods that are allowed.
Now instead of simply recommending that people follow a food elimination and/or Candida diet, I have teamed up with Sarah Schatz from HeartOfCooking.com to bring you an elimination/detox diet menu planner that can help you on your way to finding those foods you may be sensitive to.
We have put together a one-week menu plan, complete with recipes, tips and a shopping list, to get you started on your diet, all for free.
How It Works
An elimination diet works by removing the most common triggers of food sensitivities. Because this diet is combined with a Candida diet, it also eliminates sugar. It’s a back-to-basics diet designed to take it easy on your digestive system for 4 to 6 weeks to give your body time to adjust to the change, and to really benefit from the lack of offending foods.
After 4 to 6 weeks (it’s up to you how long to begin with), a new food is re-introduced each week, while you carefully observe how your body reacts. If no symptoms return, the food can remain in the diet.
If symptoms do return it is likely you are sensitive to that particular food, and it is recommend that you avoid eating that food, possibly for good.
(You could always try to re-introduce that food at another time to see how you react, if you want.) Week by week you re-introduce a new food (only one category per weekólike gluten or dairy, etc.) until you have tested each food for a reaction. By the end you should have a good idea which foods you can eat, and which foods trigger symptoms and should be avoided.
I recommend re-introducing foods in the following order, but this sequence can be altered if you prefer:
- Nightshade veggies
- Starchy veggies
- Grains (non-gluten)
Because this diet is combined with the Candida Diet, you will want to pay special attention to any symptoms that return when you reintroduce sugar/sweeteners and fruits (and also refined carbohydrates, if you choose to eat those when re-introducing grainsóin general, refined carbs are not recommended). A healthy diet will ideally not include sugar or sweeteners, so feel free to cut these out for good. Fruits may be added back, but if you have underlying Candida overgrowth, only low-sugar fruits like blackberries and strawberries will be allowed, and only in moderation.
The best gauge in this diet will be how you feel. It is important to pay attention to this. I created a Daily Health Journal (a free, downloadable pdf) so that you can record what you eat and how you feel, to help you on your way.
Good luck on your journey. Be sure to fill your diet with plenty of vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats. Enjoy experimenting with these recipes and creating your own recipes, too!
Click here to see the one-week menu plan.
If you want more than one week of recipes, you can order 4 more Elimination/Detox menu planners from HeartOfCooking.com. These recipes are delicious, and will make the Elimination/Candida diet process much easier.