With the start of a new decade and coming off of an indulgent holiday season you may be considering doing a cleanse or a healthy eating kick. The elimination diet is a great place to start as it can provide the structure you need to make that goal happen. Whether it’s about giving your body a break from toxic foods or finding out food you may be sensitive to, the elimination diet can help. Typically a person will maintain this diet for 2-4 weeks. The main rationale behind the diet is that by eliminating offending foods the body is able to recover and proper digestion returns while identifying specific food allergies that may be the cause of digestive concerns to begin with. Some people report some initial reactions to the diet, especially in the first week, as their bodies adjust to a different dietary program, these symptoms rarely last more than a few days. This guideline is for informational purposes only. Make sure to consult a health professional before implementing this diet to be sure it is right for you.

Comprehensive Elimination Diet Guidelines

Foods to eat: 

Leafy greens: kale, spinach, radicchio, arugula, etc.
Cruciferous vegetables: cauliflower,
broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, etc. (at least 1 serving – ½ cup – per day)
Colourful vegetables: peppers,
tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, beets,
sweet potato, etc.
Fruits, especially berries: apples,
pears, banana, grapes, blueberries,
blackberries, strawberries, etc.
Healthy fats: olive oil, coconut oil,
avocado, fish oil, flax oil
Nuts and seeds: almonds and almond butter, chia seeds, walnuts, hemp seeds, brazil nuts, etc.
Lean protein: lean ground beef,
chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, lean pork,
whey protein isolate (not whey protein concentrate), organic soy, legumes.
Organic grass-fed meats are preferred, if possible.
Healthy gluten-free grains: quinoa,
brown rice, teff, millet, gluten-free oats

Foods to avoid:

Gluten-containing grains: wheat, rye,
barley and non-gluten-free oats
Dairy: cheese, milk, ice cream, yogurt
Processed foods: processed meats,
packaged foods, fast food, chips,
cookies, etc.
Alcohol: wine, beer, hard liquor, spirits, etc.
Sugar: all added sugars (high fructose corn syrup, fructose, glucose, sucrose)
White carbohydrates: white rice, white potato, white flours and most commercial breakfast cereals.


Written By: Dr. Bridget Ross, ND