There are so many definitions of an elimination diet, so let me tell you how I define it. An elimination diet is a list of foods that are taken out for a short period of time, usually about 2-3 months, and slowly reintroduced to see how your body acts or reacts towards a particular food.
As someone with rheumatoid arthritis, I've experienced firsthand the effects that certain food has on my joint pain and swelling, as well as brain fog, quality of sleep and moods, and energy levels. Food is fuel and eating foods that work with your body instead of against it is especially important if you're looking to live a thriving life.
One of the best elimination diets I've seen recently is from Dr. Will Cole, and are customized to your unique style - Core4 and Elimin8. As their names suggest, the first is a shorter and less restrictive plan that is perfect for those new to elimination diets while the latter is for those who are looking for deeper healing.
How can an elimination diet help your RA symptoms? By giving your body a rest from certain foods, and then very carefully adding them back in one at a time, you can discover what (if any) foods aggravate your symptoms.
***Please tread very carefully if you have an eating disorder or a history of restrictive eating. Elimination diets are only meant to be short term and done for the sole purpose of determining what role (if any) certain foods have on your RA symptoms. ***
What benefits will you see on an elimination diet? Here's what people with RA have reported:
- Better and longer sleep. No more waking up due to pain or having less pain
- Longer lasting energy. Instead of spikes and crashes, you'll feel more balanced and energetic
- More focus and less brain fog. Hallelujah to not wondering why I walked into a room or where my keys are
- Decrease inflammation and joint pain. I mean isn't this why we're doing this?
- Less anxiety and depressed moods. This is another huge benefit - who doesn't want to feel better?
- Reduces digestive symptoms such as indigestion, acid reflux, bloating, and constipation/diarrhea.
- Lessen skin rashes and chicken (aka keratosis pilaris). Just remember never to pick at these or you'll get scars.
I'm sure there are more, but those are ones I remember off the top of my head. By now, you might be ready to start an elimination diet and I'm excited for you to find out if this helps you. However, if this is your first go at an elimination diet, please don't do it alone. It can quickly become overwhelming, and you'll give up before you really get started.
Please reach out to me if this is your first time so I can provide you with resources that will help you be successful. No one wants to put a ton of effort into a thing only to fall short of your goal! If this isn't your first time, don't be discouraged if you're doing this again. Our bodies change often as we get older, and you're not alone I promise!
If you decide an elimination diet is right for you, head to this post on my Instagram feed and check in with me so I can cheer you on.
Let me start this by backing up a little bit. To know what questions you want to ask a potential member of your Healthcare Dream Team, you have to know what qualities you want.
So before you read this, take a few moments and list out what you want. Don't hold back here. Instead, fully express what you want (and need). Doing so will help direct you to the questions that you need to ask.
That's it - blog post done, right? No, not at all! This is just our starting point. Once you have your list, now we can start figuring out what questions to ask.
If you're not sure what to ask, here are 3 of mine to get you started.
1. What role do you think lifestyle changes play in lowering inflammation and pain?
2. How often do you research treatments for RA, both natural and pharmaceutical?
3. Are you willing to order tests that insurance doesn't cover?
Your healthcare team is going to look different from mine and so will your list of questions. The only other piece of advice I have is don't shy away from what you really want. Be willing to travel or spend a little more for your team if possible.
The biggest thing I want you to remember is they work for you. Not the insurance companies, their practice, or themselves - YOU. Keeping that in mind, with some grace mixed in of course, will help you find your Dream Team.
Y'all I almost had a panic attack earlier this week! I can't remember the last time this happened, but it was SCARY.
Thankfully, I have an arsenal of tools at my disposal: essential oils, living on a lake and near a forest, breathwork, and speaking scripture when I'm panicky. The question I often get asked is this, "Which essential oils should I use when I feel this way?"
I have two blends that are both known for balancing the emotions: Peace & Calming from Young Living and Parasympathetic from Vibrant Blue. I grabbed them both when I started feeling this coming on and here's what I noticed.
I used the Parasympathetic blend first and waited several minutes to observe what happened to how I felt. After enough time went by (probably 10 minutes or so), my symptoms weren't subsiding. I grabbed my Peace & Calming next and within a couple of minutes, the panicky feelings left me and I was able to get back to what I was doing.
Is this a distinctly scientific experiment? No, it's just my observation. I do believe it's telling that Peace & Calming worked far more quickly than the Parasympathetic blend. It could totally work differently for you, but I've seen this little experiment work nearly the same when put up against many other brands.
If you're interested in learning more, reach out to me, and let's chat. I'm really good at only sharing with you what actually works with no fluff and real results. I've spent far too much time and money to waste yours. Hope you have a great weekend!
I remember that day so well. I sat on the couch and I was so tired of being sick, tired, and in pain.
Sick of watching everyone do what they wanted to when they wanted to.
Tired of telling my husband or friends that I didn't feel well enough to go out.
Pain wracked what seemed like every muscle and joint in my body.
Then it happened, I found something that helped me do more of what I wanted, say yes to more, and live with less pain. What was this magical, miracle cure?
The one thing I see my clients do over and over again is looking for the quick fix that will also magically heal them. Friends, I cannot tell you how much this breaks my heart. The worst part? There are people (and companies) out there that are more than happy to profit from their desperation. And THAT makes me angry.
So how do you stop falling victim to this? Easy, start doing your research. Look for those who take a balanced approach to treatment, who's been where you are, and who understand that outside of a miracle or Jesus, there's no cure for autoimmune disease. That last bit may be hard to hear, but it's so important. I didn't really see much progress until I sat with that and processed through it.
Does that mean that you're doomed to be in pain, have fatigue and brain fog, and feel like the StayPuf marshmallow man the rest of your life? Of course not! What it does mean is that once you've been diagnosed, you now fall into a life of symptoms management. You may very well even go into remission -which is wonderful!
But none of that happens overnight. Are there things that make us feel better quickly? YES! My Celebrex helps me reduce inflammation and joint pain when I wake up so that I can do what I need to do. It doesn't heal my RA or the cause of my inflammation though.
How do you begin the work of going from a quick fix way of thinking to one of endurance and patience? The first step is to recognize or bring awareness to the fact that there is no quick fix. You can't fix what you don't acknowledge, right?
Once you do that, you can start to research ways of getting to the root cause of your symptoms. Healing is not linear, which you find out more and more as you travel this journey. I literally started my search on Google (but maybe Duck Duck Go is better nowadays) and I started looking for people who'd managed their symptoms naturally.
Many of them worked with a chiropractor, naturopath, or a health coach to begin to unpeel the onion layers of root cause work. If you are tired of feeling tired, if you want to improve brain function and your memory recall, if you want to start seeing less inflammation and pain, and you are willing to do what it takes to begin to heal, set up a free discovery session with me. Let's get you some relief and create a plan to help you thrive with chronic pain.