Should you do an elimination diet?

You know what is crazy to me? The amount of times I hear a client of mine say:

‘Oh that symptom? I’ve had that forever. That’s just the way my body is!’

The thing is, no matter how long you have been suffering with an unwanted symptom or no matter how many people out there have the same problem as you- it doesn’t make it normal.

Our bodies are the smartest machines on the planet- our lungs don’t forget to breathe and our hearts don’t forget to beat, unless something is wrong in the body.

Cueing in to the signs our body is trying to send us and listening to those messages, is one of the most powerful things we can do for our health.

The truth is, you don’t have to experience unwanted symptoms. You can have a happy gastrointestinal tract, you can have clear skin, and you can feel amazing every single day.

And if that’s not the luxury your living right now, then I encourage you to read on and discover one of the most powerful ways I help heal my clients!

What’s an elimination diet?

If you’re familiar with me or my coaching style, you’ll likely note that one of things I like to scream from the roof top is that diets do not work.

So you might be thinking- if you don’t believe in diets, then why would you even include this? It literally has diet in the name.

And while you may be right about the name, there is a difference. You see, an elimination diet isn’t a ‘traditional’ diet. And although the sole purpose of it is to get results- the results that we are aiming for with this are NOT weight-loss related.

An elimination diet is used to remove foods suspected of causing unwanted symptoms, and then to reintroduce them at a later time individually while testing for those same symptoms.

This specific type of diet is used only for the purpose of determining the root cause of symptoms, and is something that I have personally found incredible value in- both in my own life and in the lives of my clients.

How does it work?

Generally an elimination diet is only attempted under the guide of a trained professional- which I strongly recommend to ensure that you are getting adequate nutrition throughout the duration of the diet.

The foods that I choose to eliminate for each client are dependent on what symptoms they are specifically dealing with. I have found that the most typical culprits are gluten and dairy for most gastrointestinal or skin issues- but other foods known for causing notorious symptoms include corn, soy, eggs, shellfish, nuts, citrus fruits and nightshade vegetables.

The elimination diet has two phases- the elimination phase and the reintroduction phase.

Typically the elimination phase lasts three weeks- at which time, all chosen suspected foods are eliminated entirely. It is important to note that full elimination is required to get true results- as the goal during this time is to reduce any inflammation the body might be experiencing. 

When working with clients, I ensure that they are set up for success during this time with as much information, education and resources (including suggestions for replacements and recipes). The more prepared you are, the easier this process will be.

After the elimination phase, we enter the reintroduction phase, at which point we begin to reintroduce the eliminated foods one by one. Typically we would start with either your favourite food that was eliminated OR the one that is least likely the culprit. 

The first food would be reintroduced over a period of 3-7 days, while it is then eaten frequently (at least once every day) and consistently (every day). During this time it is important to pay attention to how your body responds and if you are experiencing any symptoms.

If the food is reintroduced for the full 7 days without issue, we would determine that it is not a problem and move on to the next food following the same process.

However, if a food is determined to be a problem either from a new symptom appearing or the old ones returning- that food would be moved to the permanent elimination list.

At that time, we would give it another week (or more) for the inflammation to go back down- and then we would continue with reintroducing any other foods that are left (if applicable). 

Should you do an elimination diet?

If you are experiencing any unwanted symptom and suspect that a food might be the culprit, an elimination diet could be a great idea for you.

Some symptoms related to food issues include:

  • Skin problems (acne, eczema, rashes, etc.)
  • Joint pain or swelling
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Changes in breathing
  • Bloating or gas
  • Stomach pain or cramps
  • Constipation or diarrhea

*This list is not inclusive.

It is always recommended to seek the assistance of a trained health professional when undergoing something such as an elimination diet as there can be a risk of not getting adequate nutrition if an elimination diet is not done correctly.

Should you suspect a food issue or are wanting further guidance on eliminating particular symptoms, please click HERE to schedule an initial consultation with me and I would be happy to help you get on track to feeling your best!


You can also checkout my video HERE that I made to explain this subject as well.

Best of luck babe!



Brianne xx

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Hi, I’m Brianne

Here at The Holistic RN you’ll find a place where holistic healing and western medicine come together to create a brand new way of looking at your health- including real food recipes, easy to understand information and overflowing inspiration. Let’s get started!

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