Your seven step plan to finding your healthy diet
Each step is briefly summarized below. Full details can be found in The Food Intolerance Handbook.
Step 1 - Decide to take some action
Before you make any changes to your diet you need to make a very clear decision that you want to get well and find the diet that works for you.
Change is never easy so sit down and write a list of the things you would like to see improve or change - physically and mentally. Then write down your feelings about food and your current diet.
Now, decide when is a good time to start.
Step 2 - Simplify your diet
The greater the number of foods you combine in a meal, the greater the cocktail of chemicals your body has to process and the harder it is to unravel what you have a problem with. If you add in manufactured chemicals such as colors and preservatives then your diet becomes even more complex.
Simplify your diet.
The easiest way of doing this is to eliminate all processed foods - only eat the food you have prepared so that you know exactly what you are eating and are taking in no food additives. This will greatly help you in identifying if any foods are causing you a problem. Maintain this diet for at least two weeks before eliminating and testing individual foods or food chemicals.
If food additives give you a problem you may find that you notice a marked improvement in your health during this time.
Step 3 - Know what you are eating
Reactions to food do not always occur immediately after eating - it can be hours or even days later. Keeping a food diary is essential. Visit the Food Diary page to find out in detail how to use a food diary.
Step 4 - Develop a strategy
Read and then read some more. Then think and think some more. Finding a place to start isn't always easy. Check out the articles on this site or read The Food Intolerance Handbook. Then discuss the way forward with your doctor or other health care practitioner
Step 5 - Eliminate suspect food(s)
Consult your strategy and select a food or food chemical to test. Eliminate it, in all its forms, from your diet for two weeks (length of time will vary - there are more details in The Food Intolerance Handbook.
You need to be organized and plan your meals ahead so that you do not find yourself tempted to eat your more usual foods.
Step 6 - Test suspect food(s)
Reintroduce the suspect food and monitor your reactions. If you have an unwanted reaction then eliminate the food from your diet (the process is a little more complex for food chemicals) - you can always re-test later. Do not attempt to eliminate/test another food for at least four days - longer if you have had a reaction. When you are ready, move onto eliminating and testing another food or food chemical.
Step 7 - Review
Every week review your Food Diary and see what you have learned. Keep a note of all the foods you have found to be safe, definitely not okay and those that are suspect. Discuss the findings with your doctor.
The Food Intolerance Handbook contains full details of each of the steps, how to proceed, what to expect, how to avoid suspect foods, details of natural food chemicals and the foods they are found in, information on individual foods, and much much more...