Variety is the best medicine. This is true in many areas of life and with healthy eating it is one of the top 5 aspects that I encourage my clients to work on. I like to think of these 5 pillars of healthy eating being nutrition, moderation, balance, variety, and flexibility.
Variety helps ensure that we are getting the full spectrum of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) that our bodies need. Since every food has its own nutrient profile; eating a variety of foods and most importantly a variety of colors of foods allows us to reap the benefits of these nutrients.
The challenge is how to get variety when following an elimination diet especially after you have done MRT/LEAP mediator release testing to determine your food sensitivities. Note: The following is for food sensitivities, not food allergies.
Tips on how to get more variety in your diet
Variety also helps make food more enjoyable with elimination diet.
Having new foods in the rotation of meals keeps food exciting and helps make healthy eating more fun. Having salad after salad day in and day out can get boring and we may reach a breaking point that we give up on “healthy eating”. But if we can use different fruit, vegetable, nuts, proteins, grains, legumes to top those salads that can make it different and give us a variety of textures and flavors to enjoy. Aside from salads I really believe we can incorporate any and all of our favorite foods into our meals whether it be pasta or potatoes or green beans. Incorporating variety will help us eat these foods in moderation. Some people really do enjoy eating the same thing daily but it is important for them nutritionally to go outside their norm and mix it up.
Variety brings in a third meaning when addressing food sensitivities and working with an ImmunoCalm diet like the MRT/LEAP protocol.
The MRT Testing helps identify food sensitivity testing, followed an individualized elimination diet and then the LEAP protocol.
Eating the same things day in and day out can make you more likely to develop food sensitivities to those foods. Another reason variety is important in this scenario is that symptoms related to food sensitivities bloating, gas, diarrhea, joint pain, migraines etc. are dose dependent. So keeping each food moderate will help ensure that you are not reaching the threshold that causes symptoms.
Food sensitivity testing determines what foods you need to avoid to manage your symptoms, yet, we do not want you limited by a very small number of allowed foods. You may need to try new foods that you have never cooked or even eaten before during the elimination phase while you are healing your gut and strengthening your immune system. You will over time increase the kinds and amounts of food that you will be able to eat.
Why do we eventually add in the more reactive foods to the ImmunoCalm diet?
The goal of the LEAP protocol is to heal the gut and get rid of unwanted symptoms. By taking out the offending foods as well as incorporating any other nutritional care that your condition warrants we can heal, reduce inflammation and your gut will be better equipped to handle the foods it was once sensitive to. This can happen 3-6 months after following the LEAP protocol. Depending on the severity of the symptoms this could occur sooner or later, which your CLT (Certified LEAP Therapist) will help you determine.
Remember this is for food sensitivities, not food allergies.
How does this work?
We start by adding VERY small amounts of these foods into the diet one at a time in order to determine the reaction. Our goal is to determine the dose your body can handle and understand what symptoms that food may cause. You may determine even small amounts of some of these foods elicit a symptom and you may choose to keep it out of the diet for a longer period of time. Or you may determine that if you have that food once a week or once a month you will remain symptom free.
Inspiration to help you get more variety into your elimination diet
Need some inspiration to help you get more variety into your diet? Check out the LEAP Food Sensitivity Survival Guide! This e- book contains over 30 infographics and recipe guides as well as sample recipes to help you create simple, customizable, and delicious breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners using the foods your body can tolerate. If you are interested in purchasing the e-book for $25 simply email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cooking with Food Sensitivities Cookbook has replaced the above survival guide.
Our new, updated, expanded food sensitivity book includes so many more recipes, technique cooking and more including the following
Elimination Diet Breakfast Ideas:
And in addition to Elimination Diet Breakfast Ideas, we have Elimination Diet Lunch, Dinner and Snack ideas
For instance, here are some elimination diet breakfast templates in our book:
- Food Sensitivity Berry Cereal Bowls
- Food Sensitivity Tasty Toast
- Food Sensitivity Breakfast Tacos
- Food Sensitivity Parfait
- Food Sensitivity Grain Bowl
- Food Sensitivity Eggs in Muffin Tins
- Food Sensitivity Breakfast Hash
- Food Sensitivity Scrambles
- Food Sensitivity Smoothies
Certified LEAP Therapists Elimination Diet Experts
My goal as your Certified LEAP Therapist is to get you feeling better. Not just better, but GREAT! This includes your physical health (getting rid of your unwanted and debilitating symptoms) as well as your emotional and mental health.
Have any tips to share about getting variety in the LEAP process? Share them below. If you are interested in making an appointment with a Certified LEAP Therapist contact us here!
Blog reviewed and updated May 2020.
Dana uses her advanced training in functional nutrition and food sensitivities to help her clients love and trust food again as they heal from years of painful symptoms that have dominated their lives. Co-author of Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating and Cooking with Food Sensitivities Survival Guide.