Elemental diet throws food sensitivities into sharp relief

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
Hi Lissa, congratulations! And good luck.

It's about time I logged my more recent experiences as well. I'm now three months post-end-of-elemental. Things were pretty rough at the start and I worried I had added some extra food sensitivities and was still coping with more flatulence than I would have liked. I haven't had a repeat hydrogen breath test so don't know what is happening inside me with any certainty, but I can report that I am really very well, eating mainly fresh meat/fish/eggs, vegetables minus the ones high in amines, and a limited amount of carbs. (I can eat wheat! Just not a lot.) Limiting sugar so candida doesn't take hold and eating a lot of antihistamine, antibacterial, anticandida food - oregano, turmeric etc. My 'meds' include Gastro Relief (a probiotic safe for those sensitive to amines), Candaid (caprylic acid and pau d'arco), low dose erythromycin and fish oil.

My bowel motions are much more normal than they were. Yup, at a guess I would say the SIBO has taken a big hit. However it seems my leaky gut is still leaking. I am still intolerant to all the FODMAPs except dairy (which was never a problem to begin with) and I'm still suspicious of amines.
Cort - in answer to your question about how I identified amines, I went on an exclusion diet 18 months ago and all hell broke loose when I reintroduced amines - terrible migraine. Now if I go over threshold eg a few tomatoes on top of a piece of chocolate the previous day, I get a headache, malaise, brain fog, fatigue and low-grade depression that takes a few days to clear. That's nothing. I used to feel like that, and worse, nearly all the time.

My life is very different now. I've recently bought myself a Fitbit and started exercising. I've been going out and exercising for 20 mins at a time with my heart rate up over 120bpm, 2-3 times a week for a month now AND I HAVE NOT RELAPSED. I have had long periods in the past when my CFS was in remission. Often I get better for no reason I can see at all. This time I'm pretty sure it's sorting my diet out that has made the difference.
Wow...passing the big test - exercise!
That is impressive.
I guess I will have to look into amines...
 

Lissa

Well-Known Member
OK- short version of an update here. Mission accomplished- I made it the full 2.5 weeks!

Just started back on food yesterday. Taking it super slow- all I've had is jasmine rice, chicken, homemade (chicken) bone broth, pork, and scrambled eggs. All organic and only seasoned with salt and pepper.

Yesterday did not go well.... For whatever reason my gut went nuts after the first meal which was only rice and broth. Result was staying within range of the bathroom all afternoon and evening. Exhausted from losing so much fluid.

However, I've stuck it out and have been doing much better today. Appetite remains very good. Already eager to add more foods but I'm trying to be cautious. Haven't tried any veggies or fruit yet. Maybe tomorrow I'll try adding a banana. Seems like good timing to be testing foods like you would with an elimination diet.

Still intend to write up a cheat sheet to help others. Maybe later this week...
 

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
Con
OK- short version of an update here. Mission accomplished- I made it the full 2.5 weeks!

Just started back on food yesterday. Taking it super slow- all I've had is jasmine rice, chicken, homemade (chicken) bone broth, pork, and scrambled eggs. All organic and only seasoned with salt and pepper.

Yesterday did not go well.... For whatever reason my gut went nuts after the first meal which was only rice and broth. Result was staying within range of the bathroom all afternoon and evening. Exhausted from losing so much fluid.

However, I've stuck it out and have been doing much better today. Appetite remains very good. Already eager to add more foods but I'm trying to be cautious. Haven't tried any veggies or fruit yet. Maybe tomorrow I'll try adding a banana. Seems like good timing to be testing foods like you would with an elimination diet.

Still intend to write up a cheat sheet to help others. Maybe later this week...
Congratulations on making it through 2 1/2 weeks. Have you noticed any positive effects?
 

Lissa

Well-Known Member
Con

Congratulations on making it through 2 1/2 weeks. Have you noticed any positive effects?
Yes, I lost 9 lbs and 4" off my waist. Proof positive that SIBO was causing massive bloat in my midsection. I had lost the inches and then had a bloat fest reaction one night (for no apparent reason) which caused the 4" to come back in just a few hours. Then it disappeared again overnight. Crazy stuff! I'm only 5'2" so it makes me look like I'm 7 months pregnant! Ugh!!!

As for energy levels and brain fog - yes I did improve somewhat. But nowhere near where I'd hoped based on others reporting it to be nearly miraculous. I still need to pace, I still crash & burn if I try to do too much. I'm really hoping things will improve as I add more real food back. Still in the early stages here, hoping the damnable SIBO is kicked.

So far I haven't gained the weight or the inches back yet... And I'm not suffering from the horrible belching anymore! (It made me sound like a 12 yr old boy in a burping contest.... Or a swamp monster hunting for dinner. Not to mention it was horribly uncomfortable to have all that air stuck in my belly.) That is a real improvement right there!
 

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
Yes, I lost 9 lbs and 4" off my waist. Proof positive that SIBO was causing massive bloat in my midsection. I had lost the inches and then had a bloat fest reaction one night (for no apparent reason) which caused the 4" to come back in just a few hours. Then it disappeared again overnight. Crazy stuff! I'm only 5'2" so it makes me look like I'm 7 months pregnant! Ugh!!!

As for energy levels and brain fog - yes I did improve somewhat. But nowhere near where I'd hoped based on others reporting it to be nearly miraculous. I still need to pace, I still crash & burn if I try to do too much. I'm really hoping things will improve as I add more real food back. Still in the early stages here, hoping the damnable SIBO is kicked.

So far I haven't gained the weight or the inches back yet... And I'm not suffering from the horrible belching anymore! (It made me sound like a 12 yr old boy in a burping contest.... Or a swamp monster hunting for dinner. Not to mention it was horribly uncomfortable to have all that air stuck in my belly.) That is a real improvement right there!
I know definitely know about the bloat - I'm surprised I don't have stretch marks :woot:
 

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
Lissa reports on how she did (see green download button) on her 2 1/2 week home-brewed Elemental Diet plus provides the cost, recipes, her "Yuk-Shake" tweaks and other tips on the doing the elemental diet can be found attached to this post or in the Diet Resource section here. They include
  • Drink fast – gulp big, and then take long pauses in between. Also keep swirling cup to keep nasty crunchies at bay.
  • Don’t look at the Yuk-Shake while you drink! You don’t want to register what it is that you are drinking!
:hungry: :hungry: :hungry:

(Lissa - I had to add doc and docx to the allowed upload files in the Forum - that's why it didn't work for you.)
 

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ankaa

Well-Known Member
Hi Meg!

As for the rotation diet, it's theory is simple --- you can eat items during one day, but whatever you eat you don't have again for 3 days. So for instance I came up with a system where I always ate x,y,z veggies the same day I had chicken. Then a,b,c veggies the same day as beef.... Etc. (make the letters stand for whatever veggies you like). If you eggs Thursday, you don't eat them again till Sunday. But you can eat as many eggs as you want all day Thursday. Ditto rice, ditto everything really. (This was before I was also dealing with SIBO- so quantity obviously applies now). I guess it gives your system time to adjust and stop recognizing foods as a threat- which can happen if you eat them every day, all the time.

That's a short version for you anyway! I have grocery bags to explore for my flavor treats! :)

I thought that you just consume the elemental drink when you're on the elemental diet? can you eat one meal a day when you're on the elemental diet?

thanks.
 

Lissa

Well-Known Member
I thought that you just consume the elemental drink when you're on the elemental diet? can you eat one meal a day when you're on the elemental diet?

thanks.
Hi @ankaa ! Yes, you are correct, just consume the drink on the elemental diet.

Meg had asked specifically about the Rotation Diet, which is sometimes used when fighting candida and/or leaky gut. It is supposed to keep your body from reacting to foods that you eat too often.

By skipping 3 days before eating that food again, your body gets a break and is less likely to think that there is a foreign invader. (Feel free to correct me, anyone --- just working from memory here, and ME/CFS isn't all that kind to memories!! Haha!)
 

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