How to get complete nutrition while on an elimination diet

Malnourishment? Nah.

I actually am far better nourished while ON an elimination diet than I was before – and if you know me, you know I ate what most would consider to be pretty well before all of this. But this is different. So what made the difference?

1. Tracking:

The only way to see longer term patterns in my health correlated with my food was to track everything. Fortunately, technology has made this drastically easier. I wear an iWatch to track a lot of my health data but the main help has come from Cronometer (no affiliation):

At first, you’ll probably forget to log some things, but keep going – once you build a habit around it, you’ll find that you instinctively remember to record everything you eat.

In my account, I’ve actually built out my recipes – from the ones included in this blog to help make logging easier.

I also have synced it with my iHealth account and it adjusts my daily metrics for calories, etc. based on how active I was that day. When you aren’t feeling great, having technology doing as much of the thinking as possible for you, makes life easier.

2. Plan to be nourished:

I share more details about what I call my “Foundational Foods” in another post, but basically, you’ll need to begin to learn what safe foods contain the nutrients you’re missing. Generally a strong foundation of fish, vegetables and seeds provide a huge boost to my overall nutrition.

Once I’ve put in all of my foods for the day into Cronometer, I then fill up on any missing vitamins or minerals with supplements. Most days I am able to hit 100% on every nutrient category in the app with just the food I’m eating, but some items are harder than others and I fill in the gaps with high quality vitamins and supplements.

How did I figure out how to hit 100%? I picked a random day in the Cronometer app, about a month before I had actually started logging and kept adding in different foods from the safe foods lists and playing with the volume until I hit every category. I had to do a lot of googling and reading to figure out which foods would fill the gaps. Hopefully, you’ll be able to find most of what you need from resources shared/linked right here on this site to at least see what I found worked mathematically for nutrition.

3. Professional guidance

Before you start an elimination diet, you should absolutely speak to your provider. And consider a consultation with a nutritionist to help you map out your plan. This website is not a substitute for medical advice. This is a recipe blog and although all the health information mentioned here is drawn from accredited and major health information sources, be sure to get your own medical advice directly from a healthcare professional you trust.

4. Open your mind & be willing to try

The reason why I believe I’m better nourished while eating a restrictive diet like this is that I’m eating an entirely new set of foods and am able to be confident that I’m actually getting full daily nutrition.

But here’s the thing. It wasn’t easy. Especially at first. I went through a sort of grieving process over giving up a bunch of favorite things. And I had withdrawal for a while over those things. And then, for me, the magic happened. I started to both feel better physically and crave that stuff less.

And for most people, you’ll be able to return to most of the foods you ate before if you want to. This usually isn’t a forever thing. It’s just an experiment and it’s for a season of your life and you’ll be able to have those things again in a few months or even years once your body has time to heal. And you’ll probably decide that you want to make at least some of these new foods a permanent part of your diet going forward – because they’re delicious!

And if a restriction is a forever thing, it’s going to be worth it to learn how to cook yourself some darn good meals. You don’t have to suffer on a diet without all the yummy stuff other people eat. Go ahead and invest in those kitchen gadgets you want and adopt your new persona: the fresh ingredient chef.