A Paleo Elimination Diet is useful to look for food intolerances and digestive issues. But foods can also cause a wide variety of symptoms: rashes, throat clearing, snoring, reflux, pain in various areas of the body and more.
Steps For a Paleo Elimination Diet
1). First, let’s assume you are eating what I call “true and correct Paleo”. Misconceptions about Paleo occur when you use information from random sources rather than people who work with clients every day. In my case, I’ve worked with this style of eating for two decades.
Paleo is a template and can be altered to a person’s needs but the basics include: omitting grains (wheat, corn, rice, oat), beans and dairy (except butter and ghee). Butter and ghee are high in butterfat and lack the proteins and lactose that cause most dairy reactions.
The diet is high in vegetables. They make up the bulk of the plate. Then your protein, preferably from high quality meats and seafood, not feedlot meat or farmed fish.
And finally, plenty of the right kinds of fats. Saturated fats from healthy animals (butter, ghee, meat drippings, coconut oil), and monounsaturated fats from nuts and fruit oils (olive, avocado). Avoid seed and bean oils from canola, corn, soy.
Fats should be 40 – 50% of your calories. A Tablespoon of liquid fat is 120 calories.
Sugars, artificial sweeteners, food additives and processed foods are reduced or eliminated.
2). Once you have accomplished this, many digestive symptoms will disappear. When you are ready to try a Paleo Elimination Diet here’s my suggestions on what to do. You can eliminate many foods and add them back in groups, or remove foods one or two at a time to observe for changes. Some changes take just days to observe. Some may take longer.
2a). Group Elimination of Foods: Remove all remaining grains, dairy, nuts and seeds, and the nightshades (potato, peppers, eggplant, tomato). After 2 weeks, add butter and ghee. If no symptoms occur after 4 days, add nuts and seeds. Try the nightshade family ONE at a time. They can cause inflammation which can be slow to build up and flare so reactions may not be immediately obvious.
2b). If eliminating foods one family at a time, choose one of the food groups from 2a). to start with.
3). Eliminate single foods such as eggs or onions. I find these can cause problems for many people.
4). Don’t forget beverages! Kombucha is a high Fodmap beverage. Bone Broth and Collagen drinks are too high in Arginine for Herpes sufferers. Homemade and packaged juice smoothies are OUT.
Adding Foods Back After an Elimination Trial
Add foods back slowly and generally one food at a time. Watch for symptoms in an area of the body or emotions. If you think a food caused gas and bloating, remove it again, watch for improvement and challenge it again. Perhaps several times. Consider the FODMAPS foods as a challenge as well. I found one or two that bothered me (onions!) but not the group as a whole.
Finding the Best Version of Paleo For You
If you want to continue to find sources of gas and bloating, refer to this article on treating IBS with food. It is very detailed and should be helpful.
If you want to find foods that trigger Herpes or Shingles, I have several articles and Podcasts to review. Here’s one on a food you may not suspect at all – bone broth!
For more information on what to eat and why, download a copy of my Diet Video, “The Diet For Human Beings“.