Receiving my own MRT results was an eye opening experience.
All that “healthy” stuff I was putting into my fruit smoothie every morning (yogurt, strawberries, bananas, mango) - REACTIVE! All the bread/muffins/pretzels/pizza/bagels/crackers I ate often – doesn’t matter they are whole grain…RED REACTIVE to wheat. Great Italian cook and RED REACTIVE to garlic and basil?? Afraid so. Oh, and favorite things like peanut butter and green peas…frugal eating had to take a new direction for a while.
No wonder I felt bloated, crampy, fatigued and hypoglycemic.
Just because a food is so-called “healthy” – a superfood, even – does not mean it is that way for your particular body.
This is just one of MANY insights that can be gained from the journey through a directed elimination diet.
If you are symptomatic, despite removing known problem foods, this process can help uncover the foods that are best for you personally, and help you determine to what degree food is playing a role in your symptoms.
The directed elimination diet guides you to remove all reactive foods for a set period of time and replace them with low-reactive foods. You know what to eat and when to eat it. You read labels and record foods and symptoms. And work with your LEAP dietitian to achieve your goals.
Sometimes this involves giving up things you are accustomed to eating every day. And buying unfamiliar foods that you may have no clue how to prepare (but you’ll learn*).
As an example, these were my lowest reactive foods to start with: Sole, Tuna, Codfish; Quinoa, Kamut (whole grains); Lima Bean, Beet, Onion, Broccoli; Blueberry, Pineapple, Grape, Olive; Cocoa, Cow’s Milk; Pistachio, Walnut; Cumin, Leek, and Carob for flavoring.
So one dinner was pan-grilled sole with cooked grain and some fresh beets roasted in a bit of olive oil.
For breakfast had some blueberries and quinoa with milk.
A satisfying lunch was sort of a Salmon “Waldorf” with canned fish, apples, grapes and a little olive oil to moisten – just like a good Waldorf salad should be. (No, I didn’t cheat – salmon and apples were allowed phase 2 substitutes, and I had them in the house.)
Snacked on walnuts, grapes, blueberries, and olives here and there. Smaller meals throughout the day are encouraged.
Gradually, you build a diet that satisfies and mends.
It’s important to work with your LEAP dietitian who is specially trained in this protocol. There are individualized tweaks beyond the computer-generated meal plan that your LEAP dietitian can spot. That way, you’ll get the best outcome, the obvious goal of anyone making these changes.
When followed, the personalized diet often has people feeling better soon, sometimes dramatically so.
Again, it depends on whether sensitivities are involved, although they frequently are in certain chronic symptoms.
I know for myself, my daily episodes of hypoglycemia (eg shakiness, extreme hunger, needing to eat IMMEDIATELY especially protein) disappeared almost overnight and have never returned. I have better skin and energy levels, no more late day fatigue, and feel more clear-headed. This is typical for most people along with resolution of many of the sensitivity-caused symptoms they tested for in the first place.
Yes, diet change is hard, but isn’t living with chronic pain harder? If diet is a trigger in your symptoms, a directed elimination diet may be the best thing you never tried.
*Pinterest has been a GREAT addition to the MRT-LEAP protocol. Rather than feel overwhelmed about what to eat, you can get good ideas right off the bat – here is the Pinterest site I put together for LEAP clients – no deprivation here: www.Pinterest.com/leapfriendly