Recently, Dr. Oz had a segment on the Anti-Allergy Diet.
This might sound weird to most people, especially if you've never had an allergy. The funny thing is, I have recently been going through an Anti-Allergy food change of my own. I'm pretty sure Dr. Oz is stalking me... Silly Dr. Oz, all you have to do is call and I'll invite you in for a cup of tea!
And in the most recent Harper's Bazaar Gwyneth Paltrow talks about her diet and lifestyle. One thing she mentions is how she often gets to a point where she starts to feel run down and irritable and she goes on a couple week detox. Gwyneth, please call Dr. Oz, and we'll all get together! Seriously, these people are reading my mind right now!
I've had weird food/GI issues for as long as I remember. My parents were told it was probably dairy, but back in the 80's there weren't a lot of choices for non-dairy food choices, so I always just made do. I also have keratosis, which pretty much just means I'm all sorts of atopic, so I'm pretty much doomed.
I decided that 2012 was the year I would finally do something about this, it has been going on for a while.... So I've been doing a complete elimination diet. I was pretty sure before I started what I was allergic to, but I thought I would try to rule out everything that might be causing me problems.
I did the elimination diet for 3 weeks. I started with 10 days of just fruits and veggies, brown rice, quinoa, and limited legumes. I pretty much felt almost awesome! Then I added in meats (chicken, fish, etc) and felt really awesome! I was seriously considering just doing the Paleo Diet at that point in the project. After 10 more days of adding the meats to the original foods, I started adding back in other items in 3 day increments. Started with cacao (I'm not my best without chocolate), followed by soy, tea, eggs, sugar, wheat, dairy, and so on.
I will admit, I didn't get too far. Soy gave me minor indigestion, eggs made me irritable, sugar was fine, but don't get me started on the dairy! Crap, huh?
To solve some of my problems that were somewhat complicated by me getting sick, I went back to the starting foods plus meat for a little while. I don't think I'm completely out of the running for returning to a normal diet, but I do believe I will be more careful what I put in my mouth for a while.
If you're interested in doing your own Elimination Diet, it would most definitely be worth your time. I will warn you this is not a weight loss diet, so unless you're having GI symptoms from an intolerance or eating a lot of crap food, you probably won't lose weight.
Speaking of intolerance, there is some discrepancy to the definitions of allergy vs intolerance.
An actual food allergy means if you eat or are exposed to the food you will develop hives, severe GI symptoms, and overall anaphylaxis. Think peanut allergy reaction.
An intolerance means minor GI symptoms in relation to eating said food product. This can be diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, GERD, cramps, etc. Think IBS.