Posts Tagged ‘elimination diet

Elimination Diet Q&A with Brianna Herman, RD from Austin UltraHealth

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Diving head first into a cleanse or elimination diet can be overwhelming. Luckily, by doing a guided cleanse, like The Myers Way (TMW), you have the help and support of a nutritionist. After being on The Myers Way for over a week, I had a few questions for Brianne Herman, Austin UltraHealth’s nutritionist.

Why exactly do people feel side effects (headaches, lethargy, etc.)

I like to think of it like spring cleaning. When we start sweeping under the rugs, scrubbing the bathroom counters and cleaning out the closets things tend to get messier before they get better. While cleansing, your body goes through a detox process just like your house. Detox symptoms such as headaches and low energy are signs that your body is eliminating toxins. You may even be experiencing some withdrawal symptoms from the toxic foods like, caffeine or sugar, or even from the inflammatory foods that you feel addicted to like cheese or bread! To lessen uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms you can gradually wean off caffeinated beverages likes coffee or tea. Your body is readjusting to using whole foods as natural energy rather than supplementing with caffeine for artificial energy.  When it comes to sugar and the inflammatory foods it’s best to cut them out all at once as you push through and look forward to feeling great. In a few days people notice they are feeling better than they did before starting the food-based cleanse and the detox was more than worth it!

What are your suggestions for people with specialty diets?

If you are on a specialty diet The Myers Way can be personalized for your needs/preferences. Vegetables are the foundation of any healthy diet so enjoy your fill of bright colors, crunch and flavor. The Myers Way can be easily modified to accommodate for special diets including Paleo and Vegan and in some cases is even suggested. While browsing the approved foods and recipes skip over any foods you do not choose to include and make nutritionally equivalent substitutions. If you are eating Paleo it is still very important to consume your leafy greens and choose lean, preferably organic meats. If you are eating Vegan also consume mostly veggies and don’t go overboard on starchy grains and beans. The Myers Way is a great foundation for anyone, with any special diet.

What are your tips for keeping the diet interesting?

#1 Keep eating the foods you love just make substitutions. If you love a certain stir fry with red peppers just substitute with sweet potatoes, zucchini or parsnips. Use new flavors for sauces such as almond butter, tahini or coconut milk. Make your favorite salads with a mashed avocado and drizzled with olive oil and lemon instead of reaching for the balsamic vinaigrette.

#2 Try a new recipe each week. We have over 60 recipes in the eBook that are delicious and easy. Find one that appeals to you on a day that you are not rushed to cook. Enjoy making a new dish and expanding your recipe catalog.

#3 Go out with your friends. Just because you are eating differently doesn’t mean you have to stay at home when your family and friends are going out. Look at the menu in advance to find foods that are close to TMW that you can modify – OR don’t look at the menu at all and just ask the server to bring you some grilled meat with seasonal veggies or a fresh salad topped with grilled chicken and olive oil and lemon on the side. Enjoy sparking water with lemon for some fun fizz during great conversation.

# 4 Find a friend to join you on The Myers Way. Anything is easier and more fun with support and accountability. We find that people are typically most successful with The Myers Way when they have someone to partner with. Recommend The Myers Way Guided Cleanse to a local friend for grocery shopping dates, potlucks, accountability and tips.

What is the biggest challenge that clients face? What’s the solution?

The biggest challenge for most people is getting started. Changing your diet can be very overwhelming at first but I find that once people get started they get the hang of it pretty well. A lot of people find The Myers Way Guided Cleanse very helpful for the personalized sessions so we can find practical solutions together to overcome their unique barriers.

I have been drinking smoothies for breakfast everyday, is that something you recommend? What are other good breakfast options?

That’s great! Smoothies can be an easy no-brainer in the morning. Be sure to include a variety of nutrients in your morning shake like fruit, veggies, protein and even healthy fats. This morning I made a green smoothie with almond milk, banana, UltraCleanse protein powder, 2 handfuls of spinach, ½ cucumber (peeled and seeded), almond butter and a few teaspoons of avocado. This winter I have enjoyed some left over sweet potato soup in the morning topped with pumpkin seeds and maybe a side of fruit. A TMW participant recently shared a link in TMW facebook community for gluten-free porridge with coconut, some seeds, walnuts, cinnamon and water that looked delicious.

As some one who already has a limited diet (vegan), what do you recommend to keep me on track?

Make sure you’re getting enough variety. With any limited diet we can sometimes get caught into eating a lot of the same foods rather than practicing variety. Focus on your non-starchy veggies at every meal and avoid having too many starchy foods, like grains. If you choose to avoid meat then I recommended using a protein powder or nut butter in your smoothie and enjoying nuts, seeds and healthy fats throughout the day!

Written by cscdavis

February 13, 2013 at 5:56 pm

Elimination Diet Week One: Raw Energy Ball Recipe

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It’s been a week since I’ve started Dr. Myers’ 21-day cleanse. Which means that 14 days from now I can start reintroducing certain foods back into my diet… woo hoo!

In the e-book Dr. Myers warned that during this first week it’s common to feel the side effects of your body purging toxins. This can result in headaches, lethargy and stomach issues. I went into this challenge with some trepidation as none of those symptoms sounded like a good time.

I was pleasantly surprised when the only effect of the cleanse has been more energy, healthier skin and fewer headaches. This isn’t guaranteed for everyone that goes on the cleanse, but I’m grateful for the positive results.

Don’t get me wrong, this is still a challenge. I miss dark chocolate something fierce and eating out has become such a challenge, that I avoid it all together. I have to be a lot more conscious about packing a lunch, as it’s no longer easy to find a quick go-to lunch option that’s accommodating of such a strict diet. Being an active, busy person it’s nice to have something that I can grab when I’m rushing out the door. This recipe not only is great for a quick snack, but it also curbs that sweet tooth craving.

If you’re intrigued by the idea of doing this 21-day cleanse, check out the details here.

Raw Energy Balls

  • 1 cup raw almonds or walnuts
  • 1 cup medjool dates, pitted
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ cup raw almond butter
  • shredded organic coconut

In a food processor fitted with the “s” blade grind the almonds until finely ground. Add the dates, raisins, and spices. Grind to a fine meal. Add the almond butter, process again until thoroughly mixed.

Form into balls and roll in shredded coconut. Store in a sealed container on the counter for up to 3 days, or refrigerate for up to a week.

Written by cscdavis

February 8, 2013 at 6:13 pm

2013 Elimination Diet

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healthyfoodWith the New Year comes new resolutions. Many of these are based around starting the year with a healthy outlook. That may take the form of exercising every day, or improving your diet. For some of us, it’s the time of year where you may be tempted to do a detox or cleanse. We think that resetting the body is a great way to start the new year, as long as you do it in a safe and healthy way.

Luckily, we have great resources in Austin to help lead us through a health overhaul. We’re teaming up with Amy Myers from Austin UltraHealth. Dr. Myers has developed a 21-day cleanse to re-set your body and help you achieve optimal health. There are two phases in the Myers Way cleanse. The first phase is the elimination phase, removing those foods that commonly create inflammation in you body (gluten, dairy, soy, corn, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, to name a few.) The second phase involves slowly reintroducing these foods back into your diet to see if any sensitivities arise.

By removing these inflammatory foods, you’re left with a diet that is fresh and whole foods based.

Besides pressing the reset button on your health and discovering food sensitivities, there are other reasons to participate in a elimination diet. By sticking to a plan for almost a month, you’re ridding your body of toxins. People who’ve done elimination diets have vastly improved their chronic conditions such as arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, osteoporosis, skin rashes, migraines and more.

Food is what sustains us, and finding out which foods suit your dietary needs is a crucial step in reaching your optimal health. Throwing yourself into a new diet can be daunting. Luckily, we have great resources in Austin that can help lead us through this challenge.

At in.gredients, we are here to help you through your elimination diet (if you’d like more information on the Myers way, visit their 21-day cleanse website.) We’re working on getting all those cleanse friendly foods labeled in the store, so you don’t have to wander aimlessly through the aisles looking for a grain you’ve never heard of. This is the perfect way to get you started on an elimination diet if you’re unsure of how to go about something like this on your own.

I’m so inspired by the idea, I’ll be tackling this challenge myself. Stay tuned to the blog to read more about the successes (and challenges) of dedicating a month to the Myer’s Way 21-day challenge. We’ll also be featuring a few question and answer sessions with Austin UltraHealth’s nutritionist, Brianne Herman, for all those inevitable questions that arise during a cleanse.

Happy (healthy) eating!

Written by cscdavis

January 31, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Guest Post: Seasonal Allergies – Suffer No More!

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Amy Myers, MD:

Dr. Myers is the Medical Director of Austin UltraHealth. Her practice specializes in functional and nutritional medicine.

Amy Myers, MD

It’s estimated that 55 million Americans (that’s one in four people) suffer from allergies of some kind – seasonal, food, skin, and medication. The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology states that as many as 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children suffer from allergic rhinitis each year.

Austinites are no exception to these statistics. In fact, in 2004, Austin was named the number one fall allergy capital by the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America – and continually ranks in the top five worst US cities for seasonal allergies overall.

With fall approaching, if you’re like most Austinites, you’re looking for ways to prevent, reduce, and even eliminate your seasonal allergy symptoms. Here’s some perspective – I hope you’ll find it useful. When it comes to seasonal allergy symptoms, I take a three-part approach: an Elimination Diet, IgG Food Sensitivity testing, and a Comprehensive Stool Analysis looking for Candida and leaky gut.

All my patients go through an Elimination Diet no matter why they’re coming to see me, because food sensitivities can be the underlying cause of many chronic diseases. Seasonal allergies are no exception here – in fact, many environmental allergens cross-react with foods. Here’s an overview of the three approaches to seasonal allergy prevention:

Elimination Diet
First, start by eliminating all gluten (from foods containing wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, triticale and oats), dairy products (milk, butter, yogurt, cheese), yeast (found in baked goods, bread, beer, wine, cheese, vinegar, and on the surfaces of many fruits), eggs, corn, peanuts, citrus fruits (except lemon), and nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and eggplant) for a minimum of two weeks. If symptoms improve, you can then gradually add one food back in at a time every three days, making sure to eat at least three servings a day for three days and taking note of any symptoms such as headache, sneezing, fatigue or rash that may arise. If you notice any negative symptoms, continue to remove this food for your diet for at least 3-6 months. If no symptoms arise, repeat the above steps with each of the remaining foods. If no improvement is noted after you’ve added back in all of the foods, then you may need to do a more comprehensive food elimination diet under the guidance of a trained professional. I would also recommend a specialized blood test for IgG food allergies and begin to think of leaky gut and/or Candida intestinal overgrowth as a contributing factor.

IgG Food Sensitivity Testing
The premise behind IgG Food Sensitivity Testing is that high circulating levels of IgG antibodies correlate with clinical food allergy signs and symptoms and these reactions can take 72 hours to develop and are called delayed sensitivities. The test is an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test which involves coating a 96-well plate with food antigens, adding a persons’ sera (component of blood) and looking for a classic antigen/antibody interaction. More traditional food allergy testing, such as those done by an allergist, are based on IgE or immediate reactions.

Generally speaking, food allergies cause quick physical reactions such as swelling, hives, itchiness, and difficulty breathing – if you have a true food allergy you likely already know about it. Food sensitivities, on the other hand, can develop over time, often because of a poor diet and a leaky gut. The consequences of improper food choices can manifest as delayed allergic reactions (food sensitivities) and cause weight gain, fatigue, sinus problems, acne, mood swings, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Because the reactions can take up to 72 hours to occur, they can be very difficult to recognize. Eating a diet low in these inflammatory foods reduces excess swelling and fluid accumulation in your tissues, which will assist with your body’s healing, detoxification processes and reduce seasonal allergies symptoms.

Comprehensive Stool Test
With the over usage of antibiotics for suspected sinusitis many people suffer from intestinal yeast or Candida overgrowth. Candida alone can worsen seasonal allergy symptoms, as well as cause intestinal damage leading to increased intestinal permeability, or leaky gut. Leaky gut then further increases one’s susceptibility to food sensitivities, which exacerbates the problem and worsens seasonal allergy symptoms.

Typical symptoms of Candida include itching, bloating or gas, eczema-like rash or diaper rash, intense sugar cravings, headache, brain fog, anxiety and even hyperactivity in children. Candida infections can be confirmed by either a blood or stool test.

If you or a family member is suffering from any of the above symptoms, it’s recommended that you get tested and begin a Candida free diet. With this approach you eliminate all sugar, alcohol, refined carbohydrates, vinegar, fermented foods, mushrooms, cheese and peanuts from the diet for 3-6 months. For patients at Austin UltraHealth, I also prescribe an antifungal medication for 30 days to eradicate the intestinal yeast infection.

I’ve taken the above three-step approach with each of my patients suffering from seasonal allergies and then end result is always the same – complete resolution.

To reach Dr. Myers, call her office at +1 512 383 5343, or contact her via her website.

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