Maintaining a Healthy Diet after the Elimination Diet


Congratulations on successfully completing the elimination and reintroduction phases of the elimination diet. By now, you have identified your food triggers and have gained valuable insights into your body’s unique needs. The maintenance phase is designed to help you adopt a long-term, personalized eating plan that promotes optimal health and well-being. Let’s discuss a nutrition strategy that aligns with principles similar to those found with an anti-inflammatory diet, but tailored to your specific needs and sensitivities.

A Functional Medicine Perspective on Nutrition

Functional medicine emphasizes the importance of a personalized, whole-foods-based diet to achieve optimal health. It recognizes that each individual’s genetic makeup, lifestyle, and environmental factors play a significant role in determining the most appropriate diet. With the knowledge you have gained from the elimination diet, you can now create a customized eating plan that supports your body’s unique needs.

Key Principles

Prioritize whole, unprocessed foods

Focus on consuming nutrient-dense, unprocessed or minimally processed foods. These include lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats. By doing so, you provide your body with essential nutrients while minimizing exposure to potential food triggers and inflammatory ingredients.

Emphasize high-quality protein sources

Incorporate high-quality, lean proteins such as grass-fed meats, wild-caught fish, and free-range poultry into your meals. These sources not only provide essential amino acids but also support healthy immune function, muscle repair, and overall well-being.

Opt for low-glycemic carbohydrates

Choose carbohydrate sources that have a low glycemic index, such as leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, and low-sugar fruits like berries. These foods provide vital nutrients and fiber while minimizing blood sugar fluctuations.

Incorporate healthy fats

Healthy fats, such as those found in avocados, olive oil, nuts, and seeds, play a crucial role in supporting hormone production, brain health, and cellular function. Include a variety of healthy fats in your diet to reap their numerous benefits.

Avoid known food triggers

As you have identified your specific food sensitivities during the elimination diet, continue to avoid these foods to minimize inflammation and adverse reactions.

Moderate caffeine and alcohol intake

Limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol, as excessive consumption can contribute to inflammation, disrupt sleep patterns, and affect gut health.

Stay hydrated

Drink plenty of water throughout the day to support optimal digestion, detoxification, and overall health.

Adjust your plan as needed

As your body changes over time, you may find that your dietary needs evolve. Continually reassess your eating plan and make adjustments as necessary to maintain optimal health.

Mindfulness and Long-term Success

During the maintenance phase, it is essential to continue practicing mindfulness when it comes to your eating habits. Pay attention to how different foods make you feel, and be open to making adjustments as needed. Foster a healthy relationship with food by focusing on nourishment and enjoyment, rather than deprivation or strict adherence to rules.