The program to Health and Wellness
Phase I - The Avoidance Phase
Please Note: The Complement Antigen test does NOT test for IgE reactions, therefore if you know you have an immediate reaction to a food, continue to avoid it.
Total avoidance of offending foods for SIX WEEKS is essential. If you do this exactly, you can expect to have a few days of withdrawal reaction. You may actually feel worse. Strange as it seems, it is a good sign because it means you are getting better. After the withdrawal symptoms subside, you will have continued improvement if not complete resolution of your symptoms. You can expect to get better only if you completely eliminate the foods to which you are sensitive. There is no getting away from it. Your immune system knows if you are "cheating" with even the smallest amount.
To Repeat: The offending foods must be completely and rigorously removed from your diet. Strict avoidance is also important for the next phase, the challenge phase. If you eat even the smallest amount of food on the list, you will not improve properly and there can be no clear challenge phase.
Important: With the limited diet you will be following during this period, it might be tempting to eat the same things day after day, permissible items that you enjoy. DON'T DO IT! You can actually cause your body to become sensitive to other foods if you eat them too much. ROTATE YOUR FOODS! Eat a wide variety of foods as permissible, with as little repetition as possible. You may safely repeat foods once every four days.
On your own: We know you may say, "It's too hard; there's nothing for me to eat; it takes too much time!" Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! These are excuses that will keep you from getting better.
Let's identify them and conquer them now.
"It's too hard"
Change is hard, but not necessarily bad. It means doing the same thing you have always done, but doing it differently. You can start new shopping, cooking, and eating habits. Take it slowly. Plan one day at a time until you get the hang of it. After a few weeks it gets easier.
"There's nothing for me to eat"
There will be a whole world of food out there that you've never tried. When we look at food diaries, we see the same patterns over and over again. Everyone has totally different patterns. Go to the grocery or health food store and really look at the variety of products available. Really look at the fruit and vegetable section and the meat cooler. You will be amazed at what you have not tried. Now is the time to start!
"It takes too much time"
In the first few weeks it will take extra time. Time to shop, time to figure out what to eat, and time to do extra cooking. As you get used to the new foods, you will find it becoming easier and easier.
To make yourself well, you really have to make a commitment to yourself. You must confront these excuses and overcome them in your head in order for you to move forward. Only you can do this for yourself.
Once you start, you will be experiencing withdrawal and some people feel worse before they feel better. This is normal. Once you are over the withdrawal from the foods, you will start to feel better. The better you feel, the more you'll want to stick with it.
Get the whole family involved. I know how hard it is to watch Johnny's diet all week and then send him to Grandma's only to have him return a complete hyperactive wreck! Educate Johnny and Grandma as best you can. You may be amazed at the way Johnny takes care of his own diet when he is away from home. Always reinforce the fact that the symptoms are caused by the food they cheated on. Even very young children can grasp this.
The only way to keep your health
is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't
like, and do what you'd rather not.
- Mark Twain
We did not say it would be easy, just that it would be worthwhile. More than 80% of the people tested feel better. We think you will too. You have already received a diet plan. This will get you started, but we know you won't stay on just those foods the rest of your life.
Here are some hints that you may find helpful to make it on your own:
- Make a list of the foods you want to remove from your diet. Use your wallet card and carry it with you when shopping or eating out.
- Take a copy of the list with you to the pantry. You want to remove all the foods that contain the ingredients you need to avoid. Or, use color coded dots to identify the foods in your pantry: One color for items you CAN have, and another for items you cannot. This works especially well for children.
- Post the list on the refrigerator door or on a cabinet door. It makes it easier to prepare meals.
- Think ahead. Generally plan some meals for the next week. Avoid getting into a rut. Try to serve a given food no more than once every four days. Specifically, you want to avoid the problem of having the same thing every morning for breakfast or lunch. People who tend to have difficulties with food sensitivities are the first to acquire NEW food sensitivities. The best way to avoid this is to rotate the foods you eat.
- Relax. The whole process is tricky for the first few weeks, but it soon becomes routine. You'll remember the items on the list, and cooking and shopping will become second nature. It gets easier as you go along. Really!