Use this food diary pdf to keep track of your food while you’re doing an elimination diet or any diet.
For three months, 6 items are going to be removed from the diets of my son and I. That seems simple enough, right? What can 6 names really do to affect my day-to-day life?
Um, quite a lot, actually.
No Dairy. No Wheat. No Soy. No Eggs. No Nuts/Peanuts. No Fish/Shellfish… a.k.a The Top 6 Elimination Diet.
Obviously, this list came as a bit of a shock. I wish I could say the idea didn’t look daunting, but it did. With recipes and alternatives to milk reverberating around my brain, one question remained: What, exactly, do we eat?
This past month has been a flurry of boxes and packages, each containing ingredients that I really have no clue how to handle. Who knew there were so many types of flour? Cookbooks, utensils and storage containers galore, it’s safe to say that this was the Christmas I never asked for.
A Little Background on What Led to Our Elimination Diet
Stomach problems have been a part of my entire life. It has been a constant battle that I am still navigating through. I’m sure if you are here reading this, that you can relate.
I have been to different doctors countless of times for the ever-vague symptom of “stomach aches”. The worst health scare I ever went through was on some routine blood work for stomach pain in 2005.
My PCP called and said my eosinophils (one of the white blood cells) were extremely high and she was referring me to a hematologist. When I called to schedule an appointment and they answered with “Oncology Department”, my mind started spinning overtime.
Of course, Google became my best friend and worst enemy. Eosinophilic Leukemia kept coming up and I was being referred to an Oncologist… I was a mess. The hematologist didn’t think I was sick, but we did a bone marrow biopsy just to be sure. Thankfully, everything was negative. They would just watch my hypereosinophilia with yearly blood tests.
The increased eosinophils seemed to go up and down throughout the years. They were always elevated when I was being evaluated for GI issues, though. This was nothing the doctors correlated, but I went back through all my test results and found the correlation. (Yes, I love researching numbers!)
2018 would be the year I finally received a diagnosis that I could work with. After my son was diagnosed with an inflammatory allergic disease, I started doing a ton of research. A huge light bulb went off. These were all the same symptoms I had been experiencing on and off for decades.
Food impaction was a newer problem over the past year. A few times a week, something would get stuck and I would have to force some water down my throat to get it down. A couple times I would end up throwing up a ton of saliva and some food to get it out (Not fun when it happens at a party!)
I looked back on my results from my endoscopy/colonoscopy from five years back and realized they never took biopsies from my esophagus. My main complaints back then were diarrhea and stomach pain, so a biopsy my esophagus wasn’t called for.
I explained my symptoms and son’s diagnosis to my primary care doctor and he referred me to GI for an endoscopy. Two weeks after my son’s diagnosis, I was told I have the same disease … Eosinophilic Esophagitis.
We were given the option of taking steroids or an elimination diet. I really wanted to figure out what both of our triggers are, so we opted for the top 6 elimination diet.
What makes it easier, is knowing we are doing this together. My son’s immune system has mimicked mine so much, so I’m really hoping we have the same triggers.
I have a feeling my main EoE trigger is dairy, and maybe wheat… we will find out in a few months.
Starting the Elimination Diet
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Here are a few resources I found helpful when I started researching:
- American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders or apfed.org for short has a wealth of information one everything EoE.
Pure Delicious: 150 Allergy-Free Recipes for Everyday and Entertaining – A great recipe book by Heather Christo with all recipes top 6 allergy-free.
Learning to Bake Allergen-Free: A Crash Course for Busy Parents on Baking without Wheat, Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, Soy or Nuts by Colette Martin. Colette’s son was diagnosed with EoE and taught herself to bake without the top 6. This book breaks it down in HOW to bake and was a great read, along with some great recipes.
The Allergy-Free Pantry: Make Your Own Staples, Snacks, and More Without Wheat, Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, Soy or Nuts This is Colette Martin’s second book and has a ton of great recipes I am working through.
These are the three books I am meal planning from and so far everything has been yummy. Since I make dinner, my whole family eats allergy-free at night and there hasn’t been too much complaining yet!
Along with meal planning, my son and I are also keeping a food diary through the elimination process. I wanted to make one simple enough for him to jot a few things down, so if he still has high eosinophils after the top 6, we can look back and see if there were any consistent reactions to other foods.
If you’d like to use a food diary pdf, feel free to download and use this one. There are two days per sheet, so print out half the number of days you need to keep a food journal for. I bought a couple of three-ring binders from the dollar store, punched some holes, and said a prayer!
Since I was making printables, I decided to put together a reintroduction pdf. With EoE, a repeat endoscopy a few months after each reintroduction is the only true way to know what your triggers are, but we will still be keeping track for food sensitivities.
If you are doing an elimination diet to find out food intolerances, then keeping track of how your body reacts is very important. I made three different ones, in different colors and fonts… I have to have my pink while my son prefers gray!
They are in a zip file. After you download, extract, and print out your preferred template.
I know this journey is not going to be easy, but luckily there are a lot of great Facebook groups out there to help and allergy-free products are more readily available.
I find a bunch of great Enjoy Life items at our local Wal-Mart. Sprouts has been a great place for refrigerated products. And of course, Amazon has everything!
I wish you luck if you are starting a journey too! Please let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks for stopping by,