If you feel there are certain foods that disagree with your body, it is time to figure out which foods are causing the problem. When you get symptoms such as fatigue, skin rashes, and an upset stomach, diet may the culprit, so it is important to identify the foods that trigger these symptoms. One way to determine how certain foods impact your body physically, your mood and even your behavior is through an elimination diet (discussed below). A quicker much less painful method involves testing your DNA directly and eating right for your genetic panel.

New Orleans’ DNA weight loss and weight management company GenoVive has mastered the art of easy genetic testing and interpretation. Through a simple cheek-swab, GenoVive will have enough information from you to tell you which foods are best and worst for your body. Similarly, their report discusses the optimal exercises based on your unique DNA. GenoVive’s online portal enables real-time communication with healthcare providers so if you’re working with a professional they can tweak your diet and exercise program without making you wait to see them.

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“Your DNA sample provides valuable insight about your unique metabolism. Knowing your DNA makeup may be the key to give you the information you need to make healthy lifestyle choices to achieve health outcomes” Victor Castellon, PharmD, CEO of GenoVive.

Of course, if you want to prefer the slower route and want to eliminate nearly everything from your diet to slowly add it back in bit by bit, start by investing in a food journal to identify the various things you eat every single day.

Step 1: Assessing Your Diet

Jot down every single food you eat and any symptom, you develop after eating. Once you finish doing this, you have to look at patterns. Usually, your symptoms will manifest when you eat a particular food and you should be able to identify these foods. Typically, foods that trigger issues include peanuts, eggs, milk, wheat, fish, shellfish, foods contain MSG, sulfates and nitrates and tree nuts. Remember symptoms may come up immediately or after a few hours. So, it’s important to identify the foods that you think are causing your symptoms.

Step 2: Preparing Yourself

Elimination diet is tough and requires patience and diligence. So before you start tossing out food from your diet, it is important you prepare yourself mentally. As you test and try food, sometimes your symptoms will flare up and other times they will not appear.

Furthermore, you strict diet regimen will affect other family members. So, it is necessary, you prepare them too, and have them join you in trying the process of food elimination. Try to clear out as many trigger foods from your kitchen as possible, so that you are not tempted to eat them. If you cannot get rid of these foods, put them out of sight.

Step 3: Eliminating Foods and Keeping Track

Now it is time to create a meal plan that eliminates one food at a time that you think is triggering your symptoms. Make sure you keep a journal to note down your symptoms after every meal. If you still have the symptoms after eliminating the foods from your diet, go back to your journal and look at the foods that you have eaten over the last two weeks.

On the other hand, if you find the symptoms reducing, it is time to begin eliminating more foods from your diet. This is a repetitive process and requires trial and error before you can actually feel better and concretely identify the foods.

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Step 4: Challenging Yourself

This may sound counterproductive, but is important to ensure you are actually allergic to the food item you have eliminated from your diet. So, after about 4 weeks, reintroduce the one eliminated food into your diet and note the symptoms.

If you don’t experience any symptom, increase the amount. Do this for 3 days and if no symptoms develop, the food is safe to consume and you are not allergic to it. If the symptoms recur, go back to your original elimination diet and refrain from eating this particular food item. Like this, introduce one food at a time to clearly find out whether it is safe or unsafe for you to eat it.

Step 5: Changing Your Diet

Now that you know which are safe foods and which are trigger foods, it is time to change your diet. Consult a dietician to create a meal plan for you, so that you can keep the trigger foods out and still get a proper balance of nutrients. Remember, most food intolerances and allergies don’t last forever. Sometimes, you can reintroduce trigger foods in your diet after your body has healed without experiencing symptoms. However, wait for about 6 months before you attempt this.

Use this as a basis to create your elimination diet and find out which foods are causing your symptoms. Or save yourself the time and get your DNA tested to discover what foods your body wants and what may harm it.

You might be surprised by what you learn about yourself by uncovering the data hidden in your DNA!