What is a Total Elimination Diet?

A Total Elimination Diet is a strict diet used to determine food allergies.  This is usually the last hope at solving severe health problems after many other solutions have failed. Many people have found relief from ailments that they didn’t even realize were related to their diet.  Most people develop an intimate understanding of their own body, their responses to food, and triggers to their environment.  

In a TOTAL elimination diet, a person removes ALL foods, supplements, beverages,  and body products from their daily routine.  They substitute a strict diet of anti-inflammatory foods for 2 weeks minimum to reach baseline.  Baseline means that zero to minimal health problems remain.  (Someone with more severe damage not related to allergies might need alternative medical care as well.).

After a baseline is reached, foods are reintroduced, one at a time every 4-7 days, over a course of weeks or months, depending on the severity of the allergies.  The introduction of foods begins with the foods most likely to cause problems, usually the top allergens list and the foods most likely to cause inflammation in the body.  

During the entire diet, a journal is kept detailing day, time, location, foods, physical ailments or relief, and mental ailments or relief.  If the elimination diet is being done for a breastfeeding child, then a journal should be kept for both mother and child.  

Usually, one or more foods reveal themselves as the diet progresses.  Avoiding these triggers is usually the best way to have relief from health ailments.  This would be the first step to a healthier lifestyle for those with allergies.  Afterward, learning about holistic health and nutrition will aid you in having a long-lasting, comfortable life.  

Notes

  • A TED is NOT a starvation diet.  You MUST eat non-inflammatory foods for this to be successful.  Simply eating nothing is not conducive to healing.  
  • Baseline might not be able to be reached if you are on medication for any health ailments.  The majority of all medication is full of corn-based products and inflammatory chemicals.  Someone who is allergic to corn will continue to react.  Many people with corn allergies have their medications compounded with non-corn derivative fillers.  Pharmacies and allopathic MD’s are not aware of the names of corn derivatives and will state that there is no corn.  See this list for an idea of how corn is found in medical supplies.
  • If a food has failed a trial, it’s best to not introduce another food until you have recovered from the fail. This can take 2 to 4 days.
  • Almost every probiotic on the market has corn in it.  Many probiotics are grown on corn.  Only Gut Pro is corn-free.  Generally, it is best to discontinue probiotics on a TED because some people cannot tolerate them, allergy-free or not.  I personally prefer food-based probiotics over pill-based anyway.
  • Fruits and vegetables at the normal grocery store are sprayed and waxed with corny chemicals.  If you are allergic to corn, you might continue to react.  The best fruits and vegetables are the ones grown at home.  The second best is the farmers market or from local known safe farmers.  Third best is a local food co-op or health food store.  Typical grocery stores are generally not safe and have very few safe foods.  
  • Organic does not guarantee your food is allergy friendly.  Many foods that are organic can still be waxed or sprayed with corny products.  
  • Just because one person does well with a food on a TED, doesn’t mean you or your child will.  No food is considered “safe” until the baseline is reached.  If you haven’t reached baseline and you are SURE your food isn’t contaminated with corn, try mixing something up on a suspect food.  For example, if you think your sweet potato is the culprit, cut it out for 4 days to see if there is any change.  
  • It can be dangerous or ineffective to attempt a TED alone without sufficient education.  Seeking out a nutritionally based chiropractor, a holistic nutritionist, a holistic MD, a naturopath or another nutrition-based health care provider can be beneficial in helping you.  
  • Not all allopathic MD’s or allopathic allergists are fully aware of or are legally allowed to assist in determining the CAUSE of your health ailments. Many of the tests to attempt to determine why you are ill are costly and dangerous and are often ineffective.  Research thoroughly EVERY part of your medical procedures, including risks and side effects.  Research thoroughly EVERYTHING that might be injected or taken orally.  This goes with ALL medical care, including holistic approaches.  
  • Education is the best tool to come to your aid.  The more you know about what you put in your body and how it affects your body, the better armed you will be.  You are your own best ally.  You are the one who has to live with the choices you make.  You are the one who will either face the fallout or the benefit of your decisions.  Every other person involved is simply another tool to aid you.  They don’t have to live in your body for the rest of your life, you do. 
  • It’s ok to say no to something that isn’t working. No matter how much time or money you’ve invested into a certain approach to your health, it’s ok to let it go if it isn’t helping aid you in your goal of better health.    

I hope this has helped you understand what a Total Elimination Diet is and how it can help you become more aware of your body and take charge of your health.  I pray that you and your family find answers to what is ailing you so that you can not just survive, but thrive.  

Have you tried a TED? What was your favorite foods that worked for you? What foods did you say “I never want to eat this again when it’s over!”

Are you on a TED right now? How’s it going?

***Disclaimer*** This is not medical advice. These are my own personal experiences from my own TED that are shared for awareness. Please consult your own medical practitioner before beginning a TED.

The Everything Guide to Shea Butter

Shea butter is an amazing all natural, non-toxic alternative to chemical lotions and lip balms.  On its own, it nourishes and heals your skin.  It’s affordable, easy to use, and smells amazing. There are so many reasons for everyone to utilize shea butter.

Shea Butter Facts

What Is Shea Butter?

Shea butter is a fat extracted from the nut of the African shea tree.

Where Does Shea Butter Come From?

As you might have guessed, since shea is from the African Shea Tree, it does originate in Africa.

Shea Butter Nutritional Information

Vitamins A & E
Healthy Saturated Fats: Derived mainly from stearic acid and oleic acid.
Contains phenols-the same antioxidants found in green tea.

Health and Beauty Benefits of Shea Butter

Anti-inflammatory
Non-comedogenic
SPF 6-10
Moisturizing

Tips For Buying Shea Butter

Look for:
Raw and unrefined.  Refined shea butter has many of the beneficial elements removed.  
Ethically sourced.  The harvesting and creation of shea butter is usually done by a community.  Purchasing from a small, reputable source is usually best.  Look for their story of how, where and by whom it’s made.  This supports small farmers, families, and communities and also ensures that they get paid a fair wage.  Plus, chances are, they use the shea butter too and will care about the quality and condition of their product!  
A Product that ISN’T white.  Raw and healthy shea butter will have a yellowish hue.  Like cow’s milk butter, sometimes it’s a rich, bright yellow, sometimes it’s a pale pastel yellow.  The shade will vary depending on the region and shea itself, but it should never be white unless it was processed.  
A warm, earthy scent.  Scentless shea is usually processed.  For processed shea, scentless is usually the “best” processed shea, often, you’ll find it more likely has chemical undertones.  Don’t look for scentless!  This is a keyword for processed!

(This is what I use.)

Shea Butter Allergy Concerns

Shea butter is derived from the shea nut.  If you have a nut allergy, use caution.
If you buy a refined version of shea butter, you run the risk of exposure to chemicals.  

How To Store

Shea butter has a shelf life of about 24 months.  It may last longer but may become less effective over time.

Keep in a cool, dark, dry place for storage.  I keep mine in the original bag it came in, in my closet.  I also portion some of it into a small glass jar for use and keep it in my nightstand.

Shea butter will smell nutty and smokey when fresh.  If your shea butter goes bad, it will smell rancid.  You will probably gag and have no doubt that it is bad.  I’ve kept mine fresh for several years, but if you’re worried, you can always store yours in the fridge to help it last even longer.  Use a glass jar to keep out unwanted fridge odors. 
Note-I live is a cold climate where we have winter 7-9 months of the year.  If you live in a warmer climate, you might want to store yours in the fridge. 

Shea Butter Basic Uses | 21 Ways to Use Shea Butter Plain

  1. Dry Hands
  2. Dry Feet
  3. Dry Lips
  4. Facial Moisturizer
  5. After Shave Cream
  6. Baby Bums
  7. Massage Rub
  8. Cuticle Cream
  9. Sun Screen Lotion
  10. Hair Mask
  11. Stretch Mark Cream
  12. Pregnant Belly Rub
  13. Cracked Skin Repair
  14. Baby Lotion
  15. Chapped Cheeks
  16. Sore Nose From A Cold
  17. Eczema Soother
  18. Dry Elbows
  19. Dry Knees
  20. Scar Repair
  21. Insect Bites

Shea Butter Recipes

Whipped Eczema Body Butter
Whipped Eczema Body Butter

References

http://www.vitaminstuff.com/supplements-shea-butter.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shea_butter

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitellaria

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/258826779_Nutritional_Composition_of_Shea_Products_and_Chemical_Properties_of_Shea_Butter_A_Review

hhttps://bettersheabutter.com/

Checking Out Ely, Minnesota

Checking Out Ely, Minnesota
3rd Day of Camping

I woke up to the sun making glowing shadows on the roof of our tent as it passed through the leaves on the trees.  Already I could feel the sun warming the chilly air.

Since it was so lovely, we thought it would be a perfect day to explore Grand Marais.  We had a fun day checking out all of the little shops.   I would have loved to have stopped at every shop, but there just wasn’t enough time!

I got an amethyst bracelet at a rock store, Loony’s Northwoods Emporium.  Each child got to pick out a rock of their choice.   We also visited Ely’s Old Fashioned Candy where we got a bunch of rare (for us) treats.  I was thrilled to be able to visit Jim Brandenberg’s Art gallery.  At the local Goodwill, Cupcake and I got a few books, Princess got a few sweaters and a cute pair of sandals.  Nate found 4 packs of kinetic sand for 99 cents.  Mr. Awesome found a toy airplane.

In between two cute shops (Mealey’s Gift & Sauna Shops), there was a well-maintained flower garden with a waterfall and fish pond hiding in the corner.  It reminded me of the fish pond my Grandpa used to have in his backyard.

On the recommendation of the receptionist at the Brandenburg gallery, we decided to visit Kawishiwi Falls.  Since we still had some 5 Week Workout Challenge days left, I thought it was a great idea!  Plus, getting to explore another waterfall sounded like a lot of fun.

The hike was quite beautiful.  It was a short 1.5-mile hike.  There were large boulders everywhere.  Birch trees grew on and around the large rocks, their roots hugging them like cozy pillows.  Planks made paths through the low ground where it probably gets muddy when it rains.

Climbing the last hill before the falls, we could hear the roar of the water as it tumbled down the rocks.  Once at the top, the view was breathtaking.  If we didn’t have the little ones, getting closer to the water might have been a neat area to explore.

After our hike, we went back into town to see the local farmer’s market.  It was in the town’s park and slightly larger than our farmer’s market.  There was a lot of stands set up selling a large variety of goods.  For people who didn’t have cash, they had a stand set up selling wooden chips to pay vendors.  We saw candles, kombucha, fermented foods, jams, fruits, veggies, live music, maple syrup, carved wooden spoons, handmade bath and beauty products, a stand advertising the U of M dental school, and more!  It was almost like a small fair!

The kids found a painted rock and hid it for someone else to find.  We’re always excited to find rocks.  This one had a fish on one side and said Ely Rocks FB on the back.

After the Farmer’s Market, we picked up some tent sealer to make sure our tent was leakproof.  The forecast predicted rain on Wednesday and we wanted to be sure we were dry.  While there I found a cute mug that has a moose on it and the words Ely, MN.  I like useful souvenirs.  It was another fun day of vacation!

Have you been to Ely, Minnesota?  What’s your favorite thing to do there?

Check out our video!

 

5 Week Workout Challenge
Previous Day: Week 5, Day 1: Schaar’s Bluff
Next Day: Week 5, Day 3: Norberg Trail

Continue on to camping, day 4!
http://cisforcomfort.com/4-year-old-caught-fish/

Did you miss day 2?
Read all about it here!
http://cisforcomfort.com/locked-keys-van/

4 Year Old Adventure

4 Year Old Adventure
5 Week Workout Challenge: Week 3, Day 4

The big kids went to the drive in with Grandma and Grandpa, so Princess and I decided to go on an adventure.  We went on a walk downtown and along the river.  It was the perfect evening for a walk and we had a lot of fun!

Princess LOVES going for walks.  She is a little outdoors girl.  If we could live outside, she would be so happy.  One of her favorite activities is camping.  She’s always asking me when we can go play outside together.  I let her lead us on this 4-year-old adventure.

I’m naturally a home body.  I love hiding inside.  I’m always looking for ways to motivate myself to go outdoors more because the outdoors are beautiful and they always make me feel closer to God.  Doing this exercise challenge has been a great way to do that.  I do love to explore new places too, but it’s nice to have a little girl who pushes me to do so.

I hope we’ve been inspiring you to get outdoors too if you are naturally a home body like me.  Exercise doesn’t have to be gruesome and horrible.  Getting outside, exploring the world and all of the wonders that God created for us to enjoy is fun and exciting.  The person who moves slowly on the trail is still moving faster than the person at home on their couch.  So get out there and get some fresh air!

Have we motivated you to get outside this week?  Do your kids love to go outside as much as my little outdoor girl?

5 Week Workout Challenge
Previous Week: Week 3, Day 3: Covered Bridge Park
Next Week: Week 4, Day 1: Morning Workout