As we inch closer and closer to the new year, diets and weight loss plans are all the rave, even more than usual. From the keto to paleo to going vegetarian or vegan, a lot of us are getting serious about not just slimming down but getting healthy… for good. We've had an "a-ha moment" that it's not just about looking a certain way for social media but living a healthy lifestyle we can proud of in private.
One of the popular (and realistic) ways lots of women are getting their health on track is with the elimination diet. If you've tried any other diet and feel like you're at your wit's end, or you're researching for the first time to see what's best for you and your body, the elimination diet could be a win for your body. But not in the way you think. Whatever you go for, we always advise you to speak with your physician before taking the plunge with any dietary changes.
What You Need To Know About The Elimination Diet
What Is The Elimination Diet?
Before you go cleaning out your refrigerator and pantry, it's important to know that while it has the word diet in it, the elimination diet is unlike any other food-restriction plan.
Its purpose is to identify which foods and/or food groups trigger problems for your body like diarrhea, bloating, constipation, nausea, eczema, and even skin breakouts. It involves removing certain types of foods, and possibly even complete food groups, from your diet. The foods you eliminate (i.e. milk/dairy, peanuts, starches) are usually ones that cause certain issues like allergies or other discomforts.
How Do You Get Started With The Elimination Diet?
Please keep in mind that this type of dieting is typically suggested by a professional (especially if you have a suspected food allergy). You also don't want to eliminate too many food groups at once as this could cause a deficiency in your nutrition.
According to Healthline, the key is to eliminate foods that you (and your doctor) believe can cause intolerances in your body for 2-3 weeks to see if you recognize any changes. Then, slowly but surely reintroduce these foods back into your diet one at a time in 2-3 day timeframes. As you do this, watch out for any triggers that you previously had that may be making their way back. Some of the common symptoms are headaches and migraines, fatigue, bloating, cramps, changes in bowel movements and trouble sleeping. If none of your triggers come back up, feel free to move on to the next food/food group. On the flip side, if your intolerances do return, then you've just identified what has been causing your body discomfort.
Should I Try A Basic Elimination Diet, The Full Elimination Diet, Or The Low FODMAP Diet?
There are actually a few different types of elimination diets you can choose from. The basic elimination diet includes removing gluten and dairy from your diet, then reintroducing them again to see how your body responds. Some can still eat gluten and dairy afterward, depending on their body, and some decide to stay away from gluten for the long haul.
A full elimination diet removes eggs, shellfish, soy, and related products, as well as corn and tree nuts, while a nightshade elimination diet eliminates nightshade vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, paprika, and chili peppers.
There is also the Low FODMAP that deals with irritable bowel syndrome. It eliminates lots of dairy products, dried fruit, most vegetables, coffee, tea, and juices. What you can eat on this elimination diet is meats, chicken, fish, eggs, cold cuts, hard cheeses, mozzarella, sherbert, nuts, and some fruits like oranges, bananas, and melon.
The specific carbohydrate diet calls for a LOT of discipline as you'd have to remove all grains, specific legumes (like soybeans and chickpeas), a majority of dairy products, root vegetables, canned and processed meats, and starches. While it calls for more discipline than others might, it could help with digestive issues in a major way. At the same time, because the list is so vast, you definitely want to talk to your doctor before taking it on.
So…What Do I Get Out Of Doing The Elimination Diet?
Along with realizing what triggers could be stopping you from living and feeling your best, taking on a proper healthy elimination diet in the right way can have a few other advantages such as easier digestion and clearer skin (depending on the diet you tried and the trigger you had before). Though the pot at the end of the rainbow isn't weight loss, it can jumpstart your body on its journey to embracing a healthy, well-balanced diet.
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Charmaine Patterson is a journalist, lifestyle blogger, and a lover of all things pop culture. While she has much experience in covering top entertainment news stories, she aims to share her everyday life experiences, old and new, with other women who can relate, laugh, and love along with her. Follow Char on Twitter @charjpatterson, Instagram @charpatterson, and keep up with her journey at CharJPatterson.com .
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Russell and Nina Westbrook are one of those low-key, unproblematic couples we don’t talk about enough. They met in college and got married in 2015. They also have a beautiful family with three kids. While Russell is an NBA star, Nina is a licensed family and marriage therapist and a mental health advocate.
She recently launched the podcast The Relationship Chronicles with Nina Westbrook, and in the latest episode, she had none other than her husband on as a guest. The college sweethearts dived into important topics from marriage to children and how they navigate it all.
One of the topics they touched on was dealing with resentment in your relationship. The former MVP highlighted the sacrifices his wife has had to make in order for him to pursue a career in the NBA, and that’s why it’s also important for him to support his wife whenever he can.
“For me is respecting and understanding what your partner do and the time it takes,” Russell said. “Not kind of downplaying what they do, understanding the time and energy and effort they're doing to make sure whether it’s their job or making sure home is taken care of, and understanding that, I think that is the challenge of not being resentful.”
Nina agreed and also shared her thoughts on resentment. According to her, one of the best things couples should do is have their own identity and passions outside of the relationship in an effort to be fulfilled.
“I also think that when you’re in a relationship, that’s why it’s so important that each individual kinda pursue their own passions and follow their own dreams as I feel like it only becomes or leads to resentment when one person is not feeling fulfilled in what they're doing in their lives,” she explained.
“And so, they will start to look at the other partner who’s happy or excelling or promoting or moving along in their journey, then they’re left feeling stuck like they sacrificed themselves, their happiness, their career, their future and have not pursued it in the name of the relationship or their partner. So, it’s so much easier to avoid those feelings of resentment when you’re each equally pursuing your passions.”
The couple has many passions that they work on together and separately. Outside of basketball and his family, Russell has become known for his eclectic style and started the fashion brand Honor The Gift. Nina has her podcast, and she also started the mental health website Bene. Together, they run the Why Not? Foundation, which works with kids in underserved communities.
“I’m a firm believer that one person can’t be everything to you, so you have to sort of seek out those different friendships or groups or hobbies or activities that help to fulfill you,” Nina concluded.
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Feature image by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for Religion of Sports