The purpose of eliminating/challenging foods is to find out if you have an allergy or intolerance to that particular food.
(I recommend that any food be eliminated for at least 3-6 weeks. The longer the food is eliminated, the clearer the indication will be as to whether or not you react to it, as your body will be clearing the food)
Of the food GROUPS you have eliminated, decide which group you want to challenge first.
i.e.: Dairy challenge may include yogurt at breakfast, cheese at lunch, and ice cream at dinner, and a wheat challenge might include toast at breakfast, sandwich at lunch, and pasta at dinner…Do challenge with the foods that you eat (if you despise tofu and never eat it, do not include tofu as part of the soy challenge).
***eggs are not part of a dairy challenge, they are part of the egg challenge.
Day One (and Two, which is optional, and usually done if you did not think you reacted on day one): Have the food you are challenging as part of all three meals.
*You MUST start the challenge in the A.M.: this is important (NOT with an evening meal, as you could have a reaction and sleep right through it).
***Please note: if you felt aweful on day ONE from the food, there is no need to continue having that food for day two. Day two is more for those people who are not sure if they felt anything on day one.
Day Three, Four and Five: Revert back to the original elimination.
*Observe how you are feeling and if any symptoms are arising.
*You name it, it can be your symptom: itchy skin, nausea, headache, depression, bloating, gas, fatigue, foggy brain, etc.
* If you get sick with a cold/flu on day four, do suspect that the food you challenged on day one is the culprit (viruses take about three days to incubate). An intolerant food will weaken the immune system…hence why a virus would then be able to seed itself in your system at that time.
Repeat the above process for each food group that was eliminated
If you had no reaction, and are sure of that, then you can start incorporating that food back into your diet after the four day challenge is over. Just be sure not to overdue it on that food.
If you think you had a reaction, but are unsure, continue to eliminate that food and challenge again after about a week.
Any reaction is an indication to you that the food is not healthy for you and consumption of that food will stress your immune system, make chronic diseases worse, and generally not be good for a preventive health lifestyle.
Reactions include, and are not limited to : fatigue, mental fog, a cold or flu three days after having a particular food, skin rashes or an unexplained itch occurring up to 3 days later, the exacerbation of any chronic illness, insomnia, headaches or migraines, congestion, and anything at all!
***If you have ever had a severe allergic reaction or asthma attack that needed an epi pen or hospital treatment, do not do the challenge above without medical supervision.***