Are you looking for a gut reset diet to help your IBS?
I’m here to tell you that there is NO one size fits all approach to diet. This is even more true for those with gluten sensitivity or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
For those suffering from IBS, or side effects of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, the first step in treatment is to determine if your diet is contributing to your condition.
The most cost-effective way to do this is through a Reset Diet. For thirty days you will remove all potentially inflammatory foods to see how your body responds. This is the easiest way to determine if your IBS is aggravated by a food allergy or sensitivity.
If it is, you will see improvements in your IBS or gluten-related symptoms.
This is not a weight loss diet. Don’t expect all of your health problems to magically disappear. Ultimately, by the end of the Reset Diet, what you will understand what foods need to be eliminated from your diet and what you can continue to enjoy without the symptoms of IBS.
How does a 30-Day IBS Reset Diet work?
The Reset Diet is an elimination diet designed to:
- reduce inflammation,
- improve digestion,
- burn fat,
- identify food sensitivities,
- reduce allergic reactions,
- boost energy,
- regulate blood sugar,
- stabilize mood.
It almost seems too good to be true.
But Ali and I have not only guided hundreds of people through it, but we’ve also followed the diet ourselves. And we can tell you this: it works.
No other therapy – natural or otherwise – can come even remotely close to accomplishing all of these goals in such a short period of time.
While 30 days seems to be the average amount of time it takes for the Reset Diet to take effect, keep in mind that it is just a minimum. Some people may need 45, 60 or even 90 days to get the full benefits.
The length of time depends on every individual body and how much time it takes for the inflammatory substances to clear out. However, it is absolutely essential that you commit to making these changes for at least 30 days – without cheating.
After completing the elimination diet, you’ll have a bit more leeway to go off the rails every now and then. (After all, there’s more to life than food!) But the Reset phase is not one of those times. This is where you gather your strength and buckle down.
How do we know you can do it? Because hundreds of other people just like you already have. By removing the foods that most commonly cause problems, you will be allowing your body to rest and recover from whatever symptoms those foods have been setting off.
Just one cheat could trigger a whole new cascade of reactions. Don’t do it. It’s not worth it.
What foods can you eat?
We’ve broken it down into three categories to make it as easy as possible.
■ Eat liberally: Enjoy as much of these foods as you like. No counting calories or calculating ratios of protein, fat, or carbohydrates. This isn’t a “cleanse” or a fast. If a food is on this list, you’re free to eat it.
■ Eat in moderation: Eat these foods, but don’t go crazy. How often or how much of them is permitted is indicated, but in general, you want to limit consumption of these foods compared to those in the “eat liberally” category.
■ Avoid completely: Yep, completely. This is where the rubber hits the road. The success (or failure) of the program hinges on your ability to steer clear of these foods during the 30-day Reset.
- Meat and poultry. Lots of beef and lamb, but also pork, chicken, turkey, duck and wild game like venison and ostrich. Organic and free-range is always preferable but is especially so during this program.
- Organ meats; especially liver. Liver is the most nutrient-dense food on the planet. If you don’t like the taste of liver, one good trick is to put one chicken liver in each cube of an ice cube tray and freeze them. Then, when you’re making any meat dish, dice up one chicken liver and add it to the meat.
- Bone broth soups. It’s essential to balance your intake of muscle meats and organ meats with homemade bone broths. Bone broths are rich in glycine, and amino acid found in collagen (1), which is a protein important in maintaining a healthy gut lining.
- Fish – especially fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and herring (2). Wild is preferable. You need to eat three 6 oz. servings of fatty fish per week to balance your omega-6 to omega-3 ratio.
- Eggs, preferably free-range and organic.
- Starchy tubers such as yams, sweet potatoes, yucca/manioc, taro, lotus root.
- Non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber – cooked and raw.
- Fermented vegetables and fruits like: sauerkraut, kim chi, beet kvaas, and coconut kefir. These are excellent for gut health.
- Traditional fats like coconut oil, palm oil, lard, duck fat, beef tallow, and olive oil.
- Olives, avocados, and coconuts (including coconut milk).
- Sea salt and spices. Avoid sugar and artificial flavorings.
EAT IN MODERATION:
- Processed meat like sausage, bacon, and jerky. Make sure they are gluten, sugar, and soy free. Organic/free-range meat is preferable.
- Whole fruit: approximately 1-3 servings per day, depending on your blood sugar balance. Favour low sugar fruits like berries and peaches over tropical fruits, apples & pears.
- Nuts and seeds: no more than a handful per day, preferably soaked overnight and dehydrated, or roasted at 150 degrees to improve digestibility. Choose nuts lower in omega-6, like hazelnuts and macadamias, and minimize nuts high in omega-6, like brazil nuts and almonds.
- Green beans, sugar peas, and snap peas. Though technically legumes, they are usually well tolerated.
- Coffee and black tea taken black, or with coconut milk. Note that this only applies if you don’t suffer from fatigue, insomnia or low blood sugar. Consume only before noon and limit it to one cup (not one triple espresso – one cup).
- Dark chocolate: 70% or higher in small amounts (i.e. about the size of a silver dollar per serving) is permitted.
- Vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is especially well tolerated.
- Restaurant food. The main problem with eating out is that restaurants cook with industrial seed oils, which wreak havoc on the body and cause serious inflammation.
- Dairy, including butter, cheese, yogurt, milk, cream, and any dairy product that comes from a cow, goat or sheep.
- Grains including bread, rice, cereal, oats, or any gluten-free pseudo-grains like sorghum, teff, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat.
- Legumes including beans of all kinds (such as soy, black, kidney, pinto), peas, lentils, and peanuts.
- Concentrated sweeteners, whether they are real or artificial. This includes sugar, high fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, honey, agave, brown rice syrup, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia.
- Processed or refined foods. As a general rule, if it comes in a bag or a box, don’t eat it. This also includes highly processed “health foods” like protein powder and energy bars, as well as food substitutes like dairy-free creamers.
- Industrial seed oils such as soybean, corn, safflower, sunflower, cottonseed, canola. Read labels – seed oils are in almost all processed, packaged, and refined foods (which you should be mostly avoiding anyway).
- Sodas and diet sodas in all forms. You can read more about the affect they have on your health here.
- Alcohol in any form. (Don’t worry. It’s just 30 days.)
- Processed sauces and seasonings: soy sauce, tamari, and other processed seasonings and sauces. More often than not, sauces contain sugar, soy, and gluten.
With certain health conditions the basic 30 Day Reset program needs further modification:
- Those with arthritis, joint pain, autoimmune disease and severe gut issues should also eliminate nightshades and eggs. Nightshades include potatoes, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, tomatillos, pepinos, pimentos, paprika and cayenne pepper. Nightshades have compounds called alkaloids that can cause inflammation and worsen joint pain. Eggs contain proteins that are common allergens.
- Those with insulin resistance, hypoglycemia or reactive hypoglycemia, and those wishing to lose weight should limit fruit and starchy vegetables. The total amount eaten each day should equal roughly 50 grams per day of carbohydrates, which is the amount contained in two servings of low-glycemic fruit (berries) and 1-2 servings of starch (such as sweet potato, taro, yucca).
- Those with fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, mood swings or depression should eliminate coffee, tea, and all caffeine entirely. Caffeine stimulates the adrenals and can worsen all of these conditions. Once your adrenal issues have been addressed, you may be able to add them back in moderation.
- Athletes or those who have high levels of physical activity may want to increase their carbohydrate intake, especially after training. As a general idea, a minimum of 600 calories (150g) per day of carbohydrates, and as much as 800 calories (200g) or more may be required to meet energy needs, depending on the intensity of training and individual tolerance.
Okay, there it is – your elimination diet for IBS. Dive in and give this a shot.
Once you’re complete, I want to hear from you:
What food affected your IBS symptoms the most?
Hi. I noticed that you didn’t directly address FODMAPS in this. In my digging around on the internet I found several different places citing FODMAPS as likely contributors to IBS. I notice that some were caught under your list but others- garlic and onions for example- went unrestricted. Just wondering if you could please explain why you decided to leave this off the list. Thanks!
mark volmer says
Great insight. When working with patients eating a standard Canadian (or American) diet, comfortably transitioning to a paleo diet is a massive undertaking. We limit restrictions in the initial stages to increase success. Once one is comfortable with a paleo-style diet, we then will tweak it based on their symptomology. For more specifics on FODMAPS (and how they can affect IBS), you can check out my other blog article: https://fatiguetoflourish.com/best-diet-irritable-bowel-syndrome/