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Elimination diet - ideas appreciated!

I am feeling a bit desperate. With such a long list of no no foods I am having a hard time coming up with ideas. Roasted or otherwise simply prepared veggies and rice or salads are all I can think of. Luckily this is only for a few weeks and then I can start adding items back in, but until I figure out what to eat I have been pretty hungry! I don't want to rely on frozen or other prepared meals from Whole Foods-type places, although I have filled in a couple of meals with those in a pinch already. (Choices are limited anyway within the parameters.) I am very thankful in advance for any ideas! I figured it would be easier to be creative from a step away.

I cannot eat:
- meat, fish, poultry (vegetarian)
- dairy
- eggs
- soy
- gluten
- bananas
- apples
- citrus
- avocados
- beans
- tomato
- mushrooms
- onions
- corn
- nuts
- alcohol, including cooked
- anything pickled, fermented or marinated

Thanks again!

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  1. That's quite a list.
    In the Jain religion they are vegetarian but they don't use garlic or onions. They don't use root veg either but no reason you can't. This is probably a good bet to have something interesting on such a restrictive diet.

    Link to recipes which may useful


    1. Wow. Looks like, by eliminating all legumes (beans) and nuts, you have eliminated most obvious vegetarian protein sources. My mother worked with the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation years ago, and one of her projects was working out food combinations that supplied complete amino acids in a vegetarian diet.

      That was a while ago, but you might find them helpful.


      2 Replies
      1. re: texanfrench

        Tex, that truncated link doesn't work for me. I'm quite interested in your mother's work. Could you post a more complete link, please. Thanks.

        1. re: texanfrench

          Texas, did a Google search and found Price-Pottenger and info. Thanks for posting.

        2. Can you eat seeds? Sunbutter, sunflower seeds. Flaxseed meal as an egg replacement in recipes in which you use rice flour.

          Can you eat berries? Add to Ricera (rice yogurt).

          Rice pasta with roasted red peppers and olive oil.

          1. Yikes, that is really an elimination diet!

            I assume you're working with a nutritionist or dietician in conjunction with your physicians.

            That said, my only NON-professional thoughts would be to keep your protein intake up. Quinoa, brown rice, and perhaps kasha (a/k/a buckwheat groats). Buckwheat is related to the rhubarb plant, so make sure that's not a problem for you. I believe they are all gluten-free, but check with your advisers.

            Can you eat any fruit at all? Like grapes, pears, pineapple, berries. Even frozen berries could work in a totally fruit smoothie sort of thing, maybe a little water or a bit of 100% pomegranate juice to thin it out. I don't believe pomegranate to be a citrus fruit, but it could complicate you in other ways.

            Are oils okay? Most vegetable oils are corn or soy, so stick to olive oil, if you can, or organic sunflower or safflower oil. I was going to send you a link to La Tienda, Spanish importers, for their smoked olive oil, but it is out of stock at the moment. It's not a cooking oil, rather a finishing oil. Expensive, but a delicious treat when you just need a few drizzles for a flavor boost over vegetables or lettuce.

            You said you were checking labels for prepared food. Good. Soy, gluten, dairy, and corn products lurk everywhere.

            Can you eat lentils? It's in the legume family, so I don't know if that would be off your list.

            Best of luck with this, Olive.

            1. Very-very tough! Here are a few suggestions:

              Make a list of all foods that you can eat and start building meals with those. Make a large pot of vegetable stock and use it to cook everything in instead of water for extra flavour and nutrition.

              Quinoa - hot or cold with roasted or fresh vegetables or fruit. Could dress with olive oil and some spices.
              Rice - fried with vegetables; coconut - good for breakfast topped with fruit or berries
              Boiled vegetable salads dressed with oil and herbs (dill)
              Soups - carrot/ginger, cream of any vegetable using potato instead of dairy
              Potatos/Sweet Potatoes - mashed, fried, baked, boiled
              Vegetarian Sushi
              Seaweed - crumbled on other dishes or a a salad
              Stir-fried vegetables with rice

              Good luck!

              1. If you can have coconut milk you can make creamy soups out of the allowed vegetables.
                You can make pilafs from the quinoa or rice and nuts.

                1. Oatmeal with raisins
                  Potatoes topped with broccoli & toasted red pepper & acceptable oil (olive oil or canola oil?)
                  Baked acorn squash w/ brown sugar & cinnamon

                  1. Thanks so much for all of the initial thoughts! I am working with a doctor - thanks for the careful responses. I am checking on the questions. I have been using coconut and olive oil and some of these other items. I have sunflower seed butter and totally didn't think to use it. I can dip carrot sticks and such in it. Protein is definitely one of my challenges. I am reading all of the suggestions carefully. Thank you, thank you, thank you! This one is definitely a puzzle, and not tons of fun for a food lover.

                    1. Maybe take the opposite approach and make a list of things you can eat.

                      Whole grains are a great place to start. Here is a good lost of gluten free whole grains:

                      Job's Tears (or Hato Mugi
                      Montina (Indian rice grass)
                      Wild Rice

                      Note that oats are inherently gluten-free, but make sure you check labels carefully to see that they are labeled gluten-free. (I think Bob's Red Mill brand is pretty widely available.)

                      Grains will certainly help fill you up and add interest to your diet. You can eat them sweet for breakfast or savory for lunch or dinner.

                      It appears as if you can eat seeds - sunflower, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds.

                      There are a lot of fruit and vegetables not on your elimination list. Create a list of your favorites and think about their flavor profiles. You want to get some "big" flavors to help satisfy your hunger.

                      Think about what types of cuisines you like - Mexican, Mediterranean, Asian, etc. And start putting them together.

                      For example, for "Mexican", you could do a "salsa" with jícama, mango, sweet peppers, chile peppers, olive oil, and pineapple juice, with fresh cilantro over a Cauliflower "steak" http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/caul...
                      And serve that over a bed of rice tossed with pumpkin seeds.

                      For Mediterranean, roasted butternut squash, with oregano, cinnamon, cumin, and peppers, carrots, celery over Quinoa that was tossed with sunflower seeds, olive oil, and dried apricots or raisins.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Springhaze2

                        Is pineapple "citrus" family for your diet?

                        1. re: MidwesternerTT

                          I had that question too. Is pineapple "citrus"? Are you eliminating all fruits that are high acid, or just those that are botanically classified as citrus?

                          Some other questions:

                          I know that tomatoes are NOT allowed, what about other fruits/vegetables in the "nightshade" family? That includes potatoes, eggplant and tomatillos.

                          I see onions listed, what about garlic? Is it all aliums?

                          People with tree nut allergies are usually told to not eat coconut. Are you sure that coconuts are OK?

                        2. re: Springhaze2

                          "Maybe take the opposite approach and make a list of things you can eat. "

                          This is the best approach for anyone who needs to stop eating things they previously used as staples. Otherwise you really do end up with the kind of brain block the OP is talking about.

                        3. So if I'm correct, the following are a list of OK:

                          100% buckwheat noodles
                          rice noodles (so many shapes and sizes!)
                          amaranth, millet, quinoa, sorghum, and teff (are not gluten-free but safe for celiacs)
                          peas (? - count as a bean?)
                          butternut, spaghetti, acorn squash

                          water chestnut
                          sweet peppers

                          olive oil
                          garlic, shallot, scallions (? - or all aliums out?)
                          salt, black pepper, sugar
                          spices & herbs

                          With this, you can create stir fries, cold salads, hot salads, rice noodle bowls (hot & cold),

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: seamunky

                            That's a heckuva list. A couple of people have mentioned oatmeal-steel cut oats are the way to go. I like them savory so that would add a little variety. Use whatever veggies or condiments you like and aren't on the banned list. I really like twice baked potatoes and you can get a lot of variety using the veggies you can have. Quinoa topped with roasted butternut or beets is really satisfying to me. Any of the vegetables you have can be roasted and turned into soup-add veg broth to get the texture you want, and you can vary the seasonings a lot. I bet getting a variety of fresh herbs to use would keep things from getting to boring too-no onions definitely puts you at a disadvantage with soup.

                          2. This list is like the glass half empty- what is the list of "yes" foods?

                            1. WHOA!! How bout cauliflower ,squash maybe eggplant>

                              1. Smoothies with berries, hemp protein and sunbutter.

                                Salads with hemp seeds, cooked grains (as previous suggestions), veggies, olive oil and lemon, allowed dried fruits

                                Toasted salted pumpkin seeds with popcorn for snacks

                                "Health warrior" bars are guluten free and vegan with chia seeds, the coconut flavor is delicious

                                Chia pudding with coconut milk (or hemp milk, or rice milk but i think that's watery)

                                Dried dates with sunbutter are an amazing snack or dessert

                                This carrot coconut soup- use veg stock, omit shallots and lime:
                                Serve over quinoa for a more filling meal.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Ttrockwood

                                  Look back at the list of items eliminated. No corn, so no popcorn. No citrus, so no lemon for a salad dressing.

                                  1. re: Springhaze2

                                    Ah- my bad on those! Vinegar looks ok to use instead of the lemon juice for dressing.
                                    Hope the other ideas are helpful- and if you can find coconut butter (different from oil, includes the coconut meat) that's a great alternative to dairy butter

                                    1. re: Ttrockwood

                                      Vinegar is also "out" look at the list the OP provided..."anything pickled, fermented or marinated"

                                      Waiting for clarification on coconut. Some sources classify coconut as "tree nuts".

                                2. How are peanuts classified for your situation? They're not "tree nuts", but may be in the bean/legume family? ETA - removed mention of cashews - I found that those are tree nuts.

                                  1 Reply
                                    1. can you have lentils? peas?
                                      how about peanuts (which are actually legumes, not really nuts)?
                                      how about quinoa?
                                      wild rice?
                                      brown rice?

                                      if you can eat these foods, i can list a few recipes that will work for you.

                                      1. Perhaps you could use tahini as a dip, or in dressings?

                                        1. Slice a cauliflower vertically into "steaks". Roast
                                          - with a drizzle of honey & garam marsala.
                                          - with honey-mustard topping