I am asked the same questions each time I eat around a new friend. It starts with, “What are you allergic to?” I begin to name the list. With eyes bugging out, they ask, “So what CAN you eat?” This is the part of the conversation I love most, explaining that even though I’ve cut out so many foods, I actually have access to plenty of really good foods that nourish my body.
If you have been struggling with autoimmune reactions or food allergies, I hope this post can give you direction towards some safe food choices. Understand, for me, this process has taken place over 16 years of trial and error. I began with taking out dairy when I was 14, but did not always follow that faithfully because I was a teenager who loved ice cream and Taco Bell. Gluten free was my next step right after college. It was a good start for me that brought great relief, but my body still needed more help.
A friend recently asked me about deciding what foods to eat and what to cut out. We are bombarded by messages about healthy and unhealthy all the time. It can be tough figuring out what’s right for you. To make it even harder, traditional allergy tests do not always communicate food allergies properly. Although finding your safe foods is a difficult process, the measuring stick is pretty simple… what foods make you feel your best? Food elimination diets helped me determine my safe list over many years. Finding a Functional Medicine doctor or Holistic Practitioner can also be a great support. To be fair, some foods are not a true allergy, but more of a food sensitivity. I just lump it into one category because I know they don’t make me feel my best and it’s easier to communicate to the world. I encourage you to check out this list and see if it could help you. If you feel overwhelmed don’t give up! You don’t need try it all at once, but you might find a good place to start.
Mandy’s Safe Foods
- Almost all vegetables – Green leafy veggies are the best
- Almost all fruits – Low glycemic seem to be the best
- Organic meats – Grass fed beef, chicken, pork, lamb
- Wild caught seafood
- Organic Sweeteners – Raw honey, maple syrup, stevia, monk fruit
- Organic Tea
- Water – We have a reverse osmosis filter in our home.
No Way! NEVER Foods
These foods cause serious digestive issues, skin irritations, extreme fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, just to name a few. I would skip eating all day before I would eat these because it’s just not worth it.
- All grains – Just being gluten free doesn’t cut it. I react to all grains, even quinoa, oats, corn, and rice
- Process foods or additives – If you can’t identify it or pronounce it, don’t eat it
- Alcohol – Even wine causes me digestive struggles
These are foods that seem to be fine in very small quantities. If I eat them a few times a year it’s not a problem. If I’m traveling and there isn’t any other option, I might eat these foods. However, eating them on a regular basis causes problems, so I’m careful not to push these limits.
- High Glycemic fruits – Watermelon, pineapple, cherries
A note about Keto
For about a year I have been working on following a low carb, no sweetener, clean keto plan. I was diagnosed with SIBO which was causing my body to crave glucose like crazy! Keto has been huge in resetting my body. There are plenty of “safe veggies” like sweet potatoes that aren’t what’s best for me now, but will find their way back into my diet again.
You can do it!
My hope is for you to find encouragement in this, not defeat. When you catch yourself thinking about all the foods you “can’t live without”, take captive of those thoughts. Instead imagine relief from chronic symptoms. Food is meant to be fuel for our bodies. After many committed years of eating this way, I do not miss my old foods. I have found such freedom from sickness, I never want to go back!
11 Replies to “Mandy’s Safe Foods List”
Love this list, Mandy! So proud of you and all your hard work with this blog!
Thanks for the love Kendall! I hope it can help someone. : )
Do you take any supplements? Did you do a good allergy test to give you a base to work from?
I do take supplements and have done allergy tests. I’m careful to tell people how important it is to find a doctor to guide you. A holistic practitioner who does muscle testing or a functional medicine doctor can make all the difference in healing. I also believe that grocery store synthetic vitamins don’t offer much support, while companies with truly good whole food supplements are worth the money. I trust companies like Metagenics, Ortho Molecular, and Bio-Botanical. These companies would require guidance from a nutritionist or the above-mentioned health practitioners. One body is different from another, so the supplements that I need right now might be different than someone else. I choose to invest in my doctor because I feel like I would be spinning my wheels, wasting money on a treatment that wasn’t helpful.
Cyrex Labs offers a list of tests. This is not the final word on food choices, but it’s a place to start. It focuses on foods that might be irritants as opposed to allergens. If I went to the allergist, I would not have a food allergy to beans, nuts, or potatoes, however, my blood test from Cyrex labs notes that these are difficult for my digestion right now. The goal is to work with your doctor to strengthen the gut and reintroduce foods back into your life.
Wishing you luck in finding support and the right supplements! Start with solid food choices! It will make all the difference.
I meant food allergy test.
Hi Kim, the above mentioned blood test is a good allergy test.
I went to an allergist for years doing the needle prick test. Some allergies would show up but others wouldn’t. It’s less about an allergy and more about what your digestion can handle. For example, and allergy test never shows that I’m allergic to nuts. However, I know eating them causes me digestive distress and sometimes gives me itchy throat and eyes. I can drink almond milk without issue.
Functional medicine doctors who do kinesiology should be able to muscle test for food sensitivities with you aren’t interested in the blood test. Truly though, the best indicator is an elimination diet to know for sure.