In What Order Do We Reintroduce Foods?

  • Make sure you have plateaued (no improvement via the diet) for at least 1 week before reintroducing new foods. If you are continuing to improved week after week on the diet, do not reintroduce new foods yet.

  • Be very carefully when adding new foods back into your diet while you are adding in the GI clearing herbs or any new supplements for the first time. Make sure you are stable with the the new supplements or GI clearing herbs for 1-2 weeks before trying to reintroduce new foods.

Reintroducing Foods Back into Your Diet

  • The reintroduction phase is typically a 2 to 3 day period (3 days if you are more sensitive). On day one, we might start with just one bite of a tomato or salsa. Then on day two or three, we may eat a whole tomato. The basic structure is to start with one very small serving (one scoop, one teaspoon, etc.) and increase the serving size over that three- to four-day period, seeing if we can tolerate it.

  • Start adding back foods after it’s been at least 4 weeks and your symptomatic improvement has plateaued for at-least 1 week. In other words the improvement you may of felt initially while starting has flat-lined. It’s important to make sure your symptoms are relatively stable before you start reintroducing foods. This way you know if it is the new food causing the problem and not some other unknown variable. Many people continue to improve on the diet past 4 weeks so we don’t want to cut off those gains by reintroducing foods too soon. The idea here is that if you have a negative response to the food you are reintroducing, it will be size-dependent.

  • The smaller the food, the smaller the response; the larger the food, the larger the response. So if you’re prone to having joint pain or brain fog or energy dips, a smaller reintroduction gives you less-intense symptoms. So watch for those negative symptoms. What could those symptoms be? It could be joint pain, fatigue, brain fog, weight gain, and symptom you might have typically experienced prior to your diet. It could simply be that it’s too soon to add that food back in, and after your gut has healed more, you can try it again.

1. Eggs: Add eggs. Keep the yolks runny. Why? The egg yolks tend to rancidify and denature when they’re cooked too much. So avoid the scrambled eggs; keep it to poached eggs or sunny-side up or over-easy. The litmus test is, the yolks must run when you poke them. If you tolerate the egg yolks, you can try the complete egg next. Don’t overcook the egg as you don’t want your body to hyper-respond to the potential denatured protein in the egg whites.

2. Dairy: Add dairy. What kinds of dairy? Ghee, clarified butter, is a good choice here. The whey protein, the casein, and the lactose is typically pulled out, so you just have the butterfat in the ghee, which makes it a bit more hypoallergenic. A lot of people on an autoimmune diet may not be able to handle any dairy but ghee. After ghee, you can add the following in this precise order:

  • Ghee (first)

  • Grass-fed Kerry-gold butter (second)

  • Move to nuts and seeds unless Dr. J gives his approval at your next consult.

  • Raw yogurt (With Dr’s approval only)

  • Raw cheese (With Dr’s approval only)

  • Raw milk (With Dr’s approval only)

  • Why are ghee and butter added in before milk and cheese? Ghee and butter is higher in butter fat and have less lactose and casein, which tend to be the more problematic aspect of dairy.

3. Nuts and Seeds: Add nuts and seeds (one at a time only). Try to keep them to soaked nuts. The soaked nuts will be better because you’ll be deactivating some of the phytates and lectins. Some of the anti-nutrients that are in those foods will be deactivated by soaking them.

4. Nightshades: Add nightshades. What’s the problem with nightshades? They fall into a family that has a high amount of compounds known as alpha-solanines and glycoalkaloids. These can be irritating compounds. They can get into the joint tissue and create inflammation. They can be particularly irritating for people who have arthritis or joint pain. Nightshades can also cause skin issues, fatigue, brain fog, weight gain, hormone issues, and so on. If you’re just not quite feeling right, any intensification of symptoms, keep an eye on the nightshades.

5. FODMAPS: FODMAP foods can be added back in after AIP foods have been added back in. If you weren’t asked to removed higher FODMAPS you can ignore this step. If you did pull higher and moderate FODMAP foods out of your diet you can start with your favorite moderate FODMAPS following the same protocol above. Once you have maxed out your moderate FODMAP options you can start working in the high FODMAP food options. If you experience any negative symptoms, you can remove the foods from your diet and try again next month. You can click here to access Dr. J’s FODMAP handout.

Becarefull of the FODMAP load of your meal. Once you have successfully added in new FODMAP’s back into your diet, don’t continue to combine these FODMAPS with new FODMAPS that you are adding in at the same meal. If you can tolerate broccoli and then try to add back in garlic with broccoli at that same meal, it may cause a problem. If those foods were eaten by themselves, you maybe able to still tolerate them.