Why Being Stuck at Home is the Perfect Time for an Elimination Diet

elimination diet

You’ve probably never spent so much time at home than now. Thank you, pandemic. The Institute for Natural Medicine would like to help you use this time to focus on your health. Licensed naturopathic doctors have come together from all over the country to offer their wisdom and years of experience in this Foster Your Best Health webinar series hosted by Beverly Yates, ND and Amy Rothenberg, ND to help you improve your health naturally. Think of it as a free house call.

Why an Elimination Diet is the Ideal Place to Start

Diet is a good place to start when reexamining your health because it is the foundation for overall health and wellness. No doubt you are eating at home now more than ever. But are you making the best choices? If this has been on your mind, you are in the right place to find the right food choices to reduce inflammation, limit food reactions and sensitivities and improve gut health, which is the holy grail of wellness and nutrition.

This webinar is one-of-five webinars that focuses on natural health at home. This webinar will take less than an hour to watch and tackles the issue of nutrition and what you can do right now – with all this time at home – to improve your diet. Don’t worry, it won’t mean trying to find expensively strange foods that you can only find online or your family won’t eat.

Let’s get started, first with an overview of the webinar topics. Then click on the link below to watch the webinar. When you register you will get access to all five webinars to watch when convenient.

Is What I am Eating Actually Good for Me … or Not Good for Me?

Good question and one that Denise Long, ND often hears in her practice. Should you eat wheat? What about dairy? Why do certain foods trigger a headache or stomach pain? The answer may be found in an elimination diet, which is a foundational practice of naturopathic medicine.

Dr Long discusses how a cleanse and elimination approach can identify the foods you may have sensitivities and diet-related inflammation that are leading to symptoms that may be hard to explain and never show up on an allergy test.

elimination diet

An elimination diet is a snap shot look into which foods you consume frequently that may be causing food intolerances and nagging symptoms that are difficult to find the cause. If you work with a naturopathic doctor, he or she will be overjoyed that you’ve decided to do this because it will give them clues as to what may be going on at the cellular level (if you need to find a naturopathic doctor, click here).

And, by temporarily eliminating foods and reintroducing them one-at-a-time, you can get a better idea of how your body is reacting to what you eat. They may be subtle, but the symptoms to look out for include, gas, bloating, heartburn, abdominal pain, stool changes, headaches, brain fog or skin reactions.

Why is this important? As Dr Long discusses, if you are eating something that causes inflammation in your gut, this could affect other systems in your body. She explains that everyone is different and that clean-elimination diet is a good place to start to identify food triggers and how your body reacts. By examining your diet – you will have the power to make the best decisions that are right just for you.

She explains that this isn’t something to you should just jump in to if you don’t have the time or dedication. Elimination diets take time, energy and a plan. However, since we are all on a repeat cycle of work, eat and sleep without much else to do, this may be a good time to focus on how your diet is affecting your health. If it’s not the right time, save this webinar and wait until you are ready. But, if you like most others have the time focus on you, by the end of the process, you will feel empowered to make the right decisions on how to eat to reduce reactions and inflammation.

What Does Diet Have to Do with Gut Health?

Crane Holmes, ND shares an overview of special digestive support diets and the microbiome and why you might benefit from changing your daily eating choices. Dr. Holmes specializes in gastrointestinal problems in his practice and how conditions like leaky gut can impair overall health and how to restore balance in the gut.

elimination diet

He starts by explaining what is the difference between nutrition and fad diets? He explains that there are a lot of diets out there that suggest eating certain foods and avoiding others. This might be good idea, but remember that your body is unique to you so what works for your best friend, may not be best for you. Should you eat animal proteins? Avoid gluten? What about dairy? The list goes on. Are they fads or do they have benefits?

Dr. Holmes explains that some of these diets can beneficial depending on your goals and symptoms. These diets provide structure and can help you gravitate to eat healthier and exercise. This might just improve your sleep and how you feel throughout the day. However, they can also lead to nutritional deficiencies, eating disorders and persistent fears of certain foods. They can also be socially restrictive and at their worst, damage the gut microbiome. More on a heathy gut diet here.

Instead, he recommends working with your doctor to find a diet that becomes a long-term lifestyle diet rather than a quick shot at a fad diet. The Mediterranean Diet is a good place to start because it is ideally suited to help keep your microbiome healthy. Foods defined within the Mediterranean diet and Whole-30 Diet have a dramatic impact on your gut health because of the fibers they contain. These fibers, which come from fruits and vegetables, are fermentable in the gut, which feeds the microbiome. Think of them as a lunchbox for healthy gut bacteria. In addition to what you eat, Dr. Holmes is a fan of the Med diet because it emphasizes exercise and socializing with others, while appreciating what you eat rather than fearing food.

Want to Learn More about the Elimination Diet, In-Home Hydrotherapy, How to Stock Your Natural Medicine Cabinet?

This Five-Part Series Brings Natural Health into Your Home. Click on Any One of the Images Below to Foster Your Best Heath.

Denise Long, ND and Crane Holmes, ND share their knowledge on why there is no better time than now to focus on eating a healthier diet and how now may be the time to try an elimination diet.

Join Michelle Simon, ND, PhD and Mark Heisig, ND discuss how to incorporate movement into your day to improve your life.

Nicola Dehlinger, ND and Gaynel Nave, ND exploration how your mental and emotional states affect your body. Learn how to apply naturopathic approaches to your own whole-person health through personal practices, relationships and community.

Join Judith Boice, ND, LAc, FANBO and Orna Isakson, ND, RH (AHG) for natural, low-cost, and low-side-effect solutions for wellness that you can keep stocked at home for yourself and your loved ones.

In this visual demonstration, Letitia Dick-Kronenberg, ND shows you how hydrotherapy, a traditional practice of naturopathic medicine can improve circulation and stimulate the nervous system for better health.

Learn more about topics covered in this webinar series in the Institute for Natural Medicine content library and from our partners.

  1. What is an Anti-Inflammatory Diet?
  2. How Does Naturopathic Medicine Treat Heartburn and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)?
  3. How Do Naturopathic Doctors Improve Gut Health?
  4. Savory Mushroom, Leek and Fennel Tart and other Healthy Recipes, by Dr Sally LaMont, ND.

This article is sponsored by the Institute for Natural Medicine, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, partnered with the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. INM’s mission is to transform healthcare in America by increasing both public awareness of naturopathic medicine and access to naturopathic doctors for patients. INM believes that naturopathic medicine, with its unique principles and practices, has the potential to reverse the tide of chronic illness that overwhelms existing health care systems and to empower people to achieve and maintain their optimal lifelong health. INM strives to achieve this mission through the following  initiatives:

  • Education – Reveal the unique benefits and outcomes of naturopathic medicine;
  • Access – Connect patients to licensed naturopathic doctors;
  • Research – Expand quality research of this complex and comprehensive system of medicine.

INM's team is made up of naturopathic doctors and health journalists.

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Deb Hubers

Debra Hubers is a serial entrepreneur and has started seven businesses; ranging from an advanced genomics to an employer health care purchasing cooperative. Deb has over 35 years of experience in healthcare finance, education, technology, and pharmacogenomics.

Ms. Hubers has dedicated her career to measuring and improving healthcare outcomes. Her expertise is leveraging technology to deliver personalized, preventative medicine. Ms. Hubers co-founded La Vita Compounding Pharmacy in 2007. Collaborating with her business partner, physicians and strategic partners, Deb has grown La Vita to be one of the most respected and sought-after personalized medicine providers on the west coast. She is also Co-Founder of EpigeneticsRx, a leading provider of precise, personalized, prevention which positively impacts genetic expression.

Alex Keller, ND

Dr. Alex Keller, ND, AFMCP is a graduate of the University of Ottawa with an Honours Bachelor in Health Sciences and Psychology. Although originally intending to attend conventional medical school, following a three-month volunteer internship at a rural Kenyan hospital where he observed how doctors used local food to treat patients, he shifted his career goals and pursued a degree in naturopathic medicine at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto.

After one year of practicing with the esteemed Dr. Chris Pickrell, ND, RH in a community acupuncture setting, in 2015 he and his wife Dr. Jenn Keller, ND moved to rural Ottawa, Canada where they started an organic farm and retreat center. In the same year, Alex and his athletic therapist sister Jess Keller combined their practices to form Keller Active Health, an integrative physical therapy clinic.

Ever curious and passionate about the education of evidence-based natural medicine, in 2017, Dr. Keller joined a fledgling Ottawa-based health tech startup named Fullscript. He serves as its Medical Director and oversees the development of medical education content for practitioners across North America.

Prior to medicine, Alex worked in the renewable energy sector, where he developed a deep passion for sustainable agriculture and environmental stewardship. This connection between medicine and agriculture now drives Alex to focus much of his energy on bringing awareness to the quality and sourcing standards in the supplement and organic agriculture supply chains.

Today, he splits his professional time practicing as a clinician, working for Fullscript, and expanding the farming operation while chasing his kids with Jenn and occasionally running ultra-marathon trail races. He is also currently completing an Executive MBA through the Quantic School of Business & Technology with a focus on supply chain innovation.

Pamela Snider, ND

Pamela Snider, ND, is Executive and Senior Editor for the Foundations of Naturopathic Medicine Project, producing a first of its kind international textbook of Naturopathic medicine through a series of international retreats and symposia. A nationally recognized integrative health and policy leader, she is active in both national and regional integrative health initiatives. Dr. Snider serves on the Board of Directors, was founding Executive Director and co-founder of the Academic Consortium for Integrative Health (ACIH/ACCAHCa consortium of the councils of schools, accrediting agencies and certifying bodies of the licensed, traditional and emerging integrative health professions, and is currently Vice Chair and co-founder of the Integrative Health Policy Consortium (IHPC).  Dr. Snider served as a founding Board Member of the Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine from 2014-2016. Her public policy work includes completing a two year appointment to the DHHS Center For Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) Medicare Coverage Advisory Committee (MCAC); serving as a Steering Committee Member for  the HRSA funded American College of Preventive Medicine NCCIM Integrative Medicine in Preventive Medicine Residency program, co-directing in USPHS Region X the Building Bridges Between Provider Communities Group, an exploration of interdisciplinary collaboration and common ground between public health and CAM; serving for 22 years on Washington State’s Health Professional Loan Repayment and Scholarship Program Advisory Committee (HPLRSP); providing technical assistance to and developing key language for the enabling legislation for NIH Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCIH/NCCAM); and staffing Joseph Pizzorno ND during his appointment as Commissioner on the White House Commission on CAM Policy.

From 1994-2003, Dr. Snider served as Associate Dean for Public and Professional Affairs and Naturopathic Medicine at Bastyr University, dividing her work between academic and public affairs activities, including chairing the Naturopathic Medicine Program Curriculum Review Committee.  Dr. Snider has been teaching, publishing and lecturing widely on Naturopathic philosophy, theory integrative health, public policy, and other topics for over 30 years. Currently, an Associate Professor at National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM) in Portland, OR, Dr. Snider also continues at Bastyr University in her 22nd year as a faculty member teaching naturopathic medicine history, clinical theory, and global context. Among her Naturopathic medicine professional roles she serves on the Institute for Natural Medicine’s Leadership Council.  In 1989, she co-led the naturopathic profession with Dr. Jared Zeff, in developing a unifying definition of naturopathic medicine and its principles of practice adopted unanimously by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) House of Delegates. She was a co-investigator in the 2004 NIH NCCAM research study, the North American Naturopathic Medical Research Agenda and CAM Advisor in NIHCCAM’s Financing Integrative Health Care (University of Washington).  Her areas of experience include healthcare education; naturopathic and interdisciplinary clinical theory, curriculum development; clinical practice; government and legislative affairs, public policy, interdisciplinary collaboration, and community organizing.  Dr. Snider has received the Ontario Naturopathic Physician of the Year Award, the Physician of the Year Award from the AANP, the President’s Outstanding Vision Award and Distinguished Alumnus Award at Bastyr University, AANP’s President’s Award, an honorary Doctorate of Naturopathic Philosophy from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM), the William A Mitchell Vis Award from the AANP and The Gathering – NMSA’s Beacon Award. She received her ND degree in 1982 from Bastyr University of Natural Health Sciences and is a licensed naturopathic physician in the State of Washington. She lives with her husband and children at their homestead in North Bend Washington, in the beautiful mountain to sea landscape and home of The Revival – Restore the Vis, an annual student-led community gathering.

Susan Haeger

Susan Haeger is Founder/Principal of Transformative Health Solutions Inc. She has applied her twenty plus years in executive leadership to help shape and drive adoption of progressive health policy for whole person healthcare. She was a section contributor to the 2021 INM/AANP published professional white paper, Naturopathic Physicians as Whole Health Specialists: The Future is Whole Person Health Care that provides supporting evidence for the profession’s significant and unique contributions to preventive, whole person care and models of integrative clinical practice.

Bruce Barlean

Bruce Barlean is an owner and founder of Barlean’s, a global dietary supplement manufacturer located in the Pacific Northwest in Ferndale, WA. Bruce has been actively involved in the Natural Products industry since 1989 and is passionate about making a difference in the world and positively impacting the lives of others.

Bruce believes that people can make a difference in the world through ordinary purchases. He is committed to improving the quality of life for every person on the planet by making the best products and by using the profits to support outreach programs. Bruce summarizes it simply, “We make good stuff to do good stuff”.

In the late 1980’s Bruce became passionate about how health could be dramatically improved with Flax Oil Supplementation. Bruce along with his entrepreneurial parents saw the potential to improve the lives of many people and in 1989 they began selling Flax Oil under the Barlean’s name. From 1989 – 2000 the business grew an average of 40% year over year. While most companies saw a decline in business in the 2001 recession, Barlean’s continued to grow and soon became America’s #1 selling flaxseed oil and continues to be to the present. The brand has since expanded to include additional oils, green food concentrates and other premium supplements. Bruce continues to drive innovation and over the years his products and company have won countless awards including: Eight consecutive Vity Awards for #1 EFA, Six consecutive Vity Awards for #1 Greens Food Supplement, Natural Choice Award for Best Specialty Supplement, Best Product of the Year, Best New Product, Gold Medal Taster’s Choice Award, Gold Medal American Masters of Taste Award, #1 Health Food Store Brand for Consumer Satisfaction by Consumer Lab, and Manufacturer of the Year.

In 2013 as the company was on the eve of celebrating the 25th year in business Bruce and his parents decided to take their desire to help people to a new level that they call Pathway to a Better Life – which is now seen in the Barlean’s logo. Bruce and his parents had always been generous in their giving and support of charities, but as part of the Pathway to a Better Life they decided to increased partnership with charitable organizations such as: Vitamin Angels, Compassion International, KidsTown International, Autism Hope Alliance, Engedi Refuge, Project 92, and others. And because so many people are unable to meet basic nutritional needs, Bruce created a comprehensive Omega-3 and multivitamin formula that he distributes free-of-charge to local food banks. In addition, Bruce decided the company would supply food banks with organic coconut oil to provide people with a health alternative to standard cooking oils.

Always generous with his time Bruce has served as a youth leader for his local church for several years and continues to mentor youth. He has been on several not for profit boards including; Whatcom County Pregnancy Center (2003-2006), Natural Products Association (dates?), and the Institute for Natural Medicine Leadership Council (presently).

The Barlean family have been avid supporters of Bastyr University since the 1990’s and in 2013 were given Bastyr’s most prestigious honor, the Mission Award, which recognizes their leadership over time in improving the health and well-being of the human community.

Bruce currently resides in Ferndale, WA with his wife Lisa and their two dogs: Heinz & Shadow. When he’s not helping others he can be found fishing (catch & release).

Get Involved!

Michelle Simon

Michelle Simon, PHD, ND

President & CEO

As president and CEO of INM, Dr. Simon brings her passion for working with organizations dedicated to improving the quality and delivery of healthcare. This desire stems from her years of practice as a licensed naturopathic physician. In addition to holding a Naturopathic Doctorate from Bastyr University she also holds a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

She has served on boards for the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP), the Naturopathic Physicians Research Institute (NPRI), and several advisory boards. Dr. Simon served nine years on the Washington State Health Technology Clinical Committee, as Ambassador to the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (AIHM) and was recognized as 2018 AANP Physician of the Year. Dr. Simon shares with her husband a passion for adventure travel, preferably by boat or motorcycle. She also enjoys teaching a women’s off-road motorcycling class.