Monday, March 23, 2009

Elimination Diet Recipes for Phase 1

Phase 1 is the most restricted and difficult phase of the diet so it is helpful to have more ideas. The green apple salad dressing recipe below is a creation of mine but some of the other ideas and recipes here come from a good friend who recently did the diet.

We are also giving away 4 Whole Life Nutrition Cookbooks next month! All you need to do is write a short success story about your journey through the the 28-Day Elimination and Detoxification Diet in the appendix of our book. Even if you are only a week into the diet we welcome your story. For more details on this you can view our last newsletter. Stories need to be submitted by the end of this month in order to qualify for the drawing. Many thanks to those of you who have already submitted your story, I have enjoyed reading them!

The complete 28-Day Elimination Diet is detailed in our cookbook, The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook. This post is meant to provide additional information and a few more Phase 1 Elimination Diet recipes.

If you have anything else to share please do so in the comment section at the bottom of this post. I am sure others reading this would greatly benefit from your ideas!

Green Apple Salad Dressing

Here is a great salad dressing that is citrus-free and vinegar-free. The tart apple adds the needed zing to balance the oil. Those of you who are not on the elimination diet will enjoy it too. I made this for dinner tonight and drizzled it over mixed organic greens, sliced avocado, and toasted pumpkin seeds. I am sure you could make a more elaborate salad and make a meal out of it. You can add as much or as little ginger as you like. If you add too much though, the dressing could become a little bitter. Enjoy!

1 green apple, cored (Granny Smith)
1/2 cup filtered water
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 to 4 cloves garlic
1 to 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
Herbamare or sea salt, to taste

Place all ingredients into a blender or Vita-Mix and blend until very smooth and creamy. Add salt to taste and blend again.

Pumpkin Seed Smoothie

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds, soaked in filtered water
2 cups filtered water

1 apple, cored
2 cups frozen blueberries
2 medjool dates

Soak pumpkin seeds in water all day OR all night. Rinse, and then place into a blender with 2 cups fresh water, apple, frozen blueberries, and dates. Blend until very smooth and creamy.

Thai Sauce

2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
1 large or 2 medium shallots, sliced
1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon Thai chili powder or ground cayenne (Phase 3)
3 tablespoons maple syrup or a little less agave, to taste

Saute sliced shallot in coconut oil until near translucent. Add the rest of the ingredients, heat through and serve right away. Serve this over Quinoa with mung bean sprouts, sliced green onions, and cilantro.

Pesto Sauce

1/4 cup pine nuts
1 bunch basil, rinsed
1/8 cup olive oil
1/8 cup water or more to smooth it out
3-6 cloves fresh garlic

Process in a food processor until smooth. Serve it over spiralized raw zucchini. It would also work over a cooked whole grain. Sprinkle with sprouted lentils if desired.

Other Ideas:

On our Red Lentil Dal recipe (page 154), substitute the red potato with a sweet potato, and leave out the tomatoes. Serve with cooked quinoa and roasted Brussels sprouts, or steamed broccoli.

Try our Sunny Sunflower Seed Burgers (page 263) using cilantro in place of the parsley and adding about 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder to the mix (you can make this version once nightshades [chili powder] have been added back in during Phase 3).

Try our Coconut Vegetable Curry (page 255) and substitute cooked adzuki beans for the chickpeas and sweet potatoes for the red potatoes, and remember to keep out the tomato paste.

Lightly saute a variety of Phase 1 veggies with Brown Jasmine Rice in a little olive oil. Add a few dashes of Adzuki Bean Tamari or drizzle the Apple Salad Dressing recipe over it.

In Early spring, if you are experienced at harvesting nettles, try adding them to your daily green smoothies. I did a green smoothie/nettle cleanse 2 years ago this month and it felt great.

Our Nori Rolls made with Sticky Brown Rice dipped in our Ginger Plum Sauce is another great Phase 1 meal. Just be sure to leave out the salmon until Phase 3.

Snack on dried organic figs dipped in pumpkin seed butter.

You may want to read an overview of the Elimination Diet before beginning.

For all of the elimination diet recipes and ideas on this blog, please click here.

For more Phase 1 meal ideas or to order our cookbook, please visit our website and as always, we welcome your ideas.


  1. This is so great! From now on, I am just going to send my clients to your site for help with the elimination diets.

  2. Great recipe ideas!
    I have not been on your 28-Day Elimination and Detoxification Diet myself, but have done many elimination diets and basically live on an elimination diet now.
    I would love a copy of your cookbook!! I am not eligible to enter a story about my own trials with elimination diets am I?!? :-)
    Anyway, thanks for all your wonderful ideas and I so appreciate that you take the time to share these for free. You have no idea how helpful recipe ideas are to people who feel alone in the way they eat!!
    Hugs xoxo

  3. meghantelpnerblog - Thanks, I am planning on posting plenty more e-diet recipes coming soon.

    Coconutgal - Great point, I had not thought of that. I think it would be great to send in your story even though you followed a different elimination diet. Essentially the goal is the same with all of the diets. Just state in your story the overall points of the diet you did. And this goes for anyone else reading this as well.

    Stories can be emailed to me at

    Thanks, -Ali :)

  4. HI Ali
    Just wanted to ask if a diabetic can go on your elimation diet? Have always wanted to try it since I have gotten your cook book but just didn't know if I should.

  5. I cant wait to try the pumpkin seed smoothie. It sounds delicious!

  6. Bonnie - Yes, I confirmed with Tom that diabetics can go on the Elimination Diet. And, in fact, we have stories of people completely normalizing their blood sugar while on the diet. Phase 1 was difficult for one individual so Tom suggested adding all beans and nuts which helped him stay on the diet and see dramatic results. Good Luck!

    Mike - Yes that smoothie is very tasty, though it is not my creation, it comes from my good friend, Jenna.

    -Ali :)

  7. I think with president obama talking about preventitive
    medicines that people are really relooking at diets and
    nutritions as part of that principle.

    We may be reaching that point where americans start to live
    healthier lives.

  8. I LOVE the green apple dressing - I did the elimination diet this summer and I still prefer this dressing over anything else for coleslaw and I'm still eating it daily this winter! For the coleslaw I finely chop (in my food processor; in batches) one whole head of green cabbage, 3-4 large beets, and 4 large carrots (the whole mixture looks pinkish/purple at the end). Then I store that in a covered container in the fridge. Then I pour the green apple dressing over it just before eating. For the dressing I actually alter the recipe a bit and reduce the garlic to 1 clove, add 1Tbsp of agave nectar, and 1/2 tsp of Herbemare. It's great garnished with cilantro. This coleslaw and dressing combo got me through many "moments" during the phase 1 of the elimination diet. Your pesto recipe over rice noodles was a favorite as well! Thanks for all that you do!

  9. Thank you so much for all these wonderful recipies! I have been on the elimination diet for 9 days. My nutritionist recommended this as an adjuct to my treatment for spondyloarthritis. I am very full on this eating plan. I noticed around day 5 that my body ached for sugar...I did not realize how much refined sugar was in my diet before! I am enjoying foods that i did not even know existed! I am following the E-diet to the tee, I am looking forward to a fresh start! Thank you for caring!

  10. I'm about to start your Elimination diet. Thank you for all your helpful posts! I have your cookbook and am really enjoying the healthy options even before getting started.

    Quick question - can you reccommend a substitute for olive oil? I'm allergic. Is canola ok? Thanks!


  11. I appreciate that you are trying to get the word out on elimination diets and their benefits. With that said, this is not a true elimination diet. You need to omit all nuts. The most recent research has shown that cross-reactions are problematic for people with food sensitivities. In order to determine which foods are troublesome all grains, including rice must be avoiding. The same is true with nuts and legumes.

    Thanks again for sharing these wonderful recipes.

    In health,

    Courtney - MA Holistic Health Education and Nutrition

  12. I'm excited to give the elimination diet a try! About how long do you stay in each phase for?

  13. Do ya'll have any advice for doing an elimination diet for someone with suspected fructose intolerance/fructose malabsorption? We have been hunting for a more organized elimination diet for my gluten-free daughter, and yours looks very interesting. But a number of the foods in Phase I seem to be those that we already know she has problems with, or ones we suspect may be problematic (apples, dates, berries, agave syrup, and maple syrup, for example).

    Any advice? Or do you have something within your elimination diet that would work for the fructose intolerant too?

    Thanks...and so far, the recipes look absolutely lovely, even the ones we can't have! ;-D

  14. Hi,
    I don't know if anyone is following an elimination diet still (I am!), but I thought I'd let you know that I've created an elimination diet blog of sorts (with recipes). You can find these posts at:

  15. Ali,
    I loved the pesto sauce, but it didn't love me. I experienced a reaction to the pine nuts--apparently known as pine-tongue on the internet. The nuts that I purchased were "Amport Foods Natural Pine Nuts" and I found them at Sam's Club. The nuts tasted fine when I ate them, but for a few days after everything tasted bitter/metallic. Beware!
    I've been looking for Italian pine nuts, but so far have not had luck finding them locally. Any suggestions?
    Jan L.

  16. I don't know if anyone still looks at these comments, but oh well. I started the elimination diet on Monday with the 2 day smoothie fast, and am on stage 1. One of the reasons I'm doing this is because I was having GI issues, one of which was bloating so much I looked pregnant, sometimes for weeks at a time. I am a small person, so this really is noticeable. It had gone done, but came back yesterday and today. I have only eaten the foods allowed in stage 1. Is it too soon to expect this to be gone? I also wanted to thank you for all the great recipes and advice. Oh, does anyone know when we can have vinegar again? I can't find that anywhere.

  17. I'm on day two of Phase 1. Wondering if there is a comprehensive list of all the foods acceptable in this phase? Is tahini, black pepper, rice milk or coconut milk allowed? I noticed that dates and figs are encouraged, but they are very high in sugar. Eat in moderation? Are probiotics ok to take while on this diet?

  18. @ Laura- I started this diet for the exact same reason (extreme bloating)and just like you I'm petite so it's pretty obvious & uncomfortable. Other symptoms include fatigue and migraines off & on. I just finished the two day smoothie fast and the bloating went down a lot. How are things going now- did you find out the cause?

    And a big thanks for all of these recipes, I am looking forward to feeling better!!!

  19. After beginning the elimination diet, when would it be appropriate to add kombucha?

  20. Hello I live in England, I have for the last 5 months had inflammatory arthritis, my Chiropractor advised me to try the elimination diet, would all the recipes that I see on the net ok for rheutatoid arthritis. Any help would be appreciated.

  21. Thank you so much for posting the Thai Sauce! I love a good sauce!

    I completed the Elimination Diet back in April & this sauce really saved the day for me...when I was looking for some different/stronger flavors. I am not a huge fan of tamarind so I used turmeric. DELISH!! Even my boyfriend gobbled it is a little on the sweet side, but a little goes a long way. I put the sauce on top of steamed veggies & rice.

  22. I am a mother of 3 and believe that some of the health concerns my family experiences are caused by food allergies. I have been considering an elimination diet but until I found your site did not have the confidence to start. Thank you for your recipes and the community that you have built. I do have one question though - I saw a pesto recipe for stage 1. My oldest son is allergic to tree nuts (walnuts, pecans, etc) and I have never allowed him to have pesto, are pine nuts not considered tree nuts?

  23. Hi there! I just bought the whole life nutrition book (expecting it in the mail soon!) I can't wait to start the ellimination diet, I have had issues with constipation since I was a child and it has only gotten worse as an adult. I was wondering if almond milk or rice milk was acceptable? And how long is each phase of the diet? Are the smoothies meant to be taken 3x a day like meal replacers or just once a day? I'm so eager to know more and try out these new recipes! Oh and to shop at our local organic nursery and the co op! Thanks for any replies

  24. Hi!

    I just purchased the Wholefood cookbook and I'm so excited to start on the elimination diet to hopefully figure out why my body seems to hate food so much. I have not received the book yet but would like to start on the elimination diet asap but I'm wondering how the phase 1 will impact my iron levels and whether I can eat hemp seeds to boost my iron intake? I was recently diagnosed with very low iron levels so I want to make sure I will still be able to get enough iron. I'm also currently taking iron supplements...will this impact that elimination diet? I would appreciate any help you can give me!

  25. How many servings are in the pumpkin seed smoothie because from my calculations the pumpkin seeds alone are around 1450 calories in this smoothie

  26. @ Laura, @ Rebecca

    Have you had any luck with your bloating issues? I have the same extreme bloating problem, have most of the time for years now, worse at night, I totally understand that feeling of desperation, can't stand looking 15 pounds heavier than I am, or "pregnant". (I am already a vegetarian with a good diet) So far the elimination diet is not helping me either, in fact it seems worse (though it has only been a few days) Planning to go through a full month of it, and if it doesn't help, I plan to test for parasites. Would like to hear your experiences and what has helped you. Thanks. (you can email me directly if you like at

  27. I was suffering with Ulcerative Proctitis (bleeding) for over 2 months with no relief from medications prescribed by my doctor. He didn't have any answers for me. Frustrated, I googled "elmination diet" and yours came up. After the 2nd day of the detox smoothies the blood was gone. I am now on day 7 of the diet and am loving it! I've never had this much energy in my entire life! The recipes are delicious, easy and satisfying. I have lost 4.4 lbs and have been told a couple of times by people that I am "glowing"! My sister who has Celiac Disease along with several other food sensitivities is getting ready to start the diet too after hearing about my success. I am SO thankful I found your website. Oh...and your cookbook arrived in my mailbox yesterday and I've been carrying it around everywhere. My husband is referring to it as my "Bible". :) Thank you again!

  28. I made the green apple dressing tonight. I added a smidge of apple cider vinegar because I thought it seemed necessary. It turned out very nicely - slightly odd texture, but very fresh tasting...even picky husband approved!

  29. I am finishing Day 4 of the elimination diet and wonder if I can eat brown rice cakes (just brown rice and sea salt). Also, I thought I read "no onions yet" for Phase I in one place and that they are OK in another place. Could you clarify? Feeling good over here and already 7.5 lbs down!

  30. I was told no apples for the first 4 weeks, and I'm allergic to coconut (apparently rare, but I am hence why I need an elimination diet so much) so anyone got any other recipes that don't include any possible allergens?

  31. Just made the apple dressing with avocado instead of olive oil and it was amazing! Thanks so much!

  32. My husband has recently been diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic colon cancer to the liver and lungs. He started chemo last week. We have radically changed eating habits to gluten, wheat and dairy free and organic free to roam protein (chicken) and fish and occasionally game.. He has already lost a lot of weight so don't want him to loose anymore.
    Need to keep him above 80kgs. What can you suggest to add on the calories while keeping a balanced diet. Also could you suggest any foods to give him after chemo to assist his liver and kidneys with elimination of the toxins. Love your site!

  33. My husband was diagnosed 6 weeks ago with stage 4 metastatic colon cancer spread to the liver and lungs.
    He started chemo a few weeks ago. We are following a wheat, gluten, dairy, soy free diet. I am also using alkaline foods a lot and supplementing him with calcium and intravenous vitamin C inbetween his chemo treatments. He has already lost a lot of weight and we must keep his weight above 80kgs so he can't afford to loose anymore.
    I would love help/suggestions with adding "nutritious" calories to our meals that still taste good. I use avocados, almond butter, hemp etc. Also could you advice (if possible) on food I can give him after chemo to assist his liver and kidneys with the elimination process. I love this site!

    1. Google "Ghee" it is an ayurvedic way to make fat which is very good for the body. Properly made Ghee is very beneficial for the body.


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Thanks, and as always, Happy Cooking! Ali & Tom