If you have suffered from allergies – with symptoms ranging from runny nose, sneezing, headaches, congestion, or even digestive problems or skin problems – you have probably wondered exactly WHAT it is that you are allergic to.  

In Chinese medicine theory, we want to treat the “middle” first.  That is, we want to make sure that the stomach and digestive organs are healthy before we address any other health complaint.  If your digestion is good, then you can absorb the nutrition your body needs to heal.  In the NAET (Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique) system of allergy treatment, we always first address common food allergies and sensitivities.  

One of the most accurate ways of determining food sensitivities is the elimination diet.  Basically, you eliminate the most common food sensitivities from your diet for 21 days (3 weeks) and then re-introduce them one at a time to check for reactions.  

Even if your allergy symptoms are mainly related to your sinuses, you may still benefit from doing this.  In Chinese medicine, your Lung function determines the health of your sinuses.  Your Lung is the Yin partner to your Large Intestine.  If your Large Intestine is not absorbing nutrition due to imbalance or sensitivity, you may notice problems with your Lung.  They are intricately connected.  


For one week prior to the testing, it is recommended that you remove all major toxins and stimulants from your diet.  This includes:  alcohol, drugs, soda, sugars and candies, artificial sweeteners and colors, tobacco products, and processed foods.  

Then, starting the elimination process, take out the following from your diet for 21 days:

  • Wheat (whole wheat, white breads, pastries, pasta, crackers, cereals, etc.)
  • Dairy (milk, creamers, yogurt, cheese, etc.)
  • Soy (soy milk, tofu, tempeh, soybeans, soybean oil – often used in restaurants)
  • Eggs
  • Corn (popcorn, corn chips, tortillas, etc.)
  • Peanuts (peanuts, peanut butter, peanut oil)
  • Shellfish (crab, lobster, oysters, shrimp, crawfish, etc.)
  • Nightshade Vegetables (potatoes, eggplant, bell peppers, spinach, and tomatoes)

I recommend eating your meals at home to ensure that none of these items are hidden in your restaurant food, which is highly likely.

These foods are OK to eat during the 21-days:

Vegetables:   Fruits:   Grains:
Artichoke   Squash Apple   Brown Rice
Arugula   String beans Apricot   Wild Rice
Asparagus   Spinach Avocado   Millet
Bamboo shoots Sweet potato Banana   Quinoa
Beans   Swiss chard Blackberry Rice Noodle
Bean sprouts Turnips Blueberry Oats
Beets   Yams Cantaloupe Buckwheat
Beet greens   Watercress Coconut   Amaranth
Bok choy   Zucchini Cherry   White Rice
Broccoli   Fresh herbs: Cranberry  
Brussels   Cilantro Figs    
Cabbage   Dill Grapes   Beans & Legumes:
Cauliflower   Basil Guava   Kidney bean
Carrots   Chives Plums   Black bean
Collard greens Mint Raspberry Chick peas
Cucumber   Thyme Kiwi   Pinto bean
Dandelion greens Rosemary… Honeydew White bean
Endive     Mango   Split pea
Kale   Nuts & Seeds: Nectarine Peas
Kohlrabi   Almonds Papaya   Lentils
Leeks   Cashews Peach    
Mustard greens Pecans Pears   Meats:
Mushrooms   Walnuts Lime   Chicken
Okra   Flax seed Lemon   Fish
Onion   Sunflower     Turkey
Radish   Pumpkin seed   Bison
Red Leaf lettuce Sesame seed   Pork
Seaweed   Nut butters: Almond butter, etc.  Beef
Oils & Condiments: Dairy substitutes: Snack Ideas:
Olive oil   Almond Milk   Rice cakes  
Sesame oil   Rice milk   Rice crackers
Coconut oil   Coconut milk Fresh fruit  
Grapeseed oil     Nuts  
Ghee   Beverages: Seeds  
Flaxseed oil   Water   Carrot sticks
Sunflower oil Mineral water Celery & almond butter
Apple Cider Vinegar Coconut water Avocado w/ lemon
Balsamic Vinegar Vegetable juices Veggies & hummus
Red wine vinegar Herbal Teas: Roasted seaweed snacks
Rice vinegar   Mint, Ginger,  Protein shakes mixed with
Pesto (cheese free) Chamomile,    fruit or rice milk…
Wasabi   Spice, Dandelion, etc.     
Spices: except        
for Paprika &        
Cayenne pepper        
  • After the 21 days, reintroduce each of the eliminated food categories (in red, above) one at a time.  
  • Include that food for 2 – 3 days along with the other “OK” foods.  
  • Then return to the elimination diet for 1 – 2 days.  Do you notice any changes in that 3 – 5 day period?  
  • Repeat this process for each of the likely food allergens  

Keep a log charting any changes in response to each category.  

For example:

Food reintroduced:  WHEAT 

gut/bowel:  more constipation

headache:  none

congestion:  little more sneezing

skin:  more discoloration 

energy level:  lower

joint pain:  knees a little more creaky

muscle pain:  none


Have you ever tried this elimination diet technique?  If so, what did you learn?  

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