In November I went to see a naturopathic doctor. I’ve been experiencing digestive issues for years, and after being unable to figure out what the heck is causing the problem (through seeing my regular family doctor or through self-directed food experiments), I decided it was time to try a more holistic approach.
The naturopathic doctor put me on a eubiotic diet, as she suspects I may be suffering from dysbiosis, which is an over growth of normal flora and/or a growth of flora that is not normally found in the body. So the basic point of the eubiotic diet is to clear out the microbial overgrowth. When I read the symptoms of dysbiosis, it does sound plausible, but, most of the symptoms are pretty generic and I’m sure a lot of people would say they have them. At this point though, I’m willing to experiment.
I actually couldn’t find a lot of information online about a eubiotic diet (what? something a million people haven’t blogged about? It cannot be true!), so I thought I’d write a little bit about it in case other people are searching for information.
The diet is pretty restrictive (and a bit hard to understand), but the main “no”s are:
- sugar (which is in almost everything, including most store bought sauces etc.)
- grains (with the exception of brown rice and quinoa)
- fruit (except berries and apples, although on a strict eubiotic diet, these are out too)
- mushrooms or corn
- beans, lentils, chickpeas
- peanuts/peanut butter (what!? apparently peanuts have some sort of mold-toxin coating)
- fermented foods such as pickled foods, vinegar (which is in a lot of condiments), wines, and alcohol
The list of “yes”s:
- vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, kale, lettuce, spinach, and zucchini
- most spices, as well as garlic and onions
- olive oil
- goat cheese (yes!)
- brown rice and quinoa
- various other meats (not helpful for me, as I don’t partake in the meat-eating)
- apples and berries (see above, not normally allowed)
- tofu (again, a strict eubiotic diet does not allow soy)
- plain yogurt (dairy is a general no-no, but I could have yogurt)
- almonds and almond butter (yes!)
- most nuts and seeds
The above lists are not comprehensive, but they generally reflect my understanding, and what I did and didn’t eat. I was on the diet for 20 days. It was definitely really hard the first 4-5 days. I did get somewhat used to it after that, but around day 10 I got really bored of eating the same foods over and over. On day 13 I ‘cheated’ and had a regular meal as it was my work’s Christmas lunch celebration, but other than that, I stuck to the diet strictly.
Speaking of cheating, I should also mention that ‘cheating’ on the diet is really, really counter-productive (I know, I know, I just told you I did it). The reason is that as the diet progresses, the ‘bad’ gut flora begins to die off, but more resistant ones take longer to die. So if you cheat (especially with sugar), it gives the more resistant bacteria food to survive, making it more difficult to get rid of.
It’s only been a few weeks since the diet was over, so I’m still evaluating my symptoms and trying to determine if I feel any better. I’ll be sure to update if any miracles occur.