How to Help Your Client Stick to (and Actually Enjoy) an Elimination Diet

We all have those clients who make our hearts hurt.

You know, the ones who sit down in your office claiming to have “tried everything” from vegan to paleo. They share their concerns, which are completely disrupting their quality of life: allergies, digestive issues, eczema, and even mood imbalances.

And of course you, as a wellness professional, want so badly to help these clients get to the bottom of it all.

With the best of intentions, and excitement for healing to begin, you hand them a sheet detailing Elimination Diet Guidelines. You explain that 3-6 weeks of a hypoallergenic diet can help identify potential food triggers for their struggles.

And then you get “the look.”

I know you know what I am talking about.

The look in their eyes as your client becomes totally overwhelmed, and visibly stressed out by the idea of removing so many different (and often, staple) foods.

No gluten.

No dairy.

No sugar.

No fun.

And what the heck is a nightshade?!

Before your client leaves your office you are responsible for giving them guidance, reassurance, and confidence that they can succeed.

The best thing you can do is arm your client with an amazing toolkit that goes far beyond “Foods to Eat & Foods to Avoid.”

1. Education

It’s a lot easier to solve a problem when you understand all the moving parts.

This is why you should spend a good amount of time explaining food sensitivities with your client. Make sure you cover the difference between sensitivities and allergies to avoid confusion down the road.

Beyond your usual Elimination Diet handout, take some time to explain why certain foods should be eliminated. Your client will likely find it interesting to discover why dairy can be problematic for their skin concern.

It’s important to make sure that you and your client are on the same page, and that they are ready to follow an Elimination Diet before you move forward.

By educating, you encourage and empower your client to achieve optimal health in various scenarios.

2. Ease

Now that you and your client have decided to go forward with an Elimination Diet, it’ your job to make the process as easy as possible. This means you should provide ample resources to simplify their life in the midst of big dietary changes.

As their practitioner, you know their dietary preferences and lifestyle factors that affect food. Be sure to take everything into consideration and assist them in planning.

If your client starts each day with a bowl of Corn Flakes and skim milk, don’t expect them to switch to Green Smoothies overnight! Keep things familiar by suggesting they switch to a bowl of buckwheat flakes with unsweetened coconut milk and fresh berries.

Provide a list of hypoallergenic swaps for their favorite foods, a grocery list, and maybe even a run-down of your most trusted brands.

Your client deserves a little handholding too, so consider checking in with them between appointments. This way they don’t feel stuck on their own.

3. Excitement

Okay, now the fun part… your client deserves to be excited for the food they will be eating on an Elimination Diet!

No one wants to eat broccoli, chicken and brown rice every day.

Instead of focusing on what they can’t have, provide your client with a plan packed with delicious recipes that they will be excited about.

Curate some amazing Elimination Diet-friendly recipes that are simple, delicious, and appealing. Take into account your client’s skill level in the kitchen, and give them ideas that they can truly work with.

We have created a pre-made Elimination Diet Program for That Clean Life Members, which includes a meal plan, itemized grocery list, recipes and even a prep guide. Our Elimination Diet features recipes like Carrot Cake Chia Pudding, simple Roasted Winter Vegetables, and even nightshade-free Shepherd’s Pie. It contains everything you need to keep clients on-track and feeling their best.

By providing a therapeutic relationship, comprehensive resources, and a realistic plan you can have a lot more success stories come out of your practice.

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