This diet was created by Dr Doug Kaufmann MD. He has devoted his life to reversing chronic fungal infections which he sees as a major player in chronic disease. I was fortunate that I happened to know about this phase 1 diet way back in 2007, when I tried it for myself. It was a complete fluke that I discovered just how effective it is for managing Meniere's disease and similar symptoms. I use it frequently with clients and it never ceases to amaze me how effective it is for a range of chronic diseases. As with all restrictive diets, it's a challenge to stick with and CANNOT be done willy-nilly. My Find Your Triggers diet is partly based on this diet but is designed for people who are really struggling and reacting to lots of foods.
An antifungal diet
● All fresh meats and poultry, including mincemeat.(1)
● Dairy: Live yoghurt, fresh cheeses. (2)
● No fermented, smoked, or preserved animal products.
● Sea salt.
● Raw apple cider vinegar (ACV)
● Vinegars (other than ACV)
● Pickles, salad dressings, green
● All, including bread,
mushrooms, pastries, and
● Green apples.
● Berries (all kinds).
● Lemons, limes.
● Black olives.
● None others.
● Fresh vegetables, fresh vegetables juiced,
including V-8 Juice
● No below ground vegetables inc potatoes, beetroot, yams, legumes (beans and peas)
● No pasta, rice, corn, wheat, quinoa, amaranth, millet, buckwheat, oats, barley etc including gluten-free options.
● High-quality animal fats (ideally regenerative, organic, free-range).
● Butter & cream. (2)
● Coconut oil.
● Olive oil.
● Avocado oil.
● Flaxseed oil (high quality, cold-pressed)—never heat.
● No margarines, vegetable cooking oils (corn, canola, soybean etc)
Nuts & Seeds
● Raw nuts, including pecans, almonds, walnuts, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds etc.
● No peanuts or pistachios.
● Sparkling mineral water.
● Filtered tap water.
● Unsweetened herbal teas
● Homemade lemon/lime with fizzy water & stevia (optional).
● No coffee & black tea including decaf. *
(1) Meat and fish are better if not corn-fed. This means avoiding farm-raised fish.
(2) Dairy products are better from range-fed cattle.
(3) Because they're fermented.
Organically grown vegetables are preferable. Meat, eggs, and yogurt should be from animal sources not injected or fed with antibiotics, hormones or steroids, nor fed silo-stored grains.
This diet will have to be tailored for those suffering from IBD/IBS.
● Hydrochloric acid (stomach acid) can be a powerful, upstream approach for improving the gut flora. Strong stomach acid should be a default for humans—between 1.5-2.0 pH. Bear in mind that battery acid is 1.0pH. Strong acid acts as a chemical trigger allowing the production of pancreatic juice containing sodium bicarbonate that neutralises the stomach acid balancing the pH and preventing certain bacteria & fungi from proliferating in the small intestine (SIBO & SIBO). In other words, it's not only critical for digestion, but it protects our gut environment and everything that entails. See my blog post on how to take it safely. (Affiliate link 🇬🇧) (Affiliate link 🇺🇸)
● Magnesium chloride—Capsules or powder dissolved in water (tastes bitter). Start with one, twice per day. If you have loose stools reduce to one or swap to another form, glycinate or magnesium citrate depending on your budget, but I prefer the chloride form because it's very fast acting. (Affiliate link 🇬🇧) (Affiliate link 🇺🇸)
NOTE: Affiliate links take you to Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk. You don't pay a penny more but I get a small commission for recommending the product. I personally have all of the above products and do recommend them for this exclusion diet and beyond.
If it's not in the above lists, it's not in.
Don't spend your time worrying about what's not included. This will not serve you and just infects you with negativity and ultimately failure. Coffee for example is not included because it blocks certain vitamins and minerals from being absorbed and, as a stimulant prevents you from getting energetic feedback from your body. It can also be over stimulating for exhausted people. The fact that it may be generally good for you is absolutely irrelevant for this therapeutic diet. Lot's of foods, dairy for example, are nutritious and healthy except when the digestion and the body is unwell. Fruits are not included but certain types are some of the first re-introductions.
How long does this part last?
Two weeks is the minimum time I ask people to stay on this diet. This can be extended sometimes when there may be complications. For example, when they're not going to the loo every day. This diet is largely focussed on changing the intestinal flora quickly, it's vital that people go for at least one daily bowel movement. Some errors people have made include, not eating enough to stimulate a decent daily bowel movement, not sticking to the diet closely and missing a trigger by not tracking.
What about macros?
You don't need to measure your macros for this exclusion, but I do recommend centreing meals around animals proteins with the suitable veg on the side because it's more satisfying and nutritious, which makes the diet easier to follow. If you want lots of veg and are happy your selections are not triggering you, that's fine. DO NOT skip the animals proteins, their nutrients are an important part of this diet. I do not offer a vegetarian version of this.
Tips to stick with it
It’s very important that each meal satiates you. DO NOT GO HUNGRY.
Clear your diary if you cannot stick to strict dietary guidelines at social engagements.
Always have compliant foods at home.
Make two our three times a portion at once, separate and use later.
Use a wide mouth Thermos flask and carry hot food with you.
Know what you're making the next day.
Stay busy, binge watching NETFLIX etc can make you crave snack foods.
Exercising is vital, at whatever level, and will help you stay on track.
Get a good night's sleep, go to bed at around 10 PM or earlier if you're very unwell. If you need lots of sleep, then go with it, 7-8 hrs per night is for healthy people. Being well rested stops cravings.
Try ricing vegetables—salt and fat are evenly distributed making them much tastier and easier to digest.
Know where and what you can buy from supermarkets to cover you when you’re out and about.
Fast or skip a meal rather than break the rules.
If you make a mistake, put it behind you and carry on.
Ask your friends and family for support, tell them how important this diet is for you. Sometimes it only takes a word from them to stop you making a mistake that you'll regret.
Do not get other people’s opinions about this exclusion diet. There is a nutrition guru in every office and home, but it’s highly unlikely they understand what you’re trying to achieve here. Their input is not helpful. Remember, just because a certain food might be generally healthy does not mean it doesn't trigger certain people.
Tools to make it easier
Buy organic frozen veg and chives.
Mixed broccoli, cauliflower and carrot is a great choice.
Try ricing to improve flavour and digestibility.
Use an air fryer for quick and easy roasting. They're more economical, heating up in a minute vs 10. (Affiliate link)
Use a multi-layer steamer. (Affiliate link)
Instant Pot—slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice cooker etc. (Affiliate link) (no pressure or slow cooking in the first 2 weeks)
Things to add
Try not to snack. If you’re genuinely hungry and have already tried having a drink of water, just eat a meal even if it's a fourth.
If you feel like you’re allergic to all your normal foods, try replacing your favourites with things like goose, game, different fish or anything else you don’t eat often. You can also try exotic meats like kangaroo, bison, reindeer etc which can be bought easily online.
If you suspect that you’re reacting to certain foods, leave them out.
For those with IBD, some of these foods listed will not suit you. Any food that bloats you or in some way worsens any symptoms at all should be removed.
This diet may help with weight loss but that is not the goal of it. However, once you're underway and well-settled, you may reduce added fats, fatty meats, or limit portion sizes as you see fit. If things get harder take your self-imposed limits off until the trial is finished.
Wean yourself from coffee at least a week before starting. Try replacing it with green tea to reduce withdrawal headaches for a few days.
If trying MCT oil, don’t use more than about a tsp to begin with. If you get a stomach ache, don’t worry it’s a strong antimicrobial and you’ve had a little more than you can handle. This will go away after a few times.
Check your environment! If you're living in a mouldy home this can cause serious illness in susceptible people. This is a part of what happened to me. Learn how to check for mould because it's not just about visible black mould. My large bedroom plant pot was leaking into the carpet beneath it for years. A mould grew concealed beneath the pot and I was breathing it's spores each and every night. By the time I discovered it, the carpet had been eaten through. A good account on Instagram is Moldfinders.
Potential side effects
Sometimes people can experience unpleasant side effects. When there's a shift of the intestinal flora people's symptoms can worsen, normally just for a day or two. For example, Meniere's sufferers may have an attack depending on how seriously they suffer from the disease. I always used to get an attack on day two of this programme before I stopped going around in circles. Be ready from day two to five. For most people the symptoms tend to be like a cold.
How to open the diet up as you progress
This depends on how things have gone for you in the initial few weeks. I work closely with people during the initial stages of this process and the the weeks afterwards when we decide which foods to add in and how fast. We may also agree on certain other supplements but it all depends on what's happening real-time.
If you would like to work with me on an exclusion diet this is a 'Close Support' package because we need to be in daily contact to discuss symptom changes and when and how we introduce new foods.