• Greg York

Episode 4: Sacred Serve / Process of Elimination

Updated: Feb 17, 2020

We're charting the course a little differently with this episode, experimenting with bringing more research and varied content into the show. We're honing in on the Challenge for the week and then gathering some more content to enrich it. In this episode, Kailey Donewald inspires us to take a more active role in our diets. Her approach to getting curious when doctors couldn't help her much ultimately led her down that path that would open up to Sacred Serve.

This post is a companion to Episode 4 of Appreciation Nation, which you can find in our archive or your favorite podcast app.

The location of her business, The Plant, in the heart of Chicago's Back of Yards neighborhood, is an inspiration all of its own. The creativity and collaboration among the varied veggie-related businesses is amazing - kombucha makers, microgreens growers, a brewery, researchers, a coffee roaster... all in the space that was once occupied by a meat packing company. You have to appreciate the irony.

In this week's Challenge, we all have an opportunity to learn more about a diet that health experts have been prescribing for years to people who have a variety of different allergies, intestinal discomforts, headaches and inflammation - the elimination diet. It turns out, many of us are allergic to foods we eat in ways that aren't always easy to perceive. By getting super simple and then gradually reintroducing food categories one at a time, it's possible to quickly notice what kinds of foods might be problematic for us. With this awareness, we are empowered to choose a different alternative. Awesome!

Appreciation Nation Challenge (ANC) #4: Try an Elimination Diet

The rules:

  1. Plan. The timing of this is important. Don't start an elimination diet a week before a major event like an important wedding. Figure out when in your calendar you will have enough flexibility to do a two week "mini" elimination diet (or longer if you have the capacity).

  2. Try. Try out some things in the kitchen with fruits, vegetables, spices, a few meats or fishes (if that's your thing) and grains that will work (think lentils, chickpeas, rice, quinoa, and other 'ancient grains'). Figure out what quick and portable options you're going to need.

  3. Find. Enlist an "accountabili-buddy" for this one - you need someone to check in with and someone who will support you. Ideally, you'll both embark on this Challenge at the same time.

  4. Shop. Fill your grocery cart with fresh vegetables (a lot of green stuff), fruits (except those that are restricted), healthy oils, select legumes and ancient grains. Things to leave out: processed food (the simpler, the better - don't bother adding this back in later, it would only confuse the process), nuts (peanuts, tree nuts), corn (this is in a lot of processed food), soy (so is this...), dairy, citrus fruits, nightshade vegetables (including tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cayenne pepper), wheat, gluten-containing products (a lot of processed vegan meat substitutes contain this), pork, seafood (with the exception of cold-water fish like salmon)

  5. Eat Fresh! For one week, you want to stick to this really limited diet. It's only a week, and your accountibili-buddy is there for you!

  6. Reintroduce. For the second week (or a little longer), add in one food group that you've eliminated each day. This isn't additive. To avoid confusion, add nuts back on day one. Then on day two, take the nuts back out, and add corn back in. And so on.

  7. Observe. With each reintroduction day, notice how your body's doing. Maybe you notice a 'fuzzy mind' or an ache in your joints. Maybe it's an upset stomach or sluggishness. Pay attention during this critical phase, and have a daily discussion with your accountibili-buddy if possible.

As always, please share your Challenge experience with the kula by joining the Facebook group at

Links / Mentions:

  • Sacred Serve - handcrafted, plant-powered gelato. Also find them on Instagram or Facebook.

  • The Plant - a research and production facility comprising a collaborative community of small food businesses. You can find a list of all the businesses mentioned in the podcast on The Plant's website.

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