LEAP Diet: Changes to Phase 1

When we first setup phases ½ and 1 of my LEAP diet (see this post), I was told to email Kara (dietitian) near the end of my ½ phase so she would know my progress. Unfortunately, with everything that has been going on with my health, the email was really long and not very happy. Because of everything going on, and my mental health struggles during this time, Kara decided that instead of doing the even stricter phase 1, we would liberalize my diet. Now, I can have all of my green foods and chemicals. I have to stick to tested ingredients only (with one exception), and I did go through the list and make sure I removed foods that were naturally high in the yellow and red chemicals.

The one exception to “tested ingredients only” is that Kara has allowed me to have Trader Joe’s Rice Milk. The ingredients list is exceptionally short and boring; it’s mostly just rice, salt, water, and some added vitamins. I already knew I loved their rice milk, and I was struggling without having a milk. (My homemade rice milk was disgusting.)

Some general rules for my “liberalized” diet:

  • I cannot have any frozen or dried fruits or vegetables. Really, I can’t have processed fruits or vegetables because they usually contain sodium metabisulfite, which is my only red chemical.
  • To avoid sulfites in general, I need to avoid: sulfur dioxide, potassium bisulfite and metabisulfite, sodium bisulfite and sulfite and metabisulfite.
  • To avoid polysorbate 80, I need to avoid: sorbitan monooleate, polysorbate 60, sorbitol, and sorbitan derivatives
  • FD&C Red #3 is another additive I need to avoid, and it also goes by the name erythrosine.
  • All of my dairy products have to be grass-fed. Cheddar cheese must be aged less than 6 months to avoid high tyramine.
  • If I decide to have oranges, they must be pulp free. That pretty much means I need 100% pulp free orange juice only, or I can use orange essential oil!
  • I will still be limiting soy products, as there is research that shows soy may not actually be good for you after all. (It can mess with hormones, and my hormones don’t need any more messing with!)
  • I should try to limit parsley and dill because parsley is high in nitrate and dill is “medium” in nitrate.
  • I can have sea salt, cane sugar, and baking soda.

What Can I Eat?

  • Chicken
  • Codfish
  • Crab (not a big fan)
  • Pork (not a big fan)
  • Beef
  • Eggs
  • Pinto Beans
  • Sole (unsure if I’ve ever had it)
  • Catfish (unsure if I’ve ever had it)
  • Tilapia (unsure if I’ve ever had it)
  • Clam (only like in N.E. clam chowder)
  • Garbanzo Beans
  • Turkey
  • Tuna
  • Scallop (never had)
  • Salmon
  • Lamb (yuck!)
  • Sweet Potato
  • Kamut (unsure if ever had)
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • White Potato
  • Amaranth (grain) (unsure if ever had)
  • Buckwheat
  • Oat
  • Tapioca
  • Spelt
  • Broccoli
  • String Beans (yuck!)
  • Cucumber
  • Peas (only eat in things, never alone)
  • Zucchini (not a huge fan but it’s in my chicken broth)
  • Onion
  • Yellow Squash (yuck)
  • Mushrooms
  • Green Pepper
  • Cauliflower
  • Pineapple
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Watermelon
  • Peach
  • Plum
  • Cherry
  • Blueberry
  • Cranberry
  • Orange (no pulp)
  • Strawberries
  • Apple
  • Apricot
  • Pear
  • Mango (no idea how to prepare)
  • Papaya (no idea how to prepare)
  • Cocoa
  • Cheddar Cheese (aged less than 6 months)
  • Goat’s Milk (not a big fan)
  • Yogurt
  • Cottage Cheese (yuck! hate the texture)
  • American Cheese
  • Whey
  • Sesame
  • Olive
  • Sunflower Seed
  • Soybean
Flavor Enhancers
  • Vanilla
  • Cinnamon
  • Oregano
  • Lemon
  • Cane Sugar
  • Cayenne Pepper (don’t ever cook with this)
  • Carob
  • Basil
  • Honey (need to limit due to pollen issues)
  • Mustard Seed (not a huge fan)
  • Leek
  • Black Pepper
  • Cumin
  • Garlic
  • Mint
  • Maple
  • Coconut (need to not go too overboard because it’s very close to yellow)

Since my diet has been opened up a bit more, I won’t be doing the weekly roundups anymore. Instead, I’ll just post recipes (including those you have requested) that have worked out well for me. These won’t be on a regular schedule, because it depends on when things work out and when I can get pictures of them so I can write the posts.

Feel free to take a look back through my other LEAP diet posts and request any recipes you would like to see! I have a request for the tortillas (which I will probably get posted this week) and one for the sweet potato risotto (which will probably be posted sometime near the end of this week or early next week). Here are all my past LEAP diet posts:

If you have any good recipes using these things, please let me know below!

LEAP Results & My Program

After the low FODMAP diet didn’t work for me, my dietitian and I decided to move forward with the LEAP program. I explained the LEAP protocol in more detail in this post, but I’ll give another brief summary here. LEAP is technically the eating plan that is developed based on the food sensitivities that are found from the mediator release testing (MRT) conducted. Mediators are chemicals that are released by white blood cells – such as histamine, prostaglandins, and cytokines – in an immune system response. Mediators can cause a range of symptoms, including inflammation and pain. The LEAP 150 panel tests your blood against 150 different foods and chemicals, and checks for mediator release. Results are ranked numerically, and these numbers are converted into a great visual with different length, color-coded bars for each item tested. Bars are either green (non-reactive), yellow (reactive), or red (highly reactive). The yellow and red items, as stated in the booklet I was given with my results, are best to avoid completely. Yellow items can sometimes be dose dependent, so late in the program you can sometimes attempt to reintroduce them. However, that is for wayyyyy down the road, so right now we won’t talk about that.

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Easy, Healthy Lunch Wraps – Recipe

The lunch wraps are delicious, nutritious, and super simple to make! They’re also free from most allergens, which makes them even better. Great for spoonies, or anyone that is in a rush!

Today is probably the first day in over a year that I have actually made my own lunch! Usually, I just heat up leftovers and/or drink an Ensure. Sometimes I get crazy and add a few snack foods with my Ensure 😉 I know I need to eat, but it’s hard to come up with lunch foods that I like, are easy to make, and don’t kill my stomach… it’s even HARDER if I am actually following my rotation diet: yeast, beans, cheese, chocolate can only be eaten every three days (ie: I eat yeast Monday, I can’t eat it again until Thursday). Then, my best friend made these wraps for us during a girl day, and I’m hooked! This particular recipe is completely free from all my allergens. It can very easily be modified to fit your personal diet as well.


() denote exactly which type I used for my own wrap

  • tortilla (Mission flour tortillas, large/burrito size)
  • salad dressing (Kraft ranch dressing)
  • lunch meat (Oscar Meyer rotisserie chicken, deli meat*)
  • salad mix, or other leafy greens (50/50 spring mix and spinach)
  • tomatoes (Nature Sweet sunbursts and cherubs)
  1. Lay the tortilla on a plate. If the tortilla is stiff, heat it up a little until flexible (I do 15-20 seconds in the  microwave).
  2. Spread a thin layer of the ranch dressing on the tortilla. The specific amount is up to your personal taste!
  3. Put down a layer of the lunch meat. I did a single overlapping layer, to keep it from overpowering the wrap. You can add more or less to taste.step one (1).jpg
  4. Put some of the salad mix on top of the lunch meat. Don’t use too much or it’ll prevent you from being able to taste all the rest of the tasty stuff (I used a little too much for the wrap I made while taking the photos). Lots of salad containers say they are pre-washed and ready to eat, but I like to rinse mine first, just to be safe. Try to distribute the leaves evenly so you have the same amount of salad in each bite!step-three-1
  5. Wash and slice the tomatoes. For the pictured wrap, I used 4 of the sunbursts and 5 of the cherubs. Since the sunbursts are quite large, I quartered them. However, the cherubs were smaller, so I only halved them. Make sure you use a serrated knife, or you’ll just crush the tomatoes and loose all the delicious stuff! You just want to get them to bite size, they’re easier to eat that way.
  6. Evenly distribute the tomatoes over the salad mix.step-four-1
  7. If you have accidentally put a ton of salad on your wrap, you can add more ranch dressing. (And if you love ranch, you might want to add a drizzle as well! Haha)
  8. Wrap up the tortilla and enjoy!

wrapped up 1.jpg

*While looking at the ingredients to write this post, I realized I’d forgotten to check the lunch meat prior to purchasing it! This particular lunch meat does contain “yeast extract,” unfortunately. For this to fully follow my elimination diet, I will need to use a different lunch meat… oops!

As I said earlier, this recipe is fantastic if you’re low on energy and/or time! It’s also a great way to get in a serving of vegetables (the tomatoes are nutritionally a vegetable, even though they’re technically a fruit), which I know a lot of us struggle with on a daily basis. I eat these with a side of fruit, making it a fully balanced meal. Yummy!

My best friend adds onions, bacon bits, and cheese into her wrap. Customizing your wrap is half the fun!

What ingredients did you put in your wrap?