Ask Kris: Elimination Diet, Soaking Nuts, Fibrous Breasts & more!

Hi Sweet Friends,

It’s “Ask Kris” time again! I’m absolutely loving the questions that have been rolling in and I’m excited to share my second batch of answers. Today, I’m covering juicing for depression, fibrous breasts (you read that correctly), nut soaking and the elimination diet. Boobs, nuts, blues lifters and allergy busters–all in one post, could it get any better? Nope. And just so ya know, I fact checked these answers with our Crazy Sexy RD, Jen Reilly, to make sure my responses were up to date with all the current research. Let’s dive in…

Carmen A: I’m wondering if you know of a specific juice I can make that will enhance mental health and well-being, specifically to combat depression?

Yes! But before I get to juicing, I want to point out that in general, fruits, veggies, and other plant foods are loaded with important nutrients that help alleviate depression.

Here are a few mood-boosting superstars:

  • Folic acid found in dark leafy greens and oranges
  • Choline found in broccoli and quinoa
  • Selenium found in Brazil nuts and garlic
  • Essential omega-3 fats found in flax seeds, walnuts and chia seeds
  • Vitamin D found in fortified plant foods and supplements. Vitamin D2 is from plants and isn’t as well absorbed as animal-sourced Vitamin D3. While there are some companies who sell vegan Vitamin D3, some folks are skeptical if the D3 is truly plant-sourced. So, vegans may want to go with D2, or better yet, get some sun!

Having said all that, try juicing 1-2 times daily (or make enough for 2 servings) and include kale, broccoli stems, spinach, and oranges on a regular basis. My daily green juice would be a great recipe for you, and you could replace the apple or pear with an orange for an extra boost of folic acid. You can also try this antioxidant-rich smoothie 3-4 times a week. It has chia and flax to increase your intake of Omega-3’s.

In addition, I’d avoid simple sugars and high-glycemic index foods as they jettison your body into a more anxious state. Check out my sugar blog here and limit sweeter foods to those in my chart with a Crazy Sexy grade of “A.” Focus on complex carbs like quinoa and whole grains to help stabilize your blood sugars and plan to eat regularly throughout the day.

You may also consider yoga, meditation, and tapping as healthy additions to your diet and juice regimen. They can be powerful mental health tools, especially in combination with your plant-powered diet.

Michele S: Kris mentioned somewhere that she takes primrose for fibrous breasts. Can you please tell me anything else that might help?

For fibrous breasts, there’s a great deal of anecdotal evidence out there that certain supplements and diet changes may help, but very little proven scientific research. Many women find relief when they avoid caffeine, chocolate, and fatty foods, and supplement with primrose oil (most naturopathic docs recommend 1,000 mg 3 times a day, but check with yours to be sure), iodine (or eat iodine-rich sea vegetables on a regular basis), vitamin E, and magnesium. In supplementing, I would suggest no more than the recommended tolerable upper limits found in the tables here.

Nicole H: I was just wondering how long you are supposed to soak nuts typically? Do you soak them on the counter or in the fridge, in hot or cold water?

When making almond milk or cashew milk, I soak raw nuts on the counter overnight (about 10 hours) in filtered water (room temp). In the morning, I drain the water and whip up some milk using this recipe. You can soak nuts up to 2 days at room temp. The longer you soak ‘em, the creamier your milk will be, so experiment and see what tickles your taste buds. I also love making hemp milk with raw hemp seeds because they don’t require soaking (or even straining if you don’t mind a little texture). Most nut milks last in the fridge about 2 days, but hemp milk can last 5-7 days in the fridge.

Jon T: What is the elimination diet and how do I do it?

The elimination diet is a bear of sorts. It’s commonly used to identify foods that you may be sensitive to. Check out my blog here for more info on the difference between food allergies and sensitivities. An elimination diet removes the most common sensitivity foods, and then adds them back in one by one. Keep in mind that this is a challenging approach to identifying food allergies. I would recommend working with a registered dietician (who is plant-based friendly!) to lead you through the process. Another great resource for identifying and thriving with food sensitivities (especially if you’re vegan) is the Food Allergy Survival Guide. It includes it’s own version of the elimination diet plus recipes.

Here’s a basic overview of the elimination diet approach:

  • You begin by eliminating caffeine, alcohol, and junk food for 2-3 days.
  • Then, for 3-4 weeks, you avoid the most likely food triggers: gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, corn, pork, beef, chicken, beans/lentils, coffee, citrus fruits, nuts (coconut, pine nuts, and flax seeds are allowed), and nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, bell peppers, and hot peppers). If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, I recommend keeping split peas, beans, and legumes (minus all soy products) in your diet and filling up on gluten-free foods like rice, buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth, teff, and millet.
  • After at least 3 weeks, you add each food (one at a time) back in for 1 day only, and observe symptoms on the following 2 days (so, reintroduce gluten on Monday only and observe any possible side effects on Tuesday and Wednesday).
  • If nothing is observed, add that food to your diet and add another single food back in for one day, observing how you feel on a second and third day.

It takes a while to determine which foods might be triggers, but it can be well worth it if you’ve been struggling! There are also a variety of tests you can do to identify food sensitivities and intolerances, which are listed in my blog.

Hope that helps! Now I want to hear from you. What are your “Ask Kris” questions? Add them in the comments below.

Peace & knowledge,

Kris Carr