Before starting any new diet you need to know if it is a permanent lifestyle change or a temporary situation. Find out how to come off the Vitamin A Detox Diet before you even start!
NOTE: I no longer support the Vitamin A as poison theory. All information in this article is purely to help you understand what it is based on. It is possible to get too much Vitamin A by overdosing supplements or liver. But that doesn’t happen often and can be quickly remedied if it does. Vitamin A from animal sources is an essential part of the diet. Beta Carotene can cause carotenemia (as my son had) but will not overload the body with Vitamin A. I encourage you to research and make your own decisions. You can read our update/why we turned and ran from the Vitamin A Detox Diet HERE.
My last post introduced the Vitamin A Detox (VAD) Diet. And here I am a week later telling you how to come off the Vitamin A Detox diet.
I did this because I know it is a big hangup for many people. Before starting a diet they wonder how quickly they can go back to eating “normally” or if the dietary changes have to be a permanent lifestyle. I want to ease your worries and give you some guidance.
First and foremost any new diet should be experimental. If at any point you feel like it’s doing more harm than good, scrap it. Don’t stick something out because it’s supposed to work. Do what works for you and your child.
The VAD Diet is quite different than any other healing diet out there. And it isn’t easy. So it’s natural to want it to be as short as possible.
For some kids it could be as short as three months. For others it could take six months or more. It just depends on the severity of the toxicity and how well you adhere to the diet.
Start With Symptoms
Taking note of symptoms and their severity throughout the VAD Diet is very important. What are you hoping heals or is totally eliminated? What are your goals for the detox? Assess them when you start the diet and then every couple months throughout.
When you feel like your child is sufficiently detoxed and the toxicity symptoms are gone it is time to come off the Vitamin A Detox Diet. Start experimenting with adding foods back.
This will be a very gradual process. And the end goal is not to go back to “eating the rainbow” and loading up on liver. The ultimate goal is to find balance where your child can eat a variety of foods without getting back to a saturated state. What this looks like will be different for everyone.
How to Reintroduce Foods on the Vitamin A Detox Diet
Start by making a list of foods you would like to add back to your child’s diet. Then add them one at a time, starting with the foods with the lowest Vitamin A content. Starting with green vegetables is a great way to do this. Even vegetables that you have been eating peeled are great for starting. Leave the peel on and see what happens.
I’ll give you an example of an introduction. You may want to add green beans, red peppers, peanuts and milk. Start with a small serving of green beans and see how it goes. If symptoms flare you know that your child needs more time on the VAD Diet to fully clear the liver. If no symptoms return move on to the peanuts. Give each food a week or two before adding anything else. Again, you are watching for Vitamin A Toxicity symptoms. If they come back with even small amounts of Vitamin A added your child needs more time on the VAD Diet.
There are no rules about how to reintroduce food. But try to go slowly and observe.
The Goal is Moderation
Keep adding back new foods as long as your child’s symptoms do not return. Remember that the end goal is moderation. Even after detoxing you can’t expect your child to be able to eat anything any time. He may be able to tolerate a glass of milk or a dish of ice cream here and there. But drinking milk with every meal will build up the Vitamin A stores again quickly. In fact, you may decide to stick to a dairy free lifestyle.
This will be a lifelong experiment. There may be periods of time where your child can tolerate more Vitamin A and times where she can tolerate less. You have to make adjustments over time to keep the liver from becoming saturated again.
As a child becomes a teen and an adult his storage capacity will continue to change. Teach him how to monitor his own symptoms.
Remember that the end goal is moderation. You never want to go back to a high Vitamin A diet. It will not go well. We are not meant to eat that way. And living in a world loaded with glyphosate makes it even more complicated. It’s hard to change your mentality about what is healthy (lots of brightly colored veggies). But hopefully after enough time on the VAD Diet and seeing your child’s health improve you’ll make the mental switch.
Maybe you will want to remain on a relatively low Vitamin A diet permanently. That’s ok too. See how you and your child feels once the detox phase is over. Create your own new normal.
Vitamin A Testing
There are some tests to check Vitamin A levels. Currently they are limited. Serum Vitamin A checks blood levels. If your child’s liver is saturated, then the additional Vitamin A dictates the blood levels. Unfortunately Vitamin A in the blood will not start decreasing until the liver is fully cleared. So your child may be close to clearing the liver, but blood levels will remain the same.
It is good to check serum Vitamin A at the start of the VAD Diet to get a baseline. Then if a retest shows a decrease you know that the liver is detoxed and working to now clear the excess from the blood.
If you don’t do testing you can simply watch for symptoms. It should be obvious when your child reaches the point of clearing the liver. Symptoms should quickly reverse at that point.
As you can see this is all individual and experimental. But it could change your child’s life forever. Stick with the diet until symptoms are gone. Then gradually add foods back, one at a time, watching for the return of Vitamin A Toxicity symptoms.
What is the Best Diet?
In the end you have to do what works for you and your family. My kids have seen a significant health improvement in less than six months on the VAD Diet.
But that doesn’t mean we’re jumping ship now. My kids are still dairy free (except for butter and a little sour cream here and there). We still avoid peanuts, cashews, nightshades, most red, orange, and yellow vegetables, and dark leafy greens.
My kids seem to do ok with green beans and peas. They eat a little bit of pork and egg yolk, though definitely not daily. We are even starting to experiment with sourdough bread (made with wheat) after six years of eating gluten free.
We know what symptoms to watch for now. And we can quickly adjust our diet if need be.
A strict low Vitamin A diet is not necessary for life. But you will always have to be conscious of Vitamin A levels in our toxic world.