Occasionally I get an email from a reader with extreme sensitivities, allergies, or intolerances who would like to know HOW to customize an elemental shake for bowel rest – like this one:

“Is there a way to make a gluten “Cross reactant” free version of Absorb Plus? I seem to have severe nuerological side effects to carob and tapioca and vanilla… Flavors I seem okay with are mango, blackberry, and apple. I also have MCAD, and Histamine intolerance. I know you can’t change everything for everyone, that would be ridiculous. I’m just hoping there is a solution. Thank you for your time. (I can’t tolerate banana either or I’d have tried the diy elemental in the blog). Thank you for all of the resources you provide, you’ve helped me feel not as alone. All the best!”

Okay, so first of all the “DIY elemental” shake made with banana she’s referring to is not elemental. It is a very easily tolerated shake and makes digestion/absorption much easier on the gut (that recipe and more are here) but it is not completely pre-digested. Here again are the ONLY parameters of an elemental shake – according to the clinical trials that established the efficacy of elemental diets to induce remission for Crohn’s disease:

Protein as free form amino acids and/or di-peptide bond proteins only
Fats as MCT, cold-pressed flax, Udo’s, coconut etc. (but MUST be cold-pressed)
Carbohydrates as monosaccharide sugars only (glucose, natural fructose, dextrose). The only exception to this rule is maltodextrin (a glucose polymer)

So as you can see, you cannot add ANY normal/regular foods to your shakes and still have them classed as “elemental” or polymeric.

What you can do, is to purchase an unflavored whey isolate (must be isolate, not a whey concentrate) or unflavored rice protein and mix that with whichever maltodextrin you can tolerate. We sell tapioca maltodextrin in our Shoppe. But you could also use corn maltodextrin. We don’t carry this as it is very hard to find non-GMO corn maltodextrin in North America and corn is a common allergen. But if you ordered from a European supplier, you could probably find an organic, non-GMO version there.

Rice maltodextrin is another option and likely well tolerated. Do a web search for “buy rice maltodextrin” and it will let you know of suppliers in your area, like this one.

Once you have your protein and your maltodextrin, you can use this guide to mix your shakes in the proper proportions. Of course, you can always use less maltodextrin if you are not malnourished and if you don’t need to gain any healthy weight.

If you wish to add flavors to your DIY elemental shakes, then use these organic flavor concentrates from Nature’s Flavors – they are compatible with an elemental diet and instructions for using/mixing the flavors into your shakes are here.

And if you want to know which other supplements we add to the shakes during The IBD Remission Diet, then check out the basic supplement list and the premium supplement list – just get whichever you can afford.

Hope that helps and if you have any questions, just leave them below!

Create Your Own Elemental Bowel Rest Shake
2 Comments

2 thoughts on “Create Your Own Elemental Bowel Rest Shake

  • What if you react poorly to maltodextrin. I bought the unsweetened vanilla and had a lot of bloating. I have a really good quality whey isolate that I use with almond milkwith no problems, but i had major bloating with the absorb plus unsweetend vanilla. Does maltodextrin cause problems if you have yeast or fungal issues? I think I have sibo and a fungal problem as well. I don’t really have major issues except bloating. I can eat some foods without problems. Sometimes i have a flare up because of something I ate or die off from a treatment protocol and want to rest my digestive system or have something quick and easy so I can rest. I am not underweight or malnourished is there a way to make some kind of semi-ememental without maltodextrin at all and use more fat. I do not find that I need a lot of carbohydrates in general. Any suggestions you could give would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Hi Rachel,

      Thank you for contacting us here. This could be intolerance but may also be just the normal effect of consuming an elemental food supply formula like Absorb Plus. When Jini was on the elemental diet for 7 weeks, her belly was so bloated she looked 4 months pregnant. But that quickly disappeared when she transitioned onto normal foods. Also, try to drink the shake at room temperature. If they are cold, it can increase the amount of bloating. Your other option if you really cannot tolerate Absorb Plus is Jini’s Vegan Elemental shake kits. These vegan elemental shake kits are ideal for people who need to break down the formula and delete ingredients they may be sensitive to.

      Kind Regards,
      Cris B
      Customer Care

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