This is a question I’ve been wanting to provide a good solution for, for a LONG time:

I’m ready to come off the elemental diet (IBD Remission Diet) but I’m not ready to be completely on solid foods yet, what should I do?

So here’s the thing: Absorb Plus is an expensive product, because it is a completely elemental shake, for which the ingredients are also expensive.

For the record, though, not everyone needs to go on an elemental diet! I have always provided options for other, cheaper ways to heal, if possible. But let’s say you are one of the severe cases where an elemental food source is the only thing your body can tolerate and absorb nutrients from, and so you have just completed 3 or 6 weeks of The IBD Remission Diet.

You are now using the Food Reintroduction chart (Ch. 5 of The IBD Remission Diet) to thoroughly test for your food allergies and intolerances and also to gradually accustom your body to eating normal foods again.

But, during the Food Reintroduction phase, you cannot get enough calories from eating (for example) carrots and squash. So what do you do?

Many people have continued with several Absorb Plus shakes per day to maintain their nutrition and protein intake whilst gradually reintroducing solid foods. And whilst this is certainly an option, we come back to the issue of price. And also to the issue of the carbohydrate content (tapioca maltodextrin) of the shakes – which is not ideal either, once you no longer need to gain weight.

Here’s the great thing: As the supplement industry has grown and opened up, we now have more high quality options available to use during this transition phase (and thereafter) – at a cheaper price per serving – than Absorb Plus. Here’s my video about it, or you can just keep reading…

Grass-Fed, Casein-Free Whey!

After years of searching, I have finally found a grass-fed whey protein that is minimally pasteurized and from completely grass-fed herds. BUT it also contains less than 1% casein AND less than 10% lactose! Can you believe it? Wait, it gets better: It contains natural flavors only and is sweetened with only stevia. Seriously, I am in heaven.

For those of you who follow my stuff and know the technicalities of whey extraction… This product is technically a whey concentrate, or whole whey protein.

But, not really, since most of the casein and lactose have been removed. Trust me, you can find LOTS of whey concentrate on the market and some that is grass-fed too. But this is this only one I’ve found that is minimally (flash) pasteurized, but yet also has most of the casein and lactose removed. Casein is the milk protein that most people are allergic to.

The Lactose content for this completely grass-fed whey is 1 g per 10 gram serving, which is considered below the level for people who are lactose intolerant. Lab analysis also verifies that the whey contains less than 1% non-denatured casein. Although I will bloat if I eat yoghurt, cream, or milk, I do not bloat when I eat/drink this whey.

The chocolate is my favorite flavor. We also provide an unflavored, unsweetened version – because I know that’s what many of you prefer.

Clean, Sprouted Brown Rice Protein

Now for those of you who prefer a veggie protein, or just want some variety, I have also (at last) found a vegan sprouted brown rice protein. That is not only sprouted, but also free of all the usual myriad of greens, seeds, roots and other nutrients that are great for normal digestive systems. (But not so good for sensitive systems). Especially when you’re just transitioning to solid foods.

So, as with the whey I’ve brought in for you guys (and my family!) this sprouted brown rice protein is completely natural with nothing added but a bit of salt. Soaking and sprouting the grain improves its digestibility.

The flavored versions are also all natural with only some fairly benign thickeners used:

  • pectic
  • xanthan gum
  • rice oligodextrin and
  • sweetened only with stevia.

Using Protein Shakes To Transition Off An Elemental Diet

Okay, so now that you’ve got your two excellent source of clean, easily-digested protein (one vegan, one whey), how do you go about preparing them to consume along with the allowable foods at each phase of the Food Reintroduction Chart? By the way, this chart I keep referring to is the one I provide in The IBD Remission Diet book. (Chapter Five)

Here are some recipes for transition-shakes that should be well-tolerated:

Transition Shake #1

Transition Shake #2


*For the ground chia or flax powders, start with 1 tsp and gradually work up to 1 – 2 tablespoons depending on what your body likes. BUT drink lots of water as chia and flax are stool softening and bulking agents – and can have the opposite effect if you don’t drink lots of water with them. Personally, I prefer chia to flax.

Combine Vegan or Whey Shakes with Regular Food

And there you have it, your easy way to transition off the elemental diet, or IBD Remission Diet.

Just use the shakes above instead of Absorb Plus, along with the foods listed in the Food Reintroduction Chart. (Chapter 5 of The IBD Remission Diet)

The great news is that these shakes are really healthy for ongoing use and very affordable.

My kids have the whey shake #1, made with raw milk and an extra scoop of stevia before school, or before gymnastics or soccer – GREAT nutrition and super fast to prepare. For a really picky kid, add a squirt of chocolate sauce and then shake in the BlenderBottle.

I drink shake #2 as my ongoing breakfast shake. I USED TO add these supplements to it:

BUT NOW I just add 1 scoop of MultiAbsorb Immune Booster! And receive all the same supplements + the supplements for eye/vision health + the super greens/herbs. This support the immune & hormonal systems, along with the liver and kidneys.

I also add 1 serving of Bone Matrix as listed.

and then I go work with horses for 3 hours – I have lots of energy and do not feel hungry until I’m on my way home!

I’m really excited about having MultiAbsorb available for us all now! Unless we’re growing our own veggies year-round in composted, worm-rich soil, we are not getting the nutrients we need for optimal, thriving health, from our food supply.

Original post September 2013. Most recently updated February 2024.