We often receive emails and messages from readers who simply cannot afford the cost of Absorb Plus. Remember, that to go on a completely elemental diet (to provide bowel rest) most people need to consume between 4 – 7 servings per day – and that adds up VERY quickly!
Then there is the cost of shipping, and what you may earn in your local economy. We received an email from a family in Mauritius – that’s a tiny island about 2,000 km off the southeast coast of Africa. You can imagine how much lower the average salary is there and how crazy high the cost of shipping product there would be!
But don’t despair! I have a number of options for those of you who cannot afford (or perhaps do not need) to go on an elemental diet:
1. If you cannot afford Absorb Plus, then here are some very well tolerated shake recipes using gentle food ingredients you can find at your local grocery store or farmer’s market.
2. If you can eat some regular food, then sticking to this list of low-residue foods tailored specifically for IBD may help keep your gut happy, along with probiotics and possibly wild oregano oil to combat intestinal infection.
3. Keep in mind, you may not have to do a FULL elemental diet. Trials have shown even a half-elemental diet can have great success. If you do a half-elemental diet, then you could combine Absorb Plus with either the food ingredient shakes or the low residue foods I gave you above. Here is a FANTASTIC example from a reader who used a half-elemental diet to provide bowel rest and heal an abdominal abscess and fistula. Remember, not everyone needs to go on a full-elemental diet (or has time, or can afford it!).
4. Lastly, I have some well-tolerated protein shake recipes here which are better tolerated than normal food. People use these shakes when they’re ready to transition off an elemental diet – before they start eating regular food. So, these shakes may be all you need!
Remember, you can always try the options above first, to see if your body responds well to these easily-tolerated shakes and foods. There is no point in going to the expense and self-discipline required to do a full elemental diet if you don’t have to!
Original post January 2016. Most recently updated September 2020.