questionFrom time to time we receive emails 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.

Then there is the cost of shipping and what you may earn in your local economy. We recently 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

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!

When You Cannot Afford to Do an Elemental Diet

15 thoughts on “When You Cannot Afford to Do an Elemental Diet

  • Is it ok if you mix the Absorb Plus with a banana?
    My son finds it easier to tolerate that way.
    Or does that make it totally non- beneficial for him
    Is it not elemental anymore then?
    Does it have some benefit?
    Thank you so much for all of your input.
    We are feeling hopeful.

    1. Hi Patti,

      If you are certain that your son is able to digest bananas without causing any issues then go for it! We have a number of customers who have a “safe list” of foods which they know will not cause anything to flare up and we encourage people to go half/partially elemental if they’re able to do so while achieving the results they desire (i.e. gaining or maintaining healthy weight and remaining symptom free). Going fully elemental is generally recommended for situations like these:

      – During a flare (when any symptoms exist and won’t go away)
      – When someone is not sure what he/she can safely consume without causing issues
      – To establish a stable nutritional baseline from which regular foods can be reintroduced, one by one, in order to determine what can and cannot be tolerated
      – If someone is not able to gain or even maintain weight any other way

      If you have any additional questions please don’t hesitate to ask!

      Kind regards,
      Customer Care

  • Dear lovely ltgyg Team,

    I am from Germany and have been Crohn’s disease for 17 years.
    My first and – I hope – last surgery was in February and I really don’t want to take anymore steroids.
    My boyfriend found your protocols, testimonials and all your input. It’s the first time that a protocol feels totally plausible to me and that I want to comply with. I am feeling hopefully.

    I have been starting with a FULL elemental diet 10 days ago. But I couldn’t resist to eat coconut raw cream. What happens now to it in the gut? And is it hard to digest?
    When is the best time to test out different food for toleration? I start with the oregano oil protocol this week as soon as the probiotics has been delivered.

    Best regards,

    1. Hello Clair,

      Thank you for your message. We are glad you found our information and hope it can help you feel better. Coconut raw cream shouldn’t be too bad for you at some point, however if you think you need to do the full elemental diet for healing, it could contradict it some if you add in other foods. However each individual is different so we can not say for sure how certain foods will effect different people.

      As for testing new foods it can vary from person due to their own bodies needs. This is why Jini recommends to try to listen to your body and gut on how long it needs the elemental diet. Another thing to go by is when you start you can write down which symptoms you want improved and than start on other food items when those have been resolved. She also recommends when you do start to add foods in to do one at a time and keep a food journal to try to learn what is bothering your body and what is not.

      If you have any other questions please let us know.

      Kind Regards,
      Customer Care

  • I have had Crohn’s disease for 10 years, and recently have reached the point where the onlu option left to me is biologics, which scare me with their possible side effects. I am not financially comfortable, and can’t afford absorb plus, but I have found a way to do an 8 week full elemental diet for under $600 using bulk (safe and high quality) components. The only problem is I can’t seem to choke it down; it tastes disgusting and the consistency makes me nauseous. I also have some gastritis, which complicates my situation. Im wondering if anyone can suggest a way to improve the flavor of my diy elemental diet (is it safe/okay to use vanilla extract, peppermint extract, etc), otherwise I’ll have to concede defeat and submit myself to the biologics. Please help!

    1. Hello Noa,

      That is great you are trying to make your own elemental diet. That is exactly what Jini did with years of research till she was able to get the taste she achieved. She does talk about how bad tasting the ones the medical system has, so I can imagine how bad they can be if you don’t get the ingredients just right! To help with taste she recommends organic flavor extracts, but to be cautious on choosing which could be harmful for your condition. We would recommend trying to listen to your gut on which would be good for you and which wouldn’t. We really like the concentrates and extracts from this website:
      Another option to add taste is adding in Emergen C. The taste is great, and even half a package adds enough flavor. However, if loose bowels is a concern it may not be the best option for you.
      Unsure if you tried out this shake yet, but I like the taste of it:
      We would love to hear how that works out for you and what flavor ideas you come up with. Please let us know if you have any others questions.

      Kind Regards,
      Customer Care

      1. Hi Rachel,

        Thanks for the advice and the alternative. I tried the shake again today with some stevia, all natural vanilla extract, and half the liquid vitamin, and I was actually able to choke down the entire shake. Listening to my body, I really think I need to go 100% elemental this time around, but the black banana and yogurt diet sounds like something I could use in the future if I get a minor flare. Thank you so much for the ideas and advice, I’ll post again if I come up with anything else to help others in difficult financial situations take care of their IBD properly.

  • hello Ltyg team
    I m new to this self healing stuff but I am a believer and convinced that this can work for me giving that I had UC for 6 years with this yr being the longest ive been In remission(1yr) Recently this sept I seen that my UC has been trying to come back in my life simultaneously when I saw myself building up a lot of emotional stress. Anywho my Absorb plus came today and today is my last day eating solid food. My question to you is. How long do I drink this before taking the wild oregano oil along with the probiotics

    1. Hello Adrian,

      Thank you for the inquiry. Jini recommends giving at least 2 days between starting new products and foods to see how your body adjusts to it. Some people even wait a few days or weeks to start the oregano oil and probiotics to let the body adjust to the diet. However, as everybody’s needs are different Jini recommends asking your body what it needs when and for how long. Please let us know if you have any other questions.

      Kind Regards,
      Customer Care

  • I have done 3 weeks of The Elemental diet with probiotics, wild oregano oil and the colonic, I have to have a colonoscopy soon and if I am looking alright when should I start introducing food , I know one food a day for a couple days but what consistency?

    1. Hello,
      You can find all of Jini’s information and recommendations about reintroducing food in many of her books. I am unsure if you have any of those you can look for more information concerning this. Please forgive me if this doesn’t answer your question as I’m not sure what you mean by “what consistency” but would be happy to help if you have any further questions.
      Kind Regards,
      Customer Care

  • Hi! Im curently on medications and can eat most things, but i also have a very swollen stomach. My question is if I can start her regular diet (remission diet) and also start with the oregano oil and probiotics?

    And should I after a certain time decrease my medication?

    1. Hi Gabriella,

      I’m afraid we aren’t qualified to advise you when to decrease your medication. As for the Absorb Plus, it can be taken with all ongoing prescriptions. For Probiotics and Oregano, we aren’t aware of the type of prescription medications your on, so you’ll definitely want to consult with your doctor if you’re unsure.

      Jini always recommend that you listen to your gut on which would be good for you and which wouldn’t.

      Kind Regards,
      Customer Care

  • Hi,
    I have crohn’s (luckily not svere) but I am having a hard time going of Entocort (my mmunosuppresant) – when i tried to go from 2 pills to 1, I had worse symptoms than I ever had. I was wondering, if it might be helpful to go elemental just for the get-off medication phase (perhaps 1-2 weeks) and then do semi-elemental for the next 5-6 weeks or so. I unfortunately cannot afford to go completely Absorb Plus, so I was thinking 1 shake Absorb plus a day and the rest with the banana/yoghurt and broth. I really need to gain weight thought.

    Do you think this could work like this? Or do you have some better advice?
    On top of this I should also take oregano oil and probiotics? – or is that not necessary if I do the yogurt?

    Thank you very very much.

    1. Hi Barbara,

      Thank you for reaching out. Yes, Absorb Plus can be taken with all ongoing prescriptions and you can do half elemental. Many people cannot adhere to a 100% elemental diet, so this is good alternative for them to try. Not as effective as an exclusive elemental diet, but still a significant improvement in outcomes. What I would suggest though, if you want to try a half-elemental diet then try to implement one of the following options in the article above in conjunction with Absorb Plus.

      Many of Jini’s readers also use Absorb Plus intermittently – when they feel themselves getting run down, or in danger of a flare, they go on Absorb Plus shakes and bone broths exclusively for 3-7 days and then gradually go back to their well-tolerated foods.

      Aside from bowel rest using Absorb Plus liquid diet, other important steps that you need to follow is to eradicate pathogenic microorganisms (like bad bacteria, yeast, fungi, etc.) using Wild Oregano and then re-populate the bowel with good bacteria using Probiotics.

      Kind Regards,
      Cris B
      Customer Care

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