Dr. Brooke Goldner step down rules (process)

basil leaves and avocado on sliced bread on white ceramic plate

written by Nina Shantel, blog: RealDietHelp.com, published December 2023

After symptoms are gone and antibodies are negative, you can start what Dr. Brooke Goldner refers to as the step-down process, where you add cooked plant foods, one by one, every three days, to see if you have a negative reaction, or no reaction to them.

If you’re not familiar with Dr. Brooke Goldner. She is a medical doctor who went on a high-raw (mostly raw) vegan diet her fiancé created, which she customized, of tofu, cruciferous vegetables, fruit and flax oil to lose weight to fit into her wedding dress, and she not only lost excess pounds, but she also got rid of Lupus and other autoimmune diseases. With a little tweaking, she found that her protocol is effective at autoimmune reversal to everyone who follows it.

I found out about Dr. Brooke Goldner from my doctor who told me to try her protocol to see if I can save my remaining beta cells from being destroyed since I was diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes.

I followed Dr. Brooke Goldner’s free on-line program and my itchy, painful autoimmune hives resolved in less than six weeks, but I still had anemia where my energy level was unusually low, so I stayed on Dr. Goldner’s Goodbye AutoImmune Protocol (GAIP) for longer than most, five months.

Once I felt good, I got updated blood tests, which showed everything was normal, and my Type-1 diabetes antibodies, which were positive, were now negative. This reassured me that I could start adding back cooked foods, albeit slowly.

My husband, who has been vegan since 2020, and my mom who eats a Standard American Diet, asked me how I was going to decide what to eat first. My thought process was to try cooked whole plant foods that were least likely to cause a reaction.

Since certain foods, like beans, lentils and potatoes must be cooked to be safe to eat, I started with tofu, which is a very versatile bean. I could make tofu steaks, tofu mayo, creamy tofu dressing, and tofu chicken. I also thought tofu would be a good food to try first because I sneaked tofu here and there during Dr. Goldner’s strict raw vegan protocol when I was really hungry; it was either vegan chocolate cookies my husband frequently makes or tofu, so I sometimes ate a half a box of pressed and seasoned tofu, here and there, and still got disease reversal.

When I began adding cooked foods, I started with tofu. So, I pressed a box of drained tofu, added coconut aminos and powdered garlic, baked it, and added the seasoned tofu to my salad for lunch for three days straight. So, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, I had tofu with no side effects that I was aware of.

That meant I could add a new food on Thursday. I thought black beans would be another good food to add since guacamole and salsa are safe raw foods, so I ate 1-2 cups of black beans per day on my Mexican salad for three days.

It’s important to add a substantial amount of a new food to make sure you’re not allergic to it. Luckily black beans were okay too. Now I could have tofu and black beans.

Tofu is a mildly processed food. Edamame is unprocessed soy, but higher in carbohydrates, so while tofu and edamame are both from soy, I wanted to test them separately. Next food to try was edamame.

I boiled several cups of frozen edamame for 3 minutes, let it cool, added salt and ate about two cups worth. Since I didn’t feel any negative reactions, I continued eating edamame for 2 more days. Now I could eat tofu, black beans and edamame. I was on a roll!

My husband makes a fantastic salad with garbanzo beans, so I decided to try that next. For dinner I made a big salad, opened a can of garbanzo beans, drained it, and added the whole contents of the can to my salad. The salad with chickpeas was delicious and I was happy until my left foot and toes turned bright red, appeared swollen and were inflamed until I woke up the following morning.

I didn’t want to confirm this side effect would continue if I ate garbanzo beans again at a later date, so I wrote down on a list that I started compiling with all the foods I tried, when I tried them, if I had a reaction, what type of reaction I had, and if this food was worth trying again at a later date to confirm I was allergic to it. In the “eat again” category I created, I wrote “no” and added a frowny face.

After having a negative reaction from a different bean, I was not enthusiastic about trying any new foods right away, so I stuck with the foods that I knew were safe: raw fruits and vegetables, flax seeds, tofu, and on occasion, black beans and edamame.

The next foods I tried, from September through November, about two months, with no negative symptoms, all eaten separately, for three consecutive days were baked and boiled sweet potatoes, defrosted corn, baked and boiled white potatoes, cooked mushrooms in a pan with water or sherry, red bell peppers, sautéed onions with water, defrosted peas, coconut aminos, sautéed spinach, sautéed zucchini, and baked spaghetti squash.

My husband said that now that I can eat all these different foods, he’ll make a stew or a soup with these safe foods so I shouldn’t have any negative reactions, but I did.  Every time I ate hot soup or hot stew, I had a terrible stomachache that lasted for hours. It felt like I had a full stomach from eating too much. I tried eating small amounts, eating the stews and soups warm or cold, but I had the same problem: a painful stomachache and a flushed face that lasted for hours. For whatever reason, I can eat the same foods separately, but not together without stomach pain.

The next food I tried was water chestnuts from a can because I love how crisp and delicious they taste, and thought water chestnuts would be perfect with cucumber noodles and coconut aminos sauce. Again, following the rules, I ate just the foods I knew were safe, plus my salads, fruit, and flax seeds for three days, all good.

I had this intense craving for bread, something I haven’t eaten in years because I believed I had a gluten sensitivity. I thought the problem was the gluten that made my stomach hurt whenever I ate pretzels, pizza crust, or flour tortillas. Dr. Goldner said she doesn’t think gluten is the problem. She believes the problem is processed food and that’s why people can eat Ezekial bread which is made with sprouted grains.

I told my husband I want to try Ezekiel bread, so we drove to the store and looked at the options; I chose low-salt Ezekial bread since that one looked the healthiest after reading all the ingredients. When we got home, I heated a slice of Ezekial bread in the oven at 300 degrees for a few minutes until slightly toasty, but not browned, and slathered on creamy avocado with salt. It was delicious and I had no negative reactions from Ezekial bread even though it contains gluten. I’ve been eating 2-3 slices of Ezekial bread, with no problems.

My husband told me I should try making a sandwich with the Ezekial bread with banana slices and peanut butter. I’ve never had that combination, so I got out the creamy peanut butter that contains only peanuts, and scooped out 1 level tablespoon of peanut butter and smeared the peanut butter on the toasted Ezekial bread, added ¾ of a sliced banana and topped it with another slice of toasted bread. OMG! I wish my mom had made this for me for my school lunches when I was a kid, it’s delicious AND healthy!

I was really worried about trying peanut butter because peanuts are a food that is highly allergenic for many people. I limited the peanut butter to 1 tablespoon because nut butters are high in saturated fats, have high omega 6 fats, and which lower healthy omega 3 fats. I entered all the foods I had eaten that day, into the chronometer app and was happy to find out that my omega 3’s were still higher than my omega 6 fats with the added peanut butter, so I felt good that I could now add a little peanut butter to my diet.

The next food I tried was quinoa; because grains are versatile, I can add quinoa to my salads, and it could help me put on a few pounds. About 30 minutes after eating 1 cup of cooked quinoa I put in my salad, my right thumb started itching and a burning red hive appeared on the surface. My other fingers had a reddened hue to them.

I wrote on my food reactions list I created in a Word document, my reaction, that I tried quinoa on December 6th, and that quinoa is a “no” food, it’s a food that I am not to eat again. The hives were the main reason I went on the GAIP plan because I was in so much pain, and had problems doing everyday tasks, like walking, typing, sitting, or making a meal, due to painful hives. 

I only ate quinoa at that one dinner meal, yet the following evening, my thumb itched and burned even more and caused me a great deal of pain, and made me panic a bit. This is what Dr. Goldner describes as “health anxiety.”

The following day, day three, the visible hive on my thumb was still there, and the itchiness & hives spread to other fingers and my toes. Reactions from food can occur right away, hours later, or three days from when the offending food was eaten so that’s why it’s important to not eat even a bite of a new food until you’ve ruled out that another food is safe for you to eat.

My daily meals have consisted of a fruit smoothie or nice cream for breakfast, a salad with tofu for lunch, toasted Ezekiel bread for a midday snack, and a small salad with potatoes, fruit, corn, or beans for dinner.

The itching, swelling, and pain from the hives were still bothering me four days later, so I’m going back to the GAIP protocol. Hopefully it won’t take 6 weeks to reverse the hives like last time. Dr. John McDougall states that it can take seven days for the allergen to exit the body completely.

I’m hesitant about trying other cooked foods, and have decided that grains are out of the question.   

So, that’s how the step-down process works. You try a new cooked plant food, every three days, keep a record of it, and avoid the foods that bother you.

I was vegan 2 years before I followed the GAIP program, but all the years I ate processed foods and animal protein destroyed my health to the point where a plant-based diet was not adequate to fix all my medical problems.

Always steering clear of dairy, animal flesh, and heavily processed foods.

If you want the raw vegan recipes I made which reversed my autoimmune conditions, are in the video below. The simple blueberry nice cream recipe that’s raw vegan compliant is in the video above.

Let me know if you have any questions.

If this post is located on any other website other than mine, which is RealDietHelp.com, it’s been unauthorized, plagiarized (copied without my permission). The other social media sites where my articles and videos are approved to be published are on my YouTube channel (Nina’s Nutrition & Exercise Videos), my Fit Girl Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TheHighFiveDiet/

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