Nutrient dense food is so important on the healing journey with Chronic Lyme.  Will  sticking to a Lyme Diet  80 % of the time be enough to combat Lyme Disease?

This week the 80/20 rule came up a lot in discussion, first for generally healthy people.   80 percent of the time, stay the course follow the self care practices that create and sustain health. 20 percent of the time relax a little.  Set daily habits to drive wellness and anchor into them.  If life doesn’t allow you to hold to them, 100%, no big deal. Take some pressure off, and cut down on guilt when you know an early meeting is going to preempt your morning exercise.

80/20 is a great set point to maintain health.  But if you are in the process of reducing symptom load and working hard to build wellness, with Lyme 80/20 may not be enough. Talk with your health care team honestly about how consistently you follow your wellness plan, so they can help you prioritize the key elements.

No one can be perfect all the time.  Rigidity and guilt cause their own problems.  If having one piece of chocolate throws you off your game.  “Oh I am going to chuck this because I ruined things.”  This is a problem.  Life is not about perfection, but the journey and the learning.  There is opportunity in the piece of chocolate to understand accept and grow or just enjoy a piece of chocolate. On the other hand if one piece of chocolate throws you into pain for a couple of weeks, is it worth it?

Chocolate may not be on your lyme diet

Is it a good idea to eat things not on the Lyme Diet when you have Lyme?


By Lyme diet I mean nutrient dense foods that your body can use to repair and rebuild.  NOT foods that cause symptoms to flare because of leaky gut or other reactions in your body.  NOT Foods your doc or naturopath tested you on and told you not to eat. They put you on an elimination diet to calm symptoms and help heal you gut.  There are several books that recommend a low sugar, whole food, low allergen diet to help you heal from Lyme. 

My answer is bad idea!  Do everything you know to help you feel better.  Click this link for a place to start to understand the role food has in rebuilding your health. Lyme doesn’t allow 20 % leeway all the time.  You might or might not feel it the day you eat something you know you shouldn’t.

Chocolate makes my knuckles ache right away.  So I get instant feedback.  Not so with other foods, Lyme cycles so I think “Oh I feel pretty good”.   Then during the next flair a couple weeks away, I will be a little more symptomatic.  Did I get away with anything?

Consistent Nutrient Dense Eating for Lyme is a Wise Choice

No not really. The reality is there is no getting away with anything anyway.  I am a grown up.  How I eat is totally my decision and I get to live with the results of my choices.

“With any healing dietary approach to leaky gut syndrome, I do not recommend the popular “80/20” approach to healthy eating because your commitment needs to be 100% in order to allow the lining of the intestine to heal.”

Katy Haldiman, MS, RN

A number of books about leaky gut suggest that 80/20 just won’t work.  If you are inflamed from leaky gut, you need to cut out the problem foods entirely for a few months.  Follow the 100/0 rule to heal Eat foods that soothe the gut and nourish the tissues to help your health care team heal you.  Take it one day at a time.

The Benefits of 80/20

Remembering the 80/20 rule can help you realize that we do the best we can.  A slip is a slip.  Get right back on plan and stay the course. Sometimes the 80/20 rule lets it be okay to modify your activity because of pain and mobility issue and realize that you want to move more as soon as you feel well enough to do so.  It also encourages you to push through morning aches and pains with hope that the day will enfold and the pain will diminish.  Work with your support team to help identify what can give and what really can’t.

80/20 helps us take the long view.  Am I doing the important things consistently enough so that I can say.  “This year I am healthier than last year.  I know my brain is clearer, my balance better, joints stronger.  I am more engaged in building the life I want.”   Lower inflammation with a consistent eating plan full of Lyme diet principals, and move yourself in the direction of wellness.  Celebrate your healing success.


The information provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical care, treatment or advice. All the material here is for information purposes only. Always share strategy and work with your health care team.

80/20 Lyme Diet Maybe Not Enough
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