With all the digestive disorders out there, most people have probably heard of Food Sensitivity testing by now. We all have to ask, why are so many people sensitive or allergic to so many foods now? Well my friend, our food industry really took a back-swing in the 50's with pre-packaged, preservative-laden foods and Monsanto. We are now paying for it. More than ever we are leaning to quick effortless meals and less slow and traditional from-scratch meals. People are also going out less as a once-in-a-great-while treat, to instead weekly or nightly. Restaurants end game is to make money. Just because their food can sound healthy, doesn't mean it is. They will do what they can to cut corners for profit and because it is much easier to feed in bulk with things that are cheap or pre-packaged/preserved. Our bodies are resilient, but with all the stress, lack of sleep, pollutants and carelessness, eventually it just cannot keep up. If you are someone who has experienced symptoms such as a "prickly," or "bubbly" stomach, gas, bloating, hives, rashes, swelling, joint stiffness, itching, breathing problems, racing heart, etc. you may be experiencing food sensitivities. Don't be mistaken, food sensitivities and allergies or intolerances are in different ball parks. Sensitivities are delayed reactions, meaning you might not be making the association because your reactions can happen hours or days later.
Insert [Food Sensitivity Testing]. This is an easy way to get a large overview of specific foods that you do well or not so well with. Ever hear of the anti-inflammatory diet? Well, that takes a one-size-fits-all approach. This test considers you as an individual and we all have dynamically different bodies. Your anti-inflammatory diet will never be the same as mine or anyone else's. Finding your food sensitivities is crucial in healing because chronic inflammation is disease. Eating foods that cause an immune reaction in your body is causing chronic inflammation and weakening your immune system.
As a Naturopathic Practitioner, you really want me to be able to understand you and be able to relate to you. That is why I want to share my own struggles, why it has driven my passion, and how this makes me want to help you as well. I did my first food sensitivity test, and this was after years of trial and error without it. I tried many things, and they helped and improved, but I still had inflammation and other symptoms sometimes. I finally decided to bite the bullet and just see what my results would be. I almost didn't want to know my results, because that would make me have to face it. I'd have no excuse to keep on eating things if I didn't really know if they were actually helping or hurting me. We all like to live in a little ignorance don't we?
I am an overall healthy individual (now). Most people would claim that I am the healthiest person they know. However, I was stunned by Food Sensitivity Test results. They are in the category of - worse than the typical person. How can this be? I don't have the full answer to that yet, it takes some digging, however, it is my assumption that I have a chronic underlying virus such as Epsom Bar, or that I still have work to do on the mucosal lining of my gut or intestines. Either way, at first I was struck, frustrated and a wee-bit discouraged. Then God reminded me that he is an overcomer of all things and no one is better equipped for results like this than me. In the end, its going to make me a much better practitioner because it is testing my skills and making me have to think outside the box.
This is highly personal, but I want to share my results with you so that you see what I am talking about. This will also give you an example of what your test results would look like. Take a few mins to look it over. If you browse past it, it is very hard to understand.
As you can see, the list of foods to avoid is much bigger than the foods I can eat (especially considering likes and availability of the foods in green). Don't let my results scare you though, they are much more extreme than the typical person.
At fist I was feeling really hopeless, as I said, but then I meditated and prayed on it and asked myself, "What would I tell my clients if it were them?" - I'd encourage you to just look at and focus on the green list. Foods you CAN have, not foods you cannot have. We can get so wrapped up in the negative aspects and what we have to eliminate, rather than being thankful for the things in which we can enjoy... such as coffee and chocolate (for me), thank you Lord!!! I wanted to mention that eliminating these foods is also not a life sentence! Wouldn't you rather be strong and heal your body in 3-6 months or a year, rather than be in battle with it for a life time?
Now, you may be wondering how I am going to approach this. So I want to share some tips with you and my thought out plan.
First, find a friend you know who is always positive and can pep you up. It will be a huge help!
Second, take a couple weeks to wrap your mind around everything and eat up or clear out some of the off-limits foods from your house. I did one last hoorah before I started my new healing plan on a Monday. However, I suggest immediately discontinuing the foods in your severe column. Luckily its usually none or just a few items!
Third, create a 4-7 day rotating meal plan schedule. Be creative with your green-list putting together breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack ideas for each day. You want to try not to eat the same foods 2 days in a row so that your body doesn't create new sensitivities to the new foods. Having a meal schedule will really help encourage you that there are plenty of options to eat and will make you feel less panicky! Being prepared will definitely be key! I also suggest coming up with some yummy indulgence foods and snacks to keep you sane!! I can have plantains (according to my current results), so I created dehydrated tostones and they are soooooo amazing! I am obsessed now. I also welcomed back a few foods that I had previously given up... so that has been pretty exciting! If you find it difficult to make up recipes with what's on your list, I can help! I truly love to do this kind of thing and I am very creative!
Fourth, donate your off-limits foods to a friend, family member or family in need. You get to bless them, while doing something good for yourself as well. You will be MUCH more successful if you clear out the tempting off-limits foods and start out fresh with a fridge filled with healing green-list foods.
Fifth, carry your list with you everywhere. They give you a mini portable green-list to take with you shopping. You're not going to have it all memorized right away and its a great reference and pre-made grocery list. If you attempt going out, it is also a great tool to validate your position when having confrontation about your healing-food protocol.
Sixth, be prepared! I can't say this enough! It might be very hard eating out or at a friends when you cannot always see a thorough label. You're going to be most successful if you really stick to things. Otherwise you're just prolonging the healing period. Some ways to do this is to take along snacks, pre-check menus before going out, don't be afraid to ask what all is in things, and don't be afraid to have them custom make you something! Especially if you go to a nice restaurant, the chefs need to be prepared to be able to customize dishes for people. I think now days, restaurants are MUCH more understanding about these things. If you go to a friends, maybe let them know ahead that you may not be eating there because you're on a healing protocol and that you will eat before hand or bring something to share with everyone that is also compliant for you.
Seventh, choose friend-dates not centered around food! Hiking, walks, playing sports, paddle boarding etc. are all great ideas. Then you don't have to stress over the awkwardness of food.
If you're even remotely concerned that you may have food sensitivities, contact me and we can schedule a test for you. It's good to just know and I will be here for you every step of the way!