Learn to identify hidden food intolerances.

FOOD SENSITIVITIES AND INTOLERANCES… Do you have them???

Have you ever thought of  food as ‘information?  When you eat,  that food sends some sort of message to your body. And your body will respond accordingly. Meaning… your  body breaks down food into molecules that can be used for nourishment.

Your digestive system is made up of the gastrointestinal tract  (GI tract) this includes the  liver, pancreas, and gallbladder. The GI tract is a series of hollow organs joined in a long, twisting tube from the mouth to the anus.

300px-Digestive_system_diagram.svg

The GI tract is responsible for converting our food into chemical messages through the processes of digestion and absorption. Also, the GI tract also has its own independently working nervous system!! (aka the enteric nervous system).

So this means the GI tract has its own set of neurotransmitters, hormones, chemical messengers, enzymes, and bacteria!  It also is 70 percent of your body’s entire immune system!

So if you want to lose fat, gain muscle, improve sports performance, or just BE healthy, it’s important to have a GI system that is working properly.

If your GI tract isn’t working properly, here are SOME things that may be messing with your GI tract.

• enzyme deficiency
• microbial imbalance
• motility issues
• detoxification abnormalities
• intestinal permeability
• Inflammation

food-sensitivity

If you have a food intolerance or sensitivities this could possibly contribute to every single one of these problems, either directly or indirectly.
There is a growing body of evidence shows that food allergies, or more accurately food sensitivities, can harm numerous other body systems and cause a wide range of unwanted symptoms.

An example of food sensitivities/reactions and other gastrointestinal disturbances have been linked to:
• asthma and allergies
• autoimmune disorders
• skin conditions
• arthritis
• atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases
• neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia
• mood disorders
• ADD/ADHD
• addiction
• migraines
• kidney problems

If feel  like your GI system is working as well as it should be, consider trying a dietary approach known as an ‘elimination diet’.

The ‘elimination diet’ is pretty simple- what you do is eliminate certain foods for a period of time, three or four weeks, then slowly reintroduce specific foods and monitor your symptoms for possible reactions.

To begin with a good elimination diet you will remove gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, corn, pork, beef, chicken, beans/lentils, coffee, citrus fruits, nuts, and nightshade vegetables. That  sounds like a lot, but there are still plenty of options for a  satisfying diet.

So your ‘elimination diet will be … rice, meat (i.e. turkey, fish, lamb), most fruit, and most types of vegetables.

The following table gives an example of what to include and exclude during an elimination diet.

                                                            Foods to include                       Foods to exclude

Fruits

Almost all fresh fruit

Citrus fruits

Vegetables

Almost all fresh raw, steamed, sautéed, or roasted vegetables

Tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes (sweet potato and yams are okay)

*May also be removed if you suspect specific sensitivities to grains.

Starch

Rice*, buckwheat*

Wheat, corn, barley, spelt, kamut, rye, oats, all gluten- containing products

Legumes

Soybeans, tofu, tempeh, soy milk, all beans, peas, lentils

Nuts and seeds

All nuts and seeds

Meat and fish

Fish, turkey, lamb, wild game

Beef, chicken, pork, eggs, cold cuts, bacon, hotdogs, canned meat, sausage, shellfish, meat substitutes made from soy

Dairy products and milk substitutes

Unsweetened rice milk*, coconut milk

Milk, cheese, cottage cheese, cream, yogurt, butter, ice cream, non-dairy creamers

Fats

Cold-expeller pressed olive oil, flaxseed oil, coconut oil

Margarine, butter, processed and hydrogenated oils, mayonnaise, spreads

Beverages

Drink plenty of fresh water, herbal teas (e.g. rooibos, peppermint, etc.)

Alcohol, caffeine (coffee, black tea, green tea, soda)

Spices and condiments

Sea salt, fresh pepper, fresh herbs and spices (i.e. garlic, cumin, dill, ginger, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme, turmeric)

Chocolate, ketchup, mustard, relish, chutney, soy sauce, barbecue sauce, vinegar

Sweeteners

Stevia (if needed)

White or brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, desserts

 

 

Please do not make things too complicated!! Macronutrient ratios, calorie intake, etc. aren’t very important during an elimination diet. The only really important thing is to completely avoid the foods discussed above.

DRINK LOTS OF WATER!!!

So, at the end of the three weeks of elimination, reintroduce a single food group for one day only. And then monitor your symptoms for two days.

For example, you might decide to reintroduce dairy on a Monday. That day you could eat some cheese, ice cream, and drink a glass of milk. While getting right back to your elimination diet, monitor for any abnormal reactions on Tuesday and Wednesday.

If you don’t have any observable symptoms…  try reintroducing another food (i.e. eggs) on Thursday. You can continue this process for a couple more weeks, reintroducing one new food every few days, until you’ve determined what foods may cause you an issue (if any).
The whole process will take approximately 5-6 weeks and, at the end of the experiment, you’ll know more about how your body responds to different foods.

Please  pay attention to how your biometrics… How you are feeling –  monitor your sleep, mood, energy, digestion, bowel habits, etc.
It is a good idea to keep a journal during the elimination phase and tracking any physical, mental, or emotional signs and symptoms. If you feel better during the elimination period (i.e. more energy, better sleep), it may indicate that a food you commonly eat is causing you a problem.

So remember – watch for ANY of these symptoms – negative or positive – during the reintroduction.

Negative reactions can include:
• insomnia
• fatigue
• joint pain and/or inflammation
• skin breakouts or rashes
• headaches
• bowel changes or GI pain
• bloating
• brain fog
• sinus or other respiratory issues
Because you’ll be introducing eliminated foods one at a time, you can be very observant of food-related changes.  Anything that is different than  how you felt during the previous three weeks could be a symptom, negative or positive.

Get to know your body! This is important!! Knowing your body is a key to success!!!

Tips for success:

• Prepare. People who spend the week prior to starting the program looking up recipes that are elimination-diet friendly do far better than people that jump right into it.

• Have the foods that you will need on hand. Know how to cook them, and prep as much as possible in advance. For example, making a large pot of rice, complete with vegetables, protein and seasonings ahead of time can help increase compliance during those times when you get hungry and have few options nearby.

• Clean out your kitchen. People aren’t particularly good with willpower. Get rid of the foods that aren’t part of your elimination phase (or hide them really well)

Any questions – feel free to email me!