Chasing your food intolerances
What on earth does chasing your food intolerances mean? And what does it entail?
Well, there are 3 levels of food intolerances to understand in order to chase yours. Catch them and improve your health. But before we look at that, let's just quickly look at why you should be dealing to your food intolerance.
Food intolerances are stressful on the body. For starters they produce irritation and inflammation in your gut. When your gut becomes inflamed and irritated then all sorts of wonderful things can occur like: diarrhea, gas, bloating and nausea. You can also experience mental symptoms like depression, anxiety, irritability, fogginess, forgetfulness as the inflammation becomes systemic. You can also end up with reactions like skin outbreaks, asthma, sinus and ulcers. The irritation on the gut can damage the lining and combined with other stressors you can end up with dysbiosis, leaky gut and toxic molecules entering through the intestinal wall and into your bloodstream which then causes issues like toxicity which can produce sensitivities, more emotional issues.... and so on.
Your gut is your second brain. We have what is called a gut-brain axis, and what this means in laymens terms is that what affects the gut, affects the brain. The gut-brain axis is linked via nerves and chemical messengers.
When you think about food intolerances, it is important to consider that they don't just give you a bloated stomach, they can be underlying so many other health issues and you may not even know you have them.
And that is why we have to "chase" our intolerances. They can run and hide, but they can't do it forever.
So, that brings us back to our 3 levels of intolerance.
LEVEL ONE : The foods you KNOW give you issues.
Everytime I eat sushi I get really agitated 1-2 hours afterwards. I also know that flavour enhancers (MSG and the rest) do the same thing. So I can only assume that it is the flavour enhancer in the soy sauce or there is something additive in the sushi rice. I don't know for sure, but quite frankly I don't care. All I need to know is sushi = agitation. Then I have a choice, I can choose to eat sushi and be agitated or I can choose not to eat it and be calm and happy. I choose the latter. Similarly, aspartame gives me stomach cramps. I don't like stomach cramps...do you?
At level one, there are foods that we KNOW give us issues. I'm sure you can think of a few. Question is - are you going to listen to your body or ignore it?
LEVEL TWO : The foods you're not really aware of.
These are the foods that don't give you quick discernable symptoms. Let's use me as an example again. I'm prone to depression, have been ever since I was a kid. I cut dairy out of my diet, and within 2 days my depression lifted. I accidentally had dairy on Sunday....and guess what, I hit a little mild depressive dip and a bit of anxiety. Within 2 days, I had recovered again and I feel amazing. Now, I had been tested for dairy and it showed up I was casein intolerant. But I chose to ignore the testing because I wanted to scoff away on cheese, butter and milk. Turns out, the testing was trying to do me a favour and I ignored it. I shall forever not ignore food intolerance testing.
These food intolerances may not present as gut issues, which makes them harder to spot.
So, at level 2 you might have some health issues, whether they be asthma, mood issues, skin issues etc. Whatever the problem is, it doesn't matter. What does matter, is whether it improved after you took the offending food out. And the only way to know what an offending food might be is to go and get an intolerance test. There are three effective methods, Hair testing, Kinesiology testing and blood screening.
LEVEL THREE : The intolerances you create.
Here I am again, telling my story hot off the press. I created my own food intolerance trying to fix my intolerances. Mad huh? Let me explain. Many nutritionists, naturopaths and other health practitioners will tell you to rotate your foods or you will end up with an intolerance to the food you always eat. Well, I thought that sounded like nonsense. Nope Stace, not nonsense. After eliminating, wheat, gluten, soy, dairy and additives out of my diet I became an egg and chicken addict. For the past 6 months (at least) all I have eaten for dinner is chicken and I have had eggs every day. I love eggs and chicken!! But yesterday I was getting my intolerances re-tested - wheat, milk and soy are still there...but now so are chicken and eggs. Great news is, they won't be there forever - just for the time being. So now, I have to practice what I knew (but disbelieved) and that is food rotation. Paul Chek discusses food rotation in his wonderful book How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy. He talks about a daily rotation, but I find that impractical, I do a weekly rotation. I won't be crying about this though, because I would rather have energy, vitality, great skin and no mood issues than eating foods that are causing me problems.
So, at level 3 - it is possible to eat too much of something and create an intolerance in the quest to fix other intolerances.
Fascinating stuff huh?
My advice is this:
- Get your food intolerances tested
- Listen to your body when it tells you a food is irritating it
- Avoid the intolerant foods
- Rotate your food choices to avoid developing new intolerances
- Eat as natural as possible to minimise intolerances from food chemicals and additives