Last February, I wrote a blog about my experience discovering my food sensitivities, Food Sensitivities Don't Suck. Let’s call that, Part 1. You can read it here if you missed it.
I’m calling this blog, Food Sensitivities Don’t Suck, Part 2.
So it may not seem like a big deal to eat foods that you are “sensitive” to. Some gas or bloating…not the worst symptoms to live with right? It’s not like you are walking around needing an epi pen in your purse.
However, when you continually eat foods that don't work for you, your body can become very unhappy. This unhappiness usually shows itself in symptoms that seem “common” or brushed aside as just “getting older”.
I don’t know about you, but feeling just okay is not anything I am interested in. I want to feel good. Really good. Awesome even. I want my body to be free of aches and pains. I want my (aging) skin to glow. I want to wake up and feel energized in the morning. And if that means eliminating certain foods from my diet, then I’m all in. It’s a sacrifice worth making.
(Some) of the most common symptoms of wheat or gluten sensitivity:
- Mental fog/mood change (depressed/crabby/pissed off)
- Gas, bloating, abdominal pain (poo problems/hemorrhoids…yes.)
(Some) of the most common symptoms of dairy sensitivity:
- Body aches
- Seasonal allergies worsen
- Poor digestion
- Breathing/problems (chronic cough or needing to clear your throat)
When we eat foods that we are sensitive to, our body doesn’t digest them properly, resulting in an inflammatory and immune response. Meaning your body perceives an internal threat and sends reinforcements to help fight.
And because you aren’t digesting the food properly, you miss out on the vitamins, minerals, and all the other awesomely nutritious stuff found in said food. Inflammation settles in, (especially around those joints), and cortisol and insulin-resistance levels increase. As you may (or may not) already know, inflammation sets us up for heart disease, cancer, depression, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. No good.
How can you figure out which foods you might be sensitive to? As I mentioned in Part 1, eliminating all the usual trigger foods (wheat, gluten, dairy, etc) all at once is hard. Really hard. And can feel very overwhelming. I don’t suggest it.
What should you do instead?
Start with keeping a very detailed food diary. Write down what and when you are eating. I know, who has the time for this? Well, you do, because it’s important and it could potentially lead to feeling so much better and with the energy and focus to actually get more done. Write it all down.
Keep in mind, that symptoms may not show up for a few hours. So you need to also take note of how you are feeling after you’ve finished eating, your energy levels throughout the day, how you’ve slept the night before, if you are experiencing any aches or pains, your skin, and your mood/ability to focus. It’s going to be allllll about you. And that is more than okay. Keep track of everything. Just do it.
Keep the food diary for a week or 2. Seeing any patterns? If you’re noticing patterns around a particular food, try eliminating it for 4-6 weeks. When you re-introduce that food, pay attention to how you feel. IF it’s a food you’re sensitive to, you’ll know right away. And probably be shocked that you never noticed it before.
Repeat this process of elimination for any other foods that seem to be causing you issues.
I’d love to hear what you discover. And as I mentioned in Part 1, if you need some help finding substitutions for foods, let me know! Food sensitivities don’t suck. You won’t starve or feel deprived. I promise. I got you.
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