Happy, Healthy Mind – Food Intolerances
I am not sure how much you know about my personal health and weight loss struggles. The old cliche has certainly been true in my case. Weight loss, and more importantly optimum health, has been a journey – not a destination. A journey to get to know my unique bodies needs and what I can personally tolerate. I am beginning to understand that it is not just the food I eat that matters but what I assimilate or digest. (Insert here…my food intolerances.)
You see, realistically, all of us can lose weight on pretty much any diet plan… right? And when I was younger, I felt like I could eat whatever I wanted without consequences (or maybe I didn’t pay attention). Not anymore. Today, here are the real questions for me: 1. Am I going to make healthy lifestyle changes to my eating plan so I can maintain my weight loss? and more importantly… 2. Is what I am eating giving me the best results for my amazing body, overall health, energy and vitality?
I thrive on learning and try to approach any area of my life from a 100% mentality. Over the years as I have consciously practiced self love and really listening to my body, I have journaled, not only my food, but emotions as well. As I try to fine tune my individual food plan, I started to notice how my body reacted to food. Some foods seemed to digest easily while others caused me discomfort among other symptoms. This was a completely new concept for me, as I felt I was already eating an extremely nutritional whole food plant based diet. When I really started paying attention, I realized I struggled with digestive and elimination issues my whole life. In fact, I honestly feel most people do. I remember as a kid, having allergy and health problems, that were probably unknowingly caused by my so called “standard american diet”.
A few months ago, my hunger for knowledge thankfully led me to a book by J. J. Virgin called “The Virgin Diet, Why Food Intolerance Is The Real Cause of Weight Gain”. In her book, she confirmed all the symptoms I had been noticing in my body. She says: “A negative reaction to certain foods can trigger inflammation and a host of unpleasant symptoms like stubborn weight gain, (or make it more difficult to reach your goal weight)”. She explains that long term inflammation from the foods we eat can affect our immune system, knock our hormones out of whack, and spark insulin resistance which will interfere with our digestive system and fluid retention.
Inflammation sabotages our weight and our health. She goes on to list 7 foods that are the major offenders: gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, corn, peanuts and sugar/artificial sweeteners. She walks you through how to cleanse your body of the 7 highly reactive foods by swapping them for tasty, healthy options. Next, you’ll test to find out which of the 7 foods you can add back to your diet long-term. At the end, you’ll create a customized diet that’s perfect for your unique body chemistry and needs – one that you can stick to for good!
For optimum results personally, I felt I might be more sensitive to additional foods, so I had to investigate further. I have paid close attention to other foods such as high FODMAP foods like leeks, garlic, shallots, onion. I am now conscious of my fruit intake and its affects on my blood sugar levels. Also, I am aware of soaking, rinsing and preparing my beans, legumes, gluten free grains in a way to reduce the lectins for ideal digestion. I notice I can be highly sensitive to caffeine and alcohol as they can impair the smooth functioning of my hormones.
I can personally attest to J. J.’s claims that the foods I was eating negatively affecting my female hormones. At the beginning of this year, I earnestly researched female hormones, as I was not happy with some menopausal symptoms I was experiencing. It was when I was trying to heal my hormones, that I had already cut out the foods that J. J. said were top food intolerances causing inflammation in my body. (Another future blog post coming on the topic of hormones).
It has taken time, effort, research, and lots of practice when it comes to learning how to efficiently fuel my body. I firmly believe the long term health and weight loss results will be definitely worth it. Trust me, its been challenging at times to figure out what foods agree with my body. But on the other hand, it can be exciting to be my own food detective, taking my own welfare into my hands. This process or journey is one I am going to gladly honor myself with. And I hope I have inspired you to do the same!
Copyright © 2018 Kathleen De Haven – All Rights Reserved.