Hello Everyone! I'm Sheryl and you can find me on a regular basis at How to Make a Life. I discuss/create/attempt and observe about all of the different pieces that make up our life. Holly has become one of my favorite people in the blogging world and I am grateful for the opportunity to spend some time on her site today. One of the many things Holly and I have bonded over is healthy eating and I wanted to take some time to explore the subject.
I'm not here to promote a specific diet but I do want to discuss how you feel after you have eaten? For years I thought I was eating healthy foods: whole wheat bread, cheese and yogurt for calcium and nuts and vegetables. After being diagnosed with hypothyroidism, my doctor suggested food allergy testing and I came back as intolerant to wheat and a few additional items such as chocolate and almonds. After going through a three month elimination diet, I found myself feeling great and realized I was having issues that I didn't even know was a problem.
I was no longer bloated and puffy, my mind was brighter and overall I simply felt better. Sadly, I began to introduce the items back into my life and before I knew it I was miserable again. However, it was harder to go back on an elimination diet again and I simply tired to not eat as much. Nonetheless, I was still eating the food that was hurting me.
As this great article describes, eating food which you are allergic to creates inflammation in your body and as a result makes it difficult for your body to absorb any nutrients from any food that is nutritious. When your body is inflamed, you may find that you have muscle and joint aches, skin rashes, feel swollen and bloated and simply lethargic. Inflammation in the body has been linked to issues such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, lupus and heart disease (and many others such as learning disorders in children and ADHD). You may find yourself going to the doctor bur rarely is your diet addressed.
The most common type of food allergies include: milk, wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, tree nuts, fish and shellfish. Although the most appropriate way of knowing if you have food allergies is to do skin or blood testing, you may also want to try an elimination diet for a minimum of four weeks. During this time it is important to eat as healthy as you can (begin supplements and I certainly recommend probiotics). If your physical symptoms begin to improve you may want to continue as your body will continue to heal itself from the inside.
After an elimination diet it is suggested that you slowly introduce the foods which have caused issues. It is then that you can discover if you can handle the food and how it affects your body. You may find that you don't want to return to feeling the way you once did.
It is also important to note that there is the possibility of being intolerant to healthy foods. I have always been allergic to strawberries (and the thought of them always makes me nauseous. I have friends who can not eat broccoli or onions and after having celery in my morning smoothie everyday - recently discovered I shouldn't be eating it.
As for me, I have truly come to accept that I am gluten intolerant and although I can take traces of dairy, I do not eat it on a regular basis. My body feels better when I provide it with healthy foods and I can immediately tell when something I shouldn't have sneaks into my diet. After several years of struggling with my dietary issues, I have learned to appreciate the following quote.
I regularly share recipes, articles and my struggles with food intolerance on my blog. I would love to hear about your thoughts and experiences with food allergies.