Food Sensitivities and What You Can Do About It

26 Jul

Healing Health

A few years ago I was really struggling with my health. Don’t get me wrong, I ate “healthy” and worked out like a fiend {spin class 5 times a week, P90X, Boot camp classes, and running 20-30 miles/week}. But I felt sick, run down, and had ZERO energy. I couldn’t lose any weight. I still say that I’m the only person who trains for a marathon and gains weight {no, it was not muscle}. Being tall is helpful, no one can really tell if you gain or lose those 5 lbs, but that wasn’t really the biggest issue. I felt like I was literally killing myself with my diet and exercise. No, I was not eating fast food or potato chips. I was not a couch potato either, but sometimes, a lifestyle that we think is “healthy” can turn out to be unhealthy.

Mistake #1: Going Vegan

lisa-simpson-vegetarian

I can only speak for my own body, but this did not go well for me. I bought a juicer and juiced all my veggies and fruit. Which, I actually still do from time to time, BUT I was only eating fruit/veggie juices, Soy burgers, Lots of SOY products {I never want to see Tofu again}, and grains. RESULT: limited calories and deficient protein = weird things to happened to my body. Instead of an attempt to heal my stomach issues, going vegan intensified it. {Soy is the devil. ok not really, but I have a complete and total aversion to soy because of how awful it made me feel}.

Mistake #2: Keeping a food journal

Almost every weight loss program you see tells you to keep a food journal. So I did. And I did the math and factored in how many miles I was running, and how much food allowance I had to use…Worst idea ever. It might work for some people, but it just made me think I could eat more at the end of the day, “Oh I ran 5 miles, I can eat 500 more calories…of TOFU.” Yuck. I used apps and measured my food, but this made me almost obsessive compulsive with tracking. A major time suck.

Mistake #3: Eating Like a Bird

I had it in my head to eat 6 snacks/ day and not eat full meals. Sound familiar? More horrible weight loss advice. The problem was that I never felt satiated. I was always “hungry” and almost always overate my snacks…trail mix was trail meal. 2 oz cashews, uh no. More like 1lb bag of cashews in one setting. And there’s always the “well, I’m not eating a meal, so I can just eat more of this…” mentality. Seriously, worst advice EVER.

Mistake #4: Using Exercise to Beat Myself Up. 

If I ate too much in my food journal one day, I would make myself run extra miles. However….I’d come home really hungry again…and then eat everything back that I ran.

RESULTS: Tired, run down, chronic IBS, and “skinny fat”. Sound fun?

I went to many doctors both holistic and clinical to figure out what was going on. They always said, “seems like you’re doing everything right.”

I finally threw in the towel, decided to be an advocate for myself and dumped all the fads. I stopped shopping at the health hurt {aka the over priced supplement store} and started an elimination diet- where you cut out certain food groups to find what you may have an allergy to.

What I discovered:

I can’t tolerate:

  • grains: flour, oats, barley, etc.
  • starches: Potatoes, rice
  • legumes: Soy and beans {but I can do peanuts}
  • Dairy: No milk, cheese, butter, or yogurt {Greek yogurt seems to be ok though}
  • Highly processed protein bars full of mystery ingredients…Or any other highly processed foods.
  • Coffee
  • Beer and wine: gluten and sulfates

I do very well on:

  • MEAT- chicken, turkey, steak, fish, pork
  • EGGS – I eat A LOT of eggs
  • Low acidic fruits
  • Veggies
  • Nuts: Walnuts and Almonds {for some reason can’t do cashews}
  • Quest Protein Bars
  • Whey Isolate Protein
  • GNC Pro-Sculpt  {I drink this in the morning with my vitamins instead of coffee}

So my diet {if you want to call it that- I think of it more as healthy living} resembles the Paleo diet. I did not set out to eat Paleo, it just so happened that I’d look up recipes with the foods that I COULD eat, and I’d stumble upon paleo sites. There are a lot of people who are skeptical of the Paleo diet, and I think that’s good. You should be skeptical about any diet or lifestyle changes that you make. You need to be your own advocate after all. But I’ve found that it has really turned my health around. I have more energy, stamina, and I’m happier – my moods don’t fluctuate {no more blood sugar roller coasters}.

1012385_654228541273498_1333175512_n

paleo pyramid

To sum it up – you need to find what works for you. You shouldn’t feel like you’re on the Struggle Bus everyday. It’s good to be worn out once in a while and need a rest day…but if you’re worn out everyday, somethings wrong.

Have you tried an elimination diet to figure out what you may be intolerant to? Blood and Allergy tests don’t catch everything. If you’re frustrated with everything you’ve already tried, an elimination diet can be the remedy to pinpoint your intolerances.

RANDOM RANTS: Things people say to me that irks me:

Person eating doughnut will say, “Oh, Paleo, that’s bad for you.” Yeah…  Because Dunkin’ Doughnuts and McDonalds is so much better for you?

“CrossFit is dangerous” um.. NO. a sedentary lifestyle is dangerous.

Crossfit is not dangerous

I will never judge someone for their lifestyle choices, I have not walked in their shoes. I just find it so funny that people will readily judge others who are trying to make positive changes, or trying to better themselves. It almost convicts those who don’t. I think we all have a God given desire to become the best versions of ourselves. But we are also our own worst enemies when we combat with our self control, motivation, and priorities.

Health is a choice in many cases. The Bible says that Blessings and Curses are choices. We can follow God’s word and way of life, or try to do it on our own. It’s a choice to be obedient. God gives us free will. In realistic terms, this means we can choose to focus on the positive and mediate on “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is pure” Philippians 4:8,  or can fixate on the negative, live in fear, and remain stagnant and let our feelings control us.

More important than diet and exercise is the worth of a person. We should never judge another’s worth by their girth…if they can do a pull up or not, or if they can grow a power beard 😉

Remember too, that we are all a work in progress. Everyone puts on their grown up pants the same…One foot at a time.

lifes too short

Your Turn:

Do you have food sensitivities? What do you do when they strike?

Have you made fitness mistakes? What have your mistakes taught you?

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3 Responses to “Food Sensitivities and What You Can Do About It”

  1. Benny July 26, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

    That photo of Lisa is so good. Haha. Nice post!

  2. SpartanMuslimah July 27, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

    Food sensitive, the story of my life ( food y u no good to me…lol). Good article :). 🙂

  3. SpartanMuslimah July 27, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

    Was in rush earlier so I didnt fully reply. I can totally relate to this, how sad is it that we put so much strain on our bodies thinking we are doing it a favour. Like you I have been exercising like a freak sometimes even 7 days a week, food diary and the low and high carbs dieting and not to mention green juicing ( I still indulge in green smoothie for vitamins and minerals) detoxing. My body has had it enough and it finally said no we are not going to put up with your crap. I have ditched all my supplements ( only use Hemp and Pea protein) and have slowly gone back to my 80-90% clean and my ones a week treats and I’m Feeling so much better.

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