Eating For Your Health
How’s your brain fog? Are your lethargic about three o’clock in the afternoon? Are you carrying around a food baby? Did you know the food we eat can either cause cancer or heal it?
If you would’ve asked me these questions about 10 years ago I would have answered yes then no. I was experiencing bloating, brain fog, constipation, spaciness, lethargy, weight gain, and many others symptoms. After doing muscle testing with my chiropractor we discovered I was sensitive to gluten. Finding this out opened up an entirely new chapter of my life. I had to relearn everything I knew about cooking and baking, and became a diligent label reader. During this time my body also started rejecting many others foods. Some weeks I could eggs, other weeks I couldn’t. One month I could have almonds, then next month not. All in all my body has weeded out eggs, dairy, almonds, peanuts, garbanzo beans, yeast, sugar (save fruits and rice syrup) and gluten. I was forced to learn how to prepare the dishes I knew and loved in a new and inventive ways. Although it was completely challenging and very often incredibly frustrating, it opened up new avenues of possibilities for me. I learned about all the other grains we have to cook with. I learned how to bake using substitutes for eggs. I learned about dairy free alternatives and how they taste, which one’s I liked and didn’t like. My body was a key indicator while trying all these new ingredients. It would signal to me if it liked the ingredient by using the signs similar to those I had when I found I was allergic gluten.
About three years ago I started noticing a heavy feeling in my body after I ate meat. AND I would have cravings for sweets after finishing a meal with meat. I started to limit my meat intake. The sweet cravings backed off. Although I’m positive my sweet tooth will never fully disappear because I love creating desserts. I finally decided to go mainly meat free aka vegan. I say mainly because occasionally I crave some meat, eat it then have no desire what so ever to have anymore for awhile.
I know! For some, just even the word vegan conjures up images of eating cardboard and sprouts. But going vegan opened up another field of exploration. How do I get protein in my diet without meat? Plant based eating! Holy Cow! (no pun intended) There’s a whole new world of making foods once you start down the plant-based food path. So many ways to make and prepare whole foods. After several weeks of eating this way my body was happy. My belly was happy. My brain was happy. And my weight stop fluctuating. I had meat only when my body really craved it.
And let’s talk a minute about cancer. So many studies over the last decade have shown many items in the standard american diet (SAD) to be cancer causing. Dairy is one of the main culprits of cancer forming in the body As is gluten and sugar, to name a few. All are inflammatory foods. They keep the body inflamed and in a state of dis-ease. The body doesn’t have the chance to calm down. If we continue to eat this way it has no way to heal itself. When we eat to heal the body we eat foods our body can properly digest: veggies, fruits, some grains, meats, seeds, oils.
Recently I’ve been having a few of the same symptoms I had many years ago: brain fog, lethargy, bloating, and feeling disconnected. Over the last several months I’ve discovered my body doesn’t want certain grains. In fact I don’t think it wants them at all. But I do! When I do eat grains I buy the organic, non-GMO kind so I know they are as clean as possibly. (clean for me means no artificial anything added) Still I’m experiencing the symptoms I’ve just mentioned. Once again I did muscle testing to find that my body doesn’t want corn, quinoa, or rice. I haven’t tested each individual grain but intuitively I know it’s all grains, GF or not. To say I’m bummed about this is an understatement. My diet is already pretty refined and to subtract these to as well is rather frustrating. But here’s what I’ve noticed. When I take out grains, and the rest of the foods mentioned above, I have an incredible amount of energy. When I eat only the foods that I know my body does best with I can focus, I’m happy, not bloated, tons of mental energy, creative thoughts flow through my head. It’s the human part of me that wants organic non-GMO corn chips with my lentil tacos or rice noodles with my Pad Thai.
And just in case you’re wondering what I do eat here’s the list: tons of veggies cooked and raw, fruits, legumes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, avocados, most nuts and seeds and healthy oils.
My purpose in writing this piece is to spark thoughts in your mind; to get you to pay attention to how you feel after eating. Do you have any of the symptoms I’ve mentioned when you finish with a meal? Do you feel tired and ready for a nap after lunch? Do you have a runny nose when you’re eating? Does your belly swell immediately or a few hours after you eat? Do your joints ache? Any of these are NOT normal. They’re signals from your body telling you something you’ve just ingested isn’t wanted.
One thing I’ve learned over the years is there’s no one size fits all eating plan. Some thrive on a plant based diet, others thrive on paleo, others thrive while eating vegetarian. Some thrive on grains, others don’t.
I invite you to learn how to listen to your body and find out exactly what makes it thrive. Pay attention to what signs you have after eating. But here’s the tricky part; if you’re eating food with lots of ingredients, you probably won’t know what you’re sensitive to. If you think you have food sensitivities you might choose to clean up your eating. This gives you a better chance of finding out what’s not agreeing with your system.
I’d love to know how your body responds after certain foods. The more we talk about the reactions we have the more others can relate and identify what’s going on in their body.
Let’s clean up our health!