Have you ever wondered why we feel the need to label our eating habits? Vegan, Lacto-Ovo vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Wheat-Free, Paleo… Any of these ring a bell? Many people truly want to look and FEEL better, and jump from one restrictive-eating plan to the next seeking the magic diet.
I will admit, at some point during my life I have been all of the above. But not anymore.
After my abdominal surgery in 2003 I had symptoms associated with gastric bypass surgery – Because part of my stomach was removed (along with my spleen and most of my pancreas) I had serious issues eating solid food. When I was finally able to eat a couple tablespoons of a particular food, I knew right away if I was sensitive or not. It was an accidental elimination diet. A year later I joined a group of my clients for a “2 week body transformation” that consisted of daily 90-120 minute workouts as well as an elimination-type diet. Eating ONLY green vegetables, lean protein, and almonds. It was after these 2 weeks of not consuming fruit that I realized how sensitive my stomach was to fructose. I now know I can eat wheat and gluten in moderation and I am especially sensitive to dairy, apples, strawberries, garlic, and garbanzo beans.
If you are tired of bouncing around from one food label to the next, I highly recommend trying an elimination diet. For 12 weeks cut out the most common food allergens: dairy, eggs, corn, gluten, soy, and peanuts. Then introduce one food back at a time. This is a good place to start in determining what foods you really need to stay away from, instead of just playing the guessing game.
There are many causes of tummy troubles. Food allergies is #1 and bacteria overgrowth in the small intestines is #2.
The surface of the small-intestine is where your food is absorbed. Did you know that is also where about 60% of your immune system resides? Alcohol, stress, a diet high in sugar and low in fiber, and even the use of anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics break down this intestinal lining leading to irritable bowel symptoms such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, etc (YUCK). At a simplistic level this leads to the death of your healthy gut bacteria and means that the bad bacteria start to take over and you are unable to absorb the nutrients from your foods – even healthy foods!
After 10 years of living with constant stomach aches, gas, and “carb bonking” I can assure you that “NOTHING TASTES AS GOOD AS A HEALTHY GUT FEELS!”