A lot of people walk around with vague little symptoms they’ve come to see as ‘part of them’.
Feeling bloated, having little zits pop up, indigestion or maybe you’re experiencing headaches after a meal. Obviously these are all just minor discomforts and not the end of the world, but there really is no reason to put up with them!
Most people have heard of gluten-allergy, you have a friend that always orders the soy latte because she can’t have any lactose. Or the strict no peanut code at kindergarten!
These are usually allergies, today we’re discussing food intolerances, something more common and often an issue we’re not fully aware of.
What is a food intolerance?
A food allergy triggers the immune system while a food intolerance doesn’t.
With an intolerance you experience digestive discomfort without the immune system responding, there is no histamine response.
The symptoms can often overlap making it more difficult to diagnose.
Symptoms can take longer to emerge from an intolerance compared to a food allergy. It can take several hours to digest the offending ingredient and it can actually take up to 48 hours before you respond.
Foods mostly associated with food intolerance include grains (specifically gluten), dairy, soy, legumes, corn, processed sweeteners/sugar and vegetables in the cabbage family.
These foods are known to cause bloating, stomach ache, headaches, indigestion and skin issues.
Sometimes having a small amount can be safe to eat without any adverse effect.
Here’s what YOU can do to discover the cause of your symptoms.
You’re probably already suspecting a few foods, maybe it’s dairy, maybe it’s your favourite spaghetti that you never feel quite right after or the chickpeas in that take-away spicy curry.
Cut out what you think might be the offending foods for 2 weeks. Just do it.
Living a life without dairy or gluten may sound impossible to you, I’m telling you the benefits you’d gain could be worth it.
What’s 2 weeks? Best case scenario these aren’t your problem and you can get back to your morning latte and croissant in 14 days, for now just have your Americano. Maybe try a dairy free milk. Almond, rice or coconut based are a few tasty substitutions. Have an omelette for breakfast instead. We all love our eggs right?
If you’re at the stage where you’re extremely frustrated with the overall state of your health you might want to take the aggressive approach and go for a total reset:
No grains, no dairy, no soy, no corn, no dairy, no sugar.
Just fell of your chair, pulling your hair thinking what on earth will I eat?
Start small, here are a few suggestion that might help you.
-Substitute your coffee creamer for dairy free. Switch to gluten free oats/pasta.
-Try a gluten free grain like quinoa or buckwheat.
-Explore our starchy vegetable friends like (sweet) potato, parsnips, and squash – instead of your usual carbs containing wheat.
-Try coconut based yogurt, goats/buffalo or kefir instead of your usual dairy product.
-Bake your own muffins instead of grabbing one at the coffeeshop.
These days most supermarkets offer a large variety of gluten free products but do keep in mind these foods are often very processed. Gluten free does not mean healthy or low carb. Always try to choose the food that is the least processed and go for the product containing the least number of ingredients you can find.
Make sure to drink a lot of water while experimenting and replacing the ingredients and nutrients you’re taking out.
You could be removing a chunk of your daily calories so make sure you replace them to still get in the energy you need.
You should feel your symptoms lessen by taking out the offending foods and could find an answer to your problem within 1-2 weeks, maybe even days.
After the 14 day period you can slowly start adding in the items you stopped eating, remember to keep the portion small and controlled.
Now that you’ve introduced some of these foods back into your diet, you can see how your body responds to it.
If you’re experiencing your old symptoms again it’s very likely you have a food intolerance.
With food intolerances some people seem to be fine with having the occasional small portion while for others it’s best to completely avoid the offending food item.
This is something you will discover over time by paying attention to how your body feels after eating these foods.
Your body will tell you what to do!
In a later blog I’ll go further into food allergies and how you can still enjoy amazing meals without feeling deprived!
The Kensington Studio can support you in your search for food-answers and help you adjust to a nutrition plan suited to your body and lifestyle.