Chef Christy is back with part 2 on how to determine your food sensitivities. In case you missed it, here is part 1: Elimination Diet Tips.
There are some other tools that are helpful in determining your own food sensitivities.
Blood Pressure Test
An easy one is to take your pulse at a resting state before trying out a particular food (you should not have eaten it for at least 24 hours before), and then try eating a small portion of that food only. If you are trying out gluten, don’t eat a sandwich, eat a slice of plain bread. If you are testing eggs, eat a plain scrambled egg instead of an omelet. Wait 20 minutes and then take your pulse again. If it is significantly higher than it was, you may be having a reaction. Try this with non-reactive foods as well so you can get a base line for your normal reactions first.
The Blood Type diets have recently come under fire from a British study that found them to be ineffective. I have to say that while the list for my blood type (A+) isn’t 100% accurate, large chunks of it are.
One of the foods on my avoid list are chick peas. Avoiding wheat and dairy means that often if I am at a party or other function with food, hummus is one of my only options. I have found that my reaction to eating chick peas is excessive gas. I can live with that occasionally, although I know that if I’m going to be teaching or speaking later on, I probably don’t want to toot all through my presentation and should avoid it!
Determining your blood type and checking the list of foods to avoid for that type can give you a starting group of foods to test. Keep in mind that the type of reaction and severity will vary greatly for everybody.
I finally found a doctor that uses the ALCAT tests and had it done for 100 foods and 10 chemicals including artificial food coloring. It confirmed gluten and dairy along with the food colorings that I’ve always hated the taste of, (something else you learn in this process – if you really dislike a food, there may well be a biological reason), and my only surprise food was pork.
I loved to eat pork, here in the South a lot of pride is taken in BBQ. I don’t notice any difference when I eat it or don’t, but I don’t eat it on a regular basis anymore. I will invest in some organic, uncured applewood smoked bacon from time to time and use it sparingly though! I eat a mostly vegetable based diet with a small percentage of healthy grains and natural meats. There are other blood tests available to check for food sensitivities. Do some research, ask your doctor.
But What About The Weight Loss?
When I gave up dairy 16 years ago, I lost 20 pounds like it was melting off of me. That 20 has never come back. When I gave up gluten 10 years ago, I lost another 20 the same way. It has also stayed off. I have managed another 40 pounds by continually tweaking my diet, although I bounce up and down through that last 20 all the time. I feel much better, my daily pain level is manageable, and I’ve even become a gluten-free cookbook author!
As a Chef Instructor I now specialize in helping clients that have been told that for a variety of medical reasons they have to eliminate something from their diet, and they have the feeling that there is nothing left for them to eat. I teach them to find new foods to love and replace their old comfort foods with new ones that can actually do them some good.
By changing the way I look at what foods are friendly to my system and eliminating the ones that aren’t, calorie counting has moved much farther down the list of things to be aware of. Portion control, avoiding emotional eating, and healthy cooking methods are all still important of course. But I am living proof that all calories are NOT created equal, and each of us is a unique blend of our genetics and environment and require a diet suited to our individual needs.
Give it a try!
Create a 30 Day Challenge for yourself to identify some potential problem foods, eliminate them to cleanse your system, and then slowly reintroduce them one at a time to see how you react. I hope you will be pleasantly surprised with the results!
Christine Seelye-King is a Chef Instructor, food blogger, and co-author of “Easy Gluten-Free Entertaining”
You can check out her website at: askchefchristy.com/
Thanks Chef Christy for your awesome tips and insight and sharing your story!