Several years ago I did the January Whole30 Food Reset, which allowed me to eliminate certain foods from my diet for 30 days in order to find what my body may be having trouble processing. No sugar, no grains, no alcohol, no dairy, no legumes and no cheating. It was the first time I had actually gotten 100% in tune with my body and realized what foods wrecked me and what foods were not so bad. Whole30 is not meant to be a WholeLife, so I eliminated or significantly reduced my intake of my new-found trigger foods and moved forward, and reincorporated other things that did not bother my system. But, just because you can eat something today, this month or even this year, that does not mean that you may not develop some sort of sensitivity to it down the road, especially if you have a chronic autoimmune disease, like I do.
Now, several years later and much more active, I find myself struggling with inflammation issues again some weeks. My decision on how to proceed this time, no Whole30, but rather a more in-depth Food Allergy Test in which the relative presence of IgG (or Immunoglobulin G) antibodies to specific food proteins is measured. So, in early January, in the comfort of my home, one morning before work and after I was well hydrated, I pulled out my test kit, completed my samples. The sample process did not take more than 10ish minutes to complete and then you have to let it dry for at least 8-12 hours before you can package it up and send it off. I placed the sample card in a safe place that it could dry without being contaminated, finished up my paperwork and then the next morning I packaged it all up and dropped my kit in the prepaid FedEx envelope in a drop box for overnight delivery back to the testing lab.
Today, 4 weeks later, I received my results. The first lab comment was that there was a presence of high levels of IgG antibodies to Candida, which may be due to past infections, but it did not indicate a current infection. These antibodies are known to be triggers for autoimmune disease (raises my hand), yep, that’s me! My results also returned a high response to wheat, gluten, rye and barley, which are common in some people who suffer from Celiac Disease*, which I do not have, but others (like myself) would benefit from eliminating them from my daily diet.
*Side note, Celiac Disease testing is not available from dry blood spot samples, testing for that disease requires a more in-depth blood serum testing, and in some cases a more invasive test of the stomach lining and tissues, which I did not get.
My Moderate to High reactive foods were crazy! There was a caveat though before I took the test. Foods that you eat on a regular basis normally most likely will show up because their nutrients are often at high levels already in your system, and short elimination of those foods could help reduce your long-term sensitivity to them.
Here are a few of the foods that returned on my test results:
- Asparagus (really, ok, it’s not my most favorite thing, but DANG!)
- Whey and Dairy (no big shocker there)
- Kidney Beans and Green Beans (yep, they really bother my tummy after I’ve eaten them)
- Pumpkin (yeah, I can go without that anyway, not a big fan)
- Sweet Potato
- Wheat Gluten (yep, I can see that)
- Gliadin or wheat/grass genus foods (you know, barley or rye . . . which means no beer 🙁 )
- Tomatoes (already something that I steer clear of because it causes inflammation)
- Mushrooms (big SAD FACE, because I really like mushrooms)
- Cane Sugar (no big shocker there since most “organic” products contain a cane sugar as their added sugar source)
So now what? Well, I’ll begin again with eliminating the Moderate to Severe food triggers listed on my results and go from there. Kicking sugar again will be a chore, but since I’ve significantly changed my weekly nutrition, it will not be as big of a deal as it was before. But still, sugar is in so much stuff! Bigger crack down on elimination of processed foods again, not that we eat a lot, but it was time anyway.
While, personally, I do not believe in the complete elimination of food groups, I will say that I am a believer in eating for what works best for you and your lifestyle. Now that does not mean, “oh, well I am super busy all the time so I only have time for fast-food!” And I am certainly aware that eating better is DAMN EXPENSIVE! Trust me, I hear you right now saying that. But if you are struggling, take the time to find the why and maybe a better rounded plan for fueling your lifestyle. If you are a student, get some brain food like berries, wild salmon, avocados and nuts and seeds, just to name a few. If you are big into fitness, then you will need to make sure you are fueling with the right food combinations to support your activity level, meaning, the good proteins, fats, carbohydrates and fiber. You get the idea.
So how much was this test? The cost was $199. It takes about 4 weeks to receive your results back and then you can go from there.
If you do nothing else this year, be sure that you are taking care of your body. No, things like these tests are not cheap, but they are certainly worth it, in my opinion. Ultimately, knowledge is power!
Until next time . . .
“Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live” ~Jim Rohn