ALLERGY PROVOCATION DIET FOR WEIGHT LOSS AND ENERGY
The first step is to find out exactly what foods are causing you symptoms and then the decision rests with you what you are willing to give up and what you are willing to do to be free of those reactions. These symptoms may include excruciating gallbladder attacks, minor gallbladder discomfort, gas, bloating, diarrhea, migraines, headaches, hives, rashes, itching, swelling, runny nose, post-nasal drip or coughing, stuffiness, joint pain, brain fog, memory loss and more. Another major symptom is water retention or edema and weight gain.
WHY AN ALLERGY DIET?
The idea is to remove allergens (foods you might be allergic to or even just intolerant of) from your diet and then to add them back in one at a time to see how your body (and mind) reacts to them. Why?
Adverse reactions to these foods will trigger an inflammatory response in the gut that may create symptoms of pain, gas, or bloating locally and in other parts of the body. Symptoms may be less obvious and feel like "normal" discomfort. They may cause headaches, migraines, skin responses like rashes, redness or itching and also, joint pain. Many rheumatic patients I have taken off specific foods have been amazed to see how much better they feel. Yet, it is sometimes so gradual it was unnoticeable until they added the offending food back in to the diet. "I didn't know how good I felt until I went off the diet and experienced that pain again." And believe it or not, one of the less-known reactions (especially to gluten) is brain fog. (By the way, Neuroflam can be helpful for brain fog as it helps to reduce brain inflammation that may be caused by these allergic reactions.) Anyone with hypothyroidism or low thyroid symptoms would benefit immensely from this challenge. They will often have brain fog. It sounds like the brain is quite removed from the gut but it's actually as close a relationship as "the knee bone that's connected to the thigh bone." I will cover more about the connection of low thyroid to food allergies and to gallbladder problems in upcoming newsletters but for now, just know that the gastrointestinal tract has a close interrelationship with every major system in the body.
Anything that causes inflammation can cause you to gain weight. Conversely, getting rid of inflammation can help you to lose weight. Note that you can have a food intolerance without having a true allergy. You may have a reaction or intolerance to a food not because of an allergy but because of an inability to digest it due to lack of enzymes or other mechanism.
Wouldn't you like to know what foods are causing obvious or silent inflammation in your body? What foods are contributing to your discomfort and to your fatigue? Give yourself three weeks (or at least two) on this allergen-free diet. Remove the most common food allergens and if there are other less common ones that you suspect may give you symptoms, however mild, avoid them as well. There are a few predominant allergens and there are more for gallbladder people. You will want to do both. If family members choose to do this with you, they can follow the smaller list.
COMMON FOOD ALLERGIES
90% of all food allergies are to these foods:
• gluten (wheat, barley, rye and other grains)
Other foods include:
• tree nuts like almonds, walnuts, cashews etc.
COMMON FOOD ALLERGIES CAUSING GALLBLADDER ATTACKS
• turkey and chicken
The key to success if to have everything you need ahead of time - from food you'll need to clearing the cupboards of foods that may tempt you, to family understanding and support. Make a grocery list everything you'll need and keep it handy. Make it a point to buy at least two new vegetables every week and two new herbs as well. Herbs can add life to a boring salad and wake up your taste buds as well. This does not have to be boring.
I keep a large airtight plastic container in the fridge with washed lettuce ready to go. I rinse it in Fruit and Vegetable Rinse which not only removes any bacteria and other little critters, but will also help it keep longer. Layer pieces of paper towel between so that it says moist but not wet. This will keep for 5 or 6 days.
ALLERGY DISCOVERY - THREE WEEK DIET - download a printable version here
Note: Best results are achieved with a 21 day program. The 14 day option is really intended for a "refresher" course a month or two down the road. 2 Pea Proteins are needed to complete the Three-Week Diet.
A specific dietary plan is recommended. This plan is an elimination diet because the program requires that certain foods be eliminated from the daily diet while the program is in progress. To assist you with the nutritional requirements of the program, a dietary plan has been provided that has been modified for people with gallbladder issues.
The caloric requirements of different individuals vary significantly from each other. Each individual to meet his/her caloric and nutritional needs should modify the "Daily Diet Samples". All foods may be selected from the food list provided with the program. The fundamentals to remember are: eat according to your appetite; do not overeat; select natural, organic foods; include foods that offer soluble and insoluble dietary fibers, and drink plenty of pure water.
If you have problems with blood sugar, be sure you keep it balanced with frequent snacks. Avoid the sweetest fruits such as tropical ones. Instead, focus on berries, apples and pears and eat only small portions of these. Make leafy greens and other green vegetables your mainstay.
Meat and fish proteins are used in the beginning and again while phasing out. The middle portion is the most cleansing where you are now having vegan protein shakes daily and eating only vegetables and a little fruit which is much easier on digestion, allowing the body to detox more easily. Start back into the proteins at the suggested time with small portions.
Remember that if you are prone to gallbladder attacks you need to be careful with unknown foods such as hemp milk and even olive oil. Substitute with flax oil if that works better for you.
When you begin re-introducing foods back into your diet it is very important to add only one new food over a three-day period.
This specific allergy elimination program is used:
• to discover food sensitivities
• to detoxify the liver and gallbladder
• to balance hormones (by improving gut function and clearing the liver)
• to repair the intestines
• to remove inflammation primarily in the gut but in the rest of the body as well
• to improve intestinal enzymes and bacteria
• to improve thyroid function (20% of thyroid hormone T4 is converted to the usable hormone T3 in a healthy gut;
• to improve immunity (60% of the body's immune system is in the gut);
• to improve energy levels (with inflammation or infection the body puts most of its energy into taking care of this problem)
The following supplements can be added to your program depending on your intent. Just know that it is complete in and of itself with the diet alone. These are options will give optimum support for specific purposes.
Liver/Gallbladder Detoxification Program and for Clearing of Excess Hormones
If your purpose is primarily to detox the liver and gallbladder with or without provoking the allergies at the end of 21 days, the following supplements should be added to your program:
Herbal Digestive Bitters - which cleanse liver and gallbladder and improve digestive function
Adaptogen - for helping the body to adapt to stress of all kinds including fluctuating blood sugar and other hormone levels
How to Reintroduce Foods
At the end of the three weeks you will begin adding one food back into your diet at a time. When you are finished with the 21 days please introduce foods back in one at a time over 3 days. So you will eat dairy for 3 days, for example, noting how you are feeling over these days. If you have negative reactions on day one it is not necessary to complete the 3 days, but do not start a different food until day 4 regardless. You do not want to mix up the reactions of the next food with the dairy. This is really important and instructions must be followed closely, with no deviations. Reactions to food do not always happen within a day but should show up within 3 days. Write down everything you feel in these next days, physical symptoms, mental symptoms, emotional symptoms, energy levels etc. Remember: Don't undo all of your hard work with processed foods, sugars, junk foods and sodas, even if you are not allergic to them. You've just cleaned out your system and filling it up with those kinds of foods will only counteract the benefits of this program. It is important for you to note how you feel at the end of the program. If you feel dramatically better, you probably suffered from multiple food sensitivities and your gastrointestinal-immune system was inflamed and working overtime.
Many people who have been compromised for a long time ask if they can stay on this program indefinitely. They feel so much relief from symptoms, have more energy than they have had for years, are sleeping better and some are losing weight slowly but consistently. Yes, you can stay on this program. It would be wise to check in - have a 15-30 minute consultation to make sure you're on the right track and getting the right supplemental and food support that will best support your particular needs.
There is a great site for analyzing the foods you are eating, to watch your glycemic load, anti-inflammatory foods and inflammatory foods, types of fat in your foods, caloric intake, vitamins and minerals and anything else you can think of you might like to know about what you are eating. Check out "Nutrition Data". Use the search button up top to input a particular food, or click on analyze and enter a specific recipe. It's a great tool.
LIVER DETOX AND ENEMAS, CASTOR OIL PACKS
Food and environmental intolerances may be relieved by a series of detoxes. Eating as outlined above is already a type of detox in itself, in that you are removing lots of triggers that the body usually deals with on a daily basis. With those gone, it has a chance to rest and rebuild. You can assist the process with weekly colonics, bi-weekly or even daily at-home enemas. Enemas and colonics can make more of a difference than you can imagine to allergies and intolerances.