Is Food Elimination in Your Future?

Identifying and eliminating “problem” foods completely from your diet can greatly speed weight loss and increase healing and vitality.  You will look and feel a lot better, and your moods will improve dramatically. You will sleep better, reduce or eliminate bloating and digestive issues, lose that weird puffy look, and gain muscle easier.  Your clothes will fit better.  You’ll make better decisions.

How do I know?  Been there, done that.   I had all the early markers of dairy intolerance:  ear infections, sore throats, infected tonsils, boils, dairy addiction – all of which went on for years.  I did NOT have a problem digesting dairy at all, so just kept eating it.  Hey-yogurt has friendly cultures – right?  Cheese is a good source of protein and calcium, is it not?  In an effort to assuage my guilt (due to an unacknowledged suspicion, I’m sure), I switched to raw goat milk, yogurt and cheese a couple years ago.  Certainly that would be good for me.  After a few months, I intuitively and dramatically tapered off (about six months ago).  So no more dairy in the refrigerator.  Still, I was getting small amounts of dairy at our favorite Mexican place once or twice a month, and from partaking of samples at the cheese department in the local grocery store (hey, it was just three little cubes of cheese!).

All the while, I was still feeling “off” and kind of crabby and stressed (a very familiar feeling).  Wondered why I wasn’t feeling better (since I had improved my diet and was taking numerous supplements), but went on my merry way, sampling cheese and consuming cheese and dairy in foods when we went out to eat.

Then the holidays came and we received a package of fine goat cheeses from a relative (they not knowing about my dairy intolerance)..  And hey – it was goat cheese!  Ate a few pieces the first day.  Things seemed ok.  A cheese binge once in a while would be fun and uneventful!  Or so I thought.  Then we made a corn meal crust pizza the next night to “use it all up”.  Ate it that night, and the following morning for breakfast.  Tasty!  Two days later, I started feeling very depressed and anxious.  By Saturday, I was feeling frantic, tearful and very unresourceful.  My cervical spine became inflamed, and I got a headache that would not go away.  I was having a reaction to dairy – proof positive that it was intolerable to my system.  It took three weeks for the inflammation to subside – I took epsom salts baths, drank a lot of water, ate a lot of greens, took some liver-supporting herbs.  After the inflammation subsided, I was still foggy, fatigued and cranky for a few weeks following that.  I also experienced a lot of sadness, having to acknowledge that dairy products will never again be a part of my diet.

At this point, I freely admit that it’s not easy to give up something you love to eat, and have probably eaten on a daily basis for pretty much your whole life (for me, almost 60 years!).  And you should know that once you do a 6 or 8-week elimination of a food that really isn’t working for you, the re-challenge reaction from your body can be much more dramatic and unpleasant than your original reactions, which may have been quite subtle, or just something that you got used to.  When you habitually eat an “intolerable” food, your body adapts to daily consumption and processing of this problem food (while still causing long-term problems at a consistent, low level).  Once the food is completely out of your system, and then re-introduced, your body has done a lot of cleaning, and, on re-challenge, will give you a very clear message that this food is definitely NOT for you.  That’s what happened to me over the holidays (even though I had not completely eliminated cheese), and has happened to many of my fellow clinicians, as well.  After that experience, I surmised that if dairy can cause that much pain in my body and soul, then it’s definitely not something I want to ingest ever again.

Bottom line, though, is that I feel much better without dairy.  Since that traumatic holiday cheese event, I have eliminated ALL dairy, and in fact, have eaten only our home-prepared food since that time.  My weight loss, which had been happening pretty steadily in the months before this (due to other food elimination), has now accelerated, and I can feel myself losing weight and am definitely feeling more vital.  It’s still happening slowly and steadily – just more apparent now.  So even though the holiday event was dreadful and even though I sometimes miss that grilled cheese sandwich, I’m thankful that I know so that I can honor and nourish my physiology and mental well-being.

About Sarah Wadleigh

I am a Clinical Herbalist, Organic Gardener and Nutritional Consultant for people and companion animals. I live in Madrid, New Mexico with my wonderful husband, two little dogs and a big cat. My practice revolves around helping people create health through whole-food nutrition, nutritive herbs, lifestyle and self-awareness. With more than 20 years of experience as an animal nutritional counselor, I offer consultations to improve the health and well-being of our four-legged friends, as well as their humans. We can work together via Skype, in person,or over the phone. Let's create health for ourselves and our animal companions! Contact:
This entry was posted in Food Elimination, Food Intolerances, Health & Nutrition, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Is Food Elimination in Your Future?

  1. Miriam Holley says:

    Thanks you Sarah for this great information and reminder that we can all do better with our diets…after the holidays (I know you are thinking…”why not now!”)…but it will just be easier for me after my company…then I’m doing the protein and greens thing…my biggest problem is SUGAR…so I’ll be saying good-bye to it…hope you are well….Miriam

  2. Great article Sarah! So great to hear from someone who has had the personal experience of eliminating foods. It is a challenge! Thanks!

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