Do you have food allergies or food intolerances?
Have you ever been tested?
Are you gaining weight for no explainable reason?
Do you find it hard to lose weight, regardless of what you do?
Are you experiencing inflammation, joint pain and bloating?
Do you get enough sleep, eat healthily and stay active, but still feel tired & battle your weight?
If so, I get you.
If so, you may be suffering from food allergies and/or food intolerances!
I have been battling all of these things for the past 18 months. I felt like I was going crazy. At times, I found myself saying “Why even bother eating healthy and working out if I feel this way & keep gaining weight??”
Food intolerances were the culprit! But, before I got into how I figured out the culprit, let me share a little background on my story and my struggle.
Every setback is an opportunity for a comeback!
2015, was by far one of the most challenging and difficult years of my life and for our marriage & family.
I spent most of 2014 & 2015, running from my problems, by burying myself in my work and distracting myself in my downtime with traveling and partying.
By June 2015, 2 days after my sons 5th birthday, life exploded and my husband & I separated.
A year prior, I was in the best shape, at my ideal weight and felt on top of the world physically, mentally and business wise. But while I pursued those interests, my marriage started to decline and my family unit started to unravel as I chased the shiny things in life, trying to keep up with others.
When reality hit and I found my son and I living separately from my husband (who resided in our family home) and my daughters who chose to move in with their Dad, I collapsed mentally. I stopped taking care of myself. I stopped doing the things necessary to my mental, emotional and physical health. I suffered from a complete mental breakdown and checked myself into a mental health facility, Rock Prairie Behavioral Health, where I stayed for a week and underwent intense treatment with mental health professionals. I emerged a different person and continued my therapy by participating in an outpatient treatment plan for several weeks.
In September 2015, I weighed 156 lbs.
Reclaiming my health!
On September 13th, the picture on the far left was taken and I vowed to restart my fitness and health journey the following day on Monday, September 14th.
I worked extremely hard to reclaim my health. By January, I had completely turned things around physically. I felt fit again. I felt healthy again. I had gone from a size 7 to a size 1/2. I got back down to 139 lbs. which is the weight I feel the most comfortable at. I felt confident again.
5 steps forard, 10 steps back
I stayed the same size, and feeling great until around July. I noticed the weight started to creep back up. By November 2016, my weight was back in the 150’s. I couldn’t understand why.
I decided to complete a 21-day cleanse in September, hoping to see a change. I followed a vegan diet and did a 3-week low impact yoga program and lost weight and got rid of the bloat, but was still so much heavier than I had been in the past, when I had completed the same 21-day program.
I returned back to my regular diet, following a healthy, balanced diet and a formal fitness program, working out 6 days a week, but again the weight started to creep back up.
I went to see my physician in February. We discussed all of the possibilities. I had bloodwork done, testing my blood sugar, potassium, electrolytes, kidney, liver, thyroid, hormones and a complete blood count. The good news was that I was completely healthy. The bad news is that there was no explanation for my weight gain or some of the symptoms I had been experiencing. The only thing we could think of was that my medications I had been taking since August 2015 (prescribed by my psychiatrist for anxiety and depression) were the culprit. I had been taking Wellbutrin as well as Buspirone and Ativan. The Wellbutrin had a side effect of suppressed appetite, whereas the other 2 had the side effect of increased hunger and interfering with menstrual cycles (which I was experiencing). I had stopped taking the Wellbutrin in November, so there was a chance that it had been helping me lose weight/maintain my weight.
I had bloodwork redone at the end of April. Again, all of my labs came back completely normal, showing that I was completely healthy!
I started digging into diets, my health, my metabolism.
In May I took Sagi Kalev’s Metabolic Type test which helped clue me into my own metabolism and gave me a list of food items to eat and avoid. To find out more about this test, click on this link.
Here is a video of Sagi’s wife, my friend Barbie reviewing her Metabolic Type test results so you can get an idea of what information is provided when you complete the test. If you decide to take it, be prepared to fill out a long questionnaire, where you even need your dental records to complete.
I was part of a test group for a brand new fitness program that had not been released to the public in May-July. My nutrition was on point. My workouts were challenging AF and my fitness game was strong at this time. I was so determined and so focused. I saw gains and my endurance improved greatly, but my weight did not budge. I was physically stronger but lost less than 3 lbs. I am not obsessed with the scale, but I just didn’t feel right. I didn’t feel comfortable at this weight. It was discouraging. Was I going to be 150 lbs. for the rest of my life? I mean, I know I am strong, fit and have gained a lot of muscle, but at 5’4″, 150 lbs. just didn’t set right, especially since I could tell I had a lot of fat on my body still and again, I didn’t feel right. I didn’t feel my best.
I had tried a low carb, high-fat diet. I also tried Whole 30. Still NO CHANGE.
I began to start to feel worse.
I started on a mission to uncover what the problem was.
I looked into sleep apnea as being the culprit due to the fact that I have been a teeth grinder all my life.
I thought it may indeed be the medications I was on. I scaled back on my meds and looked into more natural ways to treat my anxiety and depression.
No matter what I did, what I ate, how much I exercised, regardless of how many hours of sleep I got, I was exhausted and noticed that I was CONSTANTLY bloated, belly distended.
At the end of July I was selected again to be part of a test group for another fitness program that had not yet even been filmed. This program was 13 weeks long, focused on your arms, abs and ass. The nutrition part of the program was so dialed in, so precise, I thought for sure that I would see the extra 15-20 lbs melt off. The workouts were challenging, 1 hour long and got my heartrate up, so I knew I was getting a great workout in. My results were outstanding. I got so strong and I still am in the best shape in my life from this program, and I did lose inches, but only lost 3.8 lbs.
I was proud of myself and do not like playing the comparison game, but others lost 10-20 lbs. and got ripped and I had thought certainly that, that would be the case for me, but it just wasn’t.
By the end of the 13-week program, I was so fatigued all the time and my joints started to hurt.
I was left feeling so frustrated and honestly, I felt crazy. What was wrong with me?
I went to Vegas for 6 weeks and didn’t overindulge and worked out while I was there, but came back 7 lbs. heavier.
Why was I gaining weight so quickly? I was eating healthy. I was working out. But it seemed to be pointless.
I started doing intense research into my symptoms. I felt like a paranoid person, a hypochondriac.
My symptoms were extreme fatigue/lethargy, bloating, inflammation, joint pain, headaches, abdominal pain (like extreme hunger pangs and an acidy feeling) and unexplained weight gain.
From everything I found during my research, it could be hypothyroidism, adrenal gland fatigue/failure (Addisons or Graves), gluten intolerance (Celiacs) or Leaky Gut or a Yeast intolerance.
So back to the drawing board. I went back to my Doctor and explained everything to her again. On November 22, 2017, I had more bloodwork done, this time more extensive.
And then I waited. I just wanted answers.
Meanwhile, I completed a 3-day detox eating super healthy & doing yoga and again, lost a few pounds and 6″.
…..but then gained them all back.
DAFUQ?? What is wrong with me?
Why was I gaining weight so easily and so quickly and unable to lose them?
Once I got my lab results back which showed that I was perfectly normal and 100% healthy (What I had tested: CBC, a comprehensive metabolic profile, cholesterol, thyroid, and plasma), I was able to rule out any thyroid, hormonal and adrenal failure.
What was left? Possibly leaky gut, which could be the leading cause of my extreme bloating and inflammation and food intolerances. Leaky gut would explain unexplainable food intolerances to be showing up and possible nutrient deficiencies despite eating a healthy, nutritious diet. (I am awaiting a test that will test my gut health – stay tuned for more information, once I complete the test and get the results back.)
I had talked to a naturopath mid-November and had also found an allergy test, by which your hair is tested to find food allergies/intolerances and nutrition deficiencies.
PROCESS OF ELIMINATION ….
in search of answers!
Last week I decided to cut out Shakeology thinking that maybe I had developed some sort of sensitivity to one of the ingredients after drinking it 1-2 times a day for almost 6 years. My Doctor told me that you can develop food allergies/intolerances every 6 years and I know that most people eat the same 30 foods and can then develop a sensitivity almost overnight to something that once posed no threat.
I had a bad stomach ache on Saturday and Sunday night. I decided to follow a low carb, high-fat diet, cut out all sugar & gluten, start eating more anti-inflammatory foods and start taking a probiotic & drinking bone broth for good gut health.
Tuesday night I was super bloated after eating cheese. So on Wednesday (yesterday), I continued to follow the same diet, just eliminating dairy, but I ate 2 things with almond flour and almost immediately I felt super sleepy, nauseous and became super bloated (like 5 months pregnant kind of bloated). As of Wednesday, I was down 2 lbs. in 2 days, then I woke up today (Thursday) and was back up almost by a whole pound and still look like I am in my 1st trimester).
As of this morning, my theory was that I was having a reaction to dairy, wheat, and nuts.
ANSWERS — FINALLY!
Then I received my allergy test results and it showed that I was in fact right. OMG! What a relief! Answers finally!I am healthy and now happy knowing I was not crazy!!! My search for answers are over.
The first section lists all the food intolerances and the second section lists all the non-food intolerances. Everything on here has an intolerance level of over 85% as you will see from the percentage levels on the right-hand side. The reason we report only above this threshold is because 85% is the point at which one would expect to start experiencing symptoms from an intolerance.
Intolerances can change depending on your diet and environment which means that an item that you have never had problems with before may suddenly be causing you symptoms. This is because when you eat something or come into contact with it, your body tries to assimilate it. If your immune system is low or if you have had too much of it, then your body will struggle to do this and you will then suffer from various symptoms. This is now an intolerance.
This is what was suggested:
The foods and items that have shown intolerances need to be taken out of your diet. We recommend that you eliminate them for at least two weeks, but preferably four to get the most benefit from your report. You should try to eliminate them all at the same time and although we understand that this can be difficult when it is something you eat on a regular basis, the sooner you eliminate them, the sooner you will see results. After the elimination period has finished then you need to try and add the items back into your diet. It is important that you do this one item at a time, because intolerances don’t show up immediately so it may be a few hours before you see any symptoms. The best way to do this is to keep a diary, so you know when you have eaten the items. If you do suffer some symptoms then this means that you have a strong intolerance to this item and so will need to avoid it for a further two weeks. We realise that this may seem tedious but can assure you it is the best way of understanding what items you are still intolerant to. Most of the time an intolerance will disappear but there are occasions when your body simply won’t want to accept something back into the body and so this will become a lifetime intolerance. Although this may seem difficult to deal with, it is something that you will get used to fairly quickly, especially if you aren’t suffering the associated symptoms anymore.
I also had my nutritional deficiencies tested and these are my results. Everything on here has a nutritional deficiency level of under 15%. This means that all the nutrients listed are all very deficient in my system. They only report these as they are the ones likely to be causing me the most symptoms. My hair sample has been tested against 80 nutrients.
This is what was recommended:
The nutritional information found next to each nutrient is important, as a good balanced diet along with a healthy lifestyle can boost the immune system and reduce your intolerance levels. The nutrients that have shown as deficient in your system can easily be improved. Simply try and add in one or two of the recommended food items to your diet each day. Although it may be easier to use a vitamin supplement, it is always better to get your nutrients from a fresh source, as this will enter your body much faster.
This test was an answer to my prayers!
If you would like to take the same test I took, I have partnered with the U.K. based company and you can order your kit and get 10% off. Visit this website www.testyourintolerance.com and use this offer code: HORD10 to save 10%.
So the good news is I finally have definitive answers. I need to 100% for sure eliminate almonds, peanuts, dairy and wheat (spelt) from my diet, which are all things I had been consuming daily or very regularly and steer clear of anything with brown/black (Caramel) coloring. The good news is that it isn’t eggs or Shakeology which I had been fearful of. My body definitely does better and functions better with lower carbs. The only “carbs” I will be eating from now on will be sweet potatoes and gluten-free oatmeal and I may see how my system does with beans, although based on Eating for Your Blood Type Diet (I am O) and the Metabolic Type Test results it is suggested that I steer clear of most beans and legumes.
Stay tuned for more about my journey towards tackling these food intolerances that were making me crazy!
If you are reading this and made it this far, thank you!
If you are reading this, we should connect.
Find me on Facebook or Instagram.
If you are looking for help in getting started or staying on your journey, reach out to me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out my application using this link: https://linktr.ee/sobermommovement.