Having a food sensitivity can be difficult, especially when you’re still regularly eating the foods to which your body is mildly intolerant.
However, once you know for certain what your food sensitivities are – and you’re able to successfully avoid those problem foods – your body could become stronger and healthier than you previously thought possible.
Some foods drain physical energy.
Which specific foods drain your physical energy – and which specific symptoms you experience as a result – depend upon your own unique body chemistry.
However, some typical symptoms many people experience include:
- brain fog
- skin blemishes
- slight change in heart rate or blood pressure
- under-eye bags or dark circles
- sugar cravings
- slight increase in difficulty swallowing
- joint aches
All of these symptoms begin to erode daily quality of life when they elude diagnosis.
Fortunately, there is new hope for those looking to improve energy levels and overall wellness.
There are more superior-tasting products available today that can be used to replace problem foods.
But do you even know what foods you’re sensitive to?
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Discover Which Foods Best Complement Your Body’s Unique Chemistry
One of the best ways I know to get stronger, is to find out which foods your body loves and which foods your body dislikes.
What makes this challenging is that, often, what your tastebuds like and what your body likes are two different things.
First, your must determine what your food sensitivity is.
You do this initially by paying attention to your body very closely after you eat.
Generally, a particular food will either enhance your energy, or drain your energy.
Dane earned a masters degree in Counseling Depth Psychology from Pacific Graduate Institute. His past professional adventures include being a Therapist and Discharge Planner at a Dual-Diagnosis Hospital Inpatient Treatment Program, Digital Marketing Director for a real estate brokerage and decades spent as a professional fitness and Pilates trainer. Today, Dane is a Relationship and Healthy Lifestyle Advocate and he curates the Quality of Life Newsletter – a weekly update for creative types who want to increase their daily joy.
If a food feels like it drains your energy after you eat it, you could have a food hypersensitivity.
Your job is to observe your body objectively to determine its genuine response to the foods you eat.
…food intolerance is negative reaction, often delayed, to a food, beverage, food additive, or compound found in foods that produces symptoms in one or more body organs and systems, but it is not a true food allergy. A true food allergy requires the presence of Immunoglobin E (IgE) antibodies against the food, and a food intolerance does not”
If you want to get more exacting, there are phone apps that help you easily determine your heart rate after you eat.
Sometimes, your heart rate can accelerate from food sensitivities, especially directly after eating the offending food. Heart rate increases can be subtle, so you might not even be aware of it.
Possible Solutions for Your Food Sensitivity and Non-Allergic Food Intolerance
Many people experience reoccurring “alarm signals” from their own bodies, yet are unable to find the root cause. These hypersensitivity signals present themselves as mild discomfort (or even chronic pain).
Even just mild feelings of physical discomfort can become discouraging when they are relentless.
Consult with your medical doctor, naturopath or nutritionist to determine what foods are working against you.
You might not have any food sensitivity at all.
However, if you are able to identify some food sensitivities, take comfort in knowing that whatever food you might have to give up, there is another food that can replace it.
You will find new foods that you enjoy and, more importantly, that will help you to feel fantastic over time – which will then help you to love them even more.
Are You a Highly Sensitive Person?
Sensitivity, or hypersensitivity, is not a pathology, it is a form of giftedness.
It might seem counterintuitive, but it is unquestionably true that people with a food sensitivity – once they are able to identify their trigger foods, avoid them, and then replace them with healthier foods – can end up having better physiques than people who don’t have food sensitivities.
If you happen to have a central nervous system or digestive system that is 15% more sensitive than the average person’s, then you have the potential to be physically far healthier than the average person because you have a clearer channel of communication with your own body then most other people have with theirs.What foods are working against you?Click To Tweet
Of course, there is a downside. Highly sensitive people tend to be creative, intelligent and finely-tuned, which can make living in the modern world extra anxiety-producing.
If you’re a highly sensitive person, you will have hopefully learned to avoid the trap of self-medicating (with alcohol, drugs, sugar, etc.) and have been on a vigorous internal journey of personal growth and self-discovery.
Once a highly sensitive person embraces the fact that they are highly sensitive – instead of shaming themselves for it – and learns to set healthy boundaries with the modern world, then they are generally happy and successful.
Tasty Alternatives to Problem Foods
Some nutritional hacks work particularly well for many people as they begin upgrading their weekly menu.
One is Daiya vegan cheddar cheese. In the beginning, this product was instrumental in helping me kick the dairy-cheese habit (for me, dairy cheese os a big food sensitivity).
Consuming dairy cheese can cause an autoimmune flare-up in my body – leading to botchy skin and feeling poorly for up to 10 days. Daiya has no casein, no dairy, and no soy.
Daiya tastes good and is made from pea protein – it works as a garnish over vegetables, or within any recipe in which cheese is called for.
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Another product that many find helpful is raw, sprouted pumpkin seeds.
Raw, sprouted pumpkin seeds are higher in calories (which can sometimes be a good thing – after I gave up grains, I found it more challenging to get enough calories and healthy fats into my physique after a workout).
After exercising, I can have a small handful of these seeds for some quality protein (if you’re a man over the age of 50, you might want to avoid too many raw pumpkin seeds if your blood iron levels are already high. Ask your medical doctor).
It’s helpful to remember that a food allergy produces a specific immune response. A sensitivity produces a less violent reaction with a slower onset.
Food sensitivities to things like gluten or lactose have been part of the public consciousness for years now.
There are many possible causes of these intolerances. They range from organic chemicals found in some vegetables, cheeses, and meats, to man-made preservatives, flavorings or dyes.
Though diagnosis involving blood-testing and systematic elimination of certain foods can seem like a tedious undertaking, it may be necessary to optimize your diet (as always, I encourage you to visit your medical doctor and ask questions).
Experiencing lower energy or hard-to-diagnose symptoms? You may have food hypersensitivity.”
I’ve found that when I listen to my body and avoid the foods that it doesn’t metabolize easily and naturally, I feel more balanced and ready to take on new challenges.
Your Body is Communicating With You
Once you set sail on this journey toward increased awareness of what your physique actually likes and doesn’t like, and as you develop sharper “hearing” for what your body is trying to tell you, it actually gets easier.
And as you start feeling more vital, daily life gets more fun.
The advantage to becoming aware of food sensitivities is that you are guided away from those foods that deplete and age your physique, and toward those foods that help you to feel and look more youthful.
“Listening” with Your Eyes and Tongue
Your new strategy is to look for the signals that your own body is giving to you.
Everybody is different. So the only way to know for sure if you’re on the right track is to take a few moments – pause, breathe – to check in with your body on a deeper and more attentive level than you do normally.
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You’d think we’d all be experts at this point at listening to our own body’s signals, since we’ve lived inside of our own bodies every day for our entire lives.
But, in fact, the opposite is true.
Most of us have chattery minds that are spinning constantly, as we lead busy lives rife with events, noise, distractions and responsibilities.
Tuning-in to what our physique is trying to communicate seems to become a low-priority over time.
So, to help you in this endeavor of figuring out what’s working and what’s-not, here is your cheat-sheet for knowing if your new lifestyle experiments are a good match for you:
When you wake up in the morning, go right to the mirror and check for these signals:
- the whites of your eyes: are they white and bright, or reddish and bleary?
- the tissue underneath your eyes: is the skin-tone even and taut, or darkish, puffy, and uneven?
- tongue: does your tongue look clean and colorful, or dull and yeasty?
- sleep: how was your sleep last night? How many times did you wake up in the night to use the bathroom? How do your joints and spine feel upon rising?
- energy: how is your energy throughout the day? Is it sustaining? Are you sluggish in the morning? Are you ready for a nap by 3pm? What happens right after you eat – do you become tired, or do you feel revitalized?
Of course, there are some subtleties here.
For example, when some people first start eating better, their vital organs and fat cells begin to detoxify – effectively releasing crud into the bloodstream for elimination.
This is a good thing – but it can be a bit uncomfortable for a little while as the physique flushes those toxins out and acclimates.
Some get small headaches during this brief period (important to stay hydrated during this phase).
Also, when some people start eating more fresh vegetables and increase their daily intake of fiber, they can get gassier for a little while. Again, this is usually short-lived. It’s just the body acclimating. And, in fact, as your diet improves, you’ll find that you become less gassy and bloated in the long run.
Finally, many people report that when they first start losing fat, the texture of their skin becomes watery. This is also a temporary phase. Fat cells have a tendency to empty out unevenly at first, but if your diet is healthy and abundant in fresh produce, the body will regulate over time and the skin will tighten-up and even-out more.
I invite you to check-in with your body throughout the day today.
Keep an eye on your energy levels – when are they highest; when are they lowest; how might that correspond with what you’re eating?
Once you set sail on this journey toward increased understanding of what your physique actually likes and doesn’t like you’ll start feeling more vital and youthful”
And when you wake up tomorrow morning, try checking with your body to see how your joints and spine feel, determine the quality of that night’s sleep, and – most especially – look at the whites of your eyes, underneath your eyes, and your tongue.
Food Sensitivity and What’s Really Making You Sick – http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2010/sep2010_Whats-Really-Making-You-Sick_01.htm
Distinguishing among Food allergy, Intolerance, and Autoimmune Disease – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9196849