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Loving Food Again

I hear from a lot of people that they love food, but then I also hear how terrible they feel after going out to eat or eating a particular snack.

The topic of food is a bit of a rabbit hole and a little complicated.

My approach to food has never been to count the calories or how many grams of protein. At least not initially. When addressing diet for a client, I start with what they are putting into their bodies first.


Red Flags!

There are certain key words or phrases that alert me to someone having an autoimmune disease, histamine intolerance, or sensitivity leading them to have an imbalanced gut.

  • skin rashes

  • irritability (even meanness)

  • painful periods

  • nausea

  • dizziness

  • heartbeat irregularities

  • runny nose

  • sinus drainage

  • canker sores (different from cold sores, which is related to a virus and can be affected by a flare up)

  • heartburn

  • anxiety

  • fatigue

  • insomnia

  • bloating

  • swelling

  • tenderness in the abdomen

  • inconsistent stools

  • depression (this isn't to say that every case of depression is related to diet, mental illness is a serious diagnosis and should be treated by a medical professional)


As a Nutrition Coach (not a Nutritionist or Dietitian) I can only guide clients toward possibilities and solutions. But with my Yoga background I have become an advocate for reconnecting the mind and the body. We must listen to our bodies.


Our relationship with food can lead us into a vicious cycle of eating because you feel bad. Maybe you had a terrible day at work and the anxiety makes you want to snack on a bag of potato chips, the chips then make you feel like crap and bloated, you then wonder why you feel so terrible. And the cycle starts all over again. Food should make you feel better, right? Not all the time. In our current culture we have grown comfortable with things being easy. Its easy to eat potato chips because factories have done all the work - processed the potatoes with carcinogenic oils, heavy salt content, dyes, 'natural flavors' that may or may not have hidden gluten, and some times high fructose corn syrup/corn syrup. This isn't even including the pesticides the potatoes come with before the processing in the factory.


We all laugh at the jokes about the people living in large cities and when asked where they got their chicken, they respond with 'the grocery store.' Problem is this has become the norm. People don't question where their food is coming from, where it has been, and what process has been taken to make it shelfable.


So when I go to the store and buy food I am not looking at the calories or fat content, I am looking at the other ingredients.


The food you eat affects your entire body, including your mood and personality. Ever wonder why after eating a meal at a fast food restaurant the next day you want to cry or punch someone, maybe both? It's because your system is inflamed and as a result your mood is suffering. It is noticeable by others, maybe you tend to snap at people more than usual because you have been eating more junk food than normal. But you are stuck in a funk and can't pull yourself out.


I have been there! On more than one occasion.


Creating a positive relationship with food is the first step. You might think it normal to feel bloated after a meal. It's not. Food should make you feel satisfied and energized.


Start cutting out the things that with years of research have been labelled as inflammatory, i.e. gluten foods (wheat, barley, rye, modified corn starch, etc), dairy (cheese, milk -even lactose free milk, yogurt, cream, etc), legumes (green beans, peas, lentils, peanuts, etc), Seeds and nuts (almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pecans, etc), nightshades (potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes, etc).


Now you are thinking that doesn't leave much for you to eat. Sure it does, meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats (olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil).


I recommend if you are interested in trying an elimination diet you start with eliminating one of the groups of foods first. The gluten group is the one I would start with as gluten can wreak havoc on the system because its sticky protein, it is also the hardest because we are used to having fillers in our diet (simple carbs that pack your meal to make you feel full).


Elimination diets are not easy and should be stuck with for at least six months to feel the full benefits and notice the change in your mind and body. Look at them as a means to cleanse your body from inflammation.


As you start to feel better you can begin associating eating certain foods as feeling good, this is a positive reinforcement. As soon as you eat something that your body does not like it will let you know by making you feel tired or sick to your stomach, this is the negative reinforcement. It is important to listen to these signals because these will change your relationship with food. As you become more attuned with your body it will become easier and a habit.


Forming positive habits and routines will allow you to love food again.

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