Want to know how and why to do a food challenge correctly?
What if I were to tell you this is ONE important thing you could do NOW to improve your longevity, skin, weight, digestion, arthritis, sleep, immune system and energy? Your risk of having gall bladder, heart or colon surgery? Maybe reduce your medical expenses, and generally improve the quality of your life in every way? Wouldn’t you want to do that?
How about if your depression and irritability were to improve, and your foggy thinking clear up? Or perhaps you never need antibiotics again, or deodorants or pain pills? And maybe no more reflux or snoring, and fewer allergies in general…
Pick any one or more of those choices, and get motivated to stay off foods that provoke an immune response. We call these intolerances, not allergies, as there is no allergic reaction (such as Hives). Instead we get a series of digestive, inflammatory, immune and neurological events that can cause dozens of mental or physical symptoms.
Eating foods you are intolerant to is, in my opinion, the number one CHOSEN cause of poor health, along with bad food choices in general. You have the power to say no, to make other food arrangements and to learn to take care of yourself in a better way. Your spouse is not in charge of your food choices! Nor is your addictive mind. (Here’s my Podcast on Reflux and Indigestion for more).
Here’s an ultra-brief summary of the two main “trouble” foods and some known reactive symptoms. Wheat and/or gluten: diarrhea, bloating, constipation, depression, alcoholism, eczema, dementia, emotional instability, rage, colon cancer, irritable bowel, brain inflammation, fibromyalgia, and all autoimmune, neurological and autism spectrum disorders.
Dairy: sinus/ear infections, allergies, snoring, heart disease, arthritis, bloating, gas, loose stool, heartburn/reflux, recurring colds, stomach aches and all autoimmune and autism spectrum disorders. (Here’s my blog post on Snoring you might enjoy)
A well-performed Food Challenge lets you see what effects foods may really be having on you. Sometimes “small” things become invisible when our lives are so full of stress or busy-ness. Focusing on one food group at a time gives you clarity.
HOW TO DO A FOOD CHALLENGE:
1). Select ONE food family, and stay off it 100% for a month (at least). I highly recommend a Dairy challenge where ALL dairy except GHEE is eliminated, including whey and butter. Ghee contains zero protein (unlike butter and cream) and therefore the immune system cannot attack it. (The immune system’s job is to identify foreign proteins and attack them).
2). Notice throughout the month any symptom that seems to disappear. With Dairy, watch especially for reflux, arthritis pain, bloating, gas and sinus issues. And ear infections and tummy aches for the kids. With gluten, ANY symptom is possible but gut issues are often the most visible.
3). Now challenge the food to see what happens. Eat a significant serving once or twice daily during the Challenge.
Here’s the order to test Dairy, allowing at least 4 -7 days on each group: first butter; then heavy cream; then firm cheese such as Cheddar or Gouda. Many people can make it this far without seeing old symptoms come back, or new symptoms begin. Next to challenge are THE FOODS MOST PEOPLE REACT TO: yogurt; soft cheese such as Feta and Cream Cheese; ice cream; and milk (raw or organic).
I find that 90% of people cannot tolerate the second group once they have avoided it properly for 1 to 6 months. The intolerance reaction can be strong, or weak, but bottom line is ANY REACTION TELLS YOU TO AVOID ALL FOODS IN THAT GROUP.
4). Try this with the next food group, such as EGGS, Nightshades, other grains and pseudo-grains, chocolate, nuts, alcohol, etc.
5). Celebrate “flunking” a test, as you just changed the inflammatory response level in your entire body. Permanently!
6). Occasionally repeat the food challenge. By doing this, I found that I can eat about 6 eggs a year, widely spaced. Any more than that and I get gallbladder problems including neck pain, headaches and rib pain. Please see my website for more info on all these topics. Thanks!