Food sensitivities and intolerances can occur in us all. If we’re symptomatic, we can be quick to relate those to our genetics or we may feel we’re destined to have these symptoms for life.
The most common intolerances we hear about in food are to dairy and gluten. Today, I want to shed light on dairy sensitivities and how you can feel better with just a few simple steps.
First, let’s talk about what symptoms you may be having from foods. Things like toxic weight, thyroid issues, constant headaches, imbalanced hormones, pain, acne, anxiety, and depression are all inflammatory responses the body can have when consuming intolerable foods.
There are also differences between having a true food allergy, an intolerance, and a sensitivity.
A true dairy allergy means your immune system overreacts to an allergen (dairy) by producing antibodies called IgE. These antibodies cause your throat to swell, vomiting and can be fatal. People with a dairy allergy should keep an epipen with them to counteract the response of consuming dairy, and they should not be consuming dairy at all.
Intolerance to dairy can be genetic and mean that a person lacks the lactase enzyme to break down food (or lactose intolerance). Dairy intolerance symptoms could be gas, bloating, or the slowing down of bowels, which people don’t always notice because it’s not as extreme or immediate.
Having a food sensitivity means that when we eat the food, we feel worse. When we don’t eat the food, we feel better. These food sensitivities can cause brain fog, sleepiness, fatigue, and can slow down pathways in your body
There are two ways to get tested for a food sensitivity that I recommend. In our office, we use Rocky Mountain Labs. We order test kits to test food allergies and they look for food sensitivities to 92 of the most common foods. The other way to test is to eliminate the most common triggers like dairy, gluten, and sugar from your diet. For an elimination diet to work, you must eliminate one food for at least 30-60 days to see if symptoms occur with reintroduction.
Dairy, in itself, is not a bad food. It has many valuable nutrients and in small amounts, can be good for you. It is, however, hard to digest. If you’re going to consume it, I recommend going organic because it has less hormones in it.
A sensitivity to dairy could be due to not digesting the proteins well or the casein morphines. If you are sensitive to the casein morphines, it would be nearly impossible to not consume some of your favorite dairy products, like cheese. So, in reality, cheese is addicting!
If you are sensitive to dairy, you may experience a low grade inflammatory response like inflammation in joints or the bowel. IBS is often associated with a dairy intolerance or sensitivity and not having enough “good” bacteria in your gut.
You can correct the problem by eliminating the food but to rid yourself completely of symptoms, you must eliminate it for time because it has likely caused leaky gut, adrenal fatigue, and more. By continually consuming food you are sensitive to, your body is staying in “fight or flight” state. In addition, systemic inflammation can get through the blood brain barrier and people with inflammation in the brain have higher rates of depression. Food sensitivity is causing the original inflammatory reaction which then travels and affects the brain.
If you have any kind of inflammation or symptoms, it would be beneficial to try an elimination diet to see what potential sensitivities you may have to certain foods.
In my program, Your Guide to Optimal Health,our meal plan is without dairy, sugar or gluten. I promise you won’t miss these foods as we have plenty of delicious dishes and protein in the meals we have.
I know that if you’re experiencing pain, inflammation, or any kind of symptom, it may be more convenient to take a pill. However, I want to highly encourage you to seek professional help and connect the dots on a different level. And as a medical professional, I understand the fear in stopping a medication that helps you feel better. I work to heal my patients from the inside out so they can gradually come off their medicine and live a long and happy life.
If you are interested in learning more about my programs, go HERE.
I would love to have you in the next round of Your Optimal Health starting in October.
Estrogen dominance is a condition where women (and men) can have deficient, normal or excessive estrogen, but has little or no progesterone to balance its effects in the body.
One of the first signs of estrogen dominance is headaches and migraines. We often don’t recognize that these can come from a hormonal imbalance because they may seem sporadic and not cyclical.
Other symptoms of estrogen dominance:
- Fat storing around the mid-section and hips
- Water retention & bloating
- Heavy menstrual cycles
- Spider and Varicose Veins
- Fibrocystic breasts
- Abnormal Paps
- Uterine fibroids
- Mood swings, depression
- Low sex drive
- Increased risk of autoimmune disease
- Increased risk of breast and uterine cancer
One cause of estrogen dominance is taking oral synthetic birth control. Taking an oral birth control contains more estrogen than our bodies can handle.
Xenoestrogens are harmful compounds that mimic estrogen in the body. Things like pesticides, plastics, cosmetics, and herbicides can cause estrogen dominance. You can easily reduce the amount of pesticides you intake by washing your non-organic fruits and veggies in a vegetable wash.
Stress is a huge cause of estrogen dominance. Stress steals progesterone to make cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone, leaving less progesterone in the body. You may not have too much estrogen, but by having high stress, you are left in an estrogen dominant state.
We get rid of excess estrogen through the liver so too much alcohol, drug use, and fatty liver can impair healthy liver function and build up estrogen.
Insufficient dietary fiber can lead to poor digestion, which leads to estrogen dominance. We need 35 grams of dietary fiber each day and often do not get it. Fiber binds estrogen, so to up your daily amount, consume more apples, pears, carrots, and greens. Probiotics are also essential to balance out estrogen in the body.
Alcohol consumption (as little as 1 drink) can increase your estrogen levels so be sure to give your body a break and take care of your liver. Drink lots of water and eat a balanced diet. When the liver is taxed with breaking down the alcohol, estrogen levels spike.
Additionally, nutrient deficiencies can lead to estrogen dominance. We need three main nutrients: B6, magnesium, and Zinc to break down estrogen. If you are low in any of these, you are at an increased risk of estrogen dominance and all the symptoms associated. Supplement with those by eating dark greens and cruciferous veggies.
Obesity in men and women encourages estrogen in fat cells and causes a decline in sex hormones. Men and women are at an increased risk of cancers when hormones are off balance.
Stay active by sweating out estrogen and exercise circulates your blood which goes through your liver to break down hormones. Work out at an intense level for 10-20 minutes to get your body moving.
Sleep deprivation inhibits melatonin, which protects against estrogen. Don’t eat right before bed, stay away from bright lights from your TV or computer late at night, and avoid caffeine after 12 pm. If you experience any of the above symptoms and aren’t sleeping well, you are not getting enough melatonin and are at an increased risk of developing cancers.
Review the above symptoms to see if you are estrogen dominant. If you are, there are key things you can do today to improve your hormone health. Eat more dark greens, exercise, get more sleep, lose weight, and lower your alcohol consumption.
Please share this blog post if you have friends that could benefit from this knowledge and, who are currently suffering and don’t know the cause. With this information, we can become proactive and move forward with our health.
Eliminating anything from your diet is not going to be without struggle, especially when it comes to addictive foods. Today, I want to discuss sugar, from its’ benefits to the negative impacts it can have on our bodies and brains and give you some practical ways to eliminate it from your diets.
Some benefits associated with sugar are better digestion, decreased inflammation in joints and in bowels, weight loss, and fat loss. Sugar can also give us more energy, which makes it appealing for us to be able to do more of what we love, with more energy.
Inside the body, however, sugar is quite destroying and addicting. Sugar triggers a release of dopamine in the brain which is our “pleasure center,” making it more addictive than certain drugs. Sugar can rot your teeth and cause them to erode by increasing the acidity in the body. Sugar lowers your pH, making your whole body more acidic. It can cause diabetes by overworking the pancreas, which is the organ responsible for insulin production and regulation. Sugar causes allover inflammation in the body and feeds candida (a common yeast in our body) which leads to an overgrowth state causing fungal infections. Sugar contributes to osteoporosis, stresses the adrenal glands and nervous system, and suppresses the immune system by lowering our white blood cell count, which we need to fight off cancers, viruses, and bacteria.
As addictive as it can be, there are some things you can do to eliminate sugar from your diet. The less we eat sugar, the less our body craves, but there are some healthy replacements as you try to lower your sugar intake.
Some healthy replacements of sugar are:
- Organic Maple Syrup
I also want to show the connection between triglycerides and fatty liver. When we consume too many carbs, they are broken down into sugars in the body that are stored by the liver as glycogen. When the liver is full, it converts to fatty acids. Fatty acids are stored in our tissue which would resemble more fat around your mid-section.
There is also an undeniable link between sugar and cancer in the body. Sugar increases insulin, which increases insulin-like growth and inflammatory factors that stimulate cell growth and fertilize tumors. When PET scans are done to measure the spread of cancer, radioactive glucose is injected in the patient. The scan measures the parts of the body that absorb glucose and cancer cells light up in response, which shows us how cancer loves sugar.
You can start today by making small changes. Eliminate one major sugar contributor in your diet. Switch to honey. Eat fruit for your sugar fix. Do not switch to artificial sugars like in diet sodas. Substances like aspartame damage the nervous system and cause headaches, seizures, dizziness, depression, vision problems, and are linked with obesity, diabetes and cancer.
Additional snacks to help with sugar cravings:
- Rice cake with almond butter
- Dark chocolate- 75 % or higher!
- Pears, berries, apples
- Green smoothies
- High protein snack – nuts, seeds, or snack with avocado
- Almond milk with real cocoa and Stevia
Also, just changing your environment can help with a sugar addiction. Go for a walk instead of hanging in the kitchen after dinner. Switch up what you normally do.
Together, we can make clean eating the norm and help get each other and our kids off of sugar!
My clients in Your Guide to Optimal Health with Dr. Glenna are seeing amazing results by cutting out sugar. Our meal plans are full of delicious, nutrient – packed recipes that will help you get over your sugar cravings once and for all. Our next round start in September 4th and I will be adding a vegetarian version of the meal plan so you have the option of either the regular ( non-vegetarian) meal plan or the vegetarian one. Your choice! If you are looking for support, accountability, and a healthy way to improve your health this program is for you!
I want to leave you with a healthy recipe that is yummy on your tummy, an overall anti-inflammatory and nourishing for your liver!
Turmeric Tea Recipe
TOTAL TIME: 5 MINUTES
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon turmeric (powder or grated root)
- Pour coconut milk and water into the saucepan and warm for 2 minutes.
- Add in butter, raw honey and turmeric powder for another 2 minutes.
- Stir and pour into glasses.
Please share this article if you think it would help others!
A lot of the time when we’re craving something, really craving it, it’s because we’re missing something. Our body is telling us that we are missing a nutrient. And to get that nutrient our body is going to get it by having us crave something that will deliver it.
If we look at what we’re craving we can usually find the root to what our body is really looking for. For example, bread is a great source of nitrogen. But so is chicken or may protein sources. Craving chocolate means we’re needing some magnesium. We can find more magnesium in dark chocolate, but also in almonds. Craving coffee and tea, beyond a cup in the morning, means we may need to bring our iron levels up. And craving sweets, who doesn’t crave sweets at some point. Craving sweets could mean that you’re low in tryptophan. Tryptophan becomes serotonin in our bodies, the happy chemical in our brains. If you’re craving sweets, fill up on tryptophan rich foods, like eggs, turkey, pineapple and nuts.
When we listen to our cravings and look into what we might be missing, we are being more purposeful with our nutrition. Everyone is going to have cravings, but if we fulfill our cravings with healthy options that address the source of what’s missing, we will start to crave the source. If we fill our bread craving with some roasted chicken, or our chocolate craving with almonds or pumpkin seeds, our body will start to crave those things.
We all get them. Cravings aren’t just something women get while they’re pregnant, but something everyone deals with. Whether it is chocolate or greasy food, or even a piece of fruit, we all have cravings. There is a way to decode your cravings, and figure out if it’s a habit that’s creating the craving, or if it’s a nutritional deficiency that’s got you wanting chocolate.
We’re going to chat about habitual cravings now, and we’ll cover deficiency cravings in a bit.
So a habitual craving – can be as simple as always eating a certain food during a certain event. You always get popcorn at the movies, or you are sure to have that greasy burger on the drive to the cottage. These cravings are born out of habits, usually not the best habits. But habits can be reformed, we can make small changes and rewire our habits to be a bit healthier, or we can overhaul them and change them completely.
The burger joint you stop at on the way to the cottage, well that’s a tradition, and it’s once a year, twice at most. So maybe instead of the jumbo fries, you can pack some fresh veggies and fresh fruit. Eat something in the car before you get there and then you won’t feel the need to eat every last bite.
So habits are a bit more ingrained and more frequent. We often spend the evening watching The Good Wife while we work away on little things. If that’s 3 evenings a week, and I were to dig into a bowl of pretzels or ice cream, can you imagine how much extra I was putting in my body each week! It’s crazy to think that some people are doing that not just 2 or 3 times a week, but every evening! Changing a habit like that can be hard, but if you take it in stages it’s easier. Decide to have something healthy before you dig into the treats. Have a bowl of fresh veggies, or some protein. You’ll be less hungry for the treat after, and if you do want it as a treat, it’s not going to get out of hand, because you’re already fueling your body.
Habitual cravings can be tough to overcome, but it’s possible!