Allergy Testing 101 (or, GIVE ME ALL THE CHEESE)

eggs

At the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN), I learned that a lot of body pain is linked to food allergies. The most common allergies are to gluten, dairy, citrus, and/or soy. One of our lecturers recommended testing yourself or your clients for these allergies by eliminating them from your diet altogether for a week, and slowly adding them in one at a time to see if you notice any changes.

Trevor has always known he is slightly allergic to dairy, and has some reactions to gluten- not enough to cause him issues if eaten in moderation, but bad enough that we found it best to share a kiddie ice cream cone this summer, lest he demolish one on his own and feel its wrath.

10433945_10202629278832657_4594114856409764443_n(OK- this was also because we decided to eat about a million ice cream cones this summer. Sharing cut our guilt in half.)

This week, I decided to allergy test us- we’d go for a week without the four dangerous elements of gluten, dairy, soy, and citrus. We’re also eating a LOT less meat recently, so we decided to try going vegetarian while we were at it- you know, just for kicks.

Easier said than done.

I had one of the unhealthiest weeks I can remember. Our meals consisted of a LOT of rice. And a lot of vegetables. And a lot of soup.

collage

And I never really felt satisfied. I found myself reaching for sugar (way more than I usually do) which is often a sign that your body is missing key nutrients and is trying to find the fastest substitute for them. It’s easier to think “Go for the chocolate peanut butter truffle, that’s what you need!” rather than “Reach for the avocados, tomatoes, and eggs on toast- you’re nutrient deficient!” I felt sluggish and tired, instead of refreshed and invigorated.

chocolate

So yesterday, after a mere three and a half days of a dairy-free, wheat-free, meat-free, substance-free diet, I found myself wandering through the Waterville Farmer’s Market. And then…a robot took over my body and I handed over my money, zombie-like, to the BAKER and the CHEESE-MAKER. That’s all I bought. I proceeded to go straight home and devour…

bread1

1….2….3 slices of delicious buckwheat sourdough and herbed goat cheese. And I have never felt so satisfied.

Trevor did a lot better with this experiment than I did, but he didn’t report feeling any better or worse than usual. This morning we broke the rules together, and had the most delicious eggs on toast we’ve ever eaten. It was glorious.

trevorhappy

What did we take away from this? I’m still figuring it out- one of my favorite things from IIN was learning about bioindividuality. Everyone’s body- and optimal diet- is going to be different. Trevor didn’t feel many effects of this experiment (although to be fair, it was conducted very poorly). But it effected me terribly, and my body knew it was time to cut it short. It can be tricky, figuring out two diets under one roof. I have no idea how larger families do it, especially ones with serious food allergies. I guess you keep doing small experiments and trusting your body’s reactions to them.

Personally? I’m looking forward to an amazing weekend of local, organic food at the Common Ground fair- dairy, wheat and all. Follow us on Instagram @camprosewood for pics.

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