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.Read More »

Advertisements

Take a Chill Pill

4746653392_cd0676b04a_b

What’s the first thing you think about when you hear the word “medicine?”

Maybe you get a vision of a back-of-CVS-store pharmacy doling out pills, or maybe you think about the bottles of aspirin and Ibuprofen stocked up in your medicine cabinet, or maybe you think about hospitals.

Or maybe (hopefully) you think about food.

IMG_8306

Read More »

Let’s Learn: Primary Foods

10419004_10202918958274462_7145498025869011672_n

Primary foods. What are they? The food you eat first in the day? Nope. They’re not really foods at all, but they fuel you just as much as “real” food does.

Here’s the definition of primary foods from IIN:

Food is more than what you find on your plate.  Healthy relationships, regular physical activity, a fulfilling career and a spiritual practice can fill your soul and satisfy your hunger for life. When primary food is balanced and satiated, your life feeds you, making what you eat secondary.

Secondary foods are what you’re used to eating- chicken, veggies, rice, chips, pizza fruit, dairy, chocolate, tea, etc. They provide us with the nutritional value that allows us to run, jump, play, work, and get about our days. But primary foods are what really help you live the life of your dreams.

IMG_8055

Often times, we reach for secondary foods- usually unhealthy choices like a big bowl of cheesy pasta or chips, a candy bar, ice cream, a Slurpee- to help us cope with a lack of primary foods in our lives. If one of your primary food needs is not being met, you’ll likely seek something else to try to balance your body, and alleviate the stress/pain/anxiety/boredom/etc. that you’re feeling. For example, if your relationship with your partner is on the rocks, you might look to alcohol to cope. Or maybe you feel stuck in a career rut, and find yourself driving into the fast food lane after work almost subconsciously.

2288943301_358fa97876_b (1)

Life today is fast paced and really hectic, and our inner voice often gets drowned out by all the noise. But ignoring your primary food needs almost always results in an unhealthy habit in another area of your life, and prevents you from becoming your most authentic, energized, and happy self.

10524724_10202918918753474_6887293876411511219_n

Print out the Circle of Life chart at home to see where any imbalances may be hiding in your life. Simply put a dot in each primary food triangle depending on how balanced you feel in that part of your life. A dot near the outer ring (closer to the red ring) means you feel 100% satisfied with that part of your life. A dot near the point of the triangle/center of the circle means you feel very unsatisfied with that part of your life. Put a dot where it feels true for you.circle-of-life

Once you have put 12 dots on the circle, connect them to see the shape of your primary foods, and notice where there are dips. Those are the areas you want to devote more time to. Right now, I am trying to focus on more physical activity, education, and career.

Interested in learning more? Visit IIN’s page on primary foods, and reach out to me for a 100% free (seriously) health history. I can help you examine your Circle of Life, identify the imbalances, and help create an action plan for us to bring both your primary and secondary foods into balance. When your circle is whole, you’re able to be your best self.