How the Food You Eat Effects You (it also affects you!)
Can food heal your body, and help you regain your health, vibrancy, and energy? “You are what you eat.” It’s a cliché phrase that’s been said time and tie again, but there’s an incredible amount of truth to the idea that our bodies are made from what we consume.
Up to a third of all cancer deaths each year are directly attributable to a poor diet and lack of exercise.
The fact of the matter is; our diet is in our direct control. Sometimes it may feel like our food controls us, but each day we face choices about what food to eat. Even if for years on end we’ve selected the French fries over the salad, or the sugary cereal over the veggie omelet, it’s never to late to take back the control of our health through the foods we include in our diet.
Eliminate the Common Problem Foods – Members of the Food Mafia
The first step in reclaiming your health is taking a break from the foods that commonly irritate our bodies. Our ancestors all came from different parts of the world, and as such they likely consumed different diets. This means that some of us are tolerant to certain foods, while others may irritate us. What’s key is understanding which foods are your own personal kryptonite.
The foods that generally tend to be problematic are gluten, grains, dairy, eggs, soy, coffee, sugar, processed foods, nuts, alcohol, and nightshades. You may be tolerant to some, but others might make you feel terrible. Sometimes even the wrong combinations of different foods can make your stomach upset, but by themselves they’re fine. Just how deep can this food rabbit-hole go?
By removing all of the foods that can tend to be problematic, it gives our bodies a chance to recover, detox, and reduce inflammation. Many of us spend years and years feeding our bodies foods that may taste great, but actually irritate us and make us feel awful.
Eliminating the Common Problem Foods – Which Ones are The Worst?
The rule of thumb is cut out the most common problem foods for at a minimum of 3 weeks. It takes somewhere between 21 and 25 days four our GI tract to heal from the foods that have caused it constant irritation and inflammation. Cutting out all of these foods is no easy task! For someone who wakes up looking forward to his two cups of coffee each morning, and a glass of wine with my cheesy pasta in the evening, telling me to give up all these foods seems more difficult than climbing Everest! It’s critical to realize that strictly cutting the kryptonite foods out isn’t permanent. It’s an important first step. It’s a part of a process, and a transformational one at that. It’s a mindset shift where you pay attention to the way foods make you feel, rather than just how it tastes. When we’re ruthless with our elimination, our bodies have the chance to heal, and we’re able to figure out which foods are most problematic for our own health.
Identify Which Foods Negatively Effect You – What’s Your Kryptonite?
You’ve done it. You’ve diligently cut out all of the foods that tend to irritate, and likely you feel fantastic. The healthiest you’ve felt in years! But it’s been no easy task. The good news is that your body has had a chance to heal. Now comes the fun part – it’s time for re-introduction, so you can discover once and for all what foods act as your own personal Kryptonite. The key here is to re-introduce one food at a time. This way, you can find out how it effects you, and whether it’s one of your problem foods.
Reintroduce one of the problem foods, for example, dairy. Sprinkle some cheese on top of your meals that day, have a few slices as a snack, and drink a couple tall glasses of milk. Over the next 24 hours, listen to your body so you can determine how the dairy is making you feel. If there are no negative affects, then your body is most likely tolerant to dairy. Congratulations! This means you can keep it in your diet, because it’s not causing you any negative health consequences. Wait another day before re-introducing the next food category on the list, and keep listening to your body.
But wait, the dairy is upsetting your stomach? If instead of feeling the newfound vibrancy and health you’ve grown to love over the past three weeks, and you have an upset stomach, feel bloated, have GI distress, or any stomach pains, your body is telling you that you should stay away from dairy! Does this mean that never again should you have that delicious gelato, melted brie, or glass of ice-cold milk? Absolutely not! It just means that you’re more in tune with your body and the signals that it sends you. It means you can recognize when dairy or any other food makes you feel bad, so you can use that information to make better choices in the future.
What are Some of the Negative Effects of Foods?
The key to taking back control of our health is in listening closely to our bodies. It sends us signals for all of the nutrients we ingest. Sometimes it may be a subtle energy and satiety that leaves us glowing for hours after the meal. Other times it may be a screaming headache with congested sinuses.
A few common symptoms of foods our bodies don’t agree with are:
-Stomach aches and GI distress
What Foods Should I Eat – How Can I Feel Like Wonder Woman?
Finish those veggies on your plate! We’ve all heard it, and we may have even told our children or grandchildren the same advice. It’s important to fuel your body with plenty of veggies, as well as healthy fats (think olive oil, coconut oil, ghee, avocados), and lean meats. A good rule of thumb is 30% of your diet should be from lean meats like chicken, wild-caught fish, and grass-fed red meat, and the other 70% should be from veggies.
If weight loss is the end goal you have in mind, then limit your carbohydrate intake, especially the sugary, processed ones! Sometimes these are called simple carbs, or processed carbs – think sugary cereals, bread, and pasta. If it comes in a box or a bag, it’s probably not the most ideal staple to keep in your diet. The reason processed carbohydrates are bad is because the body easily breaks them down into sugar. Too much sugar leads to fat gain, inflammation, mood swings, and that crash you’ve probably experienced 40 minutes after eating that (delicious) donut.
How it Feels When you Clean up Your Diet – Simply Amazing!
After you’ve committed to taking time to let your body heal, detox, and reduce inflammation, you’re going to feel fantastic. When we have vibrant health through our diet, it makes us feel downright amazing. It’s a mindset shift that takes place when we pay attention to the ways that foods make us feel, rather than simply how they taste. When you experience first hand a food or meal that truly satisfies you, it’s a liberating experience. We shouldn’t feel bloated, congested, and achy day-in day-out. Our diet is directly in our control, and our bodies and well being are directly related to the food we consume.
Even if we’ve let years go by with poor food choices, we can always commit to making a change. By dedicating just 3 weeks to eliminating the foods that may irritate us, it lets our bodies begin the healing process. From there, it’s all about making choices which promote health, and listening to the signals your body sends. The information we learn by listening to our bodies, and paying attention to our diet ultimately helps us live longer, healthier lives. It allows us to see our grandchildren grow up, and continue the hobbies we know and love.
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