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I’ve been on an interesting health journey lately that may change my life. I want to share, because it may change yours too. If you’ve ever read any of my blogs, you know that food and I have a very rocky relationship. I often feel lousy after eating. There was even a time that I would feel lousy when I would think about eating. And I LOVE food. I love growing food and cooking food and trying new foods and EATING food! So why does food not love me?
I’m the odd ball in my family. My parents and siblings can eat whatever they want, my husband feels the same after a salad or a chocolate shake, and my kids chow down on whatever is in front of them. Believe me, I’ve said “this isn’t fair!!” a time or two.
This isn’t new. My mom still laughs about my food choices as a little girl. She couldn’t get me to eat ice cream unless she put a green bean on the front of the spoon. I used to sneak into the fridge and eat the leftover peas for a snack. Everyone thought it was because I just liked vegetables more, but I think some foods bothered me even back then.
I’ve tried every diet, internet fad and nutrition plan known to man. I’ve gone to doctors and had my gut scoped. I’ve visited alternative care providers and have purchased thousands of dollars in supplements. I have read countless books about diet and food. Everything from eating all “white” to treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome, to a Macrobiotic Diet with loads of rice, to a raw diet with enough kale to turn your eyeballs green. Over the years I’ve given up dairy, gluten, corn, tomatoes, white potatoes, beans, meat, eggs, soy… you name it, I’ve stopped eating it at one point or another.
I’ve had mixed results with all of these changes. And the trouble is, I often feel a little better but not a lot. And I can’t always tell what is helping. So, the saga of my food troubles continued.
The new twist is that I have been putting on weight. Not a lot, but enough to make my clothes fit tighter than I would like, and the number was steadily climbing. And all this while I changed nothing about what I eat – and I eat well and in moderate amounts. Frustrating!
About this time a patient came in that looked amazing. I asked her what she had been doing and she told me about a guided nutrition program she had been doing. I signed up and started on a 12 week journey to lose fat and build muscle. It sounded great, and my coach had me eating more food than I ever had before. Awesome – more food to lose weight. Problem is, it wasn’t working.
I thought perhaps what I have is hormonal, so I visited a nurse practitioner and she got me on medicine to help my sluggish thyroid. Nothing, other than a reassurance that this just happens when you get to “my age”.
So then I thought maybe I wasn’t exercising enough. I signed up for an intense workout program near my home. I loved it – was working out harder than I have in years and sweating up a storm. Then I hurt my back – badly. I couldn’t stand up and nearly couldn’t work for a week. And the weight was still going up…Ahhhhh!
Next stop was my chiropractor’s office. He said my liver was the problem. I started a liver detox program with him that completely changed my diet again. And I started to see some small changes.
Wait! Something might be working? I analyzed what I was eating under this plan, and compared it with what my nutrition coach had me eating under her plan (yes, she was a little ticked off that I wasn’t following her plan). Some things stood out:
No wheat in my diet again, and very little grain.
No dairy – not even my fermented kefir I make
No corn, potatoes or soy.
Less protein powders
I felt like I had part of the answer, but I was going to have a hard time narrowing it down to what really was making the difference. After all, I can’t continue avoiding all of these foods for the rest of my life. Life is too short for that!
Being a book lover, I felt guided to find another book that would offer some answers. I found a book called “Fat Flush for Life” and it spoke to me! Now, before you jump to any conclusions, this is not a book just about losing weight. It’s a book that helps you identify what your sources of fat, or inflammation or just feeling yuck are.
There is another reason it spoke to me as well. All of the eating, exercise and wellness plans are based around the seasons. Now that is my language. I eat food that is locally grown (preferably in my backyard) and in season. Right now I’m not eating lettuce salads because it’s too hot to grow lettuce. But I am eating buckets of apricots…and this book tells me that is exactly what I should be eating right now. I’m pretty much in love.
Interesting right? But why has this changed my life?? The book introduced me to a concept called “False Fat”. It’s defined as “water-logged tissues, which can result from prescription medicines, food sensitivities, hormonal imbalances and insufficient water and protein consumption.”
I think this is where my weight gain is coming from. I’ve always known I have a sensitivity to dairy, but the wheat (gluten) sensitivity is a new finding. It serves me right really. When all the gluten free stuff started, I made fun of it – saying it was just the latest fad. When my daughter was complaining about her stomach, a doctor suggested we take her off gluten. It’s too hard to do that for one and not the whole family, so everyone went gluten-free for awhile. I felt better than I had in 20 years. Fine. I guess I’m sensitive to gluten too.
This eating plan has you do a flush specific to the season, and avoid all of the foods you might be sensitive to. The status right now is 1 week on Fat-Flush and no more yuck feeling. I am breathing clearer than I have in a long time. I don’t feel miserable after a meal. And (drum roll) 5 pounds down. I am a little bit hungry, but I’ll live.
Why in the world am I telling you my saga?? Because I think there are a lot of you out there in the very same boat. There are reasons why so many of us suffer, and I’ll get into those in future posts, but for now, know that there are answers to be had.
As I was talking about this at work a few days ago, a team member told me her young daughter tells her 50 times a day that her stomach hurts. I wanted to cry for her. She asked if I thought taking her off gluten would help, and I said for sure! Then she said words that for me are fighting words, “I don’t think I can afford to have her go gluten free.”
This is an entire blog post all on it’s own – why eating gluten free DOES NOT mean eating all of the exorbitantly priced, nasty tasting gluten free products in the store. So I decided I would be doing a gluten free cooking class for my team. Then I will be doing it for all of you. I want to teach you how to eat well, feel great and take it easy on your pocket book. Seems impossible but it’s not.
So stay tuned for the reasons we have this surge of food sensitivities, and for details about the cooking class. For now, if you often feel yuck too, check out the Fat Flush for Life. Might be the best $14 you’ve spent in a long time.
Until next week! Love,
Dr. Michelle Jorgensen
This information is not meant as medical advice. It is provided solely for education. Our Lehi, Utah area dental practice would be pleased to discuss your unique circumstances and needs as they relate to these topics.
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American Fork, UT 84003