So this was an exciting week where I started to test different food stuffs to see if I had a reaction to them.
If you remember I spent the previous week on a very limited diet of just those foods that are considered not to cause sensitivities. This was very dull but once the testing process started, even though you only get to add in two foods a day it’s amazing how much difference it made to how I felt about what I could cook for my dinner.
I was insanely excited to add broccoli back in on that first evening and not surprisingly I showed no reaction to it at all and have been eating it ever since.
Food Sensitivity Reactions
So how do I know if I’m having a reaction to a type of food or not? Well, one of the things that I’ve had to do each day is weigh myself morning and evening (before breakfast and dinner respectively).
This was a bit of a chore and twice I forgot to do it in the evening. However I still did enough to see a pattern; every day I gained between 0.5 and 1.5lbs and every night I lost between 1 and 1.75 lbs.
So the key thing to look out for is an increase during the day or night outside of that normal range. On top of that there might be some other symptoms such as fatigue or headache.
So I kept on testing. Here’s a breakdown of a couple of days to show you how it plays out:
Red pepper with my breakfast – gained 1lb 2oz during the day
Chicken with my dinner – lost 1lb 8oz over night
Tap water (yes I spent a week drinking only bottled water!) with my breakfast – gained 1lb during the day
Peppermint tea with my dinner – lost 1lb over night
The objective at this point is to introduce/test as many foods as possible. If you discover a food that causes a reaction then you have to wait until the reaction is passed before you can test any more foods.
Finding the guilty culprit
So midway through the week I tested milk. Dairy was on my hit list from the beginning – more from the perspective of greek yoghurt which I consume in large quantities. However I have never liked milk. I was the kid in school crying when they bought the bottles of milk in to be drunk. I can’t tolerate it in porridge or smoothies and substitute water or oat milk in its place. If I don’t it will leave me nauseous and with stomach cramps for a day. Having said that I can manage it in smaller quantities on cereal or in Yorkshire puddings.
I faced this test with some trepidation. I poured a small amount into a cup and, holding my breath, knocked it back.
I thought I’d avoid the feelings of nausea with such a small amount but they kicked in within 20 minutes. By lunchtime I was feeling fuzzy headed, had stomach cramps and an upset stomach and I felt overwhelmed with tiredness. Later in the day I noticed an acute pain in my knees as I came down the stairs and my lower back went as well – for no apparent reason.
I dragged myself through the afternoon and remembering to weigh myself was shocked to see my weight had increased by 2lbs 4ozs. I know the book had said that there would be a weight increase (due to inflammation) but I was still surprised by this.
I didn’t feel bigger or bloated or anything that would indicate that I had gained weight. Just tired, nauseous and generally out of sorts.
The other thing I noticed was that I developed cravings to randomly eat during the afternoon. It wasn’t hunger. It was just the desire to pick at carby foods. If I ate biscuits and cakes I would gladly have tucked into them then.
What’s potentially really interesting about that is the fact that I get that craving feeling after I eat greek yoghurt. I’ve always put it down to the fruit I mix into the yoghurt creating a spike in my blood sugar, but perhaps it’s the dairy element that’s to blame?
I’ll find out when I test greek yoghurt next week.
It took a couple of days for it all to settle down and then I carried on testing more foods.
So it looks like I’ll be looking to eliminate milk from my diet. John Mansfield (the author) suggests that if you have a weight gain to a certain food that you can retest it a week or so later. However he says that if you have a weight gain and other symptoms such as headache etc then it is almost certainly a food sensitivity for you so I am confident that this is the case for me.
I’ll wrap up there. I purposefully haven’t talked about weight loss…but I’m going to cover that one next week because that’s where it gets even more interesting.