So, what’s Week 5 all about?
Week 5 of Reinvent focuses on food intolerances, reflecting on your diet and working out if there are any foods that ‘trigger’ negative reactions.
More about Food Intolerance
Most people have a food that they love but that they know doesn’t really agree with them, but they don’t pay any more attention to it than that, you know, it’s just one of those things.
However, there are lots of health problems that can be caused by a reaction to a specific food or foods that you eat regularly. If you experience digestive problems, headaches, chronic sinus drainage, low energy, depression, mood swings, eczema, skin irritations, joint aches, asthma, and/ or weight gain, it is quite possible that you have a food intolerance.
Often people aren’t aware of the impact that these types of sensitivities are having on their overall health and wellbeing until they remove the food triggering it from their diet.
A food intolerance is very different to an allergy to a particular food. Allergic reactions usually happen straight away once you have eaten the food, the reaction is clearly noticeable and in severe cases can be life threatening. If you are allergic to a food you have to cut it from your diet permanently in order to avoid such reactions.
With a food intolerance the negative symptoms you experience can take a while to develop, a few hours or even days. The good news about an intolerance is that you don’t necessarily have to give that food up forever. By removing the trigger foods from your diet, for a period of time, you give your body the chance to recover, heal, and begin to function efficiently again. Once you have done this, you often find that these foods can be slowly reintroduced to your diet in small amounts without any problems.
Common intolerances include:
Gluten-containing grains: wheat, rye, barley
Nightshades: A plant group that consists of tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, aubergine, goji berries, and some spices containing alkaloids.
Dairy Casein: The protein found in dairy
Nuts and seeds
Food Intolerance and Me.
Do I have a food intolerance? This is a tricky one. Initially, I would have said no. But interestingly this week’s focus coincided with me getting some test results from my doctor which suggested that I may be suffering from IBS.
I was really surprised, but when I thought about it actually, it made quite a lot of sense. I do suffer with trapped wind, cramps and constipation most of the time, and because I have done for years, the symptoms didn’t even register with me.
So, then I started to think about what might ‘trigger it’. Firstly, my rubbish, over processed diet gets a lot of the blame. But then I thought about cheese. Ah lovely cheese! I never really used to eat cheese at all. If I had cheese a couple of days in a row, I needed the toilet and quickly!
But over the last ten years cheese along with other types of dairy food have gradually crept into my diet, and now I eat cheese most days. I’ve also started drinking coffee, which means I’m drinking loads more milk than I ever used to. Both my sister and my uncle are lactose intolerant, so I started to wonder if actually this might be an issue for me too…
How did I do?
Actually, not too bad. I’ve started having coconut milk in my coffee and using almond milk in my smoothies, so I’ve had no milk at all. I had a couple of slip ups with butter (I’m not buying any more so that should make it easier!) a small amount of parmesan, and some rogue halloumi in a vegetable curry when I was eating out.
I also discovered my protein powder wasn’t dairy free (whoops) so I’ve swapped to a vegan powder. But other than that, I have had no dairy, and I have to say, I do feel much better in the tummy department.
All in all a pretty successful week!
My thoughts and Feelings about Week 5
I thought I was going to really miss dairy, but once I got into the swing of it, I really didn’t. The fact that I had planned and made sure that I had alternatives made it so much easier. I was also pleasantly surprised to find that when you’re out and about there is also a lot of choice.
I’ve quite enjoyed finding alternatives and looking for new things to try which has surprised me. I can be a bit of a stickler for just going with the stuff that I know that I like! I’ve never been overly keen on trying new things food wise.
If I had been cutting out the dairy as part of a diet to lose weight I wouldn’t have been able to do it. I remember when I did Slimming World I would always have my dairy choice every day. I couldn’t have imagined cutting it out altogether.
Approaching it from the perspective that I’m looking to improve my health has been hugely beneficial. The change in mindset has been a really positive driving force for me.
Focus for next week
The focus for next week, week 6 is water and hydration. I’ve already made drinking more water a focus over the last few weeks, but I’m looking forward to some more tips on how to ramp it up!
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Disclaimer: I have been offered a subscription to reinvent free of charge in return for documenting my experiences via the blog. All opinions as ever are my own!