LIFE

Elimination Diets and Food Sensitivities

Hi there! Recently in one of my Institute of Integrative Nutrition course we covered autoimmune disorders and food sensitivities. There is scientific studies that have closely linked certain foods and food sensitivities to autoimmune disorders. The main culprits were listed as gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, and corn. My course explained that these 5 foods have been known to cause inflammation in the body and increased inflammation can lead to autoimmune disorders.

When i was 15 or 16 I started to have issues with my right eye. It became red, light sensitive, with blurry vision, and pain. All of these symptoms came within 7 days and I was diagnosed with viral pink eye by three different doctors but the medication was not working so my mom demanded we see an eye doctor. The eye doctor took one look and diagnosed me with Uveitis which is medical jargon for inflammation in the eye. Uveitis can be caused three different ways, the first being trauma to the eyes, the second being an autoimmune disorder, and the third is simply unidentified causes. At that time I revealed I took at least 4 advil a day to help with my back pain that we had assumed had come from carrying my backpack around all day. At that point the eye doctor took more blood tests and it was revealed that I had a gene that is linked to the autoimmune system so I was referred to a rheumatologist. At that appointment I was fine but the next day I woke up and could not walk because my ankles had swollen the size of lacrosse or tennis balls. When we called the doctor she diagnosed me with juvenile arthritis. From there I was placed on multiple medications to suppress my immune system which I am still on today. It was supposed to be around a 7 year journey to get better and off the medications but we have hit the 7 year mark and we are just now slowly getting off the medications. This background is the reason I found the food sensitivities and inflammation lecture so fascinating.

The lecture suggested people try an elimination diet where you cut out all 5 of the foods for three weeks and then slowly re-incorporate them back into your diet one at a time. I thought that would not be too difficult and I eat a lot of soy and gluten products so I would be interested to know if I feel better without them. I made a mock meal plan and am now in the middle of the second week of the elimination diet. I honestly did not think it would be this hard. I really want tacos for some reason and it has taken all my strength not to break. However, I am hopeful to see how it works out. I will also post the meals that I had eaten during the elimination diet at one point.

Have you guys ever completed an elimination diet or found out you have a food sensitivity? Let me know in the comments below.

LIFE

Wellness Wednesday: Tech Detox

Good Morning! Today’s post will be a wrap up about a wellness challenge I completed over the last 30 days. I stumbled upon the audiobook, How to Break Up with Your Phone: The 30 Day Plan to Take Back Your Life by Catherine Price. In this audiobook, it talks about the side effects of technology use and the recent discovery of how addicting technology has become. I really enjoyed this book because it literally gave you a task each day that was a step to break away from technology. It is aimed towards phones but I also used it as a way to spend less time on screens in general.

At first I did not think I had a problem with technology but the second she said we would be deleting social media apps from our phones I immediately in my mind denied I had a problem and became worked up about deleting social media apps.  Throughout the 30 days we were assigned small tasks to work on throughout the day and the following weeks such as tracking your phone usage with an app and then comparing the results to how much you thought you used your phone. Another thing we did was rearrange the way our apps were shown on our screen so that only useful apps appeared and you had to go looking for apps that made you lose track of time or start scrolling mindlessly. All of these tasks were leading up to taking a 24-48 hour break from all types of screens. I chose to do a 24 hour period from a Friday evening to Sunday Morning. During which time I cleaned and organized a large portion of my apartment and then spent the rest of my time enjoying the Harry Potter series.

Throughout this process of slowly “breaking up” with technology I have come to appreciate the simple things. For instance, I love reading books and I used to spend a full day of doing nothing but binge reading a good series. Then I went to college during the height of Netflix and Hulu binging and I do not think I read a single book for pleasure. Simply because I would instantly turn to technology to amuse myself. It also made me realize that if I want to truly make changes towards a more balanced, healthy lifestyle I need to stop relying on technology for so much and start paying attention to the world around me. I enjoyed spending time away from technology so I have a goal to take 24 hours off of all technology, minus phone calls, each week or at the very least every other week. It was fun to think of all the different things I could do with my time that I never seem to have time for because I spend all of my time at work on the computer and then at home on the computer and in between that time or during my “breaks” I would be on my phone.

Overall, I realized I definitely had a problem and am still working on expanding my hobbies and my entertainment to things outside of technology related activities. I would recommend you try a technology detox or at the very least download an app that tracks your usage in the background so you can get an accurate idea of how much time you spend on your phone, it may surprise you. Comment below how much time you think you spend on your phone or computer not related to a job.