I met Erin close to two years ago, while wearing my Propelle hat.
Since that initial meeting, Erin and I have had the opportunity to work together for a variety of reasons, including the food sensitivity testing. I must say that in addition to watching her build her business, this has been my favorite adventure of hers to witness. One that I am proud to have played a role.
I asked Erin if she would share a sentence or two about her experience with the food testing. Instead, she sent back the following piece with a little disclaimer: “I don’t know how to be brief. Especially in this arena; you changed my life, lady…”
THIS. This is why I do this.
(Photo Credit: Hot Metal Studio)
Before meeting with Emily, I was pretty resistant to “jumping on that train,” as I described the gluten-free craze I was noticing in my grocery store. But the more people talked about it and shared information, the more I came to realize that the way my body felt on a daily basis wasn’t actually normal; the pain, gas, and bloating that I explained away with reasons like, “I didn’t eat before I got hungry,” “oh, I have cheesy-belly,” and excusing myself from cooking dinner because my stomach had hurt so bad all day that I really just needed to curl up in a ball for an hour or so? Those things aren’t normal?!?
So, I decided to go for it.
I had no idea what I was getting into, but I knew that my quality of life needed to improve. I expected to have an issue with gluten, and maybe possibly dairy, as I had been lactose intolerant as a teen. The resulting two-page list of foods that my body was sensitive to, and that I needed to avoid, quite literally rocked my world. I had NO idea that some of the things I was eating every single day were contributing to that feeling; refined sugars, dairy, eggs, coffee, and yes; gluten.
The even bigger surprise was finding that one bizarre food group was causing pretty serious joint pain that I had been experiencing for about six months: nightshades. What the hell is a nightshade? Oh, you know, all of my favorite things: potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers, plus a bunch of other things that make no sense together. So, it was my love of spicy food that was making my wrists, knees ankles, and hips hurt so badly that I couldn’t do yoga, go hiking, or sometimes even sleep?
As I said, I had been prepared to have to go gluten and/or dairy-free for a while, but with all of the options available to accommodate both of those needs, I hadn’t been concerned. But did you know that most gluten-free options have potato starch in them? Did you know that some lunch meats do, too? Or that even those 5-ingrediant protein bars have dairy, sugars, etc. in them? Once you start reading labels and comparing them to the list of foods to avoid that Emily provides, it’s kind of staggering to realize all of the crap that is in our foods.
Suddenly having a list of foods that I could eat that was shorter that what I couldn’t would have been seriously intimidating, but Emily also provides shopping tips, with brands and items that will fit your needs, as well as websites, cookbooks, and other resources for recipes. She is also happy to discuss specifics any time you need a little guidance! To me, this was the true value of the service that Emily offers: the support. Also the encouragement along the way, to make my best effort in following the restrictions, but that it wasn’t absolute.
It helped to know that if I deviated, either consciously or by accident, that all wasn’t lost!
What amazed me were the results, though. I had had no idea just how badly I was feeling, every day of my life. I couldn’t believe how great I felt after just a few months of avoiding those foods. My days of living through a pretty constant discomfort are over, and It. Is. The. Best.
The most important thing in this testing was the fact the diet restrictions aren’t for life. The point is really to give your body a rest from filling it with junk, and to let your system clear up and figure out what it’s really having a problem with. When I went back to Emily for my re-test about a year after the first appointment, the results once again blew my mind: wheat and peppers. What a manageable list… and in the peak of summer, I found out that I could have tomatoes again!
And because I’m always curious about what people eat, I asked Erin to share some of her favorite recipes.
This was what she sent back:Posted by Emily Levenson | 0 comments