When Healthy Foods Aren’t Healthy

This is not going to be a popular post. I think.

I feel like I have this conversation a lot and most people just don’t want to go there. I’m going there today because I’m on my laptop and it can’t talk back or roll its eyes at me.

Are you exercising? Hydrating? Oiling? Ditching the toxins? Supplementing? Getting adjusted regularly? You’re doing absolutely everything right so why is this (insert health condition here) not resolving?

Every. Single. Thing. You. Eat. is going to enhance your health or make it worse. I’ve written a post similar to this before but I wanted to hone in a little. Pay attention to this: what may be healthy and beneficial for YOUR body may be detrimental to someone else’s.  And vice versa. How can that be?

Vegetables are healthy, right? Right. Unless you have an autoimmune disorder that doesn’t agree with nightshades. Fruit is healthy, right? Right. Unless you have a gut issue like my husband who is down for the count if he eats a banana.

There are so many fads out there now. Gluten free. Dairy free. Paleo. Vegan. Pegan. The Virgin Diet. THM. I’m not judging. I have googled all these things when looking for recipes for different people or events. But how do I know what’s good and bad for the specific guts that live in my house and eat at my kitchen table?

Just shy of 5 years ago I begged my husband to have a food intolerance test done to help us find some answers as to why he was feeling so badly after he ate. He’s a healthy guy, athletic and lean. He enjoys a very well balanced diet but literally every time he ate, he was in pain. The results were very surprising.

It turns out that the foods that cause him the most severe issues are bananas, walnuts, sesame, kidney beans, eggs and dairy. I would argue that all of those foods are “healthy”. He had no reason to avoid any of them and had no idea about the inflammation they were causing in his body. How could he know?Agitated young woman looking up in frustration

Of course I followed suit out of curiosity and my foods to avoid are eggs, dairy, gluten, chicken, coffee, mushrooms and cranberries. Uh… what? Mind you I wasn’t having the stomach pain he was having (although I knew eggs bothered me) but when I remove these things from my diet, I feel so different. My energy skyrockets. My weight goes down without making any other changes and I just feel better overall.

Please be mindful that there is a huge difference between a food sensitivity, an allergy, and an intolerance.  It’s important not to confuse these. If my husband eats a walnut, we do not need an EpiPen or a visit to the ER. He’ll just be uncomfortable for a few hours. I’m grateful for this because I know our situation could be a lot worse.

So what now? You want to start being healthier today. Here’s where I become less popular. You can begin by avoiding naturally inflammatory foods and drinks like dairy, peanuts, soy, wheat, vegetable oils, alcohol, eggs, corn and sugar. What?!? That’s, like, everything. I know! And that’s why so many people continue to live with joint pain, headaches, skin issues, weight gain and a whole lot more.

Just like any other healthy habit that you want to maintain as a lifestyle, the changes need to be made in small, manageable chunks. Start by switching to organic almond milk and almond butter. Use coconut oil instead of vegetable oils. Try to eat all of your meals at home so you know exactly what’s on your plate. Chop fruits and veggies when you have free time so that they’re available quickly when you’re hungry and tempted to eat something from a package. 

Here’s what not to do. Don’t head to the store and walk down the fancy new aisles dedicated to gluten free and dairy free options. I’m so glad these are available for people who have allergies. However, if it’s an intolerance issue, sensitivity issue, or you’re looking to lose weight, buying these substitute foods are not going to be helpful. Often, the ingredients used to replace what you’re trying to avoid are far worse. 

I feel so bad when someone comes up to me and says, “My child has a _______ skin issue. Is there an oil for that?” Yes! Yes, there is girlfriend. There’s an oil to support every single system in your body. Step into my office!! But I’ll tell you that a truckload of that oil isn’t going to help your child’s skin if they’re drinking chocolate milk every morning and their body has an intolerance to dairy.

Call your insurance provider and ask if they’ll cover an IgG food panel. I had to call around to a few places but finally found a local naturopath to do mine and most of it was covered. If not, there are plenty of really good home kit options online. My husband’s test was a finger prick that we mailed in. Easy peasy lemon squeezy – errr finger squeezy.

If you read this and weren’t scared off, please let me know. I have wasted experimented with SO many different foods that I have some really yummy recipes to help you feel like you’re not missing out.

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