How to interpret your food sensitivity results.
We have access to a ridiculous amount of information.
A quick internet search can lead you to a cancer diagnosis quicker than you can make yourself a piece of toast.
We can even order little kits to be sent to our homes, prick our fingers, send off some blood in a bio-hazard bag, and get some pretty immediate results about our hormones, food sensitivities, ancestors, etc... Heck, I know of a person who discovered a sister he didn't even know he had thanks to 23andMe.
It is both a blessing and a curse, because, as Spiderman taught me:
With great power comes great responsibility.
We each can choose to become active partners in our health, and these kinds of tests give us the upper hand. They also come along with the responsibility of... what am I going to do with these results?
No longer do we have to go to our doctors and describe some issues to which blood work is requested in order to find out more info (of which we never get to see the results). Now we can totally circumvent the doc, get that info emailed to us in a PDF, and then share with our doctors or coaches or mothers or long lost sisters, should we please.
But is this actually helpful? Or does it create more confusion?
Let's say you do a food sensitivity test. And you get some results. And as you suspected, you have an off the charts intolerance to gluten, dairy, corn, shellfish, and bananas. But then... some other foods you KNOW make you feel wonky come back in the clear. And now... when you read over your results... you feel this impetus to make a change. Clean it up. Be better. Get that blood spick and span! Mostly, though, you just feel a little confused and like maybe you were better off before you knew anything.
How do you interpret this info correctly and come up with a plan to course correct? And how do you contend with the fact that... you may still crave some of these foods... but now you'll feel hella guilty if you eat them, because then it's on YOU if you feel like crap in a crap basket afterwards.
Wrong. Not your fault, friend. There is no fault.
A couple weeks ago I went to a small town in Mississippi that has THE BEST LEMON ICE BOX PIE I've ever put in my mouth. (Obviously chock full of both gluten and dairy.) My body HATES both gluten and dairy. And I ate it. I SAVORED it. It was DIVINE. And afterwards, everyone in my party kinda felt like the aforementioned crap in a crap basket. As we drove back to our Airbnb, I heard lamentations of overeating—"did we really NEED dessert?"—and overall self flagellation for the wonderful meal we'd just enjoyed.
I felt an immediate duty to put a stop to it.
I like to use this analogy: Let's say you have a really hard workout. And you use weights you KNOW are too heavy. You don't injure yourself, but DAMN you are sore the next day. You feel a tinge of regret, but mostly... you feel like a mothertrucking BADASS. You now embody the muscle soreness to remind you of the strong, capable woman you are who could lift a car, if she wanted to. Definitely no shame or guilt. Just a little like... "well... maybe next time I won't make THAT big of a weight jump."
Okay, friend. Let's take it back to the food.
You got some results. They tell you that maybe you could avoid some foods you otherwise enjoy. But you aren't deathly allergic (and it ain't gonna kill you). Do you want to eat it every day? NO! But girl, if you find yourself craving it and KNOW you would feel bad if you didn't enjoy, just a bit: have it. savor it. Life is meant to be lived, savored, and enjoyed. So, it all comes down to what you value.
We can be really hard on ourselves for craving things we think we shouldn't have, or we view ourselves as weak or lacking will power. If we give into a craving, we feel like a hedonist—devolving into pleasure and satisfying the craving as a source of guilty pleasure.
Ask yourself this: what does my body want and WHY? And also—is it possible to be a hedonist, prioritizing pleasure and happiness without the guilt? Is there a way to become a healthy hedonist??
Yes, health and hedonism seem contrary to one another, but feeling true pleasure is simply a barometer for us to measure where we are in relation to what we value. We enjoy what we value. Plain and simple.
I follow and promote healthy hedonism because, yes, I want to value my health, but I also want to value JOY and spontaneity and friends and family and not perfectionism or adhering to any strict plan or scheme.
So, in this age of instant info, watch your intentions. Watch your thoughts. Watch the desires of your heart. Watch how your body responds to food and activity and people and places and things. Just promise me you won't watch the scale.
p.s. Ready to love the food you eat and live the life you love? Here are a couple ways I can help you with ending the cycle of shame and regret when it comes to food and your body:
1. Join the Beet Powder group and connect with women who are investing in their health and happiness, too.
This is my new Facebook community where women learn to get more of what they want in their body, food, and lives. Click Here
2. Get yourself a copy of Glowing Goddess Guru Beast Manifesto.
If this is the kind of food & life philosophy that you find intriguing, or if you're interested in this kind of approach to eating and living well, you'll really dig the book I'm wrapping up and getting ready for print right this very moment: Glowing Goddess Guru Beast Manifesto. It's now available for pre-sale!
3. Hop on the phone with me to work out if and how I can help you. Hate talking on the phone to strangers?! Me too. (Telephonophobia, or phone fear, is genetic!) But fear not. This 10 minutes is going to fly by, and we’re going to keep it fun & simple by focusing on three things: what's not working with food and your body, what's standing in the way, and if and how I can help you. Answer a few questions, and we’ll be set to chat—awkward free. Apply here.