You really are what you eat. Food ultimately gets broken down into tiny parts which feed all of your cells, and which make up all of your tissues, organs, and even your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. So, food is pretty important and you want to be sure you’re eating the right foods for your unique biochemistry.
Food can either be your medicine or your poison. And, it’s different for everyone! One person’s sensitivity to a certain food could be utterly medicinal to the next person, and yet neutral to another. And I’m not just talking about indulgent foods. People can have reactive sensitivities to seemingly “healthy” and “safe” foods, that one may never suspect, such as apple, rice, coconut, and chicken. How do you figure out which is which? That’s the hard part. Well, until now.
Here’s my personal story:
Recently, after a solid 25 YEARS of dealing with chronic digestive and skin issues, and having tried just about everything else (including regular acupuncture, loads of different supplements, herbs, drugs, homeopathy, energy healing, massage, meditation, visualization exercises, breathing techniques, talk therapy, extreme cleanses and detox programs) I was ready to finally look at the biggest and most obvious culprit, which was right under my nose (literally) all along— food!
I was, like many, emotionally attached to many foods that I suspected were contributing to my symptoms, but I was not ready to give them up. I also knew that food was a major culprit, if not THE offender, as my symptoms always correlated to what and how I was eating at a given time. I could trace my symptoms back to food, as sometimes my symptoms would minimize and other times my symptoms were strong and this fluctuation ALWAYS correlated to my diet. The difficulty laid in determining which of the perhaps 15 ingredients and food chemicals I just consumed in the average meal! That is precisely why elimination diets are difficult, or even impossible to figure out which of the many ingredients you just ingested are causing the symptoms. To make matters even more confusingly compounded, many food related sensitivities and symptoms don’t manifest for up to a few days after ingesting the food and/or may not even be digestive in nature! So it truly is impossible to really know what your symptoms are due to.
My main symptoms were: acne, hives, itchy skin, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, bloating, IBS, acid regurgitation. The litany of diagnoses I acquired over the years included Histamine Intolerance, Hormonal Imbalance, both Hyper- and Hypo-Thyroidism, Parasites, Candida Overgrowth, SIBO, Anxiety, Anger and Rage, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Insomnia, Pyroluria, Iron Toxicity, and many more. So, I did what most people do and I committed to sacrifice my food comforts, pleasures, and more honestly, addictions.
After researching the best ways to do this for days, I decided on a very well-crafted elimination diet that was particularly restrictive. I avoided major food groups for 30 days. These food groups and specific foods included avoiding: sugar, caffeine, dairy, gluten, chocolate, soy, eggs, and alcohol, in addition to a host of other foods that I already knew I was sensitive and reactive to. So, for 30 days, my diet was extremely limited and I was equally miserable. And the results? VERY minimal change in my chronic symptoms. I felt utterly defeated as well as frustrated and angry. But, I never give up. So, I continued my search. I desperately wished there was some test which could illuminate for me EXACTLY which foods I was reacting to, and also which foods are really good for me. And then my wish was granted.
In my research, I stumbled upon a blood test called MRT (Mediator Release Test), which measures how your body reacts to 170 common foods and food chemicals. The test clearly illustrates which foods and chemicals trigger the release of inflammatory mediators in your body, such as immunoglobulins—IgG, IgM, IgA, cytokines, histamine, interleukins, etc. MRT quantifies all of these reactions, rather than focusing on just one marker, like many of the other food reaction blood tests available.
My results? Some of the foods I was reactive to made perfect sense and others I was VERY surprised by, but still made sense. Some of my most reactive foods were ones I was and had been eating all my life, each and everyday, and multiple times per day!
And they were “healthy” and “safe” foods, according to all the health and nutrition experts and approved on most restricted and elimination diets.
Some of my most reactive foods, that are typically deemed “healthy” and “safe” for most people:
olive (olive oil!), coconut (coconut oil, coconut milk, and coconut water!), broccoli, carrots, sweet potato, turmeric, all peppers, shrimp, turkey, and soy. WOW. But the test not only tells you which foods you’re most reactive to, but also which ones you’re least reactive to, so you can be assured that eating your least reactive foods will produce the least amount of symptoms, if any at all. This was revolutionary! I had never felt so confident in an eating plan, as it was 100% customized for ME and my unique biochemistry. The MRT test also comes with a unique eating plan / food reintroduction system, broken up into phases. In phase one, you simply eat your least reactive foods, ensuring little to no symptoms, giving your body a chance to calm down and begin healing the chronic inflammation you had been dealing with from eating the wrong foods. With each passing phase, you incorporate slightly more of your reactive foods, until you have a nice big pool of foods to choose from, all of which are perfectly suited for you. BRILLIANT!
After completing the program, I can excitedly report that most of my chronic symptoms have been resolved! My skin cleared up, I no longer have bloating, IBS symptoms have balanced out, shortness of breath and palpitations have resolved, and acid regurgitation and nausea are GONE. I took an initial symptom survey, found in the MRT booklet that is sent to every MRT client. The survey helps to scale each symptom you have with a numeric value. After you score each symptom with a grade of 1-4, depending on the frequency and severity of said symptom, you add them all up to get your grand total. My initial intake survey grand total was 147 and my follow-up survey grand total was 86. That is a 58% reduction in my chronic symptoms in just one month!
Since I’m also a Licensed Acupuncturist and educated in Ayurvedic Medicine as well, I also went much deeper than avoiding and incorporating certain foods based on my test results, and also included proper supplementation and herbals, regular acupuncture, and a strategy to restore the strength of my digestive system so I could eat without problems like I was formerly able to do.
So, I now excitedly help others to find this clarity and well being around food and eating. You can say goodbye to a miserable cookie-cutter elimination diet that may or may not work for your particular biochemistry, and feeling stuck with symptoms no matter what you eat. This system provides you with a way of eating that tackles your symptoms head-on so they stop before they even begin. It’s like having a navigation system that guides you to exactly which foods you should be eating and rarely takes you down the wrong path. In the end, MRT has given me back my confidence and enjoyment around food and eating.
To learn more about MRT, click here