For many years I have been following a diet of lean proteins, high fiber foods, lower fat, good fat, clean carbs and weekly treats to keep me “sane.” I also workout often (mostly due to teaching many classes each week). I also practice what I preach – I work on managing my stress levels through meditation, yoga and daily leisure walking.
So you would think I have it all together, right? If you were to read my food and activity blog you would expect to see a super fit and very lean woman.
Well, not so much.
Over that past year my waist has grown several inches, my hips the same and my weight has pushed to the highest level I’ve seen since losing over 65 pounds 12 years ago and my body fat has increased by 6%.
Not only has my body changed in a negative way, but I’ve been exhausted all the time, my joints hurt, I have headaches all the time, my throat has a constant soreness/lump in it, and the heart burn has been ridiculous. Not to mention the depression I’ve been experiencing. I have a great life, so why so sad?
Due to my knowledge of nutrition, fitness and hormones, I have tweaked and twisted my eating to every degree I can think of. I’ve tried eating more protein, more veggies, more good fats and cut out more starches. I’ve changed up my workouts by reducing how much I participate with classes and do my own tailored workouts for myself. I have even cut back on cardio due to research that points to more belly fat with too much cardio. I’ve tried. Really, I’ve tried.
So, after going to a couple doctors, I finally found someone that would listen to me and take my situation seriously. I have felt like there is something “wrong” for a while now. I don’t want to hear the standard answer of “you’re just getting older, deal with it.” I couldn’t hear that again.
At my very first appointment I explained my symptoms and what I’ve been doing and the doctor was nodding her head like she’s heard it all before. I was expecting her to say “well, you are getting older and you’re getting ready for menopause.” BUT she didn’t say that! She said, “I think I know exactly what is wrong with you – you’re experiencing some adrenal fatigue and probably have some food intolerances or allergies that you don’t realize are there.”
Now we are getting somewhere.
Off I went to the lab to get all my hormones checked and to get a food panel done to see if there are any allergies/intolerances. BINGO!
I was very shocked to see the results of the food panel. I was instructed to avoid all the foods that came back as a positive result for 3 months. No problem, until I read the list!! Here it is:
Chicken, salmon, wheat, gluten, barley, rye, eggs, dairy, peanuts, almonds, green beans, bell peppers, cauliflower, and mushrooms.
WHOA! What?!! Chicken and eggs? Those two foods are a part of my daily diet. Also, I eat a ton of peppers, green beans and cauliflower.
The feeling I got when seeing this list was both exhilarating and devastating. I wanted to cry because I love eggs, I love most of the foods listed and eat them a lot! What the heck will I eat? However, I also felt excited because maybe this is the answer I have been looking for. If I am consuming a lot of these foods that don’t agree with me, I will have a negative response in my body – inflammation, weight gain, fatigue, mood swings, brain fog, etc… It really explains a lot!
Here I am on Day 20 of eliminating these foods (the best I can – eating out is tricky and I do my best to avoid the foods) and I am already feeling SO MUCH BETTER!!
Brain fog is totally gone! I’ve lost 5 pounds! I can see the muscles in my arms (a little bit more), I’m sleeping very good, I don’t need or even want much coffee and I’m learning to eat foods I normally avoided (steak, shrimp, other types of grains and coconut everything).
It’s not easy, but nothing worth doing is easy.
I encourage you to always listen to your body. When you know something isn’t “right” or you feel like something is “off”, don’t ignore it. Be your own wellness advocate. Research, find a doctor, find a coach, find a friend, just do something about it. Life is too short to feel like crap all the time. YOU ARE WORTH IT!
I will keep you posted on my journey over the next couple of months. I pray that I can add back eggs because I really love eating eggs for breakfast, but we shall see what happens. If I can continue feeling this good, I will keep all the foods out of my diet because it’s totally worth it!
I know that I have a long road ahead with healing my adrenals (more info will be coming soon about that) and straightening out my hormones, but I am thrilled to know I can control some of my symptoms simply by watching what I eat. Knowing I have the power to change my body and mind is a wonderful thing!
Let me know if you think you have the same symptoms, maybe I can help point you in the right direction.