Missed Week 1? Read it HERE!
After waiting a month for answers, I finally had my appointment with my nutritionist last week. I was expecting to hear all my blood test results and get a quick explanation of all we’d be doing, but instead my appointment lasted 2 1/2 hrs! I admit, it was all a bit overwhelming as so much information came my way. But I learned so much.
I thought I already new a lot about nutrition already, but it’s even more fascinating that I thought! I’ll go into all the new info I learned in a bit, but first my blood test results…
Learning About Wheat Sensitivity
I was asked to mark off any symptoms that I feel often. They included things like difficulty concentrating, foggy brain, distracted easily, tired, achy, etc. Sadly, I mentioned that I feel almost all of these things. I then got to the question of whether I feel bloated or digestion discomfort. I explained that this symptom had increased quite a bit over the past few months and she responded by saying “Yep, this is because you are highly intolerant to wheat!” I KNEW IT! Finally, I had my answer and knew I wasn’t crazy for suspecting this.
She went on to explain to me that much of our population is sensitive to wheat but they don’t know it. They just assume their symptoms are just occasional stomach upsets or bathroom problems or even more serious issues like IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). This sensitivity is causing inflammation in our bodies which is one of the leading causes of weight gain and diseases in our country. When your gut gets inflamed, it can lead to leaky gut which leaks bacteria and partially digested food into our bloodstream. Our blood goes into attack mode to try to kill off this invasion which then leads to your entire system being inflamed. When this goes unchecked for too long, this is where diseases begin. Hearing the words “heart disease” as a possibility for my future was scary (especially when I just lost my dad to heart related issues last December)! Looking back now, we are pretty sure my entire system is inflamed and reacting to the wheat in my diet. This is why my joints hurt, feet hurt, my fingers are puffy and I’m tired all the time.
How Wheat Has Changed in History
Another reason that many people are so sensitive to wheat is that today’s wheat is hardly even wheat at all. Ancient wheat was nutritious. However, now that our population demands so much wheat (to go in so many breads, flours, pastas, packaged foods, frozen foods, etc), crops have been altered to yield high volumes and the makeup of the wheat has completely changed from what is was so long ago. Human digestion and chemistry has not changed though and many of us simply cannot adapt to the changes, which results in symptoms of food sensitivities.
I learned also that I have an overgrowth of Candida in my body, which is also hindering any efforts at weight loss. Candida is a form of yeast that should only live in your intestines and mouth. The good bacteria in your body is supposed to keep the bad bacteria at a minimum. Many factors though can lead the Candida to overgrow in your system such as a diet with too many refined carbohydrates and sugar, antibiotics, too much alcohol and more. When the Candida overgrows, it too can cause leaky gut and seep into your blood system. Read this informative article on Candida.
My nutritionist has made our first goal to kill off the overgrowth of Candida. The good news is this can be done all by diet! I’ve been given a strict diet of proteins, vegetables and nuts that will essentially “starve” the yeast in my system and causing them to die. I’ve also been told to start a Probiotic (which puts healthy bacteria into my body to help combat the bad) and will do a Candida Cleanse, along with the diet.
Apparently, I might feel pretty bad as the Candida are dying off. It can cause nausea, irritability, headaches, loss of energy, sugar cravings and more. These “little friends” don’t want to leave and make their exit pretty miserable! Between the diet and the “die off”, it doesn’t sound like much fun, but I keep reminding myself that it will be temporary and just the first phase to a new me!
Insulin & Fatty Liver
One of the things I was most surprised to hear was that I have an above-normal insulin level and likely a fatty liver. Apparently a fatty liver is caused by sugar and carbohydrates in the diet. And this is not just white sugar, but too many flours, high-fructose corn syrup, natural sugars, grains, starches, fruit or anything that turns into sugar in our bodies. When you eat carbohydrates it causes your blood sugar to rise. This tells our pancreas to release insulin to bring blood sugar levels back to normal. Insulin helps glucose get into your cells so your body can use it for energy. High insulin can lead to problems with glucose control and even Type 2 Diabetes. (That was a scary word to hear!)
Sugar also sends an automatic response to our liver to start creating fat. When you are consuming too much sugar, the liver creates too much fat causing it to become congested and fatty. Having a fatty liver leads to more inflammation in the body, just as a food sensitivity can. The inflammation causes increased insulin levels which tells your body to deposit fat all around your organs and belly, not just in your liver. It’s all quite technical and fascinating how the body works, but in the end, I can determine exactly how it works based on what I feed myself.
While I rarely consumed much sugar throughout my day, I did enjoy an almost nightly “treat” of ice cream, candy or cookies. I did eat plenty of grain carbohydrates and whole wheat though, thinking that I was benefiting my body. Apparently what I thought couldn’t be that that big of an issue was actually raising my insulin and creating a potentially unhealthy liver.
Despite all the negative directions I was potentially heading, I did learn that my metabolism actually tested above normal. Go figure! For a girl who’s always been overweight, I certainly didn’t expect that and had always assumed that my metabolism was terrible. My nutritionist said that once I’m consuming the right foods for my body’s needs, my metabolism should respond very well and start dropping the weight easily. That was fantastic news and gave me motivation to do this!
Starting the Journey
The first step to a healthier me is getting rid of the Candida overgrowth. My nutritionist gave me a very strict 7-day meal plan for my first week. The meals include foods that will assist in killing off the candida. It’s rough and a bit boring but I gotta do this. It includes a morning shake (all made with low glycymic items), a morning snack of a protein (egg, hummus or nut butter) and a veggie, a lunch of a protein and veggies or a salad, an afternoon snack similar to the morning snack, and then a dinner of either a salad or I was given some pretty good sounding soups, crock pot meals and entrees to make. I’m not sure how long it will take to kill off the candida, but hopefully sooner than later. At my next appointment, I hope to learn what’s next after that.
The biggest challenge right now is that I’m going on vacation to Hawaii next week. It’s really difficult to follow this diet exactly while away from home because I can’t prep the food myself. Together with my nutritionist, we’ve decided that I will do the best I can between now and throughout my trip and then begin following the plan strictly when I return. She even gave me a travel meal plan to give me a guideline of what I should look for at each meal. I will have a follow up appointment a week after I get back home and I am excited to see what progress I’ve made!
I have good news to share though! In the week since my first appointment, I’m down another 4 LBS! That’s a total of 13 lbs now! I can already feel that the inflammation is going down. My pants fit better in the legs and my ring slides around on my finger again. I’m not surprised though because I’ve had NO grains, NO sugar and much less food than I’m used to. I wanted to jump right in and try out the eating plan in hopes that I could do it as much as possible in Hawaii and easily get started again when I get back. I feel pretty hopeful than I can!
Stay tuned next week to hear about how I did in Hawaii!
Do you want to continue to follow my journey as I discover what possible food sensitivities I have, see how I will adapt to this new lifestyle and how my weight loss journey goes once I meet with my nutritionist? I hope you will! Follow my posts HERE! Stay tuned as I continue my “Journey to a New Me” series!
Have you ever been diagnosed with food sensitivities or any of the issues I mentioned above? Please share with us how you adjusted your life style in the comments below.
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