As one who loves most types of foods and who isn’t particularly finicky, I look back fondly on the days when I could eat whatever I wanted without any digestive or reactive consequence. Sadly, the past three years have been defined by a number of food intolerances which have required me to monitor what I eat. I honestly believe that the extreme and repetitive meal plans which I consumed while competing were major factors in the development of my food intolerance issues. During one particular contest prep regimen, I began to notice that every single time I ate broccoli, I would get severe abdominal cramps and a headache which persisted for an entire day (now they last for 3-5 days if I am stupid enough to eat even one small floret).
After my last Pro contest in June of 2014, I noticed that other foods were aggravating my gut, my skin, my head and my mood, so I decided to eliminate them. In January of 2015, I had an ALCAT food intolerance test , and was pretty stunned by the results. Not only was broccoli on the list of offending foods for me, but I also apparently had SEVERE gluten intolerance, as well as intolerance to coconut, mangos, casein, blueberries, and a number of other foods considered healthy. In an effort to allow my body to calm down, I eliminated every food which I had any intolerance to (there were about 30 foods) for close to a year.
Because I am hoping and assuming that my body has reset from the elimination of offending foods, I currently allow myself to have blueberries, coconut, mango, lobster, cashews, bison, and spinach on occasion, and have noticed no reactions. However, every single time I eat broccoli or any food which has barley in it, I regret doing so within 30 minutes. This means that pizza (which I actually don’t consider a favorite food) is no longer a cheat meal option, not unless it is a gluten free version. Food combinations also wreak havoc on me. For example, if I have pizza and wine, I might as well forget about functioning like a normal person for a couple of days.
If you suspect that you have food intolerance, try eliminating the suspect food to see if it makes a difference. Trust your body’s signals. And if you want to get a food intolerance test, check out ALCAT.com and Everlywell.com for the kits they offer.