How Deb ditched her greens for a happier gut
Back in 2013 I worked with a young lady in Chicago, IL. At the time, Deb was an active, sporty person with a great career.
The trouble was that she was experiencing quite a few symptoms that she felt were holding her back.
One of these symptoms was diarrhea, and it’s this symptom I want to focus on in this short case study because the solution was quite counterintuitive.
Are you sure all health foods are healthy?
Plastered all over the Internet are assertions that certain foods are “good” and others are “bad”.
The experts all seem to disagree on what is good and what is bad, which can get confusing.
The truth is that what’s good for me, your best friend, your Dad or your cousin, may not be good for you.
See, we are unique individuals, with unique genes and a unique microbiome.
We perceive our environment differently and we’ve all had different experiences in life.
We have unique hormone and nutrient status, and we each have our own toxin load that we carry around with us.
How could food affect us all in the same way?
In Deb’s case, some of the “healthiest” foods on the planet were causing her digestive problems.
Kale, collards and cabbage were harming Deb
In my Digestive Reset Plan, people are surprised to learn that I am not a fan of eating your greens if you have digestive trouble.
In fact, I like my clients to minimize their greens intake for a while when I begin working with them.
When Deb cut her green veggies out, her diarrhea stopped virtually overnight.
How and when are these foods bad?
I fully acknowledge that green foods are nutrient dense, but at the same time, they contain plenty of anti-nutrients and toxins.
Remember that plants want to avoid being eaten in the real world. Having your leaves, stems and stalks eaten is not very good for survival!
To deter animals from eating them, plants produce a range of toxins and chemicals that primarily irritate the digestive system.
Humans are not immune to the toxic and irritating effects of these substances.
In fact, out digestive tract is probably more sensitive to these chemicals than the herbivores that roam around eating the plants.
Sensible opinions from experts
Paul Jaminet, author of The Perfect Health Diet echoes my sentiment, saying:
“Plants have much higher toxin levels than animal foods, and are more difficult to digest.”
Dr. Ray Peat, famous endocrinologist goes even further:
“The fact that cows, sheep, goats and deer can thrive on a diet of foliage shows that leaves contain essential nutrients. Their minerals, vitamins, and amino acids are suitable for sustaining most animal life, if a sufficient quantity is eaten. But when people try to live primarily on foliage, as in famines, they soon suffer from a great variety of diseases. Various leaves contain anti-metabolic substances that prevent the assimilation of the nutrients, and only very specifically adapted digestive systems (or technologies) can overcome those toxic effects.
Some plants have specific “pests,” such as insects, that have adapted to be resistant to that plant’s toxins, but if the plant and its predator are to survive, there has to be a balance between the plant tissue’s digestibility and its toxicity. Injury of a plant stimulates it to make increased amounts of its defensive chemicals.
…The toxins of plants include phenols, tannins, lectins/agglutinins, and trypsin-inhibitors, besides innumerable more specific metabolic inhibitors, including “anti-vitamins.”
What he’s basically saying is that just because someone tells you a food is “good” or societal belief is such, it doesn’t mean the food will be good for you.
This is precisely what Deb found out with greens, what Joyce found out with bananas, and an entire family found out with eggs.
It’s what thousands of other people around the world discover for themselves when they eliminate so-called healthy foods that are actually disrupting their digestion and metabolism, leaving them feeling unwell.
Can it be explained by science?
As yet, science is unable to explain how a single cell works. We simply do not know how inanimate molecules come together and suddenly come to life.
The mystery of how a cell works is baffling to scientists – you could put all the computers in the world alongside the greatest minds who have ever lived and they still wouldn’t be able to give you an answer.
It is one of life’s great mysteries.
Thus, when we are dealing with the human body, while scientific evidence is important, it is not everything.
Who would you rather go and see if your health was dwindling… the doctor who prints scientific articles and has a 20% success rate with his patients, or the practitioner who has no scientific background but has an 80% success rate with his patients?
Deb’s health improvements went against most of the science and expert opinion I have read, but they make sense when we think about it logically.
Human beings are not machines. We are incredibly complex organisms and many things can affect our level of wellness.
In order to optimise our wellness we must utilise the best that science has to offer, but at the same time realise that how we feel trumps science.
In other words, if science says a food is “good” but you feel “bad” when you eat it, YOU are correct, not science.
Different foods have lots of different chemicals in them that can affect individuals in unique ways.
As a unique individual, you may have trouble with one or more of these compounds even though your mum, dad, brother, sister or kids thrive on them.
Science cannot always explain your unique responses to these foods and compounds, but it can give you major clues.
Food sensitivity analysis
I am a big fan of using food sensitivity tests to quickly lessen the stressful load on my clients’ body.
If a food (or selection of foods) is triggering an immune response in someone, they probably won’t feel much better until that food is eliminated.
The “big 5” I like people to avoid initially are:
But as you have seen in other articles, some people have major problems with eggs, chicken, beef, nuts, seeds, citrus fruits, bananas, berries, seafood and more.
A simple finger prick blood test that you do at home can help you unravel which foods you are reacting to.
You can avoid those foods and immediately take a huge load away from your immune system.
I want you to stop and think how it might feel to suddenly stop eating 3, 4 or even more foods that are putting your body in a state of stress.
How would it feel if you had 20% more energy?
What about a solid night’s sleep?
Could you deal with brighter skin or no more cravings?
And what if your headaches suddenly stopped and your heartburn and bloating went away?
Of course, bad bugs like H. pylori, Candida and parasites can also cause these symptoms, but usually foods have a role to play, too.
As Deb found out, sometimes it is the strangest foods that cause problems.
I realise it can get a bit confusing, so if you would prefer to speak to us about your situation first, you can learn more about arranging a personalised consult here.