And I talk a lot about root cause… But what if we never find it?
The truth is, no matter the disease process, you can have a positive effect when you know what steps you need to take.
And the good news is, I’m going to teach you why the gut drives disease and what happens when you prioritize your gut health first.
It starts with addressing the underlying lifestyle factors that drive disease.
These are the root of your health condition. And it includes things like stress, poor diet, toxins, lack of sleep, poor relationships, common nutrient deficiencies, lack of exercise, trauma, personal care products, and poor digestion.
You may never know the exact root of your health condition, but these factors could be working together or independently to drive certain disease processes. When you work on all of them simultaneously, you will typically see disease conditions begin to heal.
Addressing the root cause is what drives functional medicine practices and how it’s different from conventional medicine. You will get down to what is causing or driving a specific disease process in the body.
The focus should be on the cause or roots of the disease – not the symptoms of the disease or the labels.
If you only focus on the label or diagnosis, you miss the roots.
Different Disease States
For the most part, we all start out pretty healthy. Then we move along through the 4 different disease states.
Disease typically starts with some sort of immune activation in the form of an allergy, infection, or even stress. This activates an immune response. And if these factors are not resolved at their root, the disease will progress.
After the initial infection, or even a major stressor resolves itself, our bodies will still compensate for the disease in our body. Symptoms may not show up in this stage. That’s why it’s called the pre-symptomatic phase.
If the stressor is not taken care of, it will eventually lead to symptoms. This is typically when you may start to seek help.
The final phase is when the body begins to break down. This is typically when you receive the diagnosis and start taking prescribed medications. In worst case scenarios, you may have to remove an organ (i.e. appendix, gallbladder).
How To Get Back To A Healthy State
My goal is to help you get back to a healthy state as quickly as possible. And if you’re already healthy, I want to show you how to prevent disease. An ancient, but relevant quotes states:
“All disease begins in the gut.” – Hippocrates
If all disease begins in the gut, then all healing must begin in the gut as well.
It’s important to assess the underlying conditions and contributors to your symptoms by looking for hidden stressors. The best way to do this is with a comprehensive investigation that carefully looks at your history. Often, I recommend partnering with someone like myself to take you through functional lab tests.
These tests investigate the cause and identify healing opportunities for your hormones, immune system, digestion, detoxification, energy production, and nervous system.
When these areas are restored, health returns.
Why The Gut Drives Disease
Today, I want to focus on why the gut drives disease. You don’t have to have gut symptoms for the gut to cause problems in the rest of the body.
Some people have obvious symptoms of indigestion, gas, bloating, pain, or irritable bowel type symptoms. Those are certainly signs that something more serious is to come.
But the gut is our external world’s first entry point into our internal world.
Rather watch an 11 minute video with the same information….
What Can Happen If You Consume A Toxic Diet
Our gut contains huge quantities of bacteria and fungus. Many times, we even see parasites and viruses in the gut. All these should remain in balance and live in harmony – this is a key requirement.
The problem is… The things we are exposed to on a regular basis can interfere with this balance.
This is how you can take an antibiotic and never feel the same afterward. The problem with antibiotics is that they are non-discriminatory – meaning they take out all the good and bad bacteria (bugs) in our gut and leave no good bugs to bring you back to health.
Your gut bugs drive the food choices you make.
If you find yourself craving sugars and sweets, those bugs in your gut that thrive on this may be the cause. The bugs eat first, and you get to eat what’s left over. This is important because you drive your cravings by the food choices you make.
When you feed the good bugs, they thrive. When you feed the bad, they unfortunately thrive and overwhelm the good bugs.
How Your Gut May Be Overwhelmed By Stress And Toxins
Outside of antibiotics and consuming a toxic diet, the gut can also become compromised over an extended timeframe from stress, other toxins, medications, pesticides and herbicides, gluten, sugar, and anything else that weakens the gut lining or causes an inflammatory response.
In our gut, we have a barrier that allows nutrients to pass into the bloodstream that keeps bigger and badder particles out. These tight junctions hold the cells together.
When the gut becomes compromised from those things mentioned above, the tight junctions become loose. Food particles and other toxins then pass through the intestinal lining into the bloodstream.
When this happens, it activates an immune response.
This causes you to feel tired and sluggish after meals, but you likely won’t make the connection that it’s related to your gut health.
How Food Sensitivities Impact You
Over time, you’ll start to develop food sensitivities because the foods you consume pass through your blood circulation. This causes the body to elicit an attack and ideally a response because these foods do not belong in circulation.
Ultimately, this creates a long-standing immune response where the body ends up attacking its own tissue. This is where a lot of autoimmune type diagnoses begin.
If you fall into the category with disease processes, such as Crohn’s, colitis, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s, celiac, or other autoimmune type conditions, this is the process your body went through to get you there.
The Causes And Outcome Of Developing A Leaky Gut
Leaky gut leads to food and chemical sensitivities – not allergies. There’s a big difference.
Leaky gut weakens the immune system because of constant exposure to the very thing that is weakening the body… Toxins from your gut.
If you don’t correct your leaky gut, you will inevitably experience autoimmune conditions.
What Your Gut Villi Do For You
Your villi are responsible for absorbing nutrients into the body, and they are destroyed with conditions like leaky gut. This is why making dietary changes alone may not be enough to put out the fire.
If the villi are destroyed, you won’t be able to absorb your nutrients (even if you’re consuming the right foods).
Why You Don’t Want To You Create A Toxic Environment in Your Gut
As you age, the acidity of your gut will change as you consume the wrong diet and encounter stress. This buildup creates an environment pathogens like to live in. When these pathogens see an environment they want to stay in, they set up shop. These are things like parasites, as well as opportunistic bacteria and fungus.
Such pathogens can lead to a host of health issues that may or may not express themselves with gut-related symptoms.
This is why many people can take probiotics or fiber supplements, yet feel no difference (or even feel worse). If there’s an overgrowth of bacteria and you don’t take care of that issue before adding additional probiotics, you may be adding fuel to the fire.
What Happens When You Work On Your Gut First
When you work on the gut first, you’ll see change take place all over your body.
Many people go through a lot of protocols but don’t see anything shift.
This is why it’s important to understand that you must follow a systematic approach when working to heal the body naturally. For example, if you don’t open up the drainage pathways before working on the gut, you risk causing a host of issues.
This is the reason why many people get sick when following a cleansing protocol. Their drainage pathways don’t allow the body to expel the toxins produced by these pathogens. If the drainage pathways are partially, or completely closed, the toxins have no way to be expelled.
In a case like this, all you need to heal is a sequenced, very precise protocol that will help you remove inflammatory foods, open up detox pathways, move your body more, and reduce stress.
Adding a bunch of pills and potions alone will never fix your problem.
What’s more powerful than what you add is “what you remove.”
If you give your body what it needs, it will intelligently remove what it doesn’t need.
 Villis are small, finger-like projections that extend into the lumen of the small intestine that absorb nutrients from the food you eat and then shuttle those nutrients into your bloodstream so they can travel where they’re needed.
On the inside, the only thing sweet was the sugar that filled my belly from my sugar addiction – the candies, cookies, brownies, cake, and ice cream.
At one point, I thought… “there’s nothing wrong. It wasn’t the sugar or anything else. There was simply something going on that I would suffer with for the rest of my life.”
Health or the lack of health doesn’t always show itself on the outside. From the naked eye, you would have never thought I was suffering. I’m not a complainer, so none of my friends or family were aware that I was suffering in silence.
This same story is one that many people experience, but it doesn’t have to be your story forever.
Silently Suffering with Toxic Burden Doesn’t Have to Be Your Story
I think about my grandfather who was diagnosed with a rare cancer the day before his death. He had been silently suffering with toxic burden, and for how long, no one knows!
It’s interesting now that I’ve experienced my silent suffering, I can see it clearly in the people I interact with.
Today, I watch people with their energy-depleted faces. I physically see their tired eyes, dull skin, and pain on their faces. I hear the hurt in their words. And I can see the suffering through their tough exterior.
Maybe it’s a gift I gained because I know it so well.
When we’re like this, we feel there’s no hope. We’re trying to feel better. But everything we try seems to fail us… once again.
The thing is, you don’t have to suffer in silence anymore.
There’s hope, life, and light at the end of the tunnel. Your story is just getting started…
Rather watch an 8 minute video with the same information?
Getting Out of the Cycle when You’re Suffering
How do you get out of this cycle? I spent many years throwing every supplement I could possibly get my hands on at many of the symptoms I was experiencing, hoping to get well.
I call this a hodgepodge approach now.
Fighting symptoms with supplements is no better than fighting them with medication.
We hear a lot about root cause analysis in today’s health and wellness world. The truth is, we may not always know the exact root of a person’s illness. Why is this?
We come into contact with stressors on a daily basis that may or may not push us over the edge enough to drive a disease process. It’s my experience that a major life stressor can be the turning point for someone when it comes to illness. Major life stressors might include moving to a new city, changing jobs, growing your family, divorce, or a death in the family.
So how does all this work?
Those who want to heal the body naturally from the inside out would likely work on things like detoxification, gut healing, and hormone balance.
In the event that cleaning up a person’s environment doesn’t work, then I, or other wellness practitioners, will do a little more detective work.
This usually happens when we discover that there is an environmental culprit preventing you from getting well. For example, this could look like constant exposure to mold or allergens in a person’s environment. It can be viral infections, parasites, or any number of other invaders.
Maybe you’re holding on to extra body fat that won’t seem to budge. Did you know there’s much more than diet and exercise when it comes to weight loss? That’s why we have an obesity epidemic on our hands.
Cancer & Toxic Overload
What about more serious illness like cancer? The C-word – cancer – is one that seems to creep into our lives. I recently lost my grandfather due to cancer. Like I said previously, he silently suffered for a long time. I’m sure of it. He even seemed to be in severe pain last time we were together.
As my family is recovering from this loss due to cancer, here are some things that I want you to think about today.
Cancer is Preventable
Did you know that we can prevent cancer if we live a life of health? I also don’t imagine that cancer has to be a death sentence, although many people do die from it.
“More people live off cancer than die from it.”
Our bodies are in a very acidic state as a whole. We also lack nutrients, are depleted in our hormones, in toxic overload, and are bogged down with life stressors.
Did you know that when many oncologists are interviewed they say they would not subject themselves or their family members to the same treatments they give their patients?
Isn’t that a shocking statement?
The truth is, whether it’s cancer, autoimmunity, diabetes, or high blood pressure, treatment with medications is no fun.
What if you could prevent diseases like this though?
What if basic lifestyle adjustments could actually be what would bring the body back into balance so these symptoms and the underlying disease could clear up?
Would it be worth it to you to give up those sodas and drive thru window meals to get rid of some of the things that are preventing you from feeling your best?
Choosing Health Over Sickness
I know that’s what it took for me. And that’s what it takes for the people I work with today. It’s a simple decision we can make every day to choose health or sickness.
It’s your choice.
I remember meeting a man about 5 or so years ago. During our conversation, I mentioned that I don’t get sick. He said, “You can’t say that. That’s ridiculous!”
Well as ridiculous as it is, it was true.
If you’re at your wit’s end with your health – whether it’s your weight or you’re experiencing a more complex issue – there’s hope for your story.
Improvement is possible when you partner with someone who can help you.
If you resonate with the information I shared today, I’ve designed programs that allow us to work together anywhere from 90 days to 9 months or longer, if you choose. I’d love to take some time to get to know your story a little better – whether you want to work with me in one of my programs or become part of the Chelsie Ward Wellness community by commenting below. It’s time to take action and reclaim your health.
Healing doesn’t take place overnight.
If you feel like you’re doing all the right things and still aren’t seeing improvement in your symptoms or your weight won’t budge, it means you may need to dig deeper to find the cause.
I help busy, healthy-minded people like you get to the root and restore your gut and hormone health so you can feel good in your skin and live your best life in joy!
Our intestinal lining is made up of a layer of cells that helps
us absorb nutrients, but it also acting as a barrier to things that have the
potential of being harmful to our digestive system – like toxins, pathogens, or
other microorganisms. When the gut is exposed to certain environmental
triggers, it can lead to a condition known as intestinal permeability or leaky
This is something I suffered from for many years. I had severe
gastrointestinal symptoms from the time I was a child all the way through
adulthood. Diarrhea, constipation, stomach aches, constant nausea, gas,
bloating, pain, irritable bowel… You name it, and I had it.
I was overweight, underweight, had a gallbladder that was
barely functioning, I would go weeks without having a bowel movement and then
all the sudden the bottom would fall out. I hope you don’t know what I mean. But
if you who do, you know it’s no fun.
I want to give you overview of what leaky gut syndrome looks
like, the signs and symptoms, causes and risk factors, associated health
conditions, as well as an overview of the four R’s, which is a therapeutic
approach to Healing your leaky gut.
What is leaky gut syndrome?
The intestinal barrier is made up of a single layer of
epithelial cells which are separated by tight junctions that act as a physical
barrier. If the gut is healthy, tight junctions in the intestinal lining are
selectively permeable, which means they will do their job to absorb of certain
nutrients, water, and electrolytes. But these tight junctions also provide a
protective barrier, preventing the absorption of the harmful molecules such as
the toxins, pathogens, and other antigens mentioned previously.
How does leaky gut happen?
There is a protein called Zonulin that is secreted by the
intestinal tract that is associated with leaky gut syndrome. Environmental
factors may stimulate the release of zonulin, which has been shown to
down-regulate these tight junctions. When the gut becomes imbalanced in its
microbes, this is known as dysbiosis, and it plays a role in the development of
leaky gut. This can be reversed by removing environmental triggers and cleaning
up the gut.
What are the causes and risk factors?
Poor gut health
Certain medications like NSAIDs,
Excessive alcohol consumption
Chronic or excessive stress
Related health conditions
The latest research tells us that increased intestinal
permeability may be associated with a number of health conditions like
irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s and
ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, and chronic inflammatory conditions like
rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, and type 1 diabetes.
What can you do about it?
This is where the 4 R’s come in.
Remove the pathogens and inflammatory triggers. This can be done with elimination diets, that remove inflammatory foods like gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, alcohol, peanuts. Food sensitivity tests can also be helpful in determining foods that are causing inflammation in individuals. Stool testing helps determine pathogens present and is another way to look at zonulin markers.
Replace essential nutrients that are supportive for healthy microbiome like fiber rich foods, prebiotics, and anti-inflammatory foods.
Reinoculate with probiotics and introduce fermented foods when the timing is appropriate.
Repair with certain nutrients that promote health of the gut lining, like immunoglobulins, L-glutamine, zinc, and Ganoderma.
There is a systematic approach that promotes healing of the gut when intestinal permeability creeps in. This Protocol can take as little as 60 to 90 days when the appropriate steps are taken to correct it. I encourage you to work with your functional wellness practitioner who can recommend specific testing and provide you with a personalized treatment plan.
In the event that you are looking for a qualified professional to assist you, please take a peak at my services, and I’d love to offer direction.
My mission is to give you the tools you need to get to the root of your nagging symptoms so you can live your best life!
Did you know your thoughts can impact your physical health?
What you should know about the Mind-Body Connection…
I love to cleanse the body at least a couple times per year to do a little reboot. During this time, I implement different strategies that bring me what I need to clean up debris from old toxic patterns that I’ve allowed to creep in over the previous season.
Today I want to focus on cleansing from a mind-body
perspective. I believe the way we get the most bang for our buck (if you will)
is to see them as one.
It takes preparation when we decide to cleanse or detoxify
the body. I’ve found that it’s super important, especially in this day because
our environment has become a dumping ground for toxic waste. As a matter of
fact, detoxification was a complete game-changer for me during my health
journey, to the point that it’s something I use with every one of my clients
today. After experiencing health symptoms that I just couldn’t get rid of, like
foggy thinking, headaches, gas, bloating, indigestion, joint pain, waking up
tired in the mornings, and inability to sleep through the night, I worked to develop
a seasonal cleansing protocol based on the knowledge and experience I gained
from many of my mentors. In working with others, I also found that sometimes
all it takes for them to see a complete turnaround in their health is to give
them the same tools to implement these detoxification strategies on a regular
Cleansing has been a part of my life from the beginning,
since embarking on my journey to health. Along the way, I learned that cleansing
and detoxifying can be quite different. In short, we can cleanse the body by
eliminating certain foods and allowing the body to rest or reboot. You’ve probably
seen juice cleanses, and heard of people implementing certain types of fasts,
and even teas and other potions that are supposed to cleanse the body. There’s
nothing wrong with this, but if you are attempting to completely detoxify the
body, and clean up the cells, there needs to be certain components in place for
that to happen.
I come across many teachings that focus on detoxifying the
body but there are 2 things I want to focus on today that I feel are many times
missed in these discussions.
#1 the importance of the liver
#2 the importance of cleansing toxic thoughts
I know… these may seem super random, but I believe we
cannot cleanse a toxic body and leave a toxic mind alone. This is what I like
to refer to as the mind-body connection for cleansing and detoxification.
If the body goes through this detoxification process, but we
are still in a pattern of addiction and self-destruction due to traumatic
events that we have not processed, then we never move into a place of freedom.
I mentioned that cleansing and detox are quite different. The
process of physical detox actually requires a 3-step process. This is known as
the 3 phases of detoxification. For detoxification to take place in the body,
there must be certain vitamins, amino acids, and nutrients on board. The body
then goes through a systematic process to do the clean-up work.
Our liver is our major detoxification organ – so learn to
love your liver.
What happens in the 3 phases?
1, the liver uses enzymes and oxygen to break up the toxins.
2, the toxins are packaged up into a water-soluble package
3, the liver, kidneys, and intestines work to excrete the toxins
There are many things that can get in the way of
detoxification taking place in the body, but some of these include things like:
of pathogenic microbes (parasites, bacteria, fungus) in the digestive tract
Signs that you need to detox are:
fat – also known as “the spare tire effect”
and muscle pain
exhausted all the time
spots on your skin and dark circles under the eyes
sweating or stinky sweat
MENTAL / EMOTIONAL DETOX
So now that you have a better understanding about what it
takes to do a physical detox, let’s talk about the mental/emotional aspect.
This is one topic I rarely see approached when there is a discussion around
detoxification. I imagine it is one of the most toxic things in our environment
Thinking back to my own healing journey, this was one of the
most important for me. It’s actually where my journey began.
I remember when I wasn’t the most positive person. Growing up,
I wasn’t necessarily negative, but my self-talk wasn’t very good. I imagine
it’s something we could all work on. Most of us probably tend to be a little
harsh on ourselves compared to how we are with others we love.
We pick this up from those around us many times. And we also
have false notions of what’s really important in life because we watch things
go on around us and feel like we have to live up to the worlds ideas instead of
creating our own.
Conforming to those around us and the things of this world
can be very toxic to our mind and emotional state.
In my time of working through my own issues and helping
others do the same, I’ve found that our mind has the ability to control us and
bring us into negative thought patterns if we allow it.
We are to be transformed by the renewing of our mind,
on a daily – and even moment-by-moment basis. This means we have a choice in
where we end up emotionally. We can either become victim to our emotions,
sickness, or other circumstances, or we can go THROUGH them and find strength
We detox our thoughts and mind by casting down imaginations,
and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. That
means casting down negative thought patterns like fear, anxiety, worry,
depression, and doubt. We are to process our experiences and go through them.
If we don’t bring our thoughts into captivity and choose to process them, then
they will hold us captive and we will assume the position of being a victim to our
very own thoughts.
Toxic thoughts become toxic to us physically. When we believe
we are sick, overweight, broke, ugly, then we become those things, because
whatever we focus on, we bring about.
I work with people on a daily basis who believe these things.
I work with them to shift these thought patterns so they believe what is true,
instead of believing a lie. The things we worry about are things that we dream
up in our subconscious. They are many times things that don’t even matter.
Other times these are thoughts that arise because we’ve been through a
traumatic event. But if we fail to process these thoughts, then we will become
In the physical body, there’s a shift in our cellular makeup that actually can create physical matter. Dr. Caroline Leaf is one of the greatest researchers in this area. She says that disease is created first as a negative thought.
Whatever you meditate on and think about it in your heart,
you will become. This world was created by a thought that was verbalized, when
God said, “let there be light.” And there was light. So that thought became a
physical reality. That’s exactly how your thoughts and language and body work
As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.
ARE YOU READY TO TAKE ACTION?
As you can see from above, there are things that need to be
in place for you to physically clean up your cells appropriately. I encourage
you to work with a qualified professional if you are feeling any of the
symptoms mentioned. You want to make sure you have the right things in place,
including nutrients as well as make sure you are eliminating properly before
implementing any detoxification program.
My desire is that you understand this information in a way
that allows you to implement it on a regular basis – not only that, but learn
the tools you need so you can one day do it on your own.
If you’re ready for a different take on losing weight,
getting rid of depression and anxiety, and ridding things like digestive upset,
headaches, pain and inflammation, swollen legs and feet… if you want to learn
how to live in health in your mind and body so you can live your best life,
then join me and the others who have already made the decision to invest in
themselves for my seasonal
If you missed the window to register, that’s okay! Check out my coaching page and stay tuned for other coaching programs you can access to invest in your health.
I receive a lot of questions about foods containing gluten.
And that’s why I’ve dedicated my past 2 health articles to the subject. You may
say, “you seem a little obsessed with gluten. What’s the truth about this
food?” I’ll share a little bit more today, in a different light. Let’s
look at one of the questions I get posed often.
“If it was good enough in the biblical days,
what’s wrong with it today?”
This is where my interest is piqued because I love the word
of God and I love science and nutrition.
In the biblical days, the harvesting of wheat was an annual
event. An abundant harvest was a sign of abundant blessing. Wheat and bread
were also seen as acceptable sacrifices to God. Jesus even spoke about bread,
saying that He was the bread of life. He taught us to pray and thank God for
our daily bread. He even performed miracles and multiplied bread to feed
While all of these things are true, nowhere in the Bible does
it tell us that bread was created to be a staple and sustain us and provide us
The big problem was discussed by cardiologist, Dr. William
Davis, in his book called Wheat
Belly. Like many of the foods we know today, the crossbreeding of
wheat and non-wheat began many decades ago, in hopes that we would yield a
higher crop. It worked!
The problem is, today’s wheat isn’t even wheat after using
chemicals, high-dose gamma rays, and x-rays. Over the years, we’ve seen about a
400% increase in things like celiac disease, diabetes, obesity, and other
inflammatory diseases. This hybridization decreases the amount of amino acids
we receive as well as the nutrient content. He recommends that everyone
completely eliminate this food for that very reason.
So, is this gluten free craze really a big deal
or is it just another flawed fad?
Here’s where the science comes in.
Gluten has been found to either contribute to or cause over
200 disease states, some of them being heartburn, anemia, thyroid disease,
autoimmune disease, depression, migraines, chronic fatigue, gas and bloating,
dizziness, skin rashes, gallbladder malfunction, and even infertility.
My personal experience is that I had EVERY symptom above
except autoimmunity and infertility- likely all related to gluten exposure and
Here are a few other pieces of information that
come from the research:
Consuming excessive amounts of gluten can cause either
excessive weight gain or excessive weight loss.
Children with hyperactivity and learning disabilities who are
placed on a gluten-free diet typically respond very well and show improvement
Gluten can be found in cosmetics and body care products and
can cause the same problems as if it were consumed through food.
You may ask if it’s worth giving it a shot, giving up gluten.
I know how difficult it can be to remove foods like this from your diet. I know
the cravings, the addictions, the comfort, and feeling like you have no idea
what to eat when you remove certain foods or food groups from your diet.
I will also tell you 100 times over that I didn’t realize how
important my health was until I hit rock bottom and had none left. If you asked
me today what I would be willing to experience the healthy life that I have today,
my answer would be, ” all I have to give!” There is no food worth
losing your health over, and there is no amount of money I would not be willing
to spend to be where I am today. To me, food is a tool and money is a tool. You
simply can’t put a price on health, no matter what you must give up.
It can take up to 3 years to repair the body and recover from
gluten induced disease. Every time you’re exposed, it extends the healing
process. The best way to test for gluten sensitivity is through DNA lab testing,
or just remove it as Dr. Davis suggests.
My desire is for you to feel better than you ever remember
feeling in your life so you can live your best life. You are made to live a
life greater than you can probably imagine right now, and truth is, if you
don’t feel like it, then you simply won’t do and be all you were created to.
If you are looking to gain access to the tools you need to
investigate your health concerns further, I’d love to take the opportunity to get
to know you a little better and offer feedback on a Complimentary Discovery Call.
In my last article, I talked about warning
signs your body gives you when something isn’t right. I mentioned several
inflammatory foods like grains, dairy, sugar and artificial sweeteners, soy,
and alcohol. These are some of the most inflammatory foods you can put in your
body. The list is not all-inclusive, but it’s a good start.
So How Do You Know If You Should Remove These Foods?
The answer is simple. You could run a range of food
sensitivity panels, or you could just remove known inflammatory foods for at
least 30 days to see how your body responds, which is known as an elimination
diet. Starting with the ones mentioned above is a good start, but if there are
additional foods you feel your body doesn’t respond well to then go ahead and
remove those during this time as well.
Do Elimination Diets Work?
The truth is, there is a little controversy here. The foods
that are recommended for removal on an elimination diet are typically those
that many people have a reaction to. But as we know, everyone’s body is not the
same. The best way to learn which foods you react to is to run a food
sensitivity panel. This gives a clearer picture of what’s going on in the body
when a particular food is consumed. The reason this is the case is because
there is sometimes a delayed reaction, and it can be hard to tell which foods
are actually causing it.
You also want to consider that one man’s meat is another
man’s poison. Take a healthy fish like salmon for example. It’s a healthy fish,
right? But what if you’ve developed a food sensitivity? If that’s the case,
then that healthy salmon could actually cause an inflammatory response in your
body, which in turn leads to stress on the body and can have all sorts of ill effects
in the long-run. The great thing about food sensitivities is that we can
usually remove the foods, heal the gut, and reintroduce those healthy options
again later on down the road.
Common Mistakes People Make When Eliminating Inflammatory
I’ll use gluten in my examples below, but this is true
for all inflammatory foods.
Removing one and not all inflammatory foods. If your body is having an inflammatory response to something you’re consuming, and you don’t work to remove all the things that could be causing inflammation at the same time, it may be difficult to recognize a positive/negative response from removing certain foods. For example, if you remove gluten, but fail to remove dairy, then you could still continue to have those symptoms in your body related to gluten exposure. One reason is because gluten and dairy have similar molecular makeups and when the body is attacking one, it will likely attack the other as well. This is true for many food groups.
You don’t give the body enough time to respond. I hear people say all the time, “I tried gluten free and it didn’t work for me. We can actually have delayed reactions to foods when there is a sensitivity in the body. We tend to think of it in the same way as we do a food allergy sometimes, but the 2 are quite different. Your body can react to a food or other substance for up to 3 weeks, so if you only give it a couple weeks and call it quits because you don’t see a change, then you may be giving up too soon. Again, commit and stick with it to give your body the time it needs to respond.
You aren’t satisfied without your dairy or
gluten. I get it. I love those foods too. But much of our dissatisfaction
after a meal when eliminating inflammatory foods comes down to 2 things.
1) Not eating enough protein, fats, and carbs to
actually fill our bellies. Filling up on processed foods makes us feel
satisfied because that’s what we’re used to.
2) Food cravings, which can be expressed in the
form of hunger.
The way you can avoid this is to make sure
you’re eating enough, and to balance your plate with plenty of healthy meat, cooked
vegetables, and even starchy vegetables until your body begins to adjust. If
you truly are hungry, then eat more of the whole foods and play around with
your ratios of carbs, fats, and proteins to find your unique ratio. This
depends a lot on how fast you metabolize certain foods. So if you find that
you’re super hungry and tired within an hour or 2 after consuming a plate full
of veggies, then try adding more dense proteins and see if that helps. Play
around until you find the ratio that works for you.
Filling up on gluten free processed
alternatives. If you’ve read my book, “Healed His Way,” then you know I
discuss this in detail. Foods that are labeled as gluten free are not always
truly gluten free, and if you are attempting to avoid gluten, then you want to
focus on whole foods instead of gluten free snacks. This is not to say you
can’t snack on a food from a bag here and there, but if you do, look for grain
free over gluten free. Why? Gluten free is not technically gluten free. It’s a
big lie! “What? How can they do that?” you ask. Gluten, by the FDA’s definition
does not include ALL types of gluten. It only includes 1 type, called gliadin. While
the 2 main types of gluten found in wheat are gliadins and glutenins,
they are not the only types. Gluten free foods do not take into consideration
the other types, because by FDA regulation, they are not required to. So, if
you are consuming a piece of bread labeled gluten free, is it really? Likely
not. The best way to avoid it is to avoid grains altogether.
Starting a countdown timer to the end of elimination
challenge and just going back to old habits when it’s done. Consider paying
attention to your body when you eliminate certain foods. Take an inventory. How
do you feel? What is your mood like? Do you have more energy? If you are seeing
positive change, why would you jump back into the same old habits that were
giving you negative results? If you choose to bring those toxic/inflammatory
foods back in your body, the best way to do that is to go very slow. Introduce
foods one at a time, and pay attention to your body. Give the food a couple
weeks, and if there are negative effects, then consider removing it for good.
As I said before, if you’re body is not responding well to a certain food then
it is causing inflammation and with that comes disease.
My favorite way to find out how your body is responding to a
particular food or group of foods is to test for specific food sensitivities by
running appropriate lab tests that show the foods you’re reacting to. And when
you do this, I would highly recommend removing all of the foods on this
inflammatory food list while removing anything that shows up on your food
sensitivity panel. These tests are not all created equal. So work with a health
professional to help you understand which tests are right for you.
But here’s a little recap – leaky gut forms when tight
junctions in the gut become compromised or loose, allowing things like toxins,
pesticides, and large food particles to pass into the bloodstream where they don’t
belong. When this happens, the body elicits an attack on these particles. When
certain foods are seen as a foreign invader, they cause inflammation in the
body. So that’s exactly why you may see some of the foods you consume on a
regular basis show up on a food sensitivity test. Your body is simply attacking
it because it doesn’t belong in the bloodstream. The only thing that belongs in
the bloodstream from our food is things like vitamins, minerals, amino acids,
and other nutrients. The actual protein is a foreign invader to the
In the event that you are looking for your own health
practitioner, I would love to hear more about your unique story and help guide
you as you work to resolve those. You can access my services here and if you
would like to chat after reviewing them, simply fill out the form on my site
for a complimentary
discovery call to schedule your appointment. I’m here to see you succeed in
reaching all your health and wellness goals.