I was sceptical when I first heard about intolerance tests (they divide critics and medical professionals, alike) but my Mum had taken them years before with life-changing results and after suffering from weight gain (which always fluctuated and no doubt due to severe bloating (with a trip to A &E to cut through my wedding rings) it felt time to investigate any potential intolerances I might have and hopefully discover some answers in the process.
It wasn’t cheap and I paid for my own tests and both of my children to have too, as they both suffered various reactions post-food, but it was worth the money ten times over.
When it came to my own test results, whilst I knew gluten had never been a friend to me, I was bowled over (and a bit weepy) to find egg as the worst offender on the reaction list (foods are colour coded when it comes to the York Test), followed by wheat, gluten, yeast, soya and cashew nuts. Dairy was on the amber list along with garlic and lentils so whilst I still eat those foods, it was recommended I do so in moderation (so a few times a week, not every day).
I did however remove all the foods listed (to the best of my knowledge) bar the odd bit of wheat here and there over the past 5 months and I’m honestly startled by the difference this food elimination diet has made to my wellbeing.
I haven’t cut calories, I eat well (decent portion sizes for eg) and I don’t eliminate or limit carbs for example. I am full quicker and naturally eat less because the ingredients I’m eating agree with me. I also stop eating when I’m full. Sounds obvious right but I’ve found trigger foods like wheat seem to blur my logic.
Eating this way has totally transformed how I think and feel about eating healthily.
I was advised to introduce each eliminated food back, slowly after 12 weeks to see if I could tolerate them once more after exclusion but so far I’ve found I can’t. Egg for example made me feel instantly dizzy.
I will say I do still have the odd glass of wine though despite the yeast (because, well, wine)!
What were the results, then?
Firstly I lost weight, a lot of weight (17 pounds in 5 months). I’m a small UK 10 now in designer clothes even fitting into an 8 the other day (US 6/4), and a UK 8 or 10 on the high street (fitting into a UK 6 in Topshop). 6-8 were unheard of for me before this diet.
I must state however, it wasn’t immediate weight loss and took about 6 weeks to see any kind of noticeable difference so stick with it and don’t expect instant results.
I’ve also gone from a 36E in a bra to a 32E which is a lot of inch loss from my back too and has seen me do a lingerie haul in John Lewis recently to restock.
And all from cutting out foods that were inflaming my gut and making me feel weak, moody and bloated. You can read more about gut health HERE.
My fingers haven’t swelled in 5 months, and the time of the month has been more bearable (I used to need to go up 1 to 2 sizes the week before and during my period).
I still work out several times a week and whilst that’s helped me undoubtedly, the only real change I’ve made over these last few months is in what I eat and the difference has been incredible.
Whilst I still have a #mumtum after 2 c-sections, I’ve even lost weight from that area too (I gave up on it long ago) and although I want to tone up more, I feel happier and more confident about my body.
Mentally, too the affects are obvious. Since eliminating trigger foods, it feels like the fog has lifted. I honestly have more focus and clarity than before.
Importantly, the tests have helped my kids too.
Xander 4 suffered from constant ENT issues and was on back-to-back antibiotics with throat and ear infections and tonsillitis, before we took the tests. By cutting out dairy which came up as the only food group he was reacting with, led to an instant recovery. It’s been 5 months for him too, without a single infection whatsoever. I just can’t put that down to a coincidence. Even my GP was impressed.
My other child, Oliver, 7 complained of feeling sick often, and after cutting out egg (the item he reacted with) has meant zero sickness for him in 5 months, too.
We are what we eat after all.
I just feel grateful I took the plunge and paid for an intolerance test for myself and my family.
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