How To Eat
My eight year old daughter and I took The ALCAT Test at the beginning of April 2013. Four vials of blood each were drawn by Dr. Seema Kanwal, ND, and shipped via UPS to Florida, which as far as I know is the only lab in North America. There are many ALCAT labs worldwide.
After a few weeks we returned to Dr. Kanwal’s office for our test results.
Already what I LOVE about this theory is that instead of omitting foods from our lives forever, we are putting them on hold. The idea is that the blood test identifies which foods we are intolerant/ sensitive to and so we must avoid them for a certain period of time before reintroducing them in a systematic way.
We should avoid foods that show up as:
- mild intolerance for 1-3 months
- moderate intolerance for 3-6 months
- severe intolerance for a minimum of 9 months
After avoiding the mild intolerance foods on our individual lists, we will follow a four-day rotational plan, which specifies which foods can be reintroduced on particular days. The reintroduction program seems very sophisticated. In a years time, it is recommended to repeat the test, which is a great way to keep oneself on track.
ALCAT recommends that we don’t eat the same foods two days in a row. And for certain when reintroducing certain foods, that we wait four days before eating that food again.
As a result of studying this philosophy, I have come to understand that the idea behind eating a variety of foods each day is not as simple as I had been practicing. Of course, compared to a lot of people I eat a varied diet. But it doesn’t matter who I compare myself with, for if, within the variety that I choose, if those foods are over-consumed then I put myself in a state of toxicity which leads to sensitivity and internal inflammation.
I think how we eat is very similar to how we use language. Most of us eat the same twenty foods over and over again, either because it is convenient, we are lazy or we are restricted by circumstance. Similarly we tend to use the same vocabulary; when was the last time you added a robust, lusty, sinewy adjective to your everyday speak? I’m not talking about urban language that is pushing its way into our dictionaries. Ten years ago there was no such word as snuck; rather you sneaked into the house.
Even if you aren’t interested in pursuing the ALCAT blood test to individualize your food consumption, you might consider taking a more serious and systematic approach to how often you eat everything!
Believe it or not my daughter will not be eating Kale for the next 3 months, but the variety of acceptable foods that are on her list feels like an incredible gift of opportunity. She is excited about trying some different things especially after following the ER4YT approach for the last while. So, for the time being, she has to avoid dairy, soy, gluten and rice (wild rice is OK). Even though she must avoid gluten, there are nine other types of grains that are acceptable. As a result, I’m spending time in the kitchen experimenting. Last night I made Cauliflower Crust Pizza via Detoxinista. I also found a version at The Vintage Mixer which I may try.
My daughter and the babysitter finished off the pizza even though I felt it needs some tweaking. The crust was still a bit moist because I had to make it without eggs. (My daughter can have egg yolks but not the whites for a while). So I am experimenting with egg alternatives like using Chia seed powder or flax meal.
I follow the BTD (well actually the SWAMI individualized diet) . It helped me deal with psoriatic arthritis and is a great guide. Agree with you about eating too often, listening to your body ( not as easy as it sounds ;-)), and eating the same foods too often. I am in a bit of a food rut right now. Thanks for the interesting info and ideas. Yes, that cauliflower crust pizza is good!
Over the winter 2014-2015 I started reading Grain Brain, by David Perlmutter, MD. http://www.drperlmutter.com/about/grain-brain-by-david-perlmutter/
I think it is very interesting to read from a neurologists perspective. I was still eating grains because I was given the green light from the ALCAT test (which sometimes makes it easier NOT to think about variety as much as we should). But because I like to experiment and try things from different viewpoint, I decided that I could actually try to go without grains. The author gives quite a compelling argument to avoid them. If nothing else, it causes me to continue to be more conscious of how I rotate through my food choices. I do still eat rice or quinoa on occasion but it is so rare now. It takes food preparation to the next level. Fun!
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