- 60-80% of your immune system is in your gut. Your immune system is as unique as a fingerprint, and what it determines is “friend or foe” is different than anyone else’s. You can have an immune reaction to just about anything except salt, baking soda or carbonated water. You can react to “healthy” foods like salmon, apples, cinnamon, vanilla, bell peppers, celery and even olive (oil). You can even react to chemicals – naturally occurring chemicals like solanine (found in potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, bell peppers, etc), or stabilizers like guar gum, carrageenan or laboratory produced chemicals like BHA and BHT added to cereals, nitrites added to lunchmeats, citric acid, etc.
- Food sensitivities have unique characteristics such as delayed reactions and dose dependency. For example, although some reactions occur shortly after consumption, you can also react to a food 72-96 hours after eating it, often making it hard to establish cause and effect. In addition, unlike allergies, food sensitivities are dose dependent. For example, you might eat 1/2 cup of strawberries and feel fine, but if you ate 1 cup you might not.
- What is LEAP? LEAP stands for Lifestyle, Eating, And Performance. It is an effective protocol that combines the Mediator Release Test (MRT) with the skills of a Certified LEAP Therapist to produce a patient-specific anti-inflammatory diet designed to lower inflammation, and by doing so, reduce or eliminate your symptoms.
- What is MRT? The patented Mediator Release Test (MRT) is a blood test that measures your immune reaction to 120 foods and 30 chemicals. We use those results to identify a safe list of foods to eat that will not trigger inflammation, so your symptoms can improve.
- Most patients experience significant improvement within the first 10 days on the program. Symptoms then continue improving during the next 4-6 weeks.
Super-interesting, right? I had NO idea our bodies were so very unique and complex. God created us in His image, and yet made each of us unique... but learning this information gave me a whole new level of understanding how differently we were all created. I thought I ate a pretty healthy diet, and I did...but perhaps not the best diet for me.
Some of my favorite foods I consumed frequently, if not daily, included:
- sweet potatoes smothered in almond butter
- sweet potatoes or butternut squash with coconut oil and cinnamon
- raw almonds
- almond milk
- avocados (I like them even just straight out of the skin!)
- roasted cauliflower
- honey balsamic roasted cabbage
- scrambled or hard boiled eggs
- kale chips or kale salad
- fresh pineapple
Guess what foods showed up as reactive/inflammatory on my MRT test? (see foods highlighted in yellow and red below)
Depressing, right? Yes and no, I guess. It was so hard to think of giving all these foods up without knowing whether I could ever have them again, and yet it gave me hope to think I might feel better if I did. My goal in all of this testing is to figure out how to be the best "me" God created me to be so I can serve Him and my family.
The results came back in categories of chemicals, beans/legumes/nuts/seeds, vegetables, fruits, flavor enhancers (spices, etc.), seafood, dairy, grains, meats/poultry, and miscellaneous with the following three reaction types:
- Green: lowest degree of reactivity
- Yellow: reactive/inflammatory (must be strictly avoided)
- Red: highly reactive/inflammatory (must be strictly avoided)
Here are my fruit results just to show how the results are displayed.
Within each of these three categories, there was also a spectrum of results. So within the green category, I could have anywhere between 0.0 - 1.9 degree of reactivity. This means the higher the green number, the closer it is to becoming a yellow, reactive, inflammatory food for me and the lower the number, the safer it is.
Okay, that's enough information for now. I will share more specifics about the diet in a future post. For now, happy eating!