is eating the same food making you sick?
Before we dive into the topic of nutrition, I’d like to point out a belief that I hold to be true. Nutrition is not a one-size-fits-all. In fact, if you break it down, nutrition and nutritional needs are extremely unique from person to person. Those who make claims that certain diets, specific products or even different nutrition hacks are “guaranteed” or will work for everyone, are likely making claims that are just not true. The famous quote,“The more I learn the less I know” is on point when it comes to how an individual reacts with food. My passion in spreading awareness about nutrition comes from dealing with my own personal struggles. It took hours of research and courses from the CHEK institute to come to a place where I could first understand what I was dealing with and next, to embark on the journey of finding a resolution.
When I was 19 years old, I really had no knowledge when it came to food and nutrition. I was working out for 2 hours a day and my metabolism felt like one of a hummingbird. When it came to my overall health, my outside appearance was how I judged how healthy or unhealthy I was. To me, that meant being “shredded” (you know, defined abs and popping veins), was “peak health.”
Being in the modeling industry at a young age, I became hyper focused on something that didn't look great, my skin. I dealt with a patch of cystic acne which, to be frank, was mentally challenging to deal with for quite some time. This led to taking many antibiotics (even going down the path of trying Accutane) and an onset of depression. I was chasing for a solution based on the outside, not realizing the issue could be coming from the inside. Finally, after doing my own research and asking people I trusted, my findings pointed to my diet–it was my diet that was the root of the problem. The foods I was consuming caused my gut to become highly agitated. From there, I really went all in on trying to eat better food and be more mindful of what I was putting into my body in order to try and fix both my gut and my skin.
I read many books including, The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferris, What The Heck Should I Eat? by Dr. Mark Hyman and, How to Eat, Move, and Be Healthy by Paul Chek. I accumulated a lot of information over the years which led me to cutting out all dairy (minus ghee), all grains ( minus lentils), and keeping my sugar intake very low. The outcome was amazing. My skin cleared up, my energy skyrocketed, and my mental health improved. I maintained those habits for five years, but slowly, some of my previous gut issues started to return. Frustration set in. I had put such a focus on eating a clean diet and truly digging into what “health” meant–what else was there for me to do? That's when a friend recommended getting a food sensitivity and allergy test. Before the test. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t skeptical. After the test and receiving my results, I felt confused. It felt like everything I was eating on a daily basis was also what I was allergic to. Avocados, cashews, chicken, onion, lentils, and other foods, all foods I loved and consumed almost daily, felt like they were now my enemy. I was back to feel frustrated, upset and lost. Thankfully, I went back to the books.
This is where the CHEK Institute comes in. I learned that when we consume the same foods day in and day out, our body starts to build up an intolerance to that food. A direct immune response starts to signal gut inflammation each time we eat that food, leading to bloating, skin issues, and weight gain. Turns out, you need a 90 day reset from those foods to allow the gut to heal. You remove them for 90 days and then slowly, re-introduce them back to the system.
My biggest takeaway? If you’re looking to feel your best, I would suggest eating based on your individual gut. How to find those foods? Start by observing how you feel after your meals and then consider getting some blood work done. In this day and age, so many of us have become disconnected with our bodies. I’d like to change that narrative. If you tend to eat the same food every day and struggle with some of these symptoms, there is a strong chance you have developed food intolerances. Once you give yourself a 90-day break from routine foods and reintroduce them into the digestive track, consider trying a method called the “Rotational Diet.” Developed by Paul Chek, this diet gives you 72 hours in between consuming different foods. For example, on Monday, if you eat chicken, spinach, eggs, and avocado, you will not eat those foods again until Thursday. This amount of time ensures that food intolerances won’t build back up again.
The final takeaway? Nutrition can feel complicated. While it certainly can be, think of it more as unique. Find what works for YOU. Listen to your body. Change up your diet. And don’t forget to eat foods that make you feel good.