Food sensitivities are funny. You notice you have them, you make the connection between the food and the symptom, and avoid eating that food. You feel better. And then weeks or months later, you eat it again, feel absolutely terrible and ask yourself
“Why did I eat that again?’
“What…Am I stupid? ”
“Do I love to punish myself?”
“Maybe I like to punish myself?”
And you berate yourself unnecessarily as this is just part of the learning process. Unfortunately, we forget why we stopped eating certain foods, then under varying circumstances, we succumb to peer pressure and wanting to fit in, so we eat that offending food…..only to be sick throwing up, sleeping unconsciously or in extreme pain to name a few.
For me, I had this realization a few years ago. When I had my hip replacement, I had pain. I had Nutrition Response Testing done regularly to identify the offending foods or items I put on my skin. When it comes to food items, I first had issues with sugar and wheat.
When I bought dark chocolate M&M’s for a holiday party, I swore I would save them….instead I would open the bag, and proceed to eat an entire 1 pound bag within 2 days. I could not stop eating them! I would crave them. And I just could not stop. My hip would hurt and ache and I would wonder why….uhm, it is not the dark chocolate, but the sugar and colors in the coating! ah, I figured it out. So I was able to not buy them again….for about 5 months when Easter came along and I was having people over….and again, I bought a big bag (I also had a coupon and they were on sale).
Guess what? Same thing happened. I could not stop eating them. And my hip was in excruciating pain for the next 2 days. Yep, I now made the connection more fully, and my brain finally had reached the point of “Eating M&M’s is so not worth the pain!” and I have been able to refrain from them for the past 4 years.
I had the same thing with peanuts. I could eat a jar of peanut butter in a couple of days. Buy a jar and it would be gone in days. I craved them incessantly (a common issue with foods we have sensitivities to. There is a part of the brain that gets overly excited, and we are addicted to that excitement and forget about the pain that goes along with it hours later.) I soon was also getting extremely sleepy after eating peanuts – not just a little tired, but knock me out and unconscious sleep for 45 minutes within 25 minutes of eating peanuts. Any amount.
So then it was really easy to avoid peanuts as I don’t have time to be sleeping in the middle of the day! About a year an a half later, I craved them. I started a rotation based diet and incorporated them every 4 days to avoid developing the sensitivity again. But alas, I started eating them all the time again and a few months later, yup….I got sleepy again.
The other night, I got home late from an event about 10:38 PM – this about 90 minutes past my bedtime – so I thought, “hey, peanuts make me sleepy, I will just eat some before I go to bed! What a perfect solution!”
Well, I did sleep just fine. But I woke up with a pounding headache and feeling disoriented and not knowing where I was. Oh, the peanuts! It has to be the peanuts!
I also got an email from a client who basically did the same thing the day before and ate a cracker or chip one of her students brought which made her sick for the next few hours….it had wheat in it. She now knows it is for sure wheat that is a problem!
Another client I talked with this week had a similar issue at a social gathering eating pizza and ice cream. Boy was she reminded why she was avoiding dairy and wheat! And asked me those same questions as above… I had made the video below days before I talked to her and she was comforted by the fact that I had just done the same thing days before.
I will never eat anything with peanuts again. I won’t even test it. It just is not worth it. This is the way the brain sometimes works. It needs reminders that overcome that excitory factor, and it forgets why you stopped eating something. Often it takes 2-4 times or re-experiencing the pain before you get your ‘A-Ha” moment and can decide once and for all not to eat that food. (check out the book Excitotoxins and Wheat Belly for more information on this phenomenon)
What do you learn from our food choice mistakes?
We are human, and we forget sometimes.
We sometimes learn by repeating what not to do until we get whacked over teh head basically – that is usually when you have ‘had enough’ and decide “I am not doing THAT again!”.
You find empowerment in our choices and no longer feel guilty that you have a food sensitivity. You no longer accept someone’s wheat cookies they made just to be nice (while you are sick in the bathroom for the next 8 hours). You can now say:
“I really appreciate you making those for me. I would love to eat them, but I will be sick. Thank you so much for thinking of me!” You won’t offend anyone and you might even be able to share a recipe with them you know you can eat in case they want to make something for you in the future.
This “Did I really eat that again?” is part of the learning process. I wish it were not so, but I have experienced it. My clients have experienced it. And after others witness your symptoms, they finally understand it is also real. And they become your allies in helping you stay on track in avoiding things you should not eat. But most of all, you now have the power to say “No” to the offending food, and “yes’ to your continued state of well-being and feeling great.
So next time you find yourself eating something that is not so great for you, don’t worry about asking “Why did I eat that again?” Just realize, that you forgot, and now you most certainly won’t – it is just part of the learning process and there is nothing wrong with you!
If you are uncertain of your food sensitivities, schedule your NRT session so we can identify the cause and find foods you can eat.