Diets have always been a no-no for me. As a Personal Trainer and Exercise Physiologist, I've never been one to jump on the dieting band wagon. Moderation has always been my motto, with just a few more veggies thrown in. About 3 years ago, while my husband and I were living in Nashville, TN, I was experiencing signs of depression, headaches, bloating, weight fluctuations, intense emotional mood swings, adult acne, and the list goes on. I had heard about the Gluten-Free movement, but wasn't quite sure what all the hype was about and why it was such a big deal. But then I met a woman, Marnie Reasor ( you can check out her website HERE ) who is a Homeopath whose demographic and specialties were working with women on their hormone imbalances. And when she asked if I'd like her help, I answered with a big fat YES!
What Marnie and I proceeded to do was begin my journey to a completely new level of health, vitality, and awareness. This included using homeopathic remedies and plant stem cell tinctures to help with my hormone imbalances and my PMDD (premenstrual dysphoria disorder). But the one thing that was really challenging and rewarding was the 21-day elimination diet that Marnie walked me through. This diet was like no other I had ever heard of before. It was designed and planned to help my body rid itself of not only toxins and chemicals, but heavy metals too; it also helped my body heal itself by healing my gut, eliminating inflammation throughout my organs, joints, and tissues, and providing stability and balance for my hormones!
From what I can remember, this 21-day elimination diet meant NO...
-veggies like broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale (these kind of veggies can mess with the Thyroid and hormones)
....and so much more, I just can't remember right now! Notice all of these foods and products are highly processed and can/usually are genetically modified!
I was also taking medical grade supplements and protein shakes to help my body detox from all the types of chemicals, toxins, and heavy metals I had accumulated over my lifetime (I had crazy high amounts of Nickel and Aluminum!). Epsom salt baths and lots of sleep with gentle exercise was also part of my routine for those 21 days.
So out of ALLLLLL the many benefits I experienced from my 21-day elimination diet, here are my top 3 things I benefited from the most:
1-Adult Acne Cured!
I finally discovered the reason for why my skin was constantly breaking out with painful cysts and blemishes: yeast, corn, and CAFFEINE! After the first week of cutting out all of my black, green, and white teas that contained caffeine, my skin finally started to clear up! Not only that, it was glowing! When I reported this to Marnie, she educated me on how caffeine is a stimulant, and it stimulates the stress hormone, Cortisol (fight or flight hormone). Because it stimulates a huge surge of the stress hormone cortisol, that in turn can create an imbalance in my hormones, making my skin break out around my mouth and chin (the area well known for hormonal acne).
Also, I have been off of yeast for about 10 years, since I discovered that I was allergic to bakers yeast because it came out of my skin like acne. My poor mother had spent hundreds of dollars on my poor skin because she thought it was her fault I had inherited her skin genes, but really it was the yeast and caffeine! Finally, when I started to reintroduce corn back into my diet again, I noticed that I would have a rash around my mouth. A similar dryness and rash that I would get before I went off of corn. Very interesting!
2-Hormonal Stabilization & No More Headaches!
Similar to the caffeine discovery, I was also educated on how alcohol can also affect my hormones because of how alcohol is processed in the body. Because the liver is what processes and manages hormones AND alcohol, anytime I drank more than a glass of wine or beer or any other form of alcohol, my liver would put my hormonal processing and balancing on HOLD in order to process all of the alcohol I was consuming. That, in turn, made my hormones go out of wack, which caused me to fluctuate in weight, to have worse PMDD and periods, and to feel generally sluggish. After about 7 days of no alcohol, I could feel my body using that extra space and time to process my hormones correctly and more efficiently, allowing me to have more energy, less weight fluctuations, and somewhat gentler monthly cycles.
In conjunction to no alcohol, giving up gluten was the best decision for my body. I no longer had spikes in my blood sugar levels, terrible headaches, fogginess or confusion, bloating in my gut and belly, terrible gas, constipation, or just general fatigue. I have since tried to reintroduce it back into my diet, but as of right now, my body is still not liking it. So I've stayed off of gluten, but will continue to try to reintroduce it back into my diet every few months.
3-Education & Responsibility
These are the two things that I'm extremely grateful for that I learned during my 21-day elimination diet: education and responsibility about my health, my body, and my intuition.
I've learned about how some "healthy" foods are actually not that great for my body, and that's okay! I've learned about how certain foods and drinks can make me feel sick, and how others can also help heal my body. I've also learned that it's important for me to remember these things and to take responsibility for my body and my health, by still applying these principles today, 3 years after my diet. This means that I've now changed what and how I'm consuming alcohol, caffeine, corn, yeast, gluten, dairy, sugar, etc!
When you do a 21-day elimination diet, you learn about what foods, drinks, and products are appropriate for your health and body, and what aren't. You do research, study, and read about things that you normally wouldn't take the time or energy to do, allowing you to uncover the truth about how the United States government produces, processes, and exports our foods to our grocery stores. And when you have someone who is guiding you and walking through that journey with you, it can be an extremely rewarding and life changing experience.
***note - in no way does Glow Fitness recommend a certain diet or type of food or drink. This blog post is not meant to cure any disease or ailment in any way, nor is it a prescription for anyone. It is only meant for readers to learn about how one woman changed her health by doing a 21-day elimination diet. For more information, contact a Registered Dietician or your physician or Naturopath, and see if there's a way you can use food to help your body heal itself.