Did you know that some foods are reactive? I don’t mean radioactive, although I guess that’s possible! I mean some foods will cause bad reactions in your body. The trick is to figure out which ones are reactive for you so you can avoid them.
My dietician Lyn Genet explained to me that some foods are much more likely to be reactive than others. That means they can cause inflammation that makes you feel bloated and blah after you eat. When foods cause inflammation, they distract the immune system from its main job which is keeping us healthy. Chronic inflammation also makes us age faster because it damages normal cells in our bodies.
Check out Lyn’s list of reactive foods here on EmpowHER. https://www.empowher.com/healthy-eating/content/list-reactive-foods I think you’ll be surprised at some of the foods she has included in the highest reactivity category, like sushi and farm raised fish. That means most of the fish you can buy in the store or in local restaurants is likely to cause inflammation! The 85% category includes lots of things most people think are good for them, like turkey, cottage cheese, and yogurt. So don’t think that just because a food is trendy, like Greek yogurt, it is necessarily good for you. You need to listen to what your own body is telling you about the foods you eat and how you react to them.
Here’s what I did to figure out which foods are reactive for me. First off, I started by cleansing my system by eating healthy, pure foods. Lyn’s got great suggestions on her website at www.lyngenet.com. Once I knew my body was leveled out, I started testing different foods to see if I would react to them. You need to be patient during this phase. You can’t add too many things at once or you won’t know which one caused a reaction. So get on the scale in the morning then try a new food that day. Weigh yourself again the next morning and if the scale jumps up, you’ll know you’re retaining fluid which means inflammation. Put that food item on your reactivity list. Most people only react to 3 or 4 foods, but I discovered that my list is pretty extensive, including my favorite food – pasta. I just can’t eat it without getting bloated and feeling awful. The good news is that knowing how much better I feel without it, I don’t really want it any more.
Of course, drinking plenty of water is critical, especially if you’re living where it’s hot or humid. Water helps keep you hydrated, which is important. But I’ve also learned that drinking water really bumps up my energy level. I used to think I couldn’t survive without my lattes. But once the first one wore off, my energy would start to crash and I’d have to have another just to keep going. When I cut out the coffee and started drinking water, my energy jumped up and stayed up all day long. My goal is to drink about 72 ounces of water every day. It’s important to keep track, both to make sure you drink enough and to make sure you’re not going overboard and drinking too much.
When it comes to your health, moderation is the key. Sometimes we think that if a little bit is good, more must be better – whether we’re talking cutting carbs or getting exercise or drinking water. What we put into our bodies can cause problems like inflammation, or it can help keep us strong and healthy. For me, it always comes back to this. If something you eat makes you feel blah or bloated, don’t eat it anymore. Listen to what your body is telling you.
Check out my dietician Lyn Genet’s website for cleanses and other diet tips at www.lyngenet.com.
If you’re looking for a fantastic bathroom scale, my favorite is the EatSmart digital scale available on Amazon.http://www.amazon.com/Eatsmart-Precision-Bathroom-Technology-440-Pounds/dp/B0032TNPOE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1328932885&sr=8-2
For more reading on things you can do to live a long, strong, and healthy life, Dr. David Agus’ book “The End of Illness” is a great read.