MY CURRENT DIET
I generally follow a whole foods diet with an abundance of organic fruits and vegetables, nuts/seeds, gluten-free grains and some grass-fed, pasture-raised, humanely-raised meat and fish. I spent over a year feeding my body with nourishing, building foods like grass-fed organic meats, saturated fats, and cooked or fermented vegetables. In recent years I have begun incorporating detoxifying and cleansing green juices, sea vegetables, algae, and raw vegetables again. The benefits of fresh, raw vegetables are not lost on me, but I was malnourished and my gut was compromised 5 years ago from decades of poor food choices and lifelong stress. A strong, healthy gut is crucial for digestion of these cleansing raw vegetables.
Years ago a food sensitivity test, MRT (Mediator Release Test), found that I reacted highly to chicken, honey, and oats. While I hadn’t eaten oats in over a year, they were a very large part of my diet before going gluten-free and then grain-free for GAPS. Bone broth is a staple of the GAPS diet, so I had had more chicken that year than I had had my entire life! Though I rarely eat refined sugar and limit my sweets in general, honey had become my “sugar.” These foods aren’t necessarily typical problematic foods and are generally quite healthful. One theory suggests that when we eat the same food over and over, we lose the ability to properly assimilate it. The improperly digested food particles end up in the bloodstream and appear to our immune cells to be foreign invaders. The immune cells attack, perpetuating the autoimmune response.
Some more interesting science: Another test indicated that I am homozygous for the MTHFR a1298c genetic mutation. (You can read more about this mutation and others HERE.) This means my methylation cycle (or detox ability) is compromised, and I am not able to properly utilize B12 and folate.
In fact, the folic acid in fortified foods (pasta, cereal, breads, etc.) and in mainstream vitamin supplements gets “stuck” in my body, mostly in my brain, and builds up as a toxin. Add this to all the environmental and food toxins that I’ve been exposed to and unable to rid my body of over the years, and it begins to make sense that I was so utterly exhausted most of the time.
Note: The food I eat and the supplements I take happen to be working for me -- but everyone is different. I’m gradually learning how to listen to my body’s subtle (and not so subtle) cues. While I believe nutrition provides a framework for good health, I also realize that I can't let the pressure to eat "perfectly" negate all the healthful benefits of a reduced-stress lifestyle. An occasional treat enjoyed in the relaxed company of good friends will do my body much less harm than a nutrient-filled green juice that has me all in a tizzy for fear that I’m overloading myself with too much thyroid-inhibiting goitrogenic kale!