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Freezer Friendly Gluten Free Keto Low Carb Recipes Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken | Low Carb – Keto Friendly

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As the workload gets harder, the house gets messier, and the days seem to get impossibly busier the last thing anyone wants to do is come home and slave over a hot stove (oh, and then proceed to spend another 20 minutes washing dishes -don’t even get me started).

My slow cooker has been my knight in shining armor on busy days like these for years… that is until I broke it while scrubbing it in the sink shortly after making this recipe.

As if I needed yet another reason to hate doing dishes.

Admittedly, I stared heartbroken at my shattered dinner hero for several minutes (all while wondering to myself why bad things happen to good people)  before finally moving it to its final resting place -the trash. So… I’m just saying that if you’ve ever been even mildly curious about trying flavored gourmet sea salts first hand, now’s a good time. Momma needs a new slow cooker.

But I digress, let’s not drag on with the (albeit overdramatic) sad stuff. As one last tribute to my lost dinner helper, let’s turn up “Want You Back” by the Jackson 5 and just get right into it!

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Want to turn up the heat?

Substitute the mineral sea salt with a sea salt that definitely packs a punch. Try Bold Jalapeno for a gentle heat, Prairie Fire for a dish that’s hot and smokey, Diablo’s Ghost if you don’t mind sweating while you eat, or go one step further and try our hottest salt to date: Hell Fire!

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That’s all there is to this incredibly simple, tantalizingly spicy slow cooker buffalo chicken. All that’s left to do now is to sit back, relax, binge some Netflix, and enjoy the rest of your evening.

Health & Happiness,

Savannah

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Categories
Health

Diet Changes For Health | Why I’m No Longer Dairy Free

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It’s been a busy couple weeks on my end, so I dearly apologize for being missing in action this past little bit. From creating The Humble Kitchen’s Gourmet Sea Salts, to going to markets, and trying to have a life outside of work – things got a little bit crazy.

But I’m back now!

So sit on down ladies and gents’ and get ready to hold onto your seats because I’m about to tell you through a rather shocking  turn of events that took me from severe food sensitivites to healed skin and no longer avoiding or reacting to dairy at all!

(I always knew I’d be back for you, icecream)

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While I was on the elimination diet, my skin was better than it had been in a long time. You can read the whole story here, but to save you some time I eventually discovered dairy was my skins #1 enemy (or so I thought). I avoided dairy like the plague and went on with my life. For several weeks I was doing alright, but all too quickly I noticed the familiar redness creeping up -accompanied by tiny bubbles under my skin. My eczema had come back (albeit much more manageable than before) no matter how diligent I was with my dairy-free diet.

With my increasingly bubbling skin arose a crippling fear of what I once loved dearly – food. I was afraid of any food I didn’t make. Every restaurant dish felt like a game of roulette, and every meal my family members made was accompanied by 1000 questions before I was assured enough to eat.

This went on for several weeks, but eventually this summer at a family gathering (surrounded by food I was once again afraid to eat) -enough was finally enough. I was sick of being sick, and sick of being afraid of food. Armed with my emergency steroid cream – I binged, and indulged in everything from creamy pasta, to brownies and of course ice cream.

Needless to say: My sweet tooth was happy, but my hands were not.

Days later, still armed with my emergency steroid cream and even more resentful towards my restricting diet, I decided to make a radical switch in my diet and dive head first into the world of Keto.

I had heard that a ketogenic diet can help reduce and manage inflammation –exactly the culprit  I suspected behind this deceiving disease. I figured that this could be the key to healing myself once and for all or at the very least I would enjoy food and dairy once again, even for a little bit.

A Ketogenic Diet is high in fat, moderate protein and very low in carbohydrates.  An entire blog dedicated to this diet is coming soon, but for now, let’s continue. 

Terrified, but determined I jumped into a diet filled with my suspected eczema causing culprit and I emerged… better than ever before.

Not only did my eczema disappear but my acne cleared up, my nails grew stronger, my energy levels increased, my tummy has settled and even handles the inevitable (occasional) binges that occur with ease -which means minimal if any flaring, bubbling, itchy skin!

The best part?

I no longer live in fear about whats in my food, and can once again go back to enjoying meals and cooking the way I once did before! So don on your apron, try your hand at some culinary sea salts, and meet me in the kitchen for even more fantastic, tummy happy recipes coming your way!

Health & Happiness,

Savannah

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While the Elimination Diet didn’t yeild lasting results for me, doesn’t mean the diet is no good. Nor does it mean that Keto is the only diet to be on for eczema. On the contrary – everybody and every body is different. Our needs, stories, and journey to good health is ours alone. So take this life and explore, experiment, and never settle in both life and health. 

Lastly, remember I am not an expert in these fields.  I have based my writings upon my own experiences, opinions, beliefs and extensive research. See my full disclaimer, and always consult a health care professional for medical and health advice.

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Categories
Health

What To Expect On An Elimination Diet

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I don’t just talk the talk -I walk the walk too.

For the past month and a half I’ve been going through the motions of both keeping a food diary and being on an elimination diet. It was tough at times, and tears were shed, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Thanks to a little bit of perseverance (and a whole lot of daydreaming about ice cream!) I’ve discovered all of my food triggers and (as of now, fingers crossed) my skin is just as clear as it was before that first little patch of itchy red skin appeared over a year ago!

If  that’s not enough incentive to start an elimination diet then I’m not sure what is.

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There is a few things that nobody mentions when it comes to elimination diets. From the tears, flares, cravings, healing, (and even losing weight!) I’m here to highlight the highs and the lows of this diet that has changed my life for the better… despite the hardships!

 

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At first, the elimination diet can seem a bit daunting. At least 23 days without fast food, alcohol, dairy, eggs, and gluten (just to name a few!) can make anybody shake in their boots. 

What am I supposed to eat? Am I stuck drinking water and eating ice for a month? I’d rather die.

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I thought the same thing, but eventually, everyone finds their breaking point.

Where enough is finally enough, and you refuse to let eczema destroy your life any longer. After this breaking point, it’s easy to push past the fear of starting this (daunting) diet. For me, this breaking point was a day or two after My Terrible Mistake. With my skin (which took weeks to partially heal from the last flare) becoming absolutely destroyed in mere hours, enough was finally enough. I decided I was no longer going to live in fear, clueless about what would absolutely destroy my skin, cause itchy sleepless nights, and what wouldn’t.

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Where you take the plunge and vow that for at least 23 days you will keep a food diary and remove the top 8 eczema triggers (plus fast food and alcohol).

Good for you! This step alone deserves a huge pat on the back!

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While daunting at first, this seemingly restrictive diet quickly becomes less of a menacing grizzly bear and more like a teddy bear right before your eyes. It is at this stage where you discover that there really is a whole lot of food you can still eat and enjoy!

Push a little further and you’ll see that there is not much food you’ll be lacking -even when it comes to desserts! In fact, I enjoyed many desserts such as ‘Dad’s Goodie Squares(which taste so good you think they must be bad for you!), ‘Choco-la-ti-da‘ (for fondue) and ‘Peanut Butta’ Cookies‘ with no fear of a nasty flare up. Some of these did include nuts (read the ‘Cheater’ section down below for an explanation!) however, there are still plenty of desserts you can enjoy without nuts such as ‘Nice Cream‘ or ‘Gluten and Dairy Free Cookies‘ -so don’t be afraid to experiment!

Besides my killer sweet tooth insisting I eat dessert, common staples for me included fruit, vegetables,salads, chicken, salmon, rice, and smoothies. I ate whenever I wanted, as much as I wanted and never felt like I was lacking. Not once did I ever count calories or portion servings. I listened to my body and ate real  food -mostly plants.

Side note: Words cannot even describe just how much fruit and veggies I ate. It was  A LOT  as they were perfect to grab when you’re feeling hungry right now, when you’re on the go, or when you needed a quick snack!

Of course, at this stage you are also still discovering any hidden sensitivities that don’t consist of the top eight triggers (thanks to your trusty food diary!). For many people this can be anything from nightshades to even herbal tea! So again, keep writing in your food diary.

Note: At this stage, some people’s symptoms actually get worse. Keep at it, and allow your body to get it out of it’s system and it will get better in no time. If there are strong links between what you ate and your flare, remove the suspected food culprit from your diet and  re-introduce it at the end of your  diet once again.

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Despite all the yummy and healthy foods you’re eating (and the fact you’re eating as much as you want!) sometimes cravings sneak up. If you’re anything like me, wanting sweets happens at least every other day!

To get through those 23 days (I actually did 30) and the tough cravings I had several tactics:

  1. I made sure to go through my diet one day at a time. “One day.” I would say, “I just have to get through today without eating ___________ (insert: pizza, ice cream, chocolate, bread -you name it) “. Then the next day I would tell myself it again, and again, and again. Focusing on one day rather than 23+ of no naughty (but delicious foods) kept me feeling motivated rather than distraught at how many days I had left.
  2. If my killer sweet tooth really started acting up, I would quiet it down with a serving (or two!) of a tummy safe desserts. Again, I ate what I wanted, as much as I wanted (as long as it was tummy safe of course).
  3. I carried tummy safe food with me at all times. If I got hungry, I wouldn’t be tempted to eat something bad simply because it was there.

Over time as your skin begins to improve, the desire for naughty foods disappears. Choosing between healthy, itch free skin and 20 minutes of naughty foods becomes a no brainer. Eventually I could watch people eat ice cream, cake, pizza, chocolate -you name it and not be fazed.

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At some point within your 23 days, one of the biggest obstacles comes to surface: Eating at other people’s homes or perhaps worse, restaurants.

At this stage, eating food you didn’t prepare can feel like a game of Russian Roulette. You don’t know exactly what’s in this food and whether or not it will affect you. On top of it all, having to be the one people have to accommodate for can be awkward and embarrassing. Refusing food a host has made for you or sending food back to the kitchen can make you feel even worse.

Only once during my 30 days did I accidently eat food at a friends house that once again, ruined my hands and destroyed my courage. I wept for hours, and hours, and hours. To this day, I’m not sure what was in it that made me flare but I suspect it was some sort of dairy.

 Even now that I’m off the super restricitive diet -eating at friends homes or restaurants is an intimidating event. Check out this guide on How to Eat At Friends and Loved Ones Homes With Dietary Restrictions for some tips that saved me along the way!

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As the end of the diet draws near, butterflies of  both delight and fear dance in your stomach.

This stage is Re-introduction, where you learn what foods you can tolerate, and what you must go without. This stage was the scariest, even more so than the Russian Roulette feeling of eating at restaurants.  When you’ve worked so hard getting your skin so clear and itch-free, it becomes very difficult to expose yourself to foods that might make you flare. Alas, to finish the diet and know once and for all the foods we can and can’t tolerate, it must be done. This can be a bit heart breaking, but in the end you’ll be better for it.

For me, fear danced in my stomach more than delight did. So much that I actually put off introducing certain foods like gluten and eggs for a lot longer than I needed to. When I finally did try gluten, I went straight to my favorite bagel that I’ve been missing. That was a BIG mistake, especially because when I finally was ready to try gluten I didn’t even bother reading the ingredients which included my food devil -dairy.

So I ate this bagel I’ve been dearly missing and the very next day bubbles surfaced under my skin. Once again, I cried for hours, and hours, and hours mourning gluten’s part in my life. When I told my mother what happened, she just shook her head and jokingly scolded my choice for re-introduction. She insisted that I try again, this time with a simple bread.

I was scared, but I did. For days I anxiously awaited another flare….but nothing happened. Anxious I tried once more, and nothing surfaced. To my delight, wheat and gluten could once again be added to my diet! That was a hard lesson that reminded me to pay attention to the ingredients.

Dairy was a whole other obstacle and the very last one to be introduced. No surprise, I was terrified. I didn’t want to. I’d seen the damage this devil caused in the past and I wasn’t ready to invite it back to wreak havoc on my body again. So I put it off for days, and days, and days. My mother suggested that if I was gonna go down, might as well eat something I really missed -like icecream.

A plan was born to get a Dairy Queen Cake with the words ‘Doomsday’ written on it and… I almost did it. Again, I got scared. I already knew I was lactose intolerant, and even if I didn’t react eczema wise (like I was 98% sure I would) I didn’t want to suffer the other bodily consequences of eating dairy when you’re lactose intolerant! If you don’t know what I mean… first of all lucky you and second of all… to paint a pretty picture it’s a lot of bloating and poop. Yay…

I didn’t wind up eating dairy, and I don’t regret it at all. My terrible mistake, my lactose intolerance, and my food diary all alluded to the fact that dairy was my culprit.

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A couple weeks have gone by and with my skin completely healed (again, fingers crossed it stays this way!) I am one happy girl! I bake and cook with coconut milk, use a coconut butter, and even found a coconut ice cream that is to die for! As for calcium, my sources include dark leafy greens, nuts, chia seeds, and salmon just to name a few. To my delight, a couple of unexpected surprises came out of this whole thing.

First and probably the most important, this habit I developed for eating healthy foods and mostly plants has stuck with me even after the diet. On very, very, very, rare occasions, I reach for something pre-packaged. For the most part though, my diet still consists of fruits, veggies, salmon, chicken, salads, rice, and smoothies… with the welcome addition of eggs, nuts, and wheat!

Second, while eating whatever I wanted -even when indulging in tummy safe desserts I had lost some weight! While I didn’t go on this diet for that purpose, it was a pretty great bonus!

I trust that with my new found habit in place, I’ll keep the pounds off  and keep my skin clear!

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You get what you put into this diet. If you cut corners and cheat, this diet isn’t likely to pay off in the way that you hope. In the end, the only person you’re cheating and hurting is yourself.

That being said, I’ll be the first to admit that I cheated too.

I’m only human after all.

However, it’s important to note what I did cheat on. I never decided to have eggs, bread, or milk the one day and then swear off them for the next little while. That is inconsistency and provides inconsistent results. The exact opposite of what we’re trying to achieve here.

On the contrary, I cheated by including an entire group early on. Swearing that as soon as I noticed any flares linked to this food group, I would remove it entirely. The group I included three days after starting my elimination diet was peanuts and nuts. I had never noticed an adverse reaction to them before and I desperately needed some snack fuel that would keep me full for hours when I was busy working or out and about exploring (like going to Ing’s Mine -which was AMAZING!).

So yes, I cheated too. I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you’re going to cheat on this diet, pick an entire food group early on and stick with it. No caving into bread cravings one day and then swearing off of it the next few. But remember, you get what you put into this diet -the more you remove (and the less you cheat) the better!

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If this diet didn’t work for you, you need to take a reflect inwards and be 100% honest with yourself. As above, the only person you’re cheating (and hurting!) is yourself.

  • Did you fully commit to staying on the elimination diet?
  • Did you keep up with your food diary and monitor your symptoms? This is particularly important for people who are reacting to foods that are not in the top 8 triggers.
  • Did you refuse cravings to eat off limit foods?

If you answered ‘Yes’ honestly to all of the above, don’t despair. As you are well aware, not everyone with eczema reacts to the same triggers. Perhaps over this diet you found some food sensitivities. Perhaps you didn’t. Perhaps you found some sensitivities and despite avoiding those foods your skin is still worse than ever.

All three scenarios are entirely possible.

Take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back. I know it’s frustrating, but you just completed some major detective work when it comes down to curing your own eczema. Whether you found triggers or not, you are one step closer -even if it doesn’t feel like it.

If your skin is still bad after this whole diet, wipe away those tears and stand up tall. It’s now time to tackle the next eczema monster:

Contact Dermatitis.

An allergist will be able to help immensely with this monster, but in the meantime check out 120 Ingredients Known To Cause Contact Dermatitis and get to throwing out all those irritating soaps, shampoos, and lotions.

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In summary, no matter what you choose to do, diet or not. I hope you find health and the end of the road. Just know I’ll be right beside you trying to find the answers too.

Health & Happiness,

Savannah

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Categories
Health

Simple Elimination Diet for Eczema, IBS, and Food Sensitivities

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An elimination diet is a short term diet used to determine foods that trigger inflammation within the body. Inflammation in the body contributes to many health problems such as autoimmune arthritis, acne, irritable bowel syndrome, and eczema -just to name a few!

Our gut houses 70% of our immune system, so the first step to a healthy body is a healthy gut. Worsening symptoms, flare-ups or developing sudden food sensitivities is a loud and clear indicator that something’s not quite right and should be taken seriously. Going on an elimination diet gives your gut a much needed break; giving your body time to heal and providing sweet relief from all the inflammation induced symptoms.

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First thing first, it’s extremely important to note that food allergies and sensitivities are different. Many people are unaware of this, which likely plays a large part in the confusion that arises from the diet-inflammation link.

If a food allergy test comes back negative, people presume that food isn’t connected to their symptoms. In reality, you don’t have to be allergic to react to trigger foods.

Say that again. You don’t have to be allergic to react to trigger foods.

No allergy test in the world will pick up on a food sensitivity, so by far the most effective way to manage symptoms and take health back into your own hands is by completing an elimination diet to figure out your trigger foods. The best part? You can do it all in roughly 30 days!

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There are literally thousands of elimination diets that can be found all over the web, each with their own set of rules and guidelines. The more restrictive the diet -the better as you are more likely to discover hidden food sensitivities.

Unfortunately, I like food too much to go on an even more restrictive diet than the basic one outlined below. Instead, we combat an even more restrictive diet by keeping a food diary to monitor any adverse reactions to food not on our ‘no-no’ list.

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Take notice of everything going on within your body, particularily anything that indicates a poor state of health. This includes skin issues like rashes, digestive issues like bloating or constipation, and any moodiness or lethargy.

Write it all down, no matter how minor. This way, 30 days later you can reflect and notice any changes that happened in your health.

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Once again, this is only a BASIC elimination diet. Here we will eliminate the top triggers, as well as refined sugar and alcohol. These are:

  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Tree nuts & Peanuts
  • Soy
  • Shellfish
  • Wheat & Gluten
  • Fast Food & Refined Sugars
  • Alcohol

Scary, I know.

It’s important to note that while these are the top triggers, everyone is different. There are reports of people reacting to anything from nightshades to herbal tea, thus it is important to keep up a food diary even when doing an elimination diet and proceed to remove any foods that you suspect are still triggering reactions.

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Your gut contains both good and bad bacteria. Maintaining a good balance between the two is essential for gut health. Alcohol and sugar can promote the growth of bad bacteria and yeast which in turn leads to inflammation, autoimmune disorders, and the very symptoms we wish to avoid.

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Why 23 days? Hold on, it’s about to get sciency in here:

Antibodies are protein molecules made by the immune system. They are produced to counteract antigens which are toxins, foreign or harmless substances that induce an immune response. The lifespan of these antibodies is roughly 23 days, hence the 23-day guideline.

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Once at least 23 days are over (I go for 30), you can gradually re-introduce the troublesome foods one at a time and see if you react. This process is not to be rushed, (no matter how much you miss bread…I know, I’ve been there too.). This step is done over several days and is vital for accurately determining any food sensitivities.

So how do you do it?

On the 24th day (or the 31st day, if you’re gung-ho) you would introduce one food group.

We’ll start with dairy.

Maybe on the 24th day, we’ll drink a glass of milk and eat some slices of cheese throughout the day. This is not the time to dig into pizza or anything else that has multiple triggers, or that could get confusing! Eat a serving or two of dairy throughout the day (along with your healthy, safe foods -of course) but keep avoiding the other triggers.

Monitor your reactions -if any, for 2 days. During those two days, you’ll go back to avoiding all trigger foods.

If you had no adverse reaction over those two days,  you could safely add dairy back into your diet. Then you would move onto the next food group, repeating the same process, testing one trigger group for one day and gauging the reaction over the next two until you’ve went through all your eliminated food groups.

If you do react, then you’ve likely located a food sensitivity.  Measures should be taken avoid the troublesome food and seek out alternative options for that food group to ensure you continue getting all your essential vitamins and nutrients.

 

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While the list may seem scary, the basic elimination diet still provides a wide variety of foods that can be enjoyed.

You are free to enjoy all types of meat, vegetables, fruits, and gluten-free grains like quinoa and rice. That still leaves a whole lot of dishes to be made! Here’s just a few ideas, let me know in the comments if you’ve got a good one to share!

 Breakfast

Lunch

  • Any kind of salad your heart desires! Try it with grilled chicken and dairy-free dressing.
  • Cowboy Up Salad
  • Grilled Chicken Lettuce Wraps

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Dinner

Dessert & Sweeteners

Snacks

Remember, if you find yourself reacting to any foods that are not on the elimination list start avoiding them too. This is a diet tailored to you, and you will do best with it once you start giving yourself the attention and love you deserve.

While the elimination diet may be restrictive, you don’t need to count calories, micronutrients or whatever else the fad is nowadays when it comes to dieting. On the elimination diet, you’ll heal your tummy, see a significant improvement in your symptoms, and even drop a few pounds (but that last part is just a bonus!).

No matter what you choose to eat, you will be successful if you follow these three simple principles. Eat real food -mostly plants, avoid all your trigger foods, and (my favorite) always eat when you’re hungry!

Health & Happiness,

Savannah

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Categories
DIY Health

How To Keep A Food Diary for Food Sensitivities

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Over two thousand years ago Hippocrates, the father of medicine said “All disease begins in the gut”. While claiming that all disease begins in the gut is a bit of a stretch, we can certainly appreciate the gut-heath connection. After all, 70% of our immune system is located in our gastrointestinal tract.

Though often used for weight loss, food diaries can be an extremely beneficial and often overlooked tool for eczema (as well as IBS, and leaky gut syndrome -just to name a few). A food diary is often accompianed by an elimination diet, however it’s up to you whether you decide to cut out the main culprits for a basic elimination diet or whether you push through and start avoiding food based on your reactions.

That being said, most food sensitivities are a result of an unhealthy gut. Giving your tummy a break (for 23-30 days) from refined sugary foods and major triggers can go a long way to helping repair your gut!

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  • Keep you accountable – Especially when on an elimination diet. Bye bye sneaking delicous off limit foods and devouring chocolate. See: I’ve Made A Terrible Mistake.
  • Give you a hard copy of your symptoms – So you can do some detective work and figure out your food culprit(s).
  • Moniter heath – Stress, mood, and good ol’ #2.

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Pick up any old notebook and a pen. Ideally, the notebook will be on the small side and will fit comfortably in a coat pocket or purse – You want to bring this thing everywhere. As with anything in life, the more thorough you are -the better.

Start by taking note of everything going on with your body: Rashes, nausea, bloating, itchy-ness, energy level, fogginess -you name it. Write it down. This will give you something to refer back to.

Write down everything you eat and drink: Every bite, every sip, ingredients, even condiments. Don’t disregard a food or drink just because you thought it was a small amount, even a little bit could cause a reaction.

Write down what time you ate and what time symptoms appear: Food intolerances and sensitivities can be tricky;  in most cases symptoms don’t appear until several hours later. When they do show up, rate the severity of your symptoms from 1-10. One being slight irritation and ten being unbearable.

Your food diary will remember everything, so you don’t have to. This will make it far easier to make connections between symptoms and culprit foods versus depending on memory alone.

Write down #2: Yup, good ol number two. Although an awkward subject to talk about, there’s no better way to track how your body is handling food on the inside than by noticing what comes out on …the outside. Rate the bowel movement from 1 to 10. One being normal and ten being severe constipation or diarrhea. Check out Wellness Mama’s Guide to Poop and Digestive Health.

To keep snoops from reading about my bodily functions (since I carry it everywhere), I simply write 2 __ and whatever the rating was. Sneaky, sneaky.

For an extra measure: Make a note whenever you are particularly stressed and how you felt throughout the day.

Overtime, you’ll start to notice patterns emerging. You’ll learn what foods make you feel good, and what food makes you feel bad.

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While you can continue on your merry way with the food diary, I strongly believe that this entire process is incomplete without an elimination diet.

Here is a very basic elimination diet process: 

Ideally, you would begin by eliminating the top triggers, as well as refined sugar and alcohol. These are:

  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Tree nuts & Peanuts
  • Soy
  • Shellfish
  • Wheat & Gluten
  • Fast Food & Refined Sugars
  • Alcohol

Scary, I know.

It’s important to note that while these are the top triggers, everyone is different. There are reports of people reacting to anything from nightshades to herbal tea, thus it is important to keep up a food diary even when doing an elimination diet.

If that list terrifies you: Keep a detailed food diary for a couple weeks, then use your mad detective skills to figure out what foods make you feel good and which ones worsen your symptoms. Avoid all the feel bad foods. Note: Efforts should still be made to avoid alcohol and refined sugars even if you don’t react to them as sugar helps yeast and bad bacteria in your gut thrive.

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Why 23 days? Hold on, it’s about to get sciency in here:

Antibodies are protein molecules made by the immune system. They are produced to counteract antigens which are toxins, foreign or harmless substances that induce an immune response. The lifespan for these antibodies is roughly 23 days, hence the 23 day guideline.

Once at least 23 days are over (I go for 30), you can gradually re-introduce the troublesome foods one at a time and see if you react.

For example: If you were avoiding dairy, gluten, and nuts then on the 24th day you would introduce one food group.

We’ll start with dairy.

Maybe on the 24th day we’ll drink a glass of milk and eat some slices of cheese throughout the day. This is not the time to dig into pizza or anything else that has multiple triggers, or that could get confusing! Eat a serving or two of dairy throughout the day (along with your healthy, safe foods -of course) but keep avoiding the other triggers.

Moniter your reactions -if any, for 2 days.

During those two days, you’ll go back to avoiding all trigger foods. If you had no adverse reaction over those two days,  you could safely add dairy back into your diet. Then you would move onto the next food group, repeating the same process, testing one trigger group for one day and gauging the reaction over the next two.

If you do react, then you’ve likely located a food intolerance or allergy and measures should be taken to seek out alterantive options or sources for that food group to ensure you continue getting all your essential vitamins and nutrients. A nutritionist will be able to help.

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Keeping a food diary may seem like a lot of work, but it quickly becomes a powerful tool for proactively managing your eczema (IBS, leaky gut, or whatever else it may be), and preventing nasty flare-ups or symptoms. When combined with an elimination diet, many people go back to eating the foods they once loved without any adverse reactions after healing their gut (ice cream, I’m coming for you!).

Whether you choose to create a food diary or not, I hope you find health at the end of the road.

Health & Happiness,

Savannah 

P.S I just want to let you know that I am not a medical doctor, nurse, and so on. I have based my writings upon my own experiences, opinions, and extensive research regarding the topics in my blog. Therefore, read my disclaimer and use the information within my blog appropriately and at your own risk 

 

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Categories
Health

How To Eat At Friends And Loved Ones Homes With Dietary Restrictions

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It’s amazing how a gathering that’s supposed to bring so much joy and laughter can become such a challenging and awkward situation. Being lactose intolerant (and with dairy being my number one eczema trigger), I swear my hands start itching when I watch milk being added to a dish.

I hold my breath while I listen to the host’s ingredient list being rambled off praying for a dish I can eat itch and worry-free…

“…potatoes…onions…cheese”

Dammit.

Been there? Me too. It’s awkward being the one people have to accommodate for, but here’s how to survive it.

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Don’t be afraid to gently remind your host about your dietary restrictions.

Try to do so the moment they invite you so that they have adequate time to prepare. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve already told them, or that you think that they should remember ‘by now’. People are far too busy with their own lives to worry about you and your diet.

Did the dish still wind up being something you can’t stomach?

Don’t take it personally, just because they didn’t remember doesn’t mean they don’t care. Keep in mind that not everyone has a pantry full of substitutes for dairy, gluten, or whatever else it may be.

 

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 Help out your host (and you!)  by offering to bring a dish, and be sure to make enough to share. You’ll be guaranteed to eat without worry, and who knows -maybe it’ll leave your loved ones begging for more!

Not sure what to make? Here’s a bit of inspiration:

 

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 Now I don’t mean kicking, screaming, crying, and otherwise just having a major tantrum on the floor… I mean I suppose you could, you certainly wouldn’t have to worry about being invited back over anytime soon…(so maybe?).

What I actually mean is take small portions of the dish your host generously provided and pick through your food (and around your all your ‘no-no’ foods).

We’ve all seen kids pickily go through their food, have we not?

While this means you may not be the one at the table with the most manners, sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. Keep in mind that just because you are channeling your inner 3-year old it doesn’t mean you have to also make a fuss and draw attention to yourself by disgustedly pushing food to the side.

(Unless  of course, you don’t want to be invited back… so again… maybe?)

Fill up the rest of your plate with veggies, salad or anything else that’s sure to make your tummy happy.

Smile wide and say your (as my 3-year-old cousin would say) “pwease and tank yous”

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 So there is literally absolutely NOTHING tummy and itch safe on the table?

The host’s main dish has milk laced throughout, EVERY SINGLE bun in the entire house is already buttered, dessert is 14 scoops of ice cream, and by God there’s even cheese melted over the salad!

Melted cheese on a salad? Are they trying to kill me!?

So what now -as the guilt starts building up inside of you– is there to do?

Pull up your big kid panties and walk over to the host. Graciously apologize and explain that, as much as you would love to dig into their delicious cheese salad… that you just can’t do it. Chances are right then and there, your lovely host will at the start pulling out anything they think could work for you.

Try not to let the guilt eat you up, it’s alright.

From there, go on and get your hands dirty. Your host has done more than enough for you, so insist on putting together your own plate of goodies from the tummy safe food they provided.

Be sure to whole heartily thank them.

 

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This is a habit I’ve picked up recently, but not exclusively for going over to people’s houses.

The whole habit started once I chose to cut out dairy. While my loved ones could just pull into any fast food joint or sit down at any restaurant, I had to be a little more careful about what was in my food (does everything have cheese on it nowadays? Good gracious!).

Let’s just say I learned the hard way that I can get real hangry real quick if I go without food. So in order to save myself and my loved ones,  I constantly have a stash of safe snacks in my purse, in my car, and at least one in my jacket.

Now when that salad quit sticking to your bones, and everyone around you is scooping up bowls of ice cream (R.I.P. my favorite and forbidden dessert), you can go to your jacket and pull out a treat for yourself.

I’d love to have a wide variety of suggestions for you, but I don’t. The only snack I carry with me is my No Bake. No Fuss. Energy Bites. They’re naturally sweetened with honey and are usually just enough to get rid of a dessert craving (even when you still long for ice cream).

So there we have it, five eating out survival tactics. Let me know if you’ve got another tactic, and let me in on your favorite emergency snacks!

Health and Happiness,

Savannah

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