Would you like to know one of the secrets of healing? Despite all of my training, education, and even my personal experience with food allergies and sensitivities, I didn't figure out this powerful tool until I had been in medicine for over twenty years.
And like many of my favorite tips and tricks, it may seem too simple to be significant.
Trust me. This one is big.
Track your symptoms. At least monthly, if not once a week - although frequency will depend on the severity of your symptoms.
Most of us have a really hard time remembering how we felt last month, two months ago or eight months ago. That is unless we have a particular event in mind and can recall how we were feeling during that event. Otherwise…it all starts to fade to shades of grey.
Why does it matter? If we can't accurately remember how we felt physically, mentally, or emotionally "before", how can we compare how we feel today? How do we appreciate how far we have come in our healing journey?
Short answer is we really can't.
And when we can't see or feel or appreciate any progress, we are more likely to become discouraged and just give up on the whole thing.
Please don't give up! You have come SO far!
To keep things as practical as possible, I recommend using a tool I discovered in my functional medicine training - the Medical Symptom Questionnaire, or MSQ. It sounds complicated. It's really not.
You may have heard of Dr. Mark Hyman. He's a big fish in the functional medicine pond. And he has great info all over the place - books, blogs, podcasts! He has a nice version of the MSQ available for download (it's free and no email address required!); it's a fillable PDF that will do the math for you! Here is the link for the download.
The MSQ lists about seventy different symptoms in fifteen different categories. Follow the instructions - rate each symptom using the included scale based on severity over the past 48 hours (first time scoring) and then every 30 days (or weekly). Let the form do the math for you and you have a quick symptom assessment done! Save it! Print it! Journal it! The whole idea is that you can then follow symptoms over time and see what changes, for better or worse.
Because "health" is a bit of a moving target, right? And that is because life is not easy. Stressors come. Big events happen. Celebrations ensue. Trigger foods are missed...and eaten. And we are not the same from one day to another.
Sixty-second Self-care Tip…
Today's tip could actually be a 10-second self-care tip!! I love the quick ones!
When you're feeling a little defeated in your pursuit for wellness and health, but your mind, heart and/or body aren't cooperating, remind yourself you are doing the best you can in this moment.
As the world gets louder, faster and angrier, we all need more grace. Grace for when things don't go the way we wanted or planned. Grace for when our progress seems to be melting away. Grace for when the next hurdle, aka adventure, presents itself.
Acknowledging "I am doing the best I can in this moment" gives you permission to push a little less, rest a little more and prepare for tomorrow.
Are you just looking for your first step in figuring out food sensitivities, histamine intolerance or other food reactivity concerns? Request your free copy of my resource, Food Sensitivity Testing: Which Test is for You?, to get started!