If you're just now walking into this blog and you're clicking through links, all of the talk about genetics and self-care may not make a lot of sense when talking about food sensitivities. Just to make sure we're on the same page, let's take a bit to connect all the dots!
Food sensitivities are affecting an increasing number of individuals and, yet, medicine doesn't acknowledge them much at all. If allergy testing is negative, there isn't much wrong! You and I know differently. A food will be a friend one day and a vicious enemy the next, causing mood swings, gut problems, skin problems, brain fog. Name the symptom and we can likely link it back to food sensitivities!
Food is the tool, not the problem...
But I don't believe the food is always the problem. I believe your body is simply trying to tell you something about your biochemistry and internal imbalances which it cannot overcome. Your body does what so many of us have a hard time with - it asks for help.
Every food you eat, beverage you drink, supplement or medication you take has an effect on your body. That's why we eat or drink or swallow them! That effect is on your biochemistry. Biochemistry is molecular - it's super tiny. Things we can more easily see which tell us about biochemistry can be everything from inflammation to high or low blood pressure, changes in your nails or skin or hair, weight gain, brain fog and fatigue…and food sensitivities.
In the beginning…
When you were born, your body was already doing amazing chemical reactions to establish and maintain balance in your system. Your body knows what to do. It has amazing wisdom! And, as a little one your potential exposures to things which negatively affect your biochemistry are generally limited.
But as you grow into a young person, a teen, and an adult all of those exposures increase in frequency and significance. We're talking things like emergent or critical illnesses, chemical exposures, emotional or physical stressors, etc. These can even be things we generally consider positives, e.g. pregnancy, marriage, a new job, overcoming an illness or disease. What do these all have in common? They are physiological stressors - your body has to work a little (or a lot) harder to maintain balance.
When balance is impossible…
And sometimes it just can't do it. That's when you experience some of the symptoms mentioned above. You didn't do anything wrong. Your body didn't do anything wrong. But there was some event which was more than your body could balance…and now things are a little sideways.
That's usually the thing you can track to in your story. If you think back to when your symptoms started, there was something there. Before that something, everything was OK! But after, things were definitely not OK.
Genetics tells us where the weaknesses are…
This is where genetics come into play. If you can find where your body has inherent susceptibilities to stressors, you also know how to support your body so it can actually keep things balanced…even with new stressors coming! Looking at genetics this way can be a little overwhelming. That's why I'm here. That's why I write this blog.
Self-care is the support for those weaknesses…
Really quickly, I want to tie in the self-care stuff. Self-care is just you taking care of you. Pretty straight-forward, right? Then why is it so stinking hard?! We prioritize everyone else because our brains tell us we're being selfish if we take a day off work, go to bed early, eat the fresh foods, or simply sit still for a little bit.
Self-care, or epigenetics, really boils down to getting enough good sleep, managing stress, eating good foods, moving your body and minimizing toxic environmental exposures. Beyond that, it's important to remember what may serve you really is not necessarily going to serve the next person well. Our genetics are different and what helps with balance is going to be different at some level. Find what works for you, but focus on optimizing these areas.
Whatever self-care looks like for you, that is one of the most powerful ways to support your biochemistry and help your body with that whole balance thing. And when your body can keep things balanced, your food sensitivities (and other issues) will improve, too!
Sixty-second Self-care Tip…
Instead of suggesting a new self-care tip today, why not simply sit down and identify the self-care activities and practices which you already know serve you well!
You've made it to this point in your life! You have some coping mechanisms already in place. Most of us will have some good ones (like taking a nap or participating in a hobby) and some bad ones (Oreo's - mine is Oreo's).
Write them all down. The stuff you used to do when you were a kid or in college but never do now. The new things you've picked up as an adult. Get all of them down on paper and then decide what one or two you want to increase (or decrease, in the case of Oreo's) in your life.
OK…there is ONE rule - Find what works for you and helps your body create and maintain balance.
I'm getting all of the pieces of my Food Sensitivity Code program together and, fingers crossed, I'll have it available to you this month. It'll take you through much of the same but at a deeper level and, if you have them available, with your own genetics! Interested? Join the waitlist here.