My 7 week Food Intolerance Test
Today marks the end of a seven-week food challenge that my wife and I took. Some people call it a cleanse, some people called a diet, we call it a challenge. It is the Virgin Diet, written by JJ Virgin. For the first three weeks you cut out soy gluten dairy eggs peanuts and corn and processed sugar. At the time that I started it it was three weeks before I was about to begin my full marathon training so I figured I would give it a go. My goal was to start my training at a lower weight is that I would have the strength and energy to run four days a week and to have the strength and energy for the long weekend runs. My wife was on board with this so we did it together and that definitely made it easier.
The first thing that people say to me once they heard that I was doing this challenge was “what do you eat? ” that answer is simple, wasn’t that hard to do. We are allowed to eat any type of fish or meat. She does ask that you eat lean meats to stay healthy but basically any kind of meat. Any vegetable , except for corn. Same goes with nuts , just no peanuts. you can load up on pistachios, cashews, etc. and even though you’re giving up gluten, most people don’t realize that you can eatt potatoes, sweet potatoes, brown rice, and quinoa. This was not a far stretch from what we normally would eat. It really did keep us in line and keep us away from snacking on unhealthy foods.
In the beginning, my biggest challenge was giving up eggs. I love my eggs. Let me say that again I love my eggs in the morning. Breakfast was like a religious experience for me. No matter how late I was running for work I would make the time to whip up some eggs some veggies and some Ezekiel toast. I really did miss them for the first three days maybe even four. This diet has you making a shake every morning for breakfast. The shake consists of either unsweetened almond or coconut milk, lots of berries, and for us we use the hemp protein powder. The idea is you don’t want to use a whey or ceisin protein powder. It is now seven weeks later and I love having my shake for breakfast. But let’s get back to the rest of this challenge.
Once the three weeks is over, you start to introduce four of the seven foods again. Gluten, soy, eggs, and dairy. The order in which introduce them doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you test them for four days out of the week. Then for the remaining three days you eat like you did during the first three weeks. The idea behind this is you see if you have a food intolerance. That is the key thing behind this diet/challenge/clans is to see what type of intolerance you might have for certain foods. A food allergy is a very serious thing and anyone who has one knows that they have one. For the food intolerance could be as minor as a slight headache, upset stomach, or a severe as acne or heartburn or nausea.
WEEK 4 : Our first week of testing these foods, we decided to test gluten. We are very happy to have her bread and are pretzels and I was thrilled to have my beer. Okay, you’re really not supposed to have beer during the first seven weeks but we were on vacation so take that up with the man upstairs. Only he can judge. We both noticed how much different way we felt having gluten. We felt extremely bloated, extremely lethargic, and in some cases I would get severe heartburn.
WEEK 5 : We tested eggs. Oh goody! I could finally have my eggs. I did okay with them. But I did find out was that I can’t eat them every day and I can’t eat a lot of them and have several cups of coffee. The combination of the two is a recipe for extreme heartburn. Almost to the point of nausea. But as I mentioned before, we’re both so used to having the shakes that we don’t miss the exit much.
WEEK 6 :The third week of testing was Morgan’s favorite. Okay was my favorite too next to the eggs. It was dairy. For the most part we stuck to healthy forms of dairy like Greek yogurt and Keffer. There were a few evenings that we had cheese but none of us felt anything was wrong with having a bit of cheese.
WEEK 7: The final week of testing found this looking at soy. Since we both read labels and ingredients on things we don’t get a lot of soy from condiments. Most of the soy that we eat is in the form of at edamame and tofu. We were able to try both and had no reaction whatsoever to them.
So for the most part, but we learn from this challenge but we have to be careful with our gluten intake. Sure we can have it but we have to be careful how much. Eggs are in moderation and everything else seems to be okay.
I am down 23 lbs. Some of my pants are sliding off my ass. My tight shirts are now loose and I feel amazing! Not all foods are rewards, either. We ordered sanswiches for lunch on Sunday. Turkey hoagie is the healthier choice, right? I felt horrible after. My stomach felt bloated and I just did not enjoy it.
This Whole ‘GLUTEN’ Thing
Not too long ago, a local restaurateur, Mark Vetri, made the headlines in the Huffington Post on an article where he spoke about gluten. Before I even read the article I noticed, through social media, all the slander that the gluten-free people were getting. It manly came down to name calling. “Those hipsters”, “Yuppt wannabes”. I was a bit perplexed as even some of my close friends joined in bashing this ‘new craze”. I was about to go off on a tirade until I decided to read the full article. I was wrong and the comments I read had little to do with what Mark Vetri said. He had mentioned how most people don’t really know what gluten is. He begins by saying that he gladly tends to the needs of each customer of his, since there are all types of food allergies and intolerances. I commend him on this. His frustration stemmed from a woman who claimed to be gluten intolerant, and then bashed him for serving rice. (there’s no gluten in rice,lady!)
To avoid the topic of those who are confused by what gluten is I will say that having tested gluten I will decide what type of gluten I will have. If we go out to eat and there’s a killer craft beer draught list, I’ll choose a few beers over bread and pasta. And hey, I can have my potatoes and rice, just cut out or lower the processed stuff. Besides, why bother when I can eat all of this!