Paleo, vegan, grain-free, Gaps, AIP, Keto, FODMAP....the list goes on and on and they all claim to be the answer to your autoimmune, your inflammation, your weight loss, and ultimately reclaiming your life again. How do you know what's right diet for inflammation? What's the right diet for you specifically? My answer may surprise you.
After our family healed, I was so excited that I told everyone what we did and I thought they should all jump on board and try it too. After all, if it worked for our family, it would work for others too, right? I quickly realized that was not the case. In fact, for some, it made them feel worse. I simply didn't know what I didn't know.
The answer is quite simple. We are all unique. We were all uniquely made and have unique nutritional needs, sensitivities, and what works for me may not work for you. If your body has certain nutritional needs and is deficient in what it needs most, you will continue to have pain, inflammation, and not completely heal until you address your unique nutitional needs. This explains why trying to eat vegan made me feel worse, but some of my clients thrived eating this way. There are so many factors involved on finding the right diet for inflammation. We are not one size fits all and neither should what we put into our bodies be one size fits all. This is true of diets, supplements, exercise, all of it. This can make things a little tricky for people who are so desperately looking for answers to heal from their autoimmune diseases and looking for ways to decrease inflammation. It's easy to get caught up in all the hype of the latest fad diet.
General nutrition guidelines can be helpful in knowing where to start. For instance, there are certain foods that are more allergenic than others and those are always a good place to start when doing an elimination diet to discover food sensitivities. Finding the right foods that your body needs to thrive is often a part of the process that gets ignored. We tend to only look at avoiding rather than adding the foods that are right for us to heal and maintain ultimate health. Some of the things to look for are:
Identifying food sensitivities
Eating more of the foods that make you feel good
Reducing or removing sugar and processed foods
Knowing what to change in your diet and when- your cells change every 90 days
Experimenting by eliminating suspected foods for 3-4 weeks
Getting help through health coaching, epigenetic testing, diagnostics to identify exactly what you should and shouldn't be eating
Recognizing when you need to change things up
When I implemented a gut healing diet with our entire family, some of us saw results almost immediately. My 3 year old son's behavior improved within days. For my daughters, it took a little longer. For me, it was about 6 months before I really felt amazing. I had energy, the brain-fog had lifted, and the anxiety and depression were completely gone. I was so excited about how I felt, that I kept doing what I was doing, without re-introducing some of the foods we had been avoiding. What I didn't realize at the time, was that as my body was healing, my nutritional needs were changing. I went way too long eating the same foods and then I became deficient in other areas. Thankfully, I was able to get some tests done and correct the problem quickly. This is something I see with my coaching clients as well. Before they come to me, they may identify what foods to avoid, but never work on healing so that they can reintroduce the foods. I believe that God made all the food for us to eat. He wouldn't have created grains, fruit, and other foods if we were supposed to avoid them indefinitely. It simply doesn't make sense.
My recent surprise as a Health Coach
I've been teaching on gut health since 2011, after we healed our own family. You can read more about my story here. I follow the 80/20 rule for eating healthy, practice a healthy mindset, and for the most part, I've felt good. Recently, a friend of mine introduced me to the concept of Epigenetic Testing and customized whole food nutrition. It appealed to me because after turning 50, my hormones have been a little wonky, I haven't been sleeping well, and I've put on a few pounds which despite my efforts, I haven't been able to release. I sent in a hair folicle and I got back a 24 page report on what foods I should be eating based on my epigenetics, along with a customized whole food blend made just for me. Through the science of epigenetics, you can change the way your genes are expressing themselves. Your DNA is not your destiny and is determined by your lifestyle, your unique nutritional needs, and how you handle stress, anxiety, and life in general.
What shocked me about my test results is that some of those foods that I was limiting, my body actually needed. Since I've made those changes, my energy has increased, I've become more regular, and the pants that I haven't been able to fit over my hips in 3 years are loose again!
To your health,
Kimberly Lebbing is a Certified Health Coach, NLP Practitioner, wife, and mom. She tackles both the gut and the brain because digesting life and digesting food are directly related. She incorporates bio-individuality into her programs through epigenetic testing. She helps people have more energy, lose weight, and get their mental clarity back. She loves helping people get results so that they can focus on the things they love instead of being sick, inflamed, and in pain.