How to Determine if You Have a Food Intolerance

Dairy and Gluten for Food Intolerance

You may notice from most of my recipes that I am mainly a paleo-based eater. Let me say that one more time. I am NOT completely paleo, but the majority of the diet I follow is paleo-based. I did not wake up one day and think “oh, today I’m going to start eating paleo.” In fact, until several years ago, I never knew what a paleo diet was. Also, I just starting becoming more in tune with my body and realized that some of the foods I was eating I had an intolerance to. I figured out that my body responds better to holistic foods. Let me also say that a paleo-based diet is not for everyone. After trying numerous diets and different kinds of foods, I have found that a paleo-based diet works best for my lifestyle. However, you have to figure out what works best for your body.

How to Determine if You Have a Food Intolerance

I first figured out I had an intolerance to gluten, which was devastating because I ate pasta EVERY SINGLE DAY. When I went to a restaurant, I did not even look at any other section on the menu; I would go straight to the pasta. My sister started having issues with her gut and she was tested for food allergies and tested positive for an intolerance to gluten. When she was explaining to me all the side effects of a gluten intolerance, I remember thinking, “that sounds exactly like what I experience.” I did not know I had an intolerance to gluten as well. I just thought that my stomach cramping and feeling overly bloated after a meal was normal. Let me tell you, it is NOT normal.

I decided to cut out gluten just to see what happened and what do you know, I felt better. So, I stopped feeling like I was overly stuffed after a meal and my bloating decreased. I have been gluten free ever since.

Cutting Out Dairy

One day, I was reading an article on how dairy has enzymes that can cause people to hang onto extra weight. During this time, I was trying to lose the 30 pounds I gained in college, so I decided to cut out dairy to see if it would help me lose weight. After about a week off dairy, my skin started clearing up, my stomach became even less bloated then when I cut out gluten, and I felt better. Keep in mind, I was someone who would drink at least one glass of milk a day and ate whole milk yogurt almost every day for breakfast.

After being off dairy for a few months, I decided to add some back into my diet slowly but it did not go well. Even with the small amount I was consuming, my face began to breakout again and my stomach would feel nauseous right after consuming it. So I cut it out completely again and my symptoms came to a screeching halt.

This shows how the food that you put into your body can cause drastic symptoms. I do my best to stay away from gluten and diary all together. I will partake on occasion but not often. In the summertime, us southerners love our homemade ice cream! But even as much as I love it, when I eat just one bowl, I will be sick for hours after I consume it. So my consumption of dairy and gluten is minimal. There are some dairy products I can consume, like butter, ghee, and goats milk cheese, that will not cause me problems. So you will see these ingredients in my recipes from time to time.

You may have a food intolerance too but you just don’t realize it. Here are some tips to determine if you have an intolerance:

  1. You are bloated after a meal
  2. You feel overly full
  3. One can get skin rashes
  4. You experience fatigue
  5. You have constant acne
  6. Also, you experience frequent headaches or migraines

Process of elimination is key people! If you experience any of the symptoms on a regular basis, you might have a food intolerance. Eliminate certain foods from your diet and see if the symptoms persist. The most common food intolerances to look for are dairy, gluten, eggs, and soy. The food you eat is not supposed to make you feel miserable. It is to give you energy and help you thrive!

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