A friend of mine had gone to Christmas dinner with her family last year, it was an hour and a half drive in the car from where she lived to where they were. On the way to her family’s house she and her husband had a great time talking and reminiscing about past Christmas celebrations.
When they arrived, she enjoyed the meal that had been prepared just like everyone else and certainly didn’t skimp on the “once a year favorites” that she just couldn’t pass up.
They stayed for several hours before returning to the car for the ride home. On the way, her husband asked a question and she snapped at him for it. He didn’t quite understand what he had done wrong to deserve such a response.
During the ride and after they returned home her mood became worse and worse. This was not at all like my friend and to be honest, she didn’t know why she was doing it.
It took a few days for her mood to return to normal at which time she called me to discuss this odd phenomenon.
We dove into her holiday hour by hour and found out that she had eaten some foods that she normally wouldn’t have due to the sensitivities she has around them.
She has issues with foods like dairy, gluten, and soy. Now to most people, sadly, when they find that they have trouble processing certain foods, it’s not always a big priority to stay away from them – usually because they are some of the foods they enjoy most.
Food sensitivities like these lead the body to create high levels of inflammation. We’re not just talking about joint pain like arthritis here (even though that can be highly agitated by it).
Inflammation begins in the gut most often and if left untreated will spread throughout the body causing symptoms of digestive discomfort, joint pain, heartburn, bloating, gas…..
AND on the mental side- brain fog, anxiety, depression, short temper, inability to sleep well, and so much more.
My friend hadn’t had a bad time at her Christmas gathering, there was no real reason for her poor mood but she had eaten several foods containing foods she was sensitive to. It simply took a little while for the foods to create the right level of inflammation within her body for the reaction she had. And a few days later, when her body finally calmed down, so did her demeanor.
The truth is that food sensitivities are quite common today especially with the foods that are a person’s “go to” foods or even just those undeniable “once per year” foods.
Inflammation is also quite common. In fact, 95% of my clientele are in a place of needing to “calm the body” down when they meet me for the first time.
They have several of the symptoms of inflammation, maybe you do too.
I hear things like- “I can deal with the scratchy throat or digestive discomfort so I’ll just eat it every now and then.”
What they don’t understand is that any symptom you have after eating a specific food is a cry for help from your body.
And anytime you eat something you know your body doesn’t process well or is sensitive to, it will lead to a heightened inflammatory response.
While there is certainly internal damage happening (a topic for another day) your mood begins in your gut.
When your body is unhappy, your mind is unhappy and when your mind is unhappy, you will experience moods and symptoms that you normally wouldn’t.
Which just might leave you wondering….why?
The key to all of this and the reason I bothered to bring it up is that when we know our body doesn’t like a certain food…DON’T EAT IT.
If you don’t know what your body tolerates well and poorly, then you have 2 options. The first is a blood allergen test to show what foods cause trouble for your body and the second is an elimination diet like our 21 day detox (send us an email or give us a call for more info).
The blood test is truly just a starting point for the elimination diet but the diet is the gold standard for figuring out and eliminating food allergens/sensitivities.
Back to my friend….she still enjoys Christmas each year but now she makes sure to eat a bit before she goes (so she’s not ravishingly hungry), talks with her family to find out what is in each food and stays away from the foods she knows aren’t good for her body.
It’s not always about “unhealthy” vs “healthy”, sometimes it’s about what’s good and healthy for YOUR body.
If you want to improve your mood…eat better food.
If you are searching for help with this or other nutritional battles, sign up for our 21 day detox by submitting a contact form with “detox” or give us a call to begin your private nutrition coaching program.