I haven’t written my health story on here yet, but suffice to say the last three years have been a bit of a witch hunt on my body. I read everything about everything in an attempt to find the magic diet that would cure my hypothyroid condition and Hashimotos (an autoimmune disorder). Spoiler: I never found it.
All the diets sounded good when examined in isolation. They were clear, concise and promised a body that would feel the same. The problem was that I like to comparison shop and when I did this with diets they all had things that contradicted one another. It makes it very difficult to know what to do – when you’re ill, all you want is for someone to tell you “Do this and you will be better”. I have since learned so much about the big picture of my own health and how important it is to have autonomy* over myself.
So here’s my hit list of foods that I’ve been told at one point or another not to eat:
- Too much sugar
- Negative day(s) after effect: I always get a slight depressive, end-of-the-world feeling the day after that can linger for a few days. I have to constantly remind myself that I’ve had alcohol and that it’s not reflective of my true reality
- Wine is so inflammatory for me and it makes me so sad! The social ritual of having a glass of red with friends was one of my favourite things, but I get hives and horrible hangovers. I didn’t have wine for almost a year and then tried ONE GLASS of biodynamic, organic Merlot and still had that tightness in my head feeling the next day (like an oncoming headache) accompanied with mild depression and anxiety. Just not worth it.
- Heavily GMO in North America (watch out!), but not in Australia (thank you, thank you)
- Used as a filler in most processed foods, same with soy and wheat, which leads you to inadvertently consuming way more of certain foods than you are aware of (another reason never to consume processed food if you can help it!)
- Full of hormones, allergens, and not good quality
- I recently had a convo with a girl who did her farmwork at a dairy farm that was an expensive, well known brand. She explained how everything was super clean and regulated, but the lives these cows live…it’s like watching a movie set in the future where humans are grown as body parts for other humans. No way for any living being to exist…even if its a ‘good’ farm. How can the milk they produce be of good quality to consume when they aren’t really living?
- Even when I wasn’t a healthy, conscious eater (one of my favourite things to eat was chicken fingers!) I knew I couldn’t have milk. The day after having it I would immediately breakout and have that onset allergy feeling.
- Aside from the fact that this is basically an addictive candy for me (another issue altogether), most dried fruit is made with canola or some other not-good-for-you vegetable oil and preservatives. Even the organic ones – they’re sneaky like that.
- Not you too!: “Eggs also cause inflammation and allergies; feed viruses, bacteria, yeast, mold, Candida and other fungus; and trigger edema in the lymphatic system.” (page 281). This book lists eggs as a thyroid stressor (explanation of why is in book), saying they feed viral infections and that viral infections are the underlying cause of autoimmune diseases.
- They were my main source of protein before (at least two a day). If I have them now, it will be every few weeks/once a month kind of thing.
- I once went on a date with a guy from the RSPCA (animal welfare organisation in Australia) and he said he would never, ever eat chicken or eggs because they are treated horrendously, even when the label says otherwise. I think unless you can find the chicken that laid those eggs and see for yourself that it’s happy, the chances are probably pretty low that what you’re eating is nutritious.
- The salmon you find in Australia is pretty much always farmed and full of hormones
- Sashimi can have parasites…will never forget this story…WARNING: nightmares!
- Tuna has too much mercury
- Supposedly not good for insulin resistance (I’m going to use ‘supposedly’ a lot for this point)
- Supposedly too much sugar (can you tell I’m not ok with this one?!), even though it comes with perfectly proportioned fibre and all the nutrients to digest in a beautiful package from mother earth
- Some are worse offenders than others. I’ll never forget watching an episode of Dr. Oz and hearing him say grapes are just little packages of sugar (!).
- Inflammatory response, even if you’re not coeliac.
- Do feel this whenever I eat bread too much, I can’t handle plain white sliced bread AT ALL, have immediate allergy flare ups, but even with nice artisanal breads I have this very mild hangover effect if I’ve been eating it for a few days or meals in a row.
- See above and this.
Legumes (peanuts, beans, etc.)
Nightshades (tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes, etc.)
- Inflammatory – depending on the state of your gut
- Medical Medium said it’s also a virus aggregator.
- Despite having loved bacon and chorizo, my whole body has a weird reaction everytime I eat pork products.
- Bacon was just listed as a known carcinogenic by the WHO…eek.
Refined sugar and other sweeteners
- Duh, right? This includes honey, coconut sugar, brown rice syrup, stevia…I do believe that the less we use to make things sweeter and the more we get accustomed to the natural sweetness of things as they are the better off we’ll be. The sweet high is the sneakiest addiction!
- Have heard that it’s GMO, even when claimed to be organic…which, if true, means even if you’re eating tempe (the ‘healthier’ tofu because it’s unprocessed)
- Hormone disruptor, messes with your estrogen
- Oh edamame, this makes me sad!
Vegetable oil, canola oil, palm oil, etc.
- I haven’t used these to cook in probably a decade, but they’re probably what’s used every time you eat out, buy a snack (hi dried fruit), etc.
It’s almost everything, right? At some point or another I have not eaten each of these things. It messed with my head, which in turn messed up my body even further. The result was that I became even more disconnected with myself. I didn’t know up from down, everything seemed like the enemy and I developed a lot of food related anxiety. It’s still there, but I’m very slowly trying to find my way back to myself and strengthen my intuition around eating.
So what do I eat now? How do I navigate this minefield? Well that’s for part 2…