Have you ever felt that afternoon slump, or struggled to get going in the morning? Do you often feel like you can’t focus, or find yourself saying, “what was I going to do?” Or maybe you just haven’t been able to shake that “cold” that’s been lingering for weeks, or maybe it’s been months.
If any of these feeling sound familiar, you may have a food sensitivity to blame.
Food sensitivities are your body’s reaction to various foods and can result in many different forms. Fatigue and brain fog, as mentioned above, are two of the symptoms often felt, but here’s a more comprehensive list:
- Brain fog
- Skin problems (rashes,
- Joint pain
- Stomach pain
Food Sensitivity vs Food Allergy
When I first heard of the term, food sensitivity, I thought it was just another way of saying food allergy… but I was wrong. A food allergy causes an immune system reaction that affects organs in the body. It can be severe to life-threatening, causing various symptoms. A food sensitivity, on the other hand, is less serious most of the time and can lead to some unpleasant symptoms. Food sensitivities are not as quick to occur as food allergies and may take days to cause any visible reactions, often making them difficult to diagnose without adequate testing.
Top food sensitivity tests to help you thrive
Tests for a food sensitivity can help alleviate symptoms and to help you get back to feeling awesome. There is so much power in food!
Three ways I’ve tested for food sensitivities:
Elimination diet: At Simple Green Smoothies, we have a few different cleanse and reset programs which also act as an elimination diet for a specific period of time. In just a few days, we’re releasing a brand-new product: Thrive 7-Day Reset! It’s a seven-day reset that offers full day vegan meal-plans, including recipes, shopping lists and more that remove gluten and dairy, two of the most common triggers. This reset is a great starting point for determining whether these foods are causing issues for your body. Check our website starting February 12 to learn more about Thrive 7-Day Reset!
- Pros: It’s affordable and self-controlled; all of the planning is laid out in an easy-to-follow format.
- Cons: It can take lots of time to pinpoint it + rework your diet.
Blood test: Within the last few weeks I took the Food Sensitivity Test from EverlyWell, and I did it all right in my own home. I ordered the kit online, and it shipped directly to my house. The kit spells out the next steps very clearly. I took a slight prick of my finger (no pain at all!), sent in 5 blood samples (droplets on a card), and received my results within a few days.
- Pros: This test gives you quick results to 96 of the most common foods in a Western diet that are known to cause sensitivities; results reviewed by board-certified doctors; EverlyWell provides information on elimination diets that can be done based upon reactivity levels.
- Cons: It’s a financial investment (see below for your chance to win a free kit!).
Applied Kinesiology Muscle Testing: Applied Kinesiology (AK), according to the International College of Applied Kinesiology, is a system that evaluates structural, chemical and mental aspects of health using manual muscle testing combined with other standard methods of diagnosis. In testing food sensitivities in this manner, foods and other substances are “tested” against the patient by placing them under their tongue or in vials that are held/placed on the patient. The doctor, which is often a chiropractor, naturopath, etc., then tests muscle weaknesses that are found when those food sources come in contact with the patient. My son, Jackson, had this testing done and we had a great experience with it (keep scrolling to read more about that).
- Pros: This process can give you immediate results and suggestions for a dietary change + may be covered by insurance. Retesting can determine if those dietary changes are making a difference.
- Cons: You must find a reputable practicing doctor and make office visits. Validity of testing is sometimes in question.
Whatever you decide to do, finding out if you do have a food sensitivity can be life-changing. It was for my son, Jackson, when he was two years old. We found out through an elimination diet + muscle testing that he was sensitive to corn. Up until that point he had been on a monthly dose of antibiotics to kick his “cold” that just wouldn’t go away. Yet since we found out his sensitive and try to avoid all forms of corn, for the past 8 years he hasn’t been on antibiotics once. Note: EverlyWell tests are not meant for anyone under the age of 18.
The quickest way to pinpoint food sensitivities
Once you pinpoint a food sensitivity, it can dramatically change your life. We’ve partnered with EverlyWell who makes it easy to help you decipher which foods may be causing issues and to assist in creating a clear elimination plan.
You may recognize EverlyWell from their appearance on SharkTank in November 2017. Their ease of ordering and taking the test makes finding out about your food sensitivities so easy that it’s a perfect tie-in to what we at SGS try to help you do—feel your best!
I tested the Food Sensitivities, because I wanted to know which of the 96 most common foods in a Western diet may be hindering me from feeling my most desired self.
The kit was delivered to my door within a couple days of ordering. The box had clear instructions that guided me to do a simple prick of my finger (didn’t hurt one bit!) and 5 tiny blots of blood. I sent this back, and it was reviewed by a board-certified physician. I was emailed a notification and was able to view my results easily online. Pretty awesome, huh?!
The results show you how your body reacts to each of the foods tested on a class scale, which runs from 0-3; 0 is low reactivity and 3 is high reactivity. It’s important to note that EverlyWell tests IgG antibodies, which are generated in response to a trigger but are continuously metabolized (broken down) by the body. This means that if you have recently eliminated triggering foods from your diet, you may not have any elevated IgG reactivity to report. This does not mean that an IgG response to the triggering food was never present.
My favorite thing about EverlyWell is how easy they make food sensitivity testing—I didn’t even have to leave my house! I plan to take a food sensitivity test again later this year, because our bodies tend to change over time and so do our sensitivities (I also want to see if they change based on the season).
So, you have a food sensitivity. Now what?
Along with your results, EverlyWell provides information on elimination diets that can be done based upon reactivity levels.. You can try their suggestions and see just how much better you feel; why not, right?! Of course if you choose to not eliminate some of the foods that are causing reactions, you’ll at least have some further insight on what may be making you feel badly. Knowledge is power!
A Food Sensitivity Kit is the perfect companion to our brand-new Thrive Winter Reset. They give you the powerful and helpful information on the foods that are problematic to your body, and we deliver the recipes that will help you follow through with their suggestions. Thrive is filled with green smoothies (of course!) and delicious plant-based meals + snacks that are free of gluten, corn and dairy – perfect if any of the glutenous, dairy, corn or egg foods show up on your EverlyWell test as potential triggers. We’re going to start sharing more about Thrive Winter Reset toward the end of this week, so now is the best time to take action on step one: get your EverlyWell Food Sensitivity Kit.