I’ve experimented with my diet quite a bit. A few years ago I gave up cow’s milk in favour of almond and soy milk after reading some disturbing facts and for the whole of January last year I quit sugar, although I soon lost my way with that one. I’ve also tried going low carb and high protein, but I’ve never definitively known what I should or should not be eating.
Recently I’ve suffered with bloating and a sluggish digestion and after reading Clean Gut by Alejandro Junger I knew it must be something in my diet causing it, but I didn’t know what. I suspected dairy and gluten might be an issue as my symptoms played up slightly after I ate them, but I wasn’t sure it was enough to cut them out completely. After all, doctors warn that cutting out gluten unnecessarily could be harmful.
Then along came YorkTest Laboratories and their Food & Drink Intolerance Test that you do in the comfort of your own home. I am super annoyed at myself as I took step by step pictures of myself taking the test and then lost my camera’s memory card somewhere between my Mum’s house, mine or my boyfriend’s house. I wanted to show just how easy the test is, but alas, my memory card had other ideas! I’ll just have to try to describe the process to you.
The Testing Process
The test arrives in a discreet package that can easily fit through the letterbox. Inside the box is an instructional sheet, an envelope for you to send the test back to the laboratories, a black marker pen, an antiseptic wipe, two finger pricks and a cotton swab and container. Before you start, you need to write your name on the container then wash your hands thoroughly and wipe your fingers with the antiseptic wipe. Next, grab the finger prick and literally prick your finger. I didn’t feel any pain at all, it was so quick and easy. Gently squeeze your finger to produce blood and soak it up with the cotton swab before placing the swab in the container. That’s it! It was over in 5 minutes, then I popped it back in the post and waited patiently for my results. So, what were my results?
My Test Results
My results arrived quite quickly and again, in a discreet envelope. The Food & Drink Scan tests against reactions to 158 foods and drinks. As well as showing which foods you react to, you get a guide book explaining what to do going forward, a food & drink diary to track your progress as well as a 30 minute phone call to one of YorkTest’s Nutritional Therapists. The results are shown in a traffic light style, red showing foods you’ve reacted to, yellow showing a borderline reaction from and green showed no reaction.
My red reactions (I should eliminate) were:
Yeast, Egg whites, Hops and Grape (Chardonnay)
My borderline reactions (I may or may not benefit from eliminating) were:
Cows Milk, Crustacean Mix, Egg Yolk and Grape (Shiraz)
I’d suspected I was sensitive to gluten, but I’m actually intolerant to yeast which I feel is better. Unfortunately, yeast is in all the yummy naughty foods like muffins, cakes, croissants, breads but also quorn and stock cubes. When I’m eating clean I usually cut these foods out, but now I’ll have to cut out wholemeal bread and check the ingredients labels on the stock cubes I use. Egg whites and egg yolk was a shock to me as I love eggs and never suspected I had a problem with them, I must confess I’ll be sad to give up eggs! Hops and Crustacean Mix (crab, lobster, prawn/shrimp) I’m not too bothered about as I hate beer and shellfish so they’re not a part of my diet. I was surprised Cows Milk wasn’t a red reaction for me as that is something I’d already noticed has a negative effect on me. Although I don’t drink cows milk, I do eat cheese, yogurt and have whey protein, so I will need to find alternatives for these. I have mixed feelings about Chardonnay & Shiraz as I rarely drink but when I do I have no idea what type of wine I drink.
I’m going to give up all of my reactions, red and yellow for 6 weeks and monitor how I get on. I’m not sure I can live forever without eggs so I am keen to reintroduce them after 6 weeks to see how I react then and if I can stand to eat them again. It’s going to be tough, so bare with me. I’ll be starting in February and I can’t wait for my bloating to disappear and digestion to improve, fingers crossed!