Healthy Food and Food Intolerance: my experience

Did you know that food intolerances can account for many symptoms from poor digestion to skin rashes?

This post comes with a gift; it’s worth reading to the end.

Springtime

It’s Springtime, and just like every change in Season, our body resents it, like it’s in need of maintenance before accepting the new weather, new light and even the fresh ingredients that start popping up at the market.

Despite this, I love Spring and its feeling of renewal. The promise of sunny and warmer days.

But it comes with challenges that, this particular year, were more evident than usual. Late February I started feeling uneasy, my digestion was painful and I started growing this very unwelcome tummy. And, as much as I made my meals lighter, the symptoms persisted.

Food Intolerance?

Fate made it that I met the person who brought me the solution on TV (the show “É a Vida Alvim,” on Canal Q): Dr. Paula Henriques, owner of iCare Clinic in Lisbon. We got along very well, both on the show and afterward. Serendipity!

One of the Clinic’s services is the Food Intolerance Test, made by Dr. Paula with a German non-invasive technology. I assure you, if needles were involved, I would have fled the room 😉

My new friend invited me to do the test, and there I went. I’m glad I did!

The results were quite surprising because deep down I always believe to be ‘completely normal’ and to have no problems at all. 

Well, this time the test showed quite some intolerances and many of them to foods that are considered healthy, although not compatible with me at this time. We’re not talking about fried sausage or Oreo Cheesecake, no; It’s broccoli, parsley and the like!

The results were entirely coherent with my symptoms. I’m aware that these tests are not the absolute truth – just like any test, apart from DNA tests, the results are a picture of your body at the time you take them. 

The worst

At this point, my body wants nothing but distance from:

  • dairy
  • fructose 
  • scrimp and most other seafood
  • industrial additives (such as artificial colorings, sweeteners, etc.)
  • vegetables such as broccoli, watercress, broad beans, and chives;
  • pumpkin and sunflower seeds;
  • and, imagine, parsley and mustard.

Yeast also shows up very red, as well as most alcoholic beverages and some of the gluten-free cereals.

The best

So, what can I eat??

I’ve had to change a few habits, let me tell you:

Tea

I’ve preferred green tea for years, because of its antioxidant power. Now, I should drink only black tea. Of course, this is the perfect excuse to pay a visit to my favorite tea shop.

Fruit

You better not eat a lot of fruit, if you want to avoid fructose. Some fruits show up green in the test, such as grapefruit, lemon, the greener apples, and pears, to name the ones in Season. For Summer, I’ll get to eat nectarines and figs – yes!

I’ve cut fruit for dessert, which is a good thing anyway, to avoid excessive fermentation. I eat it midmorning or in small quantities as part of a salad – check out this one, great for Spring: Pear and Fennel Salad. 

Dates were evicted from my pantry – not surprising, as they are about 60% fructose. I can have apricots, so I’m trying new snack recipes. 

Nuts and seeds

It was surprising to see that I should avoid pumpkin and sunflower seeds as, usually, nuts are more allergenic. Clearly, not for me!

Vegetables

A few surprises here too: broccoli, chard, watercress, green beans and mushrooms are not good for me.

On the other hand, ginger comes up as THE food for me. 

So many changes!

Now you ask me: ‘but do you think it’s worth all the hassle?’

Look, I’ll go with yes. After all, I want to feel 100% well every day, to have the energy to work, exercise and play. And, since I’ve implemented the most significant changes, my digestion has improved significantly. 

It’s a matter of looking for new recipes, new routines. And I appreciate the change. It makes me feel progressing. 

I’ve started by looking for a past favorite, that now will be perfect for me: Ginger and Carrot Dressing. There are a few different recipes, and I’m testing them to get to my version of it. I’ll share, promise.

A special offer!

If you’re in Lisbon and you want to take this test, you can do it at iCare Clinic, with an exceptional price: Glow Chef readers will have a 15€ discount. Make sure you mention ‘Glow Chef’ when you make your booking.

Call (+351) 214 864 111 or visit the website: www.icare.pt 

And, afterward, I’ll be here to help you cook for whichever changes you might have to make.

Did you know that food intolerance cause symptoms from poor digestion to skin rashes? And that you can be intolerant to very healthy foods? Read on.

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