For 14 days, eliminate gluten, soy, and dairy from your diet. On the 15th day, have pancakes for breakfast, pasta for lunch, and pizza for dinner. Notice and write down your body’s reaction.
Many people are sensitive to gluten and don’t even know it. Gluten intolerance can cause problems from weight gain and fatigue symptoms to Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Not everyone is gluten-intolerant, but everyone can benefit from a two-month gluten vacation. When you enjoy a gluten-free diet, you will naturally eat more unprocessed foods such as organic vegetables, quality proteins, fats, and healthy carbs. In addition, you will eat less processed and refined foods which contain gluten.
Gluten is found in wheat, rye, spelt, bulgur, semolina, couscous, triticale, and durum flour. It can be sneaky, so read labels carefully. Also, be wary of modified food starch, dextrin, flavorings and extracts, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, imitation seafood, and creamed or thickened products such as soups, stews, and sauces.
Some starchy foods do not contain gluten. These include amaranth, arrowroot, buckwheat, corn, millet, potato, quinoa, oats, and rice.
People who are intolerant to gluten will need to modify their diets for life. But, for everyone else, the two-month vacation is enough, and after that, you can again introduce grains containing gluten into your now-healthier diet.
About half of the people sensitive to gluten are also allergic to soy and soy products. Soy has been genetically modified and is often used as a food additive, explaining the widespread allergies to soy products.
For two months, avoid all concentrated soy protein products, including tofu, tempeh, soy protein powders, and bars containing soy protein. Most people can tolerate the small amounts of soy proteins in soy sauce or whole soybeans.
It is easy to detect reactions to pasteurized dairy products, including pasteurized milk, cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese — but not eggs. This is because people who are lactose intolerant cannot digest the carbohydrate or sugar portion of milk, and people who are allergic to milk have a bad reaction to milk proteins. In addition, pasteurization and homogenization destroy the enzymes in milk that help us digest it, the healthy bacteria in milk that help keep the gut working well, and the beneficial fats, changing a very nutritious and healing food into a potentially harmful product.
Try avoiding pasteurized dairy of any kind for two weeks. Then introduce raw dairy. After two weeks, most people will be able to tell if they are sensitive to dairy by drinking a large glass of whole raw milk first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. After that, if you have no digestive symptoms, you can probably consume raw dairy products. Raw butter contains butyric acid, and this, along with the healthy bacteria in butter, helps heal the GI tract in dramatic ways. As always, Dr. Bennett is happy to help you with your summer diet, cleanse, and clinical nutrition. Click here for more information on Functional Medicine.