Robin Benardot

Robin Benardot

For Cici, the past 30 days of the LEAP Program have been focused on observing her reaction to the “green” (safe) foods on her MRT150 blood test results.  A “green,” vs. a yellow or red result, means that the particular food is unlikely to cause noticeable symptoms.  Yellow and red foods are likely to cause symptoms because the her body mistakenly perceives these foods as somehow dangerous.  The body, in its infinite wisdom, will mount a defense against these foods, and it is this overblown defense system that creates the symptoms.

The food sensitivities test gave us the framework to start our investigation, but it is the actual food testing that gives us the answers. So up until this point, we have learned a lot about Cici’s individual food tolerances.  She has seen a definite improvement in her reflux symptoms, but she has also has had some bonus symptom relief in other areas that are not so easily attributed to food sensitivities and better nutrition. Cici stated that her overall energy levels and concentration have improved.  She feels emotionally and mentally clearer.

How can food affect you that way? The gut literally has a mind of its own, called the enteric nervous system. Half of your nerves are in your gut. Neurotransmitters (chemicals that allow your nerve cells to communicate with each other) are found in equal amounts in the brain and the gut.  Ever heard of serotonin? Drugs that manipulate neurotransmitters are widely prescribed to treat depression.  Some of the chief side effects of these drugs are GI related because they will not only affect the serotonin in your brain but also the serotonin in your gut.  Doesn’t that make sense?

So if your particular immune system wiring perceives a specific food as an invader, part of the defensive response will include mediators like serotonin. And yes, serotonin levels affect mood.  My “gut instincts” tell me that there is a connection here…  Food affects mood!

At this point in Cici’s LEAP investigation, we can now begin to test some of her chemical sensitivities.  We have purposely avoided green foods that naturally contain sulfites, phenylethylamine, and salicylates, but now is the time to slowly begin testing her threshold to these chemical tolerances. We are also beginning a Rotation Diet of her safe foods so that she will only eat these foods once every 3 days.  Rotating foods allows a greater variety and better intake of nutrients, but also rotation has another important purpose.  By eating safe foods less frequently, we decrease the chances of becoming sensitive to safe foods.

Our goal is to test 30 foods in the next 30 days without aggravating Cici’s reflux symptoms. Armed with her new food list and marching orders to eat smaller meals every 3 to 3-1/2 hours, let’s see how she feels in one month…

Robin Benardot, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Certified LEAP Therapist

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