Food Sensitivity, Intolerance, or Allergy? When Healthy Food Can Be a Problem.


A diet consisting of unprocessed, whole foods is the healthiest.  That’s a given. Because of this, one would think that if they are eating the very healthiest, there should be no issue with what they’re eating, right?  Wrong. What many don’t realize is that we can have reactions to healthy foods without even realizing it!

How can healthy food be a problem? Well, there are food allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances. If I have an intolerance to a particular food - let’s say wheat - I’ll potentially experience a side-effect that isn’t pleasant. I’ll break these terms down a bit and explain the differences.

Food Allergies

Food allergies occur when our immune system identifies a component in the food as an antigen. This causes an immune response, the body creates antibodies against the food.  Food allergies affect approximately 32 million Americans (

There are two types of true food allergies:

  1. Type I -  This involves IgE antibodies and produce an immediate allergic response such as hives, rashes, or itching.  Severe reactions can cause breathing problems, unconsciousness, and even result in death. An example of this type of allergy would be a peanut or shellfish allergy.  

  2. Type III - IgG antibodies are involved with this food allergy and the food reaction is delayed.  These allergies are often called sensitivities and can take several hours or days to manifest. You might think of these as hidden sensitivities as they can be difficult to detect and pinpoint.  

Food Intolerances:

A food intolerance would be a reaction to a food and the immune system is not involved.  The body is not able to digest the food completely. An example would be intestinal pain after drinking milk.  The individual experiencing this lack lactase, the enzyme with digests the lactose in the milk.

Food intolerances could also be from pharmacological activity - a drug like effect - to naturally occurring substances in food.  Tyramines, which are found in some cheeses and wine, would be an example. Those intolerant to tyramines may experience migraine headaches  after consuming foods containing them. Agricultural chemicals, food additives, MSG, and artificial sweeteners can also create symptoms as our bodies are not equipped to metabolize these substances properly.  

Food allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances can spring up at any age.  Our genetic disposition, detoxification pathways, toxic load, and our own uniqueness have a role in the manifestation of symptoms.

How can you find out if you are experiencing a reaction to the food you eat?

One of the first and easiest ways to discover if you are reacting to a particular food is by doing an elimination diet for a few weeks.  With an elimination diet, the most common foods known to cause inflammation are omitted for a period of time and then individually re-introduced.  Two programs that I walk my clients through are my Seasonal Reset and the 21-Day Sugar Detox. With both programs, we eliminate processed foods, gluten, dairy, soy, and corn.  Clients can expect to experience less bloating, less joint pain, better sleep, and more energy.

There’s a possibility that even after cutting out the items listed above, that an individual is still experiencing a reaction to food and has not been able to identify what it is.  A good example of this was a client who was very intentional about eating very healthy. She followed all of the guidelines to repair her health and reduce inflammation. But she wasn’t feeling better, she was feeling worse.  We had to dig deeper with blood testing.

Using KBMO Diagnostic Labs, I ran a simple test called the Food Inflammation Test (FIT).  The FIT Test measures IgG and Immune Complexes, sensitivities to over 132 different foods and additives. Through this testing, we discovered that Turmeric, which is very healthy and healing, was causing an inflammatory response in her body. In fact, the response was very obvious - it caused a bright rash all over her face!

I had been noticing that after I ate at one of my favorite restaurants, I would wake up with joint pain in my fingers.  I had suspected that I was having a reaction to corn as I would often have tacos with homemade corn tortillas. When running the FIT Test on myself, I discovered, sadly, that the culprit food was cabbage and not corn.  My tacos were served with cabbage in place of lettuce. Healing my gut, I can now have cabbage on occasion and not have joint pain.

I’ve used other food sensitivity testing labs and prefer KBMO for my clients. In addition to their personal report, my clients receive a sample meal plan, lists of foods that can be cross-reactive for them, and a wellness action plan.

We are all uniquely individual.  Our bodies all have different requirements and needs.  One size doesn’t fit all. Knowing, nurturing, and supporting our unique bodies is key to having good health.

Interested in knowing more about FIT testing for you or a family member? Contact me, we’ll schedule a 20-minute discovery call to see if FIT testing is a good fit for you - pun intended!


Bauman, E., Foundations of Nutrition

Lipski, E., Digestive Wellness



Thanks to much of what we hear in the media, detoxing has earned a reputation for being unhealthy and even unsafe. When you hear the word “detox” or “cleanse” do you immediately think of all-liquid diets, expensive supplements and short-term deprivation for short-term gains?

The truth is, a detox or cleanse doesn’t have to involve any of the above—and if you do it in a healthy, supportive manner, you can achieve lasting results in weight loss, energy gain and full-body health. 

The following are four myths you may have heard about detoxing. Understandably, these myths may cause you to be  hesitant to try a detox. 

Keep reading to find out the truth behind these myths and why detoxing might be just what your body is craving. 

Myth # 1: You won’t enjoy anything you’re eating while on a detox. 

While you might have to eliminate certain foods that you enjoy, detoxing isn’t all about eating lettuce with a drizzle of olive oil. There are many delicious recipes that can be prepared using healthy ingredients that not only taste amazing, but nourish and refresh your body. 

The best part is, many of them don’t involve any fancy ingredients and can be prepared even by a cooking novice. In fact, my clients always discover new foods and recipes that they absolutely love that have become staples in their diets long after the detox ends.

Myth #2:  You’ll constantly be hungry while detoxing. 

While you might end up consuming fewer calories when following a detox, you shouldn't feel deprived or hungry. Going on an extremely low-calorie diet can actually disrupt your hormones and metabolism, making your body less efficient in the long run. 

Everyone’s caloric needs are different, so a detox should never dictate how many calories you consume. By consuming whole foods that provide you with the right nutrients, you help detox your body while feeling satisfied.  My clients are always amazed that they never feel hungry during my programs.

Myth #3:  You need to do an all-liquid detox to remove toxins from your body. 

Liquid-only detoxes have had more than their fair share of popularity. These types of detoxes can backfire: Not only do people often gain the weight back as soon as the detox ends, but such restrictive eating for several days can be detrimental to your health. An effective program will include a variety of whole foods to help nourish your body and produce long-term results.

Myth #4: Detoxes are just a way for people to make money on expensive supplements. 

Supplements involved in a detox or cleanse should be just that, a supplementary part of the program, not the primary source of your nutrition.  While on a detox, you get most of your vitamins and minerals from whole-food sources. 

Supplements may be recommended to help your body make the most of the nutrients it receives from these foods.  For example, by including probiotics in your diet, you help your body produce vitamins, absorb minerals and remove toxins from the body.

Aside from the benefits discussed above, detoxing is an incredibly effective way to identify if you have any food sensitivities, balance your hormones, and establish healthy habits for the long term. 

 I’ve worked with participants who not only have lost weight and kept it off, but who have also seen their energy level skyrocket, their skin clear up and even their allergies disappear.

Are you ready to discover the benefits of healthy detoxing for yourself?

 Click here to learn more about my upcoming 14-Day Winter Cleanse.  

It starts on February 4, 2019.  Register by January 31st. Introductory price of $39! 

Stuffed Summer Squash


I came across these cute little squash while visiting a local farmer's market.  I had never seen round yellow squash!  My friend told me how delicious they were when stuffed and I knew that I had to purchase some and try my hand at it!  These were fun and delicious!


  • 3 round summer squash

  • 3/4 cup squash meat, chopped

  • 1 egg

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 3 white mushrooms, chopped

  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped

  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

  • 1/4 shredded carrot

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Preheat oven to 375

Cut the top off of the squash.  Using a small scooper, scoop the meat and seeds out, leaving about 1/4 inch around the sides.  In a medium bowl, mix all of the ingredients together well.  Press the mixture firmly into the squash cavity.  Bake, uncovered in baking dish for approximately 45 minutes.

Protein Packed Collard Wraps


I'm hooked on collard wraps this Spring!  They are easy, versatile, low-carb, and fun to eat!  AND...they are also 21-Day Sugar Detox approved.  This last weekend, I played around in the kitchen with different proteins and made three varieties.  I admit, only one was 21DSD approved!  The picture shows chicken wraps, a veggie burger wraps, and tofu wraps.  

You'll need:

  • A bundle of large collard wraps.  Look for the freshest, these will be perky and will not have yellow spots or rips in the leaves.
  • Kirkland no-salt seasoning blend.  You can also use your own favorite spice.  I look for pure ingredients, and no MSG.
  • Raw sunflower seeds.  You can use pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, or even chopped walnuts.
  • Hummus.  I used an artichoke hummus.  A pesto or even mayo will work too.
  • Greens.  I used a shredded slaw mix consisting of purple cabbage, carrots, green cabbage. I also added sprouts.  Arugula is a nice option too.
  • Avocado.  My favorite!  No meal is complete for me without avocado!
  • Finally, your protein!  Oh, and coconut oil to cook it!

How to:

  1. Fill a large pot with water, add a dash of salt, bring to a rapid broil.
  2. In a medium skillet, melt 2 T of coconut oil over medium heat.
  3. Slice your protein into strips that are about 1 1/2 - 2 inches wide and about 3 to 3 1/2 inches long.  
  4. Coat your protein with the Kirkland no-salt seasoning.  Be as generous as you like!
  5. Cook the protein, turning once or twice.  Cook the chicken slower so that it doesn't dry out.
  6. While the protein is cooking, set up some small bowls of your greens, sprouts, seeds.  Have your hummus or other spread ready as well.  Slice up your avocado.  
  7. Trim the thick stem off of the collard leaves.  I lay it down with the stem side facing me and run a sharp paring knife over the backside, making the stem flat.
  8. Place a large bowl of ice cold water next to your cooking station.  
  9. One at a time, dip a collard leaf in the boiling water. Let the leaf soften in the water, about 10 to 15 seconds.  Upon removing the collard leaf from the boiling water, dip into the ice-cold water.  
  10. Lay the leaf flat, now it's time for your filling!  Spread about 1 1/2 T of hummus over the surface of the leaf.
  11. In the center of the leaf, place your cooked protein.  
  12. Add your greens, avocado and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of seeds over the avocado.
  13. Starting from the sides, fold the leaf over.  Then, wrap the bottom part over the filling and begin rolling it up.  Kind of like a burrito that is closed at both sides.
  14. Voila!  You've made your wrap!  

You can really put anything in these wraps.  Olives, tomato, cucumber, it doesn't matter because it is going to be delicious!  Not only that, they are great for any meal!  Even those on-the-go ones!