Have you ever tried to make a major change to your diet? From reducing your sugar intake to switching to more plant-based alternatives, knowing where to begin can be a minefield. And, without a clear goal or plan of action, the motivation that got you started can soon dwindle away.
This is certainly the case when it comes to finding out your food intolerances. Armed with the knowledge of exactly which foods have been causing you to experience symptoms like IBS or acne, you’re bound to feel a sense of empowerment. But where do you start? How do you safely remove those foods and what do you replace them with to make sure you’re keeping your diet balanced and nutritious?
These are important questions to ask and are the reason that our food intolerance tests include a telephone consultation with a Nutritional Therapist.
Here’s why that 30-minute call is the most important part of your food intolerance test.
1. Getting off to a great start
So, you’ve taken your food intolerance test and the results are in. You know your trigger foods. Now what? Simply being aware of the foods that give you problems won’t change anything. You need to take steps to remove and replace those foods. But where do you start?
It’s not uncommon to experience reactions to between 4 and 6 foods. If those foods are a major part of your diet, it can feel overwhelming knowing where to begin.
Talking to a qualified Nutritional Therapist, as soon as possible after you receive your results, is important to help you understand the changes you need to make.
2. Sussing out your substitutes
Understanding your intolerances and finding ways to manage them usually involves avoiding your trigger foods. But simply cutting out whole food groups is not the best way to maintain a healthy diet, and it’s not any fun either! It’s incredibly important to make sure that when something is removed from your diet, that you are still getting the vitamins and nutrients you need from other sources.
If, for example, you discover that cow’s milk causes you problems, you could swap to an alternative milk drink like oat, soya or almond. But that’s only part of making a healthy switch. You may have an alternative to splash on your cereal, but you also need to make sure you’re getting a good source of calcium, something that alternative milks don’t always provide. That might be achieved by increasing the amount of leafy green vegetables in your meals.
Understanding the right kind of swaps and substitutions you need to optimise your diet can be complex to figure out alone. Your Nutritional Therapy consultation is the perfect opportunity to get personal, tailored advice to help you find the right alternatives needed to balance out your plate at every meal.
3. Getting the best possible balance
Often, when we make big changes to our diets, we end up negatively impacting the balance, having too much of something here or too little of something else there. This can make us hungry, irritable, and lacking in vital nutrients that we need.
A diet that deals with your trigger foods needn’t be restrictive. It’s all about understanding the foods that are going to work for you, not against you and building up a bank of alternative foods that you know you’ll love.
Your Nutritional Therapy consultation is the perfect time to ask questions, take notes and get a deeper understanding of how to maintain a healthy balance, as you learn where you can make small changes that have a big difference.
4. Making change less of a challenge
Change, even when we know it’s good for us and will make us feel better, can be hard. Habits are difficult to break, and it can be a challenge to stay motivated, particularly if we find the changes boring.
This is where a Nutritional Therapy consultation can be particularly helpful. Your NT will talk with you about the foods and flavours that you love, recommending great alternatives that will keep you excited about making the swaps you need to avoid your trigger foods.
Take control of your diet
Getting to the bottom of a food intolerance can be frustrating. Elimination diets, where you remove one food at a time for a few weeks to see how you feel, can take a long time. And, as many of us react to several ingredients, it can be a while before you are able to see the bigger picture.
Additionally, the foods that you react to can often come as a surprise. It’s common to blame a few ‘usual suspects’ when it comes to food intolerance but, anything, from pasta to peppers, could be the cause.
Get answers faster with Smartblood
When it comes to food intolerance testing, it’s important to do your research and choose a reputable laboratory testing company.
At Smartblood, we offer a comprehensive test to help you take control of your diet quickly and discover your own trigger foods.
Our home-to-laboratory service gives you fast, accurate results that pinpoint exactly which foods you are reacting to. Tests are completed in our accredited laboratory by trained experts, with clear, easy to understand results sent to you via email within three days.
And, of course, our tests are supported by a 30-minute telephone consultation with our BANT registered Nutritional Therapist to help you understand your results and make safe, sustainable changes to your diet.