What I've Been Eating Lately + My Experience with EverlyWell
This post is sponsored by EverlyWell. Get 15% off your purchase with the code FRECKLED
It's been a while since I talked about what my diet looks like these days (the last time I wrote an "update" was in 2015--I still wasn't sure about barre and now I swear by it so much that I trained to be an instructor!), and I wanted to share because I really changed the way I thought about food and nutrition when I was pregnant and right after Sophie was born. I've had a lot of this post saved as a draft for quite some time, so I was even more excited to share when EverlyWell reached out and wanted to know if I'd be interested in trying their food sensitivity test.
As some of you may remember, I found that a lot of the foods that used to bother me didn't bother me anymore while I was pregnant, and I definitely took advantage of that. Morning sickness had me eating crackers and toast around the clock, and I didn't have the stomach pain or headaches that I used to when I would eat gluten.
Since I'm still nursing Sophie, I decided not to worry too much about my diet and continue to eat things that kept me full, happy, and feeling good; but around the 7 or 8 month of post-partum life I was starting to get headaches and stomach pain again. I don't know the science behind it or if it's even real, but I've heard from a lot of other gluten sensitive people who said the same thing happened to them--they stopped feeling the side effects of the gluten while they were pregnant--so I started to wonder if maybe my sensitivities were returning as my hormones shift and my body finally returns to it's pre-baby state. Either way, I was curious to take a food sensitivity test and see what came back as possible reactive foods in my diet.
When I'm done breastfeeding I'll most likely return to a more grain-free/low-carb style of eating (I'd like to lose these pesky 15-20 pounds I still have hanging out from my pregnancy but that's a whole other post), but until then I just want to start feeling better by eliminating some of the foods that may be giving me migraines, joint pain, and the occasional stomach issue.
Considering the fact that it involved an at-home finger prick, the EverlyWell test was everything I needed it to be--non-intimidating, straightforward, and neatly packaged into a cute and simple design. I was definitely nervous to use the lancets for the blood sample and ended up having Rob do it for me, but I promise that it was absolutely no big deal (this is coming from someone who has absolutely passed out at the doctor's office before). It was really nice to be able to do it in the comfort of my own home, on a weekend, while watching trashy TV and drinking coffee.
After you collect the blood sample you just fold it up and throw it in the pre-paid envelope and stick it in your mailbox! My results came back super fast (by email, which is nice since I was out of town at the time) and I was really surprised to see that I didn't have any foods in the "highly reactive" category. My top three sensitivities are to green beans, mozzarella, and yogurt, and after that in the mild sensitivities are the things to which I always suspected I had intolerances: gluten, some dairy, wheat, etc.
What I got out of this test, more than just the results, is a better understanding of food sensitivities and how they work. I've always felt like my intolerances sort of "build up" over time, i.e. I don't immediately feel sick after eating bread or dairy but after eating it regularly for a week or two I usually end up with a migraine or joint pain. I was sort of relieved to learn that this is exactly how it can work--I don't have an allergy, which is serious and comes on fast, it's just a sensitivity and I can make the decision to eliminate certain foods (or not!).
I've actually decided to quit messing with gluten-free bread and pasta and just stay away from the real thing unless I decide that it's really worth it. Obviously everyone's sensitivities are different, but one awesome bowl of spaghetti now and then isn't going to mess me up, so it's kind of freeing to know that I can control how I feel day to day and then make those "special occasion" sort of exceptions.
I think that's about it! Please let me know if you have any questions about the test or anything food related at all! I'm so happy I took this test and am so grateful to EverlyWell for sponsoring this post! If you're interested in taking one of their tests, use the code FRECKLED for 15% off your purchase!