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The Voice of the Black Community


Honor your body and improve your health in the process
Listen to your individual needs to succeed
Published Monday, March 30, 2020 4:00 pm
by Brandi Williams

 No two people are alike, so pay attention to your body to maximize your best health.

About a year and a half ago I headed to the doctor for my annual exam. I was expecting to discuss my high A1C, low iron and low Vitamin D numbers. I wasn’t expecting to get on the scale and realize I was 123 pounds. There were several problems with this:

1. I am 4-foot-9. I can’t stand to be much heavier or I will roll away.

2. It was the highest weight I’d ever been at in my life; and the last time I was 123 pounds, I was pregnant.

3. My doctor said I was still in normal range.

I left the doctor with a good bill of health, but I was not happy. I knew I had to do something about this growing belly fat that was contributing to my 123 pounds. I immediately called a friend who directed me to take a food sensitivity test to determine what foods I should stay away from because they cause leaky gut syndrome. I took the test, got the results and continued to eat the foods.

I started working out with a trainer. I paid for this online group to create a specialized diet just for me. I had a breast reduction and began eating less meat and more live foods. I lost 3 pounds.

I was devastated, but I soon found out why I wasn’t losing weight. I wasn’t honoring my body. I didn’t truly understand my body and I wasn’t listening to it as it told me what was wrong.

Losing weight is as unique to you as your fingerprint. There is no one-size-fits all diet. Each person is a unique individual with their own set of nutritional requirements that are impacted by many different things – environment, anatomy, metabolism, body composition and cell structure. The concept that one man’s food is another man’s poison is called bio-individuality.

Achieving optimal health means that you have to completely understand your body and what foods are good for you and which ones are poison for you. If you want to truly lose weight and achieve optimal health, you will need to:

1. Keep a food journal. Food journaling is the first step in helping you understand how your body reacts to food. Write down in your journal what you eat for 30 days – breakfast, lunch and dinner. Take note of how your body feels, your emotions and energy levels when you eat. Pay attention to any changes in your skin, hair and nails as well.

Our bodies are always talking to us. We just have to pay attention to what it is telling us. Take into account any regular monthly bodily activities and note the symptoms that you have with those changes that may or may not be connected to your food.

2. Take a food sensitivity test. Within two weeks of starting your journaling practice, take a food sensitivity test. This is a blood test that will help you determine what foods trigger an immune reaction in your body. The food triggers are different for each person.

When you eat these foods, it damages the lining of your intestines, allowing food particles to get into your bloodstream, which causes inflammation in your body and can cause the body to begin to fight the food like it is bacteria or a virus. This is called leaky gut syndrome. Symptoms of leaky gut syndrome include bloating, food sensitivities, fatigue, digestive issues and skin problems.

Knowing which foods trigger this response can help you remove them from your diet, decreasing inflammation and the potential for an unwarranted immune response.

3. Evaluate your microbiome. There are good and bad bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract (GI tract). When the bacteria in your GI tract becomes unbalanced it can lead to chronic illness and digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Chron’s disease, colitis, diabetes, obesity and leaky gut syndrome. Getting a microbiome test will test the bacteria in your system and help determine the best way to rebalance the bacteria for optimal health.

There are several online tests for food sensitivities and microbiome testing that can help you evaluate your microbiome, but this is best done under the care of a functional medical doctor or nurse practitioner. They can help you evaluate the results and prescribe medical-grade probiotics or supplements. A certified health coach can also guide you through the process and make recommendations to qualified medical professionals who are committed to finding the root cause of your illness.

Remember, the most important part of your health journey is honoring your bio-individuality by observing and listening to your body. Our bodies are always talking to us. We just have to listen to what they are saying.

Brandi “Bea” Williams is a life and health coach, trainer and cultural curator in holistic health. Register for a free health consultation, health tips, recipes and everyday tools at www.beahealth.care.

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