If you follow me on facebook, you may have noticed there has been a ton of conversations around Leaky Gut, Autoimmune Attacks and Food Sensitivities. These three things have taken control of far, far too many people's health and well being. Chances are if you are sensitive to gluten (with or without Celiac Disease) and you removed gluten and yet still feel far from 100% that you may have some Leaky Gut going on.
In my case- Leaky Gut was destroying my health. It is more than likely the reason I developed Hashimotos Disease along with all of my Food Sensitivities. Leaky gut can be the trigger the development of all kinds of autoimmune diseases (All of them infact) . If you don't get control of this leaky gut you are likely to develop additional autoimmune diseases. No fun.
What is Leaky Gut? The official definition of Leaky Gut Syndrome is an increase in permeability of the intestinal mucosa to luminal macromolecules, antigens, and toxins associated with inflammatory degenerative and/ or atrophic mucosa or lining.
In other words- Imagine large spaces between the cells of your stomach lining. Spaces that should not be there. Spaces that allow food, toxins and bacteria to sneak into your bloodstream. When this material gets into your blood stream in comes the Immune System to attack and get it OUT.
And there you have it. An autoimmune attack. The thing that makes you feel like death. That attack will give you the symptoms of whatever organ is taking the brunt. For example: My leaky gut triggers an autoimmune attack on my thyroid. Which in turn slows down my thyroid. A slow thyroid results in fatique, exhaustion, weight gain, sore throats, a headache, cold hands and feet.. and on and on.
What causes leaky gut? Here are just a few things that may trigger destruction to the stomach lining: Candida, Dysbiosis, Alcohol, Stress, Allergies, Poor Diet, Celiac Disease, Gluten Intolerance, Parasites and GASP this one may surprise you - Pharmaceutical Drugs. Thank you doctors for supporting the pharmaceutical companies and drugging us up. Instead of figuring out why we were having heart burn- it was so great of you to just give us a lifetime supply of Tums. (I'm getting sidetracked here.. I must note that not all doctors are bad as I describe here. Most, have wonderful intentions. I had some not so great experiences when I first got sick. For some physician recommendations check out this post)
So- you suspect you have leaky gut. Your doctors don't know what to do with you- or have told you its all in your head (In other words they can't admit to not knowing how to help you).
Here's what. You can take the situation into your own hands- and heal your beat up stomach through food that nourishes. You have the ability to put a blanket on the autoimmune fire and allow your body to do what its supposed to do without constantly being attacked by itself.
I'm a huge fan of Datis Kharrazian. He wrote a book titled " Why do I still have Thyroid Symptoms when my lab test's are normal". This book literally saved my life. If you suspect thyroid issues you need to order this book.
Below is the diet Dr. K suggests. Its the diet I have been following the past 2 months and in turn have felt DRASTICALLY Better. Eating this diet in conjunction with a number of supplements prescribed by my doctor and Armour Thyroid, I'm starting to feel like a normal healthy person. This diet has been the reason 99% of my posted recipes the past few weeks have been Gluten/Dairy/Corn/Soy/Egg/Nut/Seed/Sugar Free. Talk about a mouthful.
But here's the thing. Healing the leaky gut is about listening to YOUR body. You may not be reactive to all of the things listed below. The only way to know for sure if you are is to remove the food for a solid 2-3 weeks. This will give your autoimmune system a break and allow it to give you a clear response when you introduce the food back. Pay close attention to the way that you feel. Sometimes the reaction happens quickly, other times it can take up to two days. If you have no physical or psychological symptoms then that food is safe to eat.
This diet is not forever. In time your gut will heal and you will be able to add many of these foods back. (Excluding gluten) There is much more information I would like to share in future post's around the subject. For today- lets focus on the food. This list comes from Dr. K's website. PLEASE check it out and read the page on the Autoimmune Gut Repair Diet for further explanation. Often recipes that are listed as Paleo, GAPS or the Specific Carbohydrate diet are conjunctive with the leaky gut diet.
Foods to Avoid
- ALL sugars and sweeteners, even honey or agave
- High-glycemic fruits: Watermelon, mango, pineapple, raisins, grapes, canned fruits, dried fruits, etc.
- Tomatoes, potatoes, or mushrooms
- Grains: Wheat, oats, rice, barley, buckwheat, corn, quinoa, etc.
- Dairy: Milk, cream, cheese, butter, whey. Ghee is OK.
- Eggs or foods that contain eggs (such as mayonnaise)
- Soy: Soy milk, soy sauce, tofu, tempeh, soy protein, etc.
- Lectins: Lectins are a major promoter of leaky gut. Avoid nuts, beans, soy, potatoes, tomato, eggplant, peppers, peanut oil, peanut butter, soy oil, etc.
- Coffee: I realize this is difficult but it’s necessary. Many people with a gluten sensitivity react to coffee as if it is gluten. It’s important to eliminate it to be sure it’s not an immune trigger.
- Processed foods
- Canned foods
Foods to eat
- Most vegetables (except tomato, potatoes, and mushrooms): Asparagus, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, beets, cauliflower, carrots, celery, artichokes, garlic, onions, zucchini, squash, rhubarb, cucumbers, turnips, watercress, etc.
- Fermented foods: Sauerkraut, kimchi, pickled ginger, fermented cucumbers, coconut yogurt, kombucha, etc. You must make your own or buy one of the few brands that are genuinely fermented and free of sugars or additives.
- Meats: Fish, chicken, beef, lamb, organ meats, etc. Best choice are grass-fed and pastured meatsfrom a local farm. Second best is organic. Avoid factory-farmed meats that contain antibiotics and hormones. For a source of good meat near you, contact your local Weston A. Price chapter leader, or order using the link on the Resources page.
- Low glycemic fruits: Apricots, plums, apple, peach, pear, cherries, berries, etc.
- Coconut: Coconut oil, coconut butter, coconut milk, coconut cream.
- Herbal teas
- Olives and olive oil
- Breakfast Porridge
- Bacon and Sage Sweet Potato Hash
- Butternut Squash Hash Browns
- Smoothies made with coconut milk and sweetened with stevia.
- Fresh Fruit mixed with unsweetened Coconut Flakes and Coconut Milk
- Chicken or pork cooked with Stone Fruit or Pears.
- Any Variation of Baked Squash with Stevia, Cinnamon and Ginger.
- Fresh Made Juice
- Lunch meat
- Homemade Oven Baked Root Veggie Chips with Guacamole
- Fresh Veggies with Guacamole
- homemade applesauce sweetened with stevia.
- Fresh Fruit (Apples and Pears are my fave!)
Lunch and Dinner
- Paleo Flax Tortillas (Gluten/Grain/Starch/Egg/Corn/Soy/Nut Free)
- Mashed Root Veggies
- Roasted Veggies
- Pork and Apples made in a skillet with Stevia, Cinnamon and Sea Salt.
- Chicken Soup
- Mexican Meatball Soup. (Use Coconut Flour instead of breadcrumbs and eggs to bind the meatballs)
- Italian Turkey Meatball Soup
- Paleo Sushi- Using Cauliflower "rice".
- Stir Fried Cabbage, Onions with Meat of Choice. (seasoned with Cumin, Ginger and Garlic)
- Meat Loaf made with Coconut flour in place of Bread crumbs and eggs. Served with Root Veggie Mash.
- Zucchini "Pasta" with Avocado Cream Sauce. (Puree Avocado with lemon Juice, Salt, Garlic Powder and water)
- Cream of Broccoli Soup (recipe coming tomorrow)
- Butternut Squash Soup
- Applegate Organic Hot Dogs
- Sweet Potatoes or Sweet Potato Fries.
- Roasted Carrot "Fries"
- Shepherds Pie Using a Root Veggie or Cauliflower Mash on top.
- Variations of Asian Dishes using Cauliflower Rice, Meat of choice, Fresh Ginger , Coconut Milk and Thai Kitchens Green Curry Paste. Coconut Amino's are a great sub for soy sauce.
- Spaghetti Squash Pasta with Nightshade free Red Sauce and ground beef.
- Sugar Free- Carob "peanut" butter cups (using the coconut filling)
- Pumpkin Cheesecake or Pie
- "Rice" Pudding
- Homemade ice cream using an equal mixture of fresh berries and heavy coconut milk. Sweetened with Stevia + a dash of sea salt. (pictured above)
- Chocolate Orange Mousse Pie with a Toasted Coconut Crust. Directions included to make with Carob. (Sugar/Gluten/Grain/Dairy/Soy/Corn/Egg Free).
- Cinnamon & Sugar Apple Rings (grain/sugar free)