Archive | June, 2019

LEAP + July Vegan Diet (Happening After All?)

24 Jun

I am officially a Certified LEAP Therapist (CLT)! In a nutshell, I am now fully equipped and qualified to design individualized anti-inflammatory diets based on a patented blood test called the MRT (Mediator Release Test). The test is targeted to help those with IBS, fibromyalgia, and migraine but may also be beneficial for other conditions associated with inflammation: arthritis, sinusitis, and inflammatory bowel diseases, such as colitis and Crohn’s disease (to name a few). Through my training, I learned a lot of fascinating things about the immune system and its involvement in the above conditions.

Traditional food allergies are known as Type I hypersensitivity reactions.When you think about a hypersensitive immune system, you probably think of things like shellfish causing someone to break out in hives or the anaphylaxis that keeps peanuts out of many school cafeterias.  However, there are other types of immune hypersensitivity reactions to food which are not “true” allergies but can cause their own set of miserable symptoms. These are referred to as food sensitivities and are what the MRT helps identify. My MRT results:


MRT - page 2

Green = not reactive. Yellow = moderately reactive. Red = Reactive with a capital R. I’m grateful I didn’t have any of those! Yellow foods are to be avoided for 3 months and red foods for 6 months. Read: Justine doesn’t get to have any chocolate, coffee, wheat, garlic, or corn, among other nummers until September, and FUCK MAN, don’t you feel sorry for her? Because I do. Ha!

Based on MRT results and other relevant considerations (does the client have food allergies, lactose intolerance, celiac disease? etc.), a CLT creates an eating plan to calm the immune system and drastically reduce symptoms in the shortest amount of time possible.

I am currently following my own LEAP (Lifestyle Eating and Performance) program, and the results have been impressive. My pain flare-ups have been less frequent and intense, and my body just feels better overall. Before I knew better, I used to combine several reactive foods at meals and eat multiple servings of these foods daily. My whole body jolted into a sudden state of panic after eating most meals. My gut would start churning and I’d hyperventilate. I felt fatigued and short of breath. Every nerve seemed to be on high alert. And all I had done was eaten lunch.

And so here we are again. I have a diet plan that is working fairly well but requires the kind of diligence that makes me sad to be alive (I’m exaggerating, kind of…) I have less pain and anxiety but can’t indulge in any of the yellow items on the above list until the end of summer (which means I’m depressed). I know it’s not forever, and I know it’s for the best, but what can I say? I’m only human, and cocaine food is a hell of a drug.

Despite all this, I have decided to experiment with a full vegan diet for the month of July. It was about a year ago when I awoke this hungry guinea pig out of her blissful slumber, a slumber which involved eating whatever she felt like whenever she felt like it. Granted, this guinea pig often felt like shit, but hey! She could just eat more chocolate and pretend like things were fine. All of this is to say that my lot in life is this: I can eat whatever I wish and feel like garbage or follow a strict diet and feel sorry for myself.

As I have dwindled down my animal protein consumption, I have had doubts about my ability to sustain eating in such a fashion. I STILL have doubts, but I’m not ready to give up. The planet is dying, and factory farming makes me sad. I’d take up hunting except I am far too lazy and uncoordinated and would probably just cry thinking about Bambi’s mom the whole time. Eating less meat should be enough, right? I think reduction is a great goal, but I feel like perhaps, I can do better than that.

And so, after much ado, I’m ready to go all in for one full month. After that, I can decide where this year of experimentation has brought me. Back to square one: eating meat a couple times per week?  Pescatarian? Vegetarian? Vegan? Tune in next week…

Just kidding, it’s going to be at least a month before I blog again. You already knew this. In any case, shortly after I complete my vegan challenge for the month of July, I’ll likely retire from this blog once more. I get burned out talking about my dietary successes and failures, but I appreciate you coming along on this wild ride. 🙂