How to Deal With the Problem

There are two basic approaches to addressing this problem: First, you must identify the foods to which you are reactive and determine the degree to which they affect you; second, you need to coddle your body.

Finding the foods that affect you is a little time consuming but not otherwise difficult. Your initial approach should be to exclude all yeast and mold foods. For many people this will do the trick. After all, controlling your intake of carbohydrate has already banished a significant percentage of the usual culprits.

If you suspect you have other remaining intolerances, keep a food diary for three weeks. Record every food you eat, and when you feel an unfavorable reaction after eating one or more, note that fact. If you alter the combination of foods at your meals, you will be able to isolate the offenders. Once you've found them, stop eating them for four to six weeks. Then reintroduce them slowly. Try once a week at first. Then twice a week. You will often discover that you can continue to eat these foods as, long as you don't eat them too often.

If the foods you're allergic to are foods you shouldn't be eating in the first place, there would be no loss in excluding them forever. But since you're on a controlled carbohydrate plan, and you aren't eating anything that isn't healthy, you don't want to take something out of your nutritional regimen forever, if you don't have to.

What if you were to find you are intolerant of broccoli or legumes? In my experience, most people can reintroduce such foods-especially if they've also started a program of intelligent coddling. We all need coddling. Life is a handful, and you and I are a day older than we were yesterday. I can assure you that food intolerances, like yeast conditions, stress the metabolism and often arise because many other things have stressed the body in the first place.

By doing Atkins, you are taking the first and most critical step toward minimizing that which stresses your body. Having stable blood sugar-perhaps for the first time in years-is going to give your metabolism a much needed shot in the arm. Dealing with a food intolerance, if you have one, will be another great advance. But I'd also like you to coddle yourself by searching out your other stressors and seeing if you can't work out a strategy for minimizing them.

These stressors could be psychological or work related, and you will know them better than I. They could also be such very difficult physical conditions as intestinal parasites, heavy-metal body load or chronic viral problems. I can't treat you long distance, and, with problems like those, you almost certainly can't treat yourself. You might want to read up on some of these conditions, and, if any seem to apply to you, find a physician who practices complementary medicine.

I wouldn't want to be alarmist, but I would say this: If you follow Atkins conscientiously and you don't feel better than you have in many years, you should want to know why. Were I your doctor, I would certainly make sure you're not eating foods to which you're actually allergic. Sometimes very simple changes can produce enormous results.

Food Allergies

Food Allergies

Peanuts can leave you breathless. Cat dander can lead to itchy eyes, a stuffy nose, coughing and sneezing. And most of us have suffered through those seasonal allergies with horrible pollen counts. Learn more...

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