Customers and clients are often shocked to hear that I discovered hidden food allergies through my fertility awareness practice. It can be tricky to imagine how these two things could possibly be connected, but it's true. About a year into my fertility awareness practice I decided to go on a raw food cleanse for a week. The decision was not entirely unrelated tomy charting - fertility awareness was playing an increasingly important role in my mission to treat my body as well as I could. But improving the quality of my cervical mucus was certainly not foremost in my mind when I decided to do this cleanse!
Two weeks later I looked back at my charts and made an interesting observation... the yellow pasty mucus I'd been observing nearly all month (for those unfamiliar with menstrual cycle charting, this is not a good sign) had gone away. Interesting!
It was then that I started playing around with different dietary restrictions - gluten, sugar, egg, etc. Eventually my mentor Geraldine Matus (director of Justisse Healthworks for Women), and my own Holistic Reproductive Health Practitioner both encouraged me to explore blood testing for food allergies. The test revealed that I was allergic to eggs and sesames, among a few other lesser allergens. I immediately started cutting them out of my diet.
Aside from improving my digestion and my cervical secretions, this experience was a major wake-up call. If I could have allergies to foods without even realizing it, and the inflammation could show up in a body part geographically and functionally separated from my stomach, then who knows what other lifestyle choices I was making that were affecting my overall health? For those trying to conceive, allergies are an important consideration. Not only can abnormal mucus production inhibit conception, but as Geraldine has regularly reminded me "the body will always give first priority to fighting inflammation over reproducing." From the body's perspective there is no point in conceiving if a woman is not in a healthy enough state to support a pregnancy.
Having food allergy testing is no small commitment. Aside from the financial investment (about $300), eliminating allergens from our body is tricky business. Foods take about three weeks to get out of our system and often the more you eliminate them the more sensitive you become (one of my closest friends recently discovered that a dairy allergy was responsible for chronic rashes - since elimination, even a single square of milk chocolate will provoke a reaction - my daughter has a similarly immediate reaction to dairy that leads to congestion and then bronchitis). As a result I now encourage my clients to wait until they are really ready to alter their lifestyle before taking a food allergy test. Food allergy tests are relatively simple to take. The kits I carry from Rocky Mountain Analytic for my clients come in a small box and can be done at home on your own. If you have a naturopathic doctor you can request a test kit through them.
Question of the Day: Did you discover (or are you currently discovering) new things about yourself and your body during fertility awareness practice?