Why I wanted to get tested
Let me first just say, I reached out to Everlywell to partner because I have been wanting to have myself tested for food sensitivity for years.
Some years ago, probably around the time I did my first Whole30, I was at a group dinner with some friends. One friend mentioned she was eating differently now because she had her food sensitivity tested at a naturopath. Instantly, I was interested to hear more.
Looking at her, you would not think my friend had any health concerns. But she had been struggling with some health problems that traditional doctors could not help with. Namely, skin breakouts, constant bloating, and digestion issues. After getting tested and hearing her results, she was cutting out all the problem foods and already feeling and looking a whole lot better.
Aside from allergies, I had no idea you could actually test your body’s reaction to foods. I have struggled with acne all of my life. If you have too, then you probably know the back and forth we’ve grown up with: food IS the cause, no food IS NOT the cause, the pill can fix it, no wait proactive can, and so on and so on. Nothing worked for me and actually seeing how food was causing her issues and how I could get evidence to which foods are bad for my specific body, I was sold. Only, I couldn’t afford a naturopath…..
Normally when I stream shows I tune out the commercials but when I saw the one for EverlyWell I instantly looked them up. Here was the test I had been after for years!
By this point in time, I have done over 16 rounds of Whole30. I know foods affect my health. I have seen and felt the evidence first hand. My skin cleared up, my waist slimmed down, my energy skyrocketed. But because I never do the reintroduction part of Whole30 (bringing back one food group at a time to see how your body responds) I never could tell which foods were causing the bloating and sluggish feeling.
I ordered the EverlyWell food sensitivity test and it arrived really quickly in a nice, neat little box. I was beyond excited. This is the box I had been waiting for years for, and here it was in my hands at last.
I quickly took these photos, and got to taking the test. This test and all EverlyWell tests are simple enough. What type of sample you need to give depends on the test you are taking. The food sensitivity test requires a finger prick and 5 drops of blood on a card. I did all this in under 5 minutes.
You will also register your kit with the unique ID and then drop the sample in the mail. Everything you need, including the mailing envelope and label are included for you. I dropped it in the mail and awaited my results. And boy did they come quick. I sent it out on a Monday and had my results by Thursday!
When I first got my test results back, I was a little disappointed honestly. I was hoping for some big shock or at least a food in the high reactive range. But when I looked at my results in more detail, I realized now much sense they made. Most of the items my body reacts to in the normal range are Whole30 approved. No wonder I always feel great on it!
However, my moderate and mild reactivity foods did have some shocks.
Moderate Reactivity Foods
I had 3 total moderate reactive foods and my highest reactive food was cow’s milk.
I had a suspicion about dairy, specifically ice cream. I can feel the bloat almost instantly, but it’s ice cream, one of my favorite foods! Because of this I clumped all dairy together as an issue, and I ate it knowing how it would make me feel.
I cut out where I could easily, for example I have not used regular milk since my first Whole30 almost 6 years ago. But I still enjoy cheese and ice cream pretty regularly. I also use whey protein shakes and eat baked goods, candy, etc. All of those being sources of cow’s milk.
My second highest was yogurt, and I was a little shocked. My go-to breakfasts are either eggs (another shock below) or yogurt with bananas! Enter, my third highest ranked food, Bananas.
I don’t necessarily love yogurt or bananas, cutting them out will be easy for me but I never saw any kind of a sign that they were not reacting well to my body like I knew cow’s milk was. The hardest part about getting this result back will be finding another easy breakfast idea. But I am up for the challenge.
Mild Reactivity Foods
I had 21 total mild reactive foods. The most shocking of the results was eggs. I love eggs, I eat them just about every morning. They have been a staple in my healthy diet. I actually thought I was being healthy by eating more egg white than the yolk but it turns out the egg whites are what my body has more of a reaction to!
Another high mild reactive food was wheat & gluten, but I kind of already knew that. I knew from doing Whole30s as well as just giving up wheat & bread for the most part, that my body is less bloated when I cut it out. Having this verified by the test was awesome. Now I can go from just kind of feeling like I shouldn’t eat it, to knowing I shouldn’t be eating it.
More shocks from my mild reactive group: Beef, & Asparagus. Funnily enough, asparagus is my go to veggie of choice. It’s so easy to grill up for dinners, chop up in salads, and sautéed in eggs. Cutting this out will be a little bit harder, but I have so many other options to replace it with, it shouldn’t be a problem.
Beef, I am on the fence about cutting out beef… I have been wanting to cut back on the amount of meat I eat in general so I will be cutting back. But this one will be hard.
A lot of my other mild reactive foods are closer to the normal range. Here’s a list full list of all the foods I had a mild reaction to: Asparagus, Beef, Bran, Cheese, Mozzarella, Chicken, Eggplant, Egg White, Egg Yolk, Garlic, Gluten, Lamb, Mushroom, Mustard, Oats, Pepper, Bell, Pineapple, Rye, Soybean, Tuna, Wheat, Brewer’s Yeast.
Normal Range Foods
The last of the 96 foods that EverlyWell food sensitivity tests for were all in my normal range. Out of these, I was most surprised to find cheddar cheese here. Not because I could sense any difference in my body when I ate it, but because I had clumped all dairy foods together in ‘my body reacts badly to this’ dairy hypothesis.
Cheddar registered as almost no reaction for me, a 2 on the scale. If you’re thinking, but wait, isn’t that cow’s milk? According to EverlyWell, it is a part of the processing of the milk that changes it and thus your body reacts differently. If I cannot have my ice cream, at least I can have my cheddar!
Here is a list of all the foods my body reacted normal to: Almond, Apple, Avocado, Barley, Basil, Bay Leaf, Bean, Green, Bean, Lima, Blueberry, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cantaloupe, Carrot, Cashew, Cauliflower, Celery, Cheese, Cheddar, Cheese, Cottage, Chia, Cinnamon, Clam, Cocoa, Coconut, Codfish, Coffee, Cola, Corn, Crab, Cucumber, Dill, Ginger, Grape, Grapefruit, Haddock, Honey, Kale, Kelp, Lemon, Lettuce, Lobster, Malt, Olive, Green, Onion, White, Orange, Oregano, Pea, Green, Peach, Peanut, Pear, Pepper, Black, Pork, Potato, Sweet, Potato, White, Rice, Brown, Safflower, Salmon, Scallop, Seaweed, Sesame, Shrimp, Sole, Spinach, Squash, Strawberry, Sunflower, Swordfish, Tarragon, Tea, Black, Tomato, Turkey, Walnut, Black, Watermelon, Baker’s Yeast.
My Plan Going Forward
So what does all this mean for my diet and health? Hopefully it improves it and I don’t have to be on a Whole30 to feel good! Some of what is out on Whole30, like beans, rice, peanuts, and corn is totally fine for my body.
I will be cutting out the 3 moderate reactive foods (Yogurt, Cow’s Milk, and Banana) and taking a closer look at the mild reactive group. One’s that are close to the normal range, like oats, bell pepper, soybean, I am not going to worry about too much. Instead I am focusing on removing the higher reactive foods like asparagus, wheat, and chicken. Funnily enough, I have never been a huge fan of chicken. Perhaps there is something there.
EverlyWell recommends eliminating those foods for 30 days and then slowly reintroducing them to your diet to see how your body reacts. I am planning on doing this over the next two months and hopefully, armed with all this science about my body’s reactions to food, I will come out of it feeling better than ever!