Hi There! My name is Deanna and I am living in Virginia. I’m a huge lover of nature, healthy food, reading and meditation. I have an unhealthy obsession with living a frugal and environmentally-friendly lifestyle. I spend most of my free time outdoors with my husband Shane.
I’ve always had an interest in cooking, even from the time I was a young kid. I’ve been on a quest to eat as healthy as possible for a long time. I was a vegetarian on and off throughout my teenage years. Through college and graduate school, I was a pretty hardcore vegetarian, and dabbled in veganism for awhile too.
While I felt good and never had any issues while being vegan and vegetarian, I never felt fantastic. For the longest time, I struggled with lethargy, acne and migraines.
I gradually started introducing chicken and fish back into my diet in 2015. I did this in part because I was always hungry. No matter how much I ate, I was always hungry shortly after eating. I filled most of my plate with pasta and other grains, because I believed it was the healthiest choice available.
In September of 2016, I began reading books such as Wheat Belly, Grain Brain, and It Starts With Food. The common theme of these books is that your diet should be dominated with vegetables and healthy fats. I decided to go gluten free as an experiment around this time.
I had read that in some people, an underlying gluten intolerance can cause issues with inflammation, such as joint pain and headaches. About a month after going gluten free, my migraines had reduced by 75%! I used to struggle with them several times a week, it was debilitating at times. And now I felt FANTASTIC!
This had ignited a fire in me. I had no idea that I had been living for so long with a gluten intolerance, despite testing negative for Celiac’s several years prior. Did I have any other food-related issues that I could self-diagnose?
In January of 2017, I decided to attempt my first Whole 30. For the uninitiated, this means you give up all processed foods, grains, processed sugar, legumes, dairy and soy for 30 days. It was a struggle to say the least. I do not often get major cravings for food, but a month without many of your comfort foods can really test you.
I successfully completed it, and began the reintroduction period. From this process, I also realized I have intolerances to most grains, some vinegars, some dairy, most alcohol, chocolate and some fruits. It all seemed really random at first, until I stumbled upon the Bulletproof Diet.
Dave Asprey, the founder of the Bulletproof Diet, developed it to eliminate moldy and other toxin-filled foods, which approximately 1/4 of the population are particularly susceptible to. All of my intolerances appeared to fit perfectly within the framework, and now I know that mold commonly forms on certain foods during the growing, storage or fermentation stages. I now stay away from any moldy foods that trigger my symptoms.
As a die-hard chocolate fan, I really struggled with eliminating it from my diet. This was much harder for me than eliminating all of my other problem foods combined. So naturally, I found a way around it. In Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof Radio podcast, he talks about consuming European versions of foods he typically has issues with in America, particularly chocolate.
I decided to give it a try, and to my surprise, I did not have any reaction at all to the European chocolate. Afterwards, I did some research and learned that Europe has much more stringent standards for allowable mold levels in all their food, whereas in America we have practically zero standards for allowable mold. I had finally figured it out!
It has been quite a long journey, but one I would not trade for the world. I look forward to one day traveling to Europe and consuming all of the foods I would normally stay miles away from to confirm all of this. Until then, I will continue on my low-carb animal-based lifestyle, as that is where I feel best. You can read more about my mold story here.
I have learned so much through my personal food journey, that I wanted to share it all with you, in the hopes that you can discover the foods that make you feel fantastic as well. Why live a life where we can feel good, when feeling amazing is just around the corner?
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