Project Leaky Gut: Curing food allergies with AIP (part 2)

I have become the person who annoyed me my entire restaurant career: “The Substituter.” Imagine not being able to eat anything on a restaurant menu. You search, stare, analyze the ingredients the chef lovingly created for your eating bliss. The server returns five times but the compulsive research isn’t complete. Cursing ensues. Yep, this happened the first time I hit a resto after Project Fix Leaky Gut commenced — at a Spanish tapas place that’s fabulous, Bravas, in Healdsburg, CA. I had a salad (sauce on the side), and some meat without the sauce. Uh huh… how much fun is that? I empathize with vegans now. Kinda. To cure my food allergies, studies have led me to the Auto Immune Protocol (AIP) regime, which I’ve followed quite religiously for the last two weeks. (PhD in medical biophysics Sarah Ballantyne has been a huge resource: I can eat meat, fish (those that I can enjoy without an inflammation eye blow up), vegetables and minimal fruit. Plenty of probiotics are added in to help heal the intestines, including sauerkraut (made my own), kombucha (a new fave), and yogurt made with coconut milk (non-dairy and challenging to find, but possible). A friend called it Paleo on steroids. I found that ironic, yet true. I will do this for 8 weeks. 60 days. 60 long, long days.

Read more: Project Leaky Gut: Curing food allergies with AIP (part 2)

When food became my enemy: A quest to cure my food allergies

The Shellfish Offenders

About ten years ago, I awoke with half of my face swollen like a pro boxer had kicked my head in. Eyes, lips and cheek itching with puffy, dark patches of brooding skin stared back at me in the mirror. All I could say was WTF? Panicked, I hightailed it to my general practitioner doctor who took one look at me and calmly asked, “Did you have shellfish for dinner last night?” As a matter of fact, I had. Canned crab from Asia, the makings of a delicious dip at a dinner party. And the last time I’ve ever consumed crab from a can. Diagnosis: allergy to shellfish. But not just the deliciousness of crab, add in shrimp, lobster, mussels, oysters, and all their other crustacean friends. A little while later, tuna and farmed salmon joined the party.

Read more: When food became my enemy: A quest to cure my food allergies

Four ways to escape putting on pounds at parties

Parties with a variety of food that we can’t really control can be depressing and/or maddening. If you’re regimenting a strict diet, it can be super sucky if you’re faced with a table full of things you can’t eat (but want to). However, it doesn’t have to be a huge challenge to resist the food you might regret. Here are a few tips:

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6 tips to build a better breakfast and why

Bacon and Egg Breakfast

Hate to admit it, but Mom was right: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Since food is the fuel for you body, what you eat absolutely sets you up for a productive or a sluggish morning. A better breakfast — heavy on the protein rather than carbohydrates — will set your metabolic rate higher for the entire day, avoid a mid-morning blood sugar crash, and prevent you from scarfing down anything that moves at lunch. Sounds nice huh?

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Five food books worth reading to get healthy

Eating on the Wild Side

I read about nutrition a lot. Almost obsessively. But there’s a good reason — the information in printed (and electronic) pages is how I learned to keep weight off and my health optimal, despite my daily food and wine gluttony. With the constant misinformation floating around our culture, it’s been helpful to read a myriad of opinions, test out theories and figure out what’s best for my bod. It has worked, so I’m sharing my recommended reading list of books which most dramatically influenced me in my quest to stay thin while eating and drinking for a living. Of course, I also gather helpful, healthful tidbits everywhere (including the Tufts University nutrition newsletter) but these books are the mainstays.

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Healthy eating substitutes: 8 ways to sneak in tasty nutrition

Turkey Sandwich with Avocado and Tomato

It ain’t easy getting healthy and losing weight. For on-the-go people, getting the required “5-a-Day” (now morphing into 8-a-Day) can be a challenge and seem impossibly harried. But a few small changes can have a big impact. These eight little things will provide some solace and introduce a little ray of yummy nutrition into your daily routine. And maybe a little weight loss.

Read more: Healthy eating: 8 ways to introduce delicious nutrition to your day

Eating Healthy: Unscrambling the egg myths and truths


A few years ago, the humble egg went through a public relations nightmare. Blemished with the falsehood of causing high cholesterol, eggs scared many people away. Health seeking consumers eschewed the nutritious yolk, favoring the boring, flavorless white, if they ate eggs at all. A sad sight. Then, along came a Harvard School of Public health study, stating that the dietary cholesterol in eggs did not raise cholesterol levels in the majority of the population and found no association with heart disease. Slowly, like the picked-on kid in elementary school who grows up to be a tech billionaire, eggs became popular. But not without adding more confusion. We’re now faced with a multitude of choices from Cage-Free to Pastured to Omega-3… a morass of labels that can be confusing and many of them mean nothing. But they often capture your heart and money. To clear up the pasture, here’s the skinny on eggs.

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The truth about the grocery store brands you love (infographic)

Think you know everything there is to know about the brands you love? Maybe not. This infographic (shared by depicts the reality of the majority ownership of brands in the grocery store aisles. It’s a bit on the salacious side (“dominate”? “disturbing”?) but the information seems sound and pretty interesting. And, if you’re like me, you shop in the produce and fresh protein section more than anything else and might not even care. But it’s good to know. Pass it on.

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Five tricks that will help you lose weight while still being a foodie

Mixed Nuts

I’m a foodie. Food obsessed. Food experimenter and cook. Food grower. So I’m not talking about tricks like eating 10 grapefruit per day or living on only avocados, although both of those are part of a foodie arsenal. Here are five easy, implement-today additions to your life that will absolutely help you shed pounds. How do I know? Worked for me. It can for you too.

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Four easy weight loss tips for a new year and a new you

scary weight scale

The #1 New Year’s resolution is to lose weight. Some succeed… many do not. But those that do put in the effort and take the extra steps (literally) required to make a lifestyle change for the better. There are so many things you can do to feel awesome and lose weight but these four easy tips will start you on your way. 1. Buy a pedometer and shoot for 10,000 steps per day. Try a free app called Pacer. It’s not perfect (you have to turn it on everyday and also have your phone on you at all times), but hey, it’s free. Some things to try: Park your car as far away as possible from any door (work, grocery store, coffee shop, etc), take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator, walk to people’s offices instead of calling them at work.

Read more: Four easy weight loss tips for a new year and a new you