I have just spent 10 days traveling through Seville Spain, Rome and Florence Italy. This was a vacation with my family that I really looked forward to. But in addition to being with those I love, of course I decided to combine business with pleasure…
I have been hearing from many clients that when they travel to Europe, they seem to be able to handle many foods and beverages which don’t agree with them back here, in the United States. So I decided to use my vacation time to test the theory and consume foods that I would usually stay away from. These include gluten, dairy and alcohol – foods considered inflammatory by many in the integrative medical field and those which are fringe foods for anyone on a Wildatarian lifestyle.
So there I was, in Europe, drinking alcohol and eating gluten and dairy products daily. I also consumed decidedly non-Wildatarian meats such as Prosciutto, ham and salami (pork) and beef. And let’s not forget my daily non-organic latte – so delicious! The result? Surprisingly, not only did I not have any negative repercussions, but overall, my digestion improved, I lost a little weight and I felt good in my body. So what’s the story? Why is it that I can’t eat this way at home, but I am fine while on vacation?
To me, it all comes down to my theory of tipping points… Each of us is genetically wired to withstand a certain level of assault – whether it’s from food, toxins or stress. It is obvious that my tipping point was not reached on vacation. Let’s look at some of the reasons why this could be true.
- I will begin with stress – as much if not more of a toxin than anything else. Vacation was a time when I didn’t have to worry about my practice, my clients and my day-to-day concerns and worries. I could enjoy being surrounded by those I love in some of the most beautiful places in the world.
- What about the alcohol? I usually can’t handle much when home. My joints start hurting and I feel ill. It turns out, European wine has less sulfite – the EU limits are lower than those in the US. This could be part of the problem.
- Now onto gluten. It turns out that a huge percentage of wheat products in Italy are made from Kamut® wheat – an ancient variety, organically grown. I found a study on a clinical trial where those that consumed this ancient variety improved their IBS symptoms and reduced inflammatory markers as compared to those who consumed regular wheat. In addition, while glyphosate, a commonly used herbicide is sprayed on wheat as a desiccant in the US, this practice is less common in Europe and many EU countries will be phasing its use out in the next several years. This chemical has been labeled as a probable carcinogen by the World Health Organization and is known to disrupt sulfur pathways in the body. European wheat also has much less gluten than the American variety.
- What about dairy? At home, I limit myself to sheep and goat products, but while in Europe, I indulged in cow products daily. It turns out that European cows differ genetically from their American counterparts, and as a result, produce A2 milk – with a different amino acid signature and less of an immune reaction in the body.
Although I can’t guarantee it, I believe that a combination of all these factors and possibly many others, that allowed me to be liberal with my diet while on vacation.
First, let me say, that if you are sick, you should not try to introduce any of these non-Wildatarian foods back into your diet. But if you are healthy and want to experiment, here is a list of my top suggestions:
- Buy all your wine from Dry Farm Wines. Their wines are low in sulfites and mold. Much healthier for you. If you choose regular wine, use an ULLO sulfite filter or these PureWine wands.
- Switch to A2 milk and other dairy products. They are available at Whole Foods and other supermarkets. Also, remember that goat and sheep dairy is easier to digest in general.
- For baking at home and for other products with gluten, consider switching to organically grown, ancient Kamut® wheat. Not all kamut products are safe. Here is a list of products made with this variety that are available in the US. – DO NOT CONSUME IF YOU ARE CELIAC.
- For non-Wildatarian animal products, always choose organic where possible – why tax your body with an extra toxin burden if you don’t have to? Choose products form animals that are pasture-raised and fed a clean diet indigenous to their species. CHICKEN SHOULD ALWAYS BE YOUR LAST CHOICE.
- Engage in daily stress management. Whatever that means for you. Meditate. Take a walk in nature. Listen to music that makes you happy. Hang out with positive people. Anything to ameliorate the ever increasing level of stress in our lives.
I hope these suggestions can help you avoid reaching your tipping point while still being able to enjoy some of life’s best experiences. If you do experiment, please do it in small increments – we are not in Europe, after all. Being a Wildatarian is still the most effective, long term strategy for your optimal health.
To the Tru of You,