Nutrional Counseling 1: Cheese

You ever get to that point where you need a little help to reach a goal, but you are reluctant to ask for it? That is the story of my battle with my weight. The reason why is because I understand the science behind losing weight: Eat 500 calories less than what you are supposed to consume, drink plenty of water, eat plenty of vegetables and some fruit,  stay away from fast food and sweets, don’t eat bread and meat in the same meal, have a big breakfast, a medium lunch, and a small dinner, exercise makes up for about 15% of weight loss and the remainder is all diet… I even used this information I researched to lose thirty pounds in the past over three months. The only reason why I gained the weight back (and then some) is because something extremely stressful occurred. I knew I was an emotional eater and food would make me feel better so I deliberately drove to Wendy’s, got a large combo, and the weight has been adding up since.

I just couldn’t seem to find that same motivation I had to start eating healthy again. It’s been about four years since I lost those  thirty pounds and I finally decided that I would overcome my pride and see a nutritional counselor to see if she could tell me something else about healthy eating that would encourage me to make changes, and boy did she. I went this past Monday and I am so glad I did. I learned so much during my visit and I have definitely gained my motivation back.

I learned four very important things about nutrition concerning cheese, wheat, MSG, and fast food. There is so much I have to say about each of these four things that I have to break them up into different blog entries. Let’s start with cheese. The nutritionist asked me what I like to eat. “Pizza, nachos, chili, cheese snacks, soup, and Wendy’s,” was my response.

“Do you eat a lot of cheese,” she asked.

I had to think about that. I went over in my mind all of the foods and snacks that I like to eat. Most of them included cheese to one degree or another, but I never noticed it before. I couldn’t eat a salad without sprinkling grated cheese over it. If I had soup, it would be a good flavor soup that I could add grated cheese to. Actually, it would’ve been easier to say which food I didn’t like cheese with – burgers and cheese flavored potato chips. I even had a bag of Cheetos before I came into her office. And my pizza to nachos addiction was legendary; I would make a small personal pizza at home and eat one a day until my craving changed to nachos. Then I would have one or two platefuls of nachos each day until my craving for pizza kicked back in, and so forth and so on. “Yeah. I guess I do.”

“Do you know what a food sensitivity is?”

I wished to goodness that I could have said yes. Besides, I went to school for medical billing and coding which includes an anatomy and physiology class. In addition to that, the ICD diagnosis book was covered thoroughly. I also work for a health insurance company where I look at claims all the time, and not once did I remember seeing a claim or medical record where a member was treated for food sensitivity. Plenty of allergy patients, but no food sensitivity patient. I eased into my ignorance by saying, “I don’t think so.”

She explained that a food sensitivity is not like an allergy that makes a person immediately sick. It is something that our body craves relentlessly but it is actually bad for the body. For example, you know how drinking to excess is bad, yet an alcoholic’s craving is constantly for more alcohol so he can drink it to excess. It’s like that. The property of cheese that does this is mold, which most people don’t handle well. Whenever I give into my cheese craving, it causes inflammation, water weight gain, and will eventually contribute to major problems like depression, migraines, joint pain, and gas, to name a few. These symptoms vary from person to person.

I was shocked. I thought my cravings was for the pizza itself, or nachos itself. I didn’t realize that what I was craving was actually the cheese ingredient, and I certainly didn’t notice that my body had a problem processing cheese.

Cheese is not a food sensitivity for everyone. People can have different food sensitivities. My nutritionist said that her food sensitivity is cheese, peanuts, and chocolate when she eats it three days in a row. When I eat cheese, I feel fatigued, have gas, and feel bloated. I also have problems sleeping which also could’ve been caused in part by my sensitivity to cheese.

So I have a food sensitivity, and it is cheese. I have never been allergic to foods before, so the idea of identifying a food that my body has problems with is foreign to me. But wait, the food sensitivity story isn’t over. She also said that my body will not give up it’s weight until I stop eating cheese. Then my mind traveled back to the time when I lost 30 pounds, and during that time I ate very little cheese. While I was shocked, I was happy to learn more about how my body works.

There is more to this revelation of nutritional information. My next entry will be coming soon about wheat, which is such a huge whammy that I’m still in an emotional stir over it. People, food is killing us and there are some surprising reasons why. I recommend that everyone get started with seeing a nutritional counselor, and that is today’s tip from Flo.