Is Your Health Food Hurting You?


I love this topic because every time I flip open a popular health and fitness magazine, I want to throw it! (Don’t even know why I open them…I usually get bored in airports so I can’t help it.)  I can tell you from my health coaching practice, that SO MANY people do not tolerate very common “health” foods, and they don’t even know that it’s one of their major problems and what may be causing weight gain or other health issues.

What am I talking about? When you see these terms, think twice before making them a permanent part of your new “healthy” diet.

“whole wheat”

If you unknowingly have a gluten sensitivity, this may actually be packing on the pounds and stressing out your stomach resulting in bloating, reduced energy, slow digestion and elimination, bad skin, among other random issues.

“fat free”

Do NOT buy fat free foods. Fat does not make you fat. Sugar and processed, inflammatory foods make you fat. Fat stabilizes blood sugar and makes our brains and internal organs very happy.

“sugar free”

This is a sign that what you are about to eat is processed and includes some crazy chemicals that you want no part of. Clean eating means it was a part of nature recently.

“zero calories”

Want to create a sustainable, keep-the-weight-off-for-good eating lifestyle? Give up the calorie counting and shoot for quality, not quantity. Avoid processed diet foods, they aren’t bringing anything to the table. Full fat, full nutrition, unprocessed foods are what our bodies need to shed pounds, grow new muscle tissue and make sure we have enough energy for our workouts in the first place.


It’s true caffeine can promote weight gain too, but getting decaf isn’t necessarily better. Decaf coffee is heavily chemically treated to extract the caffeine. No good. Just switch to green tea or your naturally caffeine-free herbal teas.


This is a loosey-goosey term that doesn’t carry much weight. Fried, processed junk can be all-natural — doesn’t mean it’s not a high-inflammatory, fat-promoting, high-glycemic nightmare.

yogurt/dairy, from cows milk

More people are allergic to dairy than you’d ever think. Even if you KNOW FOR SURE that dairy doesn’t bother you, I dare you to give it up for two weeks just to see. You can do it. Many people report that their skin clears up, digestion improves and energy increases.

Soy products

Soy is usually highly processed and mimics estrogen in the body, which young people do not need. Other than enjoying your edamame at your favorite sushi restaurant, skip it and look for other plant-based protein sources like beans, nuts…and you know…green veggies.

What is an elimination diet?

An elimination diet sounds scary doesn’t it? Sounds like you aren’t going to eat anything at all. Not the case. An elimination diet just removes all common food allergies (many are mentioned above). If you are experiencing a tough time losing weight, even with a lot of working out, try to eat completely clean for two-four weeks. “Clean” means sugar, caffeine, soy, dairy and gluten free. You’ll be eating lots of fruits and veggies, healthy fats, non-gluten grains like quinoa, amaranth and millet, and all the meat protein you want.  At the end of your elimination diet, you can add one of these things back in at a time, see how your body reacts and then determine if it’s the best food for you.

In my experience, when clients move to a clean eating diet they figure out that they have a much lower tolerance for wheat and dairy than they ever thought. They can see how their digestion, weight, bloating, energy, sleep, aches and pains, headaches, etc all change when they bring these foods back in to their daily routine.

Up for a challenge?

Take your wellness routine to the next level and see what an elimination diet can do for you! No calorie counting, measuring, or freaking out required.

Need ideas for meal plans for an elimination diet? Check out my Pinterest boards for inspiration:


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