Prior to Pinner (BP if you will), I was a self-proclaimed chickpea enthusiast. Falafel dipped in hummus was my favorite meal and tubs of HOPE kale pesto hummus would mysteriously disappear hours upon arriving home from the grocery store. Even the Instagram accounts I naturally navigated to / best connected with had chickpea in the name – hummaspien, chickpeainthecity. But then, one fated Monday morning, a stork brought my Pinner Test results to my email inbox, revealing sensitivities to cow’s milk, pork, and yes…chickpeas – see my Pinner Test results. (I contemplated titling this post “nothing was the same” which is what Jeanette from shutthekaleup titled her blog post about having a child, but then I figured birthing a human is not entirely commensurate with discovering you have a chickpea sensitivity. Am I dramatic? Idk.)
How odd that one of my favorite foods ended up being one that I not only loved the most but craved the most. I described in my last post about food insensitivities that sometimes the body craves what it’s sensitive to. This is because eating a food you’re sensitive to usually means you’re not digesting it well. The undigested particles slither through the intestinal lining (hence the phrase intestinal permeability / leaky gut) and enter circulation. An influx of antibodies then come to the rescue, trying to do away with them. More antibodies are sent to the scene than what is needed, as the body anticipates another offense. Antibodies like doing their job, and since there are extra, they crave more of the offender to break down, and so you start to crave the thing you can’t break down well.
To be honest, I didn’t realize just how ubiquitous chickpeas were in my day to day eating. With the obvious things like hummus and falafel aside, there was even chickpea powder in the protein I was using for my smoothies in the morning. This is why it’s really so important to check ingredients – something as innocent as the chickpea kept popping up in unassuming places, and may have been why I’d be bombarded by these moments of extreme fatigue randomly throughout the day. So I completely eliminated, along with pork and cow’s milk for three weeks to see how I felt.
Here are some things I noticed with the elimination:
- less fatigue throughout the day
- less bloating
- fewer cravings
- clearer thinking
- no joint pain
So then there was a day I accidentally reintroduced chickpeas into my diet, and I genuinely do mean accidentally. I was studying, distracted and desperate for a snack, and reached for something crunchy in the snack cabinet. Within 20 or so minutes (and yes I do realize this sounds INSANE), I was unfocused and had a headache. And then I was so bummed because I needed to study and THEN I realized I had just eaten chickpeas. I had never had this reaction to them before, but upon eliminating them, my body was like a hard “no thank you.” So yes I know this sounds psychosomatic but I genuinely didn’t even realize I was eating them, so this was the perfect means of control in my mini-experiment. I had the snack, not reading there was chickpeas in them, and within 20 minutes my brain was throbbing, my stomach was slightly upset, and this was enough to deter me from more experimentation.
This is likely because food sensitivities increase overall inflammation in the body. In terms of reducing inflammation, according to Dr. Mark Hyman, it’s recommended to test for IgG sensitivities, and the Pinner Test does just this. You can also try an elimination diet, as noted in my last post about food sensitivities, as well as test for hidden infections by a trained physician.
In my last post, I also described joint pain, usually located in my shoulders or knees. With the elimination of the three foods listed in my pinner test results, I am happy to report I have not had any more pain. This means, however, that I have to be conscious and curious when I am making foods choices. When I go to restaurants, I ask if my meal contains any dairy, chickpeas, or if it was cooked in bacon grease / oil. I am also reading labels more diligently and being more aware of food derivates. For example, any protein that contains whey also contains lactulose, which is part of cow’s milk, so I’ve eliminated that as well. I’ve also completely eliminated yogurt, as when I tried this (even a great and organic brand), I was left feeling nauseous with a headache.
So who’s recommended to try IgG food sensitivity testing?
- If you experience food cravings and have unexplained weight gain or inability to lose weight.
- If you have digestive disturbances such as gas, belching, or bloating after meals.
- If you suffer from headaches (including migraine), joint pain, arthritis or skin rashes.
- If you suffer from asthma, wheezing, or dry cough.
- If you feel lethargic, sleepy, low in energy or notice poor attention or hyperactivity.
- If you feel chronic or intermittent “puffiness.”
To reiterate from my last post, I already kind of had a feeling that cow’s milk would be on my food no-fly list. I had genuine symptoms. But chickpeas were a total shock, as I’ve been eating them for years and have never been able to pinpoint a poor feeling from them. Strangely enough, after eliminating them, I don’t even really crave them anymore. In fact, they make me feel a bit sick when I think about eating them. And I’ve been able to find really awesome alternatives, like a chickpea free hummus below:
If you’re interested in trying the Pinner Test, you can use the code TWISTOFLEMONS for $100 off.
Here is a hummus recipe without chickpeas:
- 1 can white beans
- 1/4 cup basil
- juice from 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp garlic
Hyman, M. (2012). How to work with your doctor to get what you need. Hyman Enterpirses, LLC. Retrieved from http://drhyman.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/HowToGetWhatYouNeed.pdf
Glad Health. Can food intolerance be preventing you from reaching your health goals? Retrieved from http://gladhealth.com/add-ons/food-sensitivity-testing/