If you’ve had an MRT food sensitivity test done to identify your food reactions, it is highly recommended to do the LEAP diet protocol.
Many people who are suffering from chronic symptoms are becoming interested in food sensitivity testing to help identify foods that are contributing to their symptoms. It can cause a great deal of confusion and frustration to try to identify problematic foods, so it is very appealing to have a definitive, accurate, and tangible test result showing you what you should and shouldn’t eat. This is, in fact, the information the MRT food sensitivity test provides us. However, just as a doctor will not run diagnostic testing and turn over the results to you without consultation, leaving you to develop their own treatment protocol, a Certified LEAP Therapist (CLT) will not facilitate ordering a food sensitivity test without also providing the counseling needed to properly interpret the results and assisting you in developing a plan of care to achieve the desired results. This is because in most cases, it is not enough to just avoid the “yellow,” or moderately reactive, and “red,” or highly reactive, foods that come up on the test. In order to achieve symptom relief, it is recommended to properly implement the LEAP diet protocol.
7 reasons why just avoiding “yellows” and “reds” is not enough:
- Many Untested Foods are Reactive – If you only eliminate what comes up reactive on the test, you are still consuming reactive foods and ingredients that were not on the test panel. MRT tests 150 foods and chemicals, but there are tens of thousands of food additives approved by the FDA, and no test can measure them all. A food must be considered guilty until proven innocent, and had the food been on the test panel, it may have been shown to be highly reactive. The only way to truly know is to isolate your immune system for a short period of time from anything potentially reactive so significant symptoms reduction is achieved (about 7-14 days) before re-introducing foods one by one while monitoring any symptoms. This is what the LEAP diet protocol helps you to do.
- Individual Sensitivity Threshold Varies – The MRT test will provide a bar graph depicting the reactivity of foods within the various food groups. Generally green bars are considered non-inflammatory and are expected to be well-tolerated. However, if you are more sensitive than most people, a very long green bar food may trigger symptoms for you. The LEAP diet protocol walks you through the process of starting with foods that are short green bars for a period of time before challenging the longer green bar foods into your diet.
- Chemical sensitivities can be complicated and food chemicals must be properly addressed for immunocalm to be achieved. The MRT measures 30 food chemicals. Many of these chemicals are food additives such as food colorings and preservatives, however others are chemicals that are naturally occurring in foods. Some of these include tyramine, solanine, salicylic acid, nitrate, lecithin, fructose, and phenylethlamine. If one or more food chemicals are reactive for you, you must have an understanding of which foods contain these chemicals and how to manage their dose-related effects. The LEAP diet protocol guides you in identifying how much of your reactive food chemicals you can tolerate.
- If you are reactive to a food, you may also be reactive to ingredients that are derivatives of that food – For example, if you are reactive to corn, you likely need to also avoid some or all of the following: corn tortillas, cornbread, polenta, corn chips, corn starch, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, popcorn, corn oil and vegetable oil blends containing corn oil, corn flakes, corn chex, puffed corn cereal, dextrose, maltodextrin, hominy, grits, gluten free pastas containing corn, etc. Many of the foods tested will have derivative ingredients that must also be avoided during the LEAP diet protocol.
- Inflammation is not the only reason you might not feel good from a food – the MRT does most of the heavy lifting in identifying the foods you may have had no idea were inflammatory for you and therefore at the root of many of your symptoms. However you may also experience symptoms due to food allergies (known or not yet identified), oral allergies, food intolerance such as lactose or fructose intolerance, fiber intolerance, irritation from lectins, and other reasons. It is important to consider these other factors when building your food list in addition to the information the MRT provides.
- Not understanding what to expect with an immunocalm diet can cause confusion – it is important to know what to expect when implementing an immunocalm protocol. When you first pull all known and potentially reactive foods out of your diet, your system takes some time to rebalance. Many people experience a period of withdrawal, where they feel worse before they feel better. This can last for 3-7 days. If you don’t know to expect this, you may think that something you are eating on your diet is somehow making you feel worse, and drive yourself crazy trying to figure out which of the foods on your list is causing you the problem. Or you may believe the diet is not working for you, and want to quit. Most people do not see any improvement in their symptoms at all until about day 9 of their diet. Understanding what to expect is critical to hanging in there and giving the diet enough time to achieve the expected result.
- Avoiding food sensitivities is not the end-all be-all but a means to an end – The purpose of eliminating food sensitivities is initially to get you feeling better as quickly as possible and in most cases this is achieved within 2 weeks of starting the diet. But this is only the beginning. Working with a trained Registered Dietitian and Certified LEAP Therapist will help you get the root cause of your issues and develop a long-term plan for maintenance, reintroduction of once-sensitive foods, and prevention of new sensitivities from occurring. This may involve identifying why your sensitivities were triggered, balancing microorganisms in the gut, identifying and addressing nutritional deficiencies, changing lifestyle habits, rotating commonly repeated foods, and/or following a therapeutic diet appropriate for your medical condition. Most people, after completing the temporary immunocalm process, eventually go back to a normal varied diet, but one that is much healthier now that they have learned a new and better way to eat for your body.
As you can see, there is so much more to getting well than just avoiding what comes up reactive on a test result. The MRT is a revolutionary tool that gives us information we could not possibly know otherwise, and is the missing link for so many who have tried the diets, medications, supplements, enzymes, and probiotics, but know there is still a missing piece causing their symptoms. When MRT is applied properly using the LEAP diet protocol, the resulting wellness that is achieved is extraordinary. As a Registered Dietitian and Certified LEAP Therapist, I make the process as simple as possible. We work together to build your individualized diet plan, and I provide you with tools and resources, recipes and menu planning, and walk you step by step through the LEAP process.