Project 22 – Chapter 6
Chapter 6 – My Hair Test Results
At my second consultation with Brooke, I ask her about doing a Hair and Stool test. We’d talked briefly about it at the first appointment but hadn’t taken anything any further.
When I said ‘let’s do them’. She was like a kid in a candy store, ‘I wish all my clients did them’, ‘they’re so valuable’, ‘I can’t wait until we get the results’.
Needless to say, she was excited.
The hair test was testing for foods that cause inflammation in my body, so I was keen to see the results.
She took a cutting of my hair and sent it off for testing, then and there – well she was putting it in the mail asap.
She also gave me the stool kit, which I was to take home and do. I’ll share that process (the edited version) and results in the next chapter.
The results of the hair test came back within 2 weeks, in time for my next appointment (where we had the blood tests to talk about too!). The poo test would take about 4 weeks, so she’d have those results for my fourth appointment, which was scheduled for December (4 weeks from my third appointment).
Note: My first 3 appointments were 2 weeks apart and then we went to monthly appointments.
Brooke handed me a report that had about 400 foods listed in it. They were separated into categories like:
- Green vegetables
- Other vegetables
- Kitchen products
- Laundry products etc.
You name it, and there was a category for it.
The foods that appear under the categories are generally the foods that cause inflammation in the body, anyone’s body, and some of them have been submitted by Naturopaths for assessment and testing.
The foods are then either in black or red colour. The red indicates foods and products that cause inflammation in my body.
Some were a no brainer and didn’t bother me at all, like:
- Milk full cream
- Milk A2
- Spelt Bread
- Heinz Baked Beans (I’ve never liked them)
- Fish Oil (again, not on my list of foods to be eaten)
Others were interesting, but either not a surprise or not a problem because I wasn’t eating/using them anyway:
- White and wholemeal bread (only issue here was pizza dough for wood fired pizza’s on a Saturday night)
- Chocolate – Cadbury and Lindt
- Brussel Sprouts (they are good roasted!)
- Earth Choice Wool Mix
- Eggs (but organic eggs were ok)
Then there were the foods that I circled because, I was eating them:
- Cashews (a regular snack with other nuts)
- Yoghurt Coconut (I kinda knew this one and I hadn’t eaten it in a while but I’d been thinking about bringing it back in)
- Chickpeas (I ate these often)
- Sugar White (I wasn’t too worried about this but I needed to understand what we were talking about because sugar is in a lot of things)
- Hommus (not surprising if chickpeas were out)
- Insect spray (now, I don’t use this a lot but I certainly have a husband who likes to make sure there are no flies in the house!)
- Pine-O-Clean (Chris will use this on our floors from time to time)
- Black beans (another regular that I ate)
- Potatoes (I wasn’t worried about chips, they’re chips! Sweet potato was ok – phew!)
How to move forward
In short, I was to be gluten and dairy free, with the other things on the list, for the next 6 months when I could get my hair tested again. I started that day. I could eat lactose free cheese, so when I was experimenting with Pizza base and cheese options this was a welcome friend.
What to do Pizza wise, this was a challenge. Initially, I started making my own gluten free bases. Predominantly these were on rice flour but they were like eating cardboard, not to mention the dairy free cheese (that I tried first) didn’t melt it burnt. Also watch out for the ingredients in dairy free cheese, read the label. So I was eating cardboard with burnt bits on it – quite tasteless.
I whinged about it one day to Brooke and she said, you can have lactose free cheese – really? She changed my pizza experience!! Now, lactose free cheese isn’t mozzarella cheese, but it will melt and I can make it crispy, which I enjoy on the edges!
I also complained about my pizza base struggle on a business call, it was my ‘life challenge’ ha ha. One of the members said you need Toscano Gluten Free Pizza Base that, here in Australia, you buy in the bread isle at the supermarket – she also changed my life! Now again, it’s not that thin, Italian pizza dough base, but with my lactose free cheese and gluten free base there was no more cardboard and I happily eat pizza’s every Saturday night with Chris and Teddy!
In terms of sugar, I had to speak to Brooke about it because it was in everything – curry paste, pasta sauce, juice – the list goes on. Brooke said to focus on not adding any additional sugar, so I could eat the curry and Spaghetti Bolognese (I have mine on sweet potato, not pasta) with pasta sauce and we’d monitor it.
With beans, chickpeas were my go to, I love them and have for years, so this was like a break up that I didn’t want to happen but I made the cut short and sweet. Black beans were an alternative that I’d have in my salads or I’d make a Mexican Roasted Sweet Potato, which was amazing, but it had black beans – so we haven’t had that since.
When I stand in the bean isle my nose goes up because I’m not sure how they’ll smell and if I’ll like the taste, but I bit the bullet and now I just grab a different bean each time I go and try them all out – they’ve all been great.
Chris and Teddy’s Hair Results
Seeing my results, and the ‘unexpected’ things that were on the list like cashews, dates, potatoes, chick peas etc. I wanted to get Chris and Teddy’s checked too.
Their results were somewhat similar to mine with gluten and dairy being an issue, but Chris wasn’t going to do anything about it and we weren’t too worried about Teddy. With Teddy’s results, I have played around with what he eats and encouraged him to try some different things, but it hasn’t been hugely successful. I just make sure his fruit and veg intake is good and I’m open to helping him evolve things over time. In essence, we treated the reports as information.
Reading over the reports though, and looking back on mine I noticed a trend. Which I’ll share with you in a moment. First, here are some of the things that came up on their reports and Brooke recommends they take out for 6 months.
- Soy Milk (Chris was already on Almond Milk by this time)
- Eggs, organic and non-organic
- Black tea
- Tomato Paste
- White Rice
- Just Right (something he has regularly)
- Nestle Chocolate (he generally eats other chocolate brands, not this one)
- Colgate (something he uses)
- Gillette Shaving Foam (something he used to use)
- Soy Milk (he never drinks this)
- Eggs, organic and non-organic
- Cola (again he very rarely drinks this, if ever)
- Tomato sauce (he has this regularly)
- Cadbury Chocolate
- Bleach (we don’t use this)
- Napisan (we don’t use this, but may have when he was a baby)
- Omo (we don’t use this)
My observation was the foods and products that came up on these reports were, sometimes, those that we ate or used on the regular or had grown up with.
For me this looked like dates, chick peas, black beans, cashews and I was just about to start buying hummus again to have with carrot sticks for afternoon tea. I had also grown up with and used Omo, up until a few years ago.
For Chris, he eats gluten, dairy, tomato paste, gravox gravy. He’d love to eat white rice if I said it was ok, we only have brown rice in our home. He also eats Just Right regularly, plus he had used Gillette Shaving Foam and still brushes his teeth with Colgate.
In essence, none of these products are an issue and certainly aren’t an issue for everyone. I was advised that over time, as I remove products that are currently causing inflammation in my body, eventually I could expect the list of red foods and products, would come down. Therefore, at some point I may be able to bring dates and cashews etc. back into my eating protocol.
Benefits of removing inflammatory foods and products
I didn’t have huge expectations around removing the inflammatory foods and products beyond sorting out my poo. At the time, I knew that when I over ate certain foods, like a healthy slice that was based on dates, I’d end up in the toilet pretty quickly with a soft poo (I won’t give you all the details!).
Much like years ago when I ate too much pasta, I’d end up with a very stiff stool.
Even though I had these poo reactions, I was telling myself these foods were ‘healthy’ so perhaps I’d over eaten in that instance, but I could still consume them.
When I removed all inflammatory foods, these are the benefits I saw:
- My hair, that I thought was constantly dry and had fly aways, was softer and I didn’t have the fly aways within 2-3 days (surely it wasn’t a food thing, I thought)
- My dry skin, particularly my legs, were softer within a week (that blew my mind)
- The areas of my body that I struggled to shift weight, my butt and thighs, started getting smaller.
- I’m still wondering if the cellulite on my legs has reduced. Sometimes I think yes and other times I think no, but I generally don’t notice it as much.
- Also, I’d find myself falling asleep driving Teddy home from school, and that stopped happening. Please note, I’ve never actually fallen asleep, I would use tools like drinking water, singing, winding down my window.
- My energy levels started lifting, I wasn’t as tired any more, I was excited about life (more than I normally was).
To me, these benefits were huge and I was keen keep going.
My next step
It’s time to talk all about my Stool test, and me pooing in a cardboard food container, like those ones you get at outdoor events with noodles in them. Not the Chinese Wok boxes, the flatter ones (with sides – you want that!), more rectangular bowl like.
Now that we know all about the container (important info), I asked Chris to post my poo (a first in our relationship, and I think in his life ha ha) and when I went in to see Brooke to give her Teddy’s and Chris’ hair samples (I did this outside of my normal appointments) she let me know the poo test was back. See you in the next chapter.
You can check out everything about my Project 22 over here.
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