Alternative healthcare practitioners are the original skeptics. We don’t buy into what is publicized and sold to us over the mainstream media. To be effective where others aren’t, we must perceive exactly what is happening without all the theory and made up propaganda attached.
I don’t believe anything until I’ve seen it! Or, felt it!
So, this summer, I went to France and Italy for two weeks with my wife on our vacation, and while I was there, I decided to use myself as a guinea pig and an overall pig to test a theory about milk and wheat being different in Europe as compared to the US. My personal results were absolutely… unbelievable!
Why did I even think to try this on myself in the first place?
Because I’m terribly sensitive to both dairy and wheat products. At least three generations of my family are sensitive to dairy and wheat products. I am in the middle. My father and my daughter are also very sensitive. However, a few years back when I traveled with my daughter to the United Kingdom, Belgium, and Holland I had tried a couple meals with dairy and wheat and noticed no change at all in my body. As this was limited to a couple meals, I couldn’t put much merit into my experiences at the time.
I feel that when people travel they are not being exposed to the same environmental stresses they normally would have at home and it could have them less reactive in general.
However, just before this recent trip to France and Italy with my wife, I had a client mention how they have a relative who is both dairy and wheat intolerant in the US, but living for 2-3 years in Europe they don’t have the problems with dairy and wheat. That caught my attention!
Now that is a lot different than just a couple meals! So, I decided to test this out on our vacation adventure for the fun of it, and to possibly learn more about my personal intolerances. Why not, I thought? I have not had real ice cream in probably 10 years…
It could be fun!
If it doesn’t make me sick…
But, what I experienced for myself was a complete shock. I am still trying to figure out the depth of what it implies about our foods here in the US…
If you would like a quick read, then feel free to skip the next two sections about my personal sensitivities. However, my personal and family’s sensitivities show just how startling this is. It shows how I should not be able to escape being dramatically harmed and tortured by my vacation experiment.
My personal background with health sensitivity to milk:
As a child, I was severely ill from chronic respiratory infections. I almost died from pneumonia directly linked to being a petri dish from eating unlimited sugar and milk products as a kid. I was given tons of antibiotics and medications for years because of constant respiratory infections. I had my tonsils surgically removed to try and help reduce the occurrences, although I was too young to remember if body part removal helped or not. I still do remember the horrible pain of the ear infections that have my hearing significantly reduced to where I can’t understand or enjoy music with lyrics which progressively gets worse as I age.
My father suffers the same hearing loss from his chronic ear infections as a child too. I recently discovered my father had severe asthma as a child.
I also remember the horrible desperate struggling for breath and being afraid to cough when mucous would just choke me and I would feel as if I was drowning and would never catch another breath.
Later as a teenager and young adult I had such horrible allergies that in the summers I would literally shut myself up in a house with no air conditioning during the high heat of summer dripping ice cubes in my nose. I was trying to survive the irritation watching a tiny black and white TV and I would wilt for several months into a drippy ball of sweat and mucous avoiding outdoors like the plague. The only limited relief would occur sometimes if we traveled across country. I had been given strong medications for allergies, but I don’t remember them helping or feeling well when I did take them. An old high school friend recently reminded me on Facebook how my nose chronically dripped. These are all cleared up completely, as long as I keep the dairy products and sugar out of my life.
This condition runs in my family which you might call a genetic predisposition.
I already mentioned my father being similar with respiratory issues. My daughter was only once in the hospital as a child or even seen by a doctor, but it was for double pneumonia and she was too young to be forced to drink and needed an IV or she would dehydrate and die. I took her into the hospital for three terrifying days.
Thank God she survived, but that was never going to happen again. So, I did a test on her afterwards with foods, and found out with giving her just a bite of a milk or sugar product how the next day she would be coughing and developing a respiratory condition. So, for five years she lived with no dairy or sugar products allowed in her diet. I made all her treats myself, and never had an issue like that again.
She also had no ear infections as both me and her Grandfather suffered from horribly. She would only have some allergic responses when she cheated as she became older and I had less control of her diet, but her allergic responses were and are nothing like mine had been. (By the way, she was never vaccinated and was in public school for every grade and never needed a doctor before or after that single dire hospital visit. Extremely opposite of both her Father and Grandfather even with her same sensitivities.)
Currently, I refuse to have milk products altogether for many years now and extremely limited sweets. If I eat either, I immediately will itch in the corner of my mouth, soft palate, then into my ears if I continue to indulge I become a drippy sneezy mess all over again, including my eyes. In the past, I would sometimes sneeze from a single first bite of a cow milk product in my mouth such as a slice of cheese or something with butter in it.
I don’t even consider drinking milk, in my experience “it does a body harm!”
My background with health sensitivity to wheat:
When I was in a very stressful marriage in my 30’s, I used food to help me manage. I gained quite a bit of weight and I was over 230 lbs. at one point. At night, I would suffer from acid reflux when going to bed. Very painful heartburn which was only slightly relieved by elevating my head and lying flat on my back. It would last more than half the night if I let it. Luckily, I had the use of homeopathic remedies and could stop it in 20 minutes from taking a single dose. (Homeopathy works!)
Trained as an alternative health practitioner, I knew it was unhealthy to just rely on even a natural remedy to stop the symptoms and I needed to find out why it was occurring. Besides my weight causing the potential of a hiatal hernia, I decided to also experiment with my foods as I had for my daughter with the milk and sugar issues. I found that if I simply avoided any wheat products for a couple days then I would have absolutely no issue again until I ate bread, pasta, soups with wheat as a thickener, pizza, or any wheat product. As soon as I ate wheat, I was a cooked goose and the acid re-flux would immediately and painfully hit me when I went to bed. Even if I ate that wheat in the morning I would have the acid re-flux return once I went to bed at night. This is when I was at my heaviest.
Also, my father, had been given a prescribed form of Prilosec for a few years with his acid re-flux showing our similar genetic predispositions again. My father was very active at the time and not excessively overweight.
At one point my Dad and I decided to do a 10-day canoe trip in Canada together. I decided to use the adventure as an experiment on both of us. I put myself in charge of the food and brought everything without any wheat product at all. I asked my Dad to only bring his Prilosec and use if needed but not to take any once we began the trip together. He agreed. Neither he, nor myself suffered from any acid re-flux on the entire canoe trip. Camping would normally be the worse situation and canoeing even more so with sitting and bending while paddling. He never needed his Prilosec which he couldn’t do without for a single day prior. I never needed a remedy. But, once he returned to his previous lifestyle with wheat he also returned to his medications to control the symptoms again. I just stayed away from the wheat.
At the beginning of our recent vacation, I was much lighter at around 176lbs. and not quite as prone to acid reflux from a single meal containing wheat. For the past few years it has normally taken two to three days of at least one meal each day containing wheat for the acid reflux to develop and give me trouble. And, it would still only occur once I laid down for bed at night.
I also noticed for periods when I allowed myself to eat wheat on a consistent basis (since I am human, and I can easily control the symptoms with remedies) that I would develop back pain in the mornings when I allowed wheat back into my lifestyle. Otherwise at 52 I have no pains and live on no medications synthetic or natural.
The continuation of my experiment:
As you can see I constantly use my family and myself as guinea pigs. I try all my remedies, health supplements, lifestyle changes, and health practices on myself first because I never believe literature, studies, or someone else’s anecdotal evidence. Studies and the literature produced are backed by some financial resource and benefit which influences both heavily. Even a book is sold. Negative studies about supplements I find can be the worse with financially influenced results being biased towards a drug, food industry, or institution. Any internet and social media information especially Snopes and Wikipedia I have found biased by financial agendas to the point of outright false information.
In my experience with what has helped my clients and myself, there is very little science in health at this time. Quite honestly it appears that agencies are hired and in a militaristic fashion use propaganda to mislead the public about their health for the sake of profit.
(Homeopathic experiments are normally not backed with huge financial resources or single entity benefit, but there is the potential of an expectation of some kind which must be filtered out in every experiment.)
A personal recommendation or experience can be a wonderful place to start looking, but still limited from a one-sided view, and I always need to feel or experience it for myself, because I don’t know how strict any individual is with setting up their experiments. I find it a great benefit to be able to rely on what a remedy feels like in my own body when working with others, even though, we also need to consider how everyone is different.
So, here’s my recent European experiment where I became both a guinea pig and a pig.
I go to France and Italy for 14 days with my wife for vacation. Eat my way through each city we visit, starting with wheat and butter products in Paris then graduating to others, if I don’t experience too many negative results. If I do feel any of my familiar symptoms return, I will back off to a manageable level or stop those items if needed (hard to avoid wheat and dairy in those two countries). If it gets too bad I will use the homeopathic remedies I brought to handle the symptoms. I brought a lot of remedies…
I also need to mention that it does not help me in the least to use organic dairy or organic wheat products here in the US. And, I chose not to do any organic or biologic products in France or Italy, so I could see what their basic food was like in my body compared to what has been and is commonly available here in the US. Meaning, I should really hurt myself and need my remedies if the foods are the same quality as here in the US.
While abroad on our vacation, my wife and I always ate out at cafes and restaurants, and never went to a grocery store except for bottled water. Eating out here in the US would always hurt me the worse. This was set up to potentially be a very painful vacation for me at some point if not carefully managed…
So, in Paris we started off by eating at cafes that served small single dishes. The first evening we chose toast with many different toppings like artichokes in butter. Talk about tasty and nothing I would dream of eating if prepared even by myself in the US. Even so, in the beginning, other than some Jet Lag, I had no issue. I felt, I got away with something… Maybe the artichokes helped with the fat digestion of the butter… that kind of thing.
Now, before we left on our vacation, my wife had made reservations for a very special meal. None like I have ever experienced in my life!
Our greatest meal in France was intense. It was on the third day. We had a reservation at Le Grand Vefour, a two Michelin Star restaurant in Paris. Dozens of pastry artworks, cheeses where some were almost as old as myself, fresh baked breads galore and after 3 hours of constant eating I was able to waddle out just fine. I suffered none of the symptoms of my issues from home which would have plagued me while eating just a smidgeon of what was loaded into our meal… This was a very wonderful, shock!
No allergy symptoms from the dairy or the sugar which would have occurred within the hour. At night, in bed, I didn’t have heartburn and never needed a remedy.
After adventuring for 4 days in Paris visiting art museums, cathedrals, and eating whatever we wanted. I was not only fine… but I felt great! Yes, we did climb the Eiffel Tower.
Then we moved on to Rome!
At this point I was feeling pretty adventurous and while walking between the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon on our first evening in Rome, I got a gelato with pistachio and coconut. Tasty! But, uh oh! This could definitely send me over the edge…
Still no issues…
So, guess what?
I had a gelato every day while in Italy and sometimes two. I literally had not eaten real ice cream with dairy in probably more than 10 years. I can’t remember the last time I even took a bite, before this trip.
I tried most flavors and I found no difference between the ones which had milk and the couple I tried without milk in them. I like the vegan dark dark chocolate too. Anyway, even the sugar didn’t affect me with allergy symptoms as it would have at home. I had less reaction than eating the fake ice creams here in the US.
I then threw all caution to the wind and we ate our way through Florence and Venice too.
Ten days later, after a lot of art, cathedrals, museums, walking, and eating we flew back to Paris to connect with our flight home. But, the experiment didn’t stop there. While waiting for our connecting flight home, I bought a wedge of French cheese and ate it all on the flight. I even ate more of the cheap stuff on the plane that comes with the meal and bread with butter, and anything I could find to see if I could cause myself a problem when I returned home. Yes, I ate my way through the flight too. Stuff I would never touch on any US flight. I didn’t even sleep, I just kept eating…
Talk about stress! Our flight was delayed two hours and then customs was horrible with lines after we landed. Once out of customs we had to find a bus to our car and spend hours in the rush hour traffic home because of all these delays. Not my idea of a way to come home, and I should have been physically miserable!
But guess what?
I didn’t suffer in the least with allergies or any upset to my stomach during or after our trip. Nothing!
Honestly, I could not believe it. I tried my best to make myself horrifically sick on returning home as a last push of my experiment to get some reaction.
It didn’t work.
Of course, I didn’t touch any American dairy or wheat products once we landed home in the US. American dairy and wheat products I have had enough experience with in my life and I know the results.
However, several days later, I did try from Trader Joes an Irish cheese, because I was wondering if I could get away with it.
I handled the Irish cheese a little better than I expected, but immediately started to feel some allergy problems coming on so I stopped. I even sneezed right after popping a piece into my mouth which is what usually happens. When I stopped the cheese, the symptoms stopped. Imported is also not the same as what I had in Europe. I have no idea why… I also tried a French imported cheese later and the same response where I handled it better but still not as well as in France.
I began to wonder if they ship our cheap milk to Europe then make the cheese and ship it back to us and call it imported for the sake of a better profit margin?
I don’t know what the reason is, but it is very disappointing… I was really hoping for both myself and the families I support with their health to give them some good news of alternatives where available. I’ve not found it yet…
To conclude, I did have some alcohol in Europe a couple times, and it bothered me either time I drank it in France or Italy. So, the environment did not seem to make me less susceptible in general to being disturbed in my health by an ingested product. I also experienced jet lag intensely the first couple days in Paris, so the change of environment both internally and externally was capable of producing symptoms.
I pushed it hard, and I believe the improved changes in my response were directly due to the food quality and not my physical change into a new environment.
I overloaded to the point where I should have been severely miserable the entire vacation. I went far beyond what I had originally planned. I even overloaded just before landing home where the worse of it should have hit me the hardest if the physical environment of home was the issue.
It wasn’t! And, home where I grew up didn’t create a worse experience for me even days later!
My conclusion is …
I had a very fun trip!
But the reality is… we are in trouble!!
US food is no longer food, and hasn’t been for quite some time. Industrialization and governmental guidelines, as they are currently, seem designed to make us sick. Our food is not made to be healthy.
Something is terribly wrong with how our food is grown and processed starting before the 1930’s when my father was a kid. Since beginning my practice in 1992, in order to help people, get well, I had to take a majority of people away from their diary and quite a few from wheat products to get their health results. Not being exposed to European food, I mistakenly concluded how both dairy and wheat are basically just poison. I now must reconsider my opinion…
But, to what?
Currently, I still consider our US dairy and wheat as poison and I don’t know where they fit in the health of other countries where dairy and wheat are grown and processed differently. I also don’t know about non-US sugar…
As an aside, I have and never will buy food from China because of their industrialization which seems to always contaminate their food… After this experiment, I am now of the opinion “we are China too!”
This is my current opinion from my experiment which will probably change as I further digest my experience over the coming year:
To be healthy in the US we need to completely ignore governmental, industrial, and medical guidelines about our foods. Our SAD (Standard American Diet) is absolute poison.
The good news is. If we change our foods, the rest of our environment does not seem to be so overpowering to the point at which we cannot heal. In-fact, it seems we very much can heal from simply changing our foods.
Go Europe… with disallowing GMO and the poisons we create!
We need to get a clue from the other side of the pond…
To sum up my personal vacation experiment:
The only negative issue I experienced from eating all the things I won’t eat here in the US, was to gain 6lbs. I am of the opinion it would have been more like 15 to 20lbs. gained in those 2 weeks, if Mary and I hadn’t walked miles every day throughout our trip. We didn’t rent a car. We used the public transportation and definitely walked, a lot. Thank goodness… Although the improved food quality could have contributed to less weight gain overall as well.
While on the trip I had been reading Dr. Mercola’s new book “Fat for Fuel” planning to take it on when I returned home as my next experimental investigation. I did not try it while on our vacation, and I waited a couple days after being home before starting. I mostly read his book while waiting in the airports and on our return flight home while eating my wedge of Comte.
After returning home, I lost 11 lbs. in the first 12 days of gently experimenting with his program. So, my extra weight was gone within days…
But, this is the beginning of another experiment!
Best of health to you always,