Nightshades are a Thing.
Holy hell! I have done several elimination diets in my time as a health coach, Prior to that I made terrible choices in terms of restrictive diets (aka starving,) but none of this compares to the new diet that has swept our household. My husband has had an ongoing struggle with stomach issues, which we could never quite pinpoint. We clearly have tried most diets, and would see some results, but very inconsistently. We thought it could be canola oil for quite some time, then all at once it seemed to be gluten. On and off foods he would go, giving in to cravings when his desire for pizza outweighed the discomfort that may ensue afterwards.
Fast forward to an article revealing Tom Brady and Gisele's super healthy diet. In it they mention that they don't consume nightshades. Huh?! Mike started joking that he was "off of nightshades" after someone summarized the article in our office one day. Here we are several months later, and Mike reads another blurb about the havoc nightshades can wreak on individuals with an allergy to them. All of the symptoms including inconsistent bowel movements, discomfort and bloating, and appearance of symptoms several days after consuming the problem food. We discuss, and he decides to do a month trial with no nightshades in his diet. That means no potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, or peppers of any kind for a month. Okay, how hard could that be?! Turns out INSANELY HARD! Do you know that tomatoes and peppers are in EVERYTHING? Most sauces and marinades are strictly off limits, curry is a no go, and forget getting take out. After just two days, cooking started to be a challenge, and I am still trying to revamp the way that I prepare meals. So many cuisines including Mexican, Thai, and Indian cannot be eaten.
We are almost done with the month trial. The good news is Mike's stomach is one million times better. The bad news is Mike's stomach is one million times better. It seems we may have found the culprit for his years of stomach trouble. Now it's time for me to get out my cookbooks and creative skills to come up with alternatives. Pictured above is a sweet potato salad that I made to sub for traditional potato salad on July 4th. So this is a thing. If you have struggled with stomach issues, and have had trouble finding the problem it could be this! There are over 2500 nightshade species, only a handful of which are edible. The four listed above are the most common, but goji berries and tobacco also make the list. If you are interested in learning more send me an email...I am quickly becoming an expert :)