Many of us are incorporating a “less is more” approach to our lives by letting go of unused and unneeded items in our homes, our wardrobes, and even our social lives, and we’re starting to feel the positive effects of making more space in our lives for the things that nurture us, uplift us, and enhance our ability to live our best life.
This attitude is also beneficial in examining our dietary habits…especially when so many of us are dealing with intolerances to food additives, colorings, and other chemicals! We need a way to Failsafe our diets so that we can eat nutritious food that satisfies our taste buds as well as supporting good health.
The increase of additives in our foods has dramatically risen over the last 3 decades. Even “healthy” foods, such as yogurt, bread, health bars, and flour, are being filled with chemicals to increase taste, nutritional value and shelf life. Most people eat at least 20 different additives each day without knowing it, or even knowing what they are.
If you or your children are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you could definitely have intolerance to one or more additives or chemicals in your food.
- Babies and Small Children
- Cries often
- Refuses to eat
- Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD)
- Central Nervous System
- Agitation or confusion
- Brain fog or dizziness
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
- Hyperacusis (abnormally acute hearing)
- Symptoms of hypersensitivity or hyposensitivity
- Accident prone or clumsy
- Poor handwriting
- Endocrine System
- Sex hormone imbalances
- Water retention
- Inexplicable weight gain / weight loss
- Either “always hungry” or can’t eat
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Thyroid issues
- Immune System
- Autoimmune disorders
- Eyes, Nose, Ears, Nose, Throat, Head
- Itchy eyes
- Ear pain / ear infections in children
- Headaches, migraines
- Nose bleeds
- Frequent mouth ulcers
- Blocked / runny nose
- Gastrointestinal symptoms
- Abdominal pain
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Urinary tract
- Bed wetting
- Incontinence or urinary urgency
- Urinary tract infections
- Heart problems
- Heart pain
- Cardiac arrhythmias
- Memory issues
- Trouble concentrating
- Impaired memory
- Low motivation levels
- Mood and Emotions
- Panic attacks or anxiety
- Excessive anger
- Self-harm tendencies
- Suicidal thoughts
- Muscles and skeleton
- Back pain
- Joint pain
- Growing pains in children
- Low muscle tone
- Muscle pain
- Developmental Disorders
- ADD or ADHD
- Autistic traits
- Picky eater
- Head banging
- Learning difficulties
- Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD)
- Tics, Tourette’s Syndrome
- Dark circles under eyes
- Body odor
- Cradle cap in babies
- Dermatitis, hives
- Eczema and rashes
- Insomnia or night waking, sleepwalking
- Nightmares and night terrors
- “Noise” in head or overactive brain
- Loud/quiet voice
- Repetitive or silly noises
- Hard to understand, lazy pronunciation
- Speech delay in children
- Selective mutism
- Excessive talking
- Circulation and lungs
- Shallow breathing
- Always feeling hot or cold
You can see that the list of symptoms is extensive and the key to preventing reactions to food additives is knowing what you are eating and how to determine if your body can digest and process what you’re eating or not.
The Failsafe Diet, originally created to help children diagnosed with ADHD, is now being used by over 11,000 families worldwide to overcome food intolerances through the successful elimination of triggers from our food and environment.
Founders of the Food Intolerance Network, Sue and Howard Dengate have over 20 years of knowledge and experience in dealing with food intolerances in children and adults. Their network connects many families from all over the world and provides information about the effects of food on our behavior and health, as well as serving as a support system for those using a low chemical elimination diet.
The main focus of their research and practice is on food intolerances, which are different from food allergies, although they mimic a lot of the same symptoms of food allergies.
Allergies are immune based responses to certain proteins in foods that are perceived as being “bad” by the immune system.
Food intolerances are reactions to chemicals, additives, colorings, and preservatives that are mixed in with our foods. Reactions to these chemicals usually happen in the digestive system because we cannot digest one or more of the additives in what we’re eating.
The Failsafe Diet was created by Sue Dengate to identify the specific additives and chemicals in our food that cause allergy-like symptoms in our bodies, and that negatively affect our health.
The main ingredients that cause allergy type symptoms are salicylates, amines, glutamates, sulphites, colorings and other additives. Not all of these ingredients are man-made however, and it’s important to know that some natural occurring colorings and chemicals in our food can cause reactions in people if the tolerance level is exceeded.
Elimination Is the Way to Start This Experiment
Since you want to target anything that is causing you unpleasant symptoms and side effects in your food, you have to start by getting rid of any strong smelling or tasting foods and environmental chemicals. Here are the main ones.
- Artificial food additives – coloring, flavoring, preservatives, antioxidants
- Salicylates – chemicals found naturally in plants and that are the main ingredient in aspirin
- Polyphenols – micronutrients that are antioxidants – found in many fruits and vegetables
- Neurotransmitters – free glutamates such as MSG found in almost all restaurant/take-out food
- Amines – organic compounds with strong odors that contain nitrogen; such as histamine, serotonin and dopamine – found in cheese, chocolate and wild meat
- Aromatic chemicals – found in perfumes, cleaning products, scented personal products and menthol products
- Pharmaceutical drugs – Aspirin, NSAIDS, Ibuprofen, decongestants, and anti-inflammatory creams
The Failsafe Diet works by eliminating all of these possible triggers at one time and keeping them out of your diet and environment for at least 3 weeks, although it may take up to 4 weeks to be completely rid of some symptoms.
This means that you want to cleanse your pantry of any processed foods, sauces with MSG, non-organic bread and breadcrumbs, thickeners, sodas and juice drinks, and chips candy.
Be Prepared – the “interesting” Part
Don’t be surprised if you experience some type of withdrawal symptoms your first couple of weeks on the Failsafe Diet. Many people go through periods of cravings for a favorite snack even out of habit, and your body needs time to get rid of the buildup of toxins, and that can be uncomfortable for a few days, but just realize that it will pass just as the toxins are passing out of your body. Always drink a lot of water to help your body rid itself of these toxins.
Be Prepared – the “exhilarating Part”
Once you are through the first week or so in your Failsafe Diet, and the cravings are dissipating, you’re going to start noticing some pretty wonderful things that will just get better the longer you persist on this path.
Although the list is extensive, some of the most noteworthy health benefits of cleansing chemicals from your food and environment are:
- Increased energy and clarity of thought
- Improves digestive health
- Balances the Endocrine System
- Relives Central Nervous System Disorders
- Aids in weight loss
- Relieves allergies
- Relieves depression
- Supports immune health
The Failsafe Diet is one of the best ways for you to see how the “less is more” approach can be applied directly to the relationship between your own individual body and how it reacts to your environment through food, smells, and other stimulates in your surroundings.
Following this elimination plan for just a few short weeks will enable you to detect and avoid the triggers that cause your symptoms that make you feel bad; and in turn, you will experience an incredible increase in your physical and psychological well-being.