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Food Sensitivities

You suspect that food is making you sick

…and you’ve stumped specialists and doctors trying to figure it out.

Maybe you feel bloated after eating, have diarrhea or constipation, skin problems like acne, sinus issues, joint aches and pains, or have frequent headaches. Food sensitivities are a common culprit, especially for digestive issues, and figuring out your trigger foods isn’t always easy.

You’ve tried a lot of things:

Probiotics, more fiber, less fiber, reducing certain carbohydrates, cutting out sugar, cutting out fruit, cutting out dairy, cutting out gluten, cutting out grains, cutting out soy, cutting out the rest of the top 8 allergens… cutting out just-about-everything without much to show for it.

 

If you’re feeling frustrated or are already following a restrictive diet without relief, it’s time to find out what foods or chemicals are making you sick (and which ones are safe). You want an easier way to identify food sensitivities instead of following another run-of-the-mill restrictive diet.

I’m here to help.

Your story might go something like this:

“I used to be able to eat anything I wanted. I had an iron stomach. Now? I’m afraid to eat anything because I know I’ll end up bloated and miserable. Half the time, my pants don’t fit by the end of the day; sometimes I look like I’m 6 months pregnant after eating a healthy meal. I just want to get my life back. I feel like I can’t eat anything without blowing up. It’s ruining my social life. I don’t even go out to dinner with my friends anymore.”

OR

“I’m dealing with terrible diarrhea. I haven’t had a normal bowel movement in 3 months and I have to plan my day around being close to a bathroom. I tried eating more fiber, whole grains, using flax and metamucil, eating more salads, and it only made the problem worse! Then I tried gluten-free. No change. I also used some herbal products and I think I screwed something up. Probiotics didn’t help either. What do I do?!”

OR

“The heartburn I’m experiencing is so severe that I’m forced to eat tiny little meals to prevent a flare up. I cant eat enough to even feel full. This is not a way to live. My gastroenterologist said everything was normal. But I don’t feel normal. The doc gave me some pills, but I feel like these only cover up the problem. I want to know what is really going on and find a solution to heal it, not mask it.”

You are ready to get to the root cause of your symptoms, stop covering them up with medication and instead heal through food.

Sounds good, right?

You’ll be happy to hear that my clients, on average, get a 60-70% reduction in symptoms in less than a month by simply eating the right foods for their body (no expensive supplements required).

Healing is easier than you think.

Knowing the exact foods that wont trigger your symptoms or cause inflammation in your body is the first step to getting better.

You don’t have to play the guessing game of “Am I going to feel ok after eating this?” anymore.

Imagine sitting down to a meal and knowing you won’t be bloated, have painful gas, or be running to the restroom (or have a flare up in your acne a week later).

Don’t think that’s possible? Just ask some of my clients:

Joanna-BassoBefore starting LEAP/MRT, I was feeling depressed due to chronic diarrhea and body aches. Within a few days on my LEAP diet, my energy levels were up, the diarrhea symptoms were almost gone, and so were my body aches. I knew I was finally on the road to recovery. Lily has been a pleasure to work with. She was very professional, and easy to talk with and understand. I always felt comfortable talking to Lily. She gave me excellent advice and helped guide me in getting better from my symptoms. After a month of eating this way, I feel like I have my life back.

– Joanna Basso, Retired, Torrance, CA

daniel.winemanMy ulcerative colitis and chronic pouchitis symptoms have gone way down and I feel better than I have in years. In two months of working together on the Heal Your Unhappy Tummy program, I lost 20 pounds easily, by eating what’s right for my body without having to limit it.

Before working with Lily, I would feel worn down, tired, low energy and would need to go to the bathroom many times a day. It was very uncomfortable. Now I don’t go to the bathroom as much and I don’t have those crashing drops in sugar or energy. I’m eating much better and I’m feeling more consistent.

I would definitely recommend working with Lily if you suspect you have food sensitivities.
And if you want to be healthier, feel better, and lose weight easily.

– Daniel Wineman, Los Angeles, CA

Hope-LaVelleAfter two months with Lily, my skin has miraculously cleared and my complexion is amazing. I feel like a completely new person with total control of my life and well-being.

My biggest issue was my face. My skin was always horribly broken out in acne and cysts around my mouth that were both painful and ugly. But on top of that I would feel sluggish all day, bloated all the time, and literally have to take naps after eating because I would just get so bogged down and tired.

Now I feel full of energy and I no longer have to nap during the day. I still feel cravings for old foods every once in a while, but thanks to Lily we have come up with healthy and creative substitutes that are actually satisfying.

Not only did Lily help me with what was going into my body, but she even offered advice with what I was putting ON my body. Lily helped me realize that all the products and countless medicated ointments were doing more harm than good. This helped my face heal 10 fold in addition to uncovering my hidden food sensitivities and avoiding those foods.

All of this has made my skin look and feel like the stars on the silver screen! I honestly, seriously, NEVER thought it could be possible. I thought I was cursed for life, but now with my new-found skin, I feel like I can take on the world.

Hope-LaVelle-before-and-after

Now when I see adults with similar acne cases like mine I have the urge to run up to them and tell them it will be alright as I hand them Lily’s info! And even to my friends who have other dietary issues. I know Lily has such a wide range of knowledge, and it blows me away when she can just recite so much information about random questions and thoughts I have.

I have no hesitation in recommending her to friends, family, or even complete strangers. I knew instantly that she was going to be someone I could easily talk to on a personal level. She is so genuine over the phone, and full of insight and knowledge on the how’s and why’s of my problem. It was the final push I needed to finally fix my skin and dietary problems.

– Hope LaVelle, Stunt Performer, Los Angeles, CA

In working with Lily on the MRT/LEAP program and omitting foods that I tested sensitive to, I noticed obvious results within 72 hours. It was definitely a ‘dramatic’ difference. I was very pleased. If you’re thinking about working with Lily, know that she is a professional, honest, and sincere nutrition guidance provider. You will feel safe and you can trust Lily.

– Kathy McCurdy, Location Scout, Los Angeles, CA

How Does It Work? (the nitty-gritty details)

Through a blood test called MRT (mediator release test), you find out how your body reacts to a list of 150 foods and chemicals. The mediator release test tells you which foods and chemicals trigger the release of inflammatory mediators in your body (things like immunoglobulins – IgG, IgM, IgA, cytokines, histamine, interleukins, etc).

MRT quantifies all of these reactions rather than focusing on just one marker.

The result? You get an accurate picture of how your body responds as a whole to each of the foods and chemicals tested. It’s truly like getting 150 separate blood tests in one.

Armed with this information, we get to work planning a diet that excludes your reactive foods and chemicals and allows your body to heal. We call the dietary part LEAP, because it allows you to take a leap out of a life that’s dictated by symptoms and into one where you’re in charge.

Say goodbye to a miserable cookie-cutter elimination diet that may or may not work (lamb, rice and pears anyone?) and feeling stuck with symptoms no matter what you eat.

Say hello to a customized, balanced and most of all, palatable diet that’s specific for YOU and only you; a way of eating that tackles your symptoms head-on so they stop before they even start. Imagine having a GPS that guides you to exactly which foods you should be eating and never takes you down the wrong path.

We start with your least reactive foods to allow your immune and digestive system to calm down and begin healing. Gradually, we will start reintroducing a wider variety of foods until you are back to eating like a normal person, just without the debilitating symptoms.

And since I’m also trained in integrative and functional nutrition, we go a lot deeper than the MRT test and just avoiding reactive foods. (You can rest assured that I’m not one of those “food pyramid dietitians.” I’m up-to-date on the latest research on digestion, food intolerances, the importance of how your food is grown/raised, and everything you ever wanted to know about the chemicals hiding in your food.)

I most certainly will NOT recommend a low-fat, calorie-restricted, taste-less diet. I’m a real food dietitian, through and through.

Don’t take my word for it, though.

I especially loved learning about chemical aspect of food. Breaking down certain things to a chemical level really made sense to me. I was amazed and thankful for the wealth of knowledge Lily brought to our sessions and it was that knowledge that has helped me greatly improve my overall quality of life.

My energy is way more stable now. Before, it was a struggle to maintain energy, concentration, and focus throughout the day, but now I have consistent energy and I no longer feel like a wet sponge. Also, my sweet cravings are almost non-existent! It truly feels like I am no longer operating in a cloud. I also have lost 12 pounds as a result of the journey with Lily.

– Amy Barbour, Television Editor, Los Angeles, CA

What the program includes:

  • Mediator Release Test (MRT) of 150 foods and chemicals
  • Hassle-free coordination of your lab kit. The lab kit will be shipped to your home and I’ll assist you with finding a local lab or phlebotomist to perform the blood draw. So all you have to do is take your kit and get your blood drawn.
  • Pre-paid FedEx Express shipping to guarantee your test kit arrives on-time & results get back to you in 10 days or less
  • 60 page booklet + MRT results – detailing reactive foods/chemicals, basic recipes, shopping tips, menu planners, restaurant survival guide, common sources of chemicals/additives, and more
  • 90 minute Initial Consultation to review results, highlight key dietary changes, and plan meals to implement Phase 1 of your LEAP diet. We’ll plan your first week of breakfasts, lunches, dinners, & snacks, so you know exactly what to eat!
  • Consult 2 (60 minutes; 7-10 days after starting Phase 1) The first week is a period of transition. You are a question machine (as you should be!), so we’ll get them all answered, review your progress, and keep you moving forward on your LEAP diet. We’ll also plan which foods are safe to include in Phase 2 of your diet.
  • Consult 3 & 4 (60 minutes each; spaced 1-2 weeks apart) By this point, you’re symptoms are significantly better, your diet is less strict, and you’re “testing the waters” by adding in new foods. We’ll choose which foods to include in Phases 3-5, and plan your transition back to a more “normal” way of eating. I’m here to support & guide you 100%.
  • Consult 5 (60 minutes; scheduled 6-7 weeks after starting your elimination diet) Now that your symptoms are a thing of the past, it’s time to keep it that way. Remaining on a limited diet and eating the same thing every day can lead to new food sensitivities developing. That’s why planning the Phase 6 rotation diet is so important. In this visit, we’ll craft a plan to keep you feeling well long after we’re done working together (including exploring your nutritional supplement needs, if any).
  • E-mail support through weekly review of your food & symptom diary. Staying aware of your foods/symptoms and being accountable is paramount to your success. If something is not going right or you’re not feeling better, we need to fix it fast!
  • Assistance planning recipes for meals, snacks, desserts & beverages. Remember, you’re not in this alone and I want you to enjoy the foods you’re eating!

Your investment: $2495

*Fine print: Some labs may charge a small fee to draw your blood (usually around $25), while others offer this service complementary. Any fees associated with getting blood drawn are the responsibility of the client. Aside from this, your investment covers all other fees associated with MRT as outlined above.

***I currently having a waiting list for new clients.***

If you’d like to chat with me directly about the program and explore if it’s right for you (complimentary, no strings attached), get on the waiting list via the link below. You’ll be contacted once my schedule opens up and I’m accepting new clients.

waitlist button edited

So, is it worth it?

Tina-GonzalezIn the first month working with Lily on food sensitivities, my fatigue and headaches diminished immensely with at least 75% reduction in symptoms; it truly is like night and day. My skin has improved so much. My acne has decreased significantly and is almost clear.

Getting food sensitivity testing through LEAP/MRT has been life changing. I would have never have imagined that my diet would have such a great impact on my well-being. I already felt better after the first 4 days. Lily was very specific, helpful and accessible. She always offered great suggestions and I would recommend her to friends who may express symptoms that may be influenced by diet.

– Tina Gonzalez, Counselor, Los Angeles, CA

Before working with Lily, I was dealing with daily heartburn and stomach discomfort/bloating, random cramps and pains in my gut. It consumed my thoughts and made meal time stressful. I spent large chunks of time googling heartburn remedies, and different foods or supplements that could help. I was stressed daily and just generally felt lousy.

Once I uncovered my hidden food sensitivities and got through Phase 1 of the diet, I noticed that most of my symptoms diminished. Aside from better digestion, my energy is up, I am sleeping much better, and overall I feel like my stress has gone down. I also lost 8-10 pounds.

When I was originally researching nutritionists, I said I’d only work with someone I can work with in person. Your blog, your philosophy, and your experience working with people with GI problems swayed me in the other direction. I also had fun showing people my MRT food sensitivity graph and their immediate reaction was always “I want to see what mine looks like.”

I was raised in a world of easy fixes (a pill for every problem) and your approach has helped me in other aspects of my life. You may have saved my stomach. You always had an answer or solution to all of my questions and problems. I just wish I was taught some of this stuff in school!

– Arthur Hoernel, TV Writer, Los Angeles

marina-garciaMy experience with Lily has been transformational. My main health issue was persistent cystic acne. Despite my own dietary adjustments, I was unable to maintain clear skin for any length of time. I was frustrated that I was eating such a limited diet without any real results. It took me a long time to finally ask for help, but I am so happy that I did.

Since I began working with Lily and uncovered my hidden food sensitivities, I have noticed many changes in my body. I have seen a huge improvement in my skin. Within the first week, my breakouts started clearing up and my symptoms went down by 50%. As of today, I am 100% free of cystic acne. I have lost about 10 pounds and the overall shape of my body has changed. Even though I haven’t taken my measurements, based on the way that my clothes fit and comments that I have received from those around me, I believe that my body fat percentage has changed quite a bit. I can fall asleep very quickly now. I used to take melatonin almost every night. Now I sometimes fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. My scalp is no longer dry and flaky. I have less sugar cravings. I experience less cramping, if any, during my period. My mind feels more clear and I definitely have more energy.

As a result of our work together, I have reestablished my relationship and fascination with nutrition. This has not only given me a new sense of purpose and drive, it has also given me a new sense of confidence and strength in all areas: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I would certainly recommend Lily and her services to anyone who is willing to do the work. The rewards are endless. There are rewards that you don’t even know you’re looking for.

– Marina Garcia, Administrative Coordinator and Website Moderator, Berkeley, CA

You’re ready to start feeling better and eat with confidence, knowing that your life doesn’t have to be dictated by symptoms. So let’s make it happen!

I would love to work with you if you:

  • Believe that food is medicine and suspect your diet is at the root of your health problems
  • Want to stop guessing what foods are making you sick
  • Are tired of dealing with bad skin, headaches, bloating, diarrhea, IBS-symptoms, or joint pain AND you know your diet is part of the problem
  • Are motivated enough to change your diet for at least 1 month
  • Want to take control of your health without having to rely on expensive supplements or medications that cover up your symptoms
  • Don’t give up easily, even when things are difficult. You know what you learn through this program will help you for years to come
  • Are willing to pay close attention to how your body feels before & after eating
  • Have experience cooking foods from scratch, are willing to learn how to cook, OR have a family member or private chef who can cook for you

This program is NOT for you if you:

  • Don’t see the value in investing in your own health. You’d rather get a prescription and take a pill to fix your problems
  • Think your diet has nothing to do with your health problems
  • Are unwilling to give up any particular food for 2 weeks (if you test reactive to chocolate, can you live without it for 2 weeks?)
  • Rely on packaged foods and take-out and are unable to cook from scratch (or are unwilling to have someone cook from scratch for you)
  • Don’t have the time or interest in trying new recipes and experimenting in the kitchen

So Let’s Work Together!

If you’re ready to stop living a life dictated by symptoms and truly heal through food, we should talk!

This may be the missing piece of the puzzle to getting your health back, so don’t pass up the opportunity.

***I currently having a waiting list for new clients.***

If you’d like to chat with me directly about the program and explore if it’s right for you (complimentary, no strings attached), get on the waiting list via the link below. You’ll be contacted once my schedule opens up and I’m accepting new clients.

 

waitlist button edited

 

* I accept a limited number of clients per month, so I can give you the full attention that you deserve. When my schedule is full, join my waiting list and you’ll be contacted once a slot opens up.

You’ve got nothing to lose, but your symptoms.

 

 

brandi-griffith-photoWorking with Lily has allowed me to recognize what food can do for me, my body, and my mood. When I first reached out, I was struggling with bloating, fatigue, and consistent low back pain. Since implementing the dietary changes based on my food sensitivity test, my digestion has improved and I now have consistent energy throughout the day, no longer the highs or lows I was used to. I can also anticipate which foods flare up my lower back pain.

Overall, it’s been really good to realize how my body interacts with certain things. I have already spoken to many people about my experience and have recommended Lily to friends who struggle with stomach issues, chronic inflammation, and their weight.

It was great that Lily has done the MRT test herself, because she can relate to the challenges of eating and cooking real food. To anyone considering the program, I’d say it’s challenging in a good way.

-Brandi Griffith, Production Executive, Los Angeles, CA

It’s amazing. I can’t believe it. This is so easy compared to what I was doing. I finally know what will get rid of the diarrhea. It makes me know that no matter what they say, food does matter.

– Joan A., Palos Verdes, CA

FAQ

Why does my doctor not know about MRT?

When we know better, we “do better”. MRT was developed by Dr Pasula, an immunologist with over 35 years experience and a leading authority in blood testing for food sensitivities. It has the highest level of accuracy of any food sensitivity test on the market at 94.5%. MRT is still relatively new technology, so many physicians are simply not familiar with it yet. Since MRT and the LEAP protocol are diet-directed, registered dietitian/nutritionists are often in a better pace to know about MRT and assist patients. But as the word spreads, more physicians are using and recommending MRT/LEAP to their patients.

Are food allergies and food sensitivities different?

Yes. Food allergies affect only a small percentage of the population and their resulting symptoms usually come on quickly, often within an hour after eating. You may have already been screened for food allergies by your doctor with a test called IgE or a “skin prick” test. However, while it’s important to get screened for food allergies, most IBS and digestive symptoms involve non-allergy delayed hypersensitivities (that’s a fancy way of saying food sensitivities). Research suggests up to 60% of the population is affected by food sensitivities. These reactions involve a variety of inflammatory mediators that can be released and circulate in your body for up to 4 days after eating a food. That means what you had for breakfast on Monday could be triggering diarrhea (or other symptoms) on Thursday. The Mediator Release Test measures these mediators (hence the name) in response to 150 different foods and chemicals, so you know exactly what foods trigger inflammation in your body, and which foods are safe for you. MRT takes the guesswork out of the “What foods can I eat without symptoms?” equation.

I already did an elimination diet and it didn’t work. How is this different?

After you get the results of your MRT test, we plan your customized LEAP elimination diet. The difference between this and a standard elimination diet is that we have an accurate blood test to guide what foods are safe for you. Essentially, you start with a “clean slate” by eating only the foods that tested safe for you rather than randomly avoiding foods and hoping for the best (been there, done that).

What if you’re sensitive to sweet potatoes, but you’re eating those on your grain-free elimination diet? What if you’re using almond flour in place of wheat flour, but almonds are highly reactive for you? Or eggs? Or raspberries? Or lemon? Or turmeric? Or spinach? Or rice?

What if you’re reactive to solanine, a chemical naturally occurring in nightshade vegetables, but you’re eating crackers made with potato flour, fresh tomatoes on your salad, and grilled bell peppers with lunch?

Simply put, if you’re eating foods or chemicals that trigger inflammation in your body, you’re not going to get better. There is no one-size-fits-all. One person’s perfect food is another person’s poison.

With MRT/LEAP, it is completely possible to eat ONLY foods that are non-reactive and get you feeling better fast. And because you start with a much wider variety of foods than a standard elimination diet, it’s more nutritionally balanced and palatable. My motto is: “Test, don’t guess”.

Are food sensitivities life-long, or do they go away?

It depends. If you have an innate sensitivity to a food, no matter how long it is avoided, eating that food will always trigger symptoms. Other times, after the immune system calms down and the gut heals (from following the LEAP protocol), some food sensitivities may go away entirely. We’ll have to see what’s true for you. After a period of elimination, we may choose to add back some of your trigger foods. For some, there is a “dose response relationship”, meaning they can tolerate small quantities of a reactive food or chemical. For others, even a tiny bit of a reactive food is never again tolerated. Everybody is different. The beauty of the MRT/LEAP protocol is that you have a veritable GPS guiding which foods to add in and when, so you can make an informed decision and eat with confidence.

Do you accept insurance?

I do not directly bill to insurance, however I can provide you with a superbill to submit to your insurance for reimbursement.

My symptoms aren’t related to digestion. Can I still work with you?

Yes. Food sensitivities affect a lot more than digestion, because the same mediators that trigger inflammation in the gut can travel to other parts of your body and trigger inflammation there. Many chronic conditions are related to inflammation on some level, so identifying and eliminating reactive foods and chemicals often alleviates symptoms. That’s why arthritis, joint issues, migraines, headaches, fibromyalgia, sinus issues, acne, rosacea, and other skin problems often improve on the LEAP/MRT program.

The best way for me to gauge if food sensitivities are affecting you and see if you qualify to become a client is to have you fill out a symptom survey and schedule a free 20 min consult.

Can I just get the MRT test without the consults?
This is a common question. Many people think that interpreting the results of food sensitivity testing must be simple. Just avoid whichever foods show up reactive and you’re good. But, that isn’t the case.

Let me put it into context. If you went to the doctor and got blood tests done, would he or she hand you the results without an explanation? Would they start you on a personalized treatment plan without an initial consultation and a series of follow up consults to monitor your progress and adjust the plan as needed? Of course not!

To truly get to the bottom of your symptoms and begin healing, you need to start with a nutritionally balanced, customized elimination diet. That means not only avoiding your reactive foods, but choosing “safe” foods from your results that are both nutrient-dense and avoid any sources of your reactive chemicals. But my approach goes deeper than your test results, which is why my clients consistently achieve results that exceed their expectations.

Do your symptoms or medical history show you’d benefit from a low carbohydrate diet? Specific carbohydrate diet? Low protein diet? Modified fat diet? Low histamine diet? Low FODMAP diet? GAPS diet? Strictly gluten-free diet? Gluten-free, casein-free diet? Or something else?

What if you come back reactive to benzoic acid? Do you know which foods, supplements, and personal care products to avoid? What about solanine? salicylic acid? tyramine? sulfites? Or any one of the 30 chemicals tested on MRT?

The list of examples could go on for pages, but simply put, this is not something you want to waste hours researching on your own. Or potentially waste weeks eating a restrictive diet that’s nutritionally incomplete and doesn’t resolve your symptoms (or makes them worse). That’s no different than the trial and error dietary changes you’ve already attempted on your own. Your time, energy and effort are important, especially when you’re where you’re at right now – not feeling 100%.

I cannot disregard my professional integrity to order a MRT test without ensuring that you achieve the benefits that you deserve.

Within a few days on my LEAP diet, my energy levels were up, the diarrhea symptoms were almost gone, and so were my body aches. I knew I was finally on the road to recovery. After a month of eating this way, I feel like I have my life back. If you are ready and willing to get better, Lily will be there 100% to guide you through the process.
Joanna Basso, Retired, Torrance, CA