Last week I took you through my first 2 weeks of the LEAP Immunocalm Dietary Management Program (completion of phase 1, start of phase 2). Now I’m going to share with you my experience with the rest of the program.
Phases 2-5 are essentially the same; you are just adding 1 new food each day. The thing to remember is that even though the MRT is very accurate (remember it has a sensitivity of almost 96%, specificity of almost 92%, and split sample reproducibility of more than 90%), there is still a 4-10% chance that one of the foods you are adding back in during phases 2-5 could cause a reaction. Because food sensitivity reactions can be delayed up to 3 days, that means if you do have a reaction, you have to back track 3 days and eliminate all 3 of those new foods until you feel better.
Luckily for me, nothing I added back caused me any problems. One thing I did find now that I had greater variety, it took more work to be diligent about reading food labels to make sure they still did not contain any of my yellow or red reactive ingredients. Even though there were now a few processed “snacks” I could use, the majority of the time I still had to make all my own meals and snacks. Usually this isn’t a problem, but I have to admit, I really did miss being able to just grab a Cliff bar before my 4:30 a.m. workouts! I couldn’t do that anymore, as just about ALL brands of energy/protein bars had some type of reactive ingredient for me (usually soy or almonds). Eventually I did find a few brands I could use: “Think” bars, Dr. Weil’s bars, and Bumble Bee Bars. Note that with all 3 of these brands, I still have to label read because there are only 1 or 2 selections from each that I can have; the rest of the products in these lines still contain something I react to.
Once I had completed phase 5 it was time to make sure I was rotating my foods, which is phase 6. In this phase, you are supposed to follow a 3-day rotation diet. Once you are in this phase, depending on your symptoms you may start “trying” foods that may not have been included in the MRT. You may also start trying very low yellow reactive foods.
It has been a couple of months now for me since I started trying yellow reactive foods; and while there are still some that I cannot tolerate (I notice my skin starting to get dry again), there are many that I can have in small doses which makes me happy! I still have not attempted any reds yet (at least not on purpose!), and don’t plan to for several more months.
All in all it has been a good experience, and definitely “do-able.” For anyone who is considering having MRT done, but is afraid it’s “too much work” I can assure you it is well worth it.