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The Total Avoidance Diet

Battling the MSG Myth » Archive » Help! I Have a Question » The Total Avoidance Diet « Previous Next »

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Posted on Friday, June 29, 2001 - 12:01 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am still in the middle of my battle for health, can't seem to feel good yet. I would like to know for sure the extent of my MSG sensitivity and would like advice on a "totally" MSG free diet that I could live on for a month, in order to see if I lose any symptoms. I have Debbie's book, but it strikes me how many foods may have trace amounts or maybe not be totally free from MSG. What would be a small assortment of foods that I could eat and be assured of NO MSG?
Posted on Friday, June 29, 2001 - 11:21 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

So sorry you don't feel well. Debby's book is a life-saver; it gave me my life back, but I, for one, really can't find much in the recipe section that is totally safe for me to eat. I use the book as a guide for buying and preparing foods. There really isn't much for me to prepare, though. This has been called a "cave-man" diet because it consists of very little that's prepared. It's all pretty much raw fruits and vegetables. There are a few safe ones for me, organic lettuce and organic potatoes, which is about it for veggies. Fruits I eat are apples, kiwis, pears. Start slowly and eat one fruit at a time, giving yourself a day or two to notice how you feel. My problems are a dizzy feeling right after I eat a bad for me food, or migraine headache. I find eggs safe-I eat them fried in a little safe butter, no additives-cream and salt only, or soft or hard boiled, or French toast. I have had reactions to scrambled eggs in restaurants where maybe the butter had additives in it or the grill had some residue from who knows what food or cleaning product. I NEVER eat at restaurants or anywhere but my own home. Six day headaches are just not worth taking the chance. I eat organic brown rice and organic pasta. I make a dressing for my lettuce salad (I might add a little fruit like apple or cantaloupe) out of fresh organic lemon, olive oil, salt, pepper, sugar (I'm fine with white sugar), and a little sweet basil. I eat only beef-steak or hamburger I make myself, and frozen Contessa brand shrimp. I eat lots of fruits but not a lot of the same kind. I mix it up. But, at the beginning, try one at a time. Someone mentioned pears for a good, safe fruit. You might check out tyramine sensitivities-bananas, avocados, spinach and many other foods. Also, stay away from sulfites-sprayed on fish and lots of fruits and veggies. I make my own bread in a bread machine using white spelt flour. (I am o.k. with wheat flour and gluten, but if you are not, that rules out pasta as well as many bread flours.) White bread flour has barley malt in it-MSG! I am down to drinking only water and the occasional fresh lemonade
You can totally avoid MSG-it is a manufactured product, and if you stay away from all the hidden sources, as mentioned in Debby's book and on this website, you can avoid it pretty well. The problem comes if you are sensitive to glutamates, the big G in MSG, an amino acid which is in every food to some degree, and when heated or cooked, the levels increase. It's a big experiment, and if you are not feeling well, you are probably still consuming more MSG and natural glutamates than you think. Stick to a few basics for a few days, and keep posting here. Hope you feel better soon.
Deb A.
Posted on Friday, June 29, 2001 - 12:05 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Netters, all of us have various degrees of sensitivity to MSG, and many of us have true food
allergies, which is something different, again.
Ruth's ideas are great for the highly sensitive. How long have you had the book? The reason I ask, is that it's important to read the first 80 pages a few times, since it's easy to miss some things. For instance, if you are taking any vitamins, prescription drugs, and supplements, you may be reacting to them( fillers and binders and coatings). Milk, cheese, vitamins, toothpaste, cosmetics, corn products, and soy products seem to be the main items people have problems with when they are still reacting and avoiding everything else. Brown sugar, molasses and many other foods are high in sulfites and if you are sensitive to sulfites, no avoidance of MSG alone will make a big difference. Many of us who are MSG sensitive are also sulfite sensitive. Be sure to read that chapter and the page "Attention Hyperactive Individuals!". That and the substitutes pages should allow you to use most of the recipes with fewer glutamate containing ingredients. Remember, most produce, at least 80 % of even the natural foods we eat each day contain SOME glutamate. Avoiding it altogether is impossible. But avoiding the factory made version takes awareness and vigilance. Hope you find the cause for you symptoms, soon!
Posted on Friday, June 29, 2001 - 12:22 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks Ruth and Deb for your quick reply and support. I have had the NoMSG book for a year and have made huge changes. I tell people that I eat better than anybody I know. I still suffer with near daily migraines and huge sleep disruptions. I just feel like I need to make a huge effort to tighten up my program and really find out if MSG is the source of my ill health or only a factor that makes things worse. You are right Deb,.....time to re-read.
Posted on Saturday, June 30, 2001 - 4:29 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Does any one have any information on Nectarines?
I did have two and about 20-30 minutes later had a allergic reaction.
They were not ripened but firm as when you first buy them.
Is there anything with them?
Judy T
Posted on Saturday, June 30, 2001 - 9:05 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Netters: Sleep disturbances can just undermine every day following. Awful. In the past, when I was first going-clean and was on just the caveman type of minimum food, I did find that taking a magnesium tablet when going to bed helped with calming the heart. Also, benadryl (in the pink package) or Simply Sleep, one caplet of Diphenhydramine HCI 25 mg (notice that they have the same ingredients, but different fillers) was helpful, and often added 2 aspirin for bone pains and muscle discomfort. Now, after many weeks of COQ10 I sleep fine most nights. I don't take anything. On the rare nights I feel 'up' because I had some msg, or on the rare nights I feel achy because of sulfites I take 2 aspirin. Everyone is different both in reactions and to what works for them. I even do self-hypnosis and Reiki for a bad night. Some on the board will not take the items I mentioned, but just ideas for you to consider.
Posted on Sunday, July 01, 2001 - 6:00 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Netters - Like you, I felt there was more going on than MSG/glutamate reactions. I've confirmed this several ways. My internist's food allergy (RAST) tests also showed that I was highly allergic to eggs, oatmeal and pineapple, and moderately allergic to other foods. He said that being allergic is usually a 'many' or 'not at all' situation. You don't find someone allergic to just one thing.

Throughout my allergy elimination (NAET)treatment, I've kept a diary and I can see incremental improvements as we progressed. I'd like to share what I've learned to illustrate the ways that my (many) allergies affected me. Note I was only treated for items that muscle testing showed I was allergic to. Muscle testing is definitely more accurate than the RAST test, which only tests for the presence of antibodies in your blood.

Removing my allergy to amino acids (includes glutamate) was one of the earlier treatments. Found I could eat corn chips and take gel caps without the usual immediate reaction (muscle tightening in back of neck).

My next treatment for eggs, chicken and tetracycline seemed to quiet my mind - my thoughts seemed to race less, both day and night.

About 3 days after my treatment for milk, calcium and minerals, I could see a noticable improvment in my energy level.

My treatments continued and include Vitamin C, grain mix (wheat, corn, gluten, etc.), nuts, spices, coffee, caffiene, chocolate, etc. On the positve side, she told me I was the only patient she'd ever had who didn't test positive to sugar! Go figure!

My treatment for molds was the single most noticable improvement for me. I could immediately feel the 'brain fog' lift. It was its absence that made me realize how much it had affected me. No more feeling drowsy at work or driving. And oh, the wonderful feeling of waking up refreshed after a solid night's sleep.

I've also lost a few treatments and had to re-treat them (I've been taught how to treat myself - which has proven to me that my practitioner is in this to help people, not make money). When I lost my treatment to wheat, I started getting hot chocolate, I had terrible cravings for the potatoes, minor muscle tightness in my neck. But none of this has caused the return of sleep disturbances I had for years.

There were other treatments I've done (food additives right now), and still a few more to go (pollen, dust, etc.)...keep in mind that these allergies are unique in each one of us...again, this is just to illustrate my experience with allergies.

Whatever you decide to do, avoidance or self-help of any kind, it is a seemingly long road. Give yourself credit for moving forward and finding what works best for you rather than staying stuck in the same place! (A diary helps me to reflect on my progress.)

Wishing good health to all - Connie
Posted on Sunday, July 01, 2001 - 11:14 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well,.....several days into the caveman diet (plus a baked potato, cavemen did that,...didn't they?) and coQ10 and I wouldn't say things are going great. Maybe I have started with too many foods, or am reacting to the capsule that the CoQ10 comes in. I had one better than usual day yesterday, then to have a horrid night of sleep and a bad headache day all day. I appreciate all the postings and advice. I will give it some more time and check back in. Thanks
Deb A.
Posted on Monday, July 02, 2001 - 10:08 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Netters, if you are taking the CoQ10 in a capsule, you are probably reacting to the gelatin, which is is made of hydrolyzed protein from the bones and other such animal by-products. Also, some brands contain fillers that contain glutamate.
Are you taking any other pills? Are you using can sugar or beet sugar? Cane is safer(C&H) than beet sugar, which contains more glutamate. What about breads? Are using any store bought varieties? They are also a no no in most cases, as is white flour if it contains malted barley flour, which most varieties do.
Posted on Monday, July 02, 2001 - 7:00 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Deb, I am off all sugar, bread, meat and dairy until I figure out what is happening with me. I slept poorly last night and my headache was bad yesterday, however this morning after my 200 mg dose of CoQ10 my head calmed down and I have had a really good day so far,....I don't get them this good very often. Wow,...what a roller coaster ride. I found hydrolized soy protien in my foundation and was able to find another brand to use that has a shorter list of indgredients. Man,...this is a lot of work! One of my symptoms is a pulsing in my vision, my doc says it is just part of the headache syndrome. That is still there, but I have not been in pain today. Sometime I will write my story, is different than some because I had a syndrome called "pseudo tumor", tumor,...just elevated spinal fluid pressure that presses on the brain and optic nerves. I am in remission from that but since they have no explanation for this imbalance in the body, I wonder what role MSG has played in my health over the years. I remember the year my Mother discovered Hamburger Helper,.....made me sick even back then. Well,....I have been so sick lately that I am even afraid to hope that this new supplement with the caveman diet will put me in the ballpark of normal existance. Thanks all.
Judy T
Posted on Tuesday, July 03, 2001 - 6:23 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Netters: Like many others, when I went clean with the caveman diet I also avoided all soys and all things made with corn processing as well as those you mention; no wheat, no sugar, no yeast. I was able to have some meat and limited dairy, so I really feel for you. It took me a long long time to feel better and now I am a new person and hopefully this will work for you. One big thing, at least for me was to rotate, really rotate food. For example, if I had an orange one day then I wouldn't even use lemon juice the next day. This was really difficult.
Isn't the worst part just feeling lousy all the time plus having to think about yourself all the time? I hated the constant awareness and monitoring.
Our thoughts are really with you.
Posted on Saturday, July 07, 2001 - 2:16 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have been on the caveman diet plus coQ10 for a week. I have had a couple of better than average days and have medicated less for headache. I am slightly encouraged, however I have tremors. This symptom has been popping up more lately and this week it is pronounced and is worrying me. Does anybody have any thoughts?
Deb S
Posted on Saturday, July 07, 2001 - 7:39 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Have you tried the caveman diet withOUT CoQ10? :) While several people on this board swear by it, not all of us have had such good luck with the supplement. One of the things I noticed when I was using it (taken out of the capsule) was I felt nervous and jittery, and a tad irritable. (After the time I experienced something akin to a "panic attack" I stopped trying to take it.) I don't know whether it was from the CoQ10 itself, or fillers or undisclosed contaminants, but I definitely noticed it on several occasions when I was taking it. It's supposed to supply energy to your cells--maybe I am overly sensitive to that effect.
Tom Fernstrom
Posted on Sunday, July 08, 2001 - 1:12 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Deb S & Netters,

I posted this message in a different section some time ago, but I think it still applies. My suggestion is not to goof around with the CoQ10. Take the higher dosage to offset the potential fillers and take it in the gel cap form that has the fatty oils included and allows it to be absorbed by the small intestine where it does the best job. Taking the CoQ10 out of the capsule may allow it to be absorbed in the stomach and be causing the unpleasant side affects.

Dear NOMSGers,

How can we be sure we know where the manufacturer of the CoQ10 has placed the CoQ10 dosage within the pill casing? Those of you who are complaining of reactions all have manipulated the product before taking it. Carol H & I have not.

Is it possible the manufacturer has encapsulated the product in such a fashion as to allow for proper absorption by the body through digestion and that tampering with it as some have done in order to supposedly avoid fillers is what is actually causing your problem?

I do not see any warnings on my CoQ10 about such manipulation, but perhaps that is because the manufacturer would not expect customers to desire to do this.

As I stated before, I went with pills higher dosages of CoQ10 in order to counter any reactions the fillers would create. This might be the more prudent approach.
Judy T
Posted on Sunday, July 08, 2001 - 2:44 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tom, I agree in part; take the CoQ10 in doses high enough to counteract the gel capsule, but I find it ok to take mine, which is a powder in a gel capsule, along with a tablespoon of FlaxSeed oil. For a long time I took it by emptying the capsule in the oil and that worked for me as well (but I took your advice and quit that). What doesn't work for me is going off the CoQ10; I tried twice, both times in two weeks I was down and out.
Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2001 - 7:55 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Are there any protien sources that I can eat on the caveman diet besides nuts and seeds? I am craving salmon.

I am still riding the roller coaster. It has been almost two weeks now. My good days are better than normal but I am still getting some meltdown headaches. I am going to keep going though because of how many people said it takes three weeks for the coQ10 to really start helping.
Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2001 - 10:29 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Try beef and eggs. I eat hamburger and steak and have no problem. Eat it as fresh as you can, as sometimes left-overs can cause problems for some people (tyramine). I eat an egg every day, sometimes throwing away most of the yolk, but now that I get them from the health food store, I eat more of the yolk. Contessa brand frozen shrimp are delicious. I have yet to find chicken that I don't react to, and fish is just too risky with sulfites, which REALLY cause me problems!

Glad you're doing better.
Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2001 - 10:41 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I reread some of your earlier posts. Be careful of potatoes. Stick to organic ones and see if that helps. Also, you shouldn't have to starve on this diet. I've never been so satisfied food wise as I have eating healthy foods, rather than junk all the time. I eat healthy and so far take no supplements. I've been on this diet a year or two now, and so far so good. These caring people are a life saver!
Evelyn H.
Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2001 - 9:50 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Netters--Try finding a local farmer (not sure where you live) to buy fresh, unprocessed chicken from. It's not only free of additives but it tastes much better than the stuff from the grocery stores. I don't eat much fish. If I do, I soak it in salt water and rinse it well before I cook it.
Posted on Monday, July 16, 2001 - 2:39 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


As a source of protein try beans. I have ordered beans from Indian Harvest and These beans are organic and several are heritage. I soak the beans in the refrigerator for at least over night, sometimes two nights. Drain off all the water and boil or cook in fresh water. Indian Harvest also has rice and grains, but be careful of any mixtures because the ads say they have dried carrots and flavorings.

Beans are between $4.00 for one pound from Bean Bag and $6.95 for 1 1/2 pounds from Indian Harvest. I use them as an add on to salads, in soups and just eat the beans plain with some pepper and salt. If you soak for one or two days there usually is not a lot of problem with gas.
Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2001 - 9:31 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Does all white flour have barley malt in it?

Is malt, barley malt?
Judy T
Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2001 - 12:02 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You may need to start with a pure 'caveman'type diet; that is, eating ONLY what is non-processed (remembering anything you know you react to)...try fruits, vegetables, water, rice, rice milk, small amounts of organic meat, nuts and seeds in small amounts and rotate all your food groups. Tough, but you can do it.
Judy T
Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2001 - 12:56 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Shirley: The bigpond site that IC posts below has a good natural and chemical free diet listed (except many of us also cannot do soy). Check it out, too.

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