“If you are sitting on a tack, it takes a lot of aspirin to kill the pain. It is better to remove the tack. If you are sitting on three tacks, it will not improve your pain much to remove just one. You have to get them all out.” – Dr. Sidney Baker in his book, Detoxification and Healing
What are the 'tacks' in your life—the ones that keep you in chronic pain or prevent you from optimal health? In a recent piece on The Chalkboard, one of S&H's favorite online magazines, the visionary physician Dr. Alejandro Junger outlines his four-step plan for identifying and eliminating biological 'tacks' from your diet:
Our modern life has left us with ‘biological tacks’ which prevent our body’s ‘optimal functioning’. The more modern our conditions, the sicker we get. This is evidenced by the higher incidence of chronic modern diseases in the more industrialized areas on earth. The situation is scary and has many of us confused.
In contrast, when we look at people living in more natural conditions, we find that they live longer and healthier lives. The aspects of life that are most strikingly different between our life in modern cities and life in more natural conditions, is everything around food. The greatest source of ‘health tack’ in our modern civilization is food. Food is making us sick.
A ‘biological tack’ is anything that interferes with the processes in our bodies that are essential for true health. The most obvious ones delivered by food are the chemicals we use to grow our food and then process it into the high-tech food-like products that fill our supermarket shelves. Fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, hormones, antibiotics, additives and preservatives leave us tired, foggy, depressed, anxious, allergic, fat, puffy, constipated and susceptible to infections.
Since most of the tacks of modern life are linked directly to food, knowing what not to eat is the first and most important step towards restoring more natural conditions in our body. By removing the foods that trigger toxic consequences you immediately relieve the body from having to defend itself, adapt and survive these adverse conditions. Without even knowing exactly what is good for you, without the need of trial and error with the thousand and one diets out there that tell you exactly what to eat, you can take a giant leap in health by just removing certain foods.
Using the elimination diet to find your tacks: One of the best ways to get clear on what tacks are effect you is by going on an elimination diet. Th 'ED' is a set dietary list designed to avoid the major foods that cause allergies, food sensitivities, and digestive problems. By going on the ED for 21 days you you give your body a rest and break from the most common food tacks.
What not to eat: How to figure out what foods don’t work for you.
The elimination diet is a common tool used in the world of functional medicine to help patients get clear on what foods are effecting them. In my practice, after I place someone on the ED for 21 days, I then ask them to take the two primary tacks, gluten and dairy, and follow what I call the reintroduction process. Here's how it works: