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Tell me, have you tried every diet and eating plan out there,
practically eliminating every food, but still find yourself feeling awful?

Learn how to self-hack your diet to eliminate inflammation, optimize brain function, and beat your fatigue all without sacrificing delicious foods!

Unlock SelfDecode's Introductory Gene Report

(A.K.A. the “diet for people who are sensitive to everything”)

Have you experimented with diets such as

The Macrobiotic Diet

The AIP Diet

Vegetables and Fruits Only

Fasting or Cleanses

Something else…?

The Vegan Diet

The Paleo Diet

Low Glycemic Diet

The Mediterranean Diet

An Elimination Diet

This doesn’t surprise me at all, because when my health crashed at the age of 25, I began experimenting heavily with thousands of supplements, diets, and philosophies myself. In additional to my own health and healing journey, I’ve worked with hundreds of clients who felt stuck with diets that were restrictive and frustrating, all of which yielded little to no changes or results for their health issues.

Hi, I’m Joseph Cohen, blogger at SelfHacked!

Like you, I onced struggled with a plethora of chronic health problems and autoimmunity that no medical doctors or alternative practitioners could help with. Things like fatigue, brain fog, IBS, anxiety, depression, OCD, acne, thyroid problems… you name it, I probably had it. And during this frustrating time I tried hundreds of tricks, gadgets, drugs, and supplements. 

The most impactful, results-producing factor 

was learning how to self-hack my diet.

I was all about experimenting to see what worked for ME, but when I tried to do the things others claimed “worked for them,” it mostly backfired.

  • Eating vegetables actually made me feel worse.
  • Superfoods like chia seeds and blueberries gave me bad reactions.
  • Coconut lead to more brain fog and stomach problems.
  • Even carrots and tomatoes are bad for me!

Knowing things like this (and so much more) allows me to now live symptom-free. 

I forget what it felt like to be anxious, tired, brain-fogged, and depressed, because I haven’t felt those things in years. I have loads of energy and my brain is working better now than ever. I don’t suffer from inflammatory symptoms and all my digestive problems are gone.

The best part of this story? This is possible for you as well, regardless of your symptoms.

The little-known science behind food sensitivities and food allergies

that most “healthy diets” don’t address:

Many people with autoimmunity (Th1, Th2, and Th17 dominance) react easily to some plant-based substances that can then overstimulate the immune system and cause inflammation (aka, symptoms such as the ones we talked about above).

These include:

  • Lectins are proteins present in every living organism. In plants, lectins are part of the defense mechanism to protect it from being consumed. While most of them are harmless, the lectins in beans, grains, seeds, and some roots can cause leaky gut and inflammation. 

  • Tannins gives plants their color, and are a type of enzyme inhibitor that prevent adequate digestion and can cause protein deficiency and gastrointestinal problems. While some are healthy, some are harmful to people with overactive immune systems.

  • FODMAPs are short chain carbohydrates (oligosaccharides), disaccharides, monosaccharides, and related alcohols that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine. They cause fatigue and gut problems in people who are sensitive to gluten1 . FODMAP avoidance should be the first-line therapy for the majority of patients with functional bowel symptoms 2,3

  • Salicylic acid is widely distributed in plant foods (especially spices) and, like its synthetic counterpart (Aspirin), has anti-inflammatory activity. Namely, it inhibits COX-2 gene expression 4,5. 2–7 % of all patients with inflammatory bowel syndrome and food allergies could be affected by salicylate intolerance 6

  • Oxalates (oxalic acid) are considered anti-nutrients, and foods with oxalates include leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, cocoa, nuts, and seeds 7. In sensitive individuals, high-oxalate diets have been linked to an increased risk of kidney stones and other health problems.

  • Benzoic acid is produced by many plants and is present in many foods, including berries and milk products, usually in relatively low concentrations of up to 40 mg/kg 8,9. Benzoates have been linked to chronic hives (urticaria), asthma, atopic dermatitis, rhinitis and anaphylaxis 10.

Other plant immune-stimulator or anti-nutrients include:

  • Free amino acids

  • Glycosides

  • Histamine-like substances

  • Alkaloids (including solanine and chaconine)

  • Triterpenes

  • Lignins

  • Saponins

  • Phytic acids or phytates

  • Trypsin inhibitors (which can trigger Th1 autoimmunity)

  • Gluten

  • Isoflavones

No wonder the more plants I eat, the worse I feel.
Which is counterintuitive to any dietary advice out there!

But just knowing this isn’t the end of the battle… it’s the start of figuring out how to best eat for your body, symptoms, and ultimate vitality. In the beginning, I was left to eat mostly powders that tasted disgusting, but I learned to just gulp them down.

And here’s the thing, this diet works for me.

Sticking to it got me from being really, really sick to being well enough to become the startup CEO of two different companies! The key was turning my back against what everyone else said and really experimenting with what worked best for ME and MY BODY.

As I started to see results and share them on SelfHacked, I started getting clients—people who also weren’t seeing results from alternative practitioners and a plethora of medical doctors. 

“When all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail,” was the trap they were falling into. You see, if the only thing someone knows is that Paleo worked for them, they’re likely to prescribe that to everyone they meet. Same for any other diet or practitioner out there… 

But here’s the thing:

Everyone is biochemically different, so it takes an 

individual approach to figure out the right diet for you.

This is why I came up with my SelfHacked Protocol in the Lectin Avoidance Diet Cookbook. It’s not just a cookbook, but a guide for figuring out the best anti-inflammatory diet that works for YOU and YOUR BODY. Instead of being stuck with a restrictive diet for the rest of your life, you can figure out the foods that are bad for you, and the foods that make you feel great.

Have you experimented with diets such as

  • Food lists that exclude most inflammatory plant substances

  • 100-item food list to include for Phase One

  • The Autoimmune Lectin Avoidance Diet Success Guide

  • Lectin Avoidance Diet Phases Two and Three guides

  • 93 delicious and family-friendly recipes

  • Lectin Avoidance Diet resource lists

  • Lectin Avoidance Diet supplement lists (because it’s far too easy to become nutrient deficient when you are on a restrictive diet!)

As a bonus, and to ensure you get the best results, you’ll also receive:

SelfHacked’s Guide to Troubleshooting Your Health When Diet Does Not Work

What this cookbook is NOT:

  • A Paleo Autoimmune Protocol cookbook (AIP does not exclude common food substances that can cause problems, i.e. histamines, salicylates, tannins, fodmaps, lectins.)

  • The Blood Type Diet (there are no scientific backings for the blood type diet)

  • A fixed restrictive dogmatic diet for you to follow for the rest of your life

  • You struggle with autoimmunity or ongoing, troublesome mysterious symptoms.

  • You already know, or want to know, if food is the culprit for your health issues.

  • You’re ready, willing, and able to implement this diet.

  • You’re open and ready to make other changes in your health, such as reducing stress and sleeping better, in order to get healthy.

The cookbook is for you if:

  • People who are on a plant-based diet.

  • People who are not ready, willing, or able to follow a protocol.

  • People who keep following diet after diet, mixing and matching different diets together.

  • People who don’t do well on a high-protein, low-carb diet.

  • Very picky eaters, or people who are unwilling to try new foods.

Who the cookbook is NOT for:

Success stories

I would say that I noticed some effects of eating "clean" right away but it took me several weeks (4 to 6 ??? maybe) to start to feel the overall difference: a plateau of markedly less inflammation, more brain clarity. I would say the difference is subtle yet profound. If you have nasty infections, toxins, thyroid problems or something major that is making you feel miserable - you probably won't notice the difference. But once you clear those up, and you're feeling mostly OK... the difference is noticeable. Then you become more reluctant to feel crappy from eating conventional foods... and more motivated to do the serious work that shopping, preparing, and planning a clean, low lectin paleo diet involves.


But it is a diet designed for highly sensitive people, and some people will not be sensitive or perceptive enough to notice the reactions. Many times, paradoxically, we are drawn or addicted to the foods we are most reactive to. Bars are full of highly inflamed people, eating fried battered foods and drinking gluten beers they are reacting to... but they don't consciously notice... as they are not highly sensitive types.


I found out the foods I personally react to through experimenting. Consider the elimination diet. For me I found certain foods are disastrous (wheat, dairy, alcohol), some foods are problematic (quinoa, beans, lentils, corn), some are moderately irritating (rice and potatoes), and some are slight but rarely problematic (conventional grain fed beef) enough not to be a major issue.

I have been avoiding lectins for about 8 months now.

The Lectin avoidance diet is not about commandments, but about guidelines pointing out common "food culprits" to help you experiment and find out what works for you.

 

~Sherpa on Phoenix Rising

I’ve been on the lectin avoidance diet (LAD) strictly for 40 days & have seen some great gains: gut stabilized, psoriasis fading. Also, energy improved (with help from resveratrol) – tho not enough yet.

~John MacGregor, Editor for NYTimes

1.    Biesiekierski, J. R. et al. No Effects of Gluten in Patients With Self-Reported Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity After Dietary Reduction of Fermentable, Poorly Absorbed, Short-Chain Carbohydrates. doi:10.1053/j.gastro.2013.04.051

2.    PR, G. Food intolerance in functional bowel disorders. (2011). doi:10.1111/j.1440-1746.2011.06650.x.

3.    Barrett, J. S. & Gibson, P. R. Fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAPs) and nonallergic food intolerance: FODMAPs or food chemicals? Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology 5, 261–268 (2012).

4.    Amann R, P. B. Anti-inflammatory effects of aspirin and sodium salicylate. Eur J Pharmacol 1–9 (2002).

5.    Hare, L. G., Woodside, J. V & Young, I. S. Dietary Salicylates. J Clin Pathol 649–650 (2002).

6.    Raithel M1, Baenkler HW, Naegel A, Buchwald F, Schultis HW, Backhaus B, Kimpel S, Koch H, Mach K, Hahn EG, K. P. Significance of salicylate intolerance in diseases of the lower gastrointestinal tract. J Physiol Pharmacol (2005).

7.    Noonan SC, S. G. Oxalate content of foods and its effect on humans. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr (1999).

8.    Sieber R, Butikofer U, Bosset JO, R. M. Benzoic acid as a natural component of foods—a review. Mitt Leb. Hyg. 345–362 (1989).

9.    Rangan C, B. D. Food additives and sensitivities. Dis Mon 292–311 (2009). doi:10.1016/j.disamonth.2009.01.004.

10.    Skypala, I. J., Williams, M., Reeves, L., Meyer, R. & Venter, C. Sensitivity to food additives, vaso-active amines and salicylates: a review of the evidence. Clin. Transl. Allergy 5, 34 (2015).

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