elimination diets

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Elimination diets can be therapeutic tools to support your health. But they also have the power to trigger disordered eating patterns + food fear.

Except for a few instances, elimination diets aren't meant to be long-term health solutions — even when it comes to chronic skin problems like eczema or psoriasis or any of the other skin conditions I talk about here.

Health books + wellness influencers who declare otherwise have unfortunately helped perpetuate a state of deep confusion, fear, anxiety + even cult-like thinking that doesn't necessarily serve your relationship with food.

As a result, people are more confused than ever about what's “good or bad”, “safe or unsafe”, healthy vs unhealthy…

I have a deep concern as a clinical nutritionist about the way elimination diets have been glorified.

Especially when you become so afraid to eat based on what you've read in a book or online (especially in facebook groups) that it seems like everything is poison.

We have research proving the damage that elimination diets can cause (especially in those with chronic skin conditions).

And one issue worth raising is that the disordered eating patterns + food fear can be triggered by the trauma caused as a result of doing excessive elimination diets (especially for an extended period of time).

My guest today guest deeply understands this because of her own personal journey working with trauma as well as experiencing serious health challenges.

That's why I'm welcoming back MaryCatherine McDonald, PhD to the show! She's a research professor and life coach who specializes in the psychology of trauma, stress, and resilience. She has been researching, lecturing, and publishing on the neuroscience, psychology, and lived experience of trauma and stress since beginning her PhD in 2009. She is passionate about destigmatizing trauma, stress, and mental health issues in general, as well as reframing our understanding of trauma to better understand and treat it.

She's the author of Unbroken: The Trauma Response Is Never Wrong: And Other Things You Need to Know to Take Back Your Life — which I've personally read + give five stars on!

Have you experienced food fear or struggle with what foods are “safe” or “good” to eat because of elimination diets or things you've read online (or maybe were told by a practitioner)? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Or, listen on your favorite app: iTunes (Apple Podcasts) | Spotify | Stitcher | TuneIn | Subscribe on Android

In this episode:

  • Understanding the relationship of trauma, elimination diets + food fear
  • How food fear manipulates your body to experience physical symptoms
  • Dangers of labeling food “good or bad”
  • How disordered eating is related to control
  • Thoughts on wellness influencers, cult-like behaviors + disordered eating
  • Tips to soothe fear + anxiety (that don't involve elimination diets)


“A lot of the reason that people go on elimination diets is because there's some sort of thing going on with them that doesn't make sense, and that can be experienced as a body betrayal. I'm trying to eat; I'm trying to do this very normal thing, and my body is betraying me- and that is potentially traumatic.” [03:24]

“You're creating a fear response. You're conditioning a fear into the system. You're labeling sometimes an entire food group as “bad, evil, problematic, or dangerous”, and your system is listening.” [11:22]

“There's different theories about where eating disorders come from and how they crop up, but there's at least one theory that says that it's a way to gain control over a world that feels outside of your control.” [22:01]


Find Dr. McDonald online | Instagram | TikTok

Get her book — Unbroken: The Trauma Response Is Never Wrong: And Other Things You Need to Know to Take Back Your Life

Healthy Skin Show ep. 305: Eliminations Diets, Food Fear + Healing Skin Rashes {NEW RESEARCH}

Healthy Skin Show ep. 087: Skin Picking Triggered By Chronic Skin Rashes

Healthy Skin Show 297: Deconstructing Trauma + Chronic Skin Problems w/ Mary Catherine McDonald, PhD


316: Elimination Diets, Disordered Eating + Food Fear w/ MaryCatherine McDonald, PhD FULL TRANSCRIPT

Jennifer Fugo (00:06.506)
Welcome back to the show, MaryCatherine. I'm so excited to have you here.

MaryCatherine (00:10.115)
Thank you so much for having me back. I so enjoyed our first conversation, and I can't wait to dive in today.

Jennifer Fugo (00:15.006)
As you know, and everybody who listened to our previous episode, I absolutely loved your book — Unbroken. And you were the person that I thought of when this topic of elimination diets and this really negative reaction that some people can have as a result of doing them, I thought you would be a good person to talk about this because I do think that there is some potential trauma that can result. Now, I want to be very clear. I don't, I'm not, you guys know, I'm not anti-elimination diet. There's a time and a place for them and there's also medically necessary eliminations. And I want to say that right up front. So what we're not talking about is in any way, shape or form suggesting that anyone here reintroduce an IgE allergen that you actually react to or gluten if you have celiac disease. So I just want to say that up front. But in general, we are talking about the way you interact with the way you think about things and the way you relate to food. And so, okay, I think the best question to start off with here is do you think that there could be almost like a trauma response when you potentially eliminate food, any particular food from your diet, whether it's medically necessary, or it's maybe recommended by a practitioner, or even like self initiated because you read about it in a book or a Facebook group, do you think it's possible that there is a trauma response there?

MC (01:55.351)
100% possible. I think, again, so one of the things that I was aiming to do with the book Unbroken was to kind of redefine trauma away from this classical definition where we base the definition on trauma on a list of events and we say these four events are potentially traumatic and anything else is not. Under my definition of trauma, we don't look at the type of event as being the thing that determines whether or not something was traumatic. We look at the way that experience was, you know, left traces in the person's lives.

And so the definition that I use is, you know, anytime you have an unbearable emotional experience that lacks a relational home, you have a potential for trauma. And I think that having to go on an elimination diet… or feeling like you have to do elimination diets because of something you've seen or feel like you're trying to figure out can absolutely be an overwhelming, unbearably overwhelming emotional experience. Because when we look at the areas of our lives that are foundational, I mean nutrition and being able to eat freely is one of those areas. And so when you start having to cut things out or feeling like you have to cut things out, you've automatically got overwhelm.

And then, you know, when you feel like you can't talk to anyone about it, you have a lack of a relational home, or you try to talk to people about it and they don't understand, it can absolutely be a trauma for sure. And I think the other thing is that a lot of the reason that people go on elimination diets is because there's some sort of thing going on with them that doesn't make sense. And so that can be experienced as like a body betrayal. I'm trying to eat, I'm trying to do this very normal thing and my body is betraying me. And that is also potentially traumatic. And so I think, and then to your point about like coming back in and trying to reintroduce things too is a whole separate potential trauma. So I think there's a lot here that's potentially traumatic for sure.

Jennifer Fugo (03:55.834)
And you're not just looking at this as a mental health professional. You have experience. I just thought, I think people would love to know why you personally understand this.

MC (04:08.751)
Yes. So there's two things. I have celiac disease and I was diagnosed, I think I had symptoms when I was a kid, but I wasn't diagnosed until 2006, so I was 24. And that is a tricky thing and has become a lot easier in some ways and then also trickier in other ways. So we can maybe dive into that if you want. And then I also struggle with migraine. I really was running into a wall with medications not working, medications having horrific side effects and then also not working and I went on an elimination diet that helped tremendously and made me absolutely terrified of food and so I went through decades of life and I'm only just kind of coming out of this now like It's gonna sound silly, but I reintroduced apples in the fall. I hadn't had an apple in 15 years not actually a trigger for me, but I had stayed away and staying away from apples is hard because apple cider vinegar, apple sauce, apple, like apple is in a lot of stuff. Um, and so I'm only just kind of starting to come out of that now. And it's still really tricky because for me, they're, you know, going back to this idea of a trauma response, whenever I would eat, I would panic because my brain started to associate food with pain and distress. And so anytime I ate, it was like, what's going to happen to me. And I lived in that for a long, long time.

Jennifer Fugo (05:39.818)
And I can relate to that as well because many of my listeners know I stopped eating chicken eggs back in 2008, along with gluten and dairy, but chicken eggs caused a severe stomach pain that was so bad that I thought that I was having a heart attack.

And I was about to drive myself to the hospital. I became violently ill. I do not, by the way, have an IgE allergy to it. It was just a severe sensitivity. But that experience of becoming so, again, to your point, pain, so much excruciating pain that I became afraid to eat them again. And it wasn't until, I think, like 2015, 2016, I ran into Dr. Terry Wahls. And I had mentioned this to her. And she's like, oh, you should try duck eggs.

It took me like through, I think it almost took until 2020 or 2021 until I finally worked up the courage to try duck eggs. And I not only spent days mulling over how I was going to do this and was there a day where I could be violently ill and sick and it wouldn't be too bad? Like I mentally prepared myself for this horrific thing that never happened. I was completely fine and it was such a blessing. And then trying to reintroduce chicken eggs this past year was the same thing, and I'm actually okay with them now. Thank goodness, made breakfast so much easier and life so much easier. But I do understand that the fear can become so real and paralyzing and even triggering of disordered eating patterns.

MC (07:13.4)
Mm-hmm. And think about that as an adaptation, right? So the trauma response is a set of adaptive responses that we have to danger. And so your nervous system is doing what it thinks is helpful by saying, no, we learned that chicken eggs are literal poison. And so when it comes to reintroducing them, you have to work against the trauma response that was established by that traumatic event that you had where you thought you were dying. You know, and that requires a lot of time and preparation because you're working against your biology and your kind of foundational wiring.

Jennifer Fugo (07:48.99)
And do you think too, even in someone who maybe didn't react to the food, but it's been repeated, like they've read, for example, eggs are a trigger for eczema. So they're bad for you. And you read this over and over and over again and you take them out and then you come to believe and think that it's bad. Is that a similar response that it's trying to protect? It is protective, I suppose.

MC (08:19.063)
Right, but not in a rational way. Yes, because I think the part of the brain that's afraid is not rational. So it's gonna draw connections that defy rationality sometimes. And so when you plant that thought that, I'd never heard that before, that eggs cause eczema.

I've never heard that. Um, that, and then you kind of reiterate that and reiterate that and reiterate that you're, what you're essentially doing is conditioning fear into your system. Um, and we can condition fear about anything you can condition fear about I mean, this is kind of where phobias come from. Um, or one of the theories anyway, you can, you can condition yourself to believe that anything is potentially threatening. And then your system over time, once that fear has been conditioned, it is going to have an automatic response.

It was pretty wild.

Jennifer Fugo (09:08.33)
And it's almost like you're, so you could not even eat that food, but the thought of it could elicit that type of response.

MC (09:13.623)
Right. Yep, that type of response. And you might actually have a physical reaction to it. So you might feel like even if you've never eaten something before, you could, if you knowingly eat it, let's say eggs, it's hard to imagine you'd never eat eggs, but you've kind of associated that this is going to cause pain or a problem and you eat it, you could actually feel sick or even kind of make yourself sick because, and it's not that you're creating that symptom, it's that the fear is creating a stress response, which is creating that symptom. I do think there is another area where things get really complicated here which is that we almost create like noise in the system because we then have reactions to food that come from fear instead of a true allergy or sensitivity and so then that reinforces the fear and then makes that bond even stronger in the system you know what I mean.

Jennifer Fugo (10:12.214)
You know, one other point to this that I think is interesting is the idea that, well, I worry that for those who've had a history of eating disorders or disordered eating patterns, there seems to be a slippery slope here with elimination diets. And I recognize this may not be your area of expertise, but do you have any thoughts for somebody who's listening to this who maybe had, right? So something in the past, an eating disorder in the past where they feel that they're OK now and they've recovered from it, or maybe somebody who is actually dealing with an active eating disorder? Do you just think from, like, what's your thoughts on that from a sort of mental and emotional health standpoint for somebody in that boat or those maybe they're two separate camps of going down this road of starting to eliminate foods especially on their own.

MC (11:09.547)
Yeah, I mean, absolutely to your point about, you know, when you do it alone, I think that can be really tricky because, you know, again, what you're doing in and again, as you said, I'm not an expert here, but I think just from my perspective, you're creating a fear response, you're conditioning a fear into the system, and you're labeling sometimes an entire food group as quote unquote, bad, or evil, or problematic or dangerous, and your system is listening. because let's say you recognize, you know, for me, the silly example of the apple, like, okay, I want to bring this back in because it would make my life so much easier in so many ways. And then you have to like, kind of like walk yourself into that fear and face it over and over and over until the fear kind of gets desensitized. So you have that thing that can happen. And if when that happens with entire food groups, like carbohydrates, all the while that you are going through that, you could potentially be having huge nutritional deficiencies that are impacting your brain function, your cardiovascular system, your intestinal system, like the whole thing. And so I think there is a very slippery slope. And I think it can also very easily kind of lead into some of the problematic thinking that comes in with anxiety disorders and OCD, where again, you've labeled entire food groups as bad or wrong. And now when you have to face them, you are also then faced with kind of an outsized amount of anxiety. I think that we talk about eating disorders in terms of what we currently clinically define as eating disorders, and there you know there are a couple of categories there, but we also need to look at disordered eating in a broader kind of context. Like you might not have a full-blown diagnosable eating disorder, but if your eating is disordered, what then are the repercussions of that emotionally and physically?

Also, I think a lot of this behavior can be in the name of health and wellness, and what that's actually hiding is an eating disorder that someone hasn't actually recovered from, but they have tricked themselves into believing that they have recovered from, because what they're doing now is under the umbrella of health.

Jennifer Fugo (13:32.15)
Mm-hmm. Well, and it's also interesting, some of the terms you used, like is this bad for you or toxic or inflammatory? And you see this with a lot of these, and I'm, and, all right, guys, you know I'm like diet agnostic here, but there is some cultiness stuff that can happen with some of these diets that are being promoted online, like carnivore, plant-based. So please don't come for me. There is some cultiness. I'm sorry, there just is. And there's a morality piece. It feels almost like it's a morality thing. I don't know. But it's interesting, the language that's used.

Do you think that that's part of it? Or that the language that, I just wonder if there's some things around language, if people could spot that, maybe instead of trying to look for like this idea of, like you said, the picture of health, being this picture of health, this ideal picture, all of a sudden you go, wait, maybe the way that this is being talked about is not necessarily balanced. I mean, like with carnivore, for example, it's like, oh, your oxalates are bad for you and your, you know, all these plant foods have oxalates and I don't know, we go down this crazy rabbit hole of all these things of why plant foods are bad for you and toxic and poisonous. And then on the flip side, you go to plant-based and now we're like, there's all that morality around whether we kill animals and eat animals, all this stuff. And it just, at a certain point, people get emotionally lost in all of that. That language.

MC (15:10.571)
Mm-hmm. Oh, absolutely. And I think that like one of the things that I always watch out for, and this is true in any arena, but I think it's especially obvious. And what we're talking about is when people are reducing very complicated systems to really simplistic models. And so we say, you know, like we were talking before, oils are bad or you know like meat is bad or these things are inflammatory or this is toxic. The thing that kind of I always try to look for is like that's far too reductive, right? Oils are complex. There are some oils that can cause certain things and other oils that can cause other things and some of them can be beneficial to let's say like your cholesterol, some of them can be detrimental to your cholesterol, like it depends. And there's also not any kind of respect for like the bio-individuality aspect where if you have a genetic high cholesterol then this oil might be bad for you, but for someone who doesn't it's going to be something different. You know there's no sort of respect for the complexity.

And then I think you're right. Like when we get into this language of morality, right? This should be a space where morality comes up in certain ways, right? How are we treating animals that we are butchering, for example? That's a question where we can ask morality. But whether a food is evil or not, like that seems to me to be kind of fundamentally strange. I also think that it comes up in the fact that we are obsessed with elimination and rarely talk about additive changes and so something I've been looking into just for my own health is like adding things for hormone support right which is you know that has nothing to do with eliminating entire food groups but that's not as sexy. It's not as talked about on Instagram or social media because it's not it doesn't have this like veil of you know you're entering into this like good versus evil discussion you know what I mean?

Jennifer Fugo (17:16.602)
And I think this is kind of goes to the point where we were talking off the air first about wellness influencers. And there really is a toxicity, unfortunately. Some people are like, why do you follow this person? And I'm like, well, I don't follow them because I agree with them. I need to know what they're saying because people inevitably ask me in a total panic about a particular video that they saw and now they think that these things that they've been eating are going to kill them, poison them, whatever, and they're like, I can't drink this, I can't do that, and it becomes this state where you just don't feel safe at all.

So do you find just, you know, in your little camp in being, right, because you've got this like really interesting spot. And I think like I've said it and shared before, I think your approach to trauma was one of the most digestible approaches that I have ever found because every other book I couldn't finish. So Unbroken is by far like probably one of the most recommended books I have given to clients, to colleagues, to friends. I have suggested it more than probably any other book because of how approachable it is. And here we are watching under the guise of health, which I think, my opinion is it's promoting disordered eating, but it's like this toxic culture of wellness that we don't realize is actually making, part of what's making people sick.

MC (18:52.139)
Yes, yeah, totally. I think there's two things going on there, and thank you for your compliments about the book. The whole goal was accessibility, so I love to hear that it is digestible, because that was the goal. I think that one of the things that's really interesting, so there's a chapter in the book where I talk about referred pain, which is this strange phenomenon whereby sometimes you experience physical pain in an area that's not the source of the pain. So the classic example is like a toothache that's actually a heart attack. And so in some sense you are having tooth pain and that is true for you, but when you go to the dentist, the dentist is going to say, no, it's, you have to go to the emergency room. You're having a cardiovascular event. I think that is an area where we trust the doctor to tell us that the referred pain source is somewhere else. But I think in this area when it comes to controlling and monitoring our own food and wellness, we are distrustful unless it already kind of jives with what we came in believing, if that makes sense. And so if you have this set of beliefs about foods that are toxic or inflammatory and then foods that are good, and then you go to the doctor and your doctor says, look, you've got a real nutritional deficiency, you need to start adding back in something that's on your toxic list, you are going to go find somebody on Instagram who disagrees with that doctor, and then go with that, you know. And I think that that's, that that's really problematic and scary. And I think what it reveals is the second thing, which is that whenever we see something like this happening like across society, I think it's really interesting to think about why. Like, why are we suddenly so obsessed with ingesting food, ingesting toxins. And I think on the heels of the pandemic, we are dealing with an incredible amount of unprocessed trauma. And I don't think this is the whole thing, but I think this is a layer that might explain what's going on. And the response to that is to over-exert control. We are in a space of hypervigilance and panic that we haven't addressed. And so it feels very good to exert control over an area of your life and make it clean and make it good because we've just been dealing with, you know, with infection, with germ, with poison. And so now it's like, okay, no, well, I don't know, I can't control the outside. I can't control whether there's going to be another pandemic or if COVID is still going on or if there's another wave or whatever. But I can control the cleanliness of my body. And so this sort of this paradigm of the clean, perfect wellness guru can rise up out of that and be and start to look really attractive. Does that make sense at all?

Jennifer Fugo (21:48.65)
It does. Well, I mean, this is another question towards that. Is it possible too that these types of messages could be almost addictive?

MC (21:58.235)
Oh, totally. Yeah. And I think if you think about, you know, there's different theories about where eating disorders come from and how they crop up, but a lot of it is, or there's at least one theory that says that it's a way to gain control over a world that feels outside of your control. And so I think that one of the things that's maybe driving us to wellness in this really singular, reductive way is that we feel out of control. And so we get a huge like blast of dopamine when we feel like we have exerted control in a world that has just been revealed to us unequivocally as out of control. And so it's like, yeah, it can absolutely become addictive because you feel like you're doing something good and healthy and clean in a world that feels scary and awful. And, and you know, threatening.

Jennifer Fugo (22:47.958)
And it also is, in some regards, well, like I think that's the one thing I learned from your book, right? That the trauma is well-meaning. It's meant to be protective. The response to it, I guess I should say. But in some regards, it can lead us astray.

MC (23:07.403)
And so there's this like arc that we never talk about where, because we either talk about things being adaptive or maladaptive, but we don't talk about the arc that connects those two things, which is that often the fear response is adaptive. It is trying to protect you. So the kind of silly example that I always use is like if you had a night with tequila that didn't end well, then your body, whenever you even smell tequila is going to be like, that's poison. We are not ingesting that. If you try to ingest that, we're going to bring that right back up, you know? And so that's adaptive. Right, your body is trying to adapt to a poison, it's linked that taste with poison and so it's going to try to get rid of it. But what is adaptive can over time become maladaptive if those signals are going off in the wrong places. And so the trauma response is fundamentally, foundationally adaptive. It's a set of responses that helps us stay alive. We need it. But sometimes over time, those responses are coming off, they're coming on too often, or they are kind of signaling at the wrong things. We have something benign coming in and we're labeling that as danger. And so adaptation can become maladaptive, but I think it's important to understand that it started out as adaptation, because then you can walk it back and be like, okay, what was, what were we trying to accomplish with this adaptive move? How has it become maladaptive? And then how can we now figure some something else out?

Jennifer Fugo (24:38.33)
So if somebody is listening to this and they're like, yeah, I'm really afraid to eat these foods. I'm afraid to reintroduce certain foods. I've thought about it, but I mentally just cannot get there. They're really struggling with food fear. Maybe they've got a history of an eating disorder. Deep, deep fear here. Or they're also consuming, I think we have to be careful, what we surround ourselves with, what we consume. What are some thoughts on your side of this camp on how can you begin to…I hate to say deal with this, but what are some things that somebody could start to do? Because I hate to see somebody who's literally whittled themselves down to five foods. And yes, everyone, this has happened. I have worked with multiple people in this camp who cannot reintroduce foods and have felt like they should have become healthier. The more they restricted and they're not, they're actually sicker. And there's so much fear in their way to reintroduce… And I'm not even talking trans fat here, or McDonald's. We're talking blueberries, sweet potatoes, right? Apples, eggs, like simple things that are natural. How do you begin to make peace with that?

MC (25:59.403)
Yeah, so I mean, it's a great question. The first thing that I want to say, I have a couple of ideas, but the first thing that I want to say is that I relate. So if you find yourself in that situation, I too have been in that situation and I understand the compelling nature of that fear and that there may be some, some amount of time that you have to stay in that space. And because, you know, having celiac and then also going on this elimination diet for, for migraine meant that I couldn't eat with my family. I couldn't eat out. People didn't understand there was a lot of shame. Incredible emotional response would happen when someone would judge what I was trying to do or if I said oh I can't eat that because it has this ingredient which is this and that might be MSG or whatever. So it caused a lot of distress and noise around eating and that's really painful and complicated and can make your life really small and sometimes when you feed the system anxiety it continues to reproduce anxiety, so your life starts to get smaller and smaller. This happens with any trauma.

There's a moment when the fear is relevant and important, and then there's a moment where we have to push against it. And I just wanna say, like, I understand so deeply how hard it is to push against it, because you're walking into an area where you believe, correctly or incorrectly, that something bad is gonna happen to you. And so to that point, I think that a relational home is really critical. So finding an accountability partner or a friend, or working with someone in the field like a nutritionist or somebody who can help you, who you feel really safe with, make a plan for, like I had to have a whole plan when I introduced apples back in. And again, this sounds really silly, but it was like, okay, so we're gonna try it. We're gonna eat a quarter of an apple today, and we're gonna see if anything bad happens. And if anything bad happens, we're gonna wait 48 hours, and we're gonna eat a half an apple. And like, you know, you almost have to kind of treat yourself like a little kid and say like, yes, the fear is here in the room, and instead of trying to squash it or smash it or shame it, we're going to say, okay, let's negotiate with it, you know? What can we do today? And then having an accountability partner to keep you going because it's really easy to be like, okay, I ate the apple that time, I'm fine. And then never eat apples again for another 15 years, you know what I mean? And so like being like, no, if you're going to add something back in, you have to add it back in and here's what that looks like. And having a relational home, a place where someone can help you bear that overwhelm is incredibly helpful because they are outside of your fear brain that is telling you that you're about to ingest poison. And they can also help you make a plan for, okay, if you don't feel well, if you're violently ill, here's the plan. Here's what we're going to do to make that okay.

And then there's this concept in somatic experiencing therapy, which is a modality founded by Peter Levine who wrote Waking the Tiger, which is a great book on trauma, about titration, which is that instead of trying to blast through the pain or the fear, you kind of walk into it and then you walk back out. So similar back to the apple example, you eat a quarter of an apple then you walk back out for two days. Then you try half an apple then you walk back out. Titration is really important because you need to sort of like make your system understand that what you're doing actually is safe and that you're listening to it. Because when you understand that you're working against your trauma response, which is trying to protect you, you have to kind of like you know titrate in and out.

And then the last thing is that for some people, there's gonna be a foundational trauma that started this whole, you know, system running. And so for me, like having the experience of that incredible crushing pain of migraine or having all these physical symptoms from having celiac disease, those are real things that have to be dealt with, regardless of what I choose to eat or not eat. And so I think finding a place, whether that's a therapist or a support group or a set of friends who has a similar struggle to you, an online forum, people who can help you kind of sort through what that foundational trauma is because you have to find that you have to get to the source of the symptom if you really want the thing to go away otherwise it's just going to pop up in another form.

Jennifer Fugo (30:17.95)
And I think too, it can consume your life. And also too, I found that some individuals who have had to eliminate foods for medically necessary reasons, sometimes they house a lot of anger. This is not everyone, but some people do because they are upset about how other people treat their condition, how serious some people take it and others don't. And it's like everything becomes this like a front. And that also…is I think part of this. I think I can relate to that as well and being angry that people wouldn't take me seriously. I'm sure you can relate to that. But that's our responsibility to deal with that because you can't, I mean, I don't know if maybe that's sort of the last thing is like, Is it your responsibility to deal with these things, especially in how other people respond to what you are going through with your diet or other elimination diets or whatever? Is it also medically necessary in some instances?

MC (31:22.519)
Yeah, it's, I mean, I think that's tricky, right? Like it's one of the things that makes food especially complicated is that it's not just for our own nourishment, it's also how we connect with other people. And so all of this sort of takes itself out on a stage where other people are gonna be involved. And I think, you know, weaponizing your food stuff, I've seen that a lot, and making it someone else's problem or, you know, lashing out in anger because there's nothing at the office, you know, lunch that you can eat. The other people in the room, it's not their fault nor is it their responsibility. And at the same time, I relate to that anger of like being like, you know, other people can eat anything they want. And I have to think about this all the time. And that can be really frustrating. But to your point, like I think that's my issue. That's my resentment to sort out myself with my therapist. You know, that's not, if you and I got to lunch and you get to order like a burger with a bun and fries or something like that, and I'm like, oh, I would love that. That's not, it's not appropriate for me to take that out on you. That's my own thing. And I think the result of this, if you don't take responsibility of the part that's yours, is that you'll be isolated. And so then that's tricky, because it's like you have this anger and the anger is well founded, and what are you gonna do with it? Because if you lash out at the people around you, then you're gonna be isolated. And I just, I think some things are tricky. And, right?

Jennifer Fugo (32:52.642)
They are, they totally are. I feel like you and I could talk about this for hours because there's so much around this. It's like, right, we don't talk about politics, religion, and food.

MC (33:07.223)
And food, yeah, yeah.

Jennifer Fugo (33:09.346)
Food is a tricky thing. It's so, in so many regards, there's so many foods now that are controversial, that don't make any sense, that shouldn't be, it's like, it's wild. And I so appreciate not only the way you break these things down, but the way that you do so without judgment. And I just wanna thank you for that, because I know so many listeners loved your episode that you were on before, so I'll make sure to link that up in the show notes for those of you who did not…you gotta go check that out. So if this is your first time, you got to go back and check the out the other because MC's book unbroken the trauma response is never wrong, was the only trauma book I've been able to finish cover to cover, did not cry- which I did not think it was impossible. I was able to finish on vacation, no less. It was not depressing. And I learned a lot about myself and my journey.

And it was so interesting that my therapist even read it at my recommendation. So I think it's a really, I think that could be a really helpful tool for anyone who's on this journey to read that, because I don't think a lot of times we relate these emotions and this sort of like mental state that people get stuck in with trauma, but I do think that there's trauma there.

MC (34:09.424)
Oh yay! Oh my gosh.

Jennifer Fugo (34:30.674)
And at least by acknowledging it, it's a start, right? Because we can't start addressing something. We can't start shifting it until we're aware that it's even there. So I just I love what you're doing. How can everybody find you and connect with you?

MC (34:40.634)
Mm-hmm. Right. Thousand percent. Thank you. So it's really easy. I am MC.phd on Instagram and TikTok and my website is www.alchemycoaching.life and you can find Unbroken anywhere you buy books- Amazon bookstores. It's even in the airport!

Jennifer Fugo (35:00.722)
Well, I hope that you will be back again, because I feel like there's so many things we could talk about. And I just appreciate you so much for having this conversation.

MC (35:09.948)
Oh, thank you so much.

elimination diets