What People Say!

 

Tricia’s Story

I was always fatigued, couldn’t sleep, and I had stomach aches and bloating all the time.  I would also experience “brain fog” on a daily basis.  I also had the test done to help cope with my autoimmune condition. After following a diet based on the results of my LEAP test for two weeks, there were several changes in my symptoms.  The first symptom change with the “brain fog” disappearing by the third day.  I have been sleeping solidly through the night with almost no insomnia at all.  Also, when following my diet plan, I have experienced almost no bloating or stomach pain.  In summation, almost all of my symptoms have either disappeared or been greatly reduced.  As a bonus to following the diet, eating the foods shown to be least reactive to my body, I also lost about 11 pounds in two and half weeks. If you are used to eating a wide variety of foods, or are frequently eating out or traveling, yes this is a difficult diet to follow.  However, with practice, it becomes easier and is only reinforced when you feel your symptoms go away!  I had to attend a conference out of town, and after discovering that I couldn’t eat most of what was being served for lunch, I packed a cooler with acceptable foods and kept that cooler in my hotel room.  It can be a challenge, and takes some planning, but the reward of feeling better is so worth it.

Kelly’s Story

I had chronic urgent and frequent diarrhea with bleeding due to Ulcerative Colitis. I was in a constant flare-up for 15 months before I sought out Shivani’s help. I was a stay-at-home-mom and my frequent trips to the bathroom (sometimes 12-15 per day) were making it incredibly difficult to properly care for my children, let alone go out and do anything fun with them for fear of not finding a restroom in time. I was scared of car trips, eating in restaurants, and seeking out any kind of work outside the home. My GI doctor and I had continually gone up the medication ladder in terms of strength and dosage, and my next step would have been an infusion similar to chemotherapy. I knew something had to change if I wanted to avoid that route. So I got in touch with Shivani and got the LEAP MRT test done.

I found out I was sensitive to wheat, which I ate at almost every meal. I was also sensitive to chicken and turkey which were the only meats I was eating, and those recommended to help with UC! I also had been drinking almond milk and found out that not only was I sensitive to almonds, but also to peanuts and cashews (and cow’s milk) too. So many of the dairy and dairy alternatives out there were now off-limits to me. It was so interesting (and kind of a “duh” moment) to find out that the foods I ate the most often were the ones that were essentially poisoning my body.  When I got my LEAP report, I would’ve been at a loss without Shivani’s help. She guided me through the results and helped brainstorm some recipes that worked around my sensitivities that would bring down my severe inflammation. Without her knowledge and hand-holding, I would’ve probably lived on avocados and plain quinoa. But she gave me some ideas for some great recipes that in fact, are still in my repertoire now even though I’ve completed the program. (I still make my own homemade granola and prefer it to any store-bought!)

She also is an encyclopedia of knowledge about anything and everything that goes in your body. For example, about a third of the way through the LEAP program, I had mentioned that I had noticed some mucus. She knew exactly what supplements to add into my regimen that would work WITH my sensitivities in order to correct that issue.  Sure enough, she was right. I can’t believe how much she knows about “x interacting with y”, or “you need to watch your fructose intake, here’s a list”, “this would be good and is an allowed food but will make you gassy so we’ll introduce that later”, etc. I was amazed at how knowledgeable she is about all things digestion! I learned more from her that I think I ever could have from a GI doctor.

It’s not easy and it certainly took some dedication and willpower to follow the program. You really have to be at that “rock bottom” or sick of being sick in order to take such drastic steps as this program. For me, though, my quality of life was severely negatively impacted due to my UC, and so any sort of elimination diet wasn’t too difficult because I was getting sick every time I ate. I was so ready to feel better so I was committed from the start because I knew this was the only way. I had to do something for myself outside of medications…take my health into my own hands.

The most challenging part was varying up the foods enough during the first phase of the program when it was so crucial to heal my inflammation. Because your allowed foods are so limited, you really have to get creative so you aren’t eating the same thing day-in and day-out. But that’s when Shivani’s ideas for quinoa pilaf, buckwheat pasta, roasted vegetable soup, homemade granola, tofu curry, etc. really came in handy. I took her suggestions and went to work creating new delicious meals that weren’t hurting my body!

Almost immediately after starting the program, the frequency of my bathroom trips decreased. I went from 6-10 trips per day to half that initially, and now only 1-2 now that I’ve completed the program. I no longer bleed at all. My symptom score went down each time I visited Shivani throughout the program, though I don’t have the specifics. I wasn’t really concerned about the numbers, though. I just wanted to feel better and I did. That’s all the proof I needed.

I cannot speak highly enough of Shivani and the LEAP program and would love it if others used it to help themselves. I have said often (and to many people!) that this is the best thing I’ve ever done for myself and my health. I now have the knowledge and the tools I need to keep me feeling better throughout the rest of my life. I feel in control of my health and that is invaluable!!!

Thank you, Shivani! I am not at all exaggerating when I say you’ve truly changed my life!

Melissa’s Story

I have been dealing with severe acne, fatigue and stomach issues. After following the LEAP MRT diet I saw significant improvement in my acne, fatigue, digestive issues. While the diet was not easy , it was well worth it. After following the program for 2 months my SS went down from 42 to 4. It worked so quickly actually.

My biggest surprise was – how quickly I saw the results.

Barbara’s Story

I am a 73-year-old retired woman who got on the scale one day and saw the numbers 174.8 come up as my weight.  I said to myself and wondered how I let myself get to that weight.  I was having great difficulty losing weight, lots of body aches & pains, frequent urination, insomnia, stuffy head in the morning, leg cramps and an overwhelming craving for bread and anything sweet.  My daughter and her husband had learned of the LEAP program and they both had great success following their eating plans.  My daughter was telling me about the counselor she was working with.  I thought to myself that I had tried so many “diets” none of which worked for me and I was convinced that maybe there was something to this LEAP program.  They live in Michigan (where I am from) and I am now retired in Florida.  How could this work?  My daughter asked registered dietitian Shivani Sharma if she could work with me remotely and she agreed we could.

Shivani had the blood test kit sent to me.  I found a lab that would collect the required four vials of blood and FedEx them to the lab in the included mailing kit.  It was all very simple and straightforward.

The report with my blood test results arrived a short time later at my home.  Shivani received the same information via email. I called Shivani and set an appointment with her to begin the program.  The LEAP test results only showed two foods for me in the red zone:  wheat & strawberries, however, there were many in the yellow zone on the report.  I had been previously advised that I should avoid wheat from another dietitian, but the charts provided from the blood testing made that information visibly understandable to me.  The weekend before I was to meet with Shivani via phone, I stopped eating anything with wheat and all sweets.  By my Wednesday appointment I had dropped about 3 lbs.  I knew I was on to something.  So many of the foods that were my favorites or that I had been cooking because they were my family’s favorites were the foods causing my own body to have inflammation.  Learning about the tyramine sensitivity (a substance present in aged, fermented, pickled or leftover food) was certainly amazing to discover.

Shivani is extremely knowledgeable, supportive, helpful and understanding.  She sure knows her foods and has many suggestions about how to incorporate your limited food choices at the beginning phases so that you are able to stick with your program.  I enjoyed conversing with her about what we were adding to my eating plan and also her ideas for jazzing up or combining the few items I could eat at first.  I found it easy to stick with the plan making sure I had those items I was able to eat at first in the frig and in the pantry.  I gave all wheat products that I had in the pantry to my neighbor!

Actually I knew something was going on with my body in that I currently had a lot of stress in my life and I blamed all the “symptoms” on that stress.  I didn’t have a clue that it could be about what I was consuming on a daily basis that could be the culprit.  Three weeks into eating right for me and I was down 15#.  Previously, every time I got on the scale I had gained a pound or two.

After going through all the phases, I eventually dropped another 5 pounds and have stayed there watching what I eat.  I may do Shivani’s cleanse program to see if I can break through the plateau where I seem to be at the present time.  I have been traveling and vacationing this summer and not always able to have available what I need to eat.  However, I have been able to stay at the 20 pound reduction in weight.  My symptom chart was at 49 points at the beginning of the program and went down to an 8 with my weight loss of 20 pounds.

I highly recommend this program to anyone who has been unable to budge from a weight where they don’t want to be.  You must be dedicated to your goal and you can just do it!

Julie’s Story

I have often wondered what foods cause a reaction for me. I thought I had a gluten intolerance, but not all foods with gluten produced any symptoms. For example, sometimes bread would make me feel bad and sometimes it wouldn’t. Sometimes I had no clue what was making me feel uncomfortable, so I did the LEAP MRT food sensitivity test mostly out of curiosity. I also have a friend who did it and had amazing results, so I felt compelled to try it myself.

Shivani was great about explaining my results, listing what foods were ok at each phase of the process, and even suggesting recipes to make the plan more satisfying. She also called me periodically to see how I was doing and answer any questions I had. She was very encouraging to stick with it and understanding about the challenges. Shivani truly felt like a food “coach” and made me feel that my success with the program was very important to her. 

My stomach pain was gone! As in NONE. I was amazed and so glad I did this.

Even in areas that I didn’t think were food-related, such as sleep, allergies, fatigue, joint pain etc. I didn’t have major complaints in those areas, but I still saw improvement.

Kimberly’s Story

I have been struggling with psoriasis for 28 years.  The older I got the worse it got and at this point it pretty much covered my scalp, arms, legs and back.  Over the years I tried many treatments, ointments, lotions etc….all with various side effects.  I told a friend I wanted to try and treat it through my diet and she recommended Shivani Sharma, RD.  My other issue was bloating.  It seemed every time I ate my stomach would bloat so much I had to put sweat pants on.

So I got a LEAP MRT Test done. Many of the leap results surprised me because there were many foods that I was sensitive to  that I ate on a regular basis and had no idea they were having a negative effect on me. Shivani helped me by administering the LEAP Test and then design a meal plan for me based on foods that I wasn’t sensitive to.  After each Phase she would evaluate my results and if my symptoms were improving we would move to the next phase adding in new foods. I was absolutely able to follow the LEAP Diet because I was 100% committed to it!  I WANTED to see results and the only way to do that was to follow the program.  The challenging part was when I would have a craving for something that I couldn’t eat – like a peanut butter and Jelly sandwich.  So I managed by being creative and focusing on what I could eat!  That really is what the program is about – focusing on what you CAN have.  I satisfied that craving by mixing a few strawberries and a tablespoon of peanut butter into my cream of rice cereal.  It worked to satisfy the craving but it also gave me confidence that I COULD do this.  Also I started this in the summer so picnics, camping, boating etc were all things that were a bit challenging.  I overcame this by preparing ahead of time and making things that I could eat to bring with me.  The key for me was to always have something I could eat with me so that my hunger didn’t get the best of me and lead to bad choices. In addition to my psoriasis clearing up I also no longer had the bloating issue, heartburn or other digestive issues.  I was amazed at the transformation that the LEAP program had on my health.  I look and feel so much better and that is why I have stuck to the LEAP program and will continue to.

I started with a symptom score of 50 and it went down to 24 in two weeks, 14 in 4 weeks and to 2 in 8 weeks.

Ramona’s Story

Shivani Sharma changed my life!  

August 2017, I received devastating medical information about my health.  I was about to turn 36, and my A1c was 13.1  (for those who don’t know, it should not be above 6).  I had stopped responding to my medication, and my Doctor was considering giving me an insulin pump.  

I was a size 16 and about 180lbs. I had been that size for years… it’s not like I gained a bunch of weight suddenly.  I was just living and my health was failing.  

When my combined medical team (endocrinologist, primary care, and eye Doctor) all gave me the same 3 year timeline before my life drastically changed and I lived with severe disability-  I decided to start educating myself on options to extend my life. 

That is when I sought Shivani Sharma. She gave me a consultation, and listened to me.  I need to emphasize that she listens to her patients.  

While reading about my disease, I found some hope in the idea of becoming a low carb vegan.  This was not a common diet. Shivani created a plan that I could follow at home. This was in mid August. I stuck to the plan.  I walked 30 min every day.  I lived my life. In October 2017, I had a permanent blood monitor put in, while my endocrinologist tried to figure out why my sugar stayed so high.  After a few weeks he removed it and we were all shocked by the results. 

I started seeing Shivani hoping to extend my life for a few years. 

She helped me drop my HbA1c from 13.1 to 6.7 in just a few months. 

This is supposed to be medically impossible.  I can’t explain to you without crying what that means to me. With continued work, I could live a normal life.  

…there aren’t words. 

So..now it’s January…not even 6 months later.  I’m a size 10.  I don’t know how much I weigh, because I got rid of my scale.  I don’t need it.  I feel great.  I’ve learned not to buy too many clothes because this 10 won’t last.  Just like size 12 didn’t. Even through the holiday, Shivani gave me strategies to avoid gaining weight.  She gave me tips on how to keep my sugar even. 

 

My endocrinologist doesn’t understand how she did it with diet.  But I can tell you-  I don’t take medication.  I just eat well, and walk every day.  I’ve got a chance at living a long life.  That isn’t something I could say before I met Shivani. So.. if you are in a situation where you need another option.  I urge you to consider Shivani Sharma.  

She will hear you.  She will help.  

I am so grateful.

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