Living LEAP: Phase 5

Don’t know what LEAP/MRT is? Missed the start of this series? Click here to catch up!

Since my last recap, I wrapped up Phase 4 and am almost done with Phase 5.

The foods I can introduce during Phase 5 include:

turkey, sole, watermelon, pineapple, grape, hazelnut, and pistachio.

So far, from Phase 5, I have successfully tested / added back: 

watermelon, pineapple, grapes (I’m on the fence about my reaction to turkey and plan to keep testing it a little longer)

Once I complete Phase 5, I’ll move on to Phase 6 – the final step!

Generally, foods that scored moderately reactive (yellow) are avoided for 3 months and highly reactive foods (red) are avoided for 6 months. Phase 6 (usually at the 6 month mark) is also when you can challenge foods that the MRT did not test so you can determine your tolerance level. You also begin a rotation diet in Phase 6. The rotation diet ensures that certain foods/food families are not over-consumed to the point where you lose a tolerance for them or even become sensitive. Phase 6 is basically where you’re on your own. You’ve learned how to eat and what to eat and now you just live your life.



I’m 5 months into my LEAP/MRT journey. I actually haven’t eaten any foods or exposed myself to any chemicals/ additives that were listed as moderately reactive (yellow) or highly reactive foods (red) on my test results. Well… on purpose at least! I had a bad run-in with a bit of lemon that sneaked into a grill seasoning while we were on vacation.

All my results are posted here – but as a refresher:

My moderately reactive foods and additives (yellow) are beet, cabbage, cashew, cheddar, codfish, coffee, dill, egg, red #40, garbanzo, green pea, maple, oat, pear, pinto bean, rice, salicylic acid, sodium metabisulfate, spelt, and strawberry.

My highly reactive foods and additives (red) are crab, lecithin, lemon, salmon, sesame, and spinach.

My plan is to finish Phase 5, test out all my “yellow” foods, reach the 6 month mark, begin to test my “red” foods, and after that try out foods that were not tested by the MRT (like limes, dates, nectarines, brussels sprouts, etc).

What I’ve been eating lately: basically everything I’ve listed in past posts + my latest obsessions – Middle Earth Organics Basil & Tomato Pasta Sauce that I discovered at Lakewinds co-op, Babybel cheese,  BOOMCHICKAPOP sweet & salty kettle corn, and the amazingly juicy, fresh peaches that seem to be everywhere right now!


What I’ve been using lately: Well, after both raving about and second-guessing Alaffia Shampoo & Morrocco Method products for my hair care routine – I’ve decided to dump both of them. It’s been months of testing both and they just aren’t doing it for me. My hair is either too greasy or too dry and gets tangled so easily. So, I’m on the hunt for something that works and has natural ingredients. Ideally, I’d like to avoid all the “baddies” that can be found in shampoo and conditioner and even stay away from alcohol which can be drying to your hair/scalp – but that can be quite tough without going super extreme with your routine. Right now I’m using and loving Bumble & Co. However, some of her ingredients are questionable – at least for what my goals are. But the smell is heavenly and my hair is soft, light, and I only have to use a tiny drop or two of my jojoba oil as leave-in conditioner. The price is a bit expensive for my tastes though so I am also going to give Fruit of the Vine a try.

I believe I mentioned before that I ditched all my face wash & lotion in favor of only jojoba oil (or jojoba oil mixed with sugar for a light scrub). This is working extremely well for me and I’d never go back to traditional products even if I had the choice. My skin looks really good – smooth, not dry or oily, and acne is a rare thing. I’ve recently started mixing a little Rosehip Seed Oil in with my jojoba oil when I use it as a moisturizer for my face. Rosehip Seed Oil is great for fading acne scars or fine lines, restoring elasticity, and being anti-inflammatory. I can’t rave about it enough! I find mine at my local co-op – the brand of essential oils is Veriditas Botanicals.

Since it’s summer, I’ve been using Badger Sunscreen. Next year I plan to “DIY” my own sunscreen and bug spray.


What I’ve been reading lately:

Letting food consume you: Being careful how we talk about food via Offbeat Home & Life

How To Know If You’re Truly Hungry via The Pilates Nutritionist

10 Herbs that Heal via Knowledge of Today

DIY all-natural bug repellent (salve + spray) via Body Unburdened

Essential Oils Education via Melissa Farris at Veriditas Botanicals


So, that’s what’s been going on over here!

Again, if you have any questions about things I’ve written about or about MRT/LEAP in general just let me know. Wishing you all good health and happiness!


9 thoughts on “Living LEAP: Phase 5

  1. We bought Badger sunscreen from our co-op for Azalea because she has pretty bad eczema and it seems to work better for her than the other stuff we had. Love your new banner too! (at least I think it’s new). Ha!

  2. Way to go Megan! I’m still plugging away – eating only green foods with a very ocassional yellow when I can’t avoid it or just plain cant talk myself out of it. This past month has been very difficult with my traveling and hosting company. But I do my best and sometimes that means picking up a salad (Wendy’s cranberry almond chicken salad) on my way to a BBQ. However I haven’t given up my shampoo & conditioner – after using the ‘special’ stuff for the entire bottle and not noticing a difference (besides unfavorable in my hair) I went back to my favorite. My symptoms are still not gone but I’m convinced food is not my only contributor here. ANYWAY, good job to you for making such great progress!

    • thanks so much for the sweet words! glad to hear you’re sticking with it even though it’s such a challenge.

      finding a shampoo/conditioner that is “good” for me and that I don’t despise (because as you say it’s “unfavorable to my hair”) is so tough. hoping to stumble up on the holy grail of hair soon ;) and then my next area to conquer is natural deodorant.

      sorry to hear not all of your symptoms have been fading! i’ve been getting more into essential oils and learning about the different properties and ways to use them. then again, as you said, food probably isn’t your own contributor so i’m not sure how much EOs will help either.

      wishing you strength as you continue your journey and hope you find some more answers soon!

  3. Pingback: Living LEAP: Phase 3 & Phase 4 | Mr.C & Me

  4. Meg, I realize this is 2 years later but I just stumbled on your blog posts when doing a search for other people’s LEAP experiences. I’m only about 24 hours into my first phase, but I’m still experiencing all of my usual digestive symptoms (primarily awful gas). It’s super discouraging, because as usual, it happens right after I eat and lasts for hours. Did you experience something similar when you started? I’m hoping this gets better, it’s just not how I wanted this to start.
    Thanks so much for these informative posts!

    • Hi Jenna! Have you read my experience from Phase 1?

      I absolutely experienced similar symptoms during my first few weeks!! Here’s a little excerpt from my post:

      “I’ve had mild headaches the first few days along with some minor digestive issues and bouts of nausea. It can be a bit discouraging but it’s also a sign that your body is on the road to recovery. You feel worse before you feel better. Why? Well the theory is that your body goes through withdrawal symptoms when you avoid your reactive foods (food sensitivity has been likened to food addiction in that respect). During Phase 1 your body goes through a bit of a detox. Consuming lot of water helps (but that’s been a bit of a struggle with the nausea).”

      Another hypothesis for feeling bad is that when you start making changes (such as switching from processed food to a real food diet) it causes substantial changes in gut flora and causes the “baddies” (dying pathogens) to be knocked out. When these pathogens die off, they release toxins that need to be excreted by the body.

      I like to think of it as your body trying to find a new balance with your new way of eating. Just have patience! :) It’s hard, I know, but I found it helpful t remind myself that it probably takes awhile for the gut to be damaged and for sensitivities to develop – so it will take a bit of time to get it back on track too.

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