Food, Wellness

When it Comes to Giving Up Certain Foods

At the end of September I was at my in-laws new house in Washington for our annual family vacation. The meals we typically have are full of gluten, dairy, and sugar – three things I currently cannot have (except for dairy which I’ve been reintroducing). Between me working under a nutritionist and my paleo sister-in-law, who has been coming off an AIP protocol, we have very specific dietary needs.

I felt compelled to write this post because not only were there a lot of “vibes” I picked up on vacation, but I’ve sensed some judgement from people in general when I mention the dietary restrictions I have. This post is to address some common misconceptions.

Myth #1: “I can’t imagine giving up [insert food here]!”

I had these thoughts so many times. And honestly, it takes time to get in the right headspace. It’s something I still struggle with which is why I am glad I have other resources/people reiterating that what I’m doing is good for me (my nutritionist, the Unbound Healing podcast).

When you pull back and look at the bigger picture, which is your health, it does become easier over time. And yeah, you’ll mourn the loss of favorite foods. My biggest challenge is when I dine out, but it’s something I’ve learned to overcome. The reward of healing my body and overall feeling better is worth it.

Myth #2: Our food doesn’t taste good.

Far, FAR from true!

I can’t tell you how many faces we got when people realized the foods we were eating had no gluten/dairy/sugar/etc. You’d think we were eating bland, sad food. I think that was one of the biggest motivators to write this post. Our foods are delicious and there’s nothing wrong with them.

Not being able to have certain foods means we needed to get creative with what we could have, and our alternatives were just as tasty if not more tasty. For example, I’ve made this BOMB paleo ranch dressing and you’d never know it’s dairy free.

And, Joshua will honestly tell you first hand that everything I’ve made has been delicious.

Myth #3: It’s so much work!

The work is no different than putting together regular recipes. If a recipe calls for flour, replace it with a gluten free one (Bob’s Red Mill has a TON of options). Something you make typically uses milk? Try unsweetened almond or coconut milk. Using sugar? Substitute stevia instead.

My number one website for recipes is Dashing Dish, and a big reason why I like her recipes is because they are simple and the ingredients are 90-98% items I already have on hand. Not to mention she’s great about recommending substitutes based on dietary restrictions.

Myth #4: We’re just making this up to lose weight/be picky.

Nope! In fact, I’m personally having a hard time losing weight (thanks PCOS).

You think I really like that I have to give up bread?

We wouldn’t be doing this if it weren’t for our benefit. For me, my body doesn’t do well with certain foods no matter how yummy they may be.

Myth #5: It must be super expensive to eat the way you do.

It may seem that way at first, especially when you’re having to clear out the bad stuff from your pantry and stock it with healthier alternatives. Once you do that and figure out your meals, your grocery budget should be no different than the average grocery budget. It’s all about planning and budgeting.