Your parents were right when they told you to try, try, try again. Today I’m talking about giving up foods that no longer make you feel good. Following my Free From - Is it Worth it? post, I thought I’d rewind a little and talk about how I arrived at living ‘free from’.
It’s so easy to assume that because I, along with many others, blog about a life without gluten/dairy/sugar/nightshades/nuts etc., that we got here without a struggle. It’s actually quite the opposite. At least for me, anyway.
It’s taken me about 3 years to fully commit to and enjoy a life free from.
Woah! That’s aaaaaaaages!
It may be, but the important thing to realise is that I didn’t ever give up on giving up. Yes, I’d talk myself into believing that it didn’t work and sometimes, it didn’t, but that’s because I wasn’t giving it 100%. Plenty of times I thought that eating what is deemed as a ‘normal’ diet was absolutely fine for me and even tried it out for a while, but I would always end up back at square one, searching for answers.
I bet that a lot of you reading this have been there/are there right now (especially with the Bank Holiday looming)…
YOU MAY WANT TO CHUCK THE TOWEL IN BECAUSE:
YOU HAVEN’T NOTICED MUCH OF A DIFFERENCE
How long have you been doing it for? I didn’t notice any real changes until after 2/3 months of giving it my all. Are you allowing yourself occasional treats? If so, that’s why you’re not seeing changes. To truly determine whether you’re intolerant/allergic to something, you need to remove that something completely. Only after 6 weeks, sometimes longer, is it wise to gradually reintroduce that something to determine whether you react or not.
IT’S TOO MUCH EFFORT
But so is being ill and not at the top of your game… which would you prefer?
IT’S TOO EXPENSIVE
It depends on what you’re comparing it to. There are ways of eating well and within certain guidelines that don’t cost any more than what is deemed the average cost of food per person (currently around £5.78 per day). Plus, think of all the money you might save on medications, trips to specialists, quick fix solutions and ‘cures’!
YOU MISS AND CRAVE 'NORMAL' FOODS
This will pass. Of course you’re going to miss what you’re used to. There are ways to soften the blow. Don’t head straight for the salad… If what you’re used to is meals with potatoes, pasta, creamy sauces and the like, try and replicate those meals with the foods you can eat. Get creative! My Squash Gratin is a great recipe to start with…
YOU DON’T HAVE THE TIME
Eating a healthy diet is often associated with slaving away in the kitchen for hours on end. Is it because we no longer cook from scratch/know how to cook at all? Of course, compared to grabbing a ready meal from M&S, cooking from scratch will seem like an arduous task, but look at where that ready meal landed you… Vegetables are actually one of the fastest foods going, fish takes minutes to cook and boiling buckwheat/quinoa/rice is done in the time it takes to heat a ready meal in the oven, if not quicker.
CAKE IS JUST TOO GOOD
I agree, it’s great! I just prefer cakes made with ingredients my body loves…
YOU’VE GOT A WEDDING/CHRISTENING/BIRTHDAY COMING UP
There’s always going to be some event to go to. Don’t put your health on hold every time you’re faced with a group of friends eating said cake. Plan and prepare... Eat before you go. See if the wedding caterers are able to make something for you. Need to bring a dish? Bring something that you can eat. Even better, bring enough for your friends, too and show them how good your ‘healthy/fussy/whatever they call it’ food tastes.
I can’t explain just how good, satisfying, rewarding and amazing it feels to have got to the bottom of my ailments (eczema being the main one). I got there by listening to the most important person there is when it comes to my health: my body. My body was telling me, quite clearly, that my diet was not doing me any favours. It just took me a while to understand that.
Are you having trouble giving up foods that you know don’t do you any good? If so, I’d love to talk about it - maybe I can help you out... why not leave a comment below.