Several years ago I was told to cut gluten out of my diet related to hormone issues. As I look back on the journey, it is filled with highs, lows, struggles and laughs. Today I’m going to share a few patterns that make me laugh (now), a few tools that saved my sanity, and how this turned from feeling like punishment to feeling like a gift.
Let’s start with the early-stage patterns that make me laugh…
- Buy everything with a gluten free label that I see.
For a solid couple of months I bought crap that I hadn’t consumed in YEARS. OMG, Trader Joe’s has gluten free Oreos! YESSS!!! It was an exciting new world realizing there is actually SO MUCH gluten free stuff out there. Except I think I actually gained weight and felt no different from eating much more processed food than I had in years.
- Eat unlimited quantities because I have limited options
Well, if I can’t eat gluten, and I need to cut back on the packaged stuff, I can have this giant order of fries, a large gluten free pizza, and anything else I want that’s gluten free on this menu! What else am I supposed to eat? Who cares if I’m getting full! I might not be able gluten free food later!!!
- Exhibit toddler-like sharing skills
Do I mind if you have a few bites of my food? UM YEAH I do (although I’m going to pretend I don’t while I stew inside)! This is all I can eat! I can’t eat the rest of the stuff on this table! What are you doing to me?!
My initial fears subsided somewhat when I found some amazing resources.
A few resources that saved my sanity…
- Cookbooks that gave me comfort food options.
Two of my favorites include Meals Made Simple and Against All Grain. Breads, cookies, cakes and more! For this baker, I felt like a part of my identity returned. When I baked for friends I’d include a gluten free dessert for myself! Such a FOMO relif!
- Finding places like 2Good2B.
This is a bakery with amazing gluten, corn and soy free foods. My friends could buy me a birthday cake after all! (Side note: corn is a grain and many people who have gluten sensitivities also have corn and soy intolerances. Neither of which I knew in the beginning of my journey!)
- Find Me Gluten Free.
This app is a great resource for anyone gluten free, whether you’re traveling or exploring your own city. It rates restaurants with gluten free options wherever you are.
Turning Food FOMO to Food JOMO…
I was eventually diagnosed with Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, which meant cutting out a lot more than just gluten, corn and soy. No more dairy, grains, alcohol or chocolate (even the high quality allergy free kind). That’s when the real struggle began. Talk about food cravings and crazy emotions! 😉
As a life coach, meditation teacher and EFT (tapping) practitioner, I utilized every trick I had to manage the emotional side of cutting out so many foods from my diet.
I learned that simple things like the way I ordered my food had a big impact on my happiness levels. I used to ask, with trepidation, if a certain food accommodation is acceptable. What I realized over time is that I was actually asking if I was still accepted by others even though I couldn’t eat like everyone else anymore. I was still struggling with accepting this part of my life. When I stopped asking and started requesting, I automatically felt a giant shift. I didn’t need approval from anyone but myself to eat a certain way.
I also learned to build a new relationship with food – it literally was my medicine. While some days felt overwhelmingly difficult, I eventually learned to relate to my food restrictions as a gift. My food FOMO (fear of missing out) turned into food JOMO (joy of missing out). For example, realizing that you can cook a meal that tastes incredibly delicious without needing butter. The major payoff and shift came when I noticed big shifts in my health. And as anyone who has struggled with Hashitmoto’s hypothyroiditis or another autoimmune issue knows, finding the right combination for your body takes time and work. When you see progress, the sacrifices, like food, pale in comparison to the reward.
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