Sometimes, shit happens. We get sick. We don’t know why. Then we go through the medical ringer taking test after test. If we are lucky this isn’t too long until we get to the point where we find out – horrors – the only way to “fix” the issue is a long term dietary change. It can be hard to come to terms with. And at first, hard to manage. But it doesn’t have to stay that way.
Yes, I admit it. I still sigh when I walk past a coffee shop wishing desperately for a coffee and croissant. I still have poor me moments and miss my old favourite foods. We all do. But there is so much joy and freedom on the other side of finding out about a food intolerance.
How can food intolerance bring freedom and joy?
To me knowledge is empowerment. Being able to finally know why you feel sick and what is going on is like lifting a weight off your shoulders. Yes there are new things to learn. Yes there are constraints where there were previously none. But ultimately it’s a case of your body knowing what is best for you. And right now it’s not that food!
This too will pass – well sometimes.
For some of us, if we catch it early and manage it well a food intolerance does not have to be a life sentence. There are ways and means of healing the gut and body and reintroduction of foods. An elimination diet and gut healing are the first ports of call. Then looking at other things, how are your levels of essential vitamins, minerals and fats in the body? Are you being exposed to mould, dust-mites, pollens or pollution. How good is the quality of your water and indoor air?
For the rest of us? All is not lost.
Your body. Your symptoms. Your plan.
Remember you can gain back control. Sometimes it really is like hunting for a needle in a haystack. But when you find it, it will be worth it. If you cheat and fall back into old habits, you will notice! Your body will show you on no uncertain terms. The process of healing does often involve two steps forward and one step back at times. It’s important to be kind to yourself and view those times as learning moments. As humans we often need a reminder as to why we have changed our life. Usually finding out you have a food intolerance is a step towards healthier eating overall. After a while it is second nature and you find you can make and eat so many wonderful things you hardly miss it. Food intolerance can be a blessing in disguise (wrapped up in a sandwich).