So many people have reached out to me since I wrote my article, CHANGING MY FOOD, CHANGED MY LIFE. Usually people want to know exactly what I did, because it’s such an overwhelming experience.
1. How did you get started?
I always get asked how I got started. I didn’t immediately leave the doctor’s office & go gluten, dairy & soy free. To be honest, I was on the verge of tears at the very notion of turning my food life upside down. So I started with HOW. How am I going to do this? What sorts of things can I eat? Do I have a program I can follow that maps it out for me?
Fortunately, I had recently become a member of the Tone It Up community & knew that their nutrition plan came with a gluten free option. I downloaded their gluten free meal plan, read over their menus, grocery lists & started making my shopping list. As of this publication, you can purchase their latest plan for $48. Worth.Every.Penny.
2. Do I ever “cheat?”
I did not stray from the dietary changes in the first 6 months. I wanted to be 100% sure that this was going to work and I knew I wouldn’t know if I had allowed anything in my diet that wasn’t supposed to be there. This meant no pizza at play-dates, no cake, no sneaking anything on my plate off the menu while eating out. I know it sounds hard, but I promise it’s worth it!
Two years later, I have figured out how to modify. For example, I eat organic butter without issues. I can get away with baking with Greek yogurt in muffins. I can eat cake on my kids’ birthdays (or my birthday!) But I have to make sure that I only eat those kinds of foods a small percentage of the time, otherwise I start to feel bad again. For example, I love cake. I never want to go backwards & be sick again, so I eliminate those things except on special occasions.
3. Did you get sick when you first went off gluten, dairy & soy?
Yes & no. For the most part, I was just frustrated re-learning how I used & viewed food. But, my anxiety did go through the roof while coming off gluten. And anytime gluten is reintroduced to my diet, the anxiety comes back like crazy. Just ask my husband & sister about the infamous day of the Pokémon cards. It was a crazy morning, just take my word for it. Once I realized it was a reaction to gluten leaving my system, I was able to deal with it so much better. That was honestly my only “bad” reaction.
4. Do I still drink alcohol?
Yes, I have 3 children. HA! Totally joking. To be honest, I didn’t really drink much to begin with before all of this. And if I did, it was only socially. Beer was always my go to, but I don’t drink it anymore. I’ve heard there are some really good gluten free beers, but I haven’t tried them. I will do some red wine occasionally when out to dinner or at family holidays. Alcohol isn’t something that I felt like was making me sick, so it wasn’t much of a focus. But beer did go away.
5. Do I make my whole family eat this way?
No. Granted, I am the primary cook. So what I cook, they can eat or they can not. Their choice, but I’m not going to make something different. That being said, I will add things I know that my entire family likes & make single servings of things for me. For example, when I make a chicken meat ball recipe, I will make the same meatballs for everyone, but I will make the family whole wheat noodles but I will eat zuchinni noodles or cauliflower rice. Everyone is served a healthy marinara sauce. The family might also have some rolls, but I skip out on those.
6. Do you ever eat bread?
Yes! I now make all of my own bread in a bread machine. Don’t think I’m fancy, it’s super easy. I pour some stuff in the machine, hit a few buttons, & voila, homemade bread. I do eat dessert on special occasions a few times a year, but that’s it.
7. Does it ever get easier?
YES!!! A thousand times YES! I don’t even notice that I eat differently than I did a few years ago. My family has assimilated to the changes, my food habits are completely different. My go to “junk food” snack is now protein balls with dark chocolate chips made out of oats, flax seeds, protein powder, honey & peanut butter. Two years ago, it would have been a coke with a snickers bar. I’ve come a long way since then!
Have you made any major dietary changes that were hard?? How did you do it??