Posted by Robyn Harmon on April 26, 2017 at 2:30 PM
In part 1, I explained what a food intolerance is and all about the foods most likely to cause one. click here if you missed it.
Often, new patients seek Dr. Rosen's help because of ailments caused by undiagnosed food intolerances. When they realize their treatment plan includes a trial of food elimination, some have a lot of questions and don't know how to begin. Lynne and I are always happy to answer any questions. Having food intolerances myself, I can easily empathize with the frustrations involved in such a big change. Keep reading to learn how you can successfully avoid the foods you need to for better health. And don't worry, your meals can still be simple to prepare, enjoyable and delicious. Here are some tips to get you started.
- Go online. There are tons of blogs devoted to healthy eating and many are focused on GF/DF living. You can find supportive message boards, free recipes and helpful advice. Pinterest is my favorite source for inspiration.
- Make substitutions. Try some non-gluten grains in your next meal, such as rice, quinoa, millet or teff. Coconut milk ice cream is just as delicious. Corn and soy are often used in unhealthy vegetable oils, so use olive, flax, coconut or avocado instead.
- Limit processed foods. Since most grocery stores now have a gluten free section, crackers, breads, pancakes mixes and cookies are easily found. Be aware that GF does not mean low calorie or low carb, so don't exchange one unhealthy habit for another. Often, GF snacks contain even more calories and sugar. Instead, see this as an opportunity to experiment with new healthier options.
- Find friends. Chances are you know someone else who is food intolerant, and I bet they would love to share their expertise. Enlist their help by asking about favorite cookbooks, restaurants and baking tips. Test some new recipes for them, or take them out to lunch to observe how they order. Or call me!
- Be prepared. Plan a complete week of meals and snacks. Having healthy, easy to grab food in the house might stop you from eating those stale crackers from the back of the cabinet. Carb and sugar cravings are real, and it takes time for your body to adjust to a diet naturally lower in sugar. Preparation will make this transition easier.
- Get cooking. Make as many of your own meals as possible, since this is the only way to know what's really in your food. For best results, strict avoidance of a food is recommended, so try to eat at home so you won't be tempted by menu items. For me, this is how I learned to really cook, and I grew to love the creativity involved.
- Ask questions. Seriously, servers today are used to this. As long as you're polite and patient, most wait staff won't mind taking extra time to help you. Remember to make sure that there are no hidden ingredients in sauces, dressings or seasonings. If options are limited, most restaurants have a salad that can be customized.
The fact is that certain foods can cause health issues, which is why many new patients are advised to start a trial of elimination. While some are eager to proceed, others are reluctant to change their typical diet. It may be difficult at first, but soon eating will become routine. Best of all, you will have made a positive change to the benefit of your health.
I often hear the phrase, "Life is short. Eat the cake." To this I say, "Life is short. Don't eat the cake."
Why spend your days tired, bloated and constipated? For those of use with food intolerance, not eating the cake is the true reward.
For questions or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Rosen, call (541) 388-3804.