I’ve had some interesting adventures in the supermarket and the kitchen the last few weeks. I recently made a wholehearted decision to cut gluten, nuts, dairy and soy from my diet. That goes along with the caffeine and fast food I cut out about a month or so ago, and regrettably, most chocolate.
For the last few months, I’ve been fighting a bacterial infection in my stomach (h pylori) that’s started to cause food sensitivities. This has been a huge struggle for me because I’ve never had food allergies. Although I’ve always had a sensitive stomach, there really wasn’t anything I couldn’t eat until recently. Aside from the sensitivities, certain things, like gluten, sugar and chocolate, only help the bacteria grow.
When we suspected some of my symptoms might be food allergies mixed in with symptoms of acid reflux, I was overwhelmed. It started to feel like there was nothing I could eat without becoming ill. Aside from small potential allergic reactions, eating in general made my stomach upset anyway.
Once I got over the shock this weekend of having to cut out soy, I decided to make the best of it. I’ve had many people ask me what I can eat since I’ve cut out so many foods that are known to cause allergies. That was my heart’s cry in the beginning, too. Sometimes (like yesterday), I find myself asking God why this is happening to me and why I have to go through this.
But I discovered that by going back to the basics — mainly organic, fresh, non-GMO foods — I’ve started to feel better. I still have symptoms, but I’m not as sensitive to food and don’t feel quite as sick after eating.
My body is still adjusting because I used to consume massive amounts of sugar every day and loads of caffeine. I built the habit in college, and it stuck until recently. It was a really unfortunate habit to have that led me to be a not-so-great steward of my body.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been learning a lot more about food (like how soy is in pretty much everything) and spending more time in the kitchen making my own meals from scratch. Sometimes I regret not being able to eat out anymore, but I actually crave healthy foods more often now. I often snack on organic apples or carrots.
I’m learning that there are so many ingredients (chemicals) in our foods that do absolutely nothing beneficial for our bodies. By consuming more chemicals than nutrients, I was hardly giving my body a fighting chance to heal and be healthy.
This diet isn’t permanent, but I’m already collecting cookbooks and recipes that fall under my category of “safe” foods. I think even when I’m over the infection and my digestive system returns to normal, I’ll still take extra caution with what I cook. Plus, it’s interesting learning about all the substitutions you can make in baking and still have recipes turn out!
How do you approach nutrition? If you have food allergies, how do you cope with them? I’d even love to hear about some of your favorite recipes!