The word “restrictive” is a hot topic in nutrition. How do we feel free to eat if on a restricted diet? How do I eat mindfully without going over board? I am sure these are topics you’ve come across yourself.
Going gluten free wasn’t something I was super excited about. When I first went to see an RD to shadow she recommend I try going gluten free.
My first thought was “I can’t get rid of gluten.”
However, I ended up getting a major IBS flare up. I’m talking bloating, constipation, cramps, and you name it. That’s when I said, “F*ck it” and cut gluten out. Honestly, I am thankful I did.
Not only did I have improved digestion, but it made me look at food differently. I started meal prepping more, trying different meats and vegetables, and doing my own nutrition research. This is when I landed upon paleo.
This is another hot topic, well any diet label is a hot topic. Its as if you’re on a tight rope and if you mess up you can’t label your diet as such. For example, with paleo, I was get anxiety about following it as strictly as others.
Therefore, instead of removing food groups all together (besides gluten) I found better quality items.
I do avoid gluten, soy, and legumes. For dairy, on the other hand, I consume it minimal and ensure it is good quality. I love Siggis 4% plain yogurt, but I have 100% tried the non-dairy ones to see how they fair. With dairy, what about cheese?
When I go out for pizza, I will get the cheese or a lot of the time the gluten free crust has cheese so I will ask for none on top. However, I only get pizza maybe once a month. Knowing that I can have it makes me crave it less. Plus, I don’t have a significant reaction to dairy like I do with gluten or legumes.
The bottom line is if you do have to remove a food group due to allergy/sensitivity or you just want to try a different way of eating you can find modifications.
Cooking and baking your own meals can really open your eyes to what you make. Plus it is a great thing to do with significant others, friends, or family. It is a great skill to have plus it eliminates the feeling of restriction. Life is too short to feel restricted especially by something that fuels your body.