With food allergies, you still have lots of options

Running out of food!

If you’re part of the 15 million Americans affected by food allergies or intolerances, you might be like me: running out of choices at the grocery store.

Now, I’m pretty creative. I’ll put anything leftover together and make a meal out of it. Last week I had beans in chili sauce with leftover rice. The week before, tofu, orange pepper and zuchinni. Healthy, but makeshift and easily tired of. But the last two weeks have been a struggle as I have been whittled down to even less options than usual. My body has begun rejecting the following:

Grapes
Melons
Most meat (especially red meat)
Lunch meat
Most dairy (Can have small increments with lactose digestive pill)
All gluten: cookies, crackers, most cereals, most frozen meals (even organic!), some salad dressings, most soups, most baking mixes, all flavoring packets, some seasonings, all gravy, pizza, bread, snacks (pretzels, chips).
All chocolate (personal choice for April, but I feel incredibly healthy without it)
Most refined sugar (including Gluten free breads, crackers, cookies, pretzels, etc.!)

*When I say ‘most’, it means I can have one or two of the dozens available.

image

So… what’s left?

Tofu.
Veggies.
Shrimp.
Beans.

Woo. Freaking. Hoo. There’s more, obviously. But not much! (And after taking away the chocolate,  what’s left really?) But seriously… I have been so hungry lately! And shopping totally organic is #1, expensive, and #2, some of that stuff is not food. It’s edible-ish cardboard, made to resemble food. My palette has certainly adapted to a lot of it, but with an increased appetite and metabolism thanks to my Tri Sprint training, this girl is hungry. And theres only so much you can do with cardboard.

I know I’m not alone. 15 million of us, remember? So pass this on to friends and family afflicted with digestive problems… the following are 10 years of tried and true healthful living tips-slash-resources:

*Don’t use cheat days. It sucks watching everyone else enjoy their peanut m&ms and their chocolately delicious cupcakes, but you’ll be 500 calories healthier and feel a whole ton lighter.

*mywholefoodlife.com – by far the best and most varied set of recipes available for the likes of you and me. It’ll even help you create your grocery lists!

*Elena’s Pantry food blog. For the gluten free among us, she will teach you things about your condition in layman’s terms, and she’ll make you feel like its normal to be gluten free.

*Flax 4 Life products. Addicting brownies for your gluten goodie cravings.

*Make lemon and coconut your new best friends.

*Find me Gluten Free app. Best app for traveling, you’ll find GF restaurants no matter where you are. Takes the stress away from travelimg with non-GF peeps. With this app, it’s easy to find a happy medium.

*Accept it. Find a way to remember how healthy you feel, how much energy you have, and have much better your life is. Think of how much you’re able to do now that half your life isn’t spent in the bathroom. My husband *loves* to offer me Gluten treats as a joke. Ha. Ha. But when I think about being 89 lbs, too weak to workout, constant stomachaches, and not enjoying life in general, I just throw the Cheez-it back in his face. I am healthy.  I am happy. I am easier to live with. I can reach my fullest potential because I have the energy to do so.

Sometimes I get to belly-aching about having to avoid more then 3/4 of the grocery store.  But more often than not I thank God for making me who I am. Because I am strong and able. I am healthy and free,  physically,  emotionally and spiritually. My life until I knew about my food intolerances was good. My life from now on will be amazing. Making up for lost time? Maybe. Living to the fullest? Absolutely.

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