The last two months on my new food sensitivities diet has been very interesting, and at times, extremely challenging. Still it’s been worth every day of being on it. Here’s why.
The positives to my food sensitivities diet
I feel so much better. While I’ve had some episodes of heartburn and bloating, it’s not a daily occurrence now that I’m eating around my food sensitivities. Also, it’s not a mystery when it does happen, like the other night when my husband and I went out for Japanese food. Asian is usually a safe cuisine for me, but by the time we got home a few hours later, I was ill. Then I remembered that most inexpensive brands of soy sauce have wheat in them. Next time, I’ll bring my own soy sauce.
More energy. Besides the lack of tummy pain, an increase in energy has been the biggest benefit of my new food sensitivity diet. I’ve never been an energetic person and am usually in need of a nap. Since I’ve been avoiding foods I’m sensitive to, I have seen a noticeable increase in energy even if I’ve suffered a night of insomnia.
Lessened sugar cravings. Before I went on my food sensitivities diet I would be dying for something sweet by 10 am. This pattern would often repeat itself in the afternoon. And my cravings were never satiated, even if I ate a large chocolate bar.
I no longer get those maddening cravings. Maybe it’s because I feel more energetic, and don’t feel the need for an energy boost from a sugary snack. While I still like to have something sweet after a meal, I’m no longer craving sugary sweets around the clock.
Feeling fuller sooner and for longer. I’m amazed how much quicker I feel full at meals. I feel satisfied for longer amounts of time, too. I often have breakfast bu 7:30 am and sometimes don’t feel hungry until 2 pm. I do try to eat earlier though since going that long between meals isn’t a good idea. Most experts feel you should have something to eat every four to five hours.
It’s fun! As a food blogger who loves to cook, I love the challenge of making new recipes and figuring out different ways to cook old favorites. I also love exploring the shelves at health food store for gluten free, milk free and sugar free foods. I’ve purchased new allergy free cookbooks and started reading vegan and gluten free blogs. My food sensitivities have opened new culinary worlds for me.
The negatives to my food sensitivities diet
Eating out is a challenge. I know I can’t avoid everything on my “don’t eat” list, so I try to minimize my expose to foods I’m sensitive to. I know if I go out for Mexican food, everything will have cumin on it, which is on my “slightly sensitive” list. So, I eat around it by ordering a lean protein like shrimp, avoid the beans, cheese, chips and tortillas completely, and load up on rice and vegetables. Still, I haven’t been entirely successful and did have a bit of heartburn the last time we went out.
Frankly, it’s frustrating when you sit down with a large menu and find that you can only have one or two things on it. I’ve noticed that I do better at higher end restaurants where they cook to order, make everything from scratch, and use local and super fresh ingredients. Usually it’s very easy for them to make a substitution, too.
Traveling is even more challenging. I’ve learned to pack my own snacks and bring them with me on the plane or to the hotel. Even so, I’ve been pleasantly surprised what I’ve found available at the airport.
Denver International Airport has a Japanese restaurant in the United terminal where I can get spring rolls, and a Quiznos in the Frontier terminal, where I can order a salad and ask that bread and cheese not be added to it.
La Guardia Airport has an incredible selection of healthy and gluten free food choices at the food court in Terminal D. They carry Vida Coco all natural coconut water, unsalted almonds, and fresh fruit. They also sell Nana’s Cookies, which are gluten, egg and sugar free. (They’re sweetened with fruit juices.) I tried Nana’s chocolate and ginger cookies, which were tasty, though a little gritty.
At the Detroit airport, I ate rice and sashimi for breakfast at Sora, a Japanese restaurant in the Delta terminal. A little expensive but it hit the spot.
My next flight is to New Jersey. Since I’m staying most of the time with friends and work colleagues, I’ll be bringing a suitcase filled with Lundberg Hot 'n Creamy Purely Organic Rice Cereal, Edward & Sons Baked Brown Rice Snaps, fruit, Rice Dream, Food For Life Whole Grain Brown Rice Gluten-Free Tortillas, packets of Justin’s nut butters, Back to Nature trail mix, and dried fruit. If I have time, I’ll be stopping at the Whole Foods in Red Bank, NJ to buy some vegan soy and rice cheeses before I take the train up to Boston. (My favorites are Vegan Gourmet’s soy cheeses and Lisanatti Foods RiceCheeze. Galaxy Foods rice cheeses are good in a pinch, but a bit crumbly when sliced.)
I haven’t lost any weight. After reading, Your Hidden Food Allergies Are Making You Fat : The ALCAT Food Sensitivities Weight Loss Breakthrough, I was hoping for some weight loss. However, people keep telling me I look slimmer, which might be due to the Pilates reformer classes I’m taking. Still, since I’m not bloated my clothes are fitting better.
I miss beer. But I’ve discovered that there are all kinds of wonderful sakes out there. One of my favorites is Moonstone Coconut Lemongrass Sake, which tastes like a very dry pina colada. You drink it cold like wine.
Cooking two different meals each night is a pain. I cook “normal” for my family and “special” for me, which is time consuming. Still there are ways around it. When I make risotto, I let everyone add grated Parmesan cheese to their own portions. That way the dish isn’t “poisoned” with something I can’t have. I also cook up large batches of congee and Tinkyada rice noodles for me to reheat as a main or side dish. Also, I usually have a rotisserie chicken, eggs or ham slices in the refrigerator for a quick portion of protein.
Since I feel so much better, I’m convinced eating around my food sensitivities is working. It’s worth the added expense, the planning and the extra cooking.
If you have food sensitivities, what changes have you noticed since you’ve eliminated them from your diet?