Where I am now compared to 2 years ago is completely different. I healed most of my health and gut issues which means I am able to enjoy previous off limits foods (as in I could not tolerate them).
Before I share my tips on where I am at now, I just want to say no journey looks the same. We may have similar stories or health issues but what my body can or cannot tolerate may be totally different than yours. I suggest taking the time to understand what food works best for you.
Lastly, there is hope. I came such a long way. There was a season of not being able to go out to eat anywhere, or staying home so I could be near a bathroom at all times. I truly believe, if we take the time to allow our bodies to heal, nourish it with nutrient dense food, sleep, and conduct adequate movement, healing is on the other side. Hold onto hope and keep fighting because my story is a testament that healing is possible and it will not last forever.
- Do an elimination diet- If you have never done one, it is a stellar way to understand what food is best for you. I did one even after I healed most of my gut issues and I discovered bad stomach pain after eating eggs. Once I eliminated those, I realized some of my prolonged gut issues were because of eggs. An elimination diet is really to help us discover if our body is reacting to certain foods. It is not meant to be long term.
- Figure out what are your “hard no’s” and your “sometimes”. Basically, I do not need to be paleo 100% of the time. My body can tolerate white rice and I enjoy it so is a “sometimes”. Corn on the other hand still causes bad bloating and other issues so that is a “hard no”.
- Remember it is a lifestyle not a diet- As my body healed from a significant amount of my health issues, I did not have to be as strict with food as I used to be. I still believe in fueling my body with nutrient dense food which tends to align more with a paleo diet. However, I still enjoy non paleo foods. Make sure you are doing something sustainable and can be lasting. If your favorite food is corn chips and your body tolerates them, I would not restrict yourself from them. Focus on nutrient dense foods but you can still enjoy deviations from time to time.
- Be honest with your weakness and plan according- I love salt, (I am actually more of a salt lover than a sweet lover). Going to a Mexican restaurant where they serve chips and salsa is a good way to cause pain later. If going out for Mexican food, I pack my own chips. I still enjoy the salsa and guac with everyone but do not cause myself serious stomach pain.
- Stop punishing yourself- There have been times when I ate a big dinner with dessert and thought to myself- “I’ll just eat less tomorrow”. Yet, no matter how much I eat today, my body still needs to eat tomorrow. Food is fuel and medicine for our bodies. I am relearning how I think of food, and how I view myself in light of the food I eat. I want to feel good so I fuel my body accordingly but I also want to enjoy an apple crisp from time to time. I do both but without the shame and guilt I used to put on myself.