|look at all those veggies, yum!|
In my last post I filled you in on my new found food allergies. When I tell people that I have them, I get one of two responses.
1) Really? Me too! You should really try this product/blog/website/store.
2) That sucks. I'm so sorry for you.
When I engage in conversation with person #1 we usually end up talking way too long, however, there is a great over abundance in sharing of information. What works, what doesn't work, etc? It's great to learn from others and get recommendations on good finds. I also enjoy knowing I'm not in this alone (not that I ever thought I was), but it's always helpful to have friends that you can talk to about these things.
Said second person is a little trickier. At first I would respond with a "yeah, I know, right?" But I don't anymore because I don't think there is anything sucky about having food allergies. In fact, the way I see it...
...I'm taking control of my my diet in order to heal my body and become a healthier, happier person.
What's so sucky about that? Given that I'm a baked goods, pizza loving, bagel fan, it was a little tough to stomach at first. But the more I researched about the types of products that are used in my favorite foods, the easier it began to give them up. It seemed so natural to cut the unnatural out. It also made me rethink my relationship and attachment to food, but let's leave that for another post!
Case in point, after learning I was allergic to gluten, soy, corn, cow's milk dairy, peanut, walnuts and a bevy of other products, I had a "working lunch" to attend. My colleagues decided to order Chipotle that day, one of my favorite places. So, I thought, I can do this. No problem! I just won't have the sour cream or cheese and I should be good, right?
Wrong. Since I'm trying to be really good about what I eat, I decided to check out the allergen information on the Chipotle website and was shocked to find out that almost all of the "gluten-free" foods have a soy derived ingredient in them. The website says that "refined soybean oil is excluded as a major allergen." While I may be okay with the soy derivative, I didn't want to take any chances. I'm trying to clean up my system as much as possible, so taking in anything that's not 100% free of allergens doesn't make sense at this point. Besides, what is soy doing in my rice, beans and vegetables? Yes, they probably use the soybean oil to cook the rice, beans and vegetables, but considering there are a plethora of people allergic to soy, do they have to use soybean oil? No sir. Not for me. I packed my lunch that day and was much happier for it.
For me, it boils down to this.
If I want to get healthy and heal, I've got to nourish my body with foods that will help the process, not slow it down or hinder it.
In the same way that yoga teaches us that we have the power to change our thought patterns, we also learn to cultivate awareness around our words and actions. This involves making better, healthier food choices. You want to feel like junk, then eat junk. You want to feel healthy, vibrant, and happy, then eat healthy, vibrant, clean foods. It's that simple. So, yes, saying goodbye to Chipotle was a little bittersweet, but I know my gut will be much happier in the long run.
I feel empowered in my life by making proper food choices.
Knowing that I have a choice in my healing process makes me reach for the home cooked meals more than the takeout foods. Not only that, but my passion for cooking has been reignited so I want to cook at home more because I know the food is good for me. I have a fire in my belly to learn more about the healing qualities of food as well as the not so kosher practices plaguing the food industry today. Also keep in mind that what's working for me may or may not work for you or the next person. Everyone has to find their own way. This is my personal experience on this new adventure. Some days I feel overwhelmed and like I'm just at the starting line of this journey and on other days I feel like I'm well ahead of the pack, but if you haven't noticed by now, I'm running this race called life I intend to go the distance.
What healthy food choices have you made recently? Have you learned about a food allergy and made a switch? What healthy eating practices do you use when eating out?