The topic of owning our food sensitivities manifested itself in numerous conversations this week, between clients, friends and then finally my own inner dialogue in my journal, it was just bursting to come out! I wanted to out myself with this little instagram note, stating all my negative food reactions and also use it as a reminder to myself on a daily basis why I actively choose to not incorporate those things into my diet. I often recommend tools similar to this to some of my coaching clients when we are food-mood journaling and going through the discovery process of finding which foods work with our bodies and which foods cause negative reactions in us but last night I made this for myself for a reason beyond just reminding myself how gluten, sugar, and dairy effect me. I made this to empower me when I have to talk to the people in my life about my dietary preferences.
How many of you have felt judgement or the need to explain yourself when you start taking the food that bothers you out of your diet? I know I have! It’s actually one of my biggest stressors to be perfectly honest. I hate having to explain or defend myself to certain people in my life every time I order from a menu. You wouldn’t attack or questions someone who’s allergic for nuts for asking the restaurant if there’s nuts in an entree, then why would you roll your eyes if someone asks if there’s sugar or gluten or dairy, etc? To that same point, you wouldn’t feel like you needed to apologize for having a nut allergy so don’t feel like you need to apologize for choosing not to eat food that doesn’t make you feel good! Trust me I know how hard this can be, I’ve watched clients struggle with it and it’s certainly come up time and time again in my life so I wanted to give you 3 tools today to really start owning your food sensitivities that I’m also going to be incorporating into my daily life!
3 TOOLS FOR OWNING YOUR FOOD SENSITIVITIES
1. TREAT IT LIKE AN ALLERGY. A food sensitivity is really an allergy of sorts anyway it’s just not always severe enough to send you to the hospital or lead you to popping a ton of Benadryl so your throat doesn’t close up. However, when you eat food that’s not working for your body, there is a very real reaction going on! Get clear on your symptoms, use tools like writing them down in your phone, as a graphic like mine or on an index card you carry in your purse so that when you’re tempted to eat them you are reminded of the consequences and can make a healthier choice for your body.
2. TALK ABOUT IT LIKE AN ALLERGY. When people ask you why you’re not eat X, instead of saying,”well everyone knows that X is not good for you, I read this article saying that if you eat X then yada yada yada insert whatever horrible things may be associated with X.” make it personal to you and say,” I don’t eat X because I have a really negative reaction to it, I experience X, Y, and Z symptoms and just feel better when I leave it out of my diet.” The power of this lies not only in owning your truth and prioritizing your well-being but also in letting the person off the hook. When we make something “bad” that the other person might consume, they immediately feel defensive or even guilty and that’s a lose-lose. When you make it about yourself and what happens for you, it’s genuine, approachable and much more effective at communicating your message with out making the other person feel judged.
3. PLANNING AHEAD. I think the worst part of not eating foods for me is when you go to a party or a restaurant and you have a really tough time ordering off the menu or finding something you can eat. It’s not that I actually mind, it’s more that I feel bad that everyone else now feels terrible because I can’t eat! So to side-step this I always look up new restaurants and check out what items off the menu I can order ahead of time or even call up and see if they offer a vegan option, steamed veggies, etc. Most places are more than happy to accommodate but figuring it out ahead of time makes everything a little smoother when your sitting down ready to enjoy dinner. I also love bringing food whenever someone invites me to a gathering, I love to cook and share my food so it’s genuinely fun for me but it’s also a good way to know that there’s always at least one thing I can eat at the party!
I hope these tools prove to be useful to you, I know they have really helped my life tremendously. And at the end of the day, you just got to OWN IT! You are such a magnificent, enlightened being that’s doing the best you possibly can to be your highest self and to take care of your physical and mental wellbeing and that is a beautiful thing. Stand in that presence, in that greatness, in that light and truth. Don’t let other’s opinions or negativity bring you down. More than likely, if there judging you it’s because they are not as far along the path as you are and seeing you show up for yourself like that reminds them of the work they need to do for themselves.
Sending you peace, love and light my GSS girls! xo!