Struggling To Tolerate Your Food Intolerance? Steps To Get Your Love of Food Flourishing Again
If you love food, then being told you have a food intolerance is an unpleasant experience.
You begin to imagine a world where everything is denied to you. All the foods that you love - gone. Well, gone unless you are willing to suffer the consequences on your body. It can quickly begin to feel depressing.
This may sound flippant, but it's true: people diagnosed with food intolerances, allergies or Celiac Disease go through a period of struggling to cope. Suddenly, they feel denied. You can no longer just go and grab something off a stall in an organic market for convenience while out for the day. You can't go on a road trip and not know where you're going to eat at the start of the day, because you need to know exactly where you can avoid the ingredient that's causing you problems.
Yes, food intolerances and Celiac are physical issues, but they do take a significant toll on your mental health too.
If you want to retain your love of food without a key component that you used to eat, then it is possible. Here are a few ideas to get you going and finding your feet as a food fan with a food problem.
Step One: Find Your Safe Limits
When it comes to eating out, it helps to know what's safe. Compile a list of restaurants that can accommodate your issue, or at least have menu options you know are safe. If you go out of town a lot, look for national chains you can do this with also.
It helps to do this in the kitchen, too. If you use a lot of pre-made ingredients, spend an afternoon going through them all and determining what you can and can't eat. You should end up with a Safe List of around 100 items, both restaurants, and the items you buy for yourself.
Step Two: Make Your Substitutions
If you're going gluten free, then you may think this is the end of your life eating flour, but not so. Options such as coconut or almond flour can allow you to continue to bake without upsetting your digestion. The same applies if you are lactose intolerant - with this, if you're a cheese fan, switch to vegan cheese. It tends to be more readily available, tastes great and doesn't contain anything that will pose a problem.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. The substitutions are available for almost every conceivable intolerance.
Step Three: Increase Your Food Budget
It doesn't have to be by a massive amount, but the above substitutions tend to cost more money. Of course, this feels unfair - like you are being taxed for having a health issue. But at least if you know about it and can anticipate it when setting your monthly budget, then you won't find yourself being surprised and not having the funds you need to eat well for your health.
Adjusting to a diagnosis of a food intolerance isn't an easy road, but it's not the end for your love of food. If anything, you now have more room to experiment - so try and make the most of the substitutions and find new foods you adore.