Guest Post: Eating on a Restrictive Diet

My third (and last, I’m coming home today :() guest postah is the cheeky Stephanie from Lunges and Lunch.  I noticed her during one of the #fitblog chats on Twitter and I was like “Hey.  I know her!”  And I do!  She is my good friend Dawn’s friend and roommate from University!  We hung out many times back in the day when I would make the trip to visit Dawn.

Stephers and I have rekindled our romance since we now share a love of blogging.  I already liked Steph, and I immediately fell in love with the creative recipes that are all up in her corner of the internet.  She has to be creative, as she is on a very restrictive diet.  I will let her explain more…

Enjoy!

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Guest Post: Eating on a Restrictive Diet

Hey kids!

It’s Stephanie from Lunges and Lunch and I’m so pumped to be writing a guest post for Lindsey! Woop woop!

(Pssst….Confession: I’ve never done a guest post before. Luckily I know Lindsey has AMAZING readers so I’m incredibly honoured that she asked me to spend the day with you guys.)

Lindz asked me to share with you how to manage a restrictive diet. I spent last year struggling with some major digestive issues that have been painful and exhausting. Something was upsetting my stomach and leaving me constantly sick and fatigued. On top of that, I was getting a distended belly to the point that my mom was convinced I was 4 months pregnant. (There’s a fun conversation for a single gal to have with her mother). As a result, I connected with a naturopath and was placed on an elimination diet.

Basically, it’s a hypoallergenic diet designed to heal the gut and remove any possible allergens. The next step is to slowly reintroduce the potential offenders until you figure out the culprits!

In a nutshell, here are the foods I have to avoid:

  • Dairy
  • Gluten
  • Red meat, pork, sandwich meats, shellfish
  • Soy
  • Mushrooms
  • Peppers
  • Corn
  • Potatoes
  • Sugar (incl. natural sources like maple syrup and honey)
  • Eggs
  • Tomatoes (I’ve reintroduced these)
  • Bananas (I’ve reintroduced these too. phew!)
  • Citrus, melons
  • Strawberries
  • Dried fruits (Unless sulphite-free)
  • Cashews, peanuts, pistachios, salted nuts/seeds
  • Table salt, refined oils
  • Caffeine, alcohol, high sodium vegetable drinks, high refined sugar fruit juices

It’s really not as bad as it seems – I promise!

I Can Still Eat!

But you may be wondering… how do I stick to it?

In the past I’ve talked about how to stay on track mentally, but here’s my worldly wisdom in one simple sentence on how to stay on track in daily practice (You get major nerd points if you were turned off by my excessive use of prepositions).

Make it fun, interesting and enjoyable.

 This applies to any kind of restriction – whether it’s a diet, an allergy, a life choice – people fall off the bandwagon when they‘re in a food rut and don’t enjoy what they’re eating. Yes, food is fuel but it’s definitely meant to be enjoyed too!

 I don’t know where this misconception came from, but people often equate “healthy” with “bland.” People conjure up images of a plate of rice cakes and celery while everyone else is eating ribs and ice cream. This is tres silly.

(source)

Food affects your mood in multiple ways. Nutritious food makes your body feel better. But yummy food makes your mind and soul feel better. And who says you can’t combine the two? (Seriously – who. I’ll kick them).

Unexciting foods create pity parties, which create “fall of the bandwagon” parties, which  in turn create larger pity parties. It’s a vicious cycle and you can totally bypass it by making foods you love.

I can honestly say I don’t miss ice cream cake when I have raw chocolate cookies to munch on…

And I don’t miss french toast when I have a crazy delicious smoothie bowl on my mind for breakfast.

And who has the time for ribs when there’s a delicious chickpea burger calling my name?!

Yeah, I Know it's Flattering...

My biggest tip for success is to own your restrictions. You control your diet, not the other way around. You’re not being punished – instead you’re choosing to make a happier, healthier you. And that can be pretty darn empowering.

Sure it can be challenging being gluten-free and 95% vegan (I dabble in chicken) but the effort of having to bring my own food and explaining it to others is always worth it. I just remind myself that nothing is worth sacrificing my health and happiness. I know what makes me feel best and that’s the biggest motivator of all.

YAY!

 So remember that you matter, you’re worth it and good health is a gift you give to yourself and those around you.

Thanks for taking the time to hang out with me today, guys! And thanks to Lindsey for letting me be a part of her amazing blog and its fabulous readers. J

Make it a good day!

Stephanie

xoxo

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10 responses to “Guest Post: Eating on a Restrictive Diet

  1. love that you made the distincition that you weren’t being punished and that you were doing YOUR own thing and you were making the decisions–which meant you’d be happier and healthier.

    I won’t lie–when I hear restrictive diet–I run for the hills.

  2. Good post steph! That sucks (to me) that you have to avoid so many foods but it is amazing the attitude you keep! When I cut out gluten for a while I felt like i was being sooooo deprived. I had the worst attitude and I couldn’t stand watching my boyfriend eating croissants while I stood by. THANKFULLY when I re-introduced I had no problems but I think I would have been able to handle it if I had stayed as positive as you! Props.

    • Thanks so much, girl. I really appreciate the support. There are definitely moments when I feel deprived or have a pity party. But at the end of the day it’s not cheating on a diet where I have more of a choice – my body HATES me when I eat gluten and I pay for it afterwards. I play the tape to the end and choose if it’s worth it. Girls night out? Bring on the booze and pizza lol. Night before a job interview? Make friends with veggies 😉

      xo

  3. What a fantastic post. I love your positive attitude and many of the things you have said have really stuck with me – “Nutritious food makes your body feel better. But yummy food makes your mind and soul feel better” this is one I really need to remember.

    I have a food allergy and after 18 months of appointments and several hospital visits the doctors still can’t work out what is causing it. Maybe I should go an see a naturopath and see if that helps!

    • Thanks so much, Jane!

      Your journey sounds so difficult. I totally know how frustrating it is to not have control over your body and to feel sick all the time. You could definitely try the elimination diet – it’s not easy but is a pretty good way of indicating what your body dislikes. If you want more info about it, just give me a shout at lungesandlunch@gmail.com. I’m not a doctor, but as of mid-August I’ll be a Registered Holistic Nutrionist 🙂

  4. Great post! I agree, keeping things interesting is what matters most when eating on any kind of restrictive diet. I’m so very impressed that you’re able to eat such delicious and exciting foods when having to cut so much out of your diet. Way to go!

  5. Pingback: Reunited, and it Feels so Good! | Happy or Hungry

  6. I loved your post. What a crazy diet. Good for you for finding fun things to eat and for keeping a positive attitude. I recently found out I have a chronic health problem and I had to give up things I loved. I found once I stopped with the pity party and found ways to still enjoy doing things I loved, I was much happier. I did have to give up things I loved but I focused on new things to make me happy. Then once I got pregnant it all got better for a while. Something to look forward to if you have kids!

  7. Thanks so much, Lexy!

    I don’t have kids, but I do definitely want some. It’s hard to make that adjustment but you’re right that it’s about happiness for sure 🙂

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