It’s Not About The Food It’s About The People
If you’re autoimmune or if you have a chronic illness, you almost always have food restrictions, and it matters what you eat! You have to remember that when you go out to eat you shouldn’t be eating from the whole menu. You know the few foods that you can have and if there isn’t anything on the menu that fits your restrictions you ask your waiter to modify some of the meals. An excellent tip to remember is that you’re not going out for amazing food you’re going out for fulfilling conversation. Going out to eat is a way to spend time with friends and family and be a part of the community.
One common problem when going out to eat with food restrictions is that we get all emotional about it. People often feel embarrassed or like a “pain in the ass” because they can’t eat the same things that everyone else can. Remember that you have a bigger agenda than just fitting in and drinking the same beer as everyone around you. You have the agenda of connecting with the people you love. Just because you can’t eat the same foods or drink the same drinks doesn’t mean you don’t still get to belong. But when you are choosing the food/drinks that are right for you, it means you get to belong with integrity instead of belonging because you sell yourself out.
Is The Food Worth The Pain?
If you eat pizza because everyone else is eating pizza, but you know for the next two days you’re going to be miserable it steals some of the joy of being with your friends. If you want to continue going out with friends and not feel like your food restrictions are robbing you of your life, you have to be honest about what you can and can’t have.
Making the tough decisions to say no to the food you want allows you to feel good the rest of the evening and the next day. What happens when you say screw it and eat the wrong foods then the next day when you’re in pain you feel regret. You don’t want to regret a beautiful night out with friends or family. Once you accept and embrace your food restrictions, you’ll be able to go out with friends more often because it nourishes your soul without costing your body.
You Can Be A “Foodie” With Food Restrictions
What about when you love food?? What do you do when some of your favorite foods your body says, “nope can’t eat that anymore.” How do we deal with this because all people tend to focus on is what they have lost? If you’re a foodie and you appreciate good food, but your whole diet goes away when you can’t have wheat or cheese any more than by definition you’re not a foodie.
If you’re a foodie with food restrictions, you have to embrace trying new things, try different spices and new recipes, and focus on broadening your experience. When you embrace being a real foodie and trying foods from different cultures, you get to enhance your diet without the pain of the same old foods that bother you. There are so many fantastic restaurants out there, and sometimes we get so stuck going to the same five because we know what we like and what we always get. I challenge you to explore new menus and different restaurants and encourage your friends to join you or go by yourself!
It’s Always YOUR Choice
There is a sense of shame, loss, fear, misery, and other negative emotions that come along with someone telling you no. Now it’s not your doctors telling you no it’s your own body telling you no. When this happens, we tend to get pissy about it. As you adjust to having food restrictions, and you start to figure out what it takes to be healthy; you have to decide if you want to live a life full of doing things because you feel good and you have the energy. Or are you going to live by just choosing at the moment damn the consequences I’ll feel bad the next couple of days? When you make a choice to live a vibrant life and feel good, that is when your life expands when you have those restrictions.
Here’s To A Better Life,
Dr. Steve Puckette