Can You Have Food Freedom?

So my last post was all about eating delicious foods at new restaurants.  This post is all about juice cleansing, the complete opposite!  Continue on though, I promise it is worth the quick read.

Even though I am all about #foodfreedom, I have to avoid gluten and dairy for digestive reasons.  In high school, I was diagnosed with IBS and the only thing that helped was changing my diet and learning how to deal with stress.  From high school to my mid 20's, I ate very little dairy and significantly reduced my sugar intake.  About a year ago, I found out gluten was not working for me either.  I remember one week I was extremely tired, my brain was foggy, and my stomach started getting IBS cramps again.  I thought to myself, "Oh heck no, ain't nobody got time for that!"  

Needless to say, I eliminated gluten for a week and then added it back in.  The IBS cramps came back as soon as I ate gluten (which sadly was my favorite brand of bread) and from then on, I've decided to stay away from it most of the time.

On a positive note, I am only sensitive and not allergic (at least I don't think I am - I definitely want to get tested eventually but that is for another day).  Since I am only sensitive, my stomach can handle a little bit of gluten, but if I continuously eat it (as in at least once a week), my gut starts to hate me.

For over a month, I've been too busy enjoying life in a new city and exploring all the good food spots to worry about the gluten content in certain dishes.  All had been well and good until recently.  Late last week, I went out for a burger with some friends (side note - it snowed a lot in North Carolina last week and we had been cooped up inside for 48 hours, it was time for a burger).  When ordering my burger, which by the way was called The Basic (#yaass), I totally forgot to order a gluten free bun.  I chose to roll with it, thinking one bun will not hurt me.

Oh my gosh.  Bad decision.  That night and all day Friday, my body was sending me all the signals - brain fog, fatigue, stomach cramps, breakouts, and major bloating.  My body was pissed at me.  I think I finally sent it over the edge with the delicious burger bun (no regrets...well kinda).  

Sometimes the fact that my gut dislikes gluten frustrates me.  I preach food freedom and it totally sucks when you literally cannot eat certain foods without feeling pain.  I know there are a lot of you who struggle with finding food freedom amidst a food sensitivity or food allergy.  I totally get it.  I wish I could eat all the bread, pasta, and baked goods and still feel good physically.  

But I can't.  And for those of you who suffer from anything similar, neither can you.

The freedom I've discovered though is in owning our choices and knowing why we choose to eat or not eating something.  Switching our mentality from "I can't eat that" to "I can eat that but I'm choosing not to because I don't want to feel bloated today" will change your outlook on your food sensitivity or allergy.

Food freedom also means choosing to eat that specific food despite knowing your body will not react in a positive way.  Of course, this is different for anyone who suffers from a major food allergy or autoimmune issue - but some of us can make that choice to eat something and know that we will have to deal with a negative side effect.  

Food freedom also means choosing to do a juice cleanse when your gut needs a major reset and that is what I've chosen to do for three days.

Juice cleanses are not for everyone.  I can do them successfully because they make me feel good.  Your body and my body are completely different, so experiment with yours to see what feels good.

Dealing with a food sensitivity or allergy is difficult but don't let it trick you into thinking that you do not have any food freedom.  You do, my friend.  Choose what feels good for you and forget all the rest.

For more help with food freedom and body love, sign up for my free newsletter here and remember to listen to your body.

Love and peace,

Jess