Can You Eat That?

Mama at The Liberated Kitchen

Mama with some home-canned goodness

When your friends finally start to figure out that you really are serious about your crazy diet, this is a question you’re likely to hear a lot: “Can you eat that?” Usually, the answer seems to be “No.”

This is emotionally wearing for most people, especially rebellious types like me! Instead, I’ve started saying “Yes” to myself. This act of giving myself permission to eat whatever I want frees me to make the best choice. Yes, I can eat that. But do I want to?

Failing

Last week TinyHands and I were standing in the kitchen and I was eyeing the almonds. TinyHands shot me a look and told me not to have any. I was like a kid stealing from the cookie jar. In went the hand, out came the almonds. Had I taken the time to think about it, I might have decided I didn’t want a tummy ache or herpes outbreak, and wanted to heal faster. Instead, I thought: No one tells me what I can’t eat!

TinyHands was right, of course. The almonds were a poor choice for me in my current state. But I was right, too. It’s still my body. I get to choose. Whether or not I make the best choices every minute of every day is purely my right and my responsibility. No doctor, friend, or family member gets to make that decision for me.

Off-Limits

I do have a list of off-limits foods. I stick to the GAPS diet, and I avoid gluten and sugar like the poisons they are to me. There are foods that I know I’m not quite ready for but will probably eat again on that list, too. The point is to make it easier on me, not to test my willpower! It’s a tool I can use to help keep those foods out of sight and out of mind.

Usually, I try to think of it from the positive side, though. What foods make me feel good? Soups made with stock, lots of veggies, roasted cauliflower, winter squash souffles, cupcakes made with coconut flour (but no butter!), homemade yogurt, kombucha, roasted meats, sauerkraut & other fermented veggies, canned fish, baked fish, seafood, honey, coconut oil, spices, and more. The less I see off-limits foods in front of me, the easier it is to make the best choices. The more I make these choices, the better I feel. The better I feel, the more I want to stick with it.

When I do have access to an “off-limits” food, though, I still have a choice. It’s my body, and what I put in it is my decision, for better or for worse.

Do You Want to Eat That?

Emotionally, this is a completely different question from “Can You Eat That?” Instead of giving doctor’s orders or a diet’s protocol the power, the decision is in your hands. The more you understand about the effects your food choices have on your body, the better your decisions will be.

Lately I’ve been pretty down about the fact that I’m still not healed enough from my gluten challenge to feel good when I eat some of the GAPS intro foods I like (for instance, the almonds). While I know that being slower with the intro would have made me better by now, I just haven’t been in the emotional place to do it. I think I haven’t wanted to fully face how much damage I did to myself with the gluten.

This weekend I went to a talk about SIBO, learned a few new things, and had my motivation reinstilled. Continuing to learn about the reasons my diet works for me helps me stick to it. So does thinking about what I eat with my options open.

Yesterday I saw the cheese in the fridge and really wanted it. It sounded so good to me. I could imagine smelling it, tasting it, and enjoying it. Knowing this is a food that I “can’t” eat, I asked myself “Do I really want it?” I thought about what the consequences of eating cheese are… I could count on my body odor coming back, really bad breath, and probably a bit of digestive upset. I was giving a presentation later in the evening, and imagined myself there, having eaten the cheese. I didn’t want the cheese any more.

But it was still calling to me. Fortunately there wasn’t much left, and the kids were happy to get it out of the house for me! There are times I have eaten the cheese and enjoyed every second of it, damn the consequences! But it’s not a cause for guilt, it’s not a failure. It’s a part of the process. Remembering that helps those slips be just minor distractions rather than a major fall!

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This post is part of Sunday School, Traditional Tuesdays.

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2 comments to Can You Eat That?

  • This is a great post Mama! I recently “slipped” a little too. For Easter I made some homemade chocolates (mounds bars and peppermint patties using coconut, honey and oils for flavor and organic dark chocolate) for my sons basket and I wanted some soooo bad. I thought I would have just one but of course they tasted so good. I found myself wanting more, knowing they were in the fridge I kept going back and taking a bite here and a bite there and before I knew it I ate 4! That doesnt sound like a lot but I have some pretty series gut issues even after being on GAPS for almost a year; I was hurting pretty bad for about 3 days from those 4 little delicious things. You are right, its all about choice- and self control. I am now choosing to not have the chocolate in the house because I know that I dont have the control. I want to enjoy treats but not at the cost of my health.

  • Oh yes if you’re having trolube with gluten, a diet can be like a miracle!! The best way to try this is to do the Atkins diet. It cuts out about all the sources of gluten. I know I was just overcome with joint and muscle pain it came on slowly over about 10 years. And when I started the Atkins, I knew right away that it was for me. the pain just came off in sheets. If you could get this much good out of pills, the pharmaceutical industry would really be able to cash in! Get a copy of New Diet Revolution it’s probably in the library or used off of Amazon Books. Atkins will run you through the diet it’s quite simple and very healthy. And just try it for 2 weeks and see if it isn’t a minor miracle for you too.It could well be that humans aren’t really designed to deal with a lot of gluten. And in America today, we eat this crap by the boxcar full. It’s nice when you stop.

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