After returning from a wonderful trip to Hawaii, it occurred to me that if I had not been totally committed to being gluten and dairy free on this trip, I would have been miserable.
There are those out there who are what I call weekend wheat junkies-they are good all week, then go out for dinner on the weekend and blow it all, only to be sick for days. They don’t want to be deprived or miss out on the social scene. They are willing to pay the price for the privilege. I just don’t get it.
It’s like the weekend drunk-imagine what you are putting your body through every time you “go off the wagon”. It’s one thing when it’s accidental; it’s a whole other ballgame when it’s intentional. This is especially true if you have been gluten free for any length of time. The longer you avoid a food group, the more intolerant you become. It will only take a speck of gluten or dairy to make you deathly ill. Why do people do it?
Some say, well, I’ll just put up with the stomach pain and headache for a couple of days. It’s no big deal. After what happened to me in the airport before my flight to Hawaii, I would never want to go through that pain, nausea, and two days of diarrhea just to not “miss out”. I experienced a very familiar “hot poker” kind of a pain in my gut. The pain I used to feel every day when my IBS would flare; before I discovered the gluten/dairy connection. It still flares every now and again, but I can deal with that. I can’t imagine putting myself through that on any regular basis.
Which brings me to the topic of this post-if you want to stay healthy and avoid being sick, you must be 100% committed to being gluten or dairy free. There is no half way. Yes, it’s difficult; and it is surely not fun, especially when others around you are enjoying foods you cannot eat. But there are ways to avoid feeling left out.
Focus on what you can eat, not what you can’t. Focus on the people you are with. Most of the foods you love can be modified to be gluten and dairy free. My trip to Hawaii proves that; I enjoyed delicious food all week, and some of them the same dishes my husband was eating, only modified for me. You don’t have to be a gourmet chef to achieve this. Yes, it requires a lot more cooking from scratch. Unfortunately, there are no TV dinners that are completely gluten and dairy free on the market (not that I am aware of). There are no shortcuts.
Anything worth doing is worth doing well. I promise you, you can do it!
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