If you’ve ever been on a healing diet, or made an effort to eat healthy to help yourself feel better, I’m sure that you’ve had days where you really wanted to eat foods that you knew weren’t the best for you. Days where all you want to eat is delicious cheese, even though you know that cheese bothers your digestion, or brings back your old asthma symptoms.
Here’s How It Usually Goes For Me
One day, I’m craving some cheese, so I make the conscious decision to eat some and it’s delicious. The next day, I find myself wanting cheese again, so I think “yesterday wasn’t so bad,” and I eat more delicious cheese. This goes on for a few days until I wake up one morning and I’m wheezing and tight in the chest.
I know it’s the addition of cheese to my routine that’s brought back my symptoms, because I’ve gone through an elimination diet before and pinpointed dairy as a trigger food for my asthma. But when I’ve been avoiding cheese and feeling really good, it’s hard to find balance between the cheese and the foods that I know support my health.
When you’re feeling really good on your healing diet, it’s very easy to feel comfortable experimenting with foods that you’ve avoided. Maybe you’ve been missing them and you want to try incorporating them into your routine.
- You should feel comfortable experimenting with foods that you miss.
- Without the experimentation, you’ll never know what balance of these foods works of for you.
- And you’ll never know how these foods truly affect you.
But you have to be able to find a balance of these foods and not get so carried away that your symptoms start to come back.
For me, I know that I can eat a serving of cheese here and there– usually once or twice a week when out to dinner– but if I eat it every day, I start to notice my breathing change. Maybe for you it’s sugar or gluten– you know that you feel better when you avoid them, but you really want to be able to have a special treat now and then.
So how to do work to find a real balance of these kinds of foods without getting so carried away that you start to free crappy again?
5 Steps To Find A Good Balance of “Forbidden” Foods In Your Healing Diet
Make the Conscious Decision to Experiment
Just like with sugar cravings, it’s important to make the conscious decision to eat a food that you know has caused you problems in the past. You need to have a conversation with yourself where you consciously decide to eat the food that you’re craving. Think about how much you want it. Think about how you used to feel in the past.
Listen Closely to Your Body
After you make the conscious decision to eat the food, pay very close attention to your body. Check in with yourself right after you eat to see how you feel. Do you notice any strange physical sensations? Gurgles or grumbles in your stomach? How about two hours later? The next day? Focus on your energy levels, your digestion, your skin–anything that used to give you problems before you started your healing diet.
Keep a Record of Your Experimentation
Writing down your physical sensations in a journal is a great way to keep track of your experimentation and to find any patterns that might arise. Maybe you don’t notice that the day after you eat cheese, you feel super tired in the morning until you write it down a few times. A journal will give you a written log of your inner body cues and help you really connect the food your eating with how you feel.
Have a Plan that Focuses on Food that Make You Feel Good
When experimenting with a food that has caused you problems in the past, I usually recommend to my clients to eat that food once or twice on one day, and then take one or two days to focus on eating foods that fall within their healing diet– foods that they know make them feel good. This way, you’ll be able to really tell how the food you’re testing makes you feel, and having the plan to continue to focus on foods that make you feel good makes you less likely to get carried away and eat cheese every day.
Be Patient and Forgiving
Be kind of yourself. There will be days when you eat more cheese than you planned. There will be weeks when you eat cheese every single day, and that’s okay. You have your healing diet to fall back on– a diet full of foods that you know support your health and make you feel good. Set the intention to get back to your usual food routine, and tell yourself that everything’s going to be alright.