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One of the things I hear a lot about being dairy-free (and gluten-free) is:

Updated: Apr 4

“You must be really fun at parties!” 🤦🏼‍♀️


I also get questions like:

 

⚠️ “What do you eat then?”

⚠️ “How you do find things to eat that don’t have dairy?”

⚠️ “Well, you’re probably deficient in calcium.”

⚠️ “You need to be eating dairy to get your daily calcium.  Your bones are going to suffer.”

 

And then when they find out I’m gluten free also, I get:

 

⚠️ “Everything probably tastes gross that you’re eating.”

⚠️ “You can’t even eat pizza!”

⚠️ “Well, I won’t give up my bread because I don’t want to eat cardboard.”

⚠️ “I’m going to eat it anyway; you only live once right!”

⚠️ “Why would you do that to yourself?”

 

My response varies depending on the tone of the question or remark but most often it’s usually along the lines of:

 

🥑 “Well, I’d rather have to get more creative with my meals than be in pain lying on the bathroom floor for hours.”

 

or

 

🤨 “Do I look like I’m starving?” Is one of my snarkier remarks. 

 

But what I’ve learned is that these questions or comments are coming from a place of lack of understanding for what someone is going through and based on their own personal habits. 

 

Most times though, people are genuinely curious as to why I choose (or need) to be dairy-free (and gluten-free) because it’s not something they are accustomed to in their own lives. 

 

Through many discussions with friends, family and strangers, I’ve found that MOST people have some sort of digestive issue that they shrug off as “normal” because the idea of making adjustments is “too hard” or they feel like they will “miss out” on the “joy” of food and so they continue “dealing” with their discomforts. 

 

And I get it.  When I discovered I had a dairy allergy (that I’ve likely had for the better part of my life), I had already chosen to go gluten-free for about a year (due to having Autoimmune Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis) but I was still having breakouts and skin eruptions and skin infections on my face to which I was placed on a medications to treat severe acne.  And it “seemed” to work only while I was taking it but within days of quitting it, my skin issues resumed. I did this course of “treatment” twice. All the while, my excruciating stomach pains that would leave me on the cold bathroom floor in the fetal position continued.  I had had enough and so I was tested for a dairy allergy and sure enough…. dairy and I had to break up.  

 

It was HARD. 😫 Like really hard and I felt shame often when eating somewhere other than home, with having to explain why I had to refuse certain foods and getting looks of disapproval. But over time, I started to feel better and I got over this and it's not my job to worry about what people think. (That's a new skill!) 🤗

 

Before quitting gluten, my diet consisted of pretty much only gluten and dairy.  My favourite foods were pizza and cheesecake…and I spent most of my time with tummy pains and constipated.  I was even put on a bowel relaxer medication at 21 because I had enough.  But I was only told it was IBS but it was never explained what that even was and what was causing it.  What made this all worse was I was tiny.  I was thin and I "looked healthy" and so I looked like I was “just making it up”

 

What did I do about it? Nothing. 🥺 I “dealt” with it because resources were limited during that time and any holistic approach was “woo woo”.

 

Fast forward to now, I eat well, I don’t miss out and I eat delicious and tasty foods that nourish my body.  Eating out can sometimes be challenging but I make sure to eat beforehand so I keep my blood sugar balanced while I’m out. 

 

The biggest challenge to making changes to your diet is MINDSET! 🤩 Rewiring your thoughts.  This is something I see most people struggle with, is letting go of that NEED to eat the foods they are accustomed to and fear of “missing out” and also, to recognize those foods are not actually serving you and in fact are probably damaging you. 

 

I can tell you that those are all stories we tell ourselves when we fear the unknown. Once you make a choice to make those changes, it’s not easy.  It takes dedication, time, patience and GRACE!  Even I make the rare decision to tempt fate and eat something with dairy and within minutes to hours, I realize how the rest of my night/sleep will go…on the washroom floor in a ball in pain and so, once again I commit to being more mindful and make a different choice next time.

 

So, if you’ve read this far and have ever thought about making dietary changes but you’re not sure where to start.  I can help. 🎉 My approach is a little different from most nutritionists and coaches these days who are more about the “lose 20 pounds in 20 days” garbage. I prefer to teach people how to make these changes in a SUSTAINABLE way that is manageable. If this interests you, let me know and we’ll book in a 15-Minute Discovery Call to talk and see how I can support you in your journey to better health. 

 

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