This is something that I sadly see in my practice often, a complete fear of food. Wholesome and nourishing food, that some of my clients refuse to eat and some are avoiding whole food groups altogether for this reason, and missing out on nourishment from them.
Having a chronic autoimmune illness is hard enough, restricting in so many ways already, this just adds insult to injury. Most of us know we have to omit certain foods, but adding foods, that could be very well nourishing to us, to that list is not always necessary. Most of the time people have few true sensitivities, and we can attribute poor digestion or other issues to so many other things. Having an ultra restrictive diet, without actual need, for a prolonged period can cause even more problems down the road. These diets are helpful for many people, including myself, and can be successful, but often, they are not, because they executed with the wrong mindset and approach, and often create issues around food that have not been there before. If you decide to go for a true AIP, Paleo, Keto or any other very restrictive diet, I suggest working with a professional to support you on your journey. It is not a simple task to achieve on your own, and a professional will advise if you truly do need to start on that journey and will guide you toward success. For a better look at Autoimmune Protocol diet, check out my post here.
EATING “CLEAN” FOOD
Apart from restrictions, there is also this obsession with “clean” food, and more and more there are really wholesome foods being labeled as “dirty”. Foods like legumes, meat or nightshade vegetables, when in reality there is no real reason that people should avoid these foods completely, unless there is a genuine allergy or sensitivity there. There is an array of causes of bad digestion or feeling unwell besides food sensitivities, so don’t jump the gun and omit whole foods or even entire food groups before you know for sure that it is that food that causes your issues. Usually these things are very multifaceted and the solution will be as well. Sometimes it is only a temporary sensitivity, and digestion and tolerance can improve.
There seems to be this notion out there of perfect digestion, that works like clockwork every single day, but the fact is, when we digest food, some things are going to digest easier than others. It doesn’t automatically mean that we have a sensitivity if there is some discomfort after, it’s more likely that perhaps the meal was rich in fibre, which is something I would really recommend that you eat, or maybe it was a fat and starch heavy meal. Maybe you were eating too fast or too much at one sitting. There are ways to improve your digestion of these foods and freely include them in your daily nourishment, without being in fear of them or scared or feel “dirty” for eating them. For tips on improving your digestion, check out my post here
EATING FOR PLEASURE
But more than this fear or whole foods that are ruining your health, what I see is fear of eating food just for pleasure, which again is depriving us of good digestion, and the sheer joy of actually nourishing ourselves and our bodies. This becomes even more important if dealing with a chronic issue, stress and anxiety often are much bigger triggers than food. When we relax and are in good sprits when eating, our digestion works much better than when we are anxious about eating the wrong food. Please enjoy your food, it is a primal need and a right, relax, make the plate beautiful, even if it’s just you eating. Eating food that you have prepared and feeding your body with it is not a “guilty pleasure” it’s a necessity of life, cause to celebrate and enjoy, and share with loved ones. Love the food that you are eating, be grateful for it, with all your heart. It is there to keep you alive and well nourished. To give you energy, to provide all the nutrients for you to live and love your life and thrive. It is a thing of beauty! Love your every meal, and you will find when you love food, your meals get better, more creative, more versatile and colourful and more nourishing. It is a beautiful relationship, so enjoy and love your food, you meant to, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.